I’ve been in situations where people with an Ivy league degree have heard I was educated in a state school and then, all of a sudden, the merit of my arguments goes right out the window. The Ivy league people consider themselves all powerful, they have the connections (their parents) in the business, and they can make you disappear if they want to. We’re seeing a lot of this power trip BS in the media lately with people like Matt Lauer and Harvey Weinstein serving as sacrificial lambs so that other high placed idiots can keep their position (cough…cough…Trump…cough…cough). At least you used to be able to depend on the Star Wars franchise to provide you a couple hours escape from entitled jerks serving you a turd sandwich and expecting you to smile and be grateful as you choke it down.
Honestly, if the Last Jedi had hit theaters and got the same kind of critical treatment as the prequels, I could have lived with that. If critics claimed it was a dumb little popcorn movie that will make a billion dollars and keep you entertained as long as you turn off your brain, that would be fine. But that’s not what happened. The critics are raving about this film and saying things like it’s “the best Star Wars ever.” The same critics with Ivy League degrees who work at their parents newspaper which is a subsidiary of Disney in some way, shape or form. They’ve all read the internal memo that says, “thou shalt not offend the rodent with the white gloves” and when anybody points out a flaw in Episode VIII, you get MANSPLAINED hard.
Take for example this article titled ‘The Last Jedi Doesn’t Care What You Think About Star Wars–And That’s Why It’s Great,’ which doubles down on the legitimacy of the positive reviews and places the blame for a negative audience reaction on…get this…the stupid audience:
“…director Rian Johnson wants to burn Star Wars to the ground. Not because he harbors ill will toward it, but because he loves it. He loves it so much that he wants to cleanse the garden and allow something fresh and new to grow. The Last Jedi is not concerned about what you, the moviegoer and fan, thinks about Star Wars. It wants to challenge you and make you question what Star Wars is and what it can be”
Oh yeah, real fresh and new you mean fresh and new with absolutely no retreads like:
- Rebel base evacuation in the first scene
- Jedi apprentice trains with reluctant Jedi master
- Jedi Master lives as a recluse
- Jedi Master’s planet has a place that is “strong with the dark side of the force”
- Rebels are forced into low speed chase because they can’t jump to lightspeed
- New character is introduced who betrays the heroes
- Imperial walkers attack trenched in rebels on snow…I mean salt planet
- Jedi apprentice has showdown with chief bad guy
Oh, forgive me for not realizing how new and different this is. I’ve seen several reviews that actually had the temerity to write this movie isn’t a shot for shot remake of ‘Empire.’ How many plot points have to line up before you start to consider it a rip-off…more than 96% apparently.
Look, all I want to see is some honest critical discussion, and if you go to Rotten Tomatoes and look for the 7% negative reviews from professional critics, you’ll see a lot of my complaints reflected in those articles. It will be interesting to see if the publications those reviewers work for continue to be featured on Rotten Tomatoes in the future…or perhaps those critics will all turn up dead under suspicious circumstances involving cartoon hatchets. What’s nuts too is that people seem to want to believe it’s IMPOSSIBLE for the social discussion of a film to be flooded with fake reviews…
It happens! I remember an incident back in 2001 when Sony entertainment got busted for planting fake reviews of a Rob Schneider movie (they weren’t even rave reviews because even Sony isn’t that dumb…it was a Rob Schneider movie after all, they were lukewarm at best). You can read about it here. Major studios influence the discussion of their releases, they don’t play fair, DUH! You can’t dismiss people who mention that as lunatics because there is EVIDENCE! They’ve been doing it since 2001 and certainly have had time to become more creative in the process since then. Why would they NOT publish fake reviews with hundreds of millions of dollars hanging in the balance?
The audience score on Rotten Tomatoes for ‘Last Jedi’ is 54% and falling (despite 93% approval from critics)…which has led to the aforementioned 2nd wave of ‘Mansplaining’ articles which dismiss the audience as just being stupid. These articles like to quote Skywalker’s line, “This is not going to end the way you think,” as some sort of example of mystical poetry.
The thing is, it’s becoming a hostile critical environment. If you express anything other than effusive praise on social media, people become dismissive and insulting. What happened to criticism for the sake of better art? Is this the world we live in now? Massive corporations purchase the incredible achievements of true artists and then turn the reigns over to spoiled rich kids who don’t have to worry about producing a flop because the studio has Mickey Mouse Muscle to cram the turdburger down the world’s collective throat? Yeah, ‘Last Jedi’ is going to make a billion dollars, so did all the Transformer movies, those suck too.
What’s abundantly clear is that Disney is the evil empire that Lucas’s heroes were fighting against in Episode IV, V and VI. Even Lucas referred to them as white slavers. What’s depressing is that along with JK Rowling, George Lucas is probably the most successful artist of the last 100 years, and in the end even he couldn’t hold out against Disney. Why is it that the talented creators eventually all have to kneel before the massive, entitled corporations that did no actual work to create anything of value? Ok sure, that’s just the way the world is and for the most part I’m used to it, but when I’m sitting through an Empire produced Star Wars movie and they have the gall to have a scene talking about how “poor people are oppressed” it makes me want to rip the rows of seats from the floor and hurl them at the screen.
You know, it isn’t enough just to quote altruistic philosophy, you actually have to live by it on occasion. This stranglehold on the media to focus all attention on a few mediocre, lesser talents is depressing. Go watch an independent film tonight (if you can find one somewhere…probably on Youtube). The weeds are pretty thoroughly pulled elsewhere…heck, now that net neutrality has been cancelled you probably won’t even be able to read Streets of Lima in the very near future.
Maybe I should just accept the world the way it is…forget all I wrote before, ‘Last Jedi’ is the best Star Wars Ever (now watch that line show up on a poster somewhere…thanks Disney, I’ll take my payment in silver coins please).