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Mike

Movie Log

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Get Out: 9.5/10

One of the mpst deft balancing acts of comedy and horror I've seen. As a social satire, it's brilliant and funny, and as a horror, it's loaded with dread and tension. What a debut.

Randall getting out of the police car was probably the loudest applause I've ever experienced at a movie, and it was a half-full daytime show. Thunderous clapping, laughter, and cheering. That moment couldn't have been set up more perfectly.

 

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So this isn't a movie but I can't think of anywhere else to put this, but I finished the first four episodes of Iron Fist and I'm about to continue with the next few. Honestly, I'm really enjoying the show so far and I can't imagine why critics have been busting this show's balls so much apart from the "Iron Fist should be Asian" controversy that frankly is problematic no matter what stance gets taken.

Case in point, it really annoys me that news outlets everywhere are reporting on Iron Fist's 17% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes which is based on only 36 reviews. Meanwhile 2954 viewers have given it an overall 87%, which is comparable to the rating audiences gave Luke Cage, but no one seems to want to talk about that because I guess "suck it critics" isn't a great enough headline.

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6 minutes ago, pen said:

So this isn't a movie but I can't think of anywhere else to put this, but I finished the first four episodes of Iron Fist and I'm about to continue with the next few. Honestly, I'm really enjoying the show so far and I can't imagine why critics have been busting this show's balls so much apart from the "Iron Fist should be Asian" controversy that frankly is problematic no matter what stance gets taken.

Case in point, it really annoys me that news outlets everywhere are reporting on Iron Fist's 17% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes which is based on only 36 reviews. Meanwhile 2954 viewers have given it an overall 87%, which is comparable to the rating audiences gave Luke Cage, but no one seems to want to talk about that because I guess "suck it critics" isn't a great enough headline.

I'm not disputing any of this (though I've got pretty reliable people indicating that it's really bad who wouldn't do so over some controversy), but a show or movie getting a high user rating isn't news, most movies and shows get high user ratings. The ones that don't are usually either uniquely awful or high-brow artsy stuff like The Witch. 

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24 minutes ago, Ruiner said:

I'm not disputing any of this (though I've got pretty reliable people indicating that it's really bad who wouldn't do so over some controversy), but a show or movie getting a high user rating isn't news, most movies and shows get high user ratings. The ones that don't are usually either uniquely awful or high-brow artsy stuff like The Witch. 

My point is I fail to see why the opinion of 36 people should be bigger news than the opinion of 2954 other than the fact that they get paid for their opinions. I also think it's a logical fallacy to assume that most movies and shows get high user ratings unless you have something to back that statement up.

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8 hours ago, Ruiner said:

The Witch. 

Speaking of the worst movie I've ever seen.

8 hours ago, pen said:

So this isn't a movie but I can't think of anywhere else to put this, but I finished the first four episodes of Iron Fist and I'm about to continue with the next few. Honestly, I'm really enjoying the show so far and I can't imagine why critics have been busting this show's balls so much apart from the "Iron Fist should be Asian" controversy that frankly is problematic no matter what stance gets taken.

You have to take professional reviews with a grain of salt, moreso now than ever. The political correctness and warped viewpoints of modern America have made its way into movie reviewers. I remember reading a review for Ted 2 and the person gave it a bad review because they said the Ted character was a "heartless monster." Now the movie sucked, no doubt about it. But some massive exaggeration about the only entertaining character in the movie made me realize that this reviewer was just offended and that likely influenced their review. I'm afraid that Ghost in the Shell will share a similar fate of Iron Fist...even though the creators of the franchise had Scarlett Johannson as their first choice for the lead role and whether anyone will admit it or not, clearly everyone would rather see a talented, charismatic, legit action star and box office draw like her in the lead role over some no name Japanese woman.

I'm sure the viewpoints of our modern society influenced the reviews of Get Out as well. Once people saw the trailer showing racist white people, the 10/10 review scores were already typed into laptops before anyone even saw the movie. Either that or it is THE greatest movie of all-time. I'm guessing the former.

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1 hour ago, Mike said:

Speaking of the worst movie I've ever seen.

You have to take professional reviews with a grain of salt, moreso now than ever. The political correctness and warped viewpoints of modern America have made its way into movie reviewers. I remember reading a review for Ted 2 and the person gave it a bad review because they said the Ted character was a "heartless monster." Now the movie sucked, no doubt about it. But some massive exaggeration about the only entertaining character in the movie made me realize that this reviewer was just offended and that likely influenced their review. I'm afraid that Ghost in the Shell will share a similar fate of Iron Fist...even though the creators of the franchise had Scarlett Johannson as their first choice for the lead role and whether anyone will admit it or not, clearly everyone would rather see a talented, charismatic, legit action star and box office draw like her in the lead role over some no name Japanese woman.

