MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

One Critic or All Critics?

The VVM Turk finally came for Jim Hoberman. Critics around the country are mourning as though the man died.

Is Hoberman a symbol of the ongoing devaluation of film criticism? Is his firing a sign that the authoritative voice has succumb to The Back Pages?

Hoe many voices have not been removed or replaced in the last 2 decades? Morgenstern at the WSJ. Turan at the LA Times. Kauffmann at The New Republic. There must be a few others.

Even Ebert, who has survived the odds physically to develop a new, invigorated web presence, was treated poorly by Disney and has given up being the only critic writing on film at the Chicago Sun-Times.

Perhaps the argument that I read a couple of times in the coverage of Hoberman’s exit is the core issue here… that New York arthouse distribution still has a cause-and-effect relationship with film criticism… and this symbolizes a dying of that last ray of hope for being valued by the industry.

Perhaps it is time that we got over that.

(Note: Village Voice Media (as it is now known) has been, in market after market, like watching a Carl Icahn character, coming in with great bravado, and slowly but surely getting around to the business of chopping up papers to sell off their pieces off as spare parts. Fuck ’em. But it seems to me that the folly of that one organization is another story.)

124 Responses to “One Critic or All Critics?”

  1. Paul D/Stella says:

    A few weeks ago I talked to the film critic for the local daily paper. He said that he also writes about TV now, and if not for that he feels like he might be out of a job. The studios cut back on their local screenings, so some major releases come out here with no review in the state’s biggest paper. Just a sad little note reading “Not Screened for Local Review” in Friday’s entertainment section.

  2. Krillian says:

    One of our two biggest papers laid off their film critic last year. Now it just features viewers’ opinion on a meter.

  3. LexG says:

    “Movie critic” isn’t a real job. Working in a depressing office is. Driving a bus is. Mechanic is. Doctor, dentist, lawyer, etc. That people make a living WATCHING MOVIES and INTERVIEWING CELEBRITIES is a HOBBY YOU LUCK INTO CONNING SOMEONE TO PAY YOU TO DO. The fact that I read 100 numbskulls on Twitter whose lives consist of sitting around watching BluRays and going to FREE SCREENINGS bears no resemblance to the actual existence of going to a florescent-hell buzzing-light fixture OFFICE SPACE existence of brutal mundanity and boredom and sameness that constitutes an ACTUAL JOB.

    I don’t feel sorry for any fired critic; They should all be fired… If you wanna write about movies that bad, set up a goddamn Blogspot and go get a nice accounting job or taking dictation or copy-editing or something.

    The idea of paying some old fuck or some beardo in an EMPIRE STRIKES BACK T-shirt to analyze FUCKING MOVIES is like a concept out of both 1967 and 1997. It’s over, Johnny. Go to work now.

  4. Jason says:

    LexG, I love you. What you said is right. But since people apparently aren’t allowed to say it because it makes them sound like a nazi, I will continue your thought a little more politely. (But trust me, people will still feel as if we are Hitler.)

    In today’s environment — financial, journalistic, etc. — does anyone have any idea how ridiculous it is to pay someone handsomely to write movie reviews? It’s insane. So insane.

    Say it out loud. “We have someone on staff who will see ‘The Descendants,’ ‘Horrible Bosses’ and ‘Hugo’ and then they will go to their cubicle — or “work from home” — and write 600 words (admittedly beautifully and professionally) about how good or not good they are. And we will pay them $6000 — or more — a month for that.”

    Forget the fact that fellow moviegoers could ask their smart friends. Forget the fact that they could go online to chat with plenty of normal, educated people and what THEY thought of the movies. Nope – great adjectives, smart turns of phrases and nuance is somehow better than your friends’ basic and respectable opinions.

    And in the end…my friends and all the normal people online are usually right: ‘Transformers’ sucked. ‘The Descendants’ was touching. ‘Moneyball’ was cool. ‘Hugo’ is cinematical. Why yes, they are all CORRECT! Because it turns out not everyone online lives in their mom’s basement and eats Hot Pockets. Some are doctors. Some are good writers. Some are intelligent students. Some love movies.

    And what’s worse – people don’t learn from the past. Remember when Variety let Todd McCarthy go? People were in an uproar. People said it was the end of Variety. Guess what – the place still exists. It still is in business. People are still reading the publication. And it all worked out.

    Yes, losing a voice is off-putting, strange and sad. But this gaggle of fellow critics “up in arms” over this is so ridiculous. How about this: movie criticism is a contract gig. Pay for it once in a while. When something special calls for it. Or when someone can see someone early and far away — like a screening of a new, say, Oliver Stone movie in Cannes three months before release. Stuff like that.

    But paying people ON STAFF to sit and watch ‘Sex and the City 2′ to tell me it’s awful in some crafty way. All while I can probably figure it out on my own by going online and reading THOUSANDS of comments from smart, educated, normal people who just happen NOT to have secured a movie-review gig 20 years ago.

    Give me a break. Really. And yes, this will once again irk the writerly writers who feel slighted and sad that their fellow fest dwellers won’t get to reference Godard and Aki Kaurismaki in prose…in 2011, can any critic honestly say they haven’t had the luckiest fucking job on earth…and what a wonderful time it’s been.

    Like Hoberman’s honorable letter to the staff. He’s right. He was ass-backwards lucky and now it’s over. But if ANYONE ever complains about being let go as a movie critic, then they are so out of line with reality…

    I wish no job loss on anyone, but that’s not my point. If one IS to lose their job as a critic/celeb interviewer/etc. then PLEASE look back fondly, count your lucky starts…and understand it won’t come back. At least Hoberman is more of a writer. He will get gigs. He will speak. He will pen books. That’s because he’s a solid historian and hard-working. But PLEASE…these critics who write 250 words to tell me the DVD commentary on “Juno” is awesome…you are no Hoberman. And you are no journalist.

  5. christian says:

    Jason, praytell what critic gets paid 6,000 DOLLARS a month to write out 600 words? And yeah, why can’t the serfs just eat shit and be happy? Spotting dialogue for the new Chipmunks film…now that’s real backbreaking work my uncles in Ohio can understand.

  6. sanj says:

    so i’m too stupid to understand nytimes so i don’t read anything there – but i read them free papers and every
    friday they got new reviews along with movie times and
    movie reviews ….now if the guy who reviews films got
    fired – people would notice .

    there should be an app so people can buy film reviews ..
    where it takes 2 minutes to go through all the reviews
    and find one for a newspaper thats worthy and page count
    and in 30 seconds you can buy it and it automatically
    goes to the newspaper for print.

    DP should be selling his movies reviews at 99 dollars per review. can’t beat that.

  7. LexG says:

    “Jason, praytell what critic gets paid 6,000 DOLLARS a month to write out 600 words?”

    Ken Turan of the LA Times almost surely makes well, well into the six figures, and he’s so old and fussy he only bothers to review like three movies a month, and only ones that appeal to his oat bran tastes; He probably writes 50 pieces a year for the LA Times, yet has had a stranglehold on the top critic spot in LOS ANGELES for over a decade, despite being so irrelevant NOBODY talks about him.

    Read the movie blogs, all you hear about are the quick minds of Armond and AO and Manohla and the Oscar fanatics like Anne Thompson or Poland or whoever; How often does KENNETH TURAN get cited? Yet he probably makes 500k a year and almost surely lives in a white neighborhood, and he BARELY WORKS.

  8. “they could go online to chat with plenty of normal, educated people”

    LexG, which internet are you using? The one I always end up on usually only has uncivilized, questionably educated, highly aggressive “people” with defiantly abrasive opinions that will never be swayed and are often purposefully contrarian. Trying to engage them in a reasonable discussion only angers them further – usually ending in brutish vulgarities resembling a death threat.

  9. Brett G. says:

    I’ll be the first to admit that I agree with Lex on some levels, mostly out of sheer jealousy. If someone paid me just $1500/month to do that kind of job, I’d never, ever, ever want to lose it.

    And I wouldn’t even have a problem with the whole thing if so many of the people that DO have the jobs weren’t so snarky and complained about shit that are the ULTIMATE first world problems. “Oh no, I have to go to downtown LA to watch a movie FOR FREE that I’ll eventually get PAID to write about.” Seriously, get the fuck outta here. I went to college for six years and can’t get a MENIAL job, much less one that I’ll actually ever like.

  10. movieman says:

    Reposting since this seems like the more appropriate thread for it:

    I have profoundly mixed feelings about the Hoberman situation.
    I’ve always considered him to be one of the few remaining film critics genuinely worth reading, but wasn’t he instrumental in getting Andrew Sarris canned back in the ’80s? If so, karma’s a bitch, no?
    That said, I’m sure he’ll find another gig. The “Smart Critics Mafia”
    always protects their own.

  11. berg says:

    “Ken Turan of the LA Times almost surely makes well, well into the six figures”

    the guy probably makes 80K a year but in six figures?, I doubt that even the main editors make that kind of coin at a newspaper …. now websites that have film advertising could easily make six figures

  12. christian says:

    And there is a difference between the entitled J.Wells attitude of, “No wi-fi? I’m fucking outta here!” and real journalists who do the work without tweeting their whines.

  13. Brett G. says:

    No doubt, I’m not throwing all of these guys under the bus at all. I would probably say these types are in the extreme minority. Like I said, I’ll be the first to admit it’s jealousy–I’d jump at any sort of opportunity like the ones these guys have, but I’d also ask anyone to slip me a cyanide capsule the minute I started to complain about something inane.

  14. sanj says:

    don’t forget movie critics have to actually watch the bad movies and not just talk about how bad the movie is in the trailer ..

    plus its about trust – how many tiwtter notes do you have to read before you go see or not see a movie or read your
    favorite movie critic and automatically rush out and watch
    the movie ..

    Ebert seems to have his job for life . ain’t nobody gonna fire him…but if he left like 2000 and set up his own site
    would be making the same money….which i’m guessing like 5 million dollars. cause you know all that pbs money is just crazy.

