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October 1996, Week 2


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"Simone L. Fary" <[log in to unmask]>
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Sun, 6 Oct 1996 12:07:33 -0400
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Time again for one of my open-ended conversation starters. I
would like to engage the list in a discussion of the role
of movie reviewers.  I'd like to limit this to the ones we
read about in the popular press, whose reviews are supposed
to tell us about what is currently playing in the theaters.
        What do you think their role should be?  What makes
a good reviewer/bad reviewer?  What should the goal of
their reviews be?  What kind of things have irritated you
in reviews you have read?
        Here are some of my pet peeves to get the ball
1)  "good cinematography".  If the cinematographer shows
lots of sunsets and nicely lit landscapes this is called
"good cinematography", paying no regard as to how
meaningfully the images presented are used, which is my
measure of "good cinematography".
2)  lack of equal opportunity leechery.  I used to be
bothered by reviewers who were constantly describing the
physical attributes of the actresses.  A recent reviewer
(female, by the way) describe the size of Demi Moore's
attributes in the movie Striptease.  Upon further
reflection, those are probably the main reason that
alot of people are going to see that movie, so why not
tell people about them?  But, believe it or not, many
women also go to movies to ogle the actors, and I find
little mention of this.  I remember hearing a female
reviewer on a radio talk show mention that the main
appeal of "Last of the Mohicans" was seeing 2 hours of
Daniel Day Lewis with his shirt off, to the shock of
the male reviewers present.
3)  Reviewers who use the review to show-off their
knowledge of irrelevant trivia, instead of addressing
the movie as a whole.
4)  Reviewers who deem a movie "not funny" because
the humor presented doesn't appeal to them personally.
There are many different types of humor - some people
can't stand Benny Hill, or Monty Python, but to call
them "not funny" seems to me most unhelpful to the
people who do like that kind of humor.
Looking forward to your comments . . .
Simone Fary
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