Josh Zyber's Favorite Hate Mail
 

Adaptation
Alexander
Ararat
Avatar
Auto Focus
Bowling for Columbine
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Eros
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Firefly
Forrest Gump
The French Connection
High-Def Revolution Column
House of Flying Daggers
House of Fury
Kiki's Delivery Service
Lady in the Water
Minority Report
Returner
Silent Hill
Sprited Away
Stardust
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Superman Returns
Three Colors Trilogy
Transformers: The Movie
W.
We Were Soldiers
Young People F---ing
General Hatred


March 11, 2003
Re: Auto Focus
 
Are You Joking?

You must be a trained and subtle satirist, on the rarified level of a Terry Southern.  Only then could I understand how you could dismiss the absolutely brilliant screenwriting work of Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski.  All three of the bio-pics that have been made from their material - Tim Burton's "Ed Wood," as well as the two Milos Forman pictures - are among the very finest screen bios ever produced.  It's not easy to synthesize a cohesive character arc from the messy events of one celebrity's life.  This is the reason that a picture like "Gandhi" or "Immortal Beloved" have no real merit as art.  They attempt to cram every little event - relevant or otherwise - into their narrative.  What Alexander and Karaszewski do is pure genius: Their films take place in the world of their subjects.  They are subjective. No, "Man On The Moon" does not follow the A-B-C mechanics of the bio picture.  It's not a film about Andy Kaufman's life.  It's a film ABOUT Andy Kaufman, as he might have made himself.  And "The People Vs. Larry Flynt" - quite justifiably an Oscar nominated script - is a much finer and more honest exploration of the American justice system than, say, "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington."  And please don't get me started on "Ed Wood," which is EASILY the finest bio-pic in Hollywood history.

Have you actually seen these movies?  Are you just terrified of outsiders like Andy Kaufman and Larry Flynt?  Do you want a screenwriter to sit you down and explain to you - in black and white pop psychology - WHY these strange people didn't behave the way you do?  Are are you judging these films as "terrible" based on their box-office receipts?  I just don't  understand you, sir.  To state that Alexander and Karaszewski are "terrible" as if it's oft-stated fact reveals either a lack of research or a lack of insight on your part.  (And, yes, I'm aware that they did write some terrible movies:  "Screwed" and "Problem Child" are exempt from this conversation.)

I stand by it:  Those two guys are absolutely the finest bio-pic/pop-culture screenwriters we've ever had in Hollywood.  Those screenplays are absolute, goddamn art.   But I suppose in this day and age of blithering "Matrix" fandom, some people just can't appreciate a film that doesn't follow the old "How To Write  A Screenplay In 21 Days'" formula.  There is no formula for art, buddy.

[name removed]
E! True Hollywood Stories


 
April 15, 2003
Re: Spirited Away
 
You know what I find much more offensive than non-accented dubs? Why do all Japanese animated characters look like round-eyed Americans? What's up with that? I'm sorry, but I don't like to spend 90% of a film scanning the bottom to try to figure out what's going on while all the characters chatter about in unrecognizable prattle. Call me goofy, but I enjoy actually WATCHING a film. Japanese animaters don't sinc the mouth movements to dialogue anyway (with the exception of Akira) so it doesn't really matter who dubs it.

 
April 28, 2003
Re: Kiki's Delivery Service
 
Dear Mr. Bigot

Dear Me Zyber,
I think it is unfortunate that you use an anime review to criticize Americans in such a condescending manner. 
You state that in the United States audiences fear anything foreign. Should I infer from your statement that when the mainstream does not embrace something of interest to you it is out of "fear"?  It is widely reported that the Japanese avoid all video games developed in the west like rotted sushi.  Is this because they are afraid?  And if so, why do they embrace our movies and music with such fearlessness? 
Of course, you do not believe that Americans have long enough attention spans to produce video games.  When you complain about the dumbing down that occurs in the English translations you don't stop to think that maybe it is the translators who are at fault.  No...they like you, are smart enough to know how stupid the rest of us are. 
I would hate for facts to get in the way of your prejudices but could you please point to another nation in history that has accepted more foreigners into its' borders then the US? 
Or is your argument that we fear the foreign movies but not the foreign people? 
Or do you reject the whole premise that we ever act favorably towards anything not American?
I ask only because I wish to gain insight into the sophistacted mind of a brave internet DVD reviewer such as yourself (someone who does not think it at all pathetic to equate his willingness to view anime as some kind of courage that eludes his fellow citizens).
Thanks for your heroism.  You are inspiritation to us all.
Sincerley,
Your Number One Fan


 
August 7, 2003
Re: Three Colors Trilogy
 
Cripes, that Three Colors review....
is as tedious as Blue, my friend.  But what's worse: writing a bloated, condescending review that's heavy on personal face-saving and light on actual critical analysis, or writing to a DVD reviewer and reviewing his review?  Haaaaa...

Interestingly (or not), White's really the only one I'd tolerate as well.

I usually like your writing...that's my main point.  This one's a bit too careful and "precious". 

