View Poll Results: Does film criticism have a snarkiness problem?

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Thread: Does film criticism have a snarkiness problem?

  1. #1
    Philosopher of Men Sleeping in EQ's Avatar
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    Default Does film criticism have a snarkiness problem?

    Well, does it?
    We all trust our own unorthodoxies.

  2. #2
    Soul Plumber wuapinmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleeping in EQ View Post
    Well, does it?
    You mean like food criticism does? https://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/14/d...es-square.html
    "Yeah, but never trust a Ph.D who has an MBA as well. The PhD symbolizes intelligence and discipline. The MBA symbolizes lust for power." -- Katy Lied

  3. #3
    Corporate lackey for Jesus Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    I have not read a film review in years. Other than the ones here I guess. I just look at the metrics.
    "There is no creature more arrogant than a self-righteous libertarian on the web, am I right? Those folks are just intolerable."
    "It's no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it's sanctimony." -- Guy Periwinkle, The Nix.
    "Juilliardk N I ibuprofen Hyu I U unhurt u" - creekster

  4. #4
    Philosopher of Men Sleeping in EQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wuapinmon View Post
    Wow.

    Someone's alternative therapy isn't working.
    We all trust our own unorthodoxies.

  5. #5

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    I like reading film reviews. The better ones are well written and make me laugh. They are obviously snarky, but it’s a feature, not a bug.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by wuapinmon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Sleeping in EQ View Post
    Wow.

    Someone's alternative therapy isn't working.
    see also the worst take in the history of food: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/29/d...ete-wells.html
    Te Occidere Possunt Sed Te Edere Non Possunt Nefas Est.

  7. #7
    Philosopher of Men Sleeping in EQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_gregg View Post
    see also the worst take in the history of food: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/29/d...ete-wells.html
    I'm hitting the paywall....
    We all trust our own unorthodoxies.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleeping in EQ View Post
    I'm hitting the paywall....
    Peter Luger Used to Sizzle. Now It Sputters.

    By Pete Wells

    Oct. 29, 2019

    I can count on Peter Luger Steak House in Brooklyn to produce certain sensations at every meal.

    There is the insistent smell of broiled dry-aged steak that hits me the minute I open the door and sometimes sooner, while I’m still outside on the South Williamsburg sidewalk, producing a raised pulse, a quickening of the senses and a restlessness familiar to anyone who has seen a tiger that has just heard the approach of the lunch bucket.

    There is the hiss of butter and melted tallow as they slide down the hot platter, past the sliced porterhouse or rib steak and their charred bones, to make a pool at one end. The server will spoon some of this sizzling fat over the meat he has just plated, generally with some line like “Here are your vitamins.”

    There is the thunk of a bowl filled with schlag landing on a bare wood table when dessert is served, and soon after, the softer tap-tap-tap of waxy chocolate coins in gold foil dropped one at a time on top of the check.

    And after I’ve paid, there is the unshakable sense that I’ve been scammed.

    The last sensation was not part of the Peter Luger experience when I started eating there, in the 1990s. I was acutely aware of the cost back then because I would settle the tab by counting out $20 bills; cash was the only way to pay unless you had a Peter Luger credit card. At the end of the night my wallet would be empty. Because a Peter Luger steak made me feel alive in a way that few other things did, I considered this a fair trade, although I could afford it only once a year or so.

    I don’t remember when the doubts began, but they grew over time.

    Diners who walk in the door eager to hand over literal piles of money aren’t greeted; they’re processed. A host with a clipboard looks for the name, or writes it down and quotes a waiting time. There is almost always a wait, with or without a reservation, and there is almost always a long line of supplicants against the wall. A kind word or reassuring smile from somebody on staff would help the time pass. The smile never comes. The Department of Motor Vehicles is a block party compared with the line at Peter Luger.

    [Sign up for Sam Sifton’s Cooking newsletter for recipes, food writing and culinary inspiration.]

    The management seems to go out of its way to make things inconvenient. Customers at the bar have to order drinks from the bartender and food from an overworked server on the other side of the bar, and then pay two separate checks and leave two separate tips. And they can’t order lunch after 2:30 p.m., even though the bar and the kitchen remain open.

    Since its last, two-star review in the Times, written by Frank Bruni in 2007, the restaurant has started taking online reservations. It accepts debit cards, too, which is nice. But the credit card you use to buy a cortado at the cafe or a bag of chips at the bodega will still not buy you a meal at Peter Luger.

    The servers, who once were charmingly brusque, now give the strong impression that these endless demands for food and drink are all that’s standing between them and a hard-earned nap. Signals that a customer has a question or request don’t get picked up as quickly; the canned jokes about spinach and schlag don’t flow as freely.

