Saturday, March 9, 2013
No hyperbolic critigasms, please
The biggest new release of 2013 (so far) comes out today, and with that are sure to come a bunch of positive assessments of its quality -- even if there end up being more negative assessments.
We call these "critigasms." They are phrases, often taken at least partly out of context and featuring a surplus of exclamation points, extracted from the reviews of marginally reputable critics, who are more interested in getting quoted than earning the respect of their more reputable peers.
But please, don't let me hear this popular nugget about Oz the Great and Powerful:
"Even better than the original!"
No matter what this movie may do well, there is no way it's actually better than The Wizard of Oz. And trying to pass that off on me is only insulting my intelligence.
Yet it's not so far-fetched that we might actually see that particular critigasm. After all, wasn't the last Pirates of the Caribbean "the best Pirates yet!"? Wasn't there somebody who said of A Good Day to Die Hard "You've never seen a Die Hard this good!"? Didn't somebody in the community of critical prostitutes describe The Phantom Menace as "Better than the three previous Star Wars movies -- combined!"
Maybe, maybe not.
But the point is that there's somebody out there venal enough to do it. If it'll get you on that poster, why not tell me that The Godfather Part III is "three times the Godfather!"?
I'll report back with my own critigasms -- or lack thereof -- on Oz after seeing it on Tuesday night.