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Not Screened For Critics.

Old 04-21-06, 11:00 AM
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Not Screened For Critics.

From another thread

Originally Posted by Seantn
If this is Screen Gems, which I think it is, then it really is just the norm. They simply don't screen their movies for critics, a lot of times. Unfortunatley, a lot of times they do suck, but for some reason I'm giving Silent Hill the benefit of the doubt. I don't think it'll suck.
I've had it with this.

A studio doesn't hide a movie because it's good. You should never give a movie that isn't screened the benefit of any doubt, because that reinforces and rewards the increasingly common industry practice of not screening a stinker, making a big marketing push leading into the opening weekend, and collecting at the box office before everybody finds out how shitty the movie is.

To the extent that the audiences for horror films and gross-out comedies are relativelty indifferent to critics, one must assume the reviews for films not screened will be so vociferously bad that they will penetrate and deter members of this ordinarily indifferent audience.

The default assumption to a movie not being screened for critics should be that it's so bad that international human rights law would forbid it from being screened for terror detainees.

Even among genre films there's an appreciation of the stratifications of movie quality among people who watch every movie that comes out.

The marketing pricks who claim they didn't screen "Benchwarmers" because they didn't think the critical audience would appreciate their gross-out comedy don't really give much explanation for why critics whose tastes are too rarefied appreciate their gem gave very good reviews to "Anchorman," "Wedding Crashers," and "The 40-Year-Old Virgin." Maybe it's because those movies were good and "Benchwarmers" isn't. Just throwing that out there.

Even the critics who find certain genres distasteful will tell you "If you like movies like X, see this one," or will tell you "even if you like movies like X, skip this bomb." And they're usually right. If this is a good horror film, why won't critics who gave decent reviews to "Hostel" and "The Hills Have Eyes" and very strong reviews to "Slither" appreciate it?

I liked "Brotherhood of the Wolf," so I had high hopes for Gans and "Silent Hill." I was hoping this would be something that I could go see this weekend. Now I won't.

It's possible that, one day, a studio exec will have unjustified anxieties and not screen a good film. But if that happens, you can just catch it the second weekend. Even if "Silent Hill" is something you'd want to see, accepting that it's an exceptionally poor showing within its genre, you should not go this weekend out of principle, and in hopes of not rewarding this deceptive practice with a strong box office showing.

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Old 04-21-06, 11:24 AM
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They did the same thing with "Aeon Flux", but the whole "I am the reaper!" line at the end of the trailer for "Silent Hill" totally turned me off.
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Old 04-21-06, 11:30 AM
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Boo-hoo, waaaaah.

I'm seeing Silent Hill twice this weekend, just to make up for the fact that you're NOT seeing it on principle.
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Old 04-21-06, 11:36 AM
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I enjoy Ebert and Roeper's response when this happens: the Wagging Finger of Shame.

Ebert even pointed out that for a lot of these films, bad reviews from mainstream critics would probably make the target audience more likely to see them!
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Old 04-21-06, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Seantn
Boo-hoo, waaaaah.

I'm seeing Silent Hill twice this weekend, just to make up for the fact that you're NOT seeing it on principle.

Me to

I really do get why people care what the critics think? What gives them the right to tell me if a movie is good or not? It is an opinion, no better than yours or mine, I have probably seen just as many movies as them good and bad...
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Old 04-21-06, 12:00 PM
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They Hide it, not for people who know better like us, but for the young crowds that could care less wether it is screened and go out to see it with their friends opening weekend.
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Old 04-21-06, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by riley_dude
They Hide it, not for people who know better like us, but for the young crowds that could care less wether it is screened and go out to see it with their friends opening weekend.
But if that's true then I don't get it. Wouldn't the young crowd be even less swayed if critics killed it? I don't know where they would even hear critical reviews before opening weekend without actually seeking them out.
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Old 04-21-06, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by d2cheer
I really do get why people care what the critics think?
It's very simple. Find a critic with much the same tastes as yourself and you can him/her as a good measure of a film's quality. With films at $10 a ticket, I'd like to hear is the flick worth my time and money first.

Even a critic that you don't agree with can be helpful. Roger Ebert, for example; we don't see eye-to-eye as much as some people, but I like his reviews (the second half of them, anyway - he spends too much time summarizing). I can tell is it something that will interest me based on what he liked and didn't like.

Critcs are a help, not the authority. True, their opinions are worth no more than mine or yours, but since I value some of them and their opinions, they come in rather handy.
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Old 04-21-06, 12:54 PM
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If you're a horror fan, you have to have seen enough movies to understand the difference between good horror movies and bad horror movies. If horror fans decided to stop rewarding the bad ones, the studios would probably figure out how to make more good ones. But go see Silent Hill twice. I don't like horror movies that much anyway.

