Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Criticwatch - A rage-fueled thrashing

Erik Childress at Criticwatch observes and reports on At the Movies, starting with a quote from Ben Lyons:

Lyons: “Often times, Mank, on the festival scene as you know, movies like this sorta get overhyped at Sundance or Toronto, these American stories of dysfunctional families, but here I think all this excitement surrounding Lymelife is deserved because this is a film that really builds to these awkward, uncomfortable places naturally, organically. It takes its time to establish the character dynamic and then you sorta take a breath as the audience, we say, this is really twisted and morbid these situations that they’re in.”

There Lyons goes again – paying attention to the hype from film festivals he couldn’t be bothered to see more than five movies at. And what’s his obsession with organics? Just two weeks ago the quote of the week focused on that very thing when he said that the script for Spinning Into Butter "kinda feels contrived and setup for certain power struggles instead of organically coming to that moment.” Then on The Cake Eaters he said, “the film establishes the intricate character dynamic with a guiding hand, not a forceful one, which I appreciate.” Nothing like recycling your indie review checklist, Lyons. But let’s take a breath for a moment and look at his Lymelife review a little more closely. It seems, according to him, that once that film established who its characters are he was able to take a moment and recognize that he was dealing with a film that he never expected would be so “twisted and morbid.” Imagine that! Lyons was able to organically come to that moment despite us having setup his less-than-intricate character dynamic (or entire lack of character.) And yet Observe and Report is stuck with a skip it. Way to look past your expectations, Junior.

Read the entire Ben Lyons Quote of the Week here


Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does Ben always sound as though he is imitating Michael Phillips on a bad day? There should be a word for it - "Criticobabble".

Jordan CC-raw :D said...

He has no critical credentials whatsoever, and he always leaves me with the feeling that every review he gives further solidifies his lack of understanding.

If Lyons were on his "A Game", then he'd still be a thousand miles away from Michael Phillips. In thinking of comparison, I can't help but again think of the great man that sat in that position before him -- Gene Siskel -- and wonder how many trillions of miles away he would be.

He does try, and Mank seems to just have completely no respect for him whatsoever when he frequently has to remind him how you're supposed to at least try and review movies.

How about if they replace him for Chevy Chase?

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, Erik Childress voluntarily saw Observe and Report twice? And he gave it a positive review! Erik then criticizes the fact that Ben Lyons didn't like it and Ben Mankiewicz gave some very valid reasons not to see Observe and Report. WOW. I'm not sure posting Erik's crack induced commentary furthers the cause of this website. And Erik, if you're reading this: I saw Observe and Report, I understood the point it was trying to make, and it was a painfully bad movie. Oh, and it wasn't funny.