Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pleasing the Critics? When Pigs Fly.

As if writing a book isn't a daunting enough task, an author then faces the task of finding a publishing who actually likes it. Once you've accomplished that major feat and think you can take a deep breath, think again. Reviews! Just the mention of the word makes me shudder.

Reviews are as varied as book topics and movie themes. The future sales of one's book or cinemascopic wonder depends how a written assessment slants. If the reviewer doesn't like ONE particular thing in your story, and focuses on that, your sunk. Then, there are some reviewers, it seems, who feel the need to annihilate other people's work. I've been on both sides of the fence--author/book reviewer. I'm not always crazy about the entire content, but I at least try to focus on the positive aspects of the book. There had to be some or it wouldn't have been published or, in the case of movies, millions spent to film it. Face it!

The reason I'm addressing this issue is the latest reviews on the movie, Australia. I suggested to my sister that we go see it. She's very in to reading reviews to help her decide if she wants to spend the money for a ticket or read. Thank God, not everyone does. I give very little credence to the opinions of others when it comes to books or movies, because opinions are so subjective. Imagine if the success or failure of Hugh Jackman or Nicole Kidman depended on the following comments taken directly from Yahoo Movies:

The film was poorly shot with horrendous transitioning between digital animation and live scenery. "Australia" also took a long time to develop the storyline. The plot was predictable and feebly attempted to chase several "rabbit trails." But the most irritating part of the film was it's failure to end! On multiple occassions, I expected the film to wrapping up only to realize there was more. I found myself begging for the credits.

Terrible in every sense of the word. The screen writer simply could not settle on what plot to write about. One moment, they were herding cattle. The next, fighting Japanese invaders. Unfortunately, these two stories didn't connect in any way shape or form...and it was 3 hours of my life that I will never have back.

Hugh Jackman was ok. The film suffers from bad editing, a stupid ending, and the lacking ability to really draw the viewer in. Stunning visuals cannot save this film. It's like LION KING:THE MUSICAL, meets MOULIN ROUGE, meets PEARL HARBOR, meets THE THORNBIRDS, meets THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER.

This movie was a mess. Worst I have ever had to sit through, and I almost walked out. Stupid plot, bad acting (Jackman did okay), worse dialog, ridiculous soap-opera close-ups, just plain awful. A poop-pile of the worst parts of Titanic (cheesy rich girl-poor boy love story), Mary Poppins (aghh the singing), Pearl Harbor (war mixed with gooey love scenes), Quigley Down Under (look at me I'm Aussie!), Cold Mountain (Nicole Kidman again), Josey Wales (the stupid ending), City Slickers (cattle drives!), Indy's Temple of Doom (rescue the children for the village, Indy), and Commando (worst villan attempt of all time). You should miss this movie at all costs.

Okay...would you go see it now! Remember there are people who sat in the theater and saw a completely different film as evidenced by:

WOW!! I really can't say enough good things about this movie. Everything was well done. The story line, the visuals were outstanding. It doesn't surprise me that the critics didn't really like it, but why would they when there was truth in what was being told. A definite must see.

I don't write reviews ever but this one is worth taking the time and telling the world they must see this movie. My family spent time in Australia in 2006 and seeing this movie made us all feel home sick. This movie was exactly what Australia is like. Beautiful but harsh and full of unknown history. This movie covered so much of the life of Australians they way they lived and the way things are now. I can't say enough. You must go see.

I see many movies and some leave no impact on me at all. This movie I will mevr forget. Nicole Kidman played her role to the max. Hugh Jackman was good also. But the one that touched me the most was the little boy he was excellent. If you enjoy a movie with a believable story,good acting and beautiful location settings this is your movie. It was well worth the 2 1/2 hours of running time. I never once looked at my watch thats how much I was into this movie. Go and enjoy this epic they are not made like this any more in Hollywood.

this film is oustanding! critics take themsekves to seriously. the movie had it all, love, action, comedy, and adventure. i loved it. it may be 2 hours long but it is worth it. go see for yourselves. it is truly an epic!

To say that reviews are confusing is an understatement. I've been fortunate to have received mostly positive reviews, but I've read unfavorable ones of books and movies that I thoroughly enjoyed. Shocking, to see that others didn't find the joy or excitement I did, but that's life.

Don't let another person's opinion decide for you. That's my point. Be your own judge and jury. The same goes for restaurants...food critics have caused the demise of some great eateries all because their taste buds were out of whack on one particular evening. It's sad that we give someone that much authority over our lives. Like I'm going to put a lot of stock in the fact that Joe Blow doesn't like a particular artichoke dip or spinach souffle. I'll be my the master of my own cuisine...reading tastes and movie preferences, too. If this sampling of reviews doesn't prove my point...then nothing will.

5 comments:

Molly Daniels said...

Hahaha...my dad used to read/watch Siskel and Ebert's movie reviews. If they hated it, then he'd go see it, just to prove them wrong!

My personal favorite review? When a reader tells me how much trouble they had putting down my book and when is the next one coming out? Music to my ears:)

Tabitha Shay said...

I never listen to the movie reviewers, I've found if they hate the movie, I always love it! So I judge for myself. Never did like someone else making my decisions for me...lol...and I can't wait to see Australia...Tabs

Denise Eagan said...

I'll read reviews on movies, but I'm much more likely to listen to what a friend says.

But for a book? They make no difference at all, unless they're written in the book.

Can't wait to see Australia!

Anne Whitfield - author said...

Reviews are over-rated, especially movie reviews. Watching a moive is a personal experience and you get out of it what you want.
I always watch a movie for sheer entertainment value and to get away from the real world for a couple of hours. Australia allowed me to do that and drool at hugh Jackman! Can a lady ask for more?
:o)
good post Ginger.

Deb Hockenberry said...

You got that right about the reviews! I don't follow them since I've seen the movie Wall Street. The review said that it was the best movie ever. It was one of the worst I've ever seen!
Deb :-)

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