Friday, September 23, 2005

Critiquing the critics

Last night, while idly browsing the internet, I found a rich vein of humor: amateur movie reviews on Now, I indulge in commenting on movies myself, here in the Logbook; I assume that most readers are friends of mine, and understand my perspective. But on mega-etailer Amazon, in the listing for each movie or DVD, is a place where anyone can post their personal review of the film in question - and by gosh, anyone does. The most well-known movies get the most reviews, of course; so it's easy to find a critique of The Exorcist, for example (726 customer reviews) from the perspective of, say, an 11-year-old whose favorite movie of all time is Fantastic Four. Or, from the point of view of a devout Christian, one with an extraordinary knowledge of the real mechanics of demonic possession:

"The problem is in the so-called "transference" of the evil entity into the supposedly consecrated body of the priest. Any student of theology should know that this is an impossibility: a priest (even one who has just regained his faith) invoking the power of Christ, blessed by Holy Water, and empowered by the Holy Spirit would never be able to entice a demon to "come into him" or "take him on instead'. Such a proposition (even if it were so) could not be taken up by a demon simply because the priest's consecrated body would burn like electricity to the touch if a demon were to try and gain access."

See? These are the kind of cinematic insights you just can't get from the mainstream press. Too, you typically can't get the range of horrible grammar and spelling that offer such grisly delights, even in USA Today. File this one under "Engrish":

This movie scared the crap out of me. When I go to are bech house I only go in water about half a foot deep. A shark is chompy the people. This movie was the second series of man eater. Better than the classic 1960 horror movie that inspires this genre of monstres.
Quint is herilious he made me laugh. This movie has some comedy as well. When quite said what you got her portable monkey cage. Anti shark. It very good movie. It had three sequels of which two I own. I did not buy the last one because it was alwfull bad plot and low death count.
My advice If you like this sea 2 and 3 but don't waste your time with the fourth on. Yes there is a movie call Jaws 5 Cruel Jaws but its not avilable her. It was sent over sea because it was made illegally.

There again - if "death count" is something you value in a film, then here is information you can use. This next one I have to classify as "sharing too much":

I just recently viewed the film, JAWS, in it's entirety. My brother Michael, who is now deceased, loved this film, so I figured why not get the film?

(By the way, in case you missed it, he was talking about the film.) Alas, sometimes we get to share in even sadder stories from the unsolicited movie reviewer:

I never recieved the product. I will never purchase anything from them again!!

Of course, there are other joys of browsing through these reviews: the Spoiler, who will recap the entire movie in detail, including the climactic end; the Nitpicker, who points out that some scrap of scenery dates from 1948, whereas the movie is set in 1945; and the Endless Babbler, who uses up the entire quota of space - usually with an intensely personal monologue, usually without paragraphs or punctuation. Thanks, Amazon, for providing this valuable service! I give it five stars.