Archive for the ‘critics’ tag
Have you ever sent a meal back to the kitchen in a restaurant? A casual viewer of “Kitchen Nightmares” would have you thinking this happens all the time. Most folks are too intimidated to cause trouble with a chef. Either that or they’re more afraid of what might come back to them. Here’s the thing to remember, you’re paying good money for that meal and you should get something that is cooked to your satisfaction. You might not always score a win in terms of flavor profiles but there is no excuse for undercooked or overcooked foods. Send it back! Then write a scathing review!
Ever since the first primitive artist drew a cave painting there was a critic standing there ready to offer a review. “I don’t feel pulled into the story of the buffalo hunt. It has a ‘been there, done that’ feel to it. I give it one rock.”
Everybody has an opinion. Professional critics can make or break a restaurant or Broadway production. Their newspaper columns or television spots are as popular as ever. For the rest of us, all we have is the World Wide Webs to share our opinions. That’s where we can post our thoughts on everything from the local plumber to the new boneless chicken from KFC. (He charged too much and its still finger licking good.)
Are you influenced by reviews? Will you avoid a movie or bistro if it got a lousy review? Here’s a rule from journalism 101: To write a review, you have to find at least one thing wrong with the subject of your review. However, there are some famous critics who took that rule and turned it into an art form of delivering scathing blurbs.
Historical Review Harpoons
Down through the ages, critics have popped up offering their reviews on everything from great works of art to great works of literature and nobody was spared. The London Morning Chronicle described Herman Melville’s new novel, “Moby Dick” thusly: “Raving and rhapsodizing in a chapter after chapter… sheer moonstruck lunacy.” Call that the revenge of the whale.
Today, the works of impressionist paint Paul Cezanne can fetch millions of dollars at auction but when they were first put on display, the Parisian critic Valensol wasn’t impressed. “He chooses to daub paint on a canvas and spread it around with a comb or toothbrush. The procedure somewhat recalls the designs that schoolchildren make by squeezing the heads of flies between the folds of a sheet of paper.” Ouch.
“Rigoletto” is one of Verdi’s most popular works that is a “must do” by opera companies the world over. When it first premiered, La Gazette Musicale de Paris didn’t think so. “Rigoletto is the weakest work of Verdi. It lacks melody. This opera has hardly any chance of being kept in the repertoire.” Way off base but that’s the beauty of reviews. History always has the last word.
Broadway or Bust
Waiting for opening night reviews is a Broadway tradition. Before the era of advance ticket sales, those reviews were often all that stood in the way of a long run or closing by the weekend. Frank Rich was the theatre critic for the New York Times from 1980 to 1993 and his scathing reviews earned him the nickname, “The Butcher of Broadway.” Upon seeing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera,” Rich wrote, “Its music is deplorable bubble gum, the acting is two-dimensional and is sucks the horror out of a classic horror story.” Guess what? “Phantom” went on to become the longest running show on Broadway and is still playing to packed houses. No doubt, Frank Rich stands by his critiques.
In the realm of reviewers, we recently lost a great one: Roger Ebert. Back in the 80s, rival newspaper critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel took movie reviewing to a whole new level. Their “thumbs up or down” reviews not only set the standard but became a trademark. For their entire run of “At the Movies” stars, directors and studios ducked when Siskel and Ebert set you in their sites. Of “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” Roger wrote: “Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson star. I neglected to mention that, maybe because I was trying to place them in this review’s version of the Witness Protection Program.” Of “Timecop” Gene wrote, “Van Damme is compelling only when he takes his clothes off.” No doubt Gene and Roger are enjoying a heavenly premiere.
Be Your Own Best Critic
Today, the professional critics are still tossing in their two cents but they are certainly not alone. You might not become a professional critic but you can certainly be paid for your reviews. Your opinion is just as valuable as anyone else’s thoughts. Share them at iPoll and see how your reviews can put money in your wallet. That’s a “thumbs up” by anyone’s account.