Cosmopolis is right behind Killing Them Softly in terms of being “misunderstood”. The movie lacks a traditional narrative. So most people are going to go... “What...in the world...is...happening?” The critics didn’t understand Killing Them Softly but enough recognized its merits for it to have a 75% on the RT score. Which is still a poor reflection of the movie. But Cosmopolis’s score is even worse: 65%. The film is a, as far as I’m concerned, a masterpiece. Or, at the least, a good film. A critic that can’t see this is, as far as I’m concerned, worthless. I’m not saying the critics have to LIKE Cosmopolis. Or that you as a viewer have to. You could hate it. But if you look at what it’s doing, it’s brilliant. And what is it doing? Showing the psychological unraveling of someone so rich and so powerful from so much success that the only thing interesting at this point is failure, is destruction. Eric Packer is confined by his success. Which is why a majority of the film takes place in the confines of Eric’s limo. This is HIS LIFE. And the claustrophobia it makes the viewer feel is exactly the point. My uncle walked out of the movie he felt so uncomfortable. I told him that’s good, I’m glad. So maybe you don’t like Cosmopolis. But, damnit, I will call you foolish if you don’t respect. And an idiot if you trash talk it without having any understanding of its purpose or machinations in the pursuit of that purpose.
Cinema Beans: Vamps; Ted
“The critics got it wrong” is such an open-ended and never-ending invitation. Every year they over-hype, and they undersell. They give too much credit where it isn’t due, and they quickly write off films once they see the cast list. For Vamps, it was all too easy for critics to see it as a late-career knock-off from Amy Heckerling—the still-unacknowledged genius behind the generational and satirical Clueless. But Vamps is actually about something, unlike the heralded Seth- MacFarlane-vehicle Ted, which had the opportunity to be an impressionable tale about the societal and patriarchal pressures that accompany the prospect of growing up. Instead of utilizing Ted the teddy bear as a hilarious segway into such a real issue, MacFarlane (per usual) takes the easy route, scattering irrelevant dick jokes and fake sentiment in place of actually caring about anything or anybody whatsoever.
I’m just frustrated to God’s end about such an alarmingly amateurish grasp on “comedy”, where all the beautiful parallels, mannerisms, and motifs we so clearly establish alongside countless other genres are substituted for the “laugh count”, as critics sit around and tell us how much their bellies ached after watching a film rather than rewarding comedies that put in the work. I mean, can one's ego be anymore possibly inflated as a critic who believes what they "do and do not laugh at" is a legitimate means of criticism? Vamps is a beautiful display of comedy: a film where Heckerling pays homage to countless “girls going out” films and manages to critique without snugly resting her tongue in her cheek. Ted is the kid who dances to “Gangam Style” at the party and then pukes in your mom’s vase; Vamps is the one who sips a martini, cracks a joke about the Macarena, and tosses Ted in the back seat and drives the dumbass home. And that’s exactly how I feeling when dealing with all of these “Top Critics” on Rotten Tomatoes.
So what did the Meta-critics get wrong this year? Jesus tap-dancing Christ, this is a category that goes beyond one film, two films, or even the genre of comedy. It goes beyond Kyle Smith, Rex Reed, and James Berardinelli. It goes beyond all reason. They’re in the wrong profession—they’re just fucking wrong. Period.