So, I saw Inception this weekend. I thought it was amazing. End of review.
The reason why my review of this film won't get any more specific is that I've been reading some of the Internet comments out there on the movie, and it's really made me come to realize that some people have really no idea of what intelligent criticism and analysis means.
In the days before Internet forums and blogs (yes, I know, hello, Mr. Kettle, have you noticed we're black?) criticism was practiced by people who, in some way, had some degree of expertise and/or standards to guide them. You can say what you want about whether you think Roger Ebert or Gene Siskel or Pauline Kael were good critics, but you can't say they weren't qualified. And part of these qualifications meant adhering to a series of standards and a level of objectivity that had to be met.
Along comes the Internet and now everyone can comment on films as they come out. You can put up a blog or post a comment in a forum and all of a sudden you are one step closer to being exactly like the arbiters of taste that previously had to get a college degree, work in film, or you know, get a job with a publication. And I don't have a problem with that (obviously).
But, when no one is out there moderating things, some pretty arrogant and insane and downright stupid things get said. I'm not saying you aren't entitled to your opinion, but if a film like Citizen Kane or Star Wars or Seven Samurai came out today, there would be people on the Internet that would take a contrary position to the masses who love it just to feel all self-important and edgy, and most of all, unique.
It's okay to say you didn't like Inception. I did. I thought it was original, and executed with panache. But you could say it didn't do it for you. You could, and should, feel free to argue about why. But I see online talk about it being overrated or unoriginal or how Christopher Nolan is a hack, and the movie is sloppy. Look, just say you didn't like it and what you didn't like about it and leave it there. Look at what is actually going on inside the frame and ignore what other people say, or what the hype is, or how cool it would be to be the lone person who doesn't like the hit.
Going against the grain for the sake of going against the grain doesn't make you hip. It just makes you a douchebag. And loving something that a bunch of other people also loved doesn't make you a sheep or an idiot either. Sometimes it means that the artist in question made something really brilliant, or at the very least, accessible. I have no respect for someone who makes fun of people who like Casablanca but has no problem saying that Krull is one of their favourite movies. Love Krull all you want, but don't snicker at me for liking Iron Man, please.
Some of you may think that I'm as guilty of this kind of behaviour as anyone. But I hope my posts have been, by and large, funny and/or positive. I really love what I write about, even when I'm taking the piss. I'm just tired of people who seemingly don't contribute anything running down people who bust their ass to try and entertain us.