Tuesday August 11, 2009

The Courage of His Cliches

Via Jeffrey Wells’ site, here’s Stephen Sommers, director of “G.I. Joe,” on movie critics:

I don't think the mainstream critics are relevant [when it comes to G.I. Joe]. They have criticized themselves into irrelevancy. ... I make the kind of movies critics love to hate. They love dark and depressing movies.

And here’s a list of movies that garnered a 90 percent or better rating from top critics on Rotten Tomatoes over the last few years:

  • “Ratatouille”: 100%
  • “WALL-E”: 97%
  • “Hairspray”: 97%
  • “The Bourne Ultimatum”: 97%
  • “The Incredibles”: 95%
  • “Casino Royale”: 95%
  • “Spider-Man 2”: 95%
  • “Iron Man”: 92%
  • “Enchanted”: 90%
  • “The Dark Knight”: 90%

An argument can be made that “The Dark Knight” is “dark and depressing,” but I don’t think that’s the kind of film Sommers is talking about. We know what he’s talking about. And of course he’s wrong. The numbers show he’s wrong. But he’s got the courage of his cliches.

Just as right-wing politicians have labeled Hollywood “liberal” when its product is most decidedly not, so Hollywood executives have labeled critics “elitist,” and lovers of things “dark and depressing,” when the reality is both more complex and more simple. Good critics love good movies. In whatever form they come in.

Posted at 08:17 AM on Tuesday August 11, 2009 in category Movies  
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