Tonight we have Mike D'Angelo, whose claim to fame is that he was one of the first online movie reviewers. Kudos to that.
The one film we shared viewing that was most recent was Odd Thomas. I should mention here that Mike watches 280 hours of movies a day, and I had not even heard of many of the ones he had watched.
I'll admit, I did not want to read a review of a film I had seen, but I could find no easily accessible movie that I could watch after reading his review list.
So here is my review of Mikes review of Odd Thomas.
We are given a smidgen of history regarding the creative talents behind this film: Dean Koontz and Stephen Sommers. Already I am losing interest since comparing the lack of success for Koontz's previous adaptations seems somehow disingenuous, seeing as his readers are also very polarized about the books he writes.
Also Mike is doubting a sequel and he hasn't really told us anything aside from the frenetic nature of the book is apparently in the movie.
Comparing film narration to other films with narration falls into my "compared it to another film", and he's already doing this in the second paragraph. I know whats coming; he is going to tell me the plot of the movie. I still don't know why this is part of a critique. This is a synopsis I'm being given. I'm not being told the rules of the universe and how well they do or do not play out, as I would prefer. Mike complains about a narrating voiceover done for the benefit of "complete idiots, a la Dexter", and then is telling me everything I'm already going to be able to figure out on my own when I see the film for myself. I don't have a problem with film narration, and I don't find it cheap, since most of the stories we tell each other are in the past/present tense and fed through the lens of hindsight.
Having read the book and seen the film, I view the film as it's own entity independent from, yet inspired by, the book. He complains about the fast pace of the movie, when the book was just as frenetic, having Odd thrust into quick action. That's not a critique, that's a complaint that the movie moved faster than you. A critique would be more along the lines of "Sommers tries to convey a feeling of jet skiing but leaves us flopping in shallow waters. The effect could have worked better had a contrast been shown of a normal persons existence in Odds world, and then the pressured fate Odd suffers". Film is a communication, and a true critic should tell us if the communication was successful, and then offer how it could have been done differently. Also, a film should be judged on the "rules" it establishes, and if those rules are cheated. Maybe that's just me.
Does he tell you if you should see it? No. There is a mention that if a sequel gets made someone else should direct it.
I at least gave reasons why you should or should not see the movie. People who have read the books should not go see the movie, people who like whimsical fast paced movies should. There. Easy. Like my mom.
-4 out of a +5 (because I doubted that Mike ever read the book). Should you read him? No. He follows the same cookie cutter recipe as all the others.
Tomorrow: Todd McCarthy of Variety