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Empire Reviews and Spoilers - 14/1/2011 12:09:21 PM   
Filmfan 2


Posts: 1049
Joined: 30/9/2005
Sorry for another rant thread, but I have to get this off of my chest.

I'll start this by getting to my main point: please, for the love of whatever God/food/item of clothing Empire writers happen to worship, WILL YOU PLEASE START POSTING A SPOILER WARNING IF A REVIEW IN THE MAGAZINE WARRANTS IT!

I usually make a point of reading the Empire reviews after seeing a movie due to past bad experiences. In a moment of madness, however, I read Adam Smith's review of The Fighter. The review itself is very well written but in the final paragraph, I had the final shot of the movie spoiled for me.

Thanks very much, Empire.

Now, I understand that reviewers will often have to allude to crucial plot points or shots in the movie to perhaps back up a point that they are making, but would it be so hard to post a little spoiler warning under the by-line of the review if said review contains something that might potentially ruin a viewing experience? Most of the reviews in the magazine don't contain spoilers, so it's not like it's going to run up ink costs or anything.

I enjoy reading Empire and that's why I suscribe, but it's this kind of thing that makes me want to cancel my subscription.


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RE: Empire Reviews and Spoilers - 14/1/2011 12:44:49 PM   
Helen OHara

 

Posts: 3543
Joined: 15/9/2005
I really, really, REALLY don't think that's a spoiler. It's a description of a specific shot and doesn't actually tell you anything substantive about what's happening in the scene. If you think it does, I suspect you've been misled - which is actually no bad thing. I've seen the film, and I can assure you that that spoils nothing.

_____________________________

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"Movies are forever, and sex doesn't last" - Mae West.

(in reply to Filmfan 2)
Post #: 2
RE: Empire Reviews and Spoilers - 14/1/2011 12:53:09 PM   
Filmfan 2


Posts: 1049
Joined: 30/9/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Helen OHara

I really, really, REALLY don't think that's a spoiler. It's a description of a specific shot and doesn't actually tell you anything substantive about what's happening in the scene. If you think it does, I suspect you've been misled - which is actually no bad thing. I've seen the film, and I can assure you that that spoils nothing.


Well, maybe it's not a spoiler in the strictest sense, but I don't want closing shots of movies revealed to me.


_____________________________

I am not drinkin' any fuckin' Merlot!

"All I wanted me was a piece of cornbread, you motherfuckers!"

Defender of all things Batman Begins


(in reply to Helen OHara)
Post #: 3
RE: Empire Reviews and Spoilers - 14/1/2011 1:17:55 PM   
Helen OHara

 

Posts: 3543
Joined: 15/9/2005
If it's any comfort, there are some shots over the credits and this isn't one of them, so it's arguably not the final shot.

Also, if it doesn't spoil anything, and I would very, very strongly argue that this doesn't, why not talk about the last shot?

And now you've gone and made me agree with Adam on something. I hate that.


_____________________________

"I never understood drinking. It isn't good for your looks, and it cuts down on what you are. I never wanted to cut down on what I am." - Mae West

"Movies are forever, and sex doesn't last" - Mae West.

(in reply to Filmfan 2)
Post #: 4
RE: Empire Reviews and Spoilers - 14/1/2011 3:30:36 PM   
horribleives

 

Posts: 5068
Joined: 12/6/2009
From: The North
There's a couple in the True Grit review (the 'last words' bit and the reference to Cogburn's final line) and one in Conviction too (at the end of the second last paragraph). But still, at least Kim Newman seems to be behaving himself. Well, so I hear, I don't actually read his reviews 'til I've seen the film.

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RE: Empire Reviews and Spoilers - 14/1/2011 3:37:47 PM   
Helen OHara

 

Posts: 3543
Joined: 15/9/2005
Well in fairness True Grit is a remake of a 40-something year old film and book, both of which are reasonably well known, and there has to be a statute of limitations on spoilers. For Conviction, it's based on a fairly famous true story (and if you think about it for even a second, you'll realise that the true story wouldn't be famous were the ending not what you think the ending's going to be) and also, that line doesn't necessarily give the ending away.

_____________________________

"I never understood drinking. It isn't good for your looks, and it cuts down on what you are. I never wanted to cut down on what I am." - Mae West

"Movies are forever, and sex doesn't last" - Mae West.

(in reply to horribleives)
Post #: 6
RE: Empire Reviews and Spoilers - 14/1/2011 4:38:14 PM   
piccolo135

 

Posts: 1774
Joined: 6/9/2006
From: Cheshire
Errr yeah, and also the review said " she plunges her horse into a river", which like, completely gives that bit away. The whole thing is ruined for me now.

(in reply to Helen OHara)
Post #: 7
RE: Empire Reviews and Spoilers - 14/1/2011 6:04:16 PM   
Filmfan 2


Posts: 1049
Joined: 30/9/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: piccolo135

Errr yeah, and also the review said " she plunges her horse into a river", which like, completely gives that bit away. The whole thing is ruined for me now.


Be sarcastic if you like, but it's a serious point.

Just because the last shot might not be a spoiler it doesn't mean it should be revealed, Helen. I've often found the last shots in movies to have a significant payoff emotionally. Whilst Adam's description might not ruin the movie outright, it has taken the shine off the emotional investment somewhat. And I'm sure, if you were honest, you wouldn't want people revealing the last shots of movies that you are really looking forward to.


_____________________________

I am not drinkin' any fuckin' Merlot!

"All I wanted me was a piece of cornbread, you motherfuckers!"

Defender of all things Batman Begins


(in reply to piccolo135)
Post #: 8
RE: Empire Reviews and Spoilers - 14/1/2011 6:07:37 PM   
Helen OHara

 

Posts: 3543
Joined: 15/9/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Filmfan 2
Just because the last shot might not be a spoiler it doesn't mean it should be revealed, Helen. I've often found the last shots in movies to have a significant payoff emotionally. Whilst Adam's description might not ruin the movie outright, it has taken the shine off the emotional investment somewhat. And I'm sure, if you were honest, you wouldn't want people revealing the last shots of movies that you are really looking forward to.


To be perfectly honest, it wouldn't bother me. You have to discuss a film to review it properly, and reviews which don't go into any detail about a film are usually anaemic, uninteresting and lacking in insight. Therefore there are very few hard and fast rules about what to mention or leave out, and I certainly see no problem in mentioning a non-spoilerific last shot.

With all respect, if you're that sensitive to having the shine taken off, I wouldn't read reviews until afterwards.


_____________________________

"I never understood drinking. It isn't good for your looks, and it cuts down on what you are. I never wanted to cut down on what I am." - Mae West

"Movies are forever, and sex doesn't last" - Mae West.

(in reply to Filmfan 2)
Post #: 9
RE: Empire Reviews and Spoilers - 14/1/2011 6:24:31 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54597
Joined: 1/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Helen OHara

Well in fairness True Grit is a remake of a 40-something year old film and book, both of which are reasonably well known, and there has to be a statute of limitations on spoilers.


Possible Spoilers for True Grit

I agree about a statute (half the threads in Movie Musings would be a problem otherwise). But I'd say the book isn't particularly widely read and, reading this thread, it sounds as if the new film ends differently to the old film which did not end with Cogburn dead.

End of spoilers

But then, I agree with the other point - I rarely read reviews till after I've seen a film these days because so many seem to be full of things I really don't want to know in advance.

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Post #: 10
RE: Empire Reviews and Spoilers - 14/1/2011 6:24:51 PM   
Filmfan 2


Posts: 1049
Joined: 30/9/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Helen OHara

quote:

ORIGINAL: Filmfan 2
Just because the last shot might not be a spoiler it doesn't mean it should be revealed, Helen. I've often found the last shots in movies to have a significant payoff emotionally. Whilst Adam's description might not ruin the movie outright, it has taken the shine off the emotional investment somewhat. And I'm sure, if you were honest, you wouldn't want people revealing the last shots of movies that you are really looking forward to.


To be perfectly honest, it wouldn't bother me. You have to discuss a film to review it properly, and reviews which don't go into any detail about a film are usually anaemic, uninteresting and lacking in insight. Therefore there are very few hard and fast rules about what to mention or leave out, and I certainly see no problem in mentioning a non-spoilerific last shot.

With all respect, if you're that sensitive to having the shine taken off, I wouldn't read reviews until afterwards.



I'm not saying don't discuss it in any detail. It would nice though if you could signpost it at the top of a review though if it does contain anything that is going to potentially spoil a film.

I think, however, that I'm probably pissing into the wind on this matter, so consider this my sign off on the topic.


_____________________________

I am not drinkin' any fuckin' Merlot!

"All I wanted me was a piece of cornbread, you motherfuckers!"

Defender of all things Batman Begins


(in reply to Helen OHara)
Post #: 11
RE: Empire Reviews and Spoilers - 16/1/2011 12:35:28 PM   
darth silas


Posts: 4949
Joined: 1/10/2005
From: My living room
The most recent example of a spoilery review is the Inglorious Bastards one.The reviewer mentioned arguably the best line in the film and said it was at the very end.That was pretty stupid and careless.

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RE: Empire Reviews and Spoilers - 16/1/2011 9:23:12 PM   
DaveTheStampede

 

Posts: 247
Joined: 6/3/2009
If you cannot review something without spoiling the plot, any impactful moments, any jokes, or indeed anything that would ultimately lessen the experience for the reader, then you are doing it wrong.  No excuses, no justifications, it simply represents a lack of skill on the part of the reviewer.

But that's just me.

*shrugs*


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RE: Empire Reviews and Spoilers - 17/1/2011 12:48:04 PM   
bojangles1971

 

Posts: 24
Joined: 9/7/2008
It is indeed "just you".

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Post #: 14
RE: Empire Reviews and Spoilers - 31/1/2013 2:56:30 PM   
jrewing1000


Posts: 486
Joined: 23/11/2005
I wholeheartedly agree with this post. I am absolutely sick to death of reading reviews that give away plot details. It's an incredibly lazy way of reviewing, and sad to see Empire is now part of this trend.

When I read a review, I don't want the reviewer to tell me what happens in the film. Reviews are supposed to tell us whether or not it's worth our time watching the film. To state the obvious, most poeople who read these articles HAVENT SEEN THE FILM YET, so why on earth would anyone with a brain in their head think that people would want to know what happens?!

I find it totally bewildering that professional film critics think this is part of their job when reviewing a film. It ain't. It simply demonstrates that you are a hack and have no respect for the punters who haven't yet seen the film you are reviewing.

I now actively avoid reading Empire reviews. Which is a shame because I value their opinion. But no way am I going to risk any reveal of the story, like I did with the Zero Dark Thirty review, which I now completely regret reading.

(in reply to Filmfan 2)
Post #: 15
RE: Empire Reviews and Spoilers - 31/1/2013 4:24:37 PM   
Helen OHara

 

Posts: 3543
Joined: 15/9/2005
Dude, if you didn't know they killed bin Laden, you have bigger problems than movie spoilers.

_____________________________

"I never understood drinking. It isn't good for your looks, and it cuts down on what you are. I never wanted to cut down on what I am." - Mae West

"Movies are forever, and sex doesn't last" - Mae West.

(in reply to jrewing1000)
Post #: 16
RE: Empire Reviews and Spoilers - 31/1/2013 4:30:23 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
At the risk of defending the indefensible, the point may have been the final line of the review which while not revelatory of a particularly twisty part of the story does nevertheless give away something - however inconsequential - that happens at the very end of the film. There's no real need to reveal *any* specific details in a review beyond the first act of a film. Reviews that say, "I was really surprised by..." deny anyone else of that same surprise. Not that this is the case here, but has been in the past.

And what the hell? BIN LADEN IS DEAD?!?!

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Post #: 17
RE: Empire Reviews and Spoilers - 31/1/2013 4:37:16 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
Pauline Kael gave away plot details in some of her reviews. You're not living up to your title, Homes.

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Post #: 18
RE: Empire Reviews and Spoilers - 31/1/2013 4:54:59 PM   
Helen OHara

 

Posts: 3543
Joined: 15/9/2005
I kinda think that if knowing she feels something at the end spoils your enjoyment of (perhaps better phrasing would be "appreciation of" or "interest in") her performance and the film's approach, you're watching it wrong.

I absolutely think that spoilers exist, but I do not think every beat of a film's plot constitutes a "spoiler" if revealed in advance. It's a judgment call. We don't put the ending of The Sixth Sense in the review, but to discuss moments in ZDT has almost no effect in my view since the film is gripping no matter how much you already know about the story.

_____________________________

"I never understood drinking. It isn't good for your looks, and it cuts down on what you are. I never wanted to cut down on what I am." - Mae West

"Movies are forever, and sex doesn't last" - Mae West.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 19
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