In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_large_3ioyatm0wxdypy330y7mjajehpu

Nerve

Nerve wants to be a cautionary tale about the perils of desiring fame through social media, but it isn’t willing to go to the darker…

Thumb_ghl4ub6vwbyshlqcfhpoirwx2sm

Star Trek Beyond

The Star Wars-ification of Star Trek continues; better than the others, but still not good enough.

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives

O, the absurdity! O, the ambiguity!

endfilm.jpg

Wednesday, IMDb linked to my "Eleven Worst Ambiguous Movie Endings" post, and the comments from readers unfamiliar with the way we do things 'round here have been hilarious and disturbing. To spare embarrassment for those who seem to have unconsciously gotten the point even if they didn't get the joke, I decided not to post a few of their comments, such as:

"This article is dumb. Do you really, actually need all that stuff explicitly explained to you? Maybe you should stop watching movies--or at least stop writting [sic] about them."

and

"Yeah... you might want to at least TRY thinking about these movies before adding them to a list like this."

Good advice, but not very good criticism. (I maintain that "This article is dumb" is a less-than-meaningful assertion in this context, and I'm wondering if "writting" is something one does in 140 characters or less.) Now that I think about it, I kind of wish I had entitled the original post "The Eleven Most Ambiguous Movie Endings," since the idea of ranking things by degrees of ambiguity is pretty funny to me. That probably wouldn't have helped with the comments, though.

Lessons learned:

The most egregious responses echoed the kind of cluelessness that was being skewered, so it's not surprising the authors couldn't see the forest for the trees. Some of us are not accustomed to reading (or, by extrapolation, listening, watching) very closely. Or we start typing before we've begun thinking. There are blatantly incongruous red flags all over the story, contradictory comparisons and phrases so outrageously nonsensical that I'd have thought nobody could possibly have misunderstood the intent behind them. I wasn't trying to fool anybody -- and many of the comments from readers who responded in the spirit of the post were hilarious. (Others found the thick-headed comments more amusing than the post itself.) But once the piece popped outside the specialized movie-blogosphere, general-interest "surfers" (remember that term?) seemed to skim it without noticing the meanings of the words (or lack thereof). They took it at face value... even though it clearly had no face value. The only way it can be understood is as satire -- of myopic complaints about "ambiguous" (or, more precisely, unconventionally unsatisfying) movie endings. There are no other op-

Popular Blog Posts

Women's work: the new "Ghostbusters"

This movie is trying to kill these women, but they endure.

30 Minutes on: "Planet of the Apes" (1968)

"It's a madhouse!"

Blu-ray Review: "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Edition)"

A Blu-ray review of "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Edition)," arriving July 19.

I Ain't Afraid of No Ghosts (Unless They're Women)

A compilation of reviews defending the new "Ghostbusters" film.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus