I like Eli Roth. He's very entertaining in interviews, and his movies are a lot of fun -- although I didn't think Hostel: Part 2 was half the wonderfully disgusting blast that the original was. I also like Richard Roeper. I don't find him to be a particularly insightful or mind-blowing film critic, but he's a likable and funny man, and he's held up Not Siskel and Not Ebert a lot better than I expected him to in Ebert's unfortunate absence. My appreciation of both men makes it difficult for me to choose sides in today's "Minor Celebrity Feud of the Day." In a recent interview, Eli Roth expressed annoyance that critics won't admit to liking his movies. Sayeth Roth: "Someone told me in Chicago last night that they sat next to Richard Roeper during the screening of Cabin Fever, and he was jumping, screaming, squealing, and going crazy during the whole movie. He then trashed it in his review. I think that's just how it is with a lot of these critics. They almost feel guilty giving it a positive review."

Not so, sayeth Roeper, who was appalled at the suggestion, writing: "Dear Mr. Roth: Someone is lying to you. The only time I have ever jumped, screamed and squealed at a screening was when Dann Gire came in late and accidentally sat on my lap. But that's another story. Honestly, though, if Cabin Fever had me going crazy, I would have given it a thumbs up, or even the "severed thumbs up" I once gave to The Devil's Rejects. I would never finesse my reaction to a film out of some bull&!#@ concern that it wouldn't mirror the conventional critical wisdom or be politically correct." We're taking both men at their word here, but I've seen Roeper give positive reviews to some widely hated movies in the past. Like Ebert, he's not an elitist critic, so I'm tempted to give him the benefit of the doubt here. However, I do wonder how many (obviously weak) critics gush praise all over highly regarded films just because they don't want to seem out of touch. Or how many critics laugh their heads off at dumb comedies only to trash them in their reviews. I sat next to a pretty reputable critic at a screening for Memoirs of a Geisha, and he fell asleep at several points in the film, snoring loudly each time. His review of the film? Positive.
categories Cinematical