How To Humble The Critics


The internet has not been kind to film critics (or their wannabe contemporary equivalent), of late.

Their shortcomings have been exposed and revealed for all to see in a most unflattering light: The prejudices and the tunnel-vision, the lack of integrity and intellectual laziness, the grudges and petty personal vendettas, the allegiance and subservience to certain power in Hollywood, the malice aforethought towards anyone or anything who is not part of the club, not to mention, of course, the hubris (it comes with the territory), have been showing.

The character of Mr. Farber, from M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water (picture above) comes to mind.

Of most recent date, and in a long string of hits and misses, the critics overall cluelessness to what made Now You See Me the sleeper summer hit it proved out to be, is a testimony to the growing irrelevance of the would be critics, and, most of all, and blissfully so, the inconsequence of their pronouncements.

It's a cruel turn of events, when people are no longer laughing with you, but are, actually, laughing at you.

Witness Brian Ross's hilarious, and merciless take on that very topic:

All in all, it's not so much that critics are dimwits—though many of them are (Yes, that means you, Peter Travers, and, you, Lou Lumenick, you sordid little men.) Or that critics are just simply out of touch, like the above post seems to suggest (Yes, that means you, Brent Lang.) Or that critics can no longer see the forest, for the trees—many of them can. It's just, I think, that their original mission would be better served if maybe they ceased to be the shameless propagandists they appear to have become (the proselytizing, on the part of the film critics community, for Zero Dark Thirty is, in that regard, still fresh in everyone's mind), and returned instead to the primary calling of the profession.

I don't know. Going back to the basics, perhaps, would be a good start:

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