Saturday, January 19, 2008

Coming this... Huh?

You've probably been to metacritic, the website that quantifies movie reviews, then tabulates the numbers to score each movie. I like to skim the paragraph-long excerpts from a dozen professional reviews every so often, to get a taste for how critics feel. Yesterday morning I checked out Cloverfield, the "love-child of Godzilla and the Blair Witch," as metacritic put it. Was there ever a description more geared to my taste?

I clicked on the image beside the title on the main page for the Featured Review ( check it out - hasn't the link in the image as of January 19th) and was shocked to find a string of perfect 100 scores, and compliments like, "Gorgeous cinematography," "A singular achievement -- romantic, sensuous, intelligent and finally shattering," and, "This is one of the few adaptations that gives a splendid novel the film it deserves."

I didn't know Cloverfield was a novel.

I scrolled back up the page and let it finish loading. My connection is sluggish sometimes. It was then I noticed that I was reading reviews for The Atonement, the romantic critical darling of 2007. I'd bypassed the title and image and went straight to opinions, only to find them so vague that I didn't realize they were about a love story instead of a giant monster movie.

This is an anecdote of my incompetence, but not of mine alone. I like to think we all failed a little.

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