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January 1, 2013

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Kyle Matthew Dilla

One day, Walter Chaw, I'm gonna be a big time movie writer (even though I am not a published writer, presently), and I'm gonna write movies that will make so much money that your piddly one-star reviews won't even matter! And then you'll be sorry! You'll be sorry!!!!

Dan

@RJH,
At this point, I don't care to be taken seriously on this or any site, especially since I doubt anyone gives a shit what I think. Which is as it should be - I'm not a published writer (presently), and I'm certainly no movie critic (thank fucking God).

But speaking of "seriously," you honestly think *I'm* yelling and screaming? Good lord, have you read what people write on these things? Go on Yahoo! and read any average forum response and try to maintain your respect for human decency. At least I'm not a fucking halfwit. I would say, in fact, that while I'm nowhere near his intellectual equal, I'm just as bitter, mean, and spiteful as Walter is in virtually every one of his reviews - except for the ones where we need tread carefully, lest we slip on his spilled semen.

Oh, and I did finally find a picture of our dear old critic. Just as I suspected - Big fat fucking shocker.

I might feel badly pointing this out, except that I have to hear how hot he thinks every other actress is (I distinctly remember him commenting on how much he wanted to fuck someone - probably Naomi Watts. The image is not a pleasant one.) Shallowness abounds, and I'm not above pointing out the fat nerdy asshole for what he is. Because, as I said, that used to be me. (Maybe the asshole part never went away - but if not, then I'm in very good company).

The bottom line is that I actually care a LOT about film (hence all the vitriol and emotion), so if my open divorce letter to Walter was bitter and mean, it's because I clearly care that much.

And on that note... I'm off to write movies and shows that I now truly, genuinely hope Walter totally hates. 'Cause if and when that happens, I will feel vindicated not only that I'm making stuff *I* like, but that I'll actually have made something - not just pissed all over someone else's shit.

RJH

Dan, if you're trying to be taken seriously and not just venting then the cheap jabs about Walter's presumed appearance (and...lack of pictures on the Internet?) as well as the angry yelling don't help. Even if you have a point worth making there's no way anyone's going to pay much attention when you're screaming.

tom

lol. somebody forgot to take their meds

Dan


http://www.theonion.com/articles/im-sorry-but-ive-had-just-about-enough-of-me,30925/

---------------------------------

This movie was beautiful, exciting, and it moved me greatly. I'll take an incredibly mounted, flawed amalgam of both pretentious and sentimental philosophy with beautifully-paced action (such as this or "Watchmen"), over excrescently boring, pretentious dogshit about absolutely nothing (like "The Fountain", "The New World", and "The InnKeepers", all of which Walter seems to love because they... why? Actually, I'm sorry. Seriously. Why the fuck?) any day of the week.

And the reason the same actors played different characters is - ya know - kinda built into the premise of cyclical human history and reincarnation? Not always successfully done, but not real difficult to understand why it was attempted. Yes, the philosophy is simple, though not all of it naive - just as simply because something is convoluted and complicated on the surface doesn't automatically make it inherently worthy of study.

I agree with Kevin that there was no Magic Negro. He was a good sailor, and a perceptively good (not to mention hot) friend who changed someone's mind about slavery. That's it. How is that offensive? And when contained within it is commentary that seems intrinsic to the overall themes of the whole movie, how is that storyline not worth pursuing?

There was, of course, no need for black face. But in all honestly, I wouldn't have been opposed to it, though I am white so admittedly disqualified from even proffering that as an option. The only reason they didn't do it while continuing to do yellowface was not because they couldn't have done it without being culturally insensitive, but because Al Sharpton and Spike Lee would have had a field day, and there are (fortunately) no Asian equivalents to those ass-clowns.

That the Wachowskis self-financed this gives me a little fucking hope that someone, somewhere is committed to making large-budget movies that challenge us with big ideas wrapped in equally challenging, but always exciting, narratives - not just commercial monstrosities that challenge us to keep our IQs, or to stay awake.

The fact that Walter has the nerve to make comparisons to reference to Solzhenitsyn's imprisonment in the middle of this as a form of irony, but not the nail-clawing actual prison sequence in the middle of horrendously interminable - and boring as all shit - "The Dark Knight Rises", is selective fucking memory if I've ever seen it.

