Saturday, March 10, 2007

Worst Movie Review Ever

I'll admit, my movie reviews aren't exactly perfect 10s, but I don't actually publish mine in newsprint. This is for the blog and is completely my visceral reaction to films I see.

But I randomly picked up a copy of the UVSC College Times and found this review of Zodiac. (you can read my review of it here.)

It was so bad and poorly researched I was compelled to write the following letter to the editor.
I just wanted to take the time to write you about Luke Hickman’s review of “Zodiac” from the March 5, 2007 edition of “The College Times”. When I read movie reviews, I generally expect the reviewer to know a little about what he’s talking about and, if he doesn’t, I would expect him to do some research to find out. Hickman goes through a list of Fincher films declaring his first to be “The Game” when a simple check on IMDb would have reminded him that Fincher’s feature film debut as a director after a successful career in music videos was the under-rated sci-fi/thriller “Alien 3” and his second film was actually “Se7en”. “The Game” was actually his third film. The review of the film just seemed to run as follows: 2 paragraphs of inaccurate information, 6 paragraphs that could have been lifted from any synopsis of the film, a sentence on each actor (that could have been lifted from any other review), a sentence outlining the length and content of the film and then a sum-up that guarantees this film to become an American classic. Why? I don’t know. There was nothing in the review to support that idea.

I understand that this is a college paper but I still expect accurate information and relevant articles. This felt like Mr. Hickman was closing in on a deadline without having seen the movie and “reviewed” it based on other reviews and his own, obviously limited, knowledge of David Fincher.

And don’t get me wrong, I liked “Zodiac”, just not this particular review of the film.

Bryan Young

I'll let you know if they print it.

UPDATE: I got a reply from Robbin Anthony, the Business Manager for student publications letting me know that this letter would be forwarded to the Editor-in-chief, Mr. Hickman himself and the opinions editor.


Anonymous said...

I'm a friend of Luke Hickman. I read his review and thought it was pretty good. I saw it because of his review. Who are you to rip on him for getting a couple stats wrong, you hack? What have you done? You made a poor movie that no one saw or cares about. One that he didn't even review for the paper. You're just bitter because he reviewed Noel Pikus-Pace's movie and not yours.
Don't be jealous because he's doing something that everyone wants to do: see movies for free before they come out and have full ability to say whatever he wants about them.
I'll enjoy watching him go far in his career. Where will you go?

Steven said...

Anonymous, you're insulting us when you should be taking notes.

"Who are you to rip on him for getting a couple stats wrong?"

Are you kidding me? This is a perfect reason to rip on him. The guy had no idea what the fuck he was talking about.

"You made a poor movie that no one saw...blah, blah, blah"

What movie are you talking about? Was it this one:


"Filmmaking Gold, Extremely Moving"
-The New York Times

"FOUR STARS...gut-wrenching."
-Seattle Times

"Excellent. A fascinating, infuriating story."

Tell you what, when Luke Hickman:

A. Gets critical praise from the nation's top critics for his film.

B. Does some homework on who the fuck David Fincher is.

Then you can message again and tell us that we're the ones who are jealous.

And who the fuck is this Noel Pikus Pace? I have no idea who that is.

And, really, who is Luke Hickman? I can't seem to find anything on the web about him besides poorly written film reviews.

Anonymous said...

Why the anger and the curse words? Have you no room for opinions other than your own? So you think his work is not so good. So what? Your negative energy negates your ability to make your point. Really, what was your point? To belittle someone who you don't know?
The fact is, I read his review and decided to check it out. A good movie. I am glad he wrote it the way he did. So many reviewers give so much away about a flick that it makes me not want to see it.
We are all here to learn. I am sure that your movie on Utah vs. Moore would probably be interesting to see. (I wonder how Mr. Hickman will view it.) But I would wager that you will season and temper your approach to movies as you grow in your abilities, just as I am certain Mr. Hickman will learn and grow with his abilities. Remember, you, like all before you, will look back at your high school yearbook in 30 years and go "Holy Fudge" those kids were dorks!
Please, don't get so excited, don't blow a blow vessel. Life is for living; life is for learning.

Steven said...

Anonymous, that wasn't Bryan. That was me. Bryan is usually really cool headed about stuff like this. I, on the other hand, tend to say whatever's on my mind. The word "fuck" usually sneaks in there.

Bryan said...

You know what's funny, is that it turns out that I don't know Luke Hickman personally, but we have a lot of mutual friends and acquaintances. In fact, Luke and I got to have it out via email and discovered that his wife was actually in a movie I shot.

And he agreed with me that he screwed up with the review and that in the future he'd be checking his facts more aggressively.

Elias said...

Wow. This has shaped up to be a truly inspirational exchange of ideas.

Luke Hickman said...

Easy everyone on the negative comments! Woah, that got out of hand.
I told this to Bryan, but I actually like feedback - if you hate me or not.
The truth is that Ebert is one of the most hated critics, yet one of the biggest. Hate me or not, that's up to you, but I'm not going to write the same crap that every other critic writes.
You can blame me of writing a review for something I never saw, but that's absurd. Anyone who knows me also knows that I see everything... and for free before its release! And, for your information, I don't read reviews of movies that I haven't already reviewed because I fear it'll tamper with my opinion and become a type of indirect plagerism.
After Bryan wrote me, I realized that I did make a mistake. Who doesn't make mistakes?
But in my defense, who cares if I failed to mention that Fincher made Aliens 3? That was an aweful flick! If I'm going to write an article on how great a director is, I'm not going to mention his biggest mistake!
If you don't like my reviews, I'm sorry. Look elsewhere. Because I've got a good fanbase here at UVSC and I'm not going anywhere for a while. And that whole "sticks and stones" crap applies here. You can try to be demeaning and angry, but, despite what some post in comments, I DO know what I'm talking about. If you disagree, you should read more of my stuff or just talk to me in person. It's not an easy job carving out your feelings and emotions about a movie for everyone to read (unless it's Number 23; I've never had an easier time writing about such a piece of crap).
Lastly, Steven, if you verbally bash on someone that is a return visitor of you blog, they're, most likely, going to throw your opinion out the window and stop coming back. If I would've responded that way when Bryan contacted me, I doubt he would've looked at my stuff ever again without previously thinking, "Lets see what this idiot says this week."
Have fun. Keep watching movies and keep reading.
Luke Hickman