I'm sure the viewpoints of our modern society influenced the reviews of Get Out as well. Once people saw the trailer showing racist white people, the 10/10 review scores were already typed into laptops before anyone even saw the movie. Either that or it is THE greatest movie of all-time. I'm guessing the former.

Oh for fuck's sake. It's neither, Mike. It's an excellent movie that got excellent reviews. That's it. What an annoying comment. 

 

9 hours ago, pen said:

My point is I fail to see why the opinion of 36 people should be bigger news than the opinion of 2954 other than the fact that they get paid for their opinions. I also think it's a logical fallacy to assume that most movies and shows get high user ratings unless you have something to back that statement up.

Well, you see, not to be elitist, but the unwashed masses have a high concentration of stupid people, and in the case of an RT user rating, both fanboys and casual viewers who are probably fine people but aren't exactly film/TV buffs. While there are plenty of dumb paid critics, when you narrow down to just their opinions, you cut out most of the above and get a much better picture of the quality of the show. And sure, Mike has a point in his first paragraph, there are some self-righteous jackwagons who are more interested in the social impact of media than the quality of it (many of them work for the The AV Club), but they're certainly not the majority. I mean, to name a critic I'm partial to, Alan Sepinwall's life's work is watching, analyzing, criticizing, and discussing TV shows--in addition to having done it online for like two decades, he literally wrote the book (or at least a book) on television. Why on earth wouldn't I take his opinion on a new show more seriously than some dweeb on Flixster? 

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3 hours ago, Ruiner said:

both fanboys and casual viewers who are probably fine people but aren't exactly film/TV buffs.

And? I didn't think you had to be a "buff" to have a valid opinion.

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8 minutes ago, pen said:

And? I didn't think you had to be a "buff" to have a valid opinion.

You didn't think that somebody who is very knowledgeable about a topic would have a more valid opinion on it than somebody who isn't knowledgeable about it at all? 

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3 hours ago, Ruiner said:

I mean, to name a critic I'm partial to, Alan Sepinwall's life's work is watching, analyzing, criticizing, and discussing TV shows--in addition to having done it online for like two decades, he literally wrote the book (or at least a book) on television. Why on earth wouldn't I take his opinion on a new show more seriously than some dweeb on Flixster? 

Frankly, and not to demean someone's life work, but that is an excellent question, because ultimately any opinion is just that. An opinion, and that holds true no matter how many movies or shows or games or music you've subjected yourself to over the years. If you agree with his opinions and enjoy reading his reviews then I'd say that's the real purpose of a critic existing; to give people a foundation to build from. That doesn't change my point though: if 2954 people hold a different opinion than 36 people, why should I take the 36 people more seriously?

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1 minute ago, Ruiner said:

You didn't think that somebody who is very knowledgeable about a topic would have a more valid opinion on it than somebody who isn't knowledgeable about it at all? 

But we're not talking about someone knowing more about mechanics or knowing more about filmography, are we? We're not talking about someone knowing more about an actual task or factual knowledge that anyone would have to learn themselves to be an expert on. We're talking about opinions. If I watch 2000 movies then I definitely have more factual knowledge about those movies, but my opinion on them remains an opinion.

I'm also going to posit my opinion that the more you watch of anything, the less new things tend to excite you in the same way it might someone else who is coming into something with fresher eyes. I'd wager if I watched a hundred westerns I'd probably not want to see another western ever again. Doesn't mean someone who hasn't watched the hundred I have wouldn't enjoy it more.

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1. Sure--I'm not going to tell you your opinion is wrong. It's fine if you think something is good that others think is bad. But film is a very technical medium, and nearly every facet of it requires skill. And the top people in each category--direction, photography, cinematography, acting, sound editing and mixing, etc--usually spent many years honing their skills. It's what separated a movie like Green Room from every other thriller with a similar plot--it had the plot of a grindhouse flick, but was directed and acted like an Oscar winner. 

And good reviewers/"film buffs" are a hell of a lot more likely to recognize those aspects. And in the case of TV, a writer's medium, they're more likely to tell smart writing from stupid writing. 

2. While your second paragraph is partially true, it ignores the other side of that coin: when you've seen every ordinary and boring and bad TV show under the sun, you especially appreciate when something special comes along. I'm honestly not sure how you can even think that, since most critics these days can't stop talking about there's too much great TV. The snooty, hard to please critic is a stereotype that really doesn't apply to TV critics at all. There's more critically acclaimed shows now than there have ever been at any point in history. 

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1. Okay, sure, I'll concede the average Joe may be more likely to forgive flaws in a program vs. someone who spends their life critiquing them for a living, but my argument wasn't to suggest that the critics are wrong for holding their opinions. Just annoyance that audience reviews are largely being ignored in the press. It creates a false perception that the show is a failure, when it clearly isn't.

