By Kyle | March 16, 2010
My friend Steve Zeitchik is making a rather laughable case over at the LA Times movie blog:
It’s dispiriting to sit back today and soak in just how poorly “Green Zone” performed over the weekend, earning a meager $14.3 million. Depression sets in because the Paul Greengrass movie is legitimately great, a potent thriller and action picture that entertains no matter your politics (we’re not the only ones who feel this way — the movie is the second best-reviewed wide release of the year according to meta-review site Movie Review Intelligence).
Come on, Steve. Did you think I wouldn’t call you on this? A movie may be, to you, great. But don’t pretend that everyone else thinks it’s great. They don’t. (I don’t pretend that everyone hates “The Hurt Locker.” Almost everyone thinks it’s great. I don’t hate it either, by the way, I just think it’s overrated.) “Green Zone” is rated Rotten on Rotten Tomatoes, with (the last time I checked) 61 negative reviews against 62 positive. Did you choose Movie Review Intelligence because it’s the only site you could find that came up with a positive spin? “Second-best-reviewed wide release of the year?” Tsk, tsk. Talk about grading on a scale. The year is not even three months old. What if every wide-release movie this year stinks? “Best of the stinkers” does not equate to “great film.” And according to Rotten Tomatoes, “She’s Out of My League,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Shutter Island” and “The Crazies” all polled higher — all of them wide releases, all released this year.
And “no matter what your politics” the film is great? Uh-uh. Actually, those of us who have a pro-American mindset pretty much all hate the movie, don’t we? Please show me where I’m wrong, Steve. Please give me a list of conservative critics who loved it.
As for “dispiriting” and “depression sets in,” hooboy, Steve, you’ve got it quite backwards, haven’t you? The whole point of this movie is to dispirit and depress the audience about how American malevolence led us into an unnecessary war and then caused the insurgency to occur with treachery. (The movie, of course, doesn’t point out that despite everything, a semblance of a fragile democracy was the result, at least as of today.) If anything is dispiriting, it’s the idea of all that carnage being for no purpose. You know what isn’t particularly dispiriting or depressing? That a movie studio lost millions of bucks making a movie that is, according to box office and overall critical metrics, bad.
Feel free to link to this post at the LA Times site, if you want. Or you can just pretend that I haven’t completely refuted your case and hide in a room of like-minded souls.