Friday, December 23, 2011

Escape to the Movies: "War Horse"

Happy Holidays.

"Intermission" is about the Batman Trailer.


A. Ivan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A. Ivan said...

(deleted and reposted for appaling spelling and grammar)

What's that, you start and end the article by saying how great Nolan and the films are? DON'T CARE YOU'RE STILL A CONTRARIAN NOLAN-HATING AVENGERS FANBOY BOB.

I wouldn't bother analysing individual lines (in this case Catwoman's). If The Dark Knight taught us anything, it's that Nolan just takes the most dramatic soundbites completely out of context (not that this is particular unique to him). Remember how much cooler "Why so serious?" and "let's put a smile on that face" were in the trailer than the actual film?

Oh, and I like Bane. Never really seen him anywhere else, but I like how he looks and if his voice were just a little bit clearer it would be very badass. I still agree that his usual characterization is weak for the series' ultimate villain, but Nolan's whole style is to retool the characters to be more suited to film storytelling. That, and if he can fuck up a character like Two-Face so catastrophically, he can certainly go the opposite direction and make Bane interesting.

Sam said...

The sensible, rational, intelictual side of me says that WarHorse will be utterly brillent, a compelling peice of cinema that will wrench my heart-strings to within a inch of a emotion core, providing a fantastic insight into aspects of World War One which may have never been told in such an amazing light...

The childish, imature B-movie loving side of me just thinks "Horse vs the Germans!" and what a much better film that would make!!!

Jim said...


I was just wondering why War Horse got the green light and not Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?

I remember a few months ago you were all riled up about it and saying how awesome it was going to be, and looking at the body of both Fincher's and Craig's work, I have to agree with the sentiment.

I won't be seeing it until next weekend, but I'd be interested to know what you thought. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Loved the review, Bob. But you did make a little mistake. I believe you state that the film begins in IRELAND when in fact the film's opening is set in DEVON in England, the Albert character is not Irish.

Anonymous said...

Bob, I hope the reason you didn't review The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is because you saw it and observed how completely masturbatory it was. I feel badly giving the film credit by acknowledging it with an opinion - it was utterly superfluous and placed Fincher's own ego and sense of "style" above any semblance of a message or any context whatsoever. I'm ashamed I paid money to see it. David Fincher has never produced a movie that has risen above a 7 out of 10, and cannot make a movie that even comes close to that score unless it features a god-tier script.

Ben said...

I had the great priveledge of seeing War Horse in the National Theatre when it was first shown (ie the first set of performances ever).

Hot dang it was incredible. I'm not sure I expect the film to live up to that, seeing as how the stage production inolved complex puppetry and ingenious stage scenery whereas the film is just real-life horses. I might still go and see it if the family shows any interest, though.

DarkKnight86 said...

I can't access the escapist website.
Anyone else having this problem?

The Joyous Insurrection Of Callooh Callay said...

Hey, man, if it isn't too much trouble can you sit down and explain to the rest of us why Bane is such a terrible character (I kind of understand, he is fairly one-dimensional, but I think that has a lot to do with what makes him interesting) and what (and this I really don't get) was so wrong with Knightfall?

CrunchyEmpanada said...

So am I the only one who noticed a huge similarity to the description of this movie, to the description of the Twilight films. You know, an empty protagonist that does nothing but allow you to project your feelings onto he- I mean him? Characters apart from him aren't there long enough to be given personalities. So all you're doing is watching a blank slate run around things he can't control, has no stake in, and interacting with other blank slates, set to good cinematography and emotionally manipulative music.

Yeah, sorry, fuck you. It shouldn't work, and it doesn't, unless you're just a piece of playdough I guess. And I'm somebody who cried at the end of Armageddon. I'm pretty easy to manipulate. But not when it's based on nothing but the music telling me what to feel, and that's it. There are no characters here to feel for, there's nothing but a horse, and his owner's creepy beastial love for him that springs out of nowhere.

And for some reason I thought this might be a movie Bob and I would agree on. But I forgot that Bob loves animal movies.

Dave said...

In this video, Bob says "I'm as guilty as any other critic of being reflexively resistant to sentiment and emotional manipulation".

Now there's a huge lie if I ever heard one. *vigorously points at the fair majority of Bob's "Big Picture" segments*

Dave said...

Oh, and just to show what an idiot Bob is, check out that last sentence in the second paragraph of his intermission article. It asserts that Bane is one of the lamest comic book characters ever created. However, that very line includes a link to the Wikipedia entry, which states he ranks #34 in IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time.

