the film snob

A cyberspace journal about my experiences as an NYU film school grad student, reviews of current and classic films, film and TV news, and the rants and raves of an admitted (and unapologetic) film snob.

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Location: Washington D.C.

Esse Quam Videri -- To be, rather than to appear

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Am I Too Nice!?














The entertainment editor for the newspaper for which I write, The Colorado Springs Gazette, just posted the following on the paper's film blog:


"I've been getting lots of letters praising our film critic, Brandon Fibbs. But we just received his first hate letter. (Hey, Brandon, it was bound to happen.) It's anonymous, of course.

Dear Mr. Epstein,

Is Brandon Fibbs your nephew of something? (He's not, just a former intern and former student) Or has he been sent to your newspaper by the major Hollywood studios to work for free? (No, but he'll tell you he's nearly working for free.)

Your reviews used to be sanguine enough (glad people still remember) -- but this guy has never met a movie he doesn't LOVE -- as his A and A- ratings for every film he reviews shows.

Personally, I prefer the more down-to-earth reviews of Roger Moore. At least he tends to see films as they ARE -- especially the mostly-junk now turned out by the hideous people presently controlling Hollywood.

Oh for the days of Frank Capra, William Wyler and John Ford!

(I can understand why this person feels that way. Brandon has given out lots of As and Bs lately. But it's really be a great time for Hollywood and off-Hollywood films. The end of the year is when all the Oscar contenders bunch up. I'm guessing this letter-writer hasn't gotten out to the movies since 1960.)"


Here was my response to that post:


“Anonymous” might be interested to know that I agree with him or her wholeheartedly!

I was making the exact same observation just today. While strolling past the Times Square theaters, I remarked to my wife that I’ve had a run of positive reviews lately and need a real stinker to maintain my street cred.

Warren makes an extremely good point. It’s finally the fall season. After a summer of banality, this is the time during which the studios are pushing their best films. And my reviews reflect that. So do those of the other critics.

There is an additional reason, however. With so many films out there from which to pick, I am able to be selective in what I see. While it may seem rather snobbish, when something like “The Assassination of Jesse James” conflicts with “Good Luck Chuck,” or “Eastern Promises” runs into “Mr. Woodcock” and “Balls of Fury,” I almost always choose the film I think will have greater overall cinematic value. It’s better for you and me!

Keep checking back “Anonymous.” There are some less than stellar assessments coming down the pike. (Check out my review of “Death Sentence” on this blog, for a review of a truly abominable film that wasn’t able to run in the paper because it wasn’t screened for critics until the night before its release.)

By the way, I also write for other publications that prohibit me to share with The Gazette. Oddly enough, I have been accused of writing mostly negative reviews for them! You can read all my (nasty) reviews at my blog, The Film Snob, including the aforementioned “Death Sentence,” “Shoot ‘Em Up” and “Transformers,” among others.

For now, enjoy the fact that there’s actually some good stuff out there. It won’t last long.

6 Comments:

Blogger Justin said...

I can send you some hate mail, Brandon, if you'd like it. I could rustle up a few people and head on over and rough you up a bit.

Only if it'll help.

:)

11:00 AM  
Blogger Jake VanKersen said...

Well Said

I don't know where the idea that critics need to hate every other movie in order to be credible came from but it is false. I mean if I see a trailer with a good writer, director, and actor in it I will go see it and it isn't often that it turns out to be a bad film. If I see a movie with a hokey premise and phoned in performances I'm not surprised when it turns out to be bad. Critics just happen to see everything that is released.

Anyhow I really enjoy reading the blog.

3:03 PM  
Blogger LadyBronco said...

I would much rather read your crits because you don't act like you know soooo much more than us regular slobs who go to movies to actually enjoy ourselves.

Keep up the good work.
(And I found ya by way of the G, so something must be working right! lol...)

7:51 PM  
Anonymous POD said...

List of my favorite film critics:

1. Joe Bob Briggs
2. Roger Ebert
3. Brandon Fibbs

Consider yourself in esteemed company - Ebert has routinely been criticized for giving the same star rating to both great and average movies. Film criticism, in general, is such a subjective forum. The writer is correct in woeing for the days of John Ford and the like. I cannot give an objective view on the films of today, but I do lament the FACT that the overall film making form has changed over the years and yet I do find myself so fantastically surprised sometimes when I watch a film that takes care in regards to framing, lighting, filmic timing, editing and so forth. It is such a richer filmic experience to behold a filmmaker take time to allow a story to progress, and use time and tested cinematic conventions to allow a story to develop and progress. And I believe that writer of the anonymous letter would agree with such an assumption, however inaccurate it might be.

I constantly remind myself that most people do not attend film to be enlightened - they want action, blood, and some T&A; hence my love of movies that do not take themselves so seriously - and not in a pretentious way. "Monster's Ball" may be a great film, but for most of us the first part of the videotape to go will be the part where Billy Bob f*&ks the s&*t out of Halle Berry.

I consider your film criticism to be a work in progress, and your opinions of film will change in time, as the the past tends to objectify.

...but of course if you give us a good accurate, boob and body count on your next review, it would be very helpful to most of us "non-snobs".

6:16 AM  
Anonymous Andy said...

And all this time I've been telling you that I think that "you critics" are just too harsh. You just can't please everybody. I am glad you are doing well Brandon.

7:11 AM  
Anonymous Bethany L. said...

I'm so proud!!!

8:58 AM  

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