Hulu Gives Kevin Smith a Movie Review Show
Hulu has been venturing into the original content game as of late, and one of their first products is a new movie review show hosted by filmmaker Kevin Smith, called ‘Spoilers.’ Spoiler alert: Film criticism is suddenly so easy, Kevin Smith can do it!
The filmmaker has had a tumultuous relationship with film critics in recent years, bucking their negative reviews of his films, and citing the fact that critics often don’t pay to see films they review as proof of their dishonesty and entitlement.
Indiewire reports that Smith’s show will premiere June 4th. In a recent interview with Wired, Smith explained his concept for ‘Spoilers,’ in which he takes a group of 50 “regular” people to see a movie, followed by a group discussion:
“Watch the movie with everybody, we take them out and pay for them to go see the movie, kick back — on opening day, none of this early bulls–t, ain’t doing it like those critics, doing it legit — and then just go down the street, sit down and have a gabfest, man.”
So eloquent! What Smith fails to realize or even consider is that many film critics still pay to see films — whether they’re paying to see a film that an apprehensive studio chose not to screen for press, which means going to a midnight show on Thursday to meet a Friday morning deadline, or going to see a film that they loved at a festival or a press screening on opening weekend with some friends because they feel the film needs support — critics do still pay for films.
Smith’s assessment is ridiculous because it implies that critics inherently hate film, but it also suggests that if we pay to see a film, we’ve done so because we actively desired to see it, and thus we’ll give it a more positive review. It’s flawed logic because of course you pay to see a film you want to see. Who walks into a movie wanting to have a bad time?
Even more ridiculous is his idea that people who don’t pay to see a film feel more entitled and inclined to hate it, but shouldn’t the opposite be true? If you pay for a film and it winds up disappointing you, aren’t you more angry for wasting your time and money?
And please note that Smith obviously agrees because he’s paying for these people to see a movie. They are watching it for free, and he’s asking their opinion, which is blatantly biased because they didn’t pay for the ticket and they’re on TV. He pulls the strings and they dance.
In the preview for the show on Hulu, Smith says, “We’re not gonna watch movies, we’re gonna revere them.” The concept is seemingly that everyone in the room liked the movie and they’re all going to gush over it for half an hour? Boring. And if Smith is trying to say that his way is the right way to discuss film, that’s fine. No one is telling him he can’t do things this way, but it’s not film criticism. And this isn’t a film review show, clearly.
Smith’s condescending attitude towards critics comes through in these previews, where he asserts that they’re going to talk to filmmakers and stars involved with the movie of the week about how “awesome” they are, making this a show about blind admiration rather than honest critical discussion.
One last thing: What is with the accent? Since when is Kevin Smith a car salesman in Oklahoma?