You have to be one helluva fuck-up to make a sweeping statement like that USING THE DECLARATIVE VOICE (i.e. speaking as though it is a matter of fact) AND post a link to CONTRADICTORY INFORMATION.

It just shows Bob doesn't do his homework, and spends his time talking out of his ass. If that statement were truly opinion, he wouldn't be using the declarative voice.

Writing 101, people...... :/

Daniel R said...

Man I hate to have to ask this, mainly because its such a cliché and I'm sure everyone in the internet has heard it multiple times but it needs to be said.

Why are you still here?

You obviously have no respect for neither Bob nor his opinions. Most of you're comments range from snide remarks to outright insults. Even when you do offer up some legitimate constructive criticism to either Bob or you're fellow commenters, you usually do it in such a smug, cynical fashion that it negates the intention of the action.

You're complaints are obviously falling on deaf ears and I'm sure you don't enjoy it.
So why do you insist on repeating the same process over and over?

Anyway, on topic;
You know, I've been in need of an emotionally manipulative Spielberg film. With this and Tintin,
I'm all set.
I cannot wait for this film! Really the only thing stopping me from watching it is the fact that it hasn't reached my territory yet.

I know that the sentimentality can be a deal breaker for some people and I perfectly understand why, but there is just nothing I would love more this Christmas season than to go see a shamelessly feel-good, sappy, and corny film with my family.

Oh right; Happy Holidays!

CrunchyEmpanada said...

One of Bob's major flaws, and possibly the biggest flaw he has, is he hasn't yet managed to split apart his opinion, with what is fact. A lot of his problems would be solved if he just said "I think" and "I feel" in front of his statements.

The problem with that is he's supposed to be a critic. As he puts it, it's his job to know better than us what is good and what is bad and to tell us. That's true. But he doesn't. He may watch a lot of movies, but I have yet to see it in Bob that he actually does know better. Instead he gives us his opinion and tells us that's the way it is. Example. In Time. Bob liked it. I don't know why. Nobody else did. But Bob liked it. So he says "it's good." Well, a good critic should have been able to see past the things that he merely enjoyed, and said the truth. That at best, it is a boring movie. I saw other critics do that, where the film's message spoke to them and so they were more interested, but they didn't go and say "This movie is the best" because of it.

Joe said...


All criticism is subjective by its very definition. I don't see why Bob needs to preface his reviews stating that when it's implied by the format.

Maybe other, "establishment" critics guard their words and try not to be off-putting to any segment of their audience. But that's why I've moved away from those critics in favour of internet critics like Bob who are more direct in their opinions, even if I don't agree with them. (To be fair, bloggers and YouTubers can ramble as long as they need to with fewer constraints, while TV, radio and newspaper critics have space and language limitations. Old media's loss.)

Also, have you ever listened to those times Bob guests on the Post Movie Podcast (he usually links those here). Off the cuff, Bob is able to discuss neo-realism and the French New Wave and the business and politics of Hollywood with little hesitation. That established for me Bob's knowledge of the medium of film.

Dave said...

@Daniel: If you write such a thing, then you obviously haven't read anything I've written in any of my comments, nor did you read this one. You clearly have no understanding of what my complaint is, so maybe you should learn to READ before you do.

It's not a matter of having respect for Bob's "opinions". Maybe you, too, should learn to read what people are actually saying before shooting your mouth off and assuming things about them that aren't true.

Dave said...

@CrunchyEmpanada: Actually, the problem is two-fold. 1) Bob doesn't actually make opinion videos. This is the part a lot of you Bob-lovers have a hard time understanding. He goes through a large amount of time explaining things to you that you don't know to get you up to speed, and gradually laces in his opinion. The problem is, a lot of that information is incorrect on a factual level, which also does a disservice to those people who don't know any better and keep coming to Bob's blog because they believe he does. It teaches them the wrong stuff.

If someone's opinion is based in falsities, can you call that opinion "wrong"? Of course you can. If Bob did his homework and knew his stuff before making his videos, then his opinions and his videos might turn out radically different.

It isn't always, though that depends on the topic. That's why I keep coming by here. On occasion, Bob will make a video that's really worthwhile. However, nowadays that's usually not the case, and - as in the aforementioned situation - it's embarrassing when the very source you link to contradicts what you have to say about it. That's like being caught with your pants down.

2) Bob wasn't always this way. Now that he gets a paycheck to make these videos, he doesn't seem to care nearly as much about fact-checking, and gets to hide behind the "this is my job" line while he LIES on a factual level.

But now, he's grown pompous. He says stuff like "I'm as guilty as any other critic of being reflexively resistant to sentiment and emotional manipulation" and other things about how he's taking moral high ground on the internet when he's contributing to the same damn problems he decries. This is called "hypocrisy".