Anyway,
[name removed]


 
Right on! dude....
...we need more fast car chases, crashes, explosions, CGI monsters, Two-fisted Tai- kwon-do-slow-mo battles, with laserbeams and babes in low-cut dresses...NOT

I rather like the THREE COLORS films because they are NOT these things....Im not sure I would call them !MASTERWORKS!, but they are pleasant enuff "serious" French fluff I applaud you for standing up and giving a credible reason for not liking what is supposedly hallowed and sacred-but you may as well try to trash STAR WARS or INDY JONES movies-that would FOR sure get you killed....or worse


 
The very defensive nature of your review shows that the major reason these movies do not appeal to you is a need to be contrary.  You've met so many dozens of obsessive fans of these films who get something from them that you apparently cannot, and it has polarized your reactions to them.  While this is perfectly understandable, it does not make the basis of a great review, nor even a good one.

Developing a critical eye is about analyzing the details beyond the knee-jerk reactions.  The stories of these films does not interest you... but why not review the films looking for the things, individual of the plot, that others can appreciate?  These films are character driven!!  All these obsessives have impounded you with a set of criteria that may be overcomplicating the matter.

With each film, Kieslowski manages to hit a number of basic human emotions in very realistic portrayals by forging believable relationships between his characters.  We need to understand the circumstances surrounding these characters in order to feel these relationships and understand the decisions they make, and this is why Kieslowski spends so much time and energy establishing each film's look and feel (and color).  Julie hunts down the lawyer with whom her husband was having an affair and gives her his home.  Karol saves his new friend Mikolai's spirit simply by infecting him with his own zeal despite a downturn in fortune.  And Valentin overcomes her moral judgment of the old judge to help redeem him, driven by a misplaced need to save her own family. These characters are complex and touching and true to themselves, moreso than most films can portray within 2 hours, and this is why I find them endearing and dare to consider Kieslowski more than just a master filmmaker.  These aren't the best films ever made, but they're very worthy, and chock full of subtle details which, for some of us, do merit repeated viewings.


 
Thank you for your review.  I of course disagree with you but I thought it was thoughtful enough.  I think you miss the point on the films and that's okay.  Blue is not about how a woman is sad.  It's very much a mediation on grief.  He takes you on a journey and brings you back full circle.  You try to leave things in life completely behind you but it all comes back to haunt you.  I think as well you miss the point about White.  It's not a silly little riff.  It is profound.  How human beings lash out at each other and how revenge only opens oneself to unlimited pain. 

I thank you again for more selfish reasons.  I honestly believe no great film (as I believe these are) or great artist (as I believe he is) can not have any detractors.  One wise artist once told me if you don't have detractors then you aren't any good. 


 
While I agree with you that Kieslowski's 'Three Colors' trilogy is overrated (at least in comparison to his 1980s films, which is where his reputation really stems from - unfortunately, they didn't cross the Atlantic until very recently, and some still haven't made it), I think your personal attack on him went a little far - and seriously unbalanced your review as a result.

Going from countless interviews he gave in the last decade of his life, I think a less smug film-maker would be hard to imagine - I honestly don't think I've ever encountered anyone so disarmingly self-deprecating, and more happy to find fault with his own work.


 
Note: Normally I prefer to simply post reader hate-mail on this page without response, letting it speak for itself. However, my Bowling for Columbine review generated enough response that I was compelled to write a Bowling for Columbine Post-Review Wrap-Up column instead, which in turn generated its own mail.
 

September 6, 2003 through ??
Re: Bowling for Columbine and Bowling for Columbine Post-Review Wrap-Up
 

Allow me to pile on!
Wow, if anyone is dumb enough to believe that Michael Moore doesn't have an agenda, or wouldn't hide behind said agenda under the guise of a supposed "documentary," then moron is too kind a word for you my friend.  Hey, write all the articles you want, but anybody with a brain knows you're lying for a liar, whether you know it or not.  Yeah, yeah, we're all bunch of a narrow-minded losers.  Well, whatever you elitists call us, it doesn't matter, because booing that asshole off the OSCARS shows that people aren't gonna take it anymore.  Nuff Said!

 
I have one quick note about your defense of Bowling for Columbine (or, more properly, your criticism of the criticism). You stated:

"If Charlton Heston was mentally incapable of handling himself  in the face of an interview asking him direct questions about his organization's policies, then he damn well should not have continued to act as President of such a powerful and influential organization as the National Rifle Association. So long as he remained in such a position of power, it is not just a right but an absolute responsibility for the media to question the actions and decisions he enforced under his leadership."

The point of the criticism is that Michael Moore did NOT ask him "direct questions" about his organization's policies. He did not ask him about "actions and decisions he enforced under his leadership." He asked him questions that were purposely misleading, and played upon the fact that Heston did not remember every specific detail about rallies held years before. Moore primes the pump by saying that Heston showed up in Flint "just as he had before," even though he showed up eight months later (and, indeed, around the same time that Michael Moore himself was in Flint). Then he asks questions of Heston that falsely imply that Heston showed up shortly after the shootings. Since Heston's memory of the exact dates are vague, he ends up defending actions that his organization DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN!

