Film Critics Say the Dumbest Things…

John Podhoretz:

If you told me you didn’t like movies about boxing, I’d have to answer that you didn’t really like movies.

This inspired the following reply at artsandfaith.com:

But guys…it works for anything! Look:

If you told me you didn’t like movies about murder, I’d have to answer that you didn’t really like movies.

If you told me you didn’t like movies about dancing, I’d have to answer that you didn’t really like movies.

If you told me you didn’t like movies about sex, I’d have to answer that you didn’t really like movies.

If you told me you didn’t like movies about war, I’d have to answer that you didn’t really like movies.

If you told me you didn’t like movies about religion, I’d have to answer that you didn’t really like movies.

If you told me you didn’t like movies about gangsters, I’d have to answer that you didn’t really like movies.

If you told me you didn’t like movies about zombies, I’d have to answer that you didn’t really like movies.

The possibilities are of dismissiveness are endless!

Personally? I was impressed with The Fighter, but I’m not a fan of it. It’s a very well-crafted film with excellent performances, but I’m not inspired by its story or exhilarated by the foregone conclusion of its finale. I dislike boxing. I think that the sport does more harm than good, bringing out the worst in the culture that surrounds it. It’s a sport in which the goal is to physically incapacitate the opponent, doing damage to his body. Boxers often end up with severe brain damage, not to mention the other kinds of damage they suffer. And they throw fuel on the fires of violent appetites in their audiences. I am not a fan.

But movies?

I love ‘em, Mr. Podhoretz.

And if you don’t like my opinion, well… I’m tempted to say that you don’t like people of conscience. But that would be an unfair generalization… like yours.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, LookingCloser.org. His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at facebook.com/jeffreyoverstreethq.


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