Not Another Critic

As everyone will know, anyone with an internet connection and a social media account in the 21st century is immediately qualified to be a critic on whichever subject they choose to exact their judgement.

Unfortunately, anyone with an internet connection is not necessarily also in possession of a critical sensibility. Meek and mild tastemakers have never been more ubiquitous. That’s not to say every modern critic is impotent, there are some I admire very much. It certainly sounds very entitled to slag off swathes of opionistas in such broad-strokes, but when The Last Jedi receives a score of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, how can you not?

Herein lies the other strain on the film critique – that fruit-based opinion aggregator. Without wishing to bore on about it, and as this article explains better, Rotten Tomatoes has a become a major influencer in modern movieland, one whose binary algorithm for revealing the gestalt has played some role in pulling film criticism into the middle of the road, sucking out nuance in favour of a dichotomy.

I want to offer something a little different.

Shamelessly cribbing the grading system and the terse, succinct scrutiny of self-styled Dean of Rock music criticism Robert Christgau, whose writing has greatly influenced my own, I want to offer my own brand of film criticism to the discerning viewer. Why should my voice be one to trust, amongst so many others? My intolerance of crock, for starters. I’m bulletproof to hype (but that doesn’t mean there aren’t films I’m excited for).  I know what I think, and though I will tinker with anything I feel the need to revisit (this entry, for example), I’m certain in my ability to dissect, analyse and reach a conclusion on whatever quirk of cinema comes my way. Some films can be dealt with in a single sentence, others need several paragraphs, all are dealt with in the same manner, be it franchise blockbuster or arthouse oddity. Again, these are all principles I’ve purloined from the Dean, but what’s that to matter? I’m not going to argue with what’s right.

I hope this blog cuts through the murky mass of Tomato-swamped film media that you the consumer have to navigate, and proves to be entertaining, inciteful, and ultimately useful to whatever soul stumbles across it.

More details on that grading “system”, and how I’ll go about choosing what to watch (if you want my opinion on something specific, let me know), will all be updated when I, er, write it down.

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