After last week's caustic conflagration among film critics, we've been closely monitoring the heart rates of reviewers all over the country as even more fall away from the ranks. This week saw the departure of Matt Zoller Seitz, the New York Times contributor and House Next Door founder who stepped away to pursue filmmaking full-time. We wish Seitz all the best, because judging by this series of damning reader retorts to a recent MSNBC survey of criticism, his timing couldn't possibly have been better:
I believe that movie criticism is not an elitist ability that only scholars can claim. There should be no need for movie history in determining a movie's worth. That is like saying that relatively this movie is awful, but if these others had not come along, it would be great. - Michael Walsh, Alpharetta, Ga.
I stopped listening to critics because too frequently they are criticizing the actor, not the film. For instance, "The Hammer" is one of the best movies I've ever seen, but many critics said the movie was awful because they seemed to dislike Adam Carolla. The opposite can be said of a Will Farrell [sic] movie (no offense to Will, but they're not all Old School). - Tim, Seattle, Wa.
I lost my attraction to movie critics, when it seems there was a glut. Online, magazines, local papers, everywhere you looked. And most of these were no better than my own opinion...which I trust much more than theirs anyway. - Chet, Avondale, Ariz.
We sensed Adam Carolla might eventually symbolize the tipping point in the enduring battle between critics and the hoi polloi — but in only his first starring role? The culture is indeed accelerating faster than we can keep up. In any case, our ambulance is gassed up for our next foray to the front lines, which should be ... this afternoon? Next hour? We hope not, but when even Chet from Avondale has lost his attraction, we know the clock is ticking.