And no, not by me. This is about my disagreement with simpleton opinion, that is, subjective opinion in the guise of logical argument. Those that pepper their stances with phrases designed to put down the subject or addressee, without ever actually saying much of anything to back it up. In many cases (though not all), the critic suffers from an inability to understand the movie, and lashes out in anger. You've all met this person (and perhaps, like me, sometimes fallen victim to the pattern yourself). At one time or another, you've given a review of a movie as follows: "I hated it. It was stupid!" Why? "It was just stupid!" This is akin to a student who slams down the chalk in frustration and prounounces that "math sucks!!!!" when he/she can't figure out an equation. Some things take more time and effort to 'get', but usually the reward is greater than anything spoon fed.
Recently, I've seen a few instances where this above technique has been applied toward a couple of movies I'm quite fond of. Jaquandor the Firestarter predicted that my head would explode once I took a gander at this mindless rant against The Usual Suspects, which as Mr. Murtaugh notes with disgust, has made the Top 250 Films list at IMDB.com (a popularity contest, really). While I was surprised to find another critic vehemently against the movie, I am always curious to read new arguements against films; it helps me to understand the film better. Unforunately, with the exception of one statement in the end, Mr. Murtaugh's entire segment is full of circular, begging-the-question type rants that really don't explain themselves at all. To wit:
- "But it is precisely because so many people think that The Usual Suspects is not a bad film, and is in fact a very good film (it's # 17 on IMDB's top 250 films list, where it sticks out like a herpes sore in a nunnery), that it is really so awful."
Hwuh? Murtaugh doesn't like any of the performances in the film, certainly doesn't like Spacey, and also fails to give anything else than his unsupported opinion. I know some people who don't like the movie, and I can understand that. Hell, like whatever you want. The only sentence that actually tries to make a salient point comes at the end of his tirade:
- "I suppose that if Spacey is playing a Turkish master criminal struggling to keep his American accent intact while also spinning a web of lies for the cops, you might claim that he is playing a bad actor rather than just being one, but I don't buy it.
Okay, so we have a Turkish guy in the hospital who says that Spacey is the master criminal. Therefore Spacey must be Turkish? Not quite. I could list a half-dozen scenarios here to compensate for that, but frankly Murtaugh used poor induction to figure that one out.
When it comes down to it, Charles, it's not that you don't buy it, it's that you don't get it.
Matrix: Reloaded anti-rant later...