    Some things are the same as ever. The shrimp cocktail has always tasted like cold latex dipped in ketchup and horseradish. The steak sauce has always tasted like the same ketchup and horseradish fortified by corn syrup.
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    Although the fries are reasonably crisp, their insides are mealy and bland in a way that fresh-cut potatoes almost certainly would not be. The sole — yes, I’m the person who ordered the sole at Peter Luger — was strangely similar: The bread crumbs on top were gold and crunchy, but the fish underneath was dry and almost powdery.

    Was the Caesar salad always so drippy, the croutons always straight out of a bag, the grated cheese always so white and rubbery? I know there was a time the German fried potatoes were brown and crunchy, because I eagerly ate them each time I went. Now they are mushy, dingy, gray and sometimes cold. I look forward to them the way I look forward to finding a new, irregularly shaped mole.

    [Readers respond to the Pete Wells review of Peter Luger.]

    Lunch one afternoon vividly demonstrated the kitchen’s inconsistency: I ordered a burger, medium-rare, at the bar. So had the two people sitting to my right, it turned out. One of them got what we’d all asked for, a midnight-dark crust giving way to an evenly rosy interior so full of juices it looked like it was ready to cry. The other one got a patty that was almost completely brown inside. I got a weird hybrid, a burger whose interior shaded from nearly perfect on one side to gray and hard on the other.

    The same issue afflicted a medium-rare porterhouse I was served one night: The fillet was ideal but the other side of the T-bone, the strip, ranged from medium-rare to medium-well. I could live with this; big cuts of meat don’t always cook evenly. What gnaws at me every time I eat a Luger porterhouse is the realization that it’s just another steak, and far from the best New York has to offer.

    [Melissa Clark shows you how to cook a steak at home.]

    Other restaurants, and not just steakhouses, can put a formidable crust on both sides of the cut; Luger caramelizes the top side only, while the underside is barely past raw, as if it had done all its cooking on the hot platter.

    Other restaurants, and not just steakhouses, buy beef that is tender, richly marbled and deeply flavorful; at Luger, you get the first two but not the third.

    Other restaurants, and not just steakhouses, age that beef to make flavor grow and intensify and double back on itself; dry-aging at Luger still results in a tender steak, but it rarely achieves a hypnotic or compelling or even very interesting one.

    But those other restaurants are not Peter Luger, as Friedrich Nietzsche might have said.

    “When in this essay I declare war upon Wagner,” Nietzsche wrote in “The Case of Wagner,” “the last thing I want to do is start a celebration for any other musicians. Other musicians don’t count compared to Wagner.”

    I could say the same thing about other steakhouses — compared to Peter Luger, they don’t count. Luger is not the city’s oldest, but it’s the one in which age, tradition, superb beef, blistering heat, an instinctive avoidance of anything fancy and an immensely attractive self-assurance came together to produce something that felt less like a restaurant than an affirmation of life, or at least life as it is lived in New York City. This sounds ridiculously grand. Years ago I thought it was true, though, and so did other people.

    The restaurant will always have its loyalists. They will laugh away the prices, the $16.95 sliced tomatoes that taste like 1979, the $229.80 porterhouse for four. They will say that nobody goes to Luger for the sole, nobody goes to Luger for the wine, nobody goes to Luger for the salad, nobody goes to Luger for the service. The list goes on, and gets harder to swallow, until you start to wonder who really needs to go to Peter Luger, and start to think the answer is nobody.
    Te Occidere Possunt Sed Te Edere Non Possunt Nefas Est.

  9. #9
    UofU/BYU mixed marriage Scott R Nelson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleeping in EQ View Post
    I'm hitting the paywall....
    Delete any cookies that contain "nyt" and you can get in - for one article. Repeat as necessary.

  10. #10
    Soul Plumber wuapinmon's Avatar
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    Incognito mode is your friend.
    "Yeah, but never trust a Ph.D who has an MBA as well. The PhD symbolizes intelligence and discipline. The MBA symbolizes lust for power." -- Katy Lied

  11. #11
    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wuapinmon View Post
    Incognito mode is your friend.
    My library is my friend. Through them I get a free 2 day subscription to the times. Just need to do a could of clicks every few days.

    Just found out about this last week. It's been great. And because I am a nerd I have been using it to read book reviews and get the California update.

  12. #12
    Corporate lackey for Jesus Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wuapinmon View Post
    Incognito mode is your friend.
    That rarely works anymore.
    "There is no creature more arrogant than a self-righteous libertarian on the web, am I right? Those folks are just intolerable."
    "It's no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it's sanctimony." -- Guy Periwinkle, The Nix.
    "Juilliardk N I ibuprofen Hyu I U unhurt u" - creekster

  13. #13
    UofU/BYU mixed marriage Scott R Nelson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wuapinmon View Post
    Incognito mode is your friend.
    Not with the New York Times it isn't. They recognize it and won't let you do a thing.