Oh, and "The Field Where I Died" might have made even *me* cry, but that was rightfully considered one of the worst, most boring episodes of "The X Files" produced during the Duchovny years. I'll give him this - for the kind of work he heaps praise on, at least Walter's consistent.

Just didn't realize he was so sensitive about critics being attacked. There, there, Jon Lovitz. Perhaps we should all grow a thicker skin.

Dan

I actually can’t believe this is the first time I'm saying it, and it might not be the last, but...

FUCK YOU, WALTER - You and your overtly destructive criticism, which you can shove right up your (presumably) fat ass.

We’ll have to use our imaginations on that last one, since not one picture of you has shown up anywhere online in the last 10 years, at least none I’ve taken the time to find, but I’m betting dollars to donuts that you’re fat, ugly, or both - the bitter, angry kids who think too much usually are. I know I was - once (and then my Dad got a job).
At least Kael had the balls to show off her wrinkly countenance, and Ebert had the courage to show off his missing jaw. But then, those are courageous people, non-reactionary thinkers who will, thankfully, be far more read than your all-or-nothing, black and white diatribes - love letters to utter bullshit, and shit-flinging at works that - let’s face it, man - you really wish you were fearless enough to make.

So, to kick off 2013, and in case you missed it -
GO FUCK YOURSELF.

I finally said it, but it really doesn’t feel good, because for so long I’ve been praising your critical analyses as potentially worthwhile creative works in themselves. For so long I’ve believed you were the sole light in the darkness of anti-intellectualism in film reviews. But I realize now what a fucking fool I was, and what a fucking tool you are. This last year finally pushed me over the edge.

To be so so so so SO criminally wrong on at least one of your “Worst” list (and on several of your “Best”) that it defies logic really shouldn’t come as a surprise, yet I’m still reeling. What’s going on here? Why do I give a shit what you think? Why does it get my goat? I’m sure my therapist could tell me, but right now I’m at a total loss.

It’s no secret “The Dark Knight” and the two Soderberg films you loved were utter twat - no one whose opinion I respect thought different. And after skirting the issue forever, to finally “admit” that Nolan films are “a mess narratively” should have been something of a humble revelation - if you weren’t such a condescending prick about it.

“Prometheus” was awful in many ways, but at least it was *interesting*. At least it made me think - and not just about its terrible and needlessly convoluted screenplay. It was also visually arresting, a truly cinematic 3D experience that was worth the extra time and money, not to mention putting up with the terrible acting. I’m loathe to admit it, but it stayed with me, much as “Les Mis” will undoubtedly - and maddeningly - stay with me.

“The Hobbit”, on the other end of the spectrum, I intentionally avoided in 3D, was geared up for the worst, and actually enjoyed the hell out of. Of course it’s an overlong mess (nobody said it was going to be anything else), but it’s a fun, entertaining, popcorn mess, and I had a blast. Not everyone can just let go and have a good time - or at least not everyone can only do so with pretentious pus that no one else likes.

But all of this is just warm up for “Cloud Atlas”, easily the only movie from 2012 worth talking about that I saw (the jury’s always still out on those obscure art-house pics you and your staff are always jizzing about). To be so inexorably offended at something so grand and beautiful is one thing - but instead of just saying “hey, not my thing” (like you did with that piece of shit “Moonrise Kingdom,” and that I *always* have to with *everything* by the Two Andersons) that you felt the need to *attack* based on your own insular ideas of what constitutes “socially damaging” (likely brought on by what I’m guessing is a truly woeful self-image) is so pathetic that it’s just downright sad.

Since I’m sure you missed it before (and knowing you’ll probably miss it again) here’s an “anyway” repost of my reaction to your reaction - ego talking to ego most definitely, but, you know, I gotta talk to people in their own language.
It’s there, just past this piece from The Onion that you (and I) should take a long look in the mirror after reading.

tom

for what it's worth, i've seen walter admit he was wrong on multiple occasions, i've seen him accept criticism gracefully and i think he shows a greater capacity to have his mind changed, even humbled, by cinema than most other critics around. guy's nothing if not in love with the medium, in touch with his emotional responses and brutally honest to a fault; he's in this for the right reasons.

i've also seen him be unnecessarily provocative, snarky or dismissive, and he can be oversensitive in situations when a level head would better serve his arguments, but personally i'm willing to take the bad with the good. it's not obvious where 'ego' stops and 'passion' begins; rather have both than neither. also, let's face it, twitter brings out the worst in everyone. xD

Slick McFavorite

btw, Justin, I believe it's "I think".

