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14 November 2006 @ 12:58 am
Entertainment Weekly's Lisa Schwartzbaum -- The Worst Critic Alive?  
Possibly. I generally don't make note of reviewers to like or dislike their reviews. I agree, disagree or fall somewhere in between. However, Lisa has certainly made her criticisms well-known to me. I have been a subscriber to Entertainment Weekly from almost its inception. Owen Gleiberman was the main movie critic then and I'm not sure when Schwartzbaum began reviewing, but it was just an occasional one. Then it started to grow to the point where she reviewed stuff in every issue and the ratio went from 4-1 (Owen-Lisa) to gradually, 3-2 and then in the last year or so, equal footing. But I've noticed in the last few issues that Schwartzbaum appears to be the lead critic now. Frankly, I can not fathom why. I've lost count of how many letters I've read blasting Schwartzbaum. In an issue not too long ago, Schwartzbaum responded to the 'Ask a Critic' column with a rebuke to a letter-writer "[so and so], no I am not the worst critic alive." My immediate thought was "YES, YOU ARE!" She's pretentious, over-the-top, at times undecipherable, throws words and phrases together that appear thrown together just because she thinks it makes her look smart (it doesn't) and is just plain annoying. I used to play a game of seeing if I could tell if it was an OG review or an LS -- occasionally it was different reviewer. I couldn't differentiate Gleiberman from guest reviews, but I pretty much nailed every time it was Schwartzbaum because of her affected, vainglorious and grandiloquent prose (that there was my copying Schwartzbaum's "style"). And now that she seems to be EW's lead movie critic, I rarely read their movie reviews anymore because I can't stand to read that woman's idiocy put to paper. Ugh!

Am I the only one with this unnatural loathing for this movie critic?
 
 
 
beatlegirl59 on November 14th, 2006 06:24 am (UTC)
The movie critic for my local paper is absolutely abominable. He has no original opinions, he just goes along with what every other critic says, he never reviews non-mainstream movies, and his review are basically plot summaries with a few corny/cliche comments tossed in at the end. Awful.
Arabian: We got promo baby!arabian on November 14th, 2006 08:27 am (UTC)
That's bad, but typical of low-rent local critics. Lisa Schwartzbaum writes in probably the premiere entertainment magazine and she's absolutely horrible. I'd almost recommend you read her reviews to see how bad she is, but's too cruel.

Here's an example of why she so sucks. In her review of Pirates of the Carribean she complained because only Johnny Depp got the joke to not take the movie seriously -- COMPLETELY missing the direction and script that clearly, CLEARLY did the same. She's not only a bad writer, she's an idiot and she fosters ridiculous, absurd ideas, oftentimes making criticisms that make absoluely no sense.
Steph: V/lsmiles1_9 on November 14th, 2006 02:45 pm (UTC)
I am so glad you feel this way...I thought it was just me. I just started my subscription over the summer so I was never exposed to a "good" movie critic.
Arabian: Epicarabian on November 14th, 2006 08:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, Owen Gleiberman isn't "good," but he's more of your garden-variety okay critic. LS is just HORRIFIC!
InvalidCookies: mov-24hr party peoplesinca on November 14th, 2006 03:39 pm (UTC)
While she is a silly writer and not the best critic, I find myself agreeing with her a hell of a lot more often than I do with Owen Gleiberman. We never ever agree. I tend to not put too much stock in their reviews.
Arabian: Kirsten_M-Aarabian on November 14th, 2006 08:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, I don't think OG is great by any means, and I actually agree with LS's grade enough, it's just that I can't stand her writing -- even when I agree. And when I don't agree, her reasons just baffle the hell out of me. I put about zero stock in their reviews; I just don't understand how someone that bad at writing (purple prose, anyone?) can be employed and seemingly been promoted.
Magnoliamagnolia888 on November 14th, 2006 04:33 pm (UTC)
I agree with you. I can't stand her writing style, even when I agree with her assessment of a movie. I don't like her tone and sometimes it seems like she just doesn't enjoy movies all that much.

Roger Ebert, otoh, I love. Even when I disagree with him, I enjoy reading his reviews. He loves movies and he loves writing about them.
Arabian: Peace_VMarabian on November 14th, 2006 08:08 pm (UTC)
Hah! You were part of the reason I wrote this post. With every annoying review, I'd flash back to that thread on TLS where you and I (and a few others) talked about her, so I definitely thought you might respond.

I agree with you. I can't stand her writing style, even when I agree with her assessment of a movie. I don't like her tone and sometimes it seems like she just doesn't enjoy movies all that much.

Exactly. It's not only that her writing is ridiculous and so pretentious, but it comes across often as if she doesn't like the art, the magic, the creation of movies. At least I get that glimmer from OG.

Roger Ebert, otoh, I love. Even when I disagree with him, I enjoy reading his reviews. He loves movies and he loves writing about them. Oh, I adore Ebert. Until a couple of years ago, I bought every one of his books and just read his reviews for downtime reading. Wonderful writer, wonderful critic, even if I don't always agree with him. And yes, his love of the movies, just sings in every review -- even movies he hates, LOL!