Then, of course, he counts on people like Daniel R here to slobber all over him and defend him on the internet against people who actually know their stuff. He lies to people like Daniel R, who doesn't know any better, and they defend him to the death because defending their fav internet blogger is srs bsns and the truth will do nothing but shatter their sad, meaningless little lives so they must prevent that from happening at all costs. *le sigh* This perpetuates ignorance, and Bob does it on purpose for the monies.

IN FACT, Bob had a nice little blog post about this before. It was really nice to see how he touched on all these sorts of problems, and it would've been really nice to acknowledge it on its own merits if it weren't for the fact that BOB DOES ALL THE SAME DAMN STUFF AND WAS WRITING THE DAMN THING TO DISTANCE HIMSELF FROM THE TRUTH AND TAKE MORAL HIGH GROUND OVER OTHER PEOPLE! Again, hypocrisy. It devalues and undercuts all the good things Bob has to say.

Dave said...


"All criticism is subjective by its very definition. I don't see why Bob needs to preface his reviews stating that when it's implied by the format."

Absolutely untrue. It seems you need a good schooling on assessment methods and guidelines..... especially when it comes to things like film and art criticism.

And the definition does not state anything about it being subjective ;) Again, any of these definitions can be - and, in the sort of career Bob likes to think he has, usually are in some way, shape and form, however loosely or strictly is the case - guided by proper assessment guidelines for retaining objectivity.

   [krit-uh-siz-uhm] Show IPA
the act of passing judgment as to the merits of anything.
the act of passing severe judgment; censure; faultfinding.
the act or art of analyzing and evaluating or judging the quality of a literary or artistic work, musical performance, art exhibit, dramatic production, etc.
a critical comment, article, or essay; critique.
any of various methods of studying texts or documents for the purpose of dating or reconstructing them, evaluating their authenticity, analyzing their content or style, etc.: historical criticism; literary criticism.

In fact, all of these things are what I'm doing with Bob's work. I'm critiquing him and giving him a big, fat F because he just doesn't know his stuff and likes to think that he does. Or rather, he knows he doesn't know his shit but dupes all of you into thinking he does so you can help elevate him into some sort of moral high ground.

Daniel R said...


Look I'm not going to go over every single blog post in the archive and highlight every time I see something coming from you that I consider to be insulting, derogatory, or condescending.
I can just use this very same blog post;

"just to show what an idiot Bob is"

"You have to be one helluva fuck-up"

"spends his time talking out of his ass"

"sad, meaningless little lives so they must prevent that from happening at all costs."

"defending their fav internet blogger is srs bsns"

"seems you need a good schooling on assessment methods and guidelines"

I and I presume other bloggers like Joe come here to hopefully have a little intellectual discussion or perhaps speak our mind. That is everyones right, yours too.

But if we want to properly engage in the discussion we must bring both intellectually and emotionally enriching ideas and have a basic understanding of human decency. You obviously have the intellect down.

If you simply wish to continue posting with the same demeanor or manner of speaking than fine, more power to ya. But don't expect me to join in on you're assertions.

Everyones happy. You don't acknowledge me, I don't acknowledge you. You can continue posting you're disappointment in what other people have to say unrestrained, and I can continue reading my fav internet blog unperturbed.

Moving on.

akkuma420 said...

@Daniel R. Well said.

CrunchyEmpanada said...


Criticism can be subjective, but not all criticism is subjective.

Technically, film criticism, or media criticism in general should be objective. Or at least try to be. Critics and commentator are supposed to appeal to a higher objective criteria when doing their job. Sometimes, there is no attempt but the critic mentions and speaks like it's all their opinion, which is okay.

Bob doesn't do that. The way he speaks is as if he is objectively right, and we are all wrong if we disagree. He continuously puts his opinion out there as if it was fact. And he's never shown the ability to separate his biases with what is good.

Even if he did preface every episode with a disclaimer that what he's saying is opinion, it wouldn't help. His is a problem of attitude. If he did put a preface up, it would just sound like he's lying. Everything about what he says sounds like "I'm right, and not only are you wrong but you are a stupid childish moron for believing differently."

And lastly "What makes a good film" is different from "what is the history and current politics in film making." Knowing the latter is completely unrelated to the former, so I don't really see how his ability to speak on the latter lends any credit to his reviews.

Dave said...

@Daniel R.: First off, there are two or three other Dave's who comment on Bob's videos and are ridiculously condescending. It gets confusing, I know, but we're not all the same person. I'm the more rational, sensible one of us, and I tend not to post very often at all.

