MICHAEL FERRARO BATTLES THE DEMONS (AND THE DEMONS ARE WINNING). Image

The other night, I went to see an early screening of The Lady in the Water, the new nightmare written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan (more about this in tomorrow’s blog entry), and I brought with me a friend of mine. I had no expectations walking in but as a critic of sorts, I always put my biases aside.

That didn’t help this time. It was not-so-good. I mean, it wasn’t The Village (it’s hard to be that bad, unless you’re George Lucas) but it wasn’t The Sixth Sense either. Regardless, when I walked out of the theater, I looked over to my friend and said, “Unholy Hell. What the f**k did we just watch? Who thought it was a good idea to make this movie?” She said, “I knew you wouldn’t like it… but I didn’t like it either.”

In fact, I can’t name one movie I really liked this summer. Superman Returns was a disappointment, as was X-3. The new Pirate movie was completely unnecessary. The Da Vinci Code burned my eyelids. Clerks II destroyed everything that made my youth so much fun, and I walked out of Nacho Libre, which is something I haven’t done in five years. And Click made we want to kill Adam Sandler. Mission: Impossible III was impossible to enjoy.

Is it just me or has this been the worst summer in cinematic history?

Apparently, I am the only one. Many have liked (even loved) some of these films I’ve discussed above. I’m sure I’ll probably be on my own about the misfire that is Clerks II, just like I was about Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. I guess people don’t miss the time when Kevin Smith had interesting ideas and fresh (sort of) philosophies. Is there something wrong with me? It occurred to me the other day that I have finally become “that guy” who hates every movie ever. People at work finally stopped asking about movies I saw because I think they think they already know what the answer will be. My friends always give me a look after a movie ends, like, “What’s this guy going to say about this one…”

Someone said to me the other day, after Clerks, that, “you walked into that movie hating it.” No I didn’t. I never do that.

I’ve only been doing reviewing films for a few years now, for various publications, and I am already to that point where I dread going to screenings. I don’t even go to the movies that much anymore outside of press screenings. I know some critics who don’t have lives because all they care about is when the next press screening is. It’s a scary world we live in when you let it consume you like that.

And the sad part is, is that I used to love every movie I saw, just because I was sitting in a dark room watching a giant screen. I wish I was still like that, you know, like Harry Knowles or something, a dude who loves every movie ever, no matter how bad they are (read his review for Lady in the Water for instance). That dude seriously loves every movie. And he doesn’t just love them, he practically wants to make out with them from start to finish.

MichelestMort.jpg

Michel Est Mort (Michel is Dead) by Stina Chyn.

Woe is me I guess. Do I quit while I am still ahead? Am I even ahead of anything?

It’s hard to imagine what else I would be good at in this lifetime (if you even consider my writing talents in the realm of criticism ‘good’). I don’t want to be a teacher – my vocabulary is too violent for little ears. I don’t care about helping people either. I can’t jump into the art world either, my skill isn’t worth any kind of coin outside of the money I find on the ground outside of the McDonald’s near my apartment. Working retail isn’t my thing either, anymore.

Who am I kidding. I can’t say I have any kind of skill in any other arena. Maybe I am supposed to be this guy, the only guy on the planet who thinks Episode I is better than Episode II, or the only guy on the planet who watched Spider-Man with his eyes open to discover how much that movie sucked.

At least I don’t like Alien Vs. Predator.

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  1. Don Lewis says:

    One ring to rule them all…

    CLERKS 2 was f*****g GREAT!

  2. Charlie says:

    I thought I was the only one that liked Episode I more than II, but I think it’s better than II and III. Do you go that far?

    But, hey, at least you see the movies. I just refuse to see movies I think are going to be bad even if my girlfriend offers to pay for me to go.

  3. Gigi says:

    Glad you are alive, GorillaB. Stop with all the italics already! I am stuck reading quietly in an italic voice. 😀

    All the world is indeed a critic, even critics are critiqued, is all I was saying. Just telling Mike to be confident in what HE wrote and stick with it; and know people are reading and are affected either way enough to say something. That can’t be ALL bad, can it? 🙂

  4. Gorillaboss says:

    Sigh. I have no idea why it did all italics.

  5. Gorillaboss says:

    My apologies for the formatting in the above. It should read:

    “Being a critic does not make me miserable. It’s the films that keep coming out that suck it.” — Michael Ferraro

    “Honey, it’s not me–it’s you.”

    That’s a first.

    “I know I am not supposed to agree with the masses….” — Michael Ferraro

    So, your sacred duty is to be bitterly contrary, and contrarily bitter?

    Did the lessons of Jay Sherman teach you nothing?

    “I’ve had this feeling lately…that I am alone in the dark most of the time…. — Michael Ferraro

    My only advice is to sink another drink, ’cause it’ll give you time to think. Y’know, if you had the chance, you could ask the world to dance….

  6. Gorillaboss says:

    “Being a critic does not make me miserable. It’s the films that keep coming out that suck it.” — Michael Ferraro

    “Honey, it’s not me–it’s you.”

    That’s a first.

    “I know I am not supposed to agree with the masses….” — Michael Ferraro

    So, your sacred duty is to be bitterly contrary, and contrarily bitter?

