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Comments about the writers/critics of THE OSCAR IGLOO?

June 20 2006 at 9:22 PM
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Johnny Alba   (Login oscarigloo)
Forum Owner

Hey guys,

I would like you to share with us what you think of the work of each of the writers of the site, even myself. This will definitely help us improve your online experience at The Oscar Igloo. Please be objective and respectful!!!

Thanks,

Johnny Alba



PS. Some sample writings:

Johnny Alba
http://www.theoscarigloo.com/Reviews/2006/volver.html

Robert Cameron
http://www.theoscarigloo.com/history/1928.html

Clayton Davis,
http://www.theoscarigloo.com/Reviews/2006/bobby.html

Lee Hernandez
http://www.theoscarigloo.com/2006/breakingtheice/littlechildren.html

Ben Samara
http://www.theoscarigloo.com/ColumnMain.html

Lee Shoquist
http://www.theoscarigloo.com/2006/breakingtheice/patrickwilson.html

Daniel West
http://www.theoscarigloo.com/2006/breakingtheice/crashimpact.html



 
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AuthorReply
Jamie
(Login lookat68)

Re: Comments about the writers/critics of THE OSCAR IGLOO?

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June 21 2006, 7:09 AM 

hey guys. love your articles. no complaints as yet. just a question though. unless im mistaken, you haven't submitted any oscar baits. i understand that the winners are chosen by the staff, so there would be no point in writing one as it would be illegible. but what about a bait contest between the staff, and the public votes, just for fun. just a suggestion.

Jamie Madden

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
FYC:
La Vendetta Di Carmel
Three Sisters
When it all Falls Apart
and JAMIE MADDEN for PRESIDENT

 
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Rob Cameron
(Login robcameron)

The answer to your question

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June 21 2006, 7:15 AM 

Purely what you said, it would be illegible. Why we don't have a contest within our staff... I don't know. Interesting idea actually, this time the public could vote the favorite.

 
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Dpac
(Login Dpac)

Re: The answer to your question

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June 21 2006, 8:09 AM 

Jamie, that's a very nice idea!!
Well, there are no complaints about this site. this is like the best site.
Just like someone said before it would be cool if you put up last year's and the year before's predictions just to see if u were right............

 
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Rob Cameron
(Login robcameron)

Well actually...

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June 21 2006, 1:03 PM 

I think what Mr. Alba was trying to ask was how do you guys think of us as writers. Not just as a site, but as critics, interviewers and topical journalists...

 
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Jamie
(Login lookat68)

Re: Well actually...

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June 21 2006, 11:55 PM 

i like the journalists here. because there is more than one, it provides more of an objective view, and less personal bias, as im sure all of you dont agree on everything, which is what i like.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
FYC:
La Vendetta Di Carmel
Three Sisters
When it all Falls Apart
and JAMIE MADDEN for PRESIDENT

 
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Johnny Alba
(Login oscarigloo)
Forum Owner

Re: The answer to your question

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June 24 2006, 12:22 AM 

You are right Robert, that is the point of this topic.

 
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Michele
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Re: Comments about the writers/critics of THE OSCAR IGLOO?

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June 22 2006, 6:22 PM 

I really love the site. my favorite is the early movie previews. i loved the Bobby review. I'm really looking forward to seeing the movie.

 
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Allen
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I've only read the one review...

