Beware of the Big Bad Book Blog Critic

Critic

Everybody’s a critic.

But who criticizes the critics? I was recently going through some book blogs, and I couldn’t help but feel that they were eagerly bashing well known books, which didn’t sit well with me, even though the books in question weren’t my favorite. A little digging on the author of the blog didn’t show her as a published author, just someone who writes a blog, yet she was going through the first chapter of several books and cruelly dissecting them, as if she was superior to these authors. She made some good points, but it went beyond that and got nitpicky, including penalizing the authors for using the word ‘suddenly’ and such. I don’t know about you, but when I read the word ‘suddenly,’ I don’t revile against the author. So it seems this critic is ruining her own enjoyment of books by setting her standards so high, yet she hasn’t published anything of her own, although undoubtably she’s tried to write books of her own. (Who hasn’t?)

It seems that critics are out to ruin our enjoyment of anything. She was criticizing books that many people have enjoyed, books that were deemed worthy of publishing and proved financially successful. These worlds, whether they effectively used foreshadowing, thesauruses, and grammar correctly, still transported us to another world. When that happens, do technical details matter all that much?

I recently saw Batman v Superman. While it wasn’t the greatest movie, it wasn’t so horrible as I’d been led to believe based on critic’s reviews. Most user reviews place it higher than the critics. It certainly didn’t make me as mad as Spiderman 3 or X-Men The Last Stand.

While no fan of Taylor Swift, her lyrics ring true:

“And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate…”

It seems the world is full of haters now, looking for something to hate. Donald Trump has basically based his campaign on hating, and people are buying into it. No movie or movie trailer can come out without the haters exploding all over the internet. Back in the day, only the ‘professional’ critics had a real public voice, but now people can voice their opinions on things they haven’t even seen.

While the politically correct thing to do is voice tolerance, it seems it is treating the symptoms without touching the real problem. On the outside, people seem polite and reasonable, but their inner frustrations come out on the internet, unfiltered and scathing. This is why cyberbullying has become more lethal than normal meet-me-at-the-flagpole bullying. Political correctness isn’t nearly as effective in creating a peaceful society as it claims to be, but has become more fuel for attacking people who aren’t PC.

So people, please look deep down into yourselves and see where all the criticism, hate, and negativity is coming from before spewing it out. Because it has real effects, even if you don’t see it. And please, just get over yourselves. Criticizing a book or movie that people love, that transports them somewhere else, won’t stop mostĀ people from enjoying it, and to those it does, do you really feel happy about sucking the fun out of something?

What I think about Batman V Superman

Batman

Sorry, this isn’t a review of Batman v Superman, I’m not one of the privileged few to have seen the movie before it came out, (if you want that, go here). But I did want to weigh in on my thoughts and the journey they’ve taken while waiting for the movie to come out.

Man of Steel gave me mixed feelings. I liked it, but there were things I didn’t like as well. Like the wanton destruction. And seeing it a second time wasn’t as interesting. The fights got boring pretty fast. In fact, I liked the trailers for the movie much better than the movie itself. So a few days after that came out, Zack Snyder announced that the sequel would be Batman versus Superman. At first, I thought the idea was ridiculous. How could a mortal Batman even hope to challenge Superman, and why even try? It sounded gimmicky. And for a long time, that’s all I thought it would be.

Batman Comic Book

I eventually got The Dark Knight Returns (graphic novel) from the local library and read the story of:

*spoiler alert*

An old Batman coming out of retirement, dealing with his frailer body and a city that doesn’t want him, finally taking out the Joker, getting accused of murder, and finally taking on a Superman (working for the government) that was recently weakened after surviving a nuclear blast. You know, all the things we plan on doing after retiring.

*end spoiler alert*

A lot of people have praised that series, but it didn’t impress me overly much, nor did it give me any answers as to why they would fight in the movie (in the comicsĀ it didn’t make a whole lot of sense, either, other than a way for Batman to go out with a bang).

Trailer

I thought little of the movie until the second trailer came out. Then it did something I hadn’t expected: it showed consequences to Superman’s actions in Man of Steel. And Bruce Wayne witnessed that destruction, which turned him against Superman. That spoke to a depth that Man of Steel didn’t really have.

That trailer raised my expectations. Unfortunately, the third one lowered them again when it showed Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman all teamed up against Doomsday. It took out the tension of wondering if Superman and Batman would get along (not that there was any doubt) and seemed to reveal the entire movie. The only thing that makes me cautiously optimistic is that some of the early reviews claim that the trailer didn’t in fact ruin the movie. So we’ll see.

They also say this is a darker film than the Christopher Nolan trilogy. I’m not sure if that’s good or not. Part of the appeal of the Marvel movies is how they blend the humor with the action. Man of Steel, the only movie so far in this DC cinematic universe, had very little humor and looking back at it, it seemed bleak.

No matter how the movie rates, I think some people will be off put by this up and down set of expectations. But they might also be curious. I think Civil War will be more successful. What do you think?

By the way, go Team Superman.