There was no decision to go to Flint right after the shootings, but Heston has to defend himself as if there were, because Moore misleads him. That is the issue that the critic has with the piece; Moore should feel free to ask all the questions he wants, but he should be required to ask questions about things that actually happened. That is the real hypocrisy.


 
I just had a chance to read your response to the mail you received in the wake of your Bowling for Columbine review.  I noticed that you quoted me a couple of times, and so I figured I'd write back with a response.

I think you missed my point.  No one should expect a documentary to spout only facts.  That would be mind-numbing.  Moore's stock in trade is his opinionated nature - thus his films should reflect that.  So the fact that his documentary would be biased is perfectly fine.  My only problem is that when the facts he cites to are distorted or just plain wrong, then it diminishes the impact of the work.  Every documentary is imbued with the biases of the filmmakers - it is inevitable and necessary.  But if the filmmaker invents "facts" in order to further his/her agenda, then it cannot be considered a true documentary.  Imagine if it turned out that the subject of "King Gimp" was actually an actor and that no such person named Dan Keplinger existed.  No matter the moving portrait in the piece, you would not accept that work as a documentary - it would become simply a fictional film.  In the same manner, no one would accept as a documentary an opinionated film based on fictional events. 

Example - Moore's point about the U.S. giving aid to the Taliban is simply not true.  The numbers he cites are amounts that the government donated to a U.N. fund for food aid and food security programs.  So how can a viewer develop an informed opinion about Moore's viewpoint if the underlying facts are completely wrong? 

Another example - in its original version, the film highlighted a 1988 Bush-Quayle ad about Willie Horton.  The film shows the ad which ends with the caption "Willie Horton released.  Then kills again."  This last caption came under fire and it eventually turned out that Moore had inserted it himself, as it was not originally part of the ad.  But there was no indication in the film that Moore altered the ad.  Moreover, the hard fact remained that Willie Horton killed no one while on furlough.  Not only did "the most honest filmmaker alive" intentionally distort a 15-year old ad for his purposes, he inserted a falsehood to do so.

It has now come to light that Moore has altered that portion of the film for its DVD release, tacitly acknowledging the factual error by changing his added caption to "Willie Horton released.  Then rapes a woman."  Still, there is no indication that he added the caption himself to the original ad.  It still is made to appear that the caption was originally broadcast with the ad.

This ad is accompanied by a voiceover of Moore saying, "whether you're a psychotic killer or running for president of the United States, the one thing you can always count on is white America's fear of the black man."  The point he makes is quite valid, but diminished by his clumsy attempt to steer the facts in his direction.

I don't want to be lumped into the same group with the rabid Moore-haters.  I personally had no problem with the Heston interview - don't agree to it if you can't handle it.  But I find these kind of factual errors significant.  I liken Moore's Oscar to giving Ann Coulter a Pulitzer.  She is entitled to her opinion, but she grossly distorts the facts to make her points, thus invalidating her viewpoint.  Moore does exactly the same thing. 

You mentioned all the biased analysis of Moore but I noticed you avoided mention of the unbiased analysis at Spinsanity.com. I urge you to check that site out.


 
I'll first say that I am a big fan of "Bowling for Columbine".  I made sure to go out of my way and see it in its limited run up here in Toronto when it came out, and I picked it up on DVD the first day it arrived.  In fact, I watched it three times in the first week I picked it up on DVD.  I think that it is a powerful film that clearly illustrates how there is an underlying problem in American society that perpetuates gun culture in a fashion that is destructive and problematic at best.

Reading the recap on the letters you had received since writing your review of "Bowling for Columbine"; I was surprised in your approach at rebuttal of the criticism.  Now, it is obvious that you didn't intend to make your review or your recap impartial itself.  After all, if you were going to put a link in for Erik Moller's article debunking David Hardy's writings, the least you could have done is put a link to the particular David Hardy article itself.  I have no problems with this, as you have the right to your own opinion.  But, to perpetuate even further misinformation simply in an attempt to defend yourself or Michael Moore is hardly an admirable approach.

In your recap you go so far as to suggest "an impartial documentary is ultimately a myth".  It surprises me that we have come so far as a society that we pretend that the alteration of reality is still the truth.  If this is the case, then Michael Moore himself had no right to make criticisms of "fictitious times" in his Oscar speech, since he is only spiraling the state of the world farther into fiction.  In suggesting that a documentary cannot be impartial or wholly truthful, it becomes obvious that you are not a fan of the documentary form.  If you want an impartial documentary that will make up your mind on a subject without guidance, then you should check out Peter Medak's award-winning documentary, "Trinity and Beyond: the Atomic Bomb Movie".  Anyone who sees this film will not only get an incredible understanding of the history of the nuclear arms race, but will be surely steered towards disarmament in the view of the scale of nuclear bombs that have been created.

