Friday, April 16, 2010

Dumb and Dumber, blame the internet?

Is the internet really making us dumber? Of course there is some argument there: I'm one of the faceless millions who uses Google to spell-check. But is it really making us dumber? Or worse, is it killing professional film criticism?

Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune seems to think so. With the democratic approach that is the internet, Page concludes that time-honored critics like Roger Ebert, Elvis Mitchell, or Leonard Maltin are losing their shirts to the "amateur" critics of or Netflix.

He has a point. There seems to be a lot of people out there that would give Soul Plane a 10 on because it was "hella-crazy, fo' sho!". You also have the trolls who believe every popular movie despite its critical and/or commercial successes is "the worst movie, ever." But, I think Mr. Page gives too much credit to these folks, and not enough to the folks between Ebert and norbitlover_92.

There are some great critical analysis on the internet that come from non-professionals who know what constitutes a great film. Some might be Team Goodfellas versus Team The Godfather, but can ultimately conclude both are considered "good films". It's safe to assume choosing between Team Amadeus and Team Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is not purely based of personal preference.

Some viral professionals gladly use the internet to their advantage. Like the super-funny guys at I'm a big fan. Their analyses balance everyman rhetoric with a hint of professional criticism.

I would take the internet with a grain a salt. Like television before it, it can be used for good (PBS!) or it can be used for evil (Jersey Shore).

Happy Filmmaking!

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