Saturday, February 2, 2013

What's wrong with critics and action films?

Figures from Rotten Tomatoes:
The Last Stand - 59% Audience 68%
Parker - Critics 38% Audience 63% 
Bullet To The Head - 49% Audience 71%

I just got back from seeing Sylvester Stallone's latest film Bullet To The Head and basically I loved it. Was it flawless? no but was it well acted, well directed, with a great soundtrack and some great violent action? damn right it was! 
I am going to leave the full and official review to the doctor himself but something struck me checking out reviews and the like online after the film, I don't read them before the film I want to go in fresh, and that was when it comes to action, critics and audiences seem to be on opposite sides to each other.
The above scores from that loathsome and divisive website Rotten Tomatoes illustrate my point quite well and that's the only reason they're there.

Why can't critics review action well? maybe it's the same for all genres they arrogantly deem beneath them, maybe horror and comedy fair just as badly, I don't know I haven't done the research, but lately it sure feels like action is taking a beating.

My philosophy is that you review stuff within its genre. If you're a big budget blockbuster then I am going to stack you up against everything from Ghostbusters to The Dark Knight, if you're a quirky indie film then everything from Rushmore to Looking for a Friend at the End of the World is fair game and if you're action, especially a certain type of action, then you are going to be reviewed alongside Cobra, Die Hard and Commando.

Why do critics seemingly just rate everything on the same pointless and impossible scale? 
Why do critics go on about action stars not having depth of character or action films not having intricate plots?
They are seemingly willfully missing the point! 
Did they not see that Jason Statham just fired a flare gun from the nose of a fucking plane onto a gasoline covered pontoon and blew the fucker sky high?! The nose of a plane people!! AWESOME!
They dismiss death defying stunts, often performed for real by mere actors wanting authenticity and, yes, in a safe environment but show me Dustin Hoffman willing to climb down a building, hang off a helicopter or run out of an exploding building, even if offered a harness he'd nasally refuse and toddle off somewhere.
They dismiss the screen presence, the charisma, the athleticism, the enjoyment, the humour, the catharsis, the drama and the great feeling we all get when good triumphs over evil.

I wrote an article on here about Jason Statham and how he has constantly tried to do more, achieve more, work with interesting people, take interesting scripts and push himself. When you hear these guys in interviews they've thought about the character, the director, the great stunts, the chases, they care about their audience and they want to entertain but because they're not Daniel Snore Lewis, who is yet to be in one film I want to see ever, they don't get the time of day!
I just want The Kick Ass kid to like me... *sob*
Also action stars, like Stallone and Statham never get credit for their characterisations why? because they're not playing Mr.Darcy or mumbling pretentious, impenetrable shit in a Paul Thomas Anderson movie?
Yet Stallone is never the same person twice, seriously. Watch Rocky, Rambo, The Expendables, Cobra, Demolition Man, Bullet To The Head, hell watch fucking Over The Top for christ sake and each one is different. He uses different voices, changes his appearance, thinks about the way his character would walk, talk and the different weapons his guy would use to pulverise his next low-rent hood... all important things and all on screen for you to see.

Do you know how I know critics are full of shit? well look at the way they coo and swoon when someone like Stallone does a film like Copland or Bruce Willis does sensitive in Twelve Monkeys, they practically fall over their collective tongues to lick the stars balls! Or what about when they actually get in a room with these icons to interview them and they turn into girly, sycophantic wretches, just seconds away from wetting their draws in excitement. Then they get home to their little rooms and write about how there wasn't enough serious drama or character development in Expendables 2. Morons.
Serious drama just shit itself
The same goes for comedians when they play-it-straight, the critics act all surprised and taken a back that these guys can do a great performance but year after year they have entertained and excited audiences everywhere. That's no easy feet you know and should be acknowledged.

Our beloved action stars are having a rough time in the market place so far in 2013. It's down to a combination of the gun violence debate, bad press, bad marketing and a changed audience, that's clearly now 12 and would rather see glittery vampires, zombies in love, endless remakes and Paranormal Activity 14 (this time it slams a door and turns off a light in night vision! ooooh!) than these icons of cinema perform tremendous acts of physical endurance all wrapped up in an awesome, timeless tale that'll make you forget your rotten existence for 90 minutes!

I can't help but wander, though, that the rough time would be alleviated somewhat if some of these critics lightened the fuck up, pulled the 'worthy' 'earnest' drama stick out of their ass and reviewed some of these films as the damn good time that they are and are clearly meant to be and urged people to go see them. I have even read critics condemn perfectly good action films by getting involved in the gun debate instead of saying "That's reality and these are MOVIES". It's so irritating, unprofessional and down right bad at their job to not critique them within their own wheelhouse. 

Lastly, critics, stop fucking mentioning how old these guys are and how they're 'passed it'. Please call me when you're 64 and lets see if you could make Expendables 1, brake your neck, recover and then get back to work in a manner of days. It's awesome these guys are old and kicking ass, I'd take 1 Schwarzenegger over 50 Sam Worthingtons that's for damn sure! and how come Eastwood gets a pass? oh yeah because occasionally he directs worthwhile dramas about women who can box or war films about a battle from 70 years ago that everyone should really have gotten over by now! 
Get over yourself critics!
You're worthless idiot hacks and if you had any testicles you'd be dangerous.

Love The Kick Ass Kid

5 comments:

  1. Despite the our differences in critical philosophy, I raise my rum glass in salute to this truely righteous rant. And again, and again, and again I say, sir: that is why I don't spend any more time on Rotten Tomatoes than is absolutely necessary. Aggregation is simplification. I can have a conversation, a discussion, or even a good, sexy argument with a person, but numbers on a screen just sit there. Immutable. Bland. Boring. The damn thing's useless, save as a portal for other sites, unless you're a star reviewer and, if you are and the gods are with you, you're too big to care about your Rotten Tomatoes status. It's a glorified review search engine. The poor man's movie review JSTOR, and it's reign of error must come to an end.

    But I shouldn't be going on my own rant when I set out to praise you for yours. Good one, Kid. Keep 'em coming.

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  2. I agree with you, Kid, the character itself counts. 'Good acting' can't even be classified

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  3. Problem is not just critics. It´s casual movie goers as well. Just look at some of the moronic discussions on the IMDb forums.They usually spiral into a dumb YouTube-esque discussions of personal attacks and trolling. The total score on IMDb is also not very indicative of a movies true value. It is a site for the mob of people trying to show how clever they are by saying "look how dumb this movie is!" but instead just com across as jackasses.

    Some people should not even be allowed access to a computer let alone a movie theatre. *end of rant*

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  5. This recap of what's wrong with critics in our sorry society still holds up well.

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