I do thank you for illuminating the many sites out there that do illustrate the clear bias that Michael Moore is pressing forward with.  Having examined the sites you mentioned and finding the articles discussed, I now have a more educated view of both the positive and negative sides of this film.  I would not go so far out of my way to try and suggest that the film did not deserve an Oscar, as films that have won Oscars have been used for political purposes before and the process of winning has become a mudslinging competition that degrades the validity of the awards as it is.  And I would not say that "Bowling for Columbine" should be dismissed for the smaller issues that some of its critics feel are major issues, as I feel that the overall message of the film is of greater importance than this.

I would hope that people would at least recognize that the purpose of a documentary is to document, not to steer.  Michael Moore's style is a mixture of documenting and steering, so I am not as critical to say that it is almost completely false as some of the aforementioned sites attempt to do.  But, I feel that to suggest that "Bowling for Columbine" is as honest as you are going to get is performing a true disservice to the honorable genre that documentary filmmaking is.  Like all people, Michael Moore is not infallible, and the criticisms that he has received are somewhat deserved in the face of how he presents himself.

For the record, my Wrap-Up article does in fact direct readers to the moorelies.com web site to find David Hardy's diatribe, which is located on the front page.
 

Hi, I applaud you for the Reader Mail on Bowling for Columbine.  Not a lot of people will be willing to tackle such a controversial issue.  I just want to add that to all those who claim BfC is not a documentary, then maybe they should watch Triumph of the Will.  As the dvdfile review stated, while the topic maybe unjustifiable, it is nonetheless one of the most effective DOCUMENTARY films out there...even though it's also an propaganda film.

Oh, I have to respond to this one. What exactly is Moore's propaganda message in Bowling for Columbine? That shooting people is a bad idea and we shouldn't do it? That evil Nazi bastard! Let's lynch him!


 
December 31, 2003
Re: Firefly
 
In your Firefly review, you state:

"With all that in mind, it's no wonder the show had such a difficultly finding an audience. That, and of course the fact that nobody likes Westerns anymore."

That is a very edgy, post-modern statement that you present as fact. Got any proof? Not proof that Westerns are not as popular on TV as they once were in the heyday of the 60's. That is a given. Proof that no one likes them anymore, which is what you wrote.

Assorted bitching from people who did not read the entire article.

Assorted bitching, pt. 2.


 
January 16th, 2004
Re: Adaptation
 
It is simply incredibly shallow to say that Meryl Streep performances have classically relied on 'annoying' accents.  They are good, believeable accents. From your tone, I would imagine that every affected accent you see seems like an empty Oscar stunt. But this generation is so sadly addicted to "reality" (that's why they can only watch these "reality shows"), that they have developed a cross-generational cancer of the imagination.  Meryl Streep's series of 80's performances (you probably felt like her tyranny over the Oscar nominations for that era was some kind of undeserved hype - and that ain't true.) She is simply the finest screen actor I know of, and for you to dismiss so much of her past skill as artifice (or phony) is simply a shallow reading.  Streep is the ONLY element of "Adaptation" that works, I think, and to imply that the psuedo-hip and inhuman ramblings of Jonze and Kaufman have somehow made Meryl Streep cool (quite the opposite) is an amazingly callow observation.

 
February 19th, 2004
Re: Returner
 
How can someone who likes DUNE, not like Returner!

Hello!

Returner is a great film. You should be applauding this film. It was made a far less than most of the Hollywood crap that's been coming out the last few years. By the way, this film is a thousands times better that DUNE!!! Stolen ideas from other films. What film doesn't steal from other films? What the fuck, this film uses those ideas to it's advantage more than films like Independence Day, Battlefield Earth and Transformers the movie. I and many of my friends never even suspected that the aliens were flying around in that Jet airliner, until towards the end of the film. You want to be a film maker and you like DUNE? I like Returner, but even I know it's not the best film out there. Return of the King or American Splendor are a lot better, but Returner is a great little summer film that wasn't a summer film in 2003!

Good Bye!


 
March 2nd, 2004
Re: Ararat
 
ararat????????

After i read your opinion over ararat now i see why you couldnt make it in hollywood.....i think you should just look for a job that fits you.....second:before you watch the movie i suggest you read the world history....then you may able to be an objecktive critic..what you think mr.zyber????????


 
March 29, 2004
Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Season Six
 
You assume that because some fans, like myself, didn't like Season 6 of Buffy that we would rather spend our money on crap like Charmed? What???

I welcomed the darker tones of Season 6 and that's not what most people's beef is,  it was the  Poor execution of wonderful ideas that ruined the 6th season.

There was Nothing coherently interesting about the show overall in Season 6 and the whole Spike/Buffy sex subplot  lowered the level of quality for the show overall.  We also get the Slayer working fast food plotline, Lame villains and horrible pacing through out the entire season.  Other than Once More with Feeling, most of Season 6 is un-watchable.

Buffy was a great show but the shift in tone is not the reason for the fans being divided, it was the quality of writing that people hated.

Joss was gone doing Firefly and it shows here.

Actually, it doesn't. Series creator Joss Whedon began production on his show Firefly during Buffy's seventh season, not the sixth.


