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#gamergate grandiosity gross incompetence jordan owen men who really shouldn't be making movies sarkeesian!

Friday Afternoon Video: “What it’s like watching The Sarkeesian Effect”

Ran across this on YouTube, from someone called ScAgCoWbOy. I know nothing about them, but this video pretty much nails the experience of sitting through all 2 1/2 hours of The Sarkeesian Effect — probably the longest 2 1/2 hours you’ll ever endure. The sleepy dog, needless to say, is not in the original.

By the time the “film” got to this point — this is from Jordan Owen’s weird Ayn-Randy monologue, around 2 hours in — I was so completely zoned out I couldn’t really appreciate the ridiculousness of what he was saying. Or the loopy graphics.

Also note the completely random (and way too loud) music. It’s like that all the way through this piece of crap.

 

 

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Qubrick
Qubrick
5 years ago

Okay, so I am kinda with the abstract idea that an artist does not have an obligation to depict anyone that they do not wish in the stories and works they create. The problem is this ignores the fact that video games and other forms of art are created in a commercial context and are sold for profit and consumers therefore have the right to criticize the products they consume but whatever.

Accepting Jordan Owen’s statement on face, that doesn’t mean that artists cannot be asked “why did you tell the story from the perspective of a straight, cis-het, male protagonist?” Often the implicit answer is “I consider those stories to be universal while all others are merely special interest” but that is rarely stated outright and all manner of dumb excuses are offered up instead. I remember Fumito Ueda, the game director of Ico, Shadow of the Colossus and The Last Guardian, stated that the protagonist in TLG was originally supposed to be female but the gender was changed to male because men have greater gripping strength. This ‘realism’ is a concern in a game with a cat-bird-thing and in a game where the protagonist is a young child but has the gripping strength of professional rock climbers, judging by the gameplay vids. Blegh. Still hoping The Last Guardian is good, but it would have been nice to have a female protagonist.

guest
guest
5 years ago

I used to teach architecture, and in the US that means ending up with classes full of young Randroids all excited to create individual self-expressive Art. I spent most of their first term helping them understand that a) architecture is a business, b) architecture doesn’t happen without the cooperation and coordination of dozens of different people doing dozens of different and equally vital and significant things, and c) the ‘art’ of architecture is done on someone else’s land, with someone else’s money, for someone else’s reasons, and if they didn’t like that they could go be sculptors on their own time. The class did turn out to be pretty effective in changing some pretty poisonous, or at least unquestioning, mindsets (and maybe developing some great, or at least useful and competent, architects, who knows?).

Shaenon
5 years ago

There was a Gamergater on a forum some months back making a wildly incoherent rant about one of the new releases (I’m pretty sure it was the new Dragon Age) and how it includes representation from various marginalized demographics, including a lesbian.

Oh, yeah. Every time a new Dragon Age game comes out, you get a deluge of gamerbros freaking out over having to interact with gay and trans characters, not to mention female characters who are good-looking but clearly designed as fighters rather than lingerie models. And it’s not like the games exclude cishet male characters; there are just other characters and situations in the mix.

Gamergaters do not like that at all. They want video games to be treated as art, provided the artists only make stuff they like and the critics only say stuff they agree with. They are doomed to eternal disappointment.

I used to teach architecture, and in the US that means ending up with classes full of young Randroids all excited to create individual self-expressive Art. I spent most of their first term helping them understand that a) architecture is a business, b) architecture doesn’t happen without the cooperation and coordination of dozens of different people doing dozens of different and equally vital and significant things, and c) the ‘art’ of architecture is done on someone else’s land, with someone else’s money, for someone else’s reasons, and if they didn’t like that they could go be sculptors on their own time.

You mean if your clients ask for a change in the apartment complex you designed for them, you can’t throw a tantrum over having the purity of your genius sullied, then blow up the building? I am shocked. The rest of The Fountainhead seemed so realistic.

Kootiepatra
5 years ago

I’ll bet nobody has told TotalBiscuit to just go make his own game.

