Why It's Almost Impossible To Give An Honest Movie Review – Scott Menzel

yeah there’s like an Afterglow with a great film where you need time to like process you you come out of the theater it’s dark but you’re still in that world and you’re still in those characters and it is difficult then to go to another equally great one or whatever it loses something because that’s the beauty of loving a film is you’re lost in it for weeks sometimes almost a lifetime if it’s really that powerful yeah I think what the problem is too is that and I I said this online and I’ve I’ve often gotten criticism

from it is that I don’t like having an instant reaction to things but the way that we as film critics are and what has kind of been programmed into our brains is that we want to react to something as soon as we see it it’s it’s what I keep saying about being the first you want to get into that first screening you want to be the first to see the Batman you want to be the first to see top gun Maverick right there’s something special about being part of that initial Buzz to kind of be

like I saw this before other people and it’s not anything about ego it’s just this kind of this this feeling of like wow I was

important enough or this studio looked at me and trust my opinion well enough that they would include me in those first batch of reviews of those first batch of reactions so I often come out of a movie and almost subconsciously first thing I do pull out my phone and I just start taping reactions I mean even stuff that’s out like it’s just like okay this movie’s been out but I still

feel like I have to chime in on it like when we were at um a couple of days ago we went to see minions and I didn’t go to the Press screening for that because it was a busy week and I wanted to see it at a regular theater and it was funny because I’m singing with everyone else and yet as soon as it’s done pull out my phone reaction it’s like there’s no need like all the reviews are out but it’s just like this knee-jerk thing that we all do because we’re we’ve become programmed

that you want to be part of that buzz you want to be part of that experience and that’s what social media does I mean in a lot of ways it’s kind of you know again another controversial tub subject is it has taken away from in-depth reviews I used to be the type of person who would spend five hours writing a review and I mean my wife used to laugh at me all the time she’s like what do you write a novel over there like you’re talking like 1500 2 000 words every review I I wrote

I would go into like what worked what did and how it made me feel yada yada yada and it’s so weird because you put out a tweet and it’s like instant gratification right it’s just like oh oh man he really liked that that’s like oh look look at it look at all the retwees what are all the likes and then you post the review like a week later and you like literally poured five hours of your time into it it’s like 10 retweets 10 likes and after a while it almost becomes discouraging you’re like why

am I going to spend all this time pouring my heart and soul sitting down when I could just have a conversation on a podcast or on a Twitter spaces for 15 minutes talk about how I feel and more people are going to pay attention to to it that way or even better just write five tweets and put them in in a in a thread and there you go and more people are going to read that and pay attention to it than anything that I write in long form what about when something’s embargoed how do you

how do you stop yourself oh that’s that’s really difficult especially when again it’s it’s the extremes of everything right if it’s a movie that you walk out of and you’re like it’s fine or you don’t really have a reaction to those are the those are the hardest ones to review the hardest movies to talk about and the ones that have no impact on the in embargoes because you’re just kind of like all right don’t really have much to say about that anyway but it’s when you see something that’s so good or so bad and I

I can tell you this I have no problem admitting this I will tell you that Studios will absolutely kill you if you slander a movie that they have really really high praise for they’re hoping if they have a really strong box office and you come out and rip it to shreds when the Embargo lifts without going into details I have been kicked off lists many of times for years at a time because I said so and so movie was not good and it’s not just the studios it’s it’s the producers it’s the directors it’s the

Stars they’re like did you see what this person said about our thing and again social media the lack of control and everyone’s looking for the next click bait headline that I have had some tweets of like something that I felt really strongly about like in terms of negative be the headlines of major Publications as like this movie is the most disappointing movie that I have seen all year and when that gets out and Studio see that and Talon sees that not a good not a good look and it’s been really difficult because I always pride

myself on being very very honest but then sometimes I’ve also realized that I’m too honest and I’m kind of kind of brutally honest to a fault that I’ve been sort of trying to find the good with the bad so I’ll try to kind of say this this and this are pretty good but this was really bad so it kind of like Waters down in a little bit so it doesn’t come off as like so harsh and again I think that’s what any good critic should do is that they should be able to look at something