Chris

Gee, Justin, I guess I don't see the difference. But that must be because I don't use words like "metaphor" and "mirrors to the soul" enough. And if you think Walter is above Internet arguments, "methinks" you have probably spent less time reading him than me, or willfully ignoring certain aspects of his character. But I'm sure that's different because they all had it coming (just like me... but not like Walter who, clearly, is above reproach). I on the other hand just love arguments and hate those nasty soul mirror things. You want to prove you're the bigger man? Put your money where your mouth is and let me have the last, bitter word.

Hugh

I agree with you about the nature of Top 10 lists, Walter, so I'd like to nominate Berberian Sound Studio as one of the best unknown films of last year. I don't think it had a wide release outside of the UK, apart from being available to view online (which would undermine the point of the film, I think). Features a great central performance by Toby Jones (the 'good' Capote, and apparently also the 'good' Hitchcock now), and a wonderful use of sound design. I think watching it would be an even deeper experience for someone steeped in 70's Italian horror cinema, but I found it immensely satisfying.

Justin B-H

Gee Chris, heaven forbid Walter might have been using "echo-chamber" as a metaphor for art as a mirror to the soul, as opposed to a metaphor for internet argument. Let me guess which one is more important in your world. And as for passive-aggressive, methinks you could do with a mirror yourself....

tom

ego is the only plausible motivation behind the snark in your own post, chris.

Chris

Well, at least Walter acknowledges that he's got an echo chamber. That he loves it is no surprise to anyone who has ever visited his Twitter account. Why listen to constructive criticism when you and your simpering Chawlettes can spend all day ragging on the bumpkins? And yes, I have stuck with you for a period of time, and yes, unfortunately, I do know your predilections. So much promise, so much ego. Now eviscerate my post quickly and then go back to passive-aggressively re-tweeting negative reviews of movies you profess not to care about for the next six months.

Angelo Muredda

@Simon: I liked it. It's...sturdy. And Mikkelsen gives good stern face. Should be a capsule by me in the TIFF archives.

Simon Fallaha

I had to forego the chance to see Wuthering Heights and meet Andrea Arnold at last year's Foyle Film Festival in my home town of Derry-Londonderry. How I wish things had been different now. As an aside: did anyone catch A Royal Affair? It's been very well received on these shores.

Johnny Cade

Uh guys, I think that's a quote from "the" Steve Martin. Guess he likes the site too, "The Jerk". ;)

Slick McFavorite

@ corym

yeah. I don't doubt you can't

tom

this is pretty unreadably formatted BTW, just sayin'.

tom

delighted to see wuthering heights so high on walter's list. :) holy motors & this is not a film seem to be pretty unanimously the films of the year among the better critics knocking about, can't wait for both.

what happened to ian pugh? i liked that guy.

corym

@Steve

Calls someone pretentious then quotes himself. You can't make that shit up.

ChrisA

I'd been waiting excitedly for this, and it doesn't disappoint. Another great, surprising list from some great, surprising critics. Thanks!

Steve Martin

I've also been reading the site long enough to be completely shocked by this year's praise of bullshit "art for art's sake" that can't hold a candle to anything Lynch. And where are the mentions, good or bad, anywhere of Chaw's boy Affleck and his "Argo", or "Life of Pi", "Looper" etc.? Too mainstream for you guys, or no, rather too obvious of contenders since Mr. Chambers actually wrote that "The Grey" is "The most emotionally authentic film about death since Rob Zombie's Halloween II." That is LMFAO, sexy and you know it pretentious wankery. Actually, I think I said best when I said:
"I believe entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot.”

Love ya,
Steve

corym

I've been reading the site long enough that I'm not completely surprised by these lists, but it was a nice surprise to see Killing Them Softly pop up. That film hasn't gotten a lot of good press, but I'm willing to give Dominik the benefit of the doubt after Jesse James. I'm optimistic on that film--nice to finally catch a ray of hope.

I'm a unrepentant lover of feel-bad cinema but, glancing through the great films that came out this year, I'm sort of shocked by the unrelenting existential dread. Where was our head at this year?

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