2. I will also concede that the flipside does exist, and it wasn't my intention to suggest otherwise, but at least we agree that both statements can be true. I'm not about to argue which side is more prevalent because neither of us can know. However, the fact that the cultural appropriation debacle seems to come up in every review, whether it makes logical sense or not, seems to suggest that critics had a grudge against the show from the start. The fact that the audience reaction seems largely to be "What are they on about?" is a disparity that should not be dismissed or ignored.

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Audience reviews should genereally be ignored because there quite simply is rarely a significant spike in data one way or the other.  As Ruiner astutely pointed out, all but the most heinous of dreck gets average to high audience favoritism, easily in the 70-80 range on Rotten Tomatoes.  The point there being, how can you ever take audience reviews as any sort of sign of quality if every available product gets the same general score?  No one reports on it because it's like saying it's raining in Seattle.  "Iron Fist, does however, have an 80% audience rating, because of course it does, every show on the website has an 80."  It's redundant, pointless information.

The perception that the show is a failure is completely true, if you're to say it is a critical failure.  A number of people who have made lives out of critiquing the content of media have found substantial flaws in Iron Fist that they did not find in all the other shows.  You may not relate to critics, but it's all the same people who reviewed Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil.  There is no substantial shift, so either you believe that for some reason every critic in the world decided to get together and come up with reasons to dismiss Iron Fist, or they all found legitimate gripes with the presented content that they did not see in the previous works.  Mike seems to be a big believer of the former, do you wanna lump yourself in with that guy, or perhaps acknowledge that not everyone is so easily pleased.

It's also worth noting that the flaw in the Tomatometer system is present here in that a 17% or whatever does not indicate it is a 1.7 out of 10 show, it simply indicates that it received less than favorable reviews from 83% of critics, but that doesn't mean it's awful.  Of course, Metacritic's 37 score for it isn't super ideal either, since that ACTUALLY summarizes most of the scores which means more critics than not are putting it in the low ranges for scoring.  It's also got a 6.1 from the users of the same site, which actually DOES indicate that even the layman is finding more to criticize in Iron Fist than in the past shows (8.3 for Luke Cage, 8.1 for Jessica Jones, 8.7 and 8.9 for Daredevil).

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4 hours ago, Andrew said:

Audience reviews should genereally be ignored because there quite simply is rarely a significant spike in data one way or the other.  As Ruiner astutely pointed out, all but the most heinous of dreck gets average to high audience favoritism, easily in the 70-80 range on Rotten Tomatoes.  The point there being, how can you ever take audience reviews as any sort of sign of quality if every available product gets the same general score?  No one reports on it because it's like saying it's raining in Seattle.  "Iron Fist, does however, have an 80% audience rating, because of course it does, every show on the website has an 80."  It's redundant, pointless information.

The perception that the show is a failure is completely true, if you're to say it is a critical failure.  A number of people who have made lives out of critiquing the content of media have found substantial flaws in Iron Fist that they did not find in all the other shows.  You may not relate to critics, but it's all the same people who reviewed Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil.  There is no substantial shift, so either you believe that for some reason every critic in the world decided to get together and come up with reasons to dismiss Iron Fist, or they all found legitimate gripes with the presented content that they did not see in the previous works.  Mike seems to be a big believer of the former, do you wanna lump yourself in with that guy, or perhaps acknowledge that not everyone is so easily pleased.

It's also worth noting that the flaw in the Tomatometer system is present here in that a 17% or whatever does not indicate it is a 1.7 out of 10 show, it simply indicates that it received less than favorable reviews from 83% of critics, but that doesn't mean it's awful.  Of course, Metacritic's 37 score for it isn't super ideal either, since that ACTUALLY summarizes most of the scores which means more critics than not are putting it in the low ranges for scoring.  It's also got a 6.1 from the users of the same site, which actually DOES indicate that even the layman is finding more to criticize in Iron Fist than in the past shows (8.3 for Luke Cage, 8.1 for Jessica Jones, 8.7 and 8.9 for Daredevil).

We're going to have to agree to disagree on some of this because it's obvious we're coming from two different mindsets. I don't agree that audience reviews should be ignored because they're people with opinions and all opinions are valid unless based on a faulty factual foundation. If people like a show, they like a show. Not every show is for everyone and it doesn't mean it's of low quality or that people are too dumb to tell the difference. For what it's worth, I'm not saying the opinions of the critics are invalid either. All I was commenting on is the disconnect between what the media is reporting  and what's actually happening. It is especially annoying when someone writes an article about how it might be up in the air if Iron Fist gets a Season 2 because of how poor it fared with critics when it's clear it's resonating with audiences.