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
5 years ago

Needless to say, Ayn Rand was about as knowledgeable about business and architecture as the average creationist does about evolution.

Which is another way of saying “not at all”…

guest
guest
5 years ago

@shaenon I only managed to arrange this once, but one year at the end of term we hosted a viewing of The Fountainhead at a local pub, where MST3K-ing abounded and popcorn was thrown at Gary Cooper. Good times.

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

Kootiepatra | September 19, 2015 at 1:02 am
I’ll bet nobody has told TotalBiscuit to just go make his own game.

Nope, but they tell Brianna Wu and Zoe Quinn to go make their own games all the time! Despite the fact that they, y’know, make games for a living.

davidgerard
5 years ago

It’s about race, not gender, but I have just watched the most relentlessly awful Aurini video ever. Find out who really caused the Holocaust!

That’s someone else’s cut down version of an Aurini rant, with added commentary. If any poor soul has a link to the original, please let me know, I’d love to use it in the RationalWiki article on Aurini.

Trigger warning: Aurini opens his mouth.

latsot (@latsot)
5 years ago

All this reminds me of my battered and often dropped-in-the-bath copy of A Wizard of Earthsea. The text clearly describes Ged as having copper-coloured skin but the cover depicts him as very white indeed. Every adaptation of the story I’ve seen also seem to assume Ged is white.

John Pavlich (@johnpavlich)

Kevin Smith often employs the “If you feel a deficiency in the marketplace, get creative and make your own movies” argument, when faced with criticism. He’s just usually more supportive and less of an ass about it. Problem is, you could apply this to ANYTHING.

“Don’t like that steak you ordered? Become a Chef and make it yourself!”

Here’s a novel idea: How about YOU take some responsibility as a content provider and just DO BETTER, so I don’t have to come in and do your job for you.

Jordan Owen’s “logic” is absurd because he talks about how we, as consumers of art are not entitled to preferences of said art, when in fact, we ARE (at least to a certain degree) entitled to it because we’re the ones fucking paying for it. If enough people want mint chocolate chip ice cream, your shop damn well better provide it or you’re out A LOT of money and potentially, eventually out of business. Supply and demand. Basic economics.

Where Jordan and others get it wrong, is the belief that the LGBTQ (or hell, just plain FEMALE) community within gaming is too small and insignificant to matter or be served as customers. Even as a Straight White Male, I can’t tell you how much better of a gaming experience I had with Gone Home, Life Is Strange and The Last Of Us because they included (notice how I didn’t say replaced) unique and rare perspectives that were not my own.

That’s the part that gators and “dudebros” don’t get: Anita Sarkeesian has been doing her thing for LITERALLY YEARS now and there is no shortage of CALL OF DUTY or GRAND THEFT AUTO or MORTAL KOMBAT games being produced. Nothing’s been censored or watered-down and you can buy them just as easily as you could before. It’s called Amazon and you don’t even have to put on pants and leave your home.

What HAS changed since Anita showed up (and not necessarily BECAUSE of her, something else gators don’t get), is the mere ADDITION of these more diverse and inclusive games. That’s just all about progress and the growth of a medium. It’s inevitable. Supply and demand. Basic economics. Since everything is digital and online these days, there is ENDLESS ROOM for all types of products, to serve all types of customers. Shit, that’s why I never understood retailers or shop owners refusing to sell to certain people. A gay, black trans-woman’s money spends just as good as anyone else’s and if anything, you should be itching to take their money because you’re making them poorer and yourself richer.

TL;DR: Jordan Owen and Davis Aurini are fools and will eventually die out like all dinosaurs, as the better, brighter world passes them by. Cling to that old, drifting life raft if you must but understand, the wood is old and rotted and will eventually let you down. The rest of us will be over here, zooming across the waters in our high-speed, electric speedboats of progress (Speedboats Of Progress drops their newest album next month*).

