Muse playing Starlight at Leeds Festival 2006

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I am in a grumpy mood, and I have decided to take out my ire on some people who genuinely irritate me. Critics. Not all, for in some cases their criticism is justly warranted. Certain ones. Certain entertainment critics who make it their quest to utterly destroy the subject of their venom, ruin a new artist’s reputation. Or movies—some critics will go above and beyond to express how much they hate a movie, or its actors, or the director. I think it goes way past not liking a film, but it has something to do with the critic’s ability.

Every time I read a truly hateful review of something, it makes me say to myself, ‘well, if the critic thinks he’s clearly so much better than the director of that film, why doesn’t he go and do the movie himself?’ Obviously, these critics have such a high opinion of themselves as to place themselves on high to look down their noses at everyone else. Same deal with music too. They pick apart every little petty detail about som artist and complain ad nauseum about how they don’t like it. I have to wonder about these critics as well–do they have any musical ability? Are they professional musicians, with the skill to disseminate music into various components? Or do they base it solely on what they, the critic likes? For example, I admit to being a pretty devoted fan of the band Muse. I really enjoy their albums and songs, maybe I like the symphonic sweep they tend to channel. Music critics have been downright contemptuous of the band and the music, not very kind in their reviews. I’d like to see those critics try to replicate the caliber of music performed by the lead singer/guitarist/pianist. Critics thought he was egotistical and melodramatic. Guess they never went to any of the concerts, then. Did they ever look at the lyrics to some of Muse’s songs? Very pointed subjects discussed, things most numbskulls wouldn’t figure out. I recommend their album ‘Absolution’, followed by ‘Black Holes and Revelations‘. Think the critics could do better? So vulgarity laced screaming is apparently better, because of the emotional impact? Or rap music that glorifies the degradation of women, drug use, criminal behavior?

It’s not just that critics complain, but they’re like the spoilsports in a movie theater that shout out the ending of a movie just as it begins, to ruin everyone’s fun. Because they hate something, they feel it’s their duty to impress on everyone how much they hate a movie/album/artist and why the public shouldn’t partake in it. They’re anal, effete snobs who love the sound of their own voice. I’m quite capable of deciding whether I want to go see something regardless of what a critic says. I recall movie critics were falling all over themselves in fawning admiration of the movie ‘Lost in Translation‘, saying it was fabulous, amazing, et cetera. I watched it, and thought it was the most useless, incomprehensible waste of an hour or so of my time. I cannot comprehend what these supposed gurus of film thought was so breathtaking about it. It bored me to tears.

Now the latest subject of bashing is the new Tron sequel, people saying it’s awful, it’s terrible, blah, blah, blah. I’d rather go see that over those godawful Twilight crap movies. I’d rather have a red-hot poker driven through my tongue than be subject to the namby-pamby cluelessness of Kristin Stewart as Bella, or the condescending sneer of Edward. Ugh. I go to the movies to have a good time, to enjoy myself. I’m going to go see Tron: Legacy, snotty sci-fi critics be damned. It has a damn fine soundtrack by Daft Punk, which I cannot stop listening to. Then again, I like movie soundtracks, so maybe that makes me a little weird. I’ll go see it for the production and costume design, because I enjoy those things. I like the artistic styling.

I liked the movie ‘The Ninth Gate‘ a lot, even though it differed from the novel, though it was snubbed by most critics. I thought it was well done, but I’m not a professional critic, just someone with an eye for artistic detail.

Thing is, what I say won’t change your minds on what you choose to see or not. I just wish we weren’t governed by the declarations of critics who place their importance above all others in terms of judgement. Maybe it’s time the critics got critiqued for their opinions.