On Criticism: The Death of a Review and Who Is a Critic These Days Anyway?

I’ll be honest here: I have been gearing up to write on the subject of film criticism for a long while now. Sadly, finding motivation to sit down and write is a challenge for me these days. In fact, I wanted to write an article on this subject (my problems with motivation) as well, but – ironically enough – I can’t motivate myself to write it. But that’s a topic for a different day.

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Thinking about 2021

I’ll be honest: I was half-heartedly thinking about writing a short summary of upcoming 2021 releases I am excited about the most, but it is a bit of a doomed endeavour. Nobody knows what the release slate will look like or when (if?) cinemas reopen worldwide at some point in the year. It’s all a bit of a mess especially when you factor in the differences between release calendars on various streaming services that may not be available everywhere. So I am not exactly sure when and how I will be able to see Dune or any other WB release, let alone smaller indie productions some of which might get lost in the shuffle only to reappear months later on Netflix or Amazon Prime. I still have no idea if and when I will be able to see Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow and it breaks my heart. But alas…

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Parsing the response to Wonder Woman 1984

Following how the critical consensus around Wonder Woman 1984 has evolved over time has been a treat. After months of delays, speculation and an impromptu revolutionary up-ending of the ‘traditional release model’, the world at large saw the Patty Jenkins-directed sequel to the 2017 Wonder Woman on Christmas Day. Which is when things got quite interesting because the initial glowing praise pouring from major critics ahead of the release turned sour essentially overnight.

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Cinemas must be saved!!!

I wasn’t intending on offering my two cents to the debate regarding the recent news about all Warner films slated for release in 2021 being made available to stream on HBO Max concurrently to their theatrical runs. After all, I feel I have already touched – if only in passing – upon this subject on at least three occasions (you will find them here [1], [2], [3]). However, seeing how the discourse surrounding this news is evolving needs some commentary.

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Wonder Woman, Christopher Nolan, and the Death of Hollywood

Following months of delays and all-encompassing uncertainty, Warner Bros have announced recently that their newest addition to the beleaguered DC Cinematic Universe, Wonder Woman 1984, would finally see the light of day this Christmas. Interestingly however, in contravention to widely acknowledged norm, it will be simultaneously released in US cinemas (where it is safe to do so) as well as on HBO Max, where it will be available to stream from the comfort of your home. This immediately invites a question: what does this mean for the future of theatrical experience?

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David Fincher and the Bifurcation of the Film Industry

History loves repeating itself. A little over a year ago, Martin Scorsese gave the now infamous interview (here) where he had the audacity to express a view that comic book movies are not real cinema, but theme park attractions. This naturally led to immediate backlash on social media where hordes of rabid Marvel zealots frothed at their mouths for months on end and threatened to publicly burn copies of Taxi Driver. Or something equally dramatic.

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