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June 26 2006, 12:43 AM 

I've only read the one review on your site, that of Margaret, by Clayton Davis, and I have to say that it would have a hard time passing muster in any 3rd grade English class. Mr. Davis seems to be happy simply repeating the plot summary and then saying "this person was bad" or "she was ok" without ever providing a reason why he felt that way other than an annoyance at the length of the film. Yes, it is three hours long, but it is clear that it will be cut back before the eventual release, in probably about six months. It is certainly premature to write a scathing, yet empty, review on something that is hardly shaped, as of yet. Though if you wanted to write an IMDB comment in the same vein, even the same text, it would be wholly approriate in terms of the intelligence level and depth of the criticisms. I was also at the screening of Margaret at the beginning of June with Mr. Pollack in attendance, who produced (something that the critic could have figured out with about 4 seconds of research), and while I thought the movie was marvelous, going head-on towards not oft-discussed issues, wonderfully naturalistic dialogue, and deliberately forcing its characters into difficult, bordering on unmanageable situations without offering them an easy out, it was also clearly a mess and there were any number of ways to address that in a review, all of which seemed to be ignored in favor of sentence fragments and empty assertions. I have no stake in the film and I could not care less if it makes money, it is clearly not for everyone, but if I were you I would either have Mr. Davis rewrite his thoughts and add some insight, or pull the review entirely, not out of studio pressure, but out of embarrassment.


 
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Rob Cameron
(Login robcameron)

Allen

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June 26 2006, 3:34 AM 

Allen, I actually appreciate your post. This incessant praise from others without further detail was starting to irritate me. I see that you and Mr. Clayton have a difference of opinion, and I think any criticism is valuable (although you were on the brink of unnecessary scathing), and that I recommend you read our other reviews, because we as writers are different in terms of opinion, style, etc.

 
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Anonymous
(Login Clayton84)
Moderators

TO ALLEN

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June 26 2006, 1:07 PM 

Well I must say in response to Allen's take on "Margaret." As any film critic you must respect the opinions of others which I do all the time but I feel it is quite unfair for you to pass judgment on me because I didn't like the film. There are no other details I can provide for you other than those that spoil the film. What is it you want me to say? It was stupid because "John Doe" dies at the end. No. I say as much as I can without ruining the experience. I stated the performances were weak, it involves many issues that just didn't flow well, and I did state at the end that they could do a lot of editing but I feel it is beyond saving. If you enjoyed it then that's great for you. I, on the other hand, thought it was cinematic garbage. Does that make me a jerk? Of course not, the late Gene Siskel, was one of few critics to give "The Silence of the Lambs" a negative review. Does that make him a jerk because it's lauded as one of the best films of all time? Of course not, IT'S CRITICISM!!! What more details do you want?

And by the way, unless you are Doctor of the English Language, do not knock my writing style. Like everyone, I make errors and I try to correct them, if you have a problem with the writing of myself or any of my peers than don't read them. Thank you

 
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Allen
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Re: TO ALLEN

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June 26 2006, 4:57 PM 

"Well I must say in response to Allen's take on 'Margaret.' As any film critic you must respect the opinions of others which I do all the time but I feel it is quite unfair for you to pass judgment on me because I didn't like the film. There are no other details I can provide for you other than those that spoil the film. What is it you want me to say? It was stupid because "John Doe" dies at the end. No. I say as much as I can without ruining the experience. I stated the performances were weak, it involves many issues that just didn't flow well, and I did state at the end that they could do a lot of editing but I feel it is beyond saving. If you enjoyed it then that's great for you. I, on the other hand, thought it was cinematic garbage. Does that make me a jerk? Of course not, the late Gene Siskel, was one of few critics to give 'The Silence of the Lambs' a negative review. Does that make him a jerk because it's lauded as one of the best films of all time? Of course not, IT'S CRITICISM!!! What more details do you want?"


I'm not sure I should have expected more, a member of your site asks for comments on your writers, I provide it without going over the line (and there were several sentences deleted out of tact, despite how much they accurately represented my feelings, you're clearly not a professional writer so I held back keeping that in mind), and the writer who offers his criticism on someone else's work, gets defensive because he feels "attacked." You did miss the point entirely about what I was saying anyway. I'm not criticizing you for disliking the film, I don't care if you did. I know that I liked it, and if I chose to, I could elucidate upon the reasons. There are many ways to go after the film, the opera sections go nowhere, it is badly organized, there are at least two too many 360 shots of NYC, the Broderick scenes are funny, but could easily be cut, if they were not needed to explain the title (which I would change myself, if I were Lonergan), and the final moments are not quite earned, and feel as if he thought of an ending that didn't quite mesh with his material and stuck it in anyway. My point was that you didn't detail any specific reasons you didn't enjoy the film, just an off-the-cuff gut reaction of "it sucked and it is one of the worst movies I've ever seen." Gee, if I hated a movie that much, surely I could provide paragraph after paragraph of why it made me loathe it so.