 
January 1, 2005
Re: Your Reviews at DVDTalk
 
I don't know much about your dvd reviews at this site however, I do know that you are an absolute cocksucker motherfucker when it comes to newsgroup contributions. No, we have not me however, your snide know it all attitude rubs many the wrong way. Stick to doing reviews of dvd's Josh (as if there are not enough of them). Newsgroups are for decent people who simply want to express their opinion. Also, you have an unfair advantage since you get all your dvd's for free. I mean, how can someone respond to a comment about a film if they have to run out and rent or buy it. you have all the releaes, good and bad that have come out over the past few years at least and you are still an asshole. What happened when your neighbours gave you free treats on Halloween? Did you tell them they don't know enough about candy to give me food that might cause harm to me. By the way, your video system is not that impressive. My Pioneer 275S would kick the shit out of your Skyworth junk. I bought Short Cuts for $6.00 at a Chinese market-DVD 9 non-licensed exact duplicate (including packaging etc..) of the Criterion release except that it is a single disc with no book. No features, but it was $6.00. I buy many discs like this that meet or exceed the typical R1 quality. They are available for all the major studios. I own over 500 dvd's. A hot shot like you probably has several thousand by now since they cost you nothing. I have seen you piss off many in the alt.video.dvd newsgroup. From what I have read of your posts, I know considerably more about film and film making than you do and I never attended a single day of film school. I am technically inclined and have a strong computer and audio/video background. I worked with the exclusive distributor of B&W loud speakers when they were first introduced to NA so my interest in audio goes way way back. I can take a dvd player apart completely and re-assemble it by either using schematic drawings or knowledge of the components. I can take the video projector you have on your ceiling and improve the pic quality you are currently experiencing by at least a 50% improvement. I  have serviced audio and video equipment for years. I buy and sell used equipment every now and then. 

Anyway, the reason I go to this trouble of writing a long email like this to you is to let you see that a total stranger can get pissed off at you enough to...write a long email like this one to you. Don't get me wrong, my intention here is only to get you to stop being a prick in the NG. I don't know what your motives are by being such a snobby bore in a NG, but, lets try to remember what the NG's are for in the first place.

Seeun Ng <zybsucks@hotmail.com>

July 21, 2010
Re: Reviews at High-Def Digest
 

Your reviews are thorough but your style limps along with too much irrelevant literary license. If you want me to experience the benefits of your expertise, you should be sprinting. Write with more prolixity, targeting it to the point and indulging in fewer chatty asides. Readers are less interested in your stylistic panache than in compact information to set up the Blu Ray experience. 

Perhaps the constructive advice of a professional creative writing sensei is unwelcome. Oh my, have I gone too far, Grasshopper? Fuck it. I meant well.


 
May 2, 2005
Re: House of Flying Daggers
 
I read your review of 'House of Flying Daggers' and... in response to your sarcastic snub about people who are too stupid to read subtitles and eat popcorn at the same time...
Dubbed tracks allow those of us who appreciate a film's visuals to actually watch the film, instead of spending most of the running time with our eyes at the bottom of the screen reading the damned subtitles.  Sure, there is no ideal solution when the original soundtrack is not in a language that you speak, but criticizing those who don't like subtitles is misguided and snobbish.  I dislike subtitles for a good reason; they detract from the visual experience, especially in a film like "House of Flying Daggers".

 
August 4, 2005
Re: Eros
 
I think you had better do a little research on Mr Downey in the last 2-3 years.  Robert Downey Jr is not "burned out on drugs"  He is alive and well, been clean and sober for 3 years, has 7 films either completed or in progress and more scheduled. 

You must have missed the Cannes Festival where "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" starring Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer and Michelle Monaghan premiered and received standing ovations and has already received some Oscar buzz.  Also, he is in "Good Night. And Good Luck"., George Clooney directing and co-starring in the film about Edward R. Murrow and Senator Joe McCarthy and the Senate Hearings on Communists. It is in competetion for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and will be opening the New York Film Festival.  Others are  "Shaggy Dog" co-starring with Tim Allen, "Fur" co-starring with Nicole Kidman, "Game 6"  with Michael Keaton, "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints" being filmed this month,  "Zodiac" which will be filming this month and in Sept.    He is also getting married the end of August to producer Susan Levin, a sweet, lovely girl. 

Now....does that sound like a "burned out on drugs" person??? 

It is sad that you couldn't make it as a director but perhaps you didn't have what it takes to work hard and create something worthwhile.  It is infinitely easier to bash a performance than to take the time to understand the meaning it conveys.  And of course, you must realize, having been a director, even a brilliant actor can not always take every script and turn it into an Academy Award nomination.

I hope you will do your homework next time...and just remember.....Downey doesn't do drugs anymore!!

Sincerely,
Joyce Schroder

ps.... Sorry, I made a slight error..... you were a filmmaker ..... not the director.


 
December 18, 2005
Re: House of Fury
 
I read your review of 'House of Fury' and...I have been noticing that you have been making various comments in many of your DVDs on Hong Kong films on the subtitles.