  15. christian says:

    Maybe it’s more a generational thing, i.e., the younger folk complain the loudest (outside Wells) while I don’t recall any angry Hoberman or Sarris rants on driving time to a screening.

  16. Brett G. says:

    If the worst thing a critic “has” to do is watch a bad movie, that means their worst day is still probably better than most people’s best day. I watch and write about bad movies too–egregiously bad, bottom of the barrel stuff that I willingly pay for because I really like movies and love writing about them.

    And I don’t even use these folks as a gauge for whether or not to see a movie–I see just about everything, regardless. I read good critics for what they have to say about the movie–not to see if I should see it.

  17. sanj says:

    i guess it depends how how often you read movie critics reviews – it makes more of impact on people …

    there must be 1000 movie reviewers on youtube …
    if print is dead just head out there and make your point.

    there was a time when movie reviewers actually joined DP and did super movie friends. that went away …

    it’s gotta suck for people who’ve been reviewing movies from the 80’s and have a huge fanbase and they really know
    movies … plus they remember when movies used to cost a dollar.

    the oscar adcamedy needs to promote critics for like 2 minutes on the show.

  18. christian says:

    “plus they remember when movies used to cost a dollar.”

    Sanj, you kill me.

  19. Brett G. says:

    I actually spend probably way, way too much time reading critics; obviously, I have a tremendous amount of respect for most of them, and some of them are so good that I feel like anything I’ll say about a movie is completely perfunctory.

    I mean, I want to be one, so, obviously I think they have a place, but I do agree with a lot of the sentiments that Lex has. Not saying I want anyone out of a job (far from it), but perspective is a big deal. It’s frustrating knowing that people are out there getting paid to do what you want to do when you’ll probably never have a chance to do it.

    Believe me, I’d love to pretend I was living in one of those quirky post-college malaise twentysomething movies where I could just dash off to LA, find myself, chase my dreams, surf, and end up getting addicted to cocaine before finally kicking the habit and living happily ever after as I cruise downtown to movie screenings every night.

    I digress though–everyone read critics, they’re worthwhile in some fashion.

    Oh yeah, I’m not super old yet, but I do remember when I could get into movies for $2. Talking first run, opening day shit.

  20. Steve Warren says:

    I enjoy driving and drive as well as most bus drivers. Why shouldn’t I offer to drive for free and put those guys out of work? Of course since no one’s paying me I can drive only when I feel like it, not on any kind of schedule…

    I’ve been reviewing movies “professionally” (i.e., getting paid for it – usually – though never very much) for over 40 years. Yeah, I’m an old fart and probably don’t deserve the oxygen someone else could be breathing; but I figure over the years I’ve helped a lot of people discover little movies that didn’t have a lot of hype but went on to become favorites of theirs, and I’ve saved a lot of people a lot of money by warning them that some overhyped movie was a piece of shit. And has anyone ever given me a tip? No. They’ll tip some grungy slob for carrying a bowl of cold soup to their table, but someone who’s enriched their moviegoing experience…?

    Yes, I’m technically old enough to retire, but I can’t afford to because I’ve sacrificed wealth for doing work I enjoy. There are a blessed few who can have both, but most of us have to make a decision at some point – and whichever way you go you’re likely to wind up bitter.

    So don’t piss in my soup before you carry it to my table and I won’t piss in yours. Have some compassion because this life ain’t easy for anybody.

    And one more thing, to stay in character: You kids get off my lawn!

  21. Julie says:

    Whether or not you like or agree with Kenneth Turan’s reviews is one thing, but at least get your facts straight about how much he writes before commenting. In 2011, he had 157 bylines in the paper, not 50.

  22. christian says:

    Steve Warren FTW.

  23. Dustin says:

    Jason — I am one of the above mentioned reviewers of film, having written for some of the highest profile outlets around today.

    For an extremely unpleasant stretch, I did so while living in my car in Los Angeles. I would attend early screenings and premieres, get my free popcorn and drink (because that was an opportunity for dinner, which I generally didn’t have the money to buy), and then attend the junket a few days later.

    So, I’d find myself at the Beverly Hilton, or the Four Seasons in a pleasant luxury hotel room for a day, with a full stock of drinks and even a buffet for the journalists. It’s pretty neat stuff — but again, homeless. I’d interview my celebrity, grab a sandwich to go, plant myself at a Starbucks to transcribe my interview — and then find a parking garage to sleep in.

    Most of us that I would consider the voice of current film commentary today hold jobs outside of reviewing, sometimes multiple jobs. Yeah, studios will do cool stuff like send us screeners (a feature film on DVD for laptop use), and we do get an opportunity to view films for free, sometimes a month or more before general audiences.

    We’re invited to set visits, and film festivals — sometimes the PR people in charge will even put us up on their dime. I assure you even in all of that, the vast majority of us do not have film review to thank for providing our bread and butter.

    It’s a labor of love. We certainly hope to turn this work into bigger opportunities, and the guys and gals running these outlets would love to get to a place where they can shoot some cash to the folks editorializing and reviewing films for them — but realistically, you’re looking at cash that will buy you a decent dinner.

    The people that are making bigger than average money in this industry have been plugging away for decades, and have been on staff at print outlets for as many years. They are few and far between.

    So, I hope this clarifies your perception of my industry. I love it — it’s a hell of a lot of fun (I’m currently one of said few and far between salaried writers, because I worked incredibly hard, paid my dues, and got really lucky), but it’s not a rigged slot machine.

  24. LexG says:

    Kenneth Turan is a MULTI-MILLIONARE who lives in Bel Air and has never spoken to a Filipino or Latino in his life. He is a RICH RICH MAN, and probably drives a BMW which only rich people and unemployed Armenians can afford. He is like the SCARFACE of movie critics.

  25. christian says:

    Then BOW.

  26. sanj says:

    the movie critics from the 80’s who are having a hard time — why not compare these people to the car crisis …ford / gm layoffs . they were shocked that nobody wanted to buy their cars and they were getting paid big bucks…

    right now the only person i see getting like 10000 messages
    from actors is Ebert whenever he stops doing his thing.

  27. JS Partisan says:

    Lex, Ken seems to be the exception to the rule according to the critics that have posted in this blog. Now, if you want to be more broke, then you go and review movies. Of course, these folks deal with being broke and don’t bitch about it. They probably have debt or possibly social anxiety problems, but they do their job. See? That’s the difference between them and you, and you giving them shit for it is nonsensical.

    You have all these opportunities to do what you want in terms of job reviewing, but how do you respond to it? A big fat raspberry. Seriously, leave the critics alone and quit your job already. Do what you want to do with your life.

  28. The Big Perm says:

    Critics aren’t necessary, but neither are directors or actors or anyone so why pay them? It’s all entertainment. So if you’re reading what a critic writes, they’re earning their money.

    It’s hilarious that Lex started this rant…seems like the hardest part of his job is having to see lots of movies as soon as they come out because otherwise he may have to transcribe them! In an office!

    I’m sure my construction buddies who work outside during the winter would find that job HORRIBLE.

  29. waterbucket says:

    I love movie critics. How else would I know about obscure movies that are awesome like Before Sunrise or Cache or etc? Movie critics and food critics have the best jobs.

  30. LexG says:

    If your construction buddies have an English degree and grammar-punctuation in the top 99 percentile of all human beings on this earth, and are willing to live under the constant threat of a five-million-dollar lawsuit if so much as a direct-address comma or possessive usage is out of order, then have ’em come take the test.

    EXCITING SHIT like that. But it’s extremely fucking stressful, all the more so because it’s so MUNDANE. At the end of a construction gig, you have a building to show for it. I’m giving myself a heart attack because 27 versions of a softcore porno have to have words on the screen for the sixteen deaf fucks in America, ie the absolutely ZERO PEOPLE who watch porn with the cc on.

  31. LexG says:


    Get on this. LOOOK AT HER!

  32. hcat says:

    ‘ willing to live under the constant threat of a five-million-dollar lawsuit if so much as a direct-address comma or possessive usage is out of order’

    Because the guys constructing buildings are under no regulations and can just perform their jobs half-ass.

    Critics don’t get their jobs simply because they love movies and have exquisite tastes but because they are able to write. Some of Eberts best reviews are about things he hates or doesn’t quite know how he feels about them (his review of Basic Instinct 2 is fantastic and raises questions about what we go to the movies for in the first place). We follow critics the same reason we listen to sappy pop music, becuase they often better express what we feel about a subject. A good critic can toss off a few hundred words about the marvel of filmmaking or the crushing letdown of an anticipated project a hell of a lot better than my clumsy ass, and that is why they are paid for it (and I am sure not handsomely). Do you read Ebert because you always agree with him or because you are entertained by his reactions?

    ‘Seriously, get the fuck outta here. I went to college for six years and can’t get a MENIAL job, much less one that I’ll actually ever like.’

    Well perhaps your problem is most people do it in four Tommyboy, lets not disparage others attempts to make a living :)

  33. lazarus says:

    Actually, Lex, Kenneth Turan does not live in Bel-Air, or even behind some big gate. And his house is pretty modest.

  34. Brett G. says:

    Actually, I went to school for six years because I spent an extra 2 getting a Master’s degree and to stave off the inevitable difficulty of finding a job. :)

    I’m not disparaging others so much as I am just RAGING against life, Lex style, I guess. I was pretty transparent about it–I said up front that I’m just super jealous of these people, and it just irks me that some of them still find reasons to complain. Such is human nature, I guess. There’s hobos and street urchins that would trade places with me in a second, but here I am bitching on the internet like a true winner!

    In short: I make bad life decisions and take it out on comment boxes and Twitter, but it’s cool, I love critics for the most part.

  35. Joe Leydon says:

    I never cease to be amused at the vitriolic hatred and unabashed jealousy reflected in posts on threads like this each time a nationally recognized film critic loses his or her gig. These comments, I think, reveal a lot about the people who write them, and what painfully unsatisfying lives they must lead.

