Link Dump

Yet more links from the depths of the internets:
  • Batman Gazette - Hilarious posters spoofing the Nolan Batman films.
  • A Critic's Manifesto: The Intersection of Expertise and Taste - An interesting article on what it means to be a critic:
    For all criticism is based on that equation: KNOWLEDGE + TASTE = MEANINGFUL JUDGMENT. The key word here is meaningful. People who have strong reactions to a work—and most of us do—but don’t possess the wider erudition that can give an opinion heft, are not critics. (This is why a great deal of online reviewing by readers isn’t criticism proper.) Nor are those who have tremendous erudition but lack the taste or temperament that could give their judgment authority in the eyes of other people, people who are not experts. (This is why so many academic scholars are no good at reviewing for mainstream audiences.) Like any other kind of writing, criticism is a genre that one has to have a knack for, and the people who have a knack for it are those whose knowledge intersects interestingly and persuasively with their taste. In the end, the critic is someone who, when his knowledge, operated on by his taste in the presence of some new example of the genre he’s interested in—a new TV series, a movie, an opera or ballet or book—hungers to make sense of that new thing, to analyze it, interpret it, make it mean something.
    I may have more to say on this in the future, but to me, the general idea of criticism boils down to context (which, I suppose, could also be termed Knowledge). Critics put a given work of art in context, whether that being the context of the society in which it was produced/released, or the context of other films that have tackled the same themes, and so on...
  • Stereotypical 80's Movie Gangs - They're only kinda scary. And bigoted.
  • Star Wars Propaganda Posters - Have I issued a moratorium on Star Wars links yet? No? Good, then I can post this.
  • The Dark Knight Rises Epilogue: Wayne Enterprises Fire Sale - Have I issued a moratorium on Batman links yet? No? Good, then I can post this.
  • The Slow Death of Netflix - Shamus does a good job detailing what is bad about Netflix's Watch Instantly feature. Namely, that nothing I ever want to watch is available on instant.
    I want to stress that I’m not cherry-picking here. I really am looking for a movie and I really am getting bupkis for every single attempt. There are good movies here, but not many, and I’ve pretty much seen them all by this point.

    I’ll go for a couple of weeks without checking Netflix. Then when I come back I’ll check out the “what’s new” lineup and find it almost unchanged. As far as I can tell, their library of streaming content is shrinking.
    I can think of exactly two occasions when I've decided that I wanted to watch a movie, checked Netflix, and found that it was actually available on streaming. One was Groundhog Day (which was actually unavailable for a while, but came back recently) and the other was Gambit, a movie that was specifically recommended because it was available, but which is no longer available at all (even on DVD). Of course, this ultimately has less to do with Netflix than it does with the Studios, who are so hellbent on defeating pirates that they don't want to make movies conveniently available for anyone (thus creating more pirates). Someday, someone will figure out how to make streaming work with a wide selection, and it will be glorious. Alas, I don't think that will happen anytime soon. Ten years? Maybe. But probably not.
That's all for now...