Aside from pointing out any spelling and grammar errors, you have no business contemplating that accuracy of the subtitles as you obviously do not speak Chinese. The reason being quite simple as you will lead readers on a way of thinking that is incorrect. 

I notice that you purposely write your comments on the subtitles in a manner that is ambiguous making it sound like you know what you are talking about without actually specifically pointing anything out.  Comments like, "Subtitles are fine, but miss a lot of the jokes" are common in your reviews and as I pointed out before, you have no business writing that as you are just going on what you are blindly guessing (I guess you figure all foreign films will always have this, so you make the comment to make it sound as if this is coming from a place knowledge).

In terms of House of Fury, the disc you reviewed is the domestic US release by Tai Seng which has had the subtitles completely retranslated from scratch and are a huge improvement on the subtitles that were on the HK DVD.  The translation is virtually flawless and I can vouch for this.  You however cannot and your review makes it sound like you do and that is irresponsible for a reviewer to do so.


 
February 16, 2006
Re: Alexander
 
I read your review of 'Alexander - Collector's Edition' and... you spent quite a bit of time in the review just ripping on people saying the movie is bad because it is the fashionable thing to do.  I agree with you completely on the fact that some movies/directors get a bandwagon of people that say their movies are bad no matter what.  Michael Bay is the perfect example.  It seems like everyone on the internet hates his movies, while everyone I know in real life loves his movies.  Bay's movies are not in my list of top 20 movies of all time, but they sure are entertaining to watch.  By the way, I thought Alexander was terrible.  Colin's performance ruined the movie for me.  Maybe it was his blonde hair that made his performance look fake, I just can't put my finger on it. 

 
September 4th, 2006
Re: Silent Hill
 
I read your review of 'Silent Hill' and... frankly i think you should never write a review again.  You should maybe go back to film school, and find out what your problem was as a film maker.  Instead of being a whining selfpitified waste of life, you should not give up on your degree just because you made a flop.  Kind of weak to give up after one failure, and then turn around to critisize other people's works of art.  So please dont write any more reviews, and go back to filmschool or whatever the hell you wish to call it.  =) Goodday!

 
September 12th, 2006
Re: We Were Soldiers
 
I read your review of 'We Were Soldiers' and...if you hate the 80% of americans whom are wacko christains  so much maybe you should move to China.

 
November 16th, 2006
Re: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
 
I read your review of 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' and...it sounds like your a real tool.

 
January 4, 2007
Re: Superman Returns
 
Did we watch the same movie? I thought "Superman Returns" was the year's best film IMO. It had to remind people of the original since the franchise has been dead forever. The cast was perfect with maybe the exception of Kate Bosworth. Who wasn't bad, just didn't have the "spunk" Margot Kidder had. The film was also gorgeous looking and Bryan Singer did an amazing job directing.

 
Febuary 6, 2007
Re: Lady in the Water
 
I read your review of 'Lady in the Water' and...I think You are WEAK! Way out of touch. Good luck with your career. 

 
May 15 - June 6, 2007
Re: High-Def Revolution Column
 
 
So, I just finished your HD War article and I must say, well, it seems quite clear, at least in your presentation, that you highly favor HD-DVD over Blu-Ray.  You use a rather condescending tone when discussing BR and I guess I was just expecting something a tad more unbiased in its presentation.

And I'm not just some Blu-Ray camp supporter who feels slighted.  I haven't made up my mind yet about which way to go, but admittedly this article sort of turns me off to the HD side of things a tad more.  More and more I hear Blu-Ray folks talking about their quality and their future plans while the HD folks spend most of their time talking about how good Blu-Ray isn't.  This article falls in line with that thinking.

Maybe I was just presuming too much, anticipating a more solid and balanced approach, speaking to the facts and figures.  It's nothing personal, mind you.  I just felt, as a fence-sitter, that you absolutely want me in the HD camp no matter what, which isn't (to my way of thinking) a fair assessment of the real dealings of the format conflict.
 

I've been a supporter and user of digital formats for many, many years (way back to laser discs). Based on your comments in the column, I suspect I probably bought my first DVD when you were in grade school.

As most fans, I am extremely frustrated with the high-def wars and the competing hi-def formats (HD DVD & Blu-Ray).

So, I'm unbelievably offended by your asinine comments below:

"...We here at DVDTalk will continue to support both formats equally. As far as we're concerned, the more High Definition the better..."

What the hell are you people thinking! It's amazingly stupid comments like yours that got us, and keep us, in the predicament we're in.

I'm tired of being manipulated. We need sites like yours to help us fight back against issues like this format war - not give silly, inane endorsements to keep the thing going.

Why doesn't someone at DVDtalk grow a pair of balls and speak out loudly against this frigging format and help frustrate these manufacturers and manipulators.


 
June 5, 2008
Re: Stardust
 
Everyone is, of course, entitled to their own view.

However, yours damned every element of the film (except the exciting ending, which did not make up for the rest). This is in stark contrast to other sites, such as that from Rotten Tomatoes, who, as you know, take in all of the reviews, and give it a pick.

