Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Criticwatch: Party pooper

Erik Childress sums up this weeks episode of At the Movies, starting with Ben Lyons' dismissal of Thirst:

This week’s show was a happy affair. 9 out of 10 “see it”’s and certainly some great movies to boot (Funny People, In The Loop, World’s Greatest Dad). Lyons turned out to be the party pooper this week, delivering the one “skip it” on the final film they reviewed, Park Chan-Wook’s Thirst. In fairness, I would have pooped on the perfect show too. According to the show’s review aesthetic, I would have gone with “rent it”, but I am certain that I could back it up better and maybe bring something to the discussion about why I thought it ultimately failed as a film rather than an experience. After all, we know how Lyons feels about horror fare.

Looking over his Quote of the Week you might think he’s still reviewing Orphan from last week. Thirst is an entirely different beast though. Anyone familiar with Park’s previous work, particularly his Vengeance trilogy (Old Boy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Lady Vengeance), knows he possesses a rather dark sense of humor amidst the violence. Some critics have even gone so far as to call it a black comedy. Suggesting Thirst is unintentionally funny is so off the mark it boggles the mind, although Lyons tries to cover himself by wondering if some of the jokes were lost in translation. Yeah, that Korean vampire humor always goes right over my head too. It might be hard to label it in the video stores as anything but horror, but any student of even a decade’s worth of film is aware that there are various subsets of the genre and not all of them require giant scares. Never during Thirst was I thinking “hey, I’m not scared at all here.” Park was chasing something more than just making us jump in our seats and if that’s all Lyons was focusing on, maybe that’s why he was so bored.

Click here to read the rest of the story


Anonymous said...

WGD was a good movie.

Mia said...

Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips, N.Y. Times' A.O. Scott take over 'At the Movies'; Ben Lyons, Ben Mankiewicz out

according to ChicagoTribune.com

Thought you would want to know!

CRT said...


Adam said...

So does this mean the end of this blog? Or are you going to try to continue to critique Ben Lyons in whatever he goes on to do?