Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Nobody puts baby in a corner

It took New York Post film critic Lou Lumenick all of 6 hours to respond in kind to a sentence in my post yesterday about Benjamin Button where I snarkily took a swipe at him. In a blog post titled "Throwing the Baby Out with Ben Lyons: Guilt by Association", Lumenick writes:

By far the silliest blog post I've read this season -- and there have been many -- is at Because the widely dissed TV reviewer chose The Curious Case of Benjamin Button as his best film of 2008, this site offers up a "Pro-Button Critical Hall of Shame." It's a list of other critics the author thinks were foolish enough to list Button on their top 10 lists despite Lyons' endorsement. The offenders include my junior colleague Kyle Smith, Pulitizer[sic] Prize-winner Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal, Richard Corliss of Time, three reviewers for the Hollywood Reporter and, oh yeah, yours truly. Our crime? Listing a movie that went on to receive 13 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. The post, which I'm not going to dignify with a link, says the HR gang "have clearly spent too much of the last year smoking out Michael Phelps in their office,'' while my review is blamed on "pent-up emotional issues."

Invoking the finite wisdom of the Academy is always a decisive debating strategy when defending a movie. "It got, like, 13 Oscar nominations. And it totally deserved them! I mean, NO movie has EVER been nominated for an Oscar unless it was, like, totally AWESOME!" Seriously, if you are going to appeal to authority, you might want to appeal to a real authority on film, like Roger Ebert. Oops, did I say Ebert again? Mentioning Roger's name around Lou can make him angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry. Ask Roger.

I don't have anything against Lou, not even his agreement with Ben on this issue. After all, my Button-free top ten list is otherwise embarrassingly close to Ben Lyons' list. Mrs. StopBenLyons said that Lou sounded pissed and that I got him to stoop to my level--I'm not sure if that is exactly a compliment to me. Actually, I think he sounds more amused with my post than pissed, which I respect. I am surprised, though, that Lou both noticed and responded to my post. Either he is a devoted reader of my blog or he has a "Lou Lumenick" Google Alert. You can take your own guess as to which of these is true.


Donnie said...

I actually have to agree with Lou on this one. Picking on Ben Lyons for enjoying a movie that is at least somewhat respectable (if not universally beloved) is rather silly. I may think anyone who has Slumdog Millionaire on their top 10 is rather insane, but it'd be pointless to call them all out. Let's go back to picking on Ben's bigger flaws.

Anonymous said...

To Donnie:


Just kidding :P

I haven't seen BB so I can't have an opinion on this but that Lyons likes it does not bode very well for the movie.

Way to go getting featured in a Lou Lumenick article!! Aren't you astounded you are getting your blog and name into some major papers? I expect even you didn't know your little blog would take off like this!

Anonymous said...

I liked Into The Wild and Lyons listed it as his top film two years ago and that fact of life does not make me like it less.