Critic’s Notebook: Unpopular Causes, Part IV

Nathan Rabin and the Countercanonical Critique The AV Club has carved out a niche of reputable pop cultural criticism.  Nathan Rabin has been profiled before in the Art of Reviewing.  It focused on his unique style and examined his ongoing series My Year of Flops.  Rabin’s bombastic style plays off his subject matter, whether it is a movie that bombed at the box-office or a hip hop review.  Rabin has expanded his critical eye to include country music (Nashville or Bust!) and pop ephemera (THEN! That’s What They Called Music). Movie flops, the NOW That’s What I Call Music! compilations, … Continue reading Critic’s Notebook: Unpopular Causes, Part IV

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The Art of Reviewing: Cintra Wilson (Part One)

Every blog needs a large-scale project. The Art of Reviewing will explore reviewing as an art form and as a valuable element to understanding society.  During this project, I will profile specific reviewers of merit.  Several specific cases also explore other facets of reviewing. Cintra Wilson Cintra Wilson was a columnist at Salon, retail reviewer in the New York Times Fashion & Style section (Critical Shopper), and lately political columnist (the C-Word), appearing in the New Haven Advocate, the Hartford Courant, and the Fairfield Weekly.  Wilson also authored the ferocious cultural commentary entitled A Massive Swelling: celebrity re-examined as a … Continue reading The Art of Reviewing: Cintra Wilson (Part One)

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The Art of Reviewing Special Edition(TM): The 20 Minute “Avatar” Review

Every blog needs a large-scale project. The Art of Reviewing will explore reviewing as an art form and as a valuable element to understanding society.  During this project, I will profile specific reviewers of merit.  Several specific cases also explore other facets of reviewing. If you haven’t seen it already, it’s making the rounds on Ye Olde Nettertubes.  It’s a twenty-minute review of James Cameron’s blockbuster Avatar. Here’s the review, in two parts: *** COMMENTARY This review is a bit long and a bit cynical, but it makes a number of valid points.  It is an artful combination of pop … Continue reading The Art of Reviewing Special Edition(TM): The 20 Minute “Avatar” Review

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The Art of Reviewing: Nathan Rabin

Every blog needs a large-scale project. The Art of Reviewing will explore reviewing as an art form and as a valuable element to understanding society.  During this project, I will profile specific reviewers of merit.  Several specific cases also explore other facets of reviewing. Noted Nathan Rabin impressionist David Cross. Nathan Rabin is the hip hop music reviewer for the AV Club.  He hails from Chicago and calls himself “the world’s most secular Jew.”  His other noteworthy contributions to pop culture criticism include “Nashville or Bust,” a long-term series exploring country music, and “My Year of Flops.”  With the latter, … Continue reading The Art of Reviewing: Nathan Rabin

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The Art of Reviewing: Clive James

Clive James and his many books Every blog needs a large-scale project. The Art of Reviewing will explore reviewing as an art form and as a valuable element to understanding society.  During this project, I will profile specific reviewers of merit.  Several specific cases also explore other facets of reviewing. Clive James and the Spice Girls.  A fascinating interview. Clive James has done it all.  He’s a poet, wit, lyricist, TV presenter, cultural commentator, author, and memoirist.  This Australian native represents the Old Guard, sharing a similar background with Christopher Hitchens and Martin Amis.  His critical stance may be a … Continue reading The Art of Reviewing: Clive James

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The Art of Reviewing: Special Case File #1: The movie “300”

Every blog needs a large-scale project. The Art of Reviewing will explore reviewing as an art form and as a valuable element to understanding society.  During this project, I will profile specific reviewers of merit.  Several specific cases also explore other facets of reviewing. Special Case File #1: The movie 300 In this installation of the Art of Reviewing, the focus will be on a single cultural product.  The movie is 300 (Zak Snyder, 2006).  In the halcyon days of Dubya’s second term, the film adapted a comic book written by Frank Miller.  In the process creating a sensational CGI … Continue reading The Art of Reviewing: Special Case File #1: The movie “300”

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The Art of Reviewing: Jeremy Clarkson

Source: The London Times Every blog needs a large-scale project. The Art of Reviewing will explore reviewing as an art form and as a valuable element to understanding society.  During this project, I will profile specific reviewers of merit.  Several specific cases also explore other facets of reviewing. Jeremy Clarkson.  Depending on whom you talk to, mentioning his name usually follows adulation or vilification.  The tall, shaggy-haired presenter of Top Gear and Driving columnist for the London Times, brings a sensational edge to the staid world of automobile reviewing. Prone to bombastic statements, dismissive of anti-pollution legislation, and a worshipful … Continue reading The Art of Reviewing: Jeremy Clarkson

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The Art of Reviewing: Introductory Remarks

Every blog needs a large-scale project. The Art of Reviewing will explore reviewing as an art form and as a valuable element to understanding society.  During this project, I will profile specific reviewers of merit.  Several specific cases also explore other facets of reviewing. What makes a good reviewer? A review is only good as the individual reviewing the work.  But what is meant by good?  Good – like value, civilization, and culture – is a loaded term.  It should be not be used in a cavalier fashion or overloaded with moral baggage.  Does the reviewer have a technique, a … Continue reading The Art of Reviewing: Introductory Remarks

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