Thursday, December 25, 2008

The X Factor

Currently the reviews with professional critics range around 60%, which by itself is not bad.

Now, you do have to add an X factor to that, given TC previous reputation (in part artificially created by Scientology critics). As Roger Ebert, one of the most acknowledged film critics explains:
Tom Cruise is perfectly satisfactory, if not electrifying, in the leading role. I'm at a loss to explain the blizzard of negative advance buzz fired at him for the effrontery of playing a half-blind, one-armed Nazi hero. Two factors may be to blame: (a) Cruise has attracted so much publicity by some of his own behavior (using Oprah's couch as a trampoline) that anything he does sincerely seems fair game for mockery, and (b) movie publicity is now driven by gossip, scandal and the eagerness of fanboys and girls to attract attention by posing as critics of movies they've almost certainly not seen. Now that the movie is here, the buzz is irrelevant, but may do residual damage.
A conservative estimate of this X factor would be something like 5 to 10%, if not considerably more. That would bring the ratings near the high ratings received on IMDB by knowledgeable users.

Henson Files an Appeal

EFF reports that Keith Henson has filed an appeal to the Appellate Division of the Riverside County Superior Court of his criminal conviction in 2001.

The article is riff with bias and myths, like the one that the reason he was convicted was for "picketing in front of a Scientology "base"". It also seems to be inaccurate when it states that "Henson sought, and temporarily obtained, political asylum in Canada right after the verdict, then was arrested upon his return to the US in 2007" as it forgets to mention that the reason he returned to the States was precisely because his asylum request was eventually denied.

We'll probably see more Henson myths coming up in a near future.

Surprising Results in New Valkyrie Reviews

Second intensive day for reviews of Valkyrie, with some interesting results. On the whole, the average-to-positive trend is confirmed, but the fact that it may be better received by the public at large than by professional critics becomes more likely.

Indeed, Metacritic has now three times more reviews with a total of 15, giving a more representative average, and not surprisingly, the total has slipped from 67% to 59%. Still no review get a higher note than 75, and there is only one really bad review at 20.

However, surprisingly, RottenTomatoes meter goes up from 57% to 62% as more reviews are being posted! There are now 32 positives reviews for 20 negative ones.

As for IMDB, the positive review that was featured so far, with an 8/10 rating, is now replaced with an even more positive one, reaching 9/10 and bluntly stating in its opening line "One of the best movies I've seen in years"! Other users comments continue to be overwhelmingly positive, with only one very negative rating.

It is the IMDB user reviews that brings me to think that users rating may end up being higher than professional film critics ones, with potentially more unexpected positive surprises coming up.

Not One but Six Nazi Themed Movies for the Holidays!

Associated Press has a short, factual, and very revealing article on the fact that Nazi-driven movie dominates the holiday season and why.

Indeed, it explains that not one, but no less than six movies share that theme this holiday season!!!

Not only that, but it also turns out that, in the past, quite a few similarly-themed movies have reaped loads of Oscars!

And there I was thinking the release date was a bad choice! Now it makes a bit more sense, but it still is a revelation to me.

The article rightly asks the key question:
So why, during what's supposed to be the cheeriest time of year, this abundance of stories from one of humanity's darkest hours?
And answers:
The Holocaust is a ripe subject for writers and directors to present on the screen issues that resonate even today as we cross into 2009.
A must read!