  36. JS Partisan says:

    Joe, when one discusses movies all the time online, that probably makes one assume they can do the job of any critic. If everyone could do the job of every film critic out there. Rotten Tomatoes would be an even more ridiculous site but alas, not everyone can do what you do Joe, and no one should revelle in one of your colleagues losing their job.

  37. LexG says:

    I stand behind my words, and like Vincent Hanna I say what I mean and I mean what I say. I see a bunch of lily-white dorko no-name critics were all aghast at my posts here and riffing about it on Twitter, all playing poormouth and saying “I scramble for meal money!” Hey, if it’s that hard to make a living from? MAYBE YOU SHOULD TRY GETTING AN ACTUAL FUCKING JOB.

    Like in an office. At a desk. But, no, you couldn’t suck up to Edgar Wright and Rian Johnson if you worked at a nice depressing subtitling company or proofreading job, which ANY WHITE PERSON WITH AN ENGLISH OR FILM DEGREE can start at year-fucking-round and start at the high 20s/low 30s, which to hear you broke-ass motherfuckers sell it, is like TWICE what you’re making.

    But you need the JUICE of going to JUNKETS and fawning over DIRECTORS and ACTORS who DO NOT LIKE YOU, who are above you, who don’t remember you, and think you’re about as depressing as YOU think I am, with your smug circle of twittering each other like a bunch of camp queens tsss-tss-tssss then scampering away like the clunky-glass fucking thrift store DORKS in an Empire Strikes Back T-shirt that all movie critics are.

    Also I got more Twitter followers than half the jerkoffs ragging on me, so they can get the fucking bozack, you no-name nerd-site hacks. BE A MAN and get a JOB.

  38. LexG says:

    “These comments, I think, reveal a lot about the people who write them, and what painfully unsatisfying lives they must lead.”

    No shit, Joe. You know I like and respect you, but I don’t know what the disconnect is here. Sorry I’m not PALLING AROUND WITH ETHAN HAWKE and CHATTING UP HARRISON FORD like you’ve been doing since 1981 or so. It can’t even enter your mind for a slight second that you HIT THE LOTTERY IN LIFE, that you didn’t have to deal with client calls and mundane minutia at a humming depressing office desk for 11 hour days TIED TO A CHAIR, working ALL NIGHT til 1, 2 in the morning in a barren Valley office with no camraderie or friendship or blowing off steam? You’ve seen the movie OFFICE SPACE, right? Or THE OFFICE? THAT’S what a vast majority of college-grad people have as an EXISTENCE for decades, always depressed and absolutely hating it.

    They’d kill to be going to film festivals and palling around sucking off some celebrity shining their balls… Much as I’m worked up about it, I wanted to be a comedian and a character actor, so I’m EIGHT ZILLION times more bitter and jealous about those guys, but I REVERE THEM. Movie critic is something *I* could be doing, it’s something people have offered me, but I can’t afford to work for less than 50 or 60 grand, because THAT’S THE AMOUNT OF MONEY MINIMUM you NEED TO MAKE in this life, and even that’s pretty low-rent. If people can’t make money to support themselves as film critics? I’m sorry, it’s like when WGA members STRIKE and complain that they’re not making a living from writing. It is a LOTTERY ODDS PROFESSION, it’s not something you can REASONABLY EXPECT to make a fortune from. It’d be like me buying some scratchers at the gas station, and when I didn’t win the Lotto, just going home and STEWING at the injustice of my not making enough to eat from my career of LOTTERY PLAYER.

    Movie Critic isn’t some INALIENABLE RIGHT, and I read and follow enough of you guys to know THERE IS NOTHING SPECIAL about the majority of film critics, I KNOW I’m smarter and funnier than 90% of them, which is backed up by me having a bigger fan base than these jerkoff fringe popcult site “critics” who NOBODY cares about, all writing for bad, low-rent looking blogs. THAT’S YOUR LIFE? How do you do 1040? How do you do an I-9? What, you fill out info with your SOC and EMAIL IT to EL GUAPO 69 or Devin Faraci? Yeah, I REALLY trust Devin Faraci or David Poland with my personal info as my EMPLOYER.

    A JOB is at a BUSINESS, with desks, with HOURS, with responsibilities. Anyone who doesn’t have one can SHUT THE FUCK UP with the woe-are-we routine. YOU CHOOSE a life of poverty, like fledgling musician living on Sunset and Gardner waiting to make a LIVING WAGE from his “job” of laying down WHAMMY BAR LICKS at the Guitar Center.

    GO. TO. WORK.

  39. LexG says:

    And as long as I am on a roll:

    This is an overshare but someone in my family was an award-winning journalist and segment producer most of their adult life. At age 52, they were let go– cuts, new blood, the usual story that affects EVERYBODY IN THE WORLD pretty much. This esteemed local journalist didn’t get on BLOGS and look for handouts and have DAVID POLAND saying a novena for them. They did what EVERY OTHER SADSACK IN THIS LIFE DOES, they went out and GOT ANOTHER JOB. A menial job, way beneath their skill set and talents, but a JOB to put BREAD ON THE FUCKING TABLE.

    Why are MOVIE CRITICS in 2009-2011 the first white-collar Americans in five decades to be SHOCKED, STUNNED AND TAKEN ABACK at the concept of being downsized or edged out from age or budget cuts or fresh blood? This is what ALL AMERICANS FACE EVERY DAY; Yet I NEVER EVER hear about some POOR FALLEN FILM CRITIC ***EVER*** getting shitcanned then heading over to a gas station or a Target to fill out an application. Or an accounting job or a reception job or an UNRELATED office type gig.

    Because you’re all such SNOBS. You’ve been close enough to THE HEAT for so long, you WON’T, you WILLFULLY WILL NOT do anything you perceive as being “beneath” you. “EW, WORK IN AN OFFICE? I’M A FILLLLLM CRITIC!” Snobbish, entitled, clueless, having lived for years in a hermetic world where interviews and junkets and limos and screenings and air travel and hotel were the norm.

    YOU’RE TOO GOOD TO ACTUALLY WORK for a living. Someone point to ONE FIRED CRITIC– JUST ONE– who’s working in a dentist office or a tax office or proofreading magazine copy. JUST ONE.

    Oh, that’s right, they write a book and do WEB WRITING and STILL never have to be bothered with THE LITTLE PEOPLE.

    How very LIBERAL of you.

  40. Perhaps all of us who do work that LexG doesn’t consider work should just stop doing it, and we’ll all see how much poorer and plainer the word is with no music, no art, no fiction, no graphic novels, no standup comics, no movies, no TV, etc, etc.

    And then all of us now freed up from that useless nonwork can all get in the line with the 100,000 other people lined up to apply for three openings at Target.

  41. LexG says:

    Heh, no offense, Mary Jo Not Scarlett Johansson, but something’s telling me a web site called THE FLICK PHILOSOPHER ain’t exactly some crucial SARRIS/KAEL-level shit.

    THE FLICK PHILOSPHER. Who’s asking for THAT? Does it have FANS and a READERSHIP? I am TELLING YOU, I am SMARTER THAN YOU, I’m sure as fuck smarter than a dim bulb like Anne Thompson or that coke-eyed creepo Faraci. If I gotta work in an office when I AM SMARTER THAN YOU, YOU gotta work in the office.

    You’re NOBODY. Film critics are NOT IMPORTANT. I don’t wanna read your OH SO QUIRKY TAKE on movies. I just don’t. I have my own likes and opinions, and never once in my LIFE have they been bolstered by somebody telling me otherwise; I don’t wanna DISCUSS and DEBATE film, I want MY OPINION, the only opinion that counts.

    THE FLICK PHILOSOPHER. What the hell is THAT? Christ, get a JOB. And way to liken WRITING CRAPPY REVIEWS on an UNREAD LOW-RENT MOVIE BLOG to actual artists like actors and filmmakers and writers and comedians. What is your ART? COMMENTING ON OTHER PEOPLE’S ART? That’s the easiest racket in the world, it’s full of shit. And EVERY CRITIC is a frustrated artists who couldn’t hack it, but shining shoes on the sidelines I guess is better than making money in an OFFICE.

    Now watch Poland come and ban this or something, when I AM ON FIRE HERE with the real. This is what NORMAL PEOPLE think of WHINY MOVIE CRITICS acting like theirs is the ONE important job on the planet.

    Christ, BYRON FUCKING ALLEN does what you people do. Is BYRON ALLEN a crucial ARTIST in the grand scheme of things? Wouldn’t it be easier to just GET A JOB?

  42. LexG says:

    And long as he asked for it on Twitter:

    Hey, Todd Gilchrist, you’re a pompadoured tool with a bad Carolina Honey accent who’s been in LOS ANGELES at least eight years less than I have, why are YOU reviewing movies and talking to John Carpenter and Amanada Seyfried, when I’m subtitling THE GREY four weeks before release?


    If you haven’t done STANDUP, EVER, you CANNOT be a film critic.

  43. GexL says:

    If you wanted to be a film critic, you should have done it, you covetous drunken dipshit.

  44. LexG says:

    I never wanted to be a film critic. I am an entertainer. Film critics are passive and NEVER GET LAID.

    Christ are you witless.

  45. Dustin says:

    Is this an e-bit, or…

  46. LexG says:

    Film School Rejects.

    Sounds like a place for TOP NOTCH CRITICISM read the world round.

  47. Dustin says:

    It is exceptional, yes.

  48. LexG says:

    Then give me a job. Christ knows Poland or that cheapskate Wells ain’t opening up the Brink’s (yes, there’s an apostrophe.)

    My salary demand is 80 THOUSAND DOLLARS.

    Honestly I wanna know why Poland or Wells don’t PAY ME, since I’m the STAR ATTRACTION at both their blogs, and I get them extra hits and ad revenue with the attention I bring. Yet THEY NEVER OPEN THE CHECKBOOK.


  49. Dustin says:

    Okay, cool. Now we’re on the same page.

    Carry on.

