“A review should be easy”?

CT Movies recently posted some more reader feedback, including the following response to one of my reviews:

I did not agree with your review of Herbie: Fully Loaded. A review should be easy. Was I entertained? Yes. Same goes for my entire family, neighbors and friends. We all agree that it was a wonderful and fun family film. If you want to read about how Herbie made me a Christian please visit Herbiemania.

“A review should be easy”? What does that mean? Easy to write? Easy to read? It should go easy on the film being reviewed?

Was I entertained? Well, no, not really. Can’t speak for any of my friends or family as I don’t think any of them have seen the film.

Hmmm. That was easy to write, I guess. Not very enlightening or fun, though. And it certainly doesn’t fill my word count.

Speaking of which, the most priceless comment comes in a letter responding to another writer’s review of Batman Begins:

Extensive space and celebration in your reviews goes to innocuous issues such as cinematography and direction while those things which should matter to followers of Christ were not mentioned, and your readers were left unwarned.

Yup, that’s right, Christians don’t need to notice trivial details like how a film is shot, directed, edited, and so on — we don’t need to know how a film constructs and communicates meaning — just as Christians don’t need to learn how to read, I suppose.

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his film column, which won multiple awards from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15983636409843097317 Lefty

    Indeed Peter, all your reviews should tell us whether the protagonist fits into God’s unfolding vision for his church, and whther or not Batman is an agent of the Holy Spirit or in the charge of Satan.

    Get with the program!