It's not even a matter of seeing eye to eye with what somebody else likes or doesn't. If people were only likely to see their one newspaper critic's opinion, the studios would probably prefer the bum review to the red flag of not screening.

It is the persuasive force of the dozens of critics, brought together by things like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, making gagging noises in unison, that has led studios to withhold movies when they expect the critical response to be uniformly and stridently hostile.
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Old 04-21-06, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by d2cheer
Me to

I really do get why people care what the critics think? What gives them the right to tell me if a movie is good or not? It is an opinion, no better than yours or mine, I have probably seen just as many movies as them good and bad...
If you have seen as many movies as a critic then there is no value for you to seek the opinion of a critic. It sounds like you will watch the movie regardless of what a critic says anyway. A critic is valuable to me because I only watch about 2 movies a month. While everybody's opinion is different, I am far less likely to watch a movie that the critics say is a total crapfest. I need someone to screen these movies for me or else I may wind up wasting my 1 or 2 movies a month on something dreadful.

Now having said that, I still wind up scratching my head trying to figure out how some of the movies I have seen were critically praised. A history of violence is the most recent one to come to mind. That thing stunk.

So if a movie isnt screened for critics, it means it is horribly bad and there is no way I am paying to see it.
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Old 04-21-06, 01:28 PM
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Whys should anything be "screened for critics". The release date should be the realease date for everyone..........
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Old 04-21-06, 01:34 PM
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Do most folks really care about what a critic says anyways? It just reenforces a belief of the film which you should see for yourself before making the judgement call on it being shitty or something you like anyways.

If it's shitty and you thought it would be, you will simply have another person's opinion to attempt to justify your own hate for it.
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Old 04-21-06, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by JaxComet
Whys should anything be "screened for critics". The release date should be the realease date for everyone..........

Films are normally screened early for critics so they can publish reviews on opening day. For people who are thinking about going to the movies that night -- usually a Friday -- opening-day reviews can be useful. If everyone, critics included, had to wait until opening day to see it, then the reviews, which couldn't run until Saturday or Sunday, wouldn't be nearly as useful.
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Old 04-21-06, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackskeleton
If it's shitty and you thought it would be, you will simply have another person's opinion to attempt to justify your own hate for it.
The point is to avoid paying $10 to see a shitty movie in the first place.

But I don't care much for individual critics opinions, the metacritic sites are much more helpful in avoiding crappy movies since you can get an overall opinion on the movie's quality.
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Old 04-21-06, 02:05 PM
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Much like Happygilmore here on the board, everyone's taste may very. So doing the critic route generally doesn't work for most. Especially the general public since it seems like there are those who like specific films over others.

I think the point is, why force them to host critic screenings? Not doing so has already gotten its rep. You should know by that action that the film may not be critic friendly. Considering the difference between general audiences and how critics rate the big money making films it's pretty simple to see there's a difference there.

But to depend entirely on a critic? eh, that's just silly.
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Old 04-21-06, 02:56 PM
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movies aren't screened because they don't want the fans to be turned away by bad reviews. critics will bash silent hill but silent hill isn't a movie thaat's made to please critics, it's a movie to please silent hill fans, which it did effectively. aeon flux was bashed to, it wasn't that good, but as an aeon flux fan it was still a fairly decent interpretation of the series.
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Old 04-21-06, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackskeleton
Do most folks really care about what a critic says anyways? It just reenforces a belief of the film which you should see for yourself before making the judgement call on it being shitty or something you like anyways.

If it's shitty and you thought it would be, you will simply have another person's opinion to attempt to justify your own hate for it.
completly agree. you should be able to make your own opinion. OMFGZ rotten tomatoes says it's bad, so i'm gonna let them decide for me. whatever, i'd much rather take seveeral regular peoples point of view rather than an "expert"(my ass) critic.
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Old 04-21-06, 03:36 PM
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A well-written review, regardless of whether or not the critic loves or hates the movie, can give you enough indication as to whether you'd want to see the movie or not. At the very least, a bad review is still free publicity.

That being said, there's a reason why Alien vs. Predator, From Justin to Kelly, When a Stranger Calls, Underworld: Evolution, etc. don't get screened for critics.

The only exception to the rule seems to be Tombstone.
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Old 04-21-06, 04:56 PM
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Here's my thoughts on how to trust critics and all of that.