  14. #14
    Corporate lackey for Jesus Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    I pay for online access to NYT and WSJ. I wish I had done it sooner. Thinking of adding WaPo.

    Don't let a few bucks a month stop you from getting access to the best (and increasingly scarce) journalism.
    "There is no creature more arrogant than a self-righteous libertarian on the web, am I right? Those folks are just intolerable."
    "It's no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it's sanctimony." -- Guy Periwinkle, The Nix.
    "Juilliardk N I ibuprofen Hyu I U unhurt u" - creekster

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott R Nelson View Post
    Not with the New York Times it isn't. They recognize it and won't let you do a thing.
    just use whatever you use for your porn
    Te Occidere Possunt Sed Te Edere Non Possunt Nefas Est.

  16. #16
    Soul Plumber wuapinmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_gregg View Post
    just use whatever you use for your porn
    Scott makes porn?
    "Yeah, but never trust a Ph.D who has an MBA as well. The PhD symbolizes intelligence and discipline. The MBA symbolizes lust for power." -- Katy Lied

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by wuapinmon View Post
    Scott makes porn?
    what do you think that closet full of unmarked vhs tapes is?
    Te Occidere Possunt Sed Te Edere Non Possunt Nefas Est.

  18. #18
    Soul Plumber wuapinmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_gregg View Post
    what do you think that closet full of unmarked vhs tapes is?
    Whores d'oeuvre?
    "Yeah, but never trust a Ph.D who has an MBA as well. The PhD symbolizes intelligence and discipline. The MBA symbolizes lust for power." -- Katy Lied

  19. #19

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    Online access to NYT and WaPo here. That’s 10/month you cheapskates.

  20. #20
    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northwestcoug View Post
    Online access to NYT and WaPo here. That’s 10/month you cheapskates.
    Didn't know you were rolling with welder money.

    I've only got WaPo access, but much cheaper than $5 or $10 per month.
    "I think it was King Benjamin who said 'you sorry ass shitbags who have no skills that the market values also have an obligation to have the attitude that if one day you do in fact win the PowerBall Lottery that you will then impart of your substance to those without.'"
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  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    Didn't know you were rolling with welder money.

    I've only got WaPo access, but much cheaper than $5 or $10 per month.
    I even have a few dollars to spare for local news access

  22. #22
    Senior Member BigFatMeanie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    I pay for online access to NYT and WSJ. I wish I had done it sooner. Thinking of adding WaPo.

    Don't let a few bucks a month stop you from getting access to the best (and increasingly scarce) journalism.
    Many people can get access to the WSJ through their employer. I fall into this category. You should check and see if your employer has some type of program that allows you access.

  23. #23
    Corporate lackey for Jesus Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigFatMeanie View Post
    Many people can get access to the WSJ through their employer. I fall into this category. You should check and see if your employer has some type of program that allows you access.
    Yes. I get a discount to both. I think I pay about $4/mo for each.
    "There is no creature more arrogant than a self-righteous libertarian on the web, am I right? Those folks are just intolerable."
    "It's no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it's sanctimony." -- Guy Periwinkle, The Nix.
    "Juilliardk N I ibuprofen Hyu I U unhurt u" - creekster

  24. #24
    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigFatMeanie View Post
    Many people can get access to the WSJ through their employer. I fall into this category. You should check and see if your employer has some type of program that allows you access.
    My employer is a jerk. Doesn't really provide me much in the way of benefits.
    "I think it was King Benjamin who said 'you sorry ass shitbags who have no skills that the market values also have an obligation to have the attitude that if one day you do in fact win the PowerBall Lottery that you will then impart of your substance to those without.'"
    - Goatnapper'96

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    My employer is a jerk. Doesn't really provide me much in the way of benefits.
    i heard he's also not very smart
    Te Occidere Possunt Sed Te Edere Non Possunt Nefas Est.

  26. #26
    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_gregg View Post
    i heard he's also not very smart
    He definitely does, says, and writes a lot of dumb things.
    "I think it was King Benjamin who said 'you sorry ass shitbags who have no skills that the market values also have an obligation to have the attitude that if one day you do in fact win the PowerBall Lottery that you will then impart of your substance to those without.'"
    - Goatnapper'96

  27. #27
    Soul Plumber wuapinmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wuapinmon View Post
    Whores d'oeuvre?
    I crack myself up.
    "Yeah, but never trust a Ph.D who has an MBA as well. The PhD symbolizes intelligence and discipline. The MBA symbolizes lust for power." -- Katy Lied

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