Saturday, July 06, 2013

Is There Something More Than Meta...

...When It Comes To A (Not So) Critical Critique?


It's no Rotten Tomatoes, but one of my favourite aggregators is Metacritic.

Not so much for the numbers, but instead because I can find all my favourite reviewers in one place quickly.

And here is what the NYT's A.O. Scott had to say in summing up 'The Lone Ranger' which is currently overtaking a multiplex near you because Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer said so, or else:

...In the end, though, “The Lone Ranger” can’t quite pull off the daredevil feats it has assigned itself. This is an ambitious movie disguised as a popcorn throwaway, nothing less than an attempt to revise, reinvigorate and make fun of not just its source but also nearly every other western ever made. In trying to balance grandiosity with playfulness, to lampoon cowboy-and-Indian clich├ęs while taking somber account of a history of violence, greed and exploitation, it descends into nerve-racking incoherence.

Atrocities are followed by jokey riffs and sight gags, and what links them is not a creative sensibility (as would be the case in a Quentin Tarantino movie) but a carnival barker’s desperate need to hold on to a distracted audience’s attention. Look, kids, a man eating another man’s heart! A horse in a tree! A genocidal massacre! Bunny ra
bbits with sharp teeth! “Who was that masked man?” is a less relevant question than “What on earth were you thinking?”



In the case of this particular movie the great majority of the critics' reviews, from all the rungs on the ladder of brow, are negative which means that its overall score (high 30's) is actually 10 points below Mr. Bruckheimer's already atrocious career average.

Which means, essentially nothing, as far as making money goes.

But it does mean that you might want to give the thing a pass based purely on its cinematic merits, or lack thereof.

So....

Why, you may be asking, am I even bringing a mess from Bruckenheimer up on an Armagiddeon times-type Saturday night in Lotusland (there is actually a whirling warm wind blowing, which is weird around here)?

Well...

My interest was piqued by another group, the fine folks from a very fine media organ called the 'Christian Post' who are also telling people not to go.

For reasons that are, apparently, have absolutely nothing whatsoever to with things cinematic:

...In an interview with The Christian Post, Dr. Ted Baehr, chairman of the Christian Film and Television Coalition and Editor-in-Chief of Movieguide, attacked the film's "strong mixed pagan, revisionist, politically correct worldview."

"The government is bad – the army is killing Indians – the bad guy is a businessman, the military-industrial complex is bad," he explained, finishing the list with a notable exception – "the Christians are not always bad."

Nevertheless, "the pagan elements triumph because you're looking at it from Tanto's (sic) point of view." He used "pagan" as a generic term for non-Christian, unidentified spirituality. "It's not Buddhism, it's not Hinduism, it's a mishmash."...

Gosh.

I wonder what a guy named Harry Smith, who grew up on Canadian side of the Mohawk reserve and went on to play semipro lacrosse in Rochester for the 'Iroquois' and in North Vancouver for the 'Indians' in 1936, which is how he acquired the nickname 'Silverheels' before he moved to Hollywood, would, if he were still alive, think about that?

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Image at the top of the post is of Mr.  Jay Silverheels playing a sheriff's deputy in 1949's 'Lust For Gold' with Glen Ford and Ida Lupino....


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