by Max Brantley
Even as the DOG was dissing us in the news section, the Arkansas Times sustained a few nips, by name this time, in the Democrat-Gazette feature section. There, film critic Philip Martin contributed still further to the dialogue we mentioned earlier about his 85 rating of "Love Guru," which has been widely panned. Lindsey Millar had written a few sentences chiding Phil on his Rock Candy Blog; Martin responded and the discussion also rolled over to our community movie blog.
I've now been able to link to Phil's today so you can read his criticism of us and his further defense of his review. Here's his original review on "Love Guru," which opens -- "Vulgar, crude and at times inspired ..."
One small point. Martin writes today that the Times did not review the movie. We did. It was on-line by about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday (we go to press about 24 hours earlier), which may have been after the production deadline for the D-G's Friday film section.
UPDATE: Ah, youth. I'm more philosophical about criticism. We dish, we take. You decide. But David Koon chooses to rise in vigorous defense against Martian slings and arrows. Vintage Koon.
UPDATE II: Phil returns Koon's fire. On the jump.
UPDATE III: Lindsey is supposed to be vacationing, but he has a say in l'affaire 'Guru,' too. Get thee to Rock Candy for that. I think he hit the jackass.
UPDATE IV: Dang. Lindsey already has a jackass T-shirt for sale to memorialize Gurugate.
E-MAIL FROM PHILIP MARTIN
You guys were invited to the screening -- the Wednesday event was too
late for us. Maybe the Tuesday screening was too late for you too, but
the fact is you were invited. Why you persist in pretending the
Wednesday event was the significant one I don't understand. ?
Lindsey's post was bush league but he probably meant nothing by it. I'm
disappointed you guys want to be all John Robert Starr-Craig Moon about
this. I was just demonstrating how easy it is to cast aspersions on
motives. Sure you couldn't get a review in. But don't mischaracterize
what I said. And 85 is a C. A high C admittedly.
Had Lindsey run my comments without the editorial commentary I would
have let it go. But he didn't -- and you didn't either.
So either lighten up or STFU. You guys pulled a junior high trick and
you didn't know what you were talking about. You ran an interview with
Gordy that could be described as fawning. You just wanted an
opportunity to tweak the daily newspaper, a fact I completely
understand. But the facts were demonstrably wrong.
And how about picking up a phone before you take someone's name in
vain? That seems to be a basic journalistic tenet you guys simply don't
follow. When Jim Harris busted the embargo on one of the Lord of the
Rings movies a few years ago, endangering all local preview screenings
by the way, I not only called and asked him for an explanation
I tried to settle my problem with LM in the forum in which it was
brought, but he felt the need to (inaccurately) summarize what I was
saying. So I felt compelled to explain. And nobody suggested he was
intellectually dishonest, I said his word was good enough for me. I
think I said Jim Harris was so honest you could play poker with him
over the phone or something like that.
LM hadn't seen the movie at the time he made his remarks. Nobody called
(or emailed) me to ask me anything, even though I've always answered
your questions. You guys simply play fair sometimes. I'm not mad, I'll
let this go now, but grow up, either you're journalists or you're not.
Either the blog has standards or it doesn't. And no one from your shop
has addressed the way LM misread the Tomatometer, and cavalierly
asserted that it was "probably" the highest grade since No Country For
I called bullshit on that. I can foul and disgusting and ugly on your
language, David. I say say that to my face.
What the hell is wrong with you?