  50. Dustin says:

    Somewhat related, your buddy Drew is responsible for opening the writing gig door for me.

    Good fella.

  51. LexG says:

    And I know– KNOW– Poland is gonna do the WHUHHH ME, HIT COUNT? I HONESTLY DON’T KNOW HOW MANY PPL READ MY BLOG thing, but COME ON.

    Last time I saw a zillion DP videos, Poland’s got a goddamn HOUSE, and I live in a ONE BEDROOM. I am broke as fuck and Poland’s like a goddamn fucking millionaire. You telling me this guy couldn’t throw me 100 grand or something so I wouldn’t kill myself?


  52. LexG says:

    And fucking WELLS… Didn’t Sasha Bigtits pretty much admit the guy’s a ZILLIONAIRE, despite his grumpy street person shtick?

    I bring Poland and Wells NOTHING BUT JOY, and I never see one of them opening the checkbook. Though Poland at least bought me a coffee once. Wells made me PAY for his lunch.

  53. LexG says:

    “…your buddy Drew is responsible for opening the writing gig door for me. ”

    Really? Not to be an asshole (to you I mean… I have NO beef w Drew), because I mostly knew Drew like 15-16 years ago or so, I REALLY like him but we honestly don’t really “know” each other in person anymore, which is cool, just kinda went our separate ways. We’ve had some tense moments online, ALL from me running my mouth, but he’s a GENUINELY good dude who I’ve always gotten a HUGE kick out of, and CHRIST KNOWS the dude isn’t responsible for some CHUMP he knew at a crappy job almost TWO DECADES ago where we’d see an occasional movie together or riff about movies in a breakroom. Again, it was a HUNDRED years ago, and I am REALLY not a personable person or one to keep up friendships or know how to network or schmooze. I am pretty much a hateful alcoholic asshole.

    But Drew gave YOU a shot at a writing gig? Like, who are YOU? I saw like two dozen movies with that guy back in the day, read his early scripts, kicked it with him… DAMN, I never got ANY offers of HEY, MAYBE WRITE A LITTLE SOMETHING FOR AICN, and this is when I’d roll with the dude constantly, and he didn’t talk much about it, it was kind of a new thing. But there was definitely no HEY WRITE FOR US, GUY, YOU’RE SMART AND FUNNY ABOUT MOVIES. That’s fine, I wouldn’t help some jerkoff in MY office if I landed a plumb showbiz opportunity.

    But then he’s offering some TOTAL NOBODIES like writing gigs? I can write the fuck out of ANYBODY, and NOBODY OFFERS ME A PAID JOB, just this “hey wanna write a COLUMN?” shit that sounds like TOTAL FUCKING HOMEWORK. Make it worth my goddamn while, but don’t ask me to do some unpaid shit like it’s 7th grade trig. I need to GET PAID. BUT then I hear like HitFix and every other goddamn site is just offering PAID GIGS to total creeps, I see that Gabe From Playlist, that TOTAL LOWLIFE has a PAID CRITIC GIG where he’s interviewing Rosario Dawson, AND HE STEALS MY GODDAMN MATERIAL.

    I am sick of being underappreciated, sick of NOBODY OFFERING ME MONEY. Sick of people yukking it up over me on Twitter then not getting me a prostitute or some money.

    Fuck everybody.

  54. Mercedes S. says:

    Funny how uneducated people always “know”.

  55. LexG says:

    Three college degrees, hen. I am the smartest man on the planet.

  56. Tim Bowden says:

    Imagine an authority on Nietzsche following the master to report on the days when he would remove his shoes, fill them with his own urine, then put them back on. Moviemaking is the stringing of semi-precious costume jewelry onto an unimaginative necklace. You have the faux pearls of violence, the menace of aiming small arms, the joy of sex, many fiery explosions, all spewed into shoes for an adolescent male to squish about in. Add a spray of cute as needed.

  57. LexG says:

    Wow, thanks for dropping the real there, Chaucer.

    What the fuck? Embarrassing.

  58. Paul D/Stella says:

    HitFix and other sites are offering paid gigs? Ad sales and readership must be strong. After I moved back here I asked my old editor if I could write freelance movie reviews again. He said the paper completely cut his freelance budget. He’s writing the reviews now, along with the paper’s main film/TV critic.

  59. Chucky says:

    I wanted to post something intelligent in this thread. Instead I find it’s hijacked by a mouth-breathing imbecile who can’t stop shouting his potty mouth off.

  60. Breedlove says:

    Can’t stop laughing over Lex not trusting DP with his social security number. God that is fucking funny.

  61. Joe Leydon says:

    “Film critics are passive and NEVER GET LAID.”

    Actually, there is a rather tragic lack of film critic groupies.

  62. I wanted to post something intelligent in this thread. Instead I find it’s hijacked by a mouth-breathing imbecile who can’t stop shouting his potty mouth off.

    You know what, though? LexG and his ilk — who are all too prevalent online — are precisely the reason why the Voice is okay with getting rid of Hoberman and why there’s comparatively little room for intelligent discourse of any kind online. Our world isn’t just dumbed down: it’s proud to be dumbed down. When “the smartest man on the planet” doesn’t see the need to informed, intelligent, professional opinion, surely no one else sees the need, either.

    Orwell was close with his image of a boot stomping on a face forever. Except the future will be a fanboy mouthbreathing his drool over the Dark Knight for the rest of time.

    It’s LexG’s world, my fellow critical thinkers. We’re the dinosaurs.

  63. mitchtaylor says:

    I’m really sad too. :(

  64. JP says:

    LexG is one of the most entertaining writers on the Internet. The use of capital letters and lower case in an ululating stream is Laurence Sterne-like in its brilliance. Do something with it, LexG. Don’t waste it in comboxes.

  65. Edward says:

    Lex is the Travis Bickle of The Hot Blog (and Hollywood Elsewhere), and woefully ignorant concerning the vast majority of topics he speaks of, even if he thinks he speaks with any kind of knowledge or authority.

    Being someone who has been on both sides of the fence, I can say with knowledge and authority that anyone who is fortunate enough to have the ability to be a film critic in today’s world, be it online or in print or on television, should bow down to whatever spiritual deity they believe in and thank them for truly being blessed. For ten years, I was truly blessed, until I started taking everything for granted and stop remembering how truly blessed I was. I got to see movies before anyone else, and for free. I got sent DVDs with new movies, including major studio releases, that I could watch from the comfort of my couch, for free. I got to spend time talking with Woody Allen and John Sayles and some of the greatest artists alive, and I got fed, for free… and sometimes I’d get some swag as well. I was able to use a film festival as an excuse to go to Vegas.


    And I let it all go.

    FIlm criticism isn’t dying because of guys like Lex. Film criticism is dying because the new generation of film critics haven’t been able to convince guys like Lex they still matter. Just as music criticism died years ago.

  66. christian says:

    Aint It Hot Blog News.

  67. David Poland says:

    Oy Lex…. been off the grid for the last 36 hours or so…

    Jeff is not wealthy at all. I assume that he’s doing okay these days, but he has never had great cash flow.

    As for offering you $80k to start… uh… you need to show you will do ANYTHING before anyone starts offering you a real salary. I think you are very, very smart and capable of greatness… but you are also incredibly erratic. My internet life really started with Hot Button… which I did for FREE for the first five months. And in the sixth month, my salary became the biggest on the payroll… because I had earned that status.

    Happy to buy you lunch anytime. You can even order the lobster… and get take-out for Wells.

    But “put up or shut up” has always been my standard. And you haven’t put up in any way that suggests an employer would know exactly what they were buying.

  68. Krillian says:

    I want a job.

    (And I go back to Roughcut.)

  69. christian says:

    “In psychology, Stockholm Syndrome is an apparently paradoxical psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them.”

  70. LexG says:

    I seriously think this thread is my finest hour ever.

    I was blackout drunk when I wrote half of it, so imagine my delight when I woke up today and got to discover a line like “Sasha Bigtits” anew.

    Poland is always a nice guy, and sometimes other people are like “Hey man, there’s a screening/Let’s meet up/Let’s get you a blog,” and I always have to turn it down because of my social anxiety, and because, really, HONESTLY, how would I ever explain away “LexG” to anyone in my “real” life? A couple years ago I went to meet Wells, and I treated this simple task like I was crossing into East Berlin, all secretive and weird about it when my girlfriend at the time asked what I was doing and who I was meeting.

    I was raised to not even MENTION sex… as with when I did standup, I could never invite ANYONE, not even my ex, to come see my act, because in real life I am a genial nice nerd, and when I write or do comedy it is sex-obsessed and extremely dark and profane. How did the DICEMAN ever do standup? Didn’t his parents come and kill him?

    Also is this new irritating “Christian” the same old irritating “Christian,” as in the Technicolor Dreams guy? I don’t think it is, so why is he on here with real Christian’s ID?

  71. David Poland says:


    “In psychology, Relentless Prick Syndrome is an apparently self-congratulatory psychological syndrome in which someone can’t get over the idea that others see value in something that he/she does not and can’t stop being a jerk about it.”

    I don’t know you, Christian. You might just hate Lex and/or what he has written on the blog over the years. But if you think I am anything less than rational about him, you’re just making stuff up.

    We all occasionally succumb to Relentless Prick Syndrome, though I have a variation on it in which I can’t stop smashing away at agreed upon hypocrisies that no one really wants to talk about. I put my prickishness where my mouth is – so to speak – and there is nothing that I will not say openly if it concerns something that is connected to my overall world view. I don’t care whether Nikki Finke is happy or sad, alive or dead, rich or poor. But I can’t shut up about the destruction her form of faux journalism has caused and continues to cause. It’s all the more infuriating when people decide that because it draws attention, it must have some core value… kind of like a celebrity’s pubic hair when exiting a car.

  72. JS Partisan says:

    Mary, what Edward wrote, and Lex is convinced he’s better than you. He’s convinced he’s better than the critics he follows on twitter. He might be. He might not be. He’s simply not convinced about the criticism coming from people like Devin Farci. Stating Fanboys will end thing ignores that Fanboys are a lot more complex then they are generally given credit for by people in your circles.

