First off, let me tell you where I’m coming from. I want to make it absolutely clear that I’ve got no inherent problem with you, or with your movies. Point of fact, until recently I felt that you were one of the few filmmakers who was demonstrably growing as an artist with each new film and I’ve enjoyed much of your work, especially Chasing Amy, the sorely underrated Jersey Girl, and Clerks II. I’m even more of a fan of your work outside of the movies; your Q and A sessions, for instance, are as funny and entertaining as some of the best stand up I’ve ever seen. So, hopefully it’s clear that what I’m about to say isn’t coming from any sort of animosity towards you or your movies.
Kevin, since the first reviews of Cop Out came out you have been behaving like a whiny child ‘Mummy, mummy, the critics are being mean, I don’t want them to come and play anymore’. Okay, perhaps I’m being a touch unfair, so why don’t I let your words do the talking. The good folks over at Movieline, with some help from Devin at Chud, managed to stitch your anti-critic twitter meltdown of yesterday together into a coherent, chronological form. I’ve made a couple of edits, just to remove some characters that are neither letters nor punctuation, and to add spaces where needed, all so that it’s that bit easier to read. The words are all yours though.
Sometimes, it’s important to turn off the chatter. Film fandom’s become a nasty bloodsport where cartoonishly rooting for failure gets the hit count up on the ol’ brand-new blog. And if a schmuck like me pays you some attention, score! MORE EYES, MEANS MORE ADVERT [DOLLARS]. But when you pull your eye away from the microscope, you can see that shit you’re studying so closely is, in reality, tiny as fuck. You wanna enjoy movies again? Stop reading about them & just go to the movies. It’s improved film/movie appreciation immensely for me. Seriously: so many critics lined-up to pull a sad & embarrassing train on Cop Out like it was Jennifer Jason Leigh in LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN. Watching them beat the shit out of it was sad.
Like, it’s called Cop Out; that sound like a very ambitious title to you? You REALLY wanna shit in the mouth of a flick that so OBVIOUSLY strived for nothing more than laughs. Was it called “Schindler’s Cop Out”? Writing a nasty review for Cop Out is akin to bullying a retarded kid who was getting a couple chuckles from the normies by singing AFTERNOON DELIGHT. Suddenly, bully-dudes are doing the bad impression of him, using the “retart” voice. The crowd shifts uncomfortably. And you may impress a couple of low IQ-ers who’re like “Yeah, man! Way to destroy that singing retart!” But, really? All you’ve done is make fun of something that wasn’t doing you any harm and wanted only to give some cats some fun laughs. Yes I compared My Flick To A Retarded Kid
It was just ridiculous to watch. That was it for me. Realized whole system’s upside down: so we let a bunch of people see it for free & they shit all over it? Meanwhile, people who’d REALLY like to see the flick for free are made to pay? Bullshit: from now on, any flick I’m ever involved with, I conduct critics screenings thusly: you wanna see it early to review it? Fine: pay like you would if you saw it next week. Like, why am I giving an arbitrary 500 people power over what I do at all, let alone for free? Next flick, I’d rather pick 500 randoms from Twitter feed & let THEM see it for free in advance, then post THEIR opinions, good AND bad. Same difference. Why’s their opinion more valid? It’s a backwards system. People are free to talk shit about ANY of my flicks, so long as they paid to see it. Fuck this Animal Farm bullshit.
You know what I hear there Kev? ‘Waaaaaahhhhh’. What strikes me first is how childish this rant makes you seem. Children have friendships that change on a day to day basis ‘Timmy won’t let me use the bike, and it’s MY TURN. I hate him now’. You appear to have a similar relationship with critics. When Amy Taubin said lots of nice things about Clerks you couldn’t thank her enough, even on the Clerks X DVD she appears in the documentary and gets numerous fawning namechecks elsewhere (by the way, will she still be allowed to see your movies for free?) and you’ve even attributed importance to more negative reviews, reproducing Matt Zoller Seitz’ thoughtful but middling review of Mallrats in the introduction to the published screenplays of Clerks and Chasing Amy, and crediting that review with helping get you to write Amy. It seems that you used to think reviews, even negative ones, were useful, so what’s changed?
Since that covers only a very few of my problems with this little explosion, let’s now take it point by point, shall we?
Sometimes, it’s important to turn off the chatter.
Oh, the irony.
Film fandom’s become a nasty bloodsport where cartoonishly rooting for failure gets the hit count up on the ol’ brand-new blog. And if a schmuck like me pays you some attention, score! MORE EYES, MEANS MORE ADVERT [DOLLARS].
Well, I can’t speak for the movie blogosphere as a whole, but personally, as a blogger, as a critic and as a regular moviegoer (yep, I’m all three) I want ALL movies to be great. Why the hell would I ever want a movie to be crap? Of course you may mean (it’s a touch unclear) that we bloggers are rooting for movies like Cop Out to fail financially. There the charge is fairer. Thing is, it’s not a personal thing at all. I want bad movies to flop. I don’t care if it’s Uwe Boll’s latest excretion, Avatar, The Bounty Hunter or indeed Cop Out. Bad movies should tank at the box office, if only because if they do it might force people into putting a bit more effort into their product, and thus result in better movies. Make a good movie and I’ll shout it from the rooftops and do all I can to encourage people to see it. That seems like a fair deal to me.
Again, I can’t speak for all bloggers, but I don’t have adverts, so I quite honestly don’t give two fucks how much attention you or anyone else in the industry pays me (though I know I have some readers, who like the site a great deal, who are also filmmakers). I don’t do this for money, I do it because I love movies, something I often think is true of more critics than it is filmmakers, given the state of mainstream cinema.
You wanna enjoy movies again? Stop reading about them & just go to the movies.
I do both, is that okay? I read blogs (Supermarcey is highly recommended, in particular), websites and books about movies on a pretty much daily basis. I also see movies of all kinds, I pursue them with a voracious an ever increasing appetite. Last year I saw 379 movies I had never previously seen and 157 [different] films at the cinema. Is that enough going to the movies to have a valid opinion?
Seriously: so many critics lined-up to pull a sad & embarrassing train on Cop Out like it was Jennifer Jason Leigh in LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN. Watching them beat the shit out of it was sad.
Boo. Fucking. Hoo. Did you ever think that maybe, just maybe, if everyone’s saying it’s shit… it might be shit? And here’s where I tell you what I thought. I couldn’t sit through the fucking thing. Yep. That bad. I tried Kev, I really did, and I wanted to sit through it so that could write a review, but I gave up for two reasons. First off, 46 minutes in I hadn’t laughed ONCE. I’d cracked a smile maybe twice, so, okay, that’s not quite The Hottie and the Nottie levels of not funny, but it’s not far off either. Realising that I still had just under an hour to go I made two determinations
1: Even if you had literally edited in the last hour of Ghostbusters it couldn’t have made up for the sheer weight of not funny that had gone before.
2: My life may not be perfect, but I definitely had better things to spend an hour on than the last hour of Cop Out, hell, I wondered if going outside and being run over by a bus might be funnier.
Also, comparing your reviews to one of the most disturbing rape scenes ever filmed? Not funny Kev.
Like, it’s called Cop Out; that sound like a very ambitious title to you?
This is like saying to your English teacher 'This F you gave me isn’t fair, because I wasn’t trying'. Perhaps, and it’s just a thought, you should try having some fucking ambition next time.
Writing a nasty review for Cop Out is akin to bullying a retarded kid who was getting a couple chuckles from the normies by singing AFTERNOON DELIGHT.
No it isn’t. Mocking Uwe Boll is mocking the retarded kid, because he’s never demonstrated that he’s got the smallest amount of talent. Giving Cop Out (or at least the first 46 minutes of it) a bad review is calling you out. You have made good films; you are a demonstrably intelligent, funny and articulate man. That’s why people are disappointed that you’ve made this load of boring, unfunny, shit. It’s also because, with this ‘oh poor, misunderstood, assaulted, me’ crap you actually appear to be proud of Cop Out which, frankly, does mark you as the retarded kid.
