I missed the jackass? | Rock Candy

Friday, June 27, 2008

I missed the jackass?

Posted By on Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 12:47 PM

click to enlarge unknown.jpg

Let's make t-shirts.
  In case you missed it, Philip Martin is still huffing over my 24 word jab about the grade he gave "The Love Guru." This time in his On Film column. Here's the link to the free edition (http://www.nwanews.com/adg/MovieStyle/229857/).

It's largely a regurgitation of the polemic he posted on my blog earlier this week and it ends like this...

I don’t mean to pick on the Rock Candy blog. It’s a good resource and I enjoy its existence. But questioning someone’s intellectual honesty ought not be something that’s done lightly. And if you do it, you better have your facts rowed up. To paraphrase an old baseball coach I knew, If you’re going to throw at the jackass, you’d better hit the jackass. Lindsey, you missed the jackass.

That's some "I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE" craziness. Hey, creative types, make me a t-shirt!

For handy reference, here's what I originally wrote.

So critics continue to pile it on—A.O. Scott, writing in the New York Times, says, "'The Love Guru' is downright antifunny, an experience that makes you wonder if you will ever laugh again." But, ever the maverick, the Dem-Gaz's chief film critic Philip Martin scores it an 85, which might be the highest score he's given anything since "No Country For Old Men." The review itself is fairly tepid, but you have to read pretty far to get that. So: the nation's critics, on average, give it a 22 vs. Martin, who ranks it just 15 points from perfection. Wonder if Arkansas connections factor in?

I'll try to keep this short. I'm pretty invested in the idea that this has been a 200:1 war or words. And if I'm starting to get bored by it, then I'm sure you're nodding off on the keyboard.

But since Phil is blustering about me not having my "facts rowed up," a few responses.
1. "'The review itself is fairly tepid, but you have to read pretty far to get that.'” That’s not a fair assessment of the piece. The first word in the review is “vulgar.” The second word is “crude.” The headline — “Feel the love ? Sort of” — reflected the general tone of ambivalence."

Like Max has already pointed out, the third part of that "vulgar, crude" lede was "and at times inspired."

2. "I notice no one from the Arkansas Times reviewed the movie."

Like Max also has pointed out, we did review the movie. In this week's paper. We go to press on Tuesday, which means, obviously, we can't make Tuesday night screeners. Maybe that sounds familiar? Oh, yeah, it's because I posted it on my blog on Monday and promised a review in this week's paper. That's well before Phil's MovieStyle deadline.

3. "But Millar misstates some easily checkable facts when he suggests that the 85 I assigned The Love Guru was a particularly high score — there are at least 25 films that have opened since the middle of December that I’ve scored 85 or better."

I doubt anyone but Phil read that my "Martin scores it an 85, which might be the highest score he's given anything since "'No Country For Old Men'" crack literally. I only learned amidst this feuding that you can go on Rotten Tomatoes and see 915 of Phil's past grades (and quite a few "quick grades" of movies he didn't even write about). Had I known about that, I would've made a joke about how "Love Guru" feel just one point shy of "Michael Clayton" in Phil's scoring system.

4. "Millar also writes So: The nation’s critics, on average, give it a 22 vs. Martin, who ranks it just 15 points from perfection. Wonder if Arkansas connections factor in ? He’s misread the Rotten Tomatoes “tomatometer.”"

Nope, I was referencing Metacritic, which now has the film at 24. Unlike Rotten Tomatoes, it quantifies aggregated reviews into one score. I like it better than RT. It uses a more selective sampling of critics.

5. There are many, many words that could be written in response to all this. On ego. On homerism. On how, despite PM's claims, number grades, especially as they relate to Rotten Tomatoes, do clearly matter to him. But I'm pretty sure everybody is worn the hell out by all this and, I'm embarrassed to admit, I'm on vacation, where it's actually nice outside. So: here's to hitting the jackass!

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