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Can Roger Ebert Really Drag Down Kick-Ass?

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Though I still don't mentally lump myself in with the "media," I have to admit I probably belong to that amorphous blob now. So when I see statements like this from the Geekosystem, I pay attention:

Despite — or maybe because of — the almighty publicity blitz that has accompanied the movie since December, Kick-Ass has been garnering surprisingly good reviews… But one influential reviewer is dragging down those numbers, and the film’s backers have to be taking notice: Roger Ebert.

The thought that Ebert's review is dragging anything down is hilarious to me. His review brings some sobering thoughts to Kick-Ass, but in the grand scheme of things I'd say that most of the folks who weren't going to see the film anyway might agree with him and those of us who were looking forward to seeing a film completely disconnected from reality providing satire on the concept of super heroes in the real world will still go see it in droves.

But this is what I love about movies, and art in general. Art is perceived differently by everyone who views it. And that fact doesn't invalidate the work of critics and reviewers, because those efforts can provide a common framework for individuals to hang their own experiences on and construct their own opinions.

Roger Ebert provides a valuable service to many folks who value his opinions. I'm among them. And in this case, I tend to agree with him to a point in that parents should not bring their children to see Kick-Ass. If you bring your kids to see the film, I would question the decision from my perspective, but if you're prepared for the potential consequences (whatever they are for your kids), more power to you.

So the fact that people are up in arms about Ebert's review "dragging down" approval numbers for the movie is amusing to me. Yes, he's voiced an opinion that is different than most of the other reviews. That doesn't invalidate it. He is just approaching things from a different, just as valid, point of view.

Let's look at this from a different perspective…

Did Roger Ebert see the film? Yes.

Did he like the film? No, he gave it one star.

Does he explain the premise of the film and why he didn't like it in a public post? Yes.

Is Ebert's review going to make me not want to see this movie? Heck, no.

In the world of publicity, is even bad publicity good? Yes, I think so. Ebert's review in the eyes of Lionsgate will probably be manna from heaven, as it is generating word of mouth about the film in the media (and yes, I'm contributing to this word of mouth).

Ultimately all movie-goers must choose whether to a) see the film themselves and b) who to share the film with. Am I taking my kids to this movie? Heck, no. Am I even taking my wife to this movie? Heck, no. I'll take my best friend, we'll have a good time hooting and hollering and then I'll write more.

Until then – make your own decision whether to see the film or not.

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About Fitz

Fitz is a software engineer and writer who lives in Colorado Springs, CO, with his family and pets, trying to survive the chaos!
  • Ted!

    I think that if Iost the lower half of my face in a botched surgery I, too, would rethink what is truly important, and I would be compelled to condemn what I saw as a movie designed to desensitize children against the value of human life.

    But until then, I can’t wait to see an 11 year old emotionlessly taking the lives of grownups who are beating the s out of her, all for our light hearted viewing pleasure. Kick ass!