*not really

Cerberus
Cerberus
5 years ago

So much of this self-serving crap is so ironic given the reality of GG. Others have already touched upon how nearly all of their early targets have been game developers and specifically game developers targeted because they took those criticisms of “if you don’t like it, why don’t you make it yourself” to heart and did so, making the games they always wanted to see and encouraging others to do the same. In fact, a large majority of GG’s perpetual targets have been creators of work that contain the slightest amount of diversity or creative freedom outside of the brown white male shooter fest. I mean, heck, not only attacking Zoe Quinn, Brianna Wu, Christine Love, Mattie Brice, but also still railing against the Gone Home developers and the Life is Strange developers simply because they’ve personally decided they don’t like things that have women and queers in them and they are having a tantrum that the glorious free market they fetishize actually does.

Hell, the whole point of all of GG is a giant terrorist attack against the fact that gaming has a diverse pool of fans who have been excited and interested in things that aren’t their favorite brand of neo-reactionary Red Dawn simulators, and the fact that despite their hatred, these people who have always been here aren’t just shutting up and going away so they can continue to pretend that the only gamers are white men just as angry and stunted as they are.

Like much of the American Right Wing, they’ve adopted the Karl Rove playbook of blaming their own actions on their “enemies” to justify hating them. Hence why there’s this fantasy of feminists trying to censor gaming so as to justify their own attempts at terroristic censorship and to erase voices they disapprove of. And also why they constantly try and pretend people that speak out against them are all child molesters, abusers, and nazis.

But there’s an added layer of irony in their complete misunderstanding of the nature of free speech. Yes, every game maker has the right to make their game as racist and sexist as they want. To make gore bouncy tits shooter the 19th and release it to the world.

But that doesn’t mean that it’s free from other people’s rights to use their free speech to point out why that game doesn’t work for them. Doesn’t interest them. Actually contributes to a general culture that makes them feel unwelcome.

And the interesting thing is that Anita’s main work is about giving creators more tools to being aware of what their work is saying. She goes, hey, this thing to you is just a mechanics shorthand, but it’s saying this other thing culturally, especially in the context of all these other games existing. If that’s something you are happy saying with your mechanics, awesome, but you should be aware that that’s what a considerable proportion of your audience will be hearing and so you should be aware that that’s what you’re saying.

And that’s great for creators. Knowing more about the clarity of their message is critical for them to understand and improve the narratives they want to tell. And that’s why a lot of game creators have been really grateful to Anita Sarkeesian and a number of other feminist critics because they genuinely didn’t realize that that was what their mechanics were saying. They just did things because that’s how they’ve been done.

And that’s why the GGers have decided she’s literal Satan. A) Because she refused to go away after they decided they personally didn’t like her, but also B) because now they can’t go back into their own ignorant bubble. Now they are aware of what their games have been narratively saying and that does tarnish them a little in their own eyes and that hurts their own blinded nostalgia. And so they lash out at the sun because knowledge and the possibility that not every creator really is on board with a women are shit and just plastic objects for you to wank over narrative and might actually want to include diverse characters, experiences, and narrative and mechanical tools.

They’re not defending the Free Market and creators, they’re petrified at the fact that it’s probably the case that the Free Market and the creators they lionize are not nearly as much on their side as they once thought and might respond to the application of knowing the reality of the market and what their mechanics and narrative are saying by being more deliberate in a way that is less about gatekeeping gaming away from anyone who is not white and male.

Cerberus
Cerberus
5 years ago

John –

Where Jordan and others get it wrong, is the belief that the LGBTQ (or hell, just plain FEMALE) community within gaming is too small and insignificant to matter or be served as customers. Even as a Straight White Male, I can’t tell you how much better of a gaming experience I had with Gone Home, Life Is Strange and The Last Of Us because they included (notice how I didn’t say replaced) unique and rare perspectives that were not my own.

It’s a common trend among reactionaries. Well, no one in my white nationalist circle jerk likes (Gone Home/Women Protagonists in Sci-Fi/Barack Obama), because ew, not white and male and straight, so this must be the universal consensus out there. And if reality disproves that by say having new women-lead sci-fi books and movies becomes blockbusters or by Gone Home receiving rave critical reviews, or Obama being elected twice, then that must be because a grand conspiracy is working against the natural order.

I mean, after all, everyone they know agrees with them and they know that they are the “normal” members of society and media depicts them as being overwhelmingly the majority “regular” guy. So, if the TV box and their friend pool says these things are fringe, why are people liking them. Why is reality suggesting that actually these things are super popular with a majority or a strong minority of people, when their own experiences say otherwise?

It clearly must be because of a vast network of corruption and deceit. Secret conspiracies of games journalists to say they like games they hate because of evil SJW infiltration or payments of sex. Obama must have used his anti-christ powers to whammy the nation into believing that he could ever fill the shoes of a white man. Women must be trying to destroy our fandoms by pretending to be interested in things just to tease us with their sexiness at conferences and turn all our favorite interests into girly things that talk about girly stuff and not manly stuff like guns and boning blue chicks (why are all the “sex” alien species blue and feminine in western sci-fi? Is it just Star Wars that kickstarted this?).

For those who have gone all their lives expecting to dominate all discourse and be catered to above and beyond their numbers, the shift towards equality feels random and disconnected and out of nowhere. It really does feel like all these people have “come from nowhere” because they’ve been actively ignoring them or using these terrorist methods to shut them down and now the numbers are just too large to keep pulling that con.

They are having to choose between accepting the reality that they are not the monolith they’ve been claiming and acknowledge and accept the existence of people who are not like them in public life or just upping the terrorism and tantum to 11 and see if you can frighten people in returning back to their closet and their reduced rights. GGers are stuck in the latter, but a lot of white straight men in gaming are looking at that and going the other way and that’s just pissing off the remnant more.

Which is a good thing.

Moocow
Moocow
5 years ago

@Cerberus

True that. They want, for the sake of their worldview, for the rest of the world to think of “Gone Home” as “not a good game” (and in most cases, NOT EVEN A GAME!!1111!!) because it doesn’t fit the narrow description of what they see “a game” as.

I also see these same reactionaries insisting that “the story sucks” in that game, which is weird because it’s actually a really good story and that’s the main selling point. Of course, any attempt by me to ask them what is so bad was met with a whole lot of nothing. A few let slip that “the ending is terrible”. Which makes zero sense unless you somehow expected the whole game to turn into some zombie adventure. Which, I suspect, is what they were expecting the game to provide.

ColeYote
ColeYote
5 years ago

Okay, I was able to watch 20 seconds. Imma chalk that up as a victory and get back to looking for my Xbox controller.

ColeYote
ColeYote
5 years ago

@theladyzombie
[blockquote]Owen is a Randroid. I’m sure he thinks that droning monologue is his version of Galt’s speech.[/blockquote]

(I hope I did that right) Ah, so he’s ripping off something that’s already godawful, no wonder it sucks.

Hambeast, Social Justice Road Warrior
Hambeast, Social Justice Road Warrior
5 years ago

That dog is adorable! I spent the entirety of that video lol-ing at the dog and petting my cat and that’s the only way I was able to make it through a minute and a half of Owen’s blather.

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
5 years ago

@John Pavlich:

Kevin Smith often employs the “If you feel a deficiency in the marketplace, get creative and make your own movies” argument, when faced with criticism. He’s just usually more supportive and less of an ass about it. Problem is, you could apply this to ANYTHING.

If there’s anyone I have extremely ambivalent feelings towards, it’s Kevin Smith.

I still think Clerks holds up as a comedy and, admittedly, even stuff like Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was enjoyable. Yet – at the same time – I think he’s also a sore loser who is incapable of evolving as a filmmaker. He demands critics and audiences simply love what he does, regardless of actual quality, and throws a hissy fit when anyone has the gall to rightfully point out its problems.

Because of that, we get bewildering messes like Red State or horrors based on an obnoxious in-joke from a podcast like Tusk.