Your point about Siskel is way off-base, because he gave a reason why he dislked Silence of the Lambs, not just negative nonsense. SOTL is one of the best thrillers Hollywood has put out, tightly edited, with a novel's amount of informaton in every scene, and still maintaining Demme's speciality for making the peripheral characters just as fascinating as the central ones. But it is also strangely mechanical and that can seem suffocating and rote, taking you emotionally out of the experience. I don't have to agree with Siskel to have respected him, because it isn't important that he didn't like it, only that he provides a good reason why. It is a conversation I've had with many self-proclaimed armchair critics, who oft-complained about things like Ebert being down on horror films, specifically slashers, and not being open-minded enough to look at the possible reasons he might object to them. I think Blue Velvet is a masterpiece, but I see his point about the mixing of tones and the exploitation of women. He gave The Hitcher zero stars, a movie I do not hold in high regard, but I think his reasoning is reactionary, and his review spoils the plot simply because the movie pisses him off, not because he details it.

Your anger at me for judging you is also misguided because I said absolutely nothing about you as a person, only that your writing is elementary, a skinny, book report style musing that would have had a "See me after class" circled in red pen in the top right corner. If you can't take any suggestions (as I made about you rewriting it) or even pointed criticism, you're not really fit to be a critic of any kind. If you can't stand to have your feelings hurt then you shouldn't offer up your own.



"And by the way, unless you are Doctor of the English Language, do not knock my writing style. Like everyone, I make errors and I try to correct them, if you have a problem with the writing of myself or any of my peers than don't read them. Thank you"

While it would have been easy to go after your spelling and grammar mishaps, I actually ignored my misgivings in favor of noting your sentence structure and your use of fragments and run-ons. You could get away with them if you were speaking in either a conversational tone, or you loaded your sentences with information, but you don't do either, which is why I suggested you might be better off writing stuff for IMDB or perhaps AICN, where rambling, masturbatory, and bordering on incoherent tomes tend to rule the day.



Rob Cameron wrote:

"I recommend you read our other reviews, because we as writers are different in terms of opinion, style, etc."

I read a few other articles and I'm not sure I get what you're trying to do. Is the focus an attempt to be Variety, but only focusing on the Oscars? I'm not sure that's a lofty goal, adapting that sort of lingo and interest only in one portion of a film tends to pigeonhole you one minimal sidestep from a gossip column. The one article that I went over that had to do with the awards, regarding the Crash backlash* seemed rather uninterested in the Oscars themselves, at least the results, indifferent about who won for whatever reason. I won't comment in detail about how I felt about the writing itself, because it is clear that some are not quite mature enough to handle it yet.



*I had several objections to this article, and not because I felt Crash was unintentionally hilarious and was lukewarm about Brokeback, other than the photography in the first section. Using Leonard Part 6 as guidepost to bad films is relying on reputation, without actually seeing it. Ishtar is used in the same fashion, which is a mistake because the first 30 minutes are hysterical, and then it teeters into mediocrity after that. Anyone who tells you it is "the worst thing ever" is trying too hard. Outside of the media vaccum, and the expectations of two big, at the time, but non-comedic stars, it becomes more of a missed opportunity, similarly squandered by Albert Brooks in the awfully similar Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World.

Leonard Part 6 has some sort of mad genius, alternating between inane slapstick and the kind of creative stupidity and nonsense that Robert Rodriguez perfected in the first two Spy Kids films. I have never seen anyone laugh as hard as when my girlfriend lost it during the lobster battle sequence. It is the kind of experience to relish, the actors have no way of negotiating the material, and no one is sure whether this is a kids movie or a snarky one winking at the adults. The result is obviously both terrible and legitimately funny, but nothing that you're likely to see again. It would have been perfectly suited to an animated series, especially with the pro-meat message, meaning that the fast food industry would be all over the ads.

