Just because I don’t get it, doesn’t mean it’s not good

Posted by · 8:02 am · December 22nd, 2008

Citizen KaneKris is taking some heat in some quarters for his comments on “WALL-E,” and while he has never said it was a bad film, he didn’t fall over himself seeking superlatives for it either.  In fact, the movie did not do much for Kris, which is an unpopular sentiment, given the critics awards and rave reviews for the film.

Why is this not okay with some people?  Similarly, why is not okay to say that one does not feel “Citizen Kane” is the greatest film of all time? I don’t think it is and you have no idea the heat I take for that. Kris made a bold decision, one he believed in, one he felt was right, one that was honest.

When will people realize that at the end of the day we are all critics with an opinion, but some of us are fortunate enough to do it for a living?  Does that set us apart?  Not really.

Watching a film is connected to the oldest of rituals, similar to the ancient Greeks filing in to see a play and watching with rapt attention the players on stage. They then left the play and discussed it, just as we do today with cinema. Maybe we like the film, maybe we don’t…it is all opinion-based and at the end of the day, no one is really wrong.

Granted, there are films that are simply brilliant with seemingly no argument — “The Godfather” and “On the Waterfront” come to mind — while films like “Freddy Got Fingered” are garbage. I may disagree with someone who likes Tom Green’s film “Freddy Got Fingered” and will argue with them emphatically as to why the film is bad, but I will forever accept, defend and understand their right to think what they think of the film.

Kris made a statement on “WALL-E” and I stand by him as one of those who feel it is a good film, not a great one. I remember a few years back taking some heat for not liking “The English Patient” and a year later “Life is Beautiful,” but I stood by my comments and still do. I clearly remember sitting in a theater wishing Kristen Scott Thomas would die in that cave so we could go home, while Bengini’s incessant mugging made me ill. Clearly I was in the minority but it was a place I did not mind being. On another note I remember loving Steven Spielberg’s “Empire of the Sun,” a box office flop with mixed reviews, but a masterpiece that I adored and years later the film is finally earning long overdue appreciation.

Let’s all agree that we all have opinions and that we all love film. I have been doing this for more than 25 years and am thrilled to say I’ve learned as much on this site in the last year as in the 10 years previous. Disagree with me, fine, just back it up, challenge me but be ready for a fight…and never tell me that I have no right to think what I think.




→ 37 Comments Tags: , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

37 responses so far

  • 1 12-22-2008 at 11:00 am

    tdr said...

    I completely agree with you, John. People have their own personal opinion and no one should judge them for the position they’ve chosen.
    I think this whole “Wall-E” thing has been blown out of proportion (is it good or great; will it be nominated for Best Picture or not). It’s one of the better movies of the year. It certainly stands out in the crowd. My personal opinion is that if the end was different, and they didn’t make the happy love reunion, but left Eve stranded on Earth without Wall-E’s memory and affection (love?)- not sure what’s appropriate, it would have been better. And i would be saying it’s a great movie.
    It’s very good and innovative, especially in the genre of animation. But still this genre, as changed as it’s been in the last couple of years, it’s still considered to be primarily filled with children-orientated movies- with the happy ending and the lovers reuniting. “Wall-E” had the perfect oportunity to proove wrong that idea, but it missed- at least in my opinion.
    Anyway, those are my thoughts on the matter.
    RESPECT PERSONAL OPINION!
    P.S. Happy holidays.

  • 2 12-22-2008 at 11:04 am

    John said...

    I don’t think it’s so much his opinion, but the skill of his style. I believe he takes the heat because often he does not know how to express his feelings without that bit of ‘talking down’ syndrome. I and a few friends have talked about the lack of skill, or the right amount of expression in his writing. However, this is just one opinion, my own and I do think in time that will change.

  • 3 12-22-2008 at 11:18 am

    tdr said...

    Regardless still, whether it’s an opinion (whoevers) on a movie, on pilotics, music and so on. People should respect other people’s opinions. They should engage in discusions and disagree with said opinion, but not to that degree of fan-cult appreciation of the movie. It turns forums and message boards into this “I’m right- you’re wrong” field of spiteful comments.

  • 4 12-22-2008 at 11:51 am

    Vance said...

    I don’t think anyone is saying you or Kris “have no right” to hold you own opinions.

    I do think that the both of you are guilty of saying that Wall-E is not very good, which is your opinion, which is fair. Unfortunately, I do think it hurts the credibility of what you’re trying to do when you allow your opinion to interfere with the meat & potatoes of this site, which is Oscar speculation.

    I can’t think of many other web sites that aren’t predicting Wall-E for a screenplay nod, for instance. And with the fervor you both have shown to say that Wall-E is an over-rated flick, it looks like your opinions on the quality of the film are downplaying the film’s chances.

    None of which is wrong.

    But at the same time, your counterparts (specifically the AwardsDaily crew) hold the opposite opinion that you do, which is Wall-E is great, Wall-E might have a shot at Best Picture, so on and so on.
    I really don’t think any of this is personal.

  • 5 12-22-2008 at 12:28 pm

    John said...

    If I were to be deeply honest, I feel Tapley, Jeff Wells and Tom O’Neil all share the same ‘problem’, if you can even call it that. In my mind, only Sasha Stone allows the joy of film to penetrate with each bit. There is something about Awards Daily that flows with, I don’t know how to say it otherwise, love. The three I mentioned above and again, only in my opinion, suck the joy out of Oscar season and at times, do a great disservice to the film’s they speak of. There is only one way to read ‘Cold’.

  • 6 12-22-2008 at 12:45 pm

    Jeff said...