Secondly.... see, here's the problem...... you're a bit late to this game. I'm usually nothing like this, but see..... this is something that has aggravated over a very, very long time. I've been a fan of Bob's since he first started these videos, and for a few years it was quite alright with no problems. Then, as he started doing multiple shows and getting paid for them, the ego set in and he started to fall out of line with his usual, honorable self. At first, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and was polite in correcting him on a few MAJOR oversights, but rather than heed my words for future videos, he continued to make excuses, his ego grew and he started causing problems.

Seriously, you should read some of his replies to people, or some of the video segments based on his replies to people. They literally have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO with what they were talking about.

He went from being humorously sarcastic and objective to being outright obnoxious at the very people who got him to where he is today, and has digressed into the same bullshit he criticizes here on his blog, which is outright hypocritical.

He also makes stuff up and lies because he knows viewers who don't know any better (such as akkuma420, who I've dealt with in the past before) will believe everything he says and, due to being his loyal dogs, will defend their most favorite vlogger in the whole wide world to the death against any detractors.

Hiding behind the "it's my opinion" argument wore out its welcome a long time ago. He pontificates because he's lazy and doesn't care about anything but the paychecks he's getting from the shows he does (hence the newer "it's my job" argument). That's basically it.

So this is something that has aggravated over a long period of time, so I'm at the point where I'm like this now.

So why do I still come to this blog? Two reasons: 1) on occasion, Bob actually makes a video that is, on its own merits, pretty spot-on, and you'll often find me being the Dave that praises him for it. I haven't had the chance to yet but if I had the time to post on his TinTin review, I'd praise it for being pretty accurate on its own merits and a fair representation of the film (though now that I've done it here, it would be quite redundant of me to do so). I'm objective that way; I do give Bob credit where credit is due.

Dave said...

By the same token, though, if the points made on his videos are without merit, I call him out on it. That brings me to numero dos...... see, I believe in the same mission statement Bob originally set out with when he started making vlogs. The problem is, though HE still believes he does, his actions speak differently and at times, his words speak two contradictory points simultaneously (hence him being called a hypocrite by many of his older fans, for whom he has taken numerous opportunities to lash out at impetuously prior to these more commonplace accusations from his once-fandom). Now, I've sort of taken on the burden of bearing Bob's old torch myself, though it seems others are doing the same.

If Bob does something which deserves being called out on, we call him out on it. An honorable Bob from a few years ago would acknowledge these and take steps to remedy these behaviors. However, he has admitted to being pompous for his own ego's sake (there was an intermission article about this, plus a few vlog entries), and hides behind the internet as to remain incorrigible.

So is it nice of me to be condescending to Bob? Of course not, but being nice had its time, and it came and went. Does Bob deserve to be treated in a condescending manner whenever he inflates his ego and pontificates to masses he knows will believe him, thereby perpetuating ignorance in his name? Absolutely. That's why I do it.

If I had a vlog show and I refused to fact-check at the behest of my fans who were calling me out on repeated, egregious errors (not even small stuff, but major things), I would expect my fans to do the same to me.

It's like the Good Book says..... do unto others...... blah blah blah, you know the rest.

Dave said...

And just to show I'm truly objective, I recuse my prior statement about the objectivity of critique. CrunchyEmpanada's explanation is far more on the money than mine. Indeed, it can be subjective, but it doesn't have to be, and in these sorts of situations it should be as objective as possible.

See? I give credit where credit is due based objectively on pure merit. And hell, I don't even know the guy. Seriously, I think this is the first time I've seen him post about anything, and I disagreed with him earlier in the thread, too..... it's not like I was pre-disposed to agreeing with him, simply because he, too, has issue with Bob. He could agree with me, but his reasoning could've been totally fallacious and I still would've disagreed with him.

Quod erat demonstrandum.

Andrew said...

Dave, I have read a lot of your posts in this thread and others and I need to say this:

Bob's opinion is opinion to everyone else but fact to him.
You said that:

"You have to be one helluva fuck-up to make a sweeping statement like that USING THE DECLARATIVE VOICE (i.e. speaking as though it is a matter of fact) AND post a link to CONTRADICTORY INFORMATION."

Regarding his presenting the declaration that Bane is a terrible character.

That is his opinion presented on his blog.

You can disagree if you like and present your opinion in this comment thread.

What you can't do is claim he is empirically wrong and "prove" that with the fact that he ranks #34 in IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time.

The reason is that Bane being #34 of all time is the opinion of IGN or the opinion by proxy of the IGN readers who voted.

Still subjective opinion like yours, mine, Bob's and everything else on the internet.

Bob can present it as a fact in his video because to him it is a self-evident fact.