Scourge and Transparency

The Rise and Fall of Advanced Social Journalism during the Early Twenty-First Century

Criticizing the Critics

leave a comment »

Watching Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and viewing the archival review by the Siskel and Ebert made clear that movie critics cannot always be trusted. People read commentary on movies to get an idea of whether a movie is good or bad, recommended or not, see it or skip it, thumbs up or thumbs down. It’s not an exact science but it usually comes down to either a positive or negative review. The problem with film critics is that their range is too broad and they are film scholars – not everyday moviegoers. They want every movie to be about something. No matter how many classic gags are in a movie if it doesn’t have message it’s a thumbs down. What critics don’t understand is that comedy movies are just there to make us a laugh and people who watch Billy Madison or Half Baked just want to see some funny shit happen, they’re not watching Adam Sandler light shit on fire to learn some sort of life lesson. Sure, sophisticated jokes and dramatic scenes can help make a comedy a better movie but they’re not always necessary. The At the Movies crew loved Knocked Up, Superbad and Tropic Thunder but they couldn’t recommend both Ace Ventura movies, the classic Happy/Madison duo and oddly enough Harold and Kumor 2 (although some how they liked the first one).


Siskel and Ebert called both Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler annoying when they first saw their early work. Gene Siskel even compared the Ace Ventura character to Ernst from those Ernst goes wherever movies. People from my generation grew up watching and quoting classics like Dumb and Dumber and Happy Gilmore and after almost 15 years it still hasn’t gotten old. Even great, sophisticated, artistic, thought-provoking films can’t be watched over and over again like Super Troopers can. The point is that some comedies are a completely different class of entertainment; they are a pill you pop that just makes you laugh – nothing more, nothing less.
And as far as H&K goes why couldn’t they recommend part two if they thought so highly of the first one? They’re both equally funny and both criticize stereotypes. Part two even pokes fun at the overly authoritative; post-Patriot Act Bush government officials characterized by the hilarious Rob Corddry (in his best role since leaving The Daily Show).

The mainstream critics lack of insight for comedy movies makes me think there should a tomato-meter judged exclusively by people between the ages of 15 and 30 who have tried and enjoyed marijuana.


Written by shanedantimo

January 19, 2009 at 6:46 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: