Bad reviews : LUSENET : TitanicShack : One Thread

I read two absolutely awful reviews of Titanic recently. One from some online thing called "Salon" or something, the other by Richard Corliss from Time Magazine. Have any of you read them? I think someone turned on Deep Rising and told them it was Titanic, 'cause their reviews stunk so bad it was like they watched something totally different from me.

-- Dave Phillips (, February 02, 1998


I just read your question. I believe that the problem with bad reviews is that they are written by people who are ashamed to admit that they are sensitive and capable of crying. I am 26-years old and a male. I saw TITANIC four times and cried all four times. I know that many of my male friends hate TITANIC because it makes them look unmacho and because all the girls are swooning over LEO instead of them. Take heart, if you cried during the movie, you are quite normal and the reviews are wrong. Period.

-- ?????????????????? (, February 02, 1998.

I agree with the male macho thing above, but I also think that it's kind of like the art world (paintings and stuff I mean) Someone can put a dot on a white canvas and all the art critics will go crazy! Then everyone else agrees with them so they don't look stupid. Not that I'm comparing Titanic to a dot on a canvas... It's way bettern than that, but if some bad rumors or some prominent person gets started on how bad the movie was, it's just them trying to sound like they are the all wise supreme being on that topic.

-- Cara (, February 02, 1998., i know exactly what you are talking about.. i went out with "a bunch of the guys" the first time i went to see titanic, and i thought we were going to see some dumb film about a sinking ship (heh, boy was i wrong). instead, i saw a love story, one that touched me so greatly that i was reduced to tears. they, on the other hand, were not. they didn't like the movie, they didn't get the movie. go figure. so i suppose a bad review of titanic might simply be a case of misunderstanding. one other possibility is that a critic might come out against titanic because so many people like it. ya know, devil's advocate. finally, the critic might have genuinly disliked the movie, and i can understand that. Titanic represents an ideal, a virtual impossiblity, an illusion even. Someone might not like titanic becuase its a reminder of what they haven't achieved, or can't achieve. I am not saying that a love such as the one that existed between rose and jack is impossible. i am a die hard hopeless romantic. i'm into that stuff. What i am saying is the ideal portrayed is really really really hard to obtain. Accordingly, someone might not like titanic because of its unrealistic ideal.

-- Jordan Gray (, February 02, 1998.

I've seen the two reviews you mentioned (Salon and Time) and have seen several additional ones, including one from the Detroit News (where I live) that only gave it 2 out of 4 (and I usually love her insight on movies!!). Most of these reviews have indicated that the poor dramatic storyline is the reason for the bad review, while the special effects are still given high marks. In each case, I have wondered if the reviewer saw the same movie I did. When it all comes down to it, there are always going to be people who disagree, no matter how good the movie, the book, the album, the play, the painting, etc. This is all a creative process that doesn't meet the expectations and/or liking of all who encounter it. Indeed, there have been authors and painters whose works were panned during their lifetime, but in retrospect, have become lauded for their works posthumously. So, let us enjoy "Titanic" and forget about those who don't. And let's see how "Titanic" fares in years to come.

-- Kathleen Marcaccio (, February 02, 1998.

Cara, sounds right. Gene Siskel (of Siskel&Ebert) was giving his top 10 for the year, and he prefaced his #2 with,"Most the other critics are giving LA Confidential their top pick..I'm giving it #2." I'm astounded he admitted to paying attention to other critics. FYI, after he put Titanic somewhere between #10 and #15, and Roger put it at #9 on his list, I decided to not follow them anymore.

-- Bob Gregorio (, February 04, 1998.

Well, I was equally astonished. In fact I communicated with several critics, one of whom answered by E-Mail. In my opinion, what happened here is that several critics, some of which are evidently not that well heeled, felt the movie's expense somehow disqualified it and was not "moral." Evidently they felt the money should have been used to feed the "poor" or something like that. Corliss's review was contemptable. I think he and other cynical snobs went to the movie and they all reinforced their prejudices. The fact of the matter is that the only thing a critic has to have is a PC and a word processor and ability to write. This movie was a masterpiece on so many accounts that any critics who panned this movie were only showing how unobjective they were. I've read perhaps 125 reviews on the Internet and the vast majority were effusive in their praise. You can also E-Mail these critics and give a "thumbs-down" for their review. What's good for the goose is good for the gander so to speak.

-- Richard Wendt (, February 04, 1998.

My local paper has a movie critic with no taste. She either hates the movie or loves it. What kills me is that she gave Titanic one and a half stars out of five and gave a movie like Half Baked three. She says, and I quote: "Costing over $200 million US, and running almost 3.25 hours, James Cameron's water logged epic is as vainglorious and over-inflated as the vessel it's named for. Cameron knows the ship-providing a meticulously-researched 260-metre model and some absolutely spectacular footage of the fateful 1912 sinking. But he doesn't understand the people on it-leaving the audience with hours of holey melodrama, as star-crossed lovers Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio struggle with stiff dialogue and cardboard characterization. *1/2"

Sorry that was so long. But every single time I read a review of hers, she makes me so angry!! Wake up, millions of people can't be wrong!! AAARGH!!

-- Allison (, February 07, 1998.

My impression of what reviewers like Richard Corliss and their ilk find pleasing in a movie is the quality of being ultra-new / never-tried-before. I have no problem with this notion because I have grown tired of the mind numbing crash and burn epics that cascade from Hollywood these days. It is true that there is less and less originality in movie stories as studios strive for the formulaic sure thing.

This is what I suspect happened:

1. Reviewers hear all the bad press about the high cost, hence they are ill disposed before ever even seeing Titanic. 2. They go to the movie with the attitude that it better live up to all that money by having some really fantastic original story. 3. Instead they see a very straight forward and relatively uncomplicated love story. 4. Now, even though they might secretly like the story they can't publicy endorse such a direct script because that would show journalistic weakness and sentimentality--a classic example of the male being preoccupied with size, in this case, the size of his professional contempt, so that no one sees that you might be just alittle vulnerable. 5. Therefore Titanic is "dead in the water" (Richard Corliss, TIME)

The lesson to be drawn from this is that old stories can still be the conduit of a very compelling drama, as Titanic has demonstrated. Another lesson is that pride and haughtiness can blind a person to the obvious truth.

-- Douglas M. Wenzel (, February 11, 1998.

Douglas: Three cheers!!! I couldn't have said it any better myself!!! It irritates me to no end, that these critics are so shallow minded!! They simply cannot take this movie for what it is. It's a simple love story involving young people. I don't know of any young people falling in love for the first time (including myself, when I was a teenager) that they feel any different than our Jack and Rose. I don't know what these critics are looking for "a new way to tell a love story" COME ON!!! There is NO other WAY!!!

Titanic is an old story, and it must be told in an old-fashioned way, and I think James Cameron did just that.

My own mother refuses to go see this movie "just because there has been so much talk about" "The money spent on it was ridiculous", it's the closed-mindedness that keeps these people from "letting this movie in". Just like Brock Lovett. "LET IT IN PEOPLE"

-- Caron (, February 12, 1998.

Okay, I just reread my answer above and it's supposed to be HOKEY not holey melodrama. Sorry about that. :)

-- Allison (, February 12, 1998.

Remember Gene Shalit from The Today Show who dissed Titanic, saying it had no soul? He's one of the people quoted on "Deep Impact" ads, saying that movie is intelligent and stirring. Besides him and a few other critics I never heard of, I have heard nothing but negative things about that movie. Maybe the moral is, if Shalit likes it, stay home. If he doesn't, it's probably good.

-- Bob Gregorio (, May 10, 1998.

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