    Also, I am with Krillian. I will take a job as well and watched you on roughcut, and that’s why I followed you to the Hot Button! I will also only take 40,000 a year and gladly give you my info for a 1040 XD!

  73. Krillian says:

    Brilliant impression of The Artist, storymark.

    I’m going to the Sundance Film Festival for the first time this year, and while starwatching’s fun, two of the guys I look forward to seeing/meeting most are Poland and Wells. If.

  74. Don R. Lewis says:

    Lex- why do you have to “explain away who Lex G. is?” Shit dude, all you’re gonna do is keep that same shitty job till you get another one, if you do. You only live once. Why not fuck some shit up and see what happens? Honestly dude- can things get any WORSE for you? Tell people it’s an act/personae. If it works out, anyone who would judge you can suck it because you’ll get some kind of status. If not- you’re in the exact same boat you’re in now.

    And this concludes my once a year attempt to get Lex to do something. I came earlier with it than he would with K-Stew.

    Krillian- I’ll buy you a beer if we meet at Sundance. I’m there the 19th-25th.

  75. LYT says:

    “Yet I NEVER EVER hear about some POOR FALLEN FILM CRITIC ***EVER*** getting shitcanned then heading over to a gas station or a Target to fill out an application. Or an accounting job or a reception job or an UNRELATED office type gig.”

    I absolutely did fill out a Target application after the Voice/New Times merger left me adrift. Got a “thanks, but we’re not hiring right now” postcard in the mail.

    That same week, WWE paid for me to fly to Stamford Connecticut to interview for a job writing their TV shows.

    Totally true story. I didn’t get the WWE job, as is perhaps obvious. But it was fun to be in the running.

  76. christian says:

    David, I’m just curious by your valid protestations of the “destructions of her faux journalism” (oy vey!) while you offer gigs (which i hope they take) to the two most insane (or “schtick”) posters here, one of whom regularly insults you, your peers, readers, and everybody else. (and I like sanj). Irony?

  77. JS Partisan says:

    LYT, you could have worked with Vinne Mac? That would have been an experience, but it is funny they flew you out there yet you were too much of a risk for TARGET!

    Oh yeah, Sanj has been offered a job? When did that happen?

  78. LYT says:

    Target has a weird, lengthy personality test not unlike Scientology’s. I must have had too many Engrams.

  79. film fanatic says:

    Hoberman was a major American critic and will be missed. Turan is one of the worst, least insightful writers on film in history and the fact that he’s had a decades-long stranglehold on the lead critic role at the (formerly) #2 paper in the country says a lot more about his ability to kiss ass with editors and publishers than about his talent. How he hangs on to his job while so many legitimately great writers have been chased out of the LAT (Peter Rainer, Corina Chocano, Dargis, etc.) is a mystery, probably having to do with him having pictures of the Chandlers with barnyard animals.

  80. JS Partisan says:

    You and me both, LYT. You and me both.

  81. JoeLeydon'sPersonalPornStar says:

    “Actually, there is a rather tragic lack of film critic groupies.”

    Now, Joe, you KNOW that is not true.

  82. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Turan gets a lifetime pass for this book alone so shut the fuck up you nerds.

    Definitely the real Christian. (see: Irony?)

    I’d watch the Real LexG Show as a weekly film review on MCN. Lex you keep whining on about wanting to be paid $80k. How about just getting paid $25k in fronting up to shoot a weekly episode. It’s not like all your spare time is used up with a partner or kids.

    Joe L does have a groupie her name is Leah. She likes his hot sauce.

  83. Mary, what Edward wrote, and Lex is convinced he’s better than you.

    I presume this is directed at me since I’m the only one on this thread whose name resembles “Mary.”

    Oh, I’m sure LexG does believe he’s better than me, partly because yesterday on Twitter he told me:

    Ah, fuck you and your condescension, you look OLD AS FUCK anyway. Who cares what an OLD WOMAN thinks. Suck my dick COOZE.

    So why doesn’t Lex start a web site, work like a dog at it for 15 years while making next to no money at it, build a reputation and a readership, and hope (perhaps against hope) that it will eventually pay off. You know, just like I’ve done. What’s stopping him?

    I mean, I am the very definition of what he thinks film criticism should be. No corporation is paying me $80,000 a year to watch movies. If he thinks this is how film criticism should be, why isn’t he doing it and leading the way for the rest of the industry as a shining light, or something?

    Stating Fanboys will end thing ignores that Fanboys are a lot more complex then they are generally given credit for by people in your circles.

    Sure, I’ll buy that. But LexG believes that nothing that doesn’t look like *his* definition of work should be called work, or should be paid. Which means that film criticism will be left only to those who are willing to work at it as a labor of love, maybe for only a few brief months or years before they realize it’s too much damn hard work to keep up for long. (Not everyone is as dedicated or as driven — or perhaps just as crazy — as I am.) Does that sound like a reasonable way to ensure a healthy discourse on film?

    Or else LexG is a pernicious troll who doesn’t believe a damn word he says. In which case he has forced us all to waste time defending ourselves that could have been better used writing about movies.

  84. Gotta say that it really, really bothers me that so many of you seem to think that a crude, pathetic, self-entitled, mean-spirited jerk like LexG is a genius who actually does deserve the sort of paying work he believes no one else deserves. I think it’s probably even worse if “LexG” is “just” a character. Because then he’s nothing but an unironic imitation of the worst sort of fanboy excesses we see *all the damn time* on the Net.

  85. leahnz says:

    holy shit

    maryann j: i been reading your site for yonks so believe me when i tell you, you’re wasting your breath man. woman. you’re in psychoville and lex is the mayor. he’s full of shit and a massive weenie in real life, so don’t sweat it. and he could say any stupid shit, call you the nastiest names imaginable in a marathon loop of idiocy and try-hard intimidation and it wouldn’t make a bit of difference, his sad-o butt boys (oh sorry, FAN BASE with a CAPITAL F) would find a way to justify/excuse it and delude themselves into believing that he’s some misunderstood genius instead of an ignorant bitch-ass punk, following him around licking his chunko hairy bum crack like a bunch of mooning puppy dogs. so there ya go, woman to woman you are wasting your time. trust me.

    (i’m gonna be in big trouble now so hopefully that was worth it. vodka. look mikey, sandwiches)

  86. GexL says:

    LexG is a typical underachieving Gen X failure who was coddled and adored as a child, and because he’s so special and clever and white and unique, can’t understand why the world isn’t being given to him on a platter. His fondest wish would be to be back under the kitchen table smelling and playing with his mother’s feet, a womblike place where it’s safe and warm and he’s the center of the universe.

    His existence is worthwhile; he symbolizes and typifies this lost ineffectual forever dissatisfied generation of privileged suburban eternal adolescents, defines it for those of us here, without whose presence his attention-starved typing would be meaningless data stored somewhere and forgotten like Rosebud, lost to time.

    But he WON’T be lost to time–we’ll never forget him. You don’t forget striking textbook cases like his. You write papers about them–their names are redacted, Patient A, and so forth–but their afflictions and actions maybe one day much much later, after considerable study, act as a signpost for some other victim on a path to healing and sanity, making the prior perfidy and madness result in a net positive outcome, like manure that fertilizers a beautiful flowerbed.

    Again: his is a worthwhile existence, not for what he does, but for what he means, a living typing metaphor for self-absorbed myopic failure, of addiction, of all that’s wrought when the encouragement of narcissism is part of a child’s upbringing. Very sad for his parents most of all, who not only had no idea the monster they were creating with their modest affluence and materialistic bent, but have no idea yet that he’ll never give back a tenth of what they gave to make his life the special special wondrous existence it’s been. He is America.

  87. JS Partisan says:

    Mary, I am not sure if you’ve read this blog for years or what not, but Lex is not a fanboy. If anyone is to be considered a FANBOY on this blog. Unfortunately I would be saddled with that term but they are horror fans. What do they know XD? Nevertheless, lumping him in with a group of people who he’s bashing — the FANBOY critic — is not exactly grasping who he is.

    That aside, Lex G may be a character, but inside of that character is a man dealing with quiet desperation. Who doesn’t identify with that sort of person? That’s why I want him to succeed because there doesn’t seem to have been a lot of win in his life. If he could win by getting paid 80k and giving Poland his personal information, then I am all for it.

  88. I grasp perfectly well what LexG is. And if he doesn’t like fanboys, he should not be advocating a position that would ensure that ONLY fanboys are doing film criticism.

    We all deal with quiet desperation. We do not all deal with it by lashing out like spoiled brats. Or by telling people who disagree with us to shut up and suck our dicks. This is meant to be interesting or enlightening?

    And my name is MaryAnn, by the way. Not Mary. It’s right there at the top of my comments.

  89. torpid bunny says:

    Instead of all this angst about totally harmless members of our society who do provide something modestly useful, why not get mad at, I don’t know, Comcast, who is like Satan incarnate?

    I know nothing about streaming but can we please get to the point where we have online channels that we can choose as we like with the majestic power of free consumer choice that we are all supposed to have, instead of having to pay exorbitant sums for hundreds of channels I don’t want, some of which I actively despise, so that I can have the 15-20 I do want?

    It’s like whenever there is a labor issue in professional sports, there’s always the people who are like “Those guys are such spoiled crybabies, they get paid millions to play a kid’s game, I’d kill, blah blah blah”. It’s like the billionaire ownership class doesn’t exist for them. Our society knows all about being wealthy and a celebrity, worships it, lusts after it, resents it, wants to see it all burn, but the concept of astronomical wealth, of billionaires, the people who, you know, run the show, has virtually no cultural marker. We don’t talk about those people. They don’t show up on Cribs or any other junk infotainment.

  90. LexG says:

    Oh, Christ, “GexL” is THAT guy?

    Ugh. Or should I say, DOPE.