It is interesting that you, however, damn it against the Princess Bride, and you spend an inordinate amount of time in a comparison that seems to only be important to - nudge nudge wink wink - insiders.

Perhaps when you go to see films in the future, and offer a review you should treat them on their merits, and offer comments based on the films merits. Not on comparisons made by other people, unspecified by you, and unknown to most of your readers. 

It is by no means certain that the market for this was Princess Bride viewers, they are, I would suggest, likely to range from Lord of the Rings to Galaxy Quest, taking in serious as well as humorous on the way.

By the way, I bought the DVD the first week it was out.


 
November 19, 2008
Re: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
 
What a totally biased review that you gave for "Clone Wars". I could really care less if you liked the movie or not, but to make the farcical claim that "Star
Wars: The Clone Wars' is another desperate cash-in for a franchise in its death throes" is laughable at best. 

A few facts for you here, little hater:

1.) The 3 Star Wars Prequels combined made more money than the 3 Lord of the Rings films combined in domestic receipts (and far more if Episode I is adjusted for inflation): In the USA, Star Wars is still the most popular sci-fi/fantasy franchise of all time. Besides, most of us could really care less if LOTR is more popular in say, Zimbabwe. 

2.) The CG cartoon that the movie served as an introduction to became became the Cartoon Network's most-watched series premiere ever. Per Wikipedia: "The computer-animated series, from Lucasfilm Animation, averaged 4 million total viewers in its debut, and contiunously ranks as the number one show among all major kids networks in the time slot among total viewers as well as in the key youth demographics of kids 2-11 (1.8 million), kids 6-11 (1.4 million) and tweens 9-14 (1.2 million, the largest in the demographic for any premiere telecast of an original Cartoon series)."

3.) How is a film that only cost $8 million to make and grossed over $28 million a flop? Only an idiot would have expected the release to hit classic or prequel trilogy numbers, especially since everyone knew this was not another official live action movie. 

The real problem you have is that you want Star Wars as a franchise to go away because of YOUR expectations, and yet it remains as popular as ever, with the toys being the #1 boys brand for Hasbro and a cartoon that wins it's time slot, as well as a hugely successful new trio of films in the prequels. And a live-action TV show in development. 

You simply cannot accept that the bulk of the populace is still down w/ SW, and that you and the other haters that spout their vile immaturity online actually represent a small fraction of the fanbase, but appear bigger given your online roar. The media has never understood this, but I just laugh at the ignorance. If the prequels were as universally reviled as the media believes than how could they have made so much money? The Matrix Reloaded - now THAT's a reviled film, one that led it's successor to a total box office gross significantly lower than it predecessors. Revenge of the Sith, on the other hand, made $70 million more than Clones! Popularity breeds momentum. 

So, not only is Star Wars doing just fine without you, but it has made lots of new friends! You and your ilk are like bitter ex-boyfriends that cannot move on - you don't like it, then fine, but spare us your attempts to paint this hugely popular franchise as in it's "death throes" - the numbers don't back it and the core of the fan base knows otherwise. Pathetic. 

Read the review over at TheDigitalBits.Com - he did not like it either, but at least he recognizes that the franchise is still very popular with it's target audience.

A typical Star Wars hater:

"Ohh, Lucas OWES me for all the toys I bought - why did he not make the movies I wanted - Waaaaaaah!" 

"Ohh, Lucas is greeeedy! he just wants to cash in"

"Ohh, I wish that Star Wars would bring me back to the good old days, when I was not a 30-something heavyset dork living in my parent's basement with nothing better to do than blast Star Wars from the security of my little geek fortress of solitude!" Curse that George Lucas! Curse hiiiim! I will punish him...in chat rooms!"

Again, Pathetic. 


 
January 8, 2009
Re: Young People F---ing
 
I've always regarded High-Def Digest as a respectable, professional high definition news and movie review site. That is, until today. I see absolutely no point in the reviewing or even mentioning a film such as Y.P.F. The film was obviously titled as such in order to gain shock value attention and your site fell for it. Regardless of whether or not the movie has redeeming qualities, bringing this movie to the same status as 2001, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Casablanca or even Iron Man by giving it the review attention you did greatly damages my opinion of your judgement and certainly changes the perception I have of your site. I may clearly be in the minority with this opinion. I often have difficulty finding Websites, magazines and other media that can't seem to be able to provide useful commentary without resorting to using profanities, sexual connotations or agenda-driven political statements. Most people, unfortunately, aren't bothered by this. However, you should know that there are still individuals out there that find offense to such decisions and giving a movie like Y.P.F. this attention has degraded your site, in my opinion, and has lost you a reader. I fully support your right to make whatever choices you do and hold whatever values you hold; it's your site - you can do what you want. Just know that these decisions have an impact on your readership.

 
January 23, 2009
Re: Transformers: The Movie
 
Hey I read your transformers the movie review. U called it a glorious cheesefest.  So what the fuck do u know about g1 transformers anyways? Your prob just another 40 year old stupid fat bald guy anyways. Why don't u go watcht that shitpiece movie of bays transformers and show some proper respect and leave a real transformers 1986 movie alone u poser!! 

