Mark Kermode This is a particularly person choice, because it isn’t like Kermode has done anything in particular this year (other than restoring the ‘Rape of Christ’ scene into ‘The Devils’). It’s just that for years I’ve been working on a style of reviewing of crash, bang, in, out. If a film doesn’t work, if it simply doesn’t fulfill it’s promise I’ll say it – I’ll rip it apart and put it back together. A college lecturer used to say that the best way to write a review is to look for all the positive aspects; I used to think that too for about five minutes. And that can be true of some things – I’d find it hard to rip into a college theatre production, for example. But films are different. If someone has spent £100 million on making a film, and when some pays a fiver to go and see it, and the experience was just alright, or ‘ok, I suppose’ something is terribly wrong. The new James Bond film ‘Die Another Day’ is awful. The stunts don’t work and are often a cliché; people in the screening I went to were laughing at the dialogue rather than with it; and chatting amongst themselves trying to work out the plot. So shit basically. Yet I’m seeing review after review saying, that’s its not the best film in the world, but it’s James Bond so what are you expecting. A good film? See – I’m calling a spade a spade, not a fork.

Up until about six months ago, I didn’t think anyone else looked at films my way. Then I started to pay attention to Kermode’s reviews in print in ‘Sight and Sound’ magazine, on Late Review and on the Simon Mayo Radio Five Live show. Backed by years of film going experience he knows what a good one looks like and when the film maker was treading water and will rip into them unmercifully. Here is his review of 'Like Mike' from the BBC website:
"Hideously dreadful cack about an orphan (15-year-old rap star L'il Bow Wow) whose second-hand training shoes get struck by lightning, thereby magicking the basketball skills of Michael Jackson into the dimunitive hero.

Absolutely ghastly from beginning to end, this cynical clap-trap was apparently co-produced by the NBA who should feel thoroughly ashamed of themselves. Most depressing is the appearance of Crispin Glover, once tipped for greatness (see Back to the Future) now soiling himself with this rancid garbage.
Point made. Give this man a permanent TV slot some time soon please. Film 2003 since Jonathan Ross seems to have forgotten he’s supposed to reviewing the weeks films not just telling us they’re on … [profile, interview, related]

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