Internet criticism is certainly nothing new. In fact, just about anywhere you turn along the so-called “information superhighway” you will come across critics of one form or another, even if an argument made against a particular point only takes the form of a lolcat. However, some Internet critics have carved out niches for themselves either through focus, format or both. Three come to mind, for me, and act as something of an inspiration for my IT CAME FROM NETFLIX! reviews.
Chuck (again, not Magic Talking Beardman Chuck) has spent quite a lot of time assembling what he calls an ‘opinionated episode guide’ for Star Trek. Specifically, he started with Voyager. He later began to cover Enterprise as well as the British sci-fi comedy series Red Dwarf. He also wrote a sweeping fiction series crossing Star Trek with Star Wars, for which he won an award. No, really. And this was before he started his YouTube channel.
In addition to being comprehensive and funny, Chuck often reminds us that his criticism of a given episode, series or movie is just his opinion. He welcomes discussion and even opposition to his ideas. He, like my next critical exemplar, encourages the audience to think, rather than sit back & switch off higher brain functions in order to take in some shallow, pandering, distracting colors & sounds that call themselves ‘entertainment.’
Rather than focus on a particular series or even genre, Confused Matthew went about his video reviews of films with thoughts like “Why did people like this?” or “How did this movie even get greenlit?” While these lines of thought have caused him to add to the many critics pointing out the things that went wrong with the Star Wars prequels, the Matrix sequels and Star Trek: Generations, he’s also gone on the record as saying that The Lion King is a pretty terrible film and that Minority Report is awful despite the ringing praise of critical luminary Roger Ebert.
More often than not, when Matthew begins a review, he establishes a basic premise as to why the work is fundamentally flawed. As the premise continues to be referenced, he becomes more and more annoyed. While this drives home his point, it also makes the reviews more hilarious. He takes turns chewing out Lucas, the Wachowski Brothers and Ira Steven Behr, executive producer of Deep Space 9. “Come on!” Matthew pleads. “You’re better than this!” His confusion is our comedy.
Red Letter Media
I just recently was introduced to this critic, and all I can say is it needs to be experienced to be fully appreciated. Comprehensive, researched and merciless criticism of science fiction films is paired with an old man’s ramblings about pizza rolls and other less family-friendly subjects.
I don’t want to give away any more than that so, if you’ve the mind, head over in that direction. His Phantom Menace review stands out. It’s 70 minutes long, but worth every one.