I had a sad

jeremy-renner-gemma-arterton-hansel-gretel-witch-huntersIt’s like they didn’t even try.

I used to love to write bad reviews. Back in the late 90s, when I was lucky enough to review movies for Newsweek.com, I was actually only lucky to get the stuff none of the real critics would bother with: crappy teen comedies, really weird foreign films, and second and third-rate action movies. Every week I would figure out new ways to trash them; I was thrilled when someone said, “Ted’s review is scathing.” One of my proudest moments was when Yahoo! News published a story about the wretched reviews of Battlefield Earth and quoted mine in the introduction and conclusion of the article.

Now, as I approach 40, I find very little pleasure in that sort of negativity, even in those nearly pyrotechnic slams that some critics (like The New Yorker’s Anthony Lane or The Austin Chronicle’s Marc Savlov) specialize in. Either it’s the antidepressants, an overload of empathy, or just simple maturity, but I don’t really want to participate in the blood sporting free-for-all that occurs whenever Lindsey Lohan or Michael Bay make a movie. Now, instead of seeing a bad movie and giddily imagining how I can shred it in print, I get sad. Continue…