Saturday, November 13, 2010

When Reviewers Attack.

Josh Board, film reviewer for, does an amazing job of regurgitating 38 years of proletarian complaints against the retiring Reader film critic Duncan Shepherd. The thrust of Josh's argument seems to be that DS is a bad critic because he didn't like the movies he thought were the cat's pajamas.

He concludes that DS hates movies. We must note that Josh does not deal with the substance of Duncan Shepherd's critiques; he reminds me of the sort of guy who would listen to a reasonable criticism of a movie he thought brilliant and would respond with the old fallback "Oh, yeah, that's just YOUR opinion." 

True as that cliche maybe, it does not diminish the four decades of Duncan Shepherd's film appraisals, since the unspoken addendum to that tired saw is that NOT ALL OPINIONS ARE CREATED EQUAL. Josh as well cannot seem to get his head around the fact that you can regularly read someone you usually disagree with on a particular subject. I don't know why this is hard him to fathom, but it does get back to the "Not all opinions are created equal" remark from two sentences ago--Duncan's wit, knowledge, and elegance as a writer made his opinions worth keeping up with.


  1. Glad to see that the sketch of The Frantic Man is back. I for one hope we see more of him. Yow!

  2. Yeeks! It is almost too much! The question is -- who IS the Frantic Man? I think he is Bill Cullen in a deleted scene from Panic in the Year Zero...

  3. You know, this drawing of a sweating, nerve-wracked geek brings up an interesting cinematic point: there has been little or no serious criticism of the later film career of Bob Hope. I am talking about hard-core sour/flat comedies like Call Me Bwana, Eight on the Lam, The Private Navy of Sgt. O’Farrel, Cancel My Reservation and of course the epochal Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number! Several of these involved Phyllis Diller and all of them were the sort of leering, bazooma-filled elbow-in-ribs reactionary yockfests that gave the Older Generation something to watch while the youngsters were digging Lenny Bruce and the Firesign Theater. These films need to be talked about, regardless of how profoundly flatulent and even offensive they were, if for no other reason that they represented the last stand of the once-vital Vaudeville comedic tradition now gone as rancid as a dish of cream left in the basement of an abandoned burlesque house.


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