and kind of say okay this movie’s really not that good but there’s got to be something good about it so now I’ve been more I don’t know take a little bit more time to process something if I if I have a immediate like knee-jerk reaction to it we’ll have like negativity that I I want to process it a little bit and kind of say okay is there anything about this that I liked and kind of make that a little known as well and then I’ll hammer in on the negative but I think it’s it’s really

hard nowadays because this this this this this area that we live in with criticism is so vast because before it was like you worked for a trade or you worked for a newspaper or TV Outlet right those were like the three things and now and I mean this is not new but like over the past 15 years it’s like you can be a YouTube reviewer you can be you can have your own blog you can be on Tick Tock you can be on Instagram you can be all over you could just do Twitter you could

do letterbox so like all these voices are kind of coming together and the studios and they really do pick people and it’s it’s all about relationships and I I pride myself on trying to have a good relationship with as many people as possible but I always promise myself that I have to be honest I if I don’t like something I have to I have to be able to say that I don’t like something I get their their fear of like maybe not being the first person out of the gate to kind of rip something to

shreds but to me something that’s being lost nowadays is like this fear of like losing your access because you’re honest and I think that’s a good point and and I think it’s good to be respected and not have sort of a used car salesman Vibe too which I know is prevalent sometimes in Hollywood but at the same time I think we’ve all read reviews where whoever it is just went for the jugular on this person and you don’t know did they know them in college like had is there was there a prior beef and they

just they just attack them on so many levels so I think there’s like this middle ground but yeah I respect that that you want to be be honest about the review and not uh sugar coat it or just that that’s turkey because you want to be invited back yeah I mean the problem with criticism nowadays is that if you’re not a voice that agrees with the masses and and again what are the masses nowadays right because we live in our own like bubbles like the industry film Twitter Instagram Twitter whatever the heck it is all

of these things they’re very specific to a very small audience and you kind of get like obsessed with it right like and people are on the internet as we all know are very mean especially if you voice something that’s different so I mean I’ll give you an example dear Evan Hansen I like dear Evan Hansen I like the Broadway musical I like the movie is it a great movie no it’s it’s good but I’ll tell you as one of the voices to kind of stand up for that movie the amount of hate you get when

you just kind of disagree with everyone like oh this has terrible messaging how can you like something like this and you try to explain yourself like look at it from this perspective and like no no no you don’t get it like that’s wrong you can’t look at it from that perspective it’s very very difficult to kind of defend yourself because you’re not having a conversation with with a person you’re having a conversation online with people who are too afraid to talk to you to your face and that’s what’s also weird about film criticism is that

a lot of these filmmakers and actors have now become known to who I am as a person because I run a critics organization and because I run a critics organization I also have to pause a little bit about my reactions to things because how does this affect other members within our organization so if I don’t like something like power of the dog how is Netflix going to react when that movie gets nominated and we do an award show and we need those people there so it kind of has this weird thing that I start thinking

about is like is is that the reason why most people from Power the dog didn’t come to the award show because they knew that the person at the top of the this organization didn’t care for the movie and then you just kind of have this weird pause and I think that that that kind of trickles down into every aspect of of filmmaking now is that we see this with fans right like Sonic right the backlash of the character design everyone like backlashed against it and then they redid the character design granted for the greater good

for that one but Star Wars Marvel DC it’s like there’s so much outpouring of like criticism and Hate that you almost struggle to kind of like know where your voice is anymore because you want to support these things and you I I love to Champion creativity and I always agree with the statement of artists objective and I think so many people forget about it it’s like how can you not like this this movie and it’s like just didn’t resonate with me it didn’t I didn’t like the characters I didn’t like their Direction I didn’t like

the story I didn’t like the way it was filmed there’s so many different things that some person that one person could see and another person will see something different and you just kind of have to learn to live with it so I never I never take any offense when people really disagree with me my only thing is when people start name-calling and like really start playing you down as like the worst critic ever because you didn’t like something it’s like no it’s just like I didn’t see what you saw sorry

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