What movie are you reviewing again?

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Prof. Wagstaff
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What movie are you reviewing again?

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:03 pm

Is there a particular reason why the title of the movie being reviewed is printed in a smaller font than everything else on the page? It's like the film's title is an afterthought with your current layout - even though they seem to always be at the end of the first paragraph, that means sometimes they don't show up until the second column of a review. Especially considering the utter paucity of information transmitted by the headlines ("Gal Meets Guy!", "Not with my wives you don't") I find this choice puzzling.

rrnate
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Postby rrnate » Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:23 pm

You ever read the New Yorker movie reviews? They're much, much worse than the Isthmus - I've gotten through at least 2/3 of some of those reviews without really knowing the name of the movie getting reviewed.

Prof. Wagstaff
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Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Aug 20, 2007 7:45 pm

Hmmmm...
Seems to me that both Isthmus and New Yorker should be ashamed that Us has a better layout for their movie reviews.

christopher_robin
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Postby christopher_robin » Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:15 am

Now wait just one second, guys. The New Yorker is one of the few remaining publications that actually understands the functions of film critique. This sometimes involves setting up a conceptual framework before entering into the review proper. (Also, rnate: there is a subhead in each issue that lists the title of the film(s) being reviewed. This is helpful).

I think their layout is meh, but Anthony Lane and (to a lesser extent) David Denby are arguably the best writers in the business, and that's what counts.

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Postby auntgoodness » Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:37 am

I disagree. Well written reviews aren't worth a damn if you can't tell what movie the author is reviewing.

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Postby christopher_robin » Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:58 am

auntgoodness wrote:I disagree. Well written reviews aren't worth a damn if you can't tell what movie the author is reviewing.


As noted above, the New Yorker clearly labels the films, though. So while you can point that thing at Isthmus, don't point it at the New Yorker.

Indeed, I would challenge anyone here to provide a New Yorker review where you can't tell which films are being reviewed. If you can, post a link and I'll recant, but I think rnate made a funny but shot a blank there.

C-Rob <- reads the New Yorker every week

auntgoodness
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Postby auntgoodness » Tue Aug 21, 2007 9:59 am

Actually I haven't read the well-written (yet fluffy!) New Yorker in a few years. The articles are great, but they are much too long for a lunch break read. So, I can't take on your challenge.

I'm just jumping in the conversation here because I agree about the Isthmus print layout and I get miffed about things that are not designed with users in mind. If the reader needs help finding the title of the movie/book/whatever-- it's bad layout. Doesn't matter if Hemingway wrote the review.

rrnate
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Postby rrnate » Wed Aug 22, 2007 12:14 pm

christopher_robin wrote:
auntgoodness wrote:I disagree. Well written reviews aren't worth a damn if you can't tell what movie the author is reviewing.


As noted above, the New Yorker clearly labels the films, though. So while you can point that thing at Isthmus, don't point it at the New Yorker.

Indeed, I would challenge anyone here to provide a New Yorker review where you can't tell which films are being reviewed. If you can, post a link and I'll recant, but I think rnate made a funny but shot a blank there.

C-Rob <- reads the New Yorker every week


C-Rob,

Yeah, I am aware of the tiny italicized sub-header that has the movie name (in quotations) listed...I just think it's a bad layout coupled with obtuse reviews.

In regards to shooting humorous blanks, I wasn't really trying to be funny, though I would like to point out that the New Yorker's un-funny humor/cartoon numbers are much, much higher than mine.

-nt- <- reads the New Yorker every week and shakes his head at the lame movie review section, which is only second in lame to any non-classical music reviewing they sometimes take a stab at

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Postby jammybastard » Wed Aug 22, 2007 12:41 pm

nt <-- not a fan of Sasha Frere-Jones?

Me neither.

The New Yorker is great for politics, and Sy Hersh's occasional reports. Arts? Nah.

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Postby christopher_robin » Wed Aug 22, 2007 12:47 pm

Fair enough. Where DOST thou turn to for film reviews?

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Postby depinmad » Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:28 pm

well speaking of nyc, david edelstein's movie reviews for new york magazine are well written and easily available online.

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Postby jjoyce » Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:42 pm

Edelstein's money.

Good point re: TDP's showcasing of reviews. We'll improve.

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Postby christopher_robin » Wed Aug 22, 2007 2:24 pm

I am a fan of:

- Andy Klein, LA Weekly
- Nathan Rabin, Noel Murray, Tasha Robinson of The Onion AV Club
- The aforementioned Anthony Lane, David Denby of The New Yorker

blunt
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Postby blunt » Wed Aug 22, 2007 5:02 pm

I hate movie reviews.
I don't need you to walk me through the plot.
I just want to know if stuff blows up real good for an action film, if the monsters look cool in a horror/scifi film, or there's actually some acting in a dramatic film.
What the critics hate, I ususally love.
I used to read album reviews the same way: if the critic thinks the band is pretentious or too arty, or the whole thing overproduced, then I would know that's exactly what I wanted.
Likewise, if a movie critic thinks the flick has too much nudity or is gratuitously gore-filled---I'm there.
Some salacious celeb pop-up points might be okay, but I really don't care for all the high-falutin' analyzing.
That's what I like to do after the movie.

But the layout thing?
I'm with Prof.

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Postby Bucky Goldstein » Wed Aug 22, 2007 5:41 pm

christopher_robin wrote:I am a fan of:

- Andy Klein, LA Weekly
- Nathan Rabin, Noel Murray, Tasha Robinson of The Onion AV Club
- The aforementioned Anthony Lane, David Denby of The New Yorker


rabin might be the most intolerable critic (music & movies) around.


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