I went to a movie last week, the title isn't important, that some critics absolutely savaged, except for those critics who absolutely loved it. There were critics who said the movie was almost incomprehensible, and critics who said it was an important cautionary tale about the future come to live among us today.
And there was the critic who gave a glowing review, but apparently missed the last five minutes, which completely turned the movie around.
That, in turn, got me to thinking about people who review books, television, fashion and wine, why we assume they know what they are talking about, and why what they think really matters.
I guess my issue isn't so much these folks write reviews. After all, anyone can write a review. My issue is the self-importance they place on themselves, and their assumption they can somehow set a standard the rest of us are supposed to follow.
Of course, nothing forces us to believe what the critics say, much less act on what they write.
I was reading a review of reviewers the other day, and this writer was doing the very things he was accusing all of the other reviewers of doing. His review was riddled with psycho-babble, just like what he was complaining about.
He pointed out how so many movies were unfairly reviewed because the critic had missed the point. But, of course, he could tell what the point was, or was not, of any movie he talked about. Maybe I just don't get it. After all, I don't recall ever sitting in a movie and thinking, "That is certainly interesting character development," or "That's an unusual juxtaposition of music and color." And I wonder if movie directors ever do that either.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I admit I read the reviews, too. And I write critical reviews of reviewers, and in the process probably do the same things I accuse them of doing.
So, just listen to me, not those other folks, and I'll tell you the right way to think, and why you should think it.