Here’s a quick and easy guide for the much beleaguered film-critics of America.
1) Don’t start the review with a concession, e.g. “I’m not a comic book fan.” This will not help you in the slightest as the people who are reading the review most likely are. And while you may not be a fan of funny books you are a fan of replications of images of people pretending to be people they are not. There is no better or worse kind of nerd. There are just nerds.
2) This is more a fun challenge than advice. Try to write the review without using the words, “endless” “spectacle” or “explosion” and see how far you get. For bonus points, “audience”.
3) Don’t be negative. Now this might seem like I’m just trying to get you to admit that you love big noisy spectacle and only pretend to like the films of Tarkovsky to look smart, but I’m not. If you don’t like the film that’s just fine by me but being negative about the film’s merits, and by extension the audience for which it’s intended, won’t get you too far. Write a glowing review that is actually a satire of mindless glowing reviews. If you want them to know they are stupid then make them feel stupid for not being better readers.
4) Do drugs. It’s an oft-used joke, “Maybe it’d be better if I was high”, but in this circumstance it may very well be better if you are high. So get real fuckin’ high before you watch it. This might seem unprofessional, even unethical in a journalistic sense. But the Internet has already destroyed any ethical or journalistic considerations in film criticism so smoke a L and enjoy.
5) Do not take this too seriously but also don’t take it un-too seriously. This sentence may not make sense but that’s because it’s a mantra. While watching the film just repeat to yourself, “Un-too seriously” over and over and eventually you will be transported to a place outside your physical body. A place where films are made for adults. A place where spectacle does not automatically mean sub-par filmmaking. A place where people remember the power of cinema as a form and don’t confuse it with “content” that fills up whatever screen they are glaring at.
Now open your eyes and find yourself watching Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker. Ahh, all better now.