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RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 1/5/2007 7:36:28 PM   
xim123


Posts: 546
Joined: 30/9/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Helen OHara

quote:

ORIGINAL: xim123

So which review ends up on the website as the 'definitive' one?



As I've said a couple of times above, the cinema review generally remains as the definitive one online.

So you did Helen, sorry I seem to be not reading things properly these days. 

I still think it's slightly confusing offering the At Home reviews as an alternate viewpoint. Why wasn't The Fountain used for the Movie Trial feature, surely this would have been a better place to put forward an opposing view to the main review?

It doesn't happen so much now but in the past I've had friends flick through my Empire to see what DVD to rent.  Having a 1 star review for a love-it-or-hate-it film is misleading isn't it?  (And I know that people should read the content of the reviews and not rely on the score but that's not what happens).

By the way, the only part of this issue I've read yet is The Fountain review, the 1 star caught my eye and I was curious.


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Post #: 61
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 1/5/2007 7:48:16 PM   
MohadGlub


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quote:

but I don't think we're doing the readers a disservice by offering them a different point of view instead.


I dont disagree with you. What I do think you do a diservice to your readers by doing is allowing shody, groundless criticism to go to print, a criticism which was blundering and offensive as well as childish.

The one star rating is fine, Im not so stubborn as to refuse any opinion other than my own but I still havent heard any comment on the nature of Ian Nathan's review content- which is just as dissapointing.



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Post #: 62
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 2/5/2007 1:11:01 AM   
enemysprout


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I think the whole alternative review business is a great thing, especially when the reviewer spends the whole first paragraph making it clear it's an alternative, but the review itself did seem a tad childish for something with so many big words.

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Post #: 63
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 2/5/2007 3:03:12 PM   
Evil_Bob


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No chance he could come on and defend himself is there. I'm sure you've had these arguments with him already Helen seeing as you wrote the original review but is afraid of us or something?

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Post #: 64
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 2/5/2007 3:17:01 PM   
Biggus


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Last King of Scotland also dropped a star in the DVD review. I have yet to see a DVD review of The Departed as well or have I missed it?

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Post #: 65
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 2/5/2007 3:25:39 PM   
Helen OHara

 

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No check discs were sent out for The Departed, so we didn't review it as we would have had to make it up.

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Post #: 66
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 2/5/2007 3:31:35 PM   
Evil_Bob


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Last king of Scotland deserved to drop a star. Strange how when it did there was a valid explanation for it presented professionally and objectively.
Could have done with a reappraisal of the Departed too. There must have been somebody there who didn't think it was all that great.

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Post #: 67
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 2/5/2007 3:54:17 PM   
TheRonin


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quote:

Could have done with a reappraisal of the Departed too. There must have been somebody there who didn't think it was all that great.

ORIGINAL: Evil_Bob



*Grin* Yes, yes, there must have. I would like to hear from someone who was not overcome with The Departed phenomenon, but again, hopefully, the review would be PERTINENT.

Despite the strong feelings I have about The Departed, I would be completely opposed to it receiving as shameful a treatment as The Fountain. It's unbelievable that such a review was released to the public... Seriously, does working for a magazine of Empire's prestige come with no responsibility?

< Message edited by TheRonin -- 2/5/2007 3:55:18 PM >


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Post #: 68
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 2/5/2007 9:46:47 PM   
lord of the pies


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From what I can see the issue here isn't about having a definitive review, having two viewpoints on a film is interesting and I think something that Empire should continue doing.

The issue for me here is that such a poorly written, childish even insulting review was published in a respected and well written magazine.

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Post #: 69
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 2/5/2007 10:23:45 PM   
MohadGlub


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quote:

The issue for me here is that such a poorly written, childish even insulting review was published in a respected and well written magazine.


Yes, that IS the issue- and the issue which STILL hasnt been adressed.

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Post #: 70
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 2/5/2007 11:36:59 PM   
TheRonin


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An issue that probably will never be addressed, because despite directly attacking and insulting a movie's ENTIRE fan base AND making a joke out of his status as a film critic and subsequently of the entire magazine that supports his reviews, succeeding in angering a number of readers on top of the aforementioned film's fanbase, Ian Nathan still hasn't got the balls to say something for himself.

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Post #: 71
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 3/5/2007 12:12:11 AM   
VincentHanna


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TheRonin
Ian Nathan still hasn't got the balls to say something for himself.


......Apart from his review, you mean?
He must have known he'd cause some discontent with that review, but this has always been a film that seems to have deeply divided people into "love/hate" with very little in between.

Fair play Empire, I say, for letting someone be so honest. Really, I do mean that, far too many reviews (I don't mean Empire's specifically) are very similar. For someone to say they really don't rate something (when everyone else seems to praise it) isn't seen very often.
Personally, I loved The Fountain but that's just me.

Ian's welcome to his opinion and his review.




< Message edited by VincentHanna -- 3/5/2007 12:22:55 AM >


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Post #: 72
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 3/5/2007 12:39:24 AM   
TheRonin


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quote:

......Apart from his review, you mean?
He must have known he'd cause some discontent with that review, but this has always been a film that seems to have deeply divided people into "love/hate" with very little in between.



I'm sorry, but what REVIEW are you talking about? The issue at hand is not whether Ian Nathan or anybody else for that matter, was or was not allowed to have a differing oppinion from the initial one stated by Empire. As many of the above posters, I welcome variety within views on a certain movie and I will respect any oppinion, so long as I am offered valid proof in support of said oppinion, especially when we are referring to that of a film critic.

The problem is that mr Nathan did not write a review. He just jotted down a series of what I can only call bitter commentaries in a very childish manner. He brought no valid arguments to substantiate his claims and he insulted a rather large category of people with his affirmations. Nowhere in his 'review' did I see a critical oppinion on the movie. Nowhere in his 'review' did I see objectivity. Nowhere in his 'review' did I see pertinent reasoning for claiming the film is inferior or worthy of his unbridled hatred and mockery. THAT is the problem.

Ian nathan did not demonstrate any sort of courage through his written intervention. All he demonstrated was that he can stoop very low. What Mr Nathan did was kick his counterpart under the table and then serenely take off, and THAT was COWARDLY.

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Post #: 73
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 3/5/2007 12:49:01 AM   
VincentHanna


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I take what you're saying on board, but at the end of the day, it doesn't bother me.
I was far more interested in the original review that Helen O'Hara did for the cinematic release.

Like I said, Ian's welcome to his opinion and "review", I personally refuse to let it bother me. I'm confused though - when was it ever said that a review had to be particularly objective? I don't mean in Empire as such, I mean generally.

< Message edited by VincentHanna -- 3/5/2007 12:50:00 AM >


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Post #: 74
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 3/5/2007 1:24:08 AM   
TheRonin


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Yeah, I understand what you are saying... but the fact that it doesn't bother you does not mean that it does not bother others and the thread is full of examples of people that consider his approach insulting or at least irritating.

And what I meant by objectivity was the ability to distance one's self from petty influences, look at the bigger picture and offer a perspective of that bigger picture to your readers while providing some conclusive arguments to support that vision. Maybe fairness is a more fitting term

I think that a reviewer that works for a publication has some sort of obligation to readers to be fair... and again, Mr Nathan was not. And again, this is not a protest against his opinion, an opinion he is more than entitled to have, it is a protest against the way in which he chose to express that opinion, denoting a dire lack of fair-play...

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Post #: 75
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 3/5/2007 1:30:04 AM   
VincentHanna


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TheRonin
And what I meant by objectivity was the ability to distance one's self from petty influences, look at the bigger picture and offer a perspective of that bigger picture to your readers while providing some conclusive arguments to support that vision. Maybe fairness is a more fitting term......this is not a protest against his opinion, an opinion he is more than entitled to have, it is a protest against the way in which he chose to express that opinion


Thanks for the clarification, I understand where you're coming from here. Fair points you've made. And with that......good night!

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Post #: 76
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 3/5/2007 9:09:53 AM   
Sleepy


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I know in the past that when it comes to the DVD review Empire sometimes try to diverge from the normal plain review of the film, their argument being that it is coming hot on the heels only a few months later and so to keep things fresh they go for something a little bit different.

Though I think in this case, were there appears to be such polar opinions on the film - I haven't seen it myself so can't say one way or the other - it may have been best if they had taken the Empire Movie Trial approach and gave over suitable space for each side to present their reasons.



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Post #: 77
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 3/5/2007 11:00:42 AM   
Larry of Arabia

 

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I have to say, that review of The Fountain on DVD did stick out like a sore thumb. So much for keeping it in Empire's house style. More like something you'd find on a blog than a review.

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Post #: 78
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 4/5/2007 9:34:47 PM   
Orbital

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JIm R

No, my point is that Empire have a tendancy to review a film on release and heap muchous praise on it then if the film happens to be disliked or not very well received they then back track and say 'oh we hated it all along' simply to fall in with public opinion, regardless of who reviewed it.

That's my point.

Jim


Some other poor reviews that have been re-edited or should be IMO

films like :

Lady in the Water by Ian Freer ,Superman Returns ratings
Nikita , The Ant Bully review by Olly Richards , Crying Game
Gilia Murray's Live Flesh, JackArse the movie
Freedom Writers  & Before Sunset by Liz Beardsworth , review Pearl Harbor
Ian Nathan and his thoughts on Down in the Valley or The Terminal or Alexander
The Pianist , Anna Smith's review of Akeelah And The Bee
Speed-2, Crank by Nick De Semlyen
Save the Green Planet or The Family Friend by Patrick Peters
ATOC,  Fletch Lives, Kim Newman on Goya's Ghosts or 'Hills have Eyes part 2'
Lost in Translation, Scott Russon's Just Married, Die Hard with a Vengeance
Blair Witch, David Parkinson's review of Man Push Cart

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Post #: 79
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 11/5/2007 10:50:55 PM   
Spider


Posts: 2078
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Ian Nathan has always been a reviewer who I have noticed as being a an interesting read, often for his controversial opinions and usual mix of humour and eloquence, but his review for The Fountain has lost him a lot of respect from me.

I know this argument is somewhat being repeated over and over again, but I still thought I'd throw in my thoughts. I think it's a great idea to have an alternative opinion in the DVD section (I actually think that in general the DVD star rating is more accurate because it doesn't rely on the first impact of cinema reviews), and I haven't seen the film so I can't say whether I agree with the rating, but I have to say it was probably the worst written piece I've ever seen in the magazine, controversial or not. If Nathan was trying to cause controversy and discussion, he could far more effectively have done so by offering some constructive and interesting criticism of the film, rather than the irrelevant and frankly childish nonsense that he did write. I don't know if Empire is trying desperately to keep friends with him, given the fact he is a well regarded film writer, but any editor worth their salt would have taken one look at that review and thought "I'm simply not publishing this".

Of course when I do see the film I will do so with an open mind, his review has not affected me at all, but it is a shame that such a ludicrous piece is allowed to be published, potentially putting many people off what according to many people is a great film. True, Nathan is entitled to his opinions, and people don't have to take his opinion as fact, but one can't deny that reviews in Empire have an impact on what you might want to watch, if they are going to be written on this level in the future then I hope this will stop being the case.

This coupled with some very dodgy pieces for the Movie Trial section from Nathan have certainly caused me to be very cautious of his writing in the future. Poor show Empire.

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Post #: 80
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 12/5/2007 12:04:06 PM   
UTB


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Perhaps it's time to drop the star ratings?

People could then just read the review and make up their own minds instead of turning nazi whenever a star is dropped or added...


Just a thought.

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Post #: 81
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 12/5/2007 3:48:36 PM   
Rgirvan44


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quote:

ORIGINAL: UTB

Perhaps it's time to drop the star ratings?

People could then just read the review and make up their own minds instead of turning nazi whenever a star is dropped or added...


Just a thought.


I don't know how much of this thread you have read but the issue isn't the review. I wasn't a massive fan of the film and would have enjoyed a critial review of the film to go with the positive cinema review. But the review did not offer any real criticism of the film, instead focusing on the fans of the film. It would be like doing a review of Star Trek and keep going on about Trekkies. Its the quailty of the review which is the problem.

And still amazed that The Fountain got such a small piece in the DVD section.

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Post #: 82
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 13/5/2007 11:01:20 AM   
Spider


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quote:

ORIGINAL: UTB

Perhaps it's time to drop the star ratings?

People could then just read the review and make up their own minds instead of turning nazi whenever a star is dropped or added...


Just a thought.


What a stupid post, as everyone has said it doesn't really have anything to do with the star rating (as I said, I haven't even seen it), it's to do with the awful review. It's also nice to have some sensible and professional justification if you're going to give one star. Read the thread.

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Post #: 83
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 13/5/2007 12:10:03 PM   
UTB


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Terribly sorry. Shan't do it again.



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Post #: 84
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 13/5/2007 1:40:58 PM   
Spider


Posts: 2078
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quote:

ORIGINAL: UTB

Terribly sorry. Shan't do it again.



You better not!!



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Post #: 85
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 18/5/2007 1:25:58 AM   
Mason Verger


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Another review for Empire's hall of shame.


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Post #: 86
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 18/5/2007 12:37:25 PM   
Morgan 81

 

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Remember the infamous Two Towers review? That was the mother of all backtracks.

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Post #: 87
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 18/5/2007 1:10:45 PM   
Mikey C


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Morgan 81

Remember the infamous Two Towers review? That was the mother of all backtracks.


What? Didn't it just go from "amazing!" to "really good"? Didn't it do that for most people?


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Post #: 88
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 18/5/2007 2:27:02 PM   
Morgan 81

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mikey C
What? Didn't it just go from "amazing!" to "really good"? Didn't it do that for most people?


No, it went from four-star review tinged with disappointment to five-star, it's-all-good review. The reviewer tacked on a weak mea culpa when it was discovered by people on the forums.


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Post #: 89
RE: Empire - kings of the back track - 18/5/2007 2:44:08 PM   
Mikey C


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From: The internet
quote:

ORIGINAL: Morgan 81

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mikey C
What? Didn't it just go from "amazing!" to "really good"? Didn't it do that for most people?


No, it went from four-star review tinged with disappointment to five-star, it's-all-good review. The reviewer tacked on a weak mea culpa when it was discovered by people on the forums.



I don't remember that... but it sounds vaguely familiar. It is a 4 star film though.


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My internet ramblings

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Post #: 90
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