  91. yancyskancy says:

    I think it’s quite possible to enjoy “the Lex show” without putting one’s tongue anywhere near his butt crack. It’s pretty insulting to suggest otherwise, since a lot of the disagreements about Lex boil down to different comedic sensibilities and what constitutes “proper” Internet etiquette. At any rate, somehow the republic will stand.

    I’ve generally found GexL to be unfunny, but his Lex “thinkpiece” is pretty hilarious. Just not sure if it’s intentionally so.

  92. David Poland says:

    Christian… it is all about context for me. If Nikki Finke admitted she was the Perez Hilton of Hollywood agencies and executive suites, I would simply look away and not care much, if at all. She would own the niche, as she does now, and not infect others as she does now.

    If Rebecca Black – I think that’s the name – has some shite song on YouTube and it becomes a sensation… great. If people want fast food crap, I am not in the business of taking the burger out of their mouths before they bite down.

    So… if you showed any of the interest in curating the web that sanj does, I would be interested in working with you too. He (or She… who knows?) is an aggressively active participant in the web video experience. And so, perhaps interesting as a curator. What would Sanj’s Top Ten of online video look like each week? I don’t know. But I would be interested to click through it. And maybe it would be bad and I would lose interest after the second week. Or maybe it would be great. I’ve never suffered in my online life for being curious.

    As for Lex, I know you hate him, but he is a smart, thoughtful mind on movies. He is also a self-destructive putz at times. I would love to curate Lex for a few months and see if we could come up with something that allowed him to work at his highest level instead of stooping to “vag” ranting. He is like a young player in a team sport with a lot of talent but who desperately needs coaching. Some take to it and some do not. Those that do not may have all the talent in the world, but tend not to make anything of it. I think Lex has the talent to be as good as anyone out there on the web. But he has a serious discipline problem and fear of putting himself out there all the way. I am an editor, not a therapist.

    You know, I have often said that the only job I ever wanted at the New York Times was editing some of the good reporters who know dick all about the film business. Being a NYT reporter on this beat would kill me. But turning Sharon Waxman from the ignorant, self-indulgent hack she is on the film beat to the great reporter she can be on beats where she actually knows what’s going on would be great. Her reporting skills are strong. They are just wildly undermined by an utter lack on knowledge and the delusion that she knows more than she knows (aka Everything). Her editors from NYT are still whining about what a pain in the ass she was at the end there. A great challenge… in part because she does have the skill set. She’s just an unaimed machine gun, then and now.

    As it turns out, Sharon’s real skill is as a businessperson. She should retire from being editor of her site and just be publisher. The site’s chance of making it would quadruple overnight.

    If there is one thing I am interested in as an editor, it’s helping talented people find a place that fits for them. Sometimes I get distracted in the midst of it. Some people disappoint. Some people never seem to find their level, even when they are trying (which Lex isn’t, as of now).

    There has never been so much veteran talent floating around, looking for mooring… many fo these writers fully formed and in no need to molding, just a place to land that allows them to breathe deep.

    But speaking to your point about “why those two,” it’s BECAUSE they are unusual. They have strong, interesting voices. That is what drives the web. Lex often reads to me like Gene Siskel’s id. And I can’t begin to think like sanj… no idea if it’s schtick, but he surprises me on a regular basis.

    You know, I have three very smart, very committed film critics on staff at MCN: Wilmington, Voynar, and Pride (not necessarily in that order). I am thrilled to be a home to them and their ideas.

    But what would it be like to cover junkets – which we do not – with a guy like “Lex,” who could actually ask a, “What’s it like to have a bunch of middle aged guys like me drooling over your 90-year-old body in movies?” question instead of the same old shit we read from 30 different sites out of every junket every week of every year?

    Of course, ‘Lex” is not the pig he plays in here and won’t play the character face-to-face. But what if?

    Why would you want to get rid of the people who shake things up?

    Truth is, if you both could be civil about one another, past “Jane, you stupid slut,” the Christian & Lex column or the Leah & Lex column would be a great read. The only downside has been that it gets so personal… and that IS boring.

    Does that answer your question?

  93. David Poland says:

    PS There is no excuse for being rude in that way to anyone, much less MaryAnn, who is one of the very good people I have encountered along the way.

    But being a drunken prick and being a genius are not mutually exclusive. And failure and being a genius are certainly not either.

    Leah is every bit as capable as Lex of being nasty. But Leah isn’t doing schtick and isn’t drunk in here and falling off the cliff. She is much healthier, emotionally, than Lex, and a million times less fearful.

    Perhaps Lex hasn’t earned our love and respect. Perhaps he has done everything he can to lose it. I know I have wasted more time on his crap than I ever thought I’d be willing to waste on any commenter.

    But it’s not some trick. I am not delusional.

    Lex is the kind of friend that you lose when you get married because your new mate can’t stand the idiot that shows up once a month, drunk, and then apologizes for it with flowers and cake and self-loathing. I get it. But my “friend” still makes me laugh. I’ve had to ban him, edit him, remove him, and ignore him. But I still put up with him becasue, for me, the good still outweighs the bad.

    And so it goes…

  94. Joe Leydon says:

    “But what would it be like to cover junkets – which we do not – with a guy like “Lex,” who could actually ask a, ‘What’s it like to have a bunch of middle aged guys like me drooling over your 90-year-old body in movies?’ question instead of the same old shit we read from 30 different sites out of every junket every week of every year?”

    David, with all due respect to you and Lex — and I mean that sincerely, I promise — the first junket where Lex pulled something like that would be the last junket to which he or anyone else from Movie City News (yes, including you) would be invited. And I can’t help but think that, deep down, you know that.

  95. sanj says:

    DP – i’ll just keep posting the video links i find cool on the byob ..

    i get bored of watching the same things over and over on tv .. so i watch lots of videos – sometimes its 5 min…sometimes its 2 hours.

    i got a lot of people on youtube that really need a dp/30 … lots of these people have made 50 + videos a year ..

    here’s some cool scarface posters

  96. sanj says:

    joe – lexG – DP –

    watch this crazy interview with Ben Affleck

  97. GexL says:

    GexL’s nuisance posts are meant to be taken as unfunny, or ‘witless’ as my witty and erudite opposite would accuse, though he seems to miss that point. The above post, however, is meant to be seen as serious psychoanalysis and social commentary.

  98. christian says:

    Well DP, thanks for the response and this really will be my last word on the subject (the new year has made me fiesty). I was here at the The Hot Blog before Lex showed up (thanks cadavra!) and if the conversations got contentious, they didn’t regress into FUCK YOU LATINO LOSERS I WANT A WHITE 13 YEAR OLD GIRL DONT BE MEAN TO ME I’M NICE. How anybody here defines that as “value” is caveat emptor I guess. And since I’ve spent a good part of my adult life writing for various publications as well as my own site, I have a set of journalistic standards also. What’s funny about his racism? It’s ugly and stupid. Do you want to be the Rush Limbaugh of film blog sites? Because the “shtick” here is just warmed over Andrew Dice Clay/Limbaugh riffs – and why would he change his ways if he’s playing a character? He’s got you running around in a clown suit cleaning up after him. You write an interesting piece about critics and it devolves into PAY ME MONEY BITCH. Is that satisfying for you?

    Again, you love to drop the “hate” word in there, which is of course false. Especially hilarious given the paragraphs of actual hate coursing through the comments above. But I’m not sure why I should like a guy who suggested I eat my father’s cum. But I’ve given him blog advice when he asked. And to belabor a point about disadvantages, I was born without a left hand and learned early on how to stand up to bullies; I have low tolerance for whiners. Tho I feel sorry for Lex since his infirm is mental and can clearly see he’s bi-polar, with an abusive school/family history. He’s not a “character” – he’s real, he worked with McWeeny and has an actual history. Which most of his fans ignore, which makes his repeat defenders somewhat sadder. Outside that pathos, Lex is just a classic bully who knows how to talk about about (certain) films. But I despise bullying, especially since it’s so effective on folks who feel the need to bully or be bullied. And the way he’s cowed this site is obvious to anybody with a little awareness. I’ve known folks who stopped coming here as his mode of discussion took over. I can’t imagine Kim Voynar sees the same value in love paens to Elle Fanning as you do. I don’t think it shines a nice light on your journalistic integrity. Jeff Wells lost a Carey Mulligan interview after she read the comments section there. That’s a pretty big deal for a film site.

    I liked The Hot Blog just fine before it became the LexG Show (and even comics have to develop new material; his riffs you could cut and paste from two years ago – when I skim his rants they just look like this to my eyes: iiiiiIIIIIIiiiiIIIIIIiiiIIIIiii) but I wonder how you think any non-white male or females should react positively to your cloak of protection. We see the treatment of the one outspoken woman here. If he’s getting you hits, then you have become Perez Hilton and should lay off Nikki Finke, who you do actually hate with a clarity of vision and purpose.

    Is it the fall of the Republic, as yancyskancy says in his usual entitled defenses? No, but it’s the fall of civility in discourse. I mean, the talkbacks in Aint It Cool are wittier than most of lex’s repetitious rants. And I’ve never even called for him to be banned. But that any challenge to his ugliness is considered the same thing as his insults is bizarre. Again, I point out the irony that you and Wells have both adopted him as your blog ID. To paraphrase Belloq from RAIDERS, “You and he are not so different from one another.” What that infers I leave to historians. Suffice to say, GexL nailed it. And thanks fer letting me get that off my chest.

  99. yancyskancy says:

    christian: I’m not sure I understand what you mean by my “usual entitled defenses.” Yes, I usually defend Lex, and yes, I feel I am entitled to enjoy most of his shtick if I want. And yes, I think Lex is entitled to post here as long as David feels it’s appropriate. Are any of those in the ball park, or do you mean something else?

  100. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Not to alienate MaryAnn from this blog further, as we sure could use another strong woman around these parts, but does anyone think if DP gave Lex a column like MaryAnn’s Female Gaze, his detractors would be cool with it?