There are certain flicks out there that I just know that I'll like, so regardless of reviews I'll go to see it. There are just certain types of movies out there that I don't care what the reviews say. Certain horror flicks, the obvious camply cheesy stuff, many of the "trash comedies" like The Benchwarmers, and on and on.

God knows if I only went by what critics thought I'd never have seen Kung-Pow!

I tend to listen more to them when it comes to the serious drams, ther other horror flicks, movies that I might be on the edge about seeing - a good review could push me over the edge and get me to give up the $7 or so, and on and on. The point being, I do not just sit back and trust them on everything, only on certain things.
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Old 04-21-06, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by BellsOfWar
movies aren't screened because they don't want the fans to be turned away by bad reviews. critics will bash silent hill but silent hill isn't a movie thaat's made to please critics, it's a movie to please silent hill fans, which it did effectively. aeon flux was bashed to, it wasn't that good, but as an aeon flux fan it was still a fairly decent interpretation of the series.
That's apologia for bad movies as far as I'm concerned. A solid mainstream horror picture will almost always be recognized as a solid mainstream horror picture, and a good horror picture will usually win significant critical praise. You can't buy the studio line that "critics don't respond to this kind of picture, but audiences do." It capitalizes on a knee jerk reaction to critics as snobs who scoff at genre films, and the metacritic scores show that this just isn't true.

When critics across the country, publishing on the same day, all seem to hit most of the same notes in their reviews, and tend to come to a near consensus (albeit with a few outliers in many cases), you have to begin to understand that there's a generally accepted criteria for determining the good ones and the bad ones.

These people aren't going to slam "Benchwarmers" for not being "Brokeback Mountain." If that's what they did, they would be completely useless as a reference, and the studios would have no reason to be afraid of them. But when a number of educated filmgoers independently compare "Benchwarmers" to "Wedding Crashers" and "40-Year-Old Virgin" and unanimously find it completely lacking for a number of clearly articulated reasons, you start thinking the movie just might be a waste of your $10 and two hours.

Hollywood's output of quality films, within any particular genre and across all genres, is insufficient to satisfy many DVDTalkers' movie and DVD habits. As a result, there's developed a culture here of tolerance toward the weak offerings. A lot of people will look at inert actioners, unfunny comedies, and cliched, dull horror flicks, and say "it's good for what it is." That's bullshit, and that kind of mentality is what keeps the purveyors of shit in business, particularly in horror, where the ticket money from the devoted genre fans is taken for granted in the calculus that allows studios to make movies that they know will be shitty.

In other words, people with your mentality feed Uwe Boll's kids. You make Uwe-dom a successful survival strategy in Darwinian terms, a fact that improves the number and viability of Uwe offspring, as well as enhancing the likelihood that other individuals in the population will develop Boll-like features and flourish. Knowing that, how can you stand to live with yourself?

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Old 04-21-06, 05:16 PM
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first off, don't assume i like uwe boll because i like silent hill, that's just idiotic. and dont assume i give two shit about benchwarmers cuz i don't. and the "good for what it is" i understand that. but "for what it is" is supposed to imply it's a bad movie. at least that's what i thought. some movies are made for a certain niche, and no matter how good it is, people who can't relate/understand it will not be pleased it. i can't count how many times the rt critics didn't liek a movie but a lot of people did, and pretty much everytime i've been able to call it.

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Old 04-21-06, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackskeleton
Do most folks really care about what a critic says anyways? It just reenforces a belief of the film which you should see for yourself before making the judgement call on it being shitty or something you like anyways.

If it's shitty and you thought it would be, you will simply have another person's opinion to attempt to justify your own hate for it.

I enjoy reading reviews. I enjoy finding out different opinions and thoughts of a film, to see if they agree/disagree with mine.
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Old 04-21-06, 06:44 PM
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I wonder when the day will come that a more high profile bid studio release (M:I-3, Poseidon, or Superman) will not have a critic screening?
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Old 04-21-06, 06:47 PM
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I can't find the link again, but I was reading an article the other day that talked about how, with some varieties of movies, positive reviews from critics don't tend to help while negative reviews can hurt.

If that is truly the case, then it would always make sense to simply cut out the critics with those types of movies. If there's little or no upside, there's no reason to risk it.

But, like I said, I can't find the link again, so who knows what the article really said or what they based that information on.
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Old 04-21-06, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by BellsOfWar
first off, don't assume i like uwe boll because i like silent hill, that's just idiotic. and dont assume i give two shit about benchwarmers cuz i don't.
So, do you like Uwe Boll or not?
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