“Don’t like that steak you ordered? Become a Chef and make it yourself!”

Here’s a novel idea: How about YOU take some responsibility as a content provider and just DO BETTER, so I don’t have to come in and do your job for you.

Not to mention that, logically, not every consumer is going to be an expert on the product which they consume. I know a lot of libertarians like to act as if that’s possible – but it isn’t. The vast majority of people have other things to occupy them like going to work, paying bills, socializing with those they know personally, etc.

To become absolutely knowledgeable on subjects ranging from filmmaking to cooking to illustrating comicbooks is impossible and asking for such is expecting others to give you the moon. Which just comes off as entitled, and far more than someone in the audience expecting to like a movie or dish they paid both time and money for.

I also see these same reactionaries insisting that “the story sucks” in that game, which is weird because it’s actually a really good story and that’s the main selling point. Of course, any attempt by me to ask them what is so bad was met with a whole lot of nothing. A few let slip that “the ending is terrible”. Which makes zero sense unless you somehow expected the whole game to turn into some zombie adventure. Which, I suspect, is what they were expecting the game to provide.

A lot of gamers do that: when you complain about the story or character designs, they claim that those things “don’t matter”…until it is something they enjoy, then they’ll compliment the storytelling and character designs endlessly. I bet they love “free speech” too…

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
5 years ago

Oh, forgot to emphasize the third quote was from Moocow.

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

@ColeYote

Blockquotes are made with , not square brackets. Everything else you did was correct.

Bonne chance avec les citations de bloc!

(Good luck with the block quotes!)

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

@ColeYote
Let’s try that again.

Blockquotes are made with the “less than” and “greater than” symbols (they look like sideways v’s and are on the same keys as the comma and the period). So use the “less than” and “greater than” symbols, not square brackets. Everything else you did was correct.

Bonne chance avec les citations de bloc!

(Good luck with the block quotes!)

John Pavlich (@johnpavlich)

@NickNameNick I agree completely. Although personally, I think after the first 10 minutes or so (which are such a regression, script-wise and edited horribly), Red State is quite an evolution for Smith and is a near masterpiece, save for the shaky dismount, where he proceeds to pull his punches and not do the original, more appropriate ending and could that BE a bigger run-on sentence?

The trailer for Tusk made the film look so promising. When I later found out it amounted to nothing more than a joke at the expense of a paying audience, I stayed away. It’s the only Kevin Smith film I haven’t seen. It bums me out that he’s bitten the hand that fed him for so many years, turning his back on critics just because they don’t all completely love his stuff all the time. He’s forgotten that were it not for a film critic (GASP!) praising Clerks, he never would have gotten off the ground. Not to mention, taking Red State to Sundance with no intention of selling it, only to waste everyone’s time (and quite frankly, prevent some other good films from being picked up and released by the proper company) by yelling at them and claiming he doesn’t need them, anymore is a real childish and dick thing to do. And he couldn’t understand why everyone was talking about him the next day, not the film. That’s what happens when a man falls apart in a room full of people. Much like Jordan Owen and Davis Aurini, he becomes the story.

I used to think Chasing Amy was Kevin Smith’s best film but that was back when I was in my late teens/early twenties. I’ve since grown up and have come to realize that film is quite juvenile, uninformed and obtuse in its depictions of sexuality, both straight and otherwise. It’s not really Smith’s fault, though. He was a sheltered, Catholic boy from Jersey. His knowledge of these subjects is going to be limited and outdated.

Having said all that, I am oddly optimistic about Mallrats 2 and Clerks 3.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
5 years ago

@latsot

Ursula K. LeGuin has spent much of her career being pissed off at the Earthsea covers for exactly that reason.

A Land Whale
A Land Whale
5 years ago

Believes in capitalism
Believes in buying power
Gets mad when consumers use buying power to criticize gaming
Calls everyone else “entitled”

Is gamer gate ever going to be over?

