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It's not called film praise; it's called film criticism for a reason.
There are plenty of ego-stroking bottom feeders who call themselves film critics. These reprobates can easily be discovered by noticing the usual suspects whose names constantly show up in movie ads.
In NYC we call them quote whores.
Frequently, these poseurs hide behind a media entity that masks their identity by usurping it with their brand. Roger Ebert has been dead for years, yet somehow RogerEbert.com is still getting credit for reviews being written in 2023.
Weird, I know.
I've been a published film critic for 29 years now. Over that time I've written for dozens and dozens of outlets.
Now that oxymoronic Social Media has driven the final nail of clickbait into the coffin of any editorial oversight anywhere, I don't write for the same reasons that I once did. Nonetheless, I still write because I am a writer.
The death of the alt weeklies was a canary in the coalmine.
Still, I have my reasons for doing my job.
Film criticism is a job.
Professional is as the professional does.
Film criticism is not publicity.
Film criticism is not "content;" it is editorial fact.
You have to be a serious person in order to be a film critic, not that you have to take yourself too seriously; don't do that.
There is no such thing as a "good" or "bad" review, only good or bad movies.
Critical thought cannot be swayed by money. You can pay for a review; you cannot pay for the outcome of the critical analyses that it entails.
Film criticism exists to analyze its subject as a work of art, not commerce.
Film criticism is an individual pursuit, not a group activity.
Filmmakers Jean-Luc Goddard, Francoise Truffault, and Paul Schrader were each film critics before becoming filmmakers. They worked out their initial film theories by writing criticism. There are rich rewards if you're willing to put in the time. Children without siblings are naturals for becoming critics — less distraction.
Social media is a natural enemy to film criticism, and to rational thought for that matter.
The study and analyses of film/movies requires deep focus and concentration, the exact thing that social media rejects.
The value of Cinema rests with the patience to absorb its importance, not to exploit it.
A commercial cannot be a movie, i.e. "Barbie" is not a movie. Neither is "Black Panther." These are commercials made to move product.
All film is political; it is up to the film critic to draw upon research to define its political subtext.
Film criticism is not a club or a meritocracy.
Film criticism is writing, many hours of writing, for many years, if you're lucky.
Film criticism is a study of global sociology.
And endless study and research; if you haven't seen any of a filmmaker's past films, how can you pretend to contemplate the personal context of their latest movie? You can't.
It's none of our damn business how much money your dumb-ass movie made.
The movie industry teamed up with modern clickbait media to shit the bed of movie-going in America.
It's fine for industry professionals to turn into bean counters on their own time, but insulting the public by waving their huge profits under our noses as a merit badge is beyond the pale.
Money does not equal quality, quite the contrary.
Roger Ebert was an awful example of a narcissist passing as a film critic.
Because of the way Ebert fell into his job as a corporate film critic, he did not properly prepare for the task.
Contrary to Ebert's belief that a critic should write about his, her, or their experience of watching a movie (i.e. did it make you cry?) is bullshit.
Just because a movie makes you cry, does not automatically make it a good movie. There are many people who can make you cry, not all of them are good people.
The minimum requirement for any film critic is that he or she watch, and read reviews of the best 100 movies of all time. "John Kobal Presents the Top 100 Movies" (yes, it's a book) is a great place to start.
A love of international Cinema, the diligence to constantly study various aspects of Cinema, and the willingness to sit down to artfully express to the reader a cogent understanding of the movie at hand, are things that cannot be taught.
You've either got it, or you don't.