All you’ve done is make fun of something that wasn’t doing you any harm and wanted only to give some cats some fun laughs. Yes I compared My Flick To A Retarded Kid.
“Wasn’t doing you any harm”. Fair enough, Cop Out did me no harm, but the 46 minutes of it that I sat through did me no good either. The only difference in me after it was that I was 46 minutes older, and perhaps a little more cynical about mainstream Hollywood cinema. Again, the problem that people have isn’t that you’re just aiming to make people laugh, that’s all you’ve ever done and God bless you for it, the problem is that you are FAILING. I could lie to you, I could say that I watched all of Cop Out and that I rolled around on the floor, laughing uncontrollably and that afterwards I had to call an ambulance to provide me with oxygen. But that’s bullshit. I don’t care if it hurts your oh so delicate feelings, I didn’t laugh, nor did a lot of other people. Would dishonesty profit you more? Oh it might buff your ego, but would it do anything more than that? Make something good and people will tell you it’s good.
"Yes I compared My Flick To A Retarded Kid". How edgy of you. Of course all that demonstrates is the level at which you are now pitching your ‘comedy’, when frankly you started out so much more intelligent.
from now on, any flick I’m ever involved with, I conduct critics screenings thusly: you wanna see it early to review it? Fine: pay like you would if you saw it next week.
On behalf of all critics: Fuck you. Film critics do a job. Now, you may think it’s a cushy job, or an unnecessary one (well, if they don’t like your movie) but it’s still a job. People get paid to do their jobs; they don’t pay for the privilege of doing them, that’s how jobs work. Perhaps we should make McDonalds workers pay for the privilege of standing behind that counter. Hell, you’ve got a cushy job that pays well and, it could be argued, is essentially unnecessary; perhaps you should pay for the privilege of directing movies. Criticism is in a precarious enough place. Many critics are losing their jobs at the moment, and those who aren’t, I’m willing to bet that most of them aren’t exactly rolling in cash, and very few are as rich as you. If you go through with this new model the upshot will almost certainly be that Red State will get very few reviews, and the attendant publicity that goes with reviews will melt away. Good luck at the box office in that situation. But honestly, this is the stupidest and most petulant part of your whole stupid and petulant argument. ‘waaahhhh, I got bad reviews, so I’m going to INVERT THE FUCKING ECONOMY’.
I’d rather pick 500 randoms from Twitter feed & let THEM see it for free in advance, then post THEIR opinions, good AND bad. Same difference. Why’s their opinion more valid?
Hey, I’m not a professional critic, certainly I don’t get paid, but I like to think that I’m more than a little more educated on movies than some random person on Twitter. That’s what you get with a critic, and that’s why people read them, for an educated opinion. Have you read most message board and blog criticism? 'OMG, dat wuz awesome. Sooo many LOLZ'. And that’s the level of discourse you want about your flicks? Jesus, fuck. OF COURSE Roger Ebert’s or Rex Reed’s opinion, good or bad, paid for or free, is more valid than that, and if you can’t see that then frankly you are both blind and stupid. These people have spent decades learning about and appreciating cinema, their opinion is inherently more meaningful than that of a 15 year old who likes 300 ‘cuz it was wicked’. And frankly, you used to think so too, when they liked your films. Odd that.
People are free to talk shit about ANY of my flicks, so long as they paid to see it.
You’re once, twice, two times a hypocrite. So, lets get this right. Critics should have to pay in order to do their job, which is essentially evaluating your job. However, not only should you be paid an exorbitant amount of money to do your job but you are allowed to evaluate (and piss and moan about) the job THEY have done completely free of charge.
Despite the fact that this little rant of yours has really pissed me off, I’m still looking forward to Red State. It will be interesting to see what you can do with a horror film, and good to see you back to writing and directing (because that director for hire thing… fucking disaster, sir). Anyway, if you’d like to respond to any of these points then I would be pleased to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will certainly post anything that you write back to me, unedited.