Despite that the idea that is totally unpopular here, I am a fan of capitalism (and no I’m not up for an argument about this but feel free to talk amongst yourselves). I think it’s a great idea to let the people who buy products have a say in what the products are like. Customer satisfaction is one of the foundations of capitalism. Ergo, I think it’s great that women and minorities and people who are just generally tired of the same old bull crap are getting together to tell the producers of the products that they are not meeting their standards. Now, if all these men’s rights activists are also capitalists, then they should probably shut the fuck up.

The first thing they tried (and failed) to do was to prove that women and minorities aren’t really gamers. Only white men are gamers. Or at least 99.99999% (by their own totally made up projection). Since said white men are hunky-dory with the state of gaming, they figure there aren’t enough unhappy women and minorities to placate and so the company should not be obligated to fulfill the desires of such a small sector of their consumers.

Well, as we all know, that idea went over like a fart in church, because as it turns out, women and minorities buy and play a fuck ton of video games, so they were forced to come up with a new strategy. Now they’re trying REALLY HARD to make it all about art and free expression….

But.

Um.

As evidenced by the horrific quality of this “film,” these shitheads have NO MIND for art whatsoever. Them trying to make an argument that consumers using their voices and buying power is somehow oppressing artists’ freedom to express themselves is a bit like a blind man calling someone’s outfit ugly. Dude, STFU, you don’t know what you’re doing.

In actuality, yes, artists absolutely have the right to make whatever the hell they want, but they don’t have the right to have anybody like it or buy it. If nobody likes it or wants to buy it, then, guess what? You don’t get to make money…. They seem to be OK, insistent actually, with this idea when those artists produce the things that feminist and minorities don’t want to see. How many times have we been told that if feminists and minorities don’t like the way games are, that they are free to go home and make a game that they like and try to sell it? But, somehow, the idea gets lost when it’s the other way around. So free expression and capitalism only matter when the flow is going in the direction that they want it to.

No one said artists couldn’t go home and do what they want… But their consumers and their bosses have told them, “While you’re on my dime, you make what I want or you get the fuck out of my office.”

Again, anyone claiming to be a capitalist or libertarian or a fiscal conservative should know this.

So, “artists” who want to keep gaming all about what teh wite menz want when the rest of us are ready for a change, go ahead. Go home and make whatever you want but don’t complain when you wind up a bunch of “starving artists” who whine that feminists and minorities are destroying your art and crushing your spirit… That black, sulfurous, disgusting void that you refer to as your spirit. Didja ever think that maybe the reason that you’re a starving artist is because you’re bad at art…. Not because of some secret feminist conspiracy to make white men feel bad about looking at big purple alien titties on video games?

Also, don’t these people know how big commercial games are made? If they are a bunch of gamers who are trying to preserve the sanctity of gaming, they should probably know how games are fucking made. They seem to think it’s like Leonardo da Vinci going home and making a flying machine all by himself when in actuality it’s a bunch of people who contribute completely different things to make a whole product and a whole bunch of them don’t have much of a say in what they create. They are usually told, “Hey, this is what the game is going to be about and this is roughly what the characters are going to look like and this is roughly the style of animation I want you to use blah blah blah.”

So of course, there is creativity within that, but it’s not quite like Mr. da Vinci. It’s a team. They are often not all even in the same building… They are often not all even in the same country! There are concept designers, level designers, writers, animators, voice talent, musicians, programmers, quality testers, and so on and so forth… for Christ’s sake, video game credits have gotten to be about as long as movie credits!…. And they still have this vision of some poor tortured artist slaving away endlessly, putting his entire heart and soul, the very essence of his being, into every byte of the game all by himself only to have the priceless fruits of his arduous labor dashed to the ground, broken into a million pieces by big mean feminists and black people.

For a bunch of capitalists who are trying so hard to preserve the sanctity of gaming, these morons don’t know much about how capitalism works or how game creation works.

…but that’s none of my business.