 
February 24, 2009
Re: W.
 
I have enjoyed reading your movie reviews on-line at High Def Digest and I have also seen your equipment reviews, including your excellent piece on the whole HDMI confusion.  I think you write very clearly and you explain your points well using the facts to form your opinions.  However, your review of "W" has me a little puzzled.  Instead of just describing the movie, the players and the characters they play (good or bad), you clearly put your own personal political views into the review.  Love him or hate him, the Left slant you put in the review was unnecessary.  One example is how you reviewed the actors playing Karl Rove, Codolezza Rice and Dick Cheney.  Instead of saying they nailed it or they didn't, you put quite a few personal shots in there like, "Toby Jones (the other Truman Capote, the one that didn't win an Oscar) is Karl Rove, the most dangerous nerd in the world.  Or, "In the context of any other normal movie, I might say the same of Richard Dreyfuss, who lacks only a handlebar mustache to twirl in his play on Dick Cheney as a sneeringly evil villain. However, this is Dick Cheney we're talking about, and quite frankly Dreyfuss way underplays the role. The real Cheney makes the actor look like he's doing Gandhi in comparison".  The most dangerous nerd in the world? or The real Cheney makes the actor look like he's doing Gandhi in comparison, I mean, what are those comments for?. Certainly not part of a movie review as much as it was to have your true feelings about Cheney, et al come out. Believe me, Bush made several bad decisions through out his 8 years in office as well, but to say, "the Bush administration is easily the most secretive in history",  is a bit of a stretch isn't it?.  Especially when compared to even the administration before it.  I think most people would agree the Clinton's had their share of secrets and scandals and that a movie about their administration would have lasted at least 12-16 hours.  I also think you would agree that a movie review is probably not the best time or place to have your own personal political views surface.  An Op-Ed for the NY Times or somewhere like that, O.K., but not in High Def Digest.  For whats it's worth try and stick to movie and equipment reviews and leave out the political views and comments. 

 
March 10, 2009
Re: The French Connection
 
You’re way too rough on Friedkin.  You said he lashed out at Owen.  That’s way overly dramatic.  When you made fun of his voice, I couldn’t believe it.  I thought it was a surprisingly unprofessional review.  Amazingly,  everyone seems to be buying it.  I thought many more people would’ve criticized your review as being too personal and out of line.

 
April 26 - May 6, 2010
Re: Avatar
 
Your review is terrible.

This is hands down the best blu ray movie ever produced, are you blind? Name one that is better. Picture quality, sound and story is fantastic in the blu ray format is the best I ever seen. I look forward the review on your sight, but this is way off base and I am many agree with me.

For the record, I gave this disc a perfect 5-star score for video quality, and described it as, "the best-looking demo material yet released on Blu-ray."
 

In your review of the Avatar Blu-ray disc for the movie Avatar, you ask yourself, "How the hell did he pull this off? I can't figure it out." regarding James Cameron.  Perhaps, this tip may help you find your answer:

He pulled if off by creating a fantastic and beautiful story.  If you would just get your head out of your ass and stop putting down brilliant work, you may just see the light.  Why is it that most movie critics will only love and admire crappy, niche movies?  If a movie is loved by "the people", then it must be dumb and trivial, right?

Thanks for helping me avoid yet another reviewer on the site.  Now, all the movies you hate, I'm sure I will love (and vice versa).

Why do you have an inferiority complex when it comes to understanding that white people are the backbone of this country, and were here from its beginnings. What place did you drop out of that makes you think that what you "believe" about movie plots has any relevance or importance All you actually convey is  personal character liabilities when it comes to being a relevant human. You need to "shut up" when it comes to spewing your racial (white) ignorance as being "philosophical" or critiquing, because all you actually do is just make yourself dirty in the process.
That is a pretty immature comment for a professional reviewer to make on any movie much less the highest grossing movie ever @ nearly 3 billion dollars. Anyhow I don't have a problem with what he meant , however I am sure he could have worded it a little more professionally. I read your reviews here often but too many more like that one and I may have to take this place off my bookmarks. 

 
December 17, 2010
Re: Forrest Gump
 
I find your description unprofessional, you said the movie was racist, I am black and I see nothing wrong about it, and I think your racist for even implying it. you got the message of the movie wrong, the message is that life isn't predetermined its free and random. the character is easy the most likable character, he's caring has no hate, for example he gave the money from apple to bubba's family. I would bet non of you self righteous jerks would do that. just remember a n****r wrote this racist bastard.

 
December 26, 2010
Re: Minority Report
 
So sad you think:  "Like far too many of Steven Spielberg's films, the 2002 sci-fi thriller 'Minority Report' is about 3/4 of a great movie, followed by 1/4 of a pretty bad one."

really sad......
ill stay with *******.com.
better reviews.

Do you hate me too?
Send me hate mail at: jzyber @ mind spring . com (remove spaces)
 

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