    In MaryAnn’s own words about her gaze column “I’m posting pictures like these every weekday-ish, of a man who is attractive and desirable, because I like to look, dammit..”

    Not so sure posters like Christian would approve of a MCN column with several photos of Aimee Teegarden pouting to camera and Lex’s fawning comments appearing underneath.

  101. leahnz says:

    gee, way to miss the context and subversive nature of the female gaze at flick philo, JBD. i mean there aren’t any male websites out there that already engage in the male gaze relentlessly, are there? yowza

    deja vu deja vu

    joining the ‘let’s all be horribly repetitive’ club briefly and then i’m out for fake bacon:

    because some asshole claims over and over again he is a genius sadly does not make it so. the perpetuation of this laughable ‘lex is a genius’ myth here as if it’s a fact is like some bad brainwashing show – someone’s gonna wake up in mexico w/amnesia having eaten a lot of raw onions. lex is about as much of a genius as my grandad (bravo to whoever it was above (edward?) who mentioned how woefully ignorant lex is on the vast majority of topics he rants on about, utterly spot-on — my boy has a better grasp of the range and history and ins-n-outs of film-making, outside ocd knowledge of 80’s HBO movies and james bond) but no accounting for gullibility i guess

    and because some asshole claims he’s doing ‘shtick’ – thus thinking that one can then say any creepy shit he likes and is then protected and beyond reproach under the guise of self-proclaimed (and blindly believed) ‘shtick’, doesn’t mean people have to believe it. nice trick pulling the wool, but no dice here at least.

  102. David Poland says:

    Joe – Not an idiot. But I’ve had the conversation with studios. Not everyone would want to play, but a number would be happy to… personals too.

    I’m not suggesting that Lex would ask for them to lift their skirts so he could take a peek. But the elephant in the room is real and they all know it. Not everyone wants to be bored all the time.

  103. LexG says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, my personal biographer, Christian.

  104. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Lex is as much a character as Leah eats fake bacon.

    Leah no one really believes its schtick anymore. Lex might be quiet and nervous in person but that’s only because he’s repressing his true Lexisms. Doesn’t mean many of us don’t find him entertaining at times. It also doesn’t make us assholes for doing so. Your insistence that anyone who finds any of Lex’s writing is an asshole really speaks more about your very real hatred for him (for good reason, as he’s insulted your flesh and blood).

    Many writers I enjoy reading are monumental assholes (unlike some, Lex keeps it in check) in real life. It doesn’t make me an asshole for reading them.

  105. leahnz says:

    hey i do eat fake bacon (i’m a vegetarian, tho i eat fish/chicken once in a blue moon). damn i almost got out, shouldn’t have checked back in my travels

    and also, i never insisted people who ‘enjoy’ lex (shudder) are assholes, i said asshole-LICKERS and excuse-makers… which thinking about it i’m not sure is better or worse…(and i’m also fairly positive many people believe lex’s ‘who me? it’s an act’ act)

    oh and i don’t ‘hate’ lex in the slightest, he’s some weenie on the internet whom i never give two thoughts about apart from when i’m on the blog and he’s being a dick, i don’t even read what he posts half of the time anyway so believe me it doesn’t keep me up at night. sometimes i hate people in real life, but that’s pretty rare – i’m a flower child at heart but granted a very sarcastic one, kind of a weird combo

  106. sanj says:

    remember how a few years ago everybody used to hate paris hilton…then she went away.

    how about a dp/30 on celebrity haters ….reality tv show
    people are super easy to hate but real actors get hate
    all the time …and usually end up on south park parody.
    its too bad LexG is not famous enough to be on south park.

    Barbra Streisand (South Park version)

  107. David Poland says:

    Well… now I’ve gone back and read the thread.

    Nice to see some new people/critics commenting in here.

    For me, the discourse in comment sections of blogs is broken because it so often gets personal. And it did here too.

    Lex is just plain wrong about so much of it. Yet, he is not wrong to say that he represents a basic irritation that many people have with critics in a situation like this. We sound like a bunch of whiny prima donnas complaining about not getting paid for our opinions.

    And we are.

    And there’s nothing wrong with that.

    As others have pointed out, clocking in is clocking in. No, film criticism isn’t coal mining. And a lot of people – A LOT – would be more than happy to have Lex’s job captioning movies and being paid fairly well for it.

    MaryAnn has earned her place in the conversation with hard work over a long time without a lot of remuneration. So have a lot of critics, including some who have turned up here. That includes Todd Gilchrist, who isn’t high on a horse, but is a hard, hard working guy. No, he’s not shoveling snow, but he works his ass off and whether you love or hate the output he produces, it is flat out wrong to dismiss him as “lucky” or a slacker of some kind.

    He, more than any of the people who Lex attacks, is the person Lex would have to be for a while before he could hope to get a real salary. Mark Olsen does a lot of feature work for the LA Times and really drives their awards coverage… and is still a freelancer. Guy works his ass off, is successful by the standard of most people, and still has to worry about his own health insurance and work drying up in March.

    Yes… they are doing something they love. They are lucky. But they made that luck happen with hard work. And if Lex was willing to expose himself, he could be doing the same.

    I have no idea what his relationship with Drew is or was, but no one gifted Drew his current status and there is little reason why Lex could not be working at a similar level… except that he chose not to take that path. I don’t know enough about him to know why or to analyze him. (I am a little less quick to think I know everything about the people I read in comment sections of movie blogs than some.)

    But the sad part for me is not that Lex got feisty and wrong about this subject… but that you all feel compelled to turn it from a few comments into the central issue of this conversation. Lex didn’t do that…. everyone responding to him like he mattered did.

    Dustin had the right response. “Now I know what conversation we are having” and he was done with it.

    I am horrified that Lex said anything like that to MaryAnn on Twitter, but I don’t follow Lex on Twitter and I am not in charge of Twitter. Clearly he was drunk and in full asshole mode.

    Anyway… I wish that people who don’t want to hear Lex just scrolled past it.

    I learned this lesson six years ago when I got sober of Wells. There are only so many times I can complain about someone’s personal behavior before I wake up and realize that I am a part of that behavior. So I stopped being part of Wells’ behavior. I am much happier. My life is better every day for not having him in my view. I hope he is happy and healthy.

    And if it means not coming here because it’s too upsetting to see him spew, so be it. My loss. Your loss. Whatever. We all have different levels of tolerance and different perspectives.

    And my perspective on film critics is that outside of people who are on TV, there are about a dozen left for whom that is their primary gig and who earn six figures after years in the profession. And those jobs are forever endangered.

    I’m far less offended by critics I think aren’t great than I am by major papers who hire non-critics for jobs that are important because of the outlet’s size or people who aren’t movie people to cover the industry with an authority they have not earned and will never bother to earn.

    And yes, the shockshock of another film critic being laid off is getting old. The job is not a revenue creator. And don’t think Ebert would be safe today if not for decades of aired thumbs on TV. At the Observer, they dumped Sarris and kept Rex Reed. I like Rex. Really do. But…

    Moreover, with some very lovely exceptions, many of the people you may think of as “high end critics” are snobby jerks who are as obsessed with keeping their turf secure as a high school beauty queen or jock. And you know what, some of the hacks out there are just as territorial.

    No one wants to lose what they have. It hurts at any height. Yes, it’s nice to have a golden parachute. But I know very few film critics who do. I wish I could hire every one of them that I liked and could pay them a decent wage… say, $50k. Barely decent for a veteran adult, right? Because few of them are making THAT these days.

    We’re all just people trying to get along, man.

    And Lex… I don’t have any idea what my Hot Blog numbers are. And I can assure you that I have never made a single, solitary penny off of your presence on this blog. Nada. I would love to exploit you and/or help you build a successful, productive career. But you have refused.

    So you remain a bit of a pain in my ass. The one person I really have to police. And I do it because I do think you’re smart, but more significantly because I don’t want to ban ANYONE on this blog ever. The only time anyone has been banned or will be banned is when they overtly are trying to damage me or this community. And I have a pretty high tolerance there too.

    And so it goes.

    You owe MaryAnn a big ass apology, in public, if you really tweeted that to her. And for that matter, asshole though he may be about you sometimes, you really owe Christian an apology if you said that about his dad’s cum. And I’d include Leah, but I think apologizing to her would just start another fight… but if she’s game for accepting…

  108. christian says:

    Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  109. Joe Leydon says:

    David: You are joking, right?

  110. David Poland says:

    About what, Joe? Senna?

  111. Joe Leydon says:

    David: Seriously: The first time a “talent” would complain about something Lex asked — you would regret it.

  112. sanj says:

    let LexG interview K-Stew for dp/30 .

    perez hilton used to be more nuts than lexg at one point ..
    now he’s got a tv interview show with big stars like lady gaga. see people can change.

  113. sanj says:

    my #1 pick for hardest working critic is Victor Lucas ..
    hes got 2 tv shows on g4 with help with like 8 other people doing even more reviews

    he does like 300 + interviews a year as well

    most are video game reviews but does around 75-100 movie reviews too….

    he would be great for a dp/30 just for all the summer
    comic book blockbusters coming out – he knows
    the history of everything …

    do you movie critics ever check out people slightly outside your circle like music critics / video games ..

  114. LexG says:

    I can’t believe this thread went on all day today… Geez, even I had better things to do on a Saturday. But given what a LIGHTNING ROD topic “LexG” is, I am upping my salary requirement from 80k to [ Olivier Martinez Voice ] One hundred MEEEEEEEEEEELLION DOLLARS!”

    I honestly don’t know who MaryAnn Johanson is any more than she’s ever read the comments here before, or has heard of “LexG” before (and why should she?)– she’d clearly not seen the shtick ever, and in kind I have NO idea who the hell she is. Her initial words, her first ever here I believe, sort of rubbed me the wrong way and so I googled her for all of eight seconds and responded in kind, there you have it. But not exactly like she blew in here filled with bonhommie either.