I will also comment that no, I don't believe there is a grand conspiracy here (although I also believe Mike has held perfectly valid and reasonable opinions at times and also deserves the courtesy of not being dismissed out of hand). However, it's hard to ignore that this show had an uphill battle with critics who were already upset that Marvel chose not to cast an Asian actor as Iron Fist and the reviews I've read do make it clear that this at least had some effect on how the show is being perceived. It's not impossible for multiple people to hold the same chip on their shoulder, but we can never know, so it's pointless to debate.

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Not to push things further, but I also would be interested in hard evidence regarding the whole "audiences vote positively for everything" angle, because while I'm sure audiences vote more positively than critics, I find it hard to believe that it's impossible to gauge the worth of something by audience reaction.

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It's not impossible but it's pretty tricky, and again, let's not throw out the point that Metacritic clearly reflects that while audiences are enjoying it they are clearly enjoying it substantially less than the other Marvel programs.

The point I'm making is that because there is so little variable in audience ratings it is hard to take it seriously simply as a metric.  If every stat is virtually the same, the stat is essentially meaningless.

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1 hour ago, Andrew said:

It's not impossible but it's pretty tricky, and again, let's not throw out the point that Metacritic clearly reflects that while audiences are enjoying it they are clearly enjoying it substantially less than the other Marvel programs.

The point I'm making is that because there is so little variable in audience ratings it is hard to take it seriously simply as a metric.  If every stat is virtually the same, the stat is essentially meaningless.

Metacritic's score is also based on significantly less people than Rotten Tomatoes, although I'm not sure if that means anything or not. It's also kind of unfortunate that there doesn't seem to be a way to see a breakdown of the score apart from the people who actually submitted reviews instead of just rating the show. It is interesting venturing inside those numbers that the people who score the show favorably really score it highly and the people who don't score it bottom of the barrel, so that actually might also be a factor in way the overall rating is drawn more toward the middle. There's an answer for everything, I guess is what I'm saying, and we can never really know for sure.

You also keep saying that there's no variation in audience ratings and that's why it's meaningless. I'm still waiting for evidence that this is the case. I feel that you must have something, otherwise why would you make the assumption?

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The only evidence I have is at least a decade of simply observing the trends on IMDB and the like. I'm certainly not about to be arsed to actually collect the data because doing so comprehensively would be an exercise in masochism. 

You're right in the end of the day it's a difference of opinion and you can listen or not listen to whatever number is the one that pleases you most. I do think it is a bit silly to assume that critics have some sort of agenda in mind when they're all different people for all sorts of different publications. Could just be people with different opinions, that's my wild theory.

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8 hours ago, pen said:

although I also believe Mike has held perfectly valid and reasonable opinions at times and also deserves the courtesy of not being dismissed out of hand

Thanks for not treating me like a piece of shit like Andrew did.

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Went to a screening of the new King Arthur movie tonight. Completely new telling of the story, but I really liked it. You can definitely tell it's a Guy Ritchie movie. The mix of humor, action, and fantasy was just right. Second best movie I seen this year, right behind Logan.

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I was wondering if Get Out would hold up on second watch, without the element of surprise and suspense gone. The answer: yes, yes it does. 

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Alien: Covenant - I really liked it! It's a great Prometheus sequel and a pretty okay Alien movie, which kind of cements my desire for somebody other than Scott to take over Alien, but what I didn't expect was how much I was going to want more Prometheus movies. The Alien elements (it was definitely a Prometheus movie that borrows a bit from Alien and not the other way around) are where most of the issues are; it feels slasher-y, and the Alien overall didn't feel as scary as it could. The much scarier part of the movie is David, who remains a fascinating character, thanks in no small part to Michael Fassbender.

The cast was also very good, which is a big reason why the movie worked as well as it did. Even disposable redshirts felt human and alive, and I almost always found myself rooting for the human characters to live, even if they had minimal dialogue. And that carries over into the main cast. The lead actress and character is great and I hope they don't get rid of her in between movies like they did with Noomi Rapace. And while his versatility in a dramatic role is not shocking to anybody who's seen his work in darker comedies like Vice Principals and The Foot Fist Way, I was pretty surprised that Danny McBride was used so effectively. When he pops up in a movie like this it just screams comic relief, and I'm glad they didn't go that way because he's pretty damn good.

Overall I'd say it's a 8/10 Prometheus and 6/10 Alien, so I'll split the difference and give it a very strong 7/10.

Trailer report...

Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
Atomic Blonde
War for the Planet of the Apes
Kingsman: The Golden Circle

^All of these looked fuckin' great and I'll probably see all of them in the theater

Transformers 5

^lol

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1 hour ago, Andrew said:

Baby Driver is gonna be so fucking good.  The game has missed Edgar Wright.

I saw this trailer as a YouTube commercial and was immediately fascinated. 

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