On nasty film reviews

From Salon's Laura Miller, reviewing Lopate's new anthology of film criticism:

Of course, for indiscriminate journalists — the sorts of writers who have filled the post of movie reviewer at a lot of American newspapers and some American magazines for decades — the preponderance of dull, average movies isn’t a problem. They can’t tell much difference between “Wedding Crashers” and “Failure to Launch” to begin with and are happy to be dazzled by the stars. But good reviewers, remember, must also be good writers, and good writers want subjects that fire them up. The kind of person who sees, say, “Ultraviolet,” then goes home, looks up a review online, marvels at the critic’s vitriol and fires off an e-mail saying, “Chill out, dude, it’s just a movie. It was fun,” is not someone whose opinions anyone wants to read at length, on a regular basis — or ever, really. (And, confidentially, if you are the kind of person who sends those e-mails: What gives? If you don’t think certain movies should be taken so seriously, why even bother to read the reviews?)

Italics mine. Grin

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