 
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Michele
(Login xchely5x)

response to allen

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June 26 2006, 7:42 PM 

I recently started a thread about Margaret, because i also went to the screening. I must say, i agree with everything Mr. Davis says in his review.

Surprisingly i was able to finish reading the response Allen posted. It was long and useless...(coincidentally, just like the movie of his taste, Margaret)

THe only reason i didn't walk out of the theater, (as about 2 dozen people did before the movie was over) was out of respect for Mr. Pollack. Simply, I felt bad. Allen says, "but if I were you I would either have Mr. Davis rewrite his thoughts and add some insight, or pull the review entirely, not out of studio pressure, but out of embarrassment."
For you to suggest that Mr. Davis' review be pulled out or that his should rewrite it, is completely outrageous. Why should a critic rewrite his feelings towards a film?

In my honest opinion, i think Mr. Allen is a little jealous. Who really cares enough to bash a film critic on a negative review of a terrible movie anyway?

 
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Allen
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Re: response to allen

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June 26 2006, 8:30 PM 

"In my honest opinion, i think Mr. Allen is a little jealous."

What I would be jealous of? The ability to have a review published on an obscure website? I've been doing that for years and it isn't thrilling. Jealous that I couldn't see the light about how "terrible" the movie is? I'm perfectly happy being ignorant on that front.

"Who really cares enough to bash a film critic on a negative review of a terrible movie anyway?"

Well, it is a thread that asks for comments on the writing, and the previous responses were rather polite, empty, non-specific praise.

As I said many times in my posts, I do not care that Mr. Davis' review is negative. It is more that it is so lazy and empty that is bothersome. To call himself a critic is disingenuous anyway, it assumes he has critical faculties he is willing to access. He even admits it himself:

"There are no other details I can provide for you other than those that spoil the film. What is it you want me to say? It was stupid because 'John Doe' dies at the end. No. I say as much as I can without ruining the experience."

I don't think I was asking for details of the plot, as having seen the film, I was aware of the plot. Mr. Davis seems to think that a review should be all about the plot turns, which he only hints at anyway, not about the tone or approach to the material. It is Ebert who says "it is not what the movie is about, but how it is about it." Mr. Davis says he can't talk in specifics because it would ruin the movie, which means he has never read nearly every review ever written. When critics go into more detail, it doesn't mean they spoil the film, they talk about specific scenes, dialogue, reactions, believability, imagination, etc. These things give you a fair idea of "how the movie is about," and would tell you whether or not it was worth seeing. Mr. Davis' "review" is so vague, that if I hadn't seen the movie, I would have no idea what he was talking about. That's not a review, it is a synopsis.

You may ask why I bother, but as a fan of critics like Pauline Kael who had a lot of power in the 1970's, I yearn for this period because it meant that both audiences and studios listened, and the words that were written actually meant something. It forced the studios to actually want to try different things and challenge people, even if it cost them money. The problem is, the more critics there were, the thinner the talent pool, and the internet has only made it worse. I would love to see more effort put in, better writing, better critical thinking, trying to challenge the reader instead of pandering to them, because if you force the viewer to think, then they will stop insulting themselves and falling for opening weekend hype, which is an endless cycle. The more you let the studios get away with simply being a business, the more likely you're going to see 17 Spiderman sequels, instead of Charlie Kaufman projects.

And I was about to write more but I think my girlfriend just summed it up anyway...

"Sweetie, why are you bothering now? They didn't get the point. And if they didn't by now, they never will. Honey, they're too stupid to notice that you were telling him to be more constructive. They think you're just picking on him."

 
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Michele
(Login xchely5x)

Re: response to allen

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June 26 2006, 8:44 PM 

more...blah blah blah..

stop waisting your time on this "obscure website". I think this is a great website for real oscar fans. GOod Night and Good Luck

 
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