Supernova
Supernova
5 years ago

Lately I’ve stumbled across this awesome response to the Sarkeesian Effect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsdIHK8O5yo
It makes me think… Whose skull is that, anyway? Did he kill someone for it?

Skaarphy
Skaarphy
5 years ago

I didn’t actually believe that it’s so boring, I thought that was hyperbole. But by god, I was zoning out 20 seconds in.What an amazing effect.

ikanreed
ikanreed
5 years ago

The worst part for me isn’t the terrible film making, writing, or whining, though those are all awful,

The worst part for me was taking things that were unambiguously unsupported opinions and flatly declaring them as fact. Even Zeitgeist and What the ^*^&% Do We Know knew how to frame their conjecture as leading rhetorical questions.

If this were an argumentative essay submitted by a 7th grader I’d give it a D.

freemage
5 years ago

John Pavlich: I agree with you on Red State; the centerpiece holds up pretty solidly as a film, and it was definitely genuinely new territory for Smith, which is a good thing for an artist in its own right. But it shows some of that ‘newness’ in how he handles the opening and the close–it’s tough to get into the film at first, and the ending just sort of sits there.

kularanini
kularanini
5 years ago

I decided to check out the IMDB page for this “film” (yes, one exists: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4134990/). It’s pretty bare bones, but what I found most interesting is the “People who liked this also liked” section:

Caroline (a Coraline knock-off I think)
Stay as You Are – a 1978 drama/romance about an illicit affair
32A – a young girl’s coming of age store (what?)

Oh yeah and clearly Davis Aurini is one of the users to give the title a good rating since he’s the only person in the world that likes “Lust in the Time of Heartache. I have to say, the synopsis for LITOH is suitably amazing.

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
5 years ago

@John Pavlich and Freemage:

The reason I hated the film as much as I did was because of it’s opening act as well as it’s ending. When it’s reenacting the Waco Massacre and having John Goodman as an atypical action hero of sorts, it works well…but it just wasn’t enough. The awfulness overshadowed whatever good qualities it had.

When it spends a half hour setting everything up, only for it to be repetitive and ultimately pointless, it was just aggravating – especially when it turns out these three teen aren’t the protagonists and serve absolutely no purpose after the first act. Even the reason for them being captured by these murderous homophobic zealots doesn’t make sense, especially as they are the ones who go through the trouble of tricking these guys into agreeing to a threesome (which none of them wanted to do either).

Do we also need to hear a 15-minute fire-and-brimstone sermon to further establish these murderous homophobic zealots were…murderous homophobic zealots? It doesn’t help the film also tries to make me feel bad for these bigoted fucks, often with the emotionally manipulative “look, there’s children amongst them!” It doesn’t detract from the fact they’re coming up with whatever reason they can to just ritualistically kill gay and possibly-but-not-really gay people. You can’t be asking for me to sympathize, at that point.

The ending, which would’ve just worked if it cut out right after that blaring horn sound happened – leaving things a bit ambiguous as to what it actually was – but instead get the biggest cinematic middle-finger ever. It’s been a serious film this whole time and yet it ends in the least serious way possible, as if this was some kind of comedy (even though there’s absolutely nothing funny about it) from the people behind Anchorman. It was so tonally abrupt that it retroactively ruined what I enjoyed about it.

I’d go as far to say it’s one of the worst films I’ve seen in the past decade, right next to Lady in the Water.

John Pavlich (@johnpavlich)

@NickNameNick ….Whoa. Come on, how do you REALLY feel, though? 🙂

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Stephen
Stephen
4 years ago

The whole “if u dont leik it mak ur own” argument is just such a stupid & pathetic attempt to combat criticism. I’m a professional film critic for my local newspaper & I get this dumb-ass response constantly. It’s a classic confusion of criticism & censorship.

I HAV DA RIT 2 SAI WHATEVA I WANT!!!!!!!!

True, but I have the right to respond however I want.

On a side note, what is wrong with that dude’s voice in that clip? Seriously, I can’t tell if it’s an actual person or one those robot voices.