Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Film Critic, me

Critic me
(by R.P.Edwards)

I could be the critic
For which the “stinkers” vie
A “watcher” of distinction
Known…to never lie
For when they learn when purchased
My words are free to twist
They’d publish with abandon
Though context…often…missed

“Mystery Men,” or “The Runaway Bride?” Hmmm.  This was the evening dilemma for our eighteenth wedding anniversary outing, celebrated in 1999.  Funds were an issue (thus no trip, or golden bobbles)  but we could at least go to a movie before or after (I don’t remember which) the chow.  Well, knowing that Runaway Bride was a chick flick, I, naturally, leaned towards the weird, and not very well received “comedy” featuring, among notable others, Ben Stiller, and Paul Reubens (Pee Wee! It’s got to be good!) Anyway, it was a stinker and, although some say this bomb has developed a “cult following” (never a good sign), I regret the shillings shucked.  And, in the end, the box office receipts tell the story.  Mystery Men lost quite a bit, while the Julia Roberts and Richard Gere romp…gave a four fold return.

An observation: no matter how terrible a film is, the promoters can, invariably, find a critic, somewhere, who will give a glowing review.  Sure, the headline is usually huge and its author’s name, microscopic, but it is, nevertheless, a positive plug. And I wonder to myself, “Where do these guys come from?  Have they actually seen this movie?”  And then a career move hits me; “I” could do that review thing!  Yeah, I could be the sought after nobody who writes the baiting bologna.  “But how,” I muse, “do I get around the whole ‘honesty thing?’  How do I satisfy my self-righteous sensitivities?”   Answer: By giving a frank appraisal, yet, letting it be known that the words, once written, are then left undefended.  Thus, a review saying, “This movie made me stand to my feet and run for the exit!” becomes, “This movie made me stand to my feet!”  And, “A colossal waste of time!” becomes, “A colossal time!”  Yes, a little cut and paste, and even the most scathing critique becomes an endorsement.  However, for those who actually pay attention to the small print, eventually “my” name--like all those who consistently back bombs-- would be the headline; and the headline would be… “bogus.” 

Of late some “critics” (aka journalists) have been bashing Sarah Palin and other conservatives for some tiny missteps; often seasoning their elitist bilge with judgments on competency and intelligence.  And, as they continue to vent, I step back a moment and ponder, “Hmmm. If they don’t like her; then who do they endorse?  What is “their” track record? What other “movies” --if you will-- have these wise ones showered with praise?”  And then it comes to me; these malcontents are the very same ones who gave glowing endorsements to the fantasy titled, “Hope and Change.”  And, even though that film hasn’t fully played out, this over budget, bloated, bomb…is a stinker.  And if that’s the kind of production these “experts” endorse, well then, like the reviewers who consistently add their “amen” to box office bummers…who cares what they think?

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