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March 25, 2013


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Joel Bocko

Not sure where else to put it, but very much enjoyed your response to the Criticwire "Overrated Masterpiece" question. Also, although my eyes skipped over attribution at first, I knew about two sentences in that the paragraph was yours - which says something, I suppose (maybe just that I know you like quoting Richard Hell).


Yes, that "Overrated Masterpieces" article was pretty depressing. Especially the "critic" who couldn't stand "Rules of the Game" because the actors have shaved eyebrows. Is she 15 years old? Depressing. And does anyone really regard "Black Swan" and "Moulin Rogue" as masterpieces?

Josh Z

The fact that the Criticwire article opens with an image from 8 1/2 instantly raised my hackles. I couldn't get through the whole thing. "Depressing" doesn't begin to cover it.


Glenn's answer is the only acceptable (or even interesting) answer to that question, IMO. All other answers are always a variation on the same thing--"I saw that movie 'everybody' says it great, and it didn't do it for me." Yawn.

This survey may still be preferable to somewhat viral Smugfilm article that surfaced this week, in which Greg DeLiso claims that all films made before JAWS are crap, with the exceptions of 12 ANGRY MEN and INHERIT THE WIND. Of course he's being deliberately contrarian, but there's no evidence that he's not serious (or that those are the only pre-1975 films he's seen).



Let me guess: Greg DeLiso was born in 1975? Actually, he was born in 1986, if Wickipedia is to be believed.

Here's his article. Hope you can get past the early grafs, where he denounces "Raging Bull" as boring, "not a movie," just a bunch of footage, while "Field of Dreams" is advanced cinema.


"Actually, he was born in 1986, if Wickipedia is to be believed."

Also he stands at five feet seven and a half inches, if IMDB is to be believed. Evidently Mr.DeLiso is out to make up in arrogance and ignorance what he lacks in experience and stature.

"Does anyone really regard 'Black Swan' and 'Moulin Rogue' as masterpieces?"

I could certainly make a modest case for 'The Wrestler' -- at least the first two-thirds, until its detailing of the quotidian inevitably succumbs to Aronofsky's patented brand of cystal-meth hyperbole.

'Moulin Rouge!' attracted a few raves of the THIS-is-the-future-of-cinema! variety at the time. Myself, I lost interest not long after Jim Broadbent started bouncing around the screen like some third Mario brother (but even then it remained preferable to 'Across the Universe').

-- Oliver_C (42, 6'0")

Jeff McMahon

I'm going to be contrarian and say that contrarianism is valuable, although not to excess.
For me, when I think of "Overrated Masterpieces" my thoughts tend more toward frustration than snideness, because I would really like to have the aesthetic experience everyone else has when watching [Movie X] but it just doesn't happen, even after giving some titles multiple tries.
Anyway, if critics would engage more in dialogue and less in posturing we'd all be better off.

Joel Bocko

Yeah, Glenn seems to purposefully be avoiding that piece which is probably for the best. The rebuttal was wonderful though, and on the same site to boot!


Must confess, though, I'm with the eyebrow lady on Rules. I mean, the hunting sequence and masquerade/shoot out are brilliant tour-de-forces, I respect the film and even own it - but I've never totally warmed to it not understood the claims that it's the greatest film of all time or within hailing distance. Like Scorsese, I cotton more to The River.

But I'm with Jeff on regretting the films I seem to be missing out on rather than taking a great deal of pride in them. I'd like to see whatever others are seeing.

-Joel Bocko (29, 5'7" - we're not all bad...)


Coming soon: Fanboy tops DeLiso with a column proclaiming Joss Whedon's "The Avengers" as "the first movie." If it hasn't already been written, on some website somewhere.

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