    I don’t know HOW MANY MORE times I can post the same thing, that all over America middle-aged employees are downsized every day, across all walks of life– bankers, accountants, even, yes, journalists– and I merely don’t know why FILM CRITIC is this one entitled noble profession that there’s pity parties and tip jars, where it’s not a 9-to-5-er heartburn-and-high blood pressure/fight over the air conditioning/listen to long talkers/catch colds from sharing a keyboard/boring meetings/PowerPoint presentation kind of “job” in the first place. It’s basically the paid version of “getting away with murder.”

    Judging by HOW MUCH the Drews and Devins and Gilchrists and Yamatos so clearly groove on proximity to celebrities– NOTE that when they mention an actor or director, they make a point of referring to them by their Twitter handle on the off chance the celeb will react to them…. and even our beloved great Joe Leydon never fails to drop a name or link to some days-of-old Leo/Ford junket– can you really, REALLY blame me for opining that once they’ve basked in that second-spotlight for so long, they DO sorta think they’re too good to work a less glamorous job?

    I mean. seriously, SERIOUSLY, do you think it’s ALL about the money? If you asked Gilchrist, to use DP’s example: Would he HONESTLY rather work in a sterile office making 100k doing live-time transcription work, or make 25-35k and risk having no health insurance, but he gets to pal around at the New Bev with Roth and Wright and do karaoke with his film critic buds?

    Christ, you think WELLS would rather make 8 MILLION at IBM, or whatever he makes going to junkets and trying to pester Clooney and Soderbergh?

    It’s the juice, the second-hand fame thing. I don’t know anything about MaryAnn, but her words definitely convey a tone of “I wouldn’t do an OFFICE JOB, darling… I talk to FAMOUS PEOPLE.”

  115. Krillian says:

    Looks like I’m only going to be able to Sundance one day – the 28th – but it’s for a worthy cause I can’t do more days.

  116. I don’t know anything about MaryAnn, but her words definitely convey a tone of “I wouldn’t do an OFFICE JOB, darling… I talk to FAMOUS PEOPLE.”

    Not that I have to justify myself to you, LexG, but I’ve done office jobs. I’ve done a ton of shitty office jobs. And no, I would rather not have to do another one if I can possibly avoid it. Because it some soul-sucking shit.

    But I don’t talk to famous people. I did a few junkets before I gave them up because they’re useless and vacuous and I’m not in the least bit interested in talking to famous people, certainly not while they’ve got PR people policing the conversation.

    I’ve never been flown to a junket in an exotic locale. I’ve never been put up in a fancy hotel by a studio. I don’t hang out with Quentin Tarantino and then brag about it on Twitter.

    Instead, I run a popular web site singlehandedly. It’s more than a full-time job. I don’t only see a ton of movies every year, and review them (and review some TV, too, and write other pop culture commentary). I designed the web site, and redesigned it, and redesigned it again. I did some major customization of Movable Type. I taught myself HTML, then CSS, and now I’m learning to speak baby Javascript phoenetically. I do all the PR, all the social networking, all the stupid boring administrative gruntwork that has to be done to run an endeavor like mine.

    Why don’t you try it, and see how easy it is?

    It’s not denigrating the work of others to insist that my I do is real work, too. Maybe I won’t ever make any serious money from it. In which case, I will have to stop doing it, probably because I’ll have had a nervous breakdown from the stress, the overwork, the financial worry, and eventually the bankruptcy, or maybe I’ll just go straight to dropping dead. You may not know who I am, but there are a lot of readers out there who would consider my stopping doing what I’m doing at least a small loss for the world.

    And you know what? I’ve seen your schtick plenty. Just not from you. David may be “horrified” by what you tweeted at me, but I wasn’t offended by it. I was *bored.* I see its like all the damn time. You think you’re clever and original with your tedious misogyny and your bitter petulant rage? The Internet is full of guys just like you, who think it’s hilarious to be a juvenile, woman-hating, self-hating *and* simultaneously self-important idiot. It’s not.

    You wanna see someone who does right what you’re attempting to do? Read Vern: .

    My first line here rubbed you the wrong way? Does *no one* ever call you on your bullshit? Does *no one* ever ask you to think about the implications of what you’re saying? Because that’s all I did. If you can’t defend your own positions, you’re hardly the smartest man on the planet. At least be consistent.

  117. leahnz says:

    “Does *no one* ever call you on your bullshit? Does *no one* ever ask you to think about the implications of what you’re saying?”

    i’d actually forgotten about this thread but for the record, maryann j, since you’re asking:

    yes, i do (it gets me detention after school, though, and often referred to as the jarring, crazy chip-on-my-shoulder feminist trouble-maker big-mouth daring to open her gob in the boys club, who doesn’t understand how the internet works – ie: just let lex say what he likes and keep yer lip zipped!)… and to be fair one or two others here speak up at times re: lex’s obnoxious idiocy, but in general he can say anything nasty or demeaning or perverted he likes about women or 13-yr-old-girls and the gays because he claims it’s ‘shtick’, thereby rendering him in his (and others) mind somehow untouchable because it’s ‘funny’.

    anyway that’s what i was attempting to say to you in my post above at around 2am in the morning (5:24 am on this blog) after coming home from a party – i’ve been reading flick filosopher for ages – which you either didn’t read or perhaps ignored because you had no idea what i was talking about as i tend to lapse into kiwi-speak pigeon and obscure movie quotes in the wee small hours. my bad.

  118. No, I did see your reply, leahnz — thanks for reading! And I did note that you’ve pushed back against LexG. I’m trying to get him to see that! How is it possible that he never gets rubbed the wrong way, so that when I did it, he so wildly overreacts.

    I’d also like him — and his fans — to be aware of the fact that there’s nothing in the least original or clever about his “schtick.” How you say you’ve been treated, leahnz, is nothing clever or original, either: it’s what happens to women all over the web, but with all sincerity. Most men have no idea, however, because they don’t get regularly threatened with rape when someone disagrees with them. Perhaps that’s why they find it funny.

  119. Krillian says:

    I wish I had the time to learn what you know, MaryAnn, but w/ full-time job and family, blogspot’s going to have to fulfill that need for me.

    And that outlawvern site made me want to put a gun in my mouth. But everyone on the net has a fan somewhere I guess.

  120. Sten Ryason says:

    Wow. The more I read, the more I think that perhaps it was wise of me not to ever attempt to pursue a career in Hollywood. As a post-production geek, I’ve seen my share of foolish behavior on-set (director beginning the shoot day drunk, and drinking more while on-set, and can’t figure out afterwards why nothing really matches up – we can always FIX IT IN POST), but the rantings and ravings here put the nail in it.

    Hoberman was one of the most pretentious, annoying critics of all time, overpaid for his reviews, and if you look at his last top 10 list, one of the more misguided human beings on the face of the earth. Sort of surprised the Melancholia made it on the list, since it happens to be actually kind of good.

    As a former unpaid film critic myself, I can say without reservation that the worst thing a film critic endures (besides hate mail from Adam Sandler FANS!!!), is the death chamber of having to sit through endless awful films, in order to see the five or ten great movies that slip through the cracks of an industry that hasn’t had an original thought (except under torture, or by accident) since the seventies.

    My personal favorite example? When Depardieu starred in Cyrano de Bergerac, some high-up movie exec went running around the offices of his studio, bugging everyone about the great French remake of Roxanne that he just saw.

    If someone’s making $6,000 a month to sit through every awful movie, then I’d have to say a lot of that is hazard pay.

  121. LexG says:

    I don’t know, if you think 99% of films are “awful” and you’re finding yourself SUFFERING through THOUSANDS just to find a handful of “good” ones?

    Maybe you don’t really like movies that much.

  122. Sten Ryason says:

    I’m suggesting that Film Critics have to suffer through a lot of awful movies in order to see a few good ones, but they do that for a living, so they’ve decided to do that for a living. Just like someone who shovels shit for a living should get paid better than someone who shovels I dunno, chocolate, since chocolate at least smells nicer.

    As to the last crack, I love movies, but I can’t bring myself to watch films that are unutterably stupid. All my friends (whom I thought were fairly intelligent humans) ragged on me to watch Dumb & Dumber, since, even though it was stupid, it was, you know, funny stupid. After twenty minutes I concluded that it wasn’t that funny, and it was, after all,just really stupid, and these people didn’t deserve to have me watching them. It alwo lowered my opinion of my friends.

    I love well-made, interesting movies. I even like popcorn fare, such as Die Hard or The Dark Knight. But I also like Tarkovsky, Kurosawa, Soderbergh and Guy Maddin.

  123. Brett G. says:

    Psh, I probably sit through more bad movies (and I’m talking bad, scum of the earth bad) than most of these guys do, and I do it by choice. And write about them, unpaid, by choice.

    But I also acknowledge that I went on an INCREDIBLE run at the theaters at one point last year. I went like 9/10 in the span of a few weeks, and I think the worst movie in that run was like Sherlock Holmes 2 or something. And I live in the middle of nowhere and sometimes don’t even get to see these great movies in theaters. These guys might have to endure the occasional Jack & Jill, but they also have access to far more good movies than the average Joe. This is going to come off the wrong way, but, really, a critic should have no trouble finding more than 10 good movies a year. If they find themselves “suffering,” they should get the hell out and let me (or anybody of mediocre talent like myself) to take their place.

The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch

To me, Hunter S. Thompson was a hero. His early books were great, but in many ways, his life and career post–Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail is a cautionary tale for authors. People expected him to be high and drunk all the time and play that persona, and he stuck with that to the end, and I don’t think it was good for him. I always sort of feel mixed emotions when I hear that people went and hung out with Hunter and how great it was to get high with Hunter. The fact is the guy was having difficulty doing any sustained writing at all for years probably because so many quote, unquote, “friends” wanted to get high with him … There was a badly disappointed romantic there. I mean, that great line, “This is where the wave broke, the tide rolled back … ” This was a guy that was hurt and disappointed and very bitter about things, and it made his writing beautiful, and also with that came a lot of pain.
~ Anthony Bourdain