    Did the lessons of Jay Sherman teach you nothing?

    “I’ve had this feeling lately…that I am alone in the dark most of the time…. — Michael Ferraro

    My only advice is to sink another drink, ’cause it’ll give you time to think. Y’know, if you had the chance, you could ask the world to dance….

  7. Being a critic does not make me miserable. It’s the films that keep coming out that suck it. I just checked the front page and it seems that my good friend, Mark Bell, felt the need to give Clerks II a five-star review. Now, either he walked into the wrong theater or maybe I did, but the Clerks II I saw couldn’t have been worse.

    This is what I am talking about. I know I am not supposed to agree with the masses (especially when the masses are an army of View Askewians) but I’ve had this feeling lately (based on experiences I’ve described in the blog) that I am alone in the dark most of the time. I wrote a review for Clerks II that I’ve been pondering even sending in. Would there be a point?

  8. Gorillaboss says:

    Forgot to address this one:

    Everyone in the world is a critic. — Gigi

    This is FilmThreat.

    You expect something else?

  9. Gorillaboss says:

    That makes me feel even better. — Michael Ferraro

    Didn’t mean to rain on your parade.

    If it’s any consolation, I was directing my comments at Mr. Vasquez, and not you. (Then again, it’s nigh-impossible to respond to statements like, “Woe is me…it’s hard to imagine what else I would be good at in this lifetime…I don’t want to be a teacher…I don’t care about helping people…I can’t jump into the art world…working retail isn’t my thing….” How, exactly, is one supposed to respond without either a) blowing happy-hugs-n-puppies smoke up your a*s, or b) coming across like a d******d by telling you to stop wallowing?)

    If being a critic makes you miserable, then why continue doing it? Find something you DO enjoy–I mean, aside from being a cantankerous curmudgeon (which I say with the utmost of affection, mind you).

    Don’t feed the beast.

    Someone is just full of mirth and merriment. — Gigi

    If you’re referring to Mr. Ferraro, I do agree that he needs to turn that frown upside down.

    If you’re referring to me, I simply calls ’em like I sees ’em.

  10. Gigi says:

    Wow. Someone is just full of mirth and merriment. Everyone in the world is a critic.

  11. That makes me feel even better.

  12. Gorillaboss says:

    Too corny? I was serious. — Felix Vasquez Jr.

    Corny? Not in the slightest.

    Haughtily, aggrandizingly self-important? Absolutely.

    To revisit what you wrote…

    There are so many mediocre movie critics that…this place houses the last of a dying breed of people with standards. — Felix Vasquez Jr.

    I’d say that the majority of FT‘s criticism falls firmly into the “mediocre” camp. (And I’m going by the Merriam-Webster definition of the word, to wit: of moderate…quality, value, ability, or performance; ordinary; so-so.) Aside from a few critics that have “The Edge” that’s synonymous with what I envision Film Threat to be, most seem to lack that soul, that spark.

    Combine that smidge o’ moxie with a whole lotta ordinary, and you get a heapin’ helpin’ of average…which can be good, bad, or indifferent, depending on your druthers. And it seems to be what “the collective FT” wants; so, it is what it is.

    Furthermore, to imply that FT is somehow the last bastion of “people with standards” is worthy of mockery. Not only is it arrogant in the extreme, but where, exactly, are these oh-so-high standards? Let’s take a look at, say, the message boards. We (allegedly) have 2500+ members, but we only get communiques from a handful of posters, and said communiques focus almost exclusively on such oh-so-lofty topics as weird-and/or-Hollywood-and/or-Canadian news (which is done infinitely better elsewhere), reviews from OTHER FILM CRITICISM SITES (MovieTack? Have we no shame?), and, lest I not throweth stones from mine yonder glassine tower, zombie movies.

    I yearn for better…but, hey, I get what I pay for.

  13. Felix Vasquez Jr. says:

    There’s just so many other websites with people who love anything.

  14. Felix Vasquez Jr. says:

    Too corny? I was serious.

  15. Gorillaboss says:

    There are so many mediocre movie critics that…this place houses the last of a dying breed of people with standards. — Felix Vasquez Jr.

    Wow.

    Just wow.

  16. Gigi says:

    Real jobs suck, Dude. Hang in there.
    And I am surprised to hear Pig Vomit made a bad movie. Say it ain’t so!

  17. Felix Vasquez Jr. says:

    I really cant imagine you not being on this site. I’ve grown to respect you even when I disagree with you most of the time.

    You simply can not let mediocrity ruin film. There are so many mediocre movie critics that people listen to and take as the gospel, this place houses the last of a dying breed of people with standards.

    I can’t imagine my life without writing. And without movies I wouldn’t have too many hobbies.

  18. Join the peace corps?

    I’d rather kill myself.

  19. YiQi says:

    join the peace corps. youll likely be kidnapped even days after you arrive at your destination.

  20. Dan Seidman says:

    Michael, don’t forget to add the miserable “Cars” to your list of disappointments. It was agonizingly SLOW and NOT FUNNY. Fortunately it was only 2 hours long.

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