    I agree with Kris 100% on this issue. I don’t think Wall-E is a bad film, I just don’t think it’s a very good one either.
    In regard to the title (and theme) of this article, I have this to say: relativism has evolved into a lazy dogmatism, where one could say this is true for me and not true for you. I think that school of thought is not always accurate for everything. There are certain standards of good art vs. bad art, and the fact is that Wall-E fails as a piece of art. It really really does! I’ve written about this a million times on various websites, so please please please do not try to call me out on this. I will say this much, apocalyptic poetry and social satire do not mix well at all!!!
    This leads me to the real problem with Wall-E. I’ll repeat, Wall-E is not a bad film. I don’t have overwhelming problems with it. Heck, I don’t even have overwhelming problems with it being overrated; partially because many things are consistently overrated. However, I do have a problem when people claim that some sort of critical majority is indicative of truth. I mean, come on, once upon a time in history the majority of academics (some of whom were geniuses) followed Aristotlean views of physics. I know that this is not the best example (because art and science are so removed) but it still points out the potential flaws within a critical majority. Here’s a better example: many playwrights in Shakespeare’s time were considered greater than he, and it was not until the period of Romanticism that Shakespeare was realized to be the genius that he was. Again, a critical majority failed. Another example that hits close to home is that of Melville’s Moby-Dick, a book that received a lukewarm exception from literary critics upon its publication and is now considered to be one of the greatest aesthetic acheivments of America. So, people, please stop appealing to “authority” on these issues and make up your own minds and defend them.

  • 7 12-22-2008 at 1:06 pm

    BBats said...

    Finally, someone steps up to defend the first amendment. Way to take a stand.

  • 8 12-22-2008 at 1:32 pm

    John said...

    Oh, I agree with you Jeff, 100%. I was only speaking of ‘the heat’ Kris is dealing with. If you are going to run a web site on film, I believe the joy of film should always be preset, such as Awards Daily. Lose that joy, and you lose your audience. I found ‘Wall-E’ to be about something as simple as losing something, and finding it all over again. But do I see some dark edges, yes. Looking to critics to determine one’s opinion on a movie is silly, but talking about what that movie gives you, or what you can see it may gives others, that’s love. All I’m saying here to Kris, and others, screw the critics, find the joy that started this wonderful mess to begin with.

  • 9 12-22-2008 at 1:38 pm

    Jason said...

    Thanks for that BBats,

    I think this debate points to how self-important people can get.

  • 10 12-22-2008 at 1:39 pm

    John Foote said...

    And for the record, because I so dislike words being put in my mouth, I have never stated Wall-E is not very good — on the contrary I think it is a very good film, downright breathtaking and daring, just not the best feature film of the year or the pinnacle of animation for the ages. That’s all.

  • 11 12-22-2008 at 1:56 pm

    John said...

    I have yet to read a single comment here that claims you said ‘Wall-E’ is a bad film, John. As for Jason, nothing is more self-important than calling out how self-important people are and in terms of this debate, nothing even touches that issue. What I do see is a ton of hostile comments without any defense for film love itself and if you are going to run a web site on film, don’t give your audience anything to be bitter about. There are plenty of opinions on film out there, be the guy that everyone points to and says, ‘Boy, that dude sure loves his movies’. Like ‘Wall-E’, it’s that simple.

  • 12 12-22-2008 at 2:05 pm

    Scott Ward said...

    “Disagree with me, fine, just back it up.”

    Right on John. Likewise, I agree that people are entitled to like what they want to, but when you label a film a masterpiece as so many have done with this movie, you have to be able to SOUNDLY AND LOGICALLY back that statement up. And yes, nearly all arguments are still backed by opinion, some of the stuff people say is completely and purely opinion that only they saw. To back a masterpiece, you have to at least be able to make the other person see what you are talking about.

  • 13 12-22-2008 at 2:06 pm

    Rob Scheer said...

    Kris may have not exactly said it was “a bad film,” but he HAS displayed a vicious, Jeff Wells-esque “taking down” mentality towards it, bemoaning its awards and acclaim whenever he can, and calling attention (and thus, lending credence) to any articles/comments bashing the film.

    He’s totally within his right to do so, obviously, but it’s a little misleading to say he’s being attacked just for not falling in line with the mass opinion. He’s intending to provoke, and pretending otherwise is a little tough to swallow.

  • 14 12-22-2008 at 2:58 pm

    Scott Ward said...

    Wow Jeff, skipped over your piece the first time, but that’s spot on about everything.

    John: I have to disagree with you when you say that a site editor shouldn’t give his readers anything to be bitter about. For starters, Kris has stated what you, Jeff, John Foote, and I among others have said about the movie. Remember that he said he liked WALL-E, he just didn’t understand most people lauding it as such a work of art. I would say that he posts his threads to incite discussion. I mean after all, what real good does discussion do if everyone is all jolly and agrees with everything everyone says. I realize that this is an extreme and not what you are wishing for, but it’s just I think it’s fine for an editor to make known his opinionated digressions about something.

    Again, not saying I am right, it’s just I feel I’m right because I feel the way Kris runs this site would be better than the way you suggest. But you certainly have just as much right to share your thoughts as I do, so that’s fine. In saying this, I do feel that your thoughts about Kris’s writing could bery well be true; however, I don’t necessarily think he should be criticized for it. After all, although many of us don’t like to admit it, but we all think that we are always right and we see everything the way it should be. So it would be pretty damn hard for anyone, me and you included, not to make our negative feelings known when we don’t like a film as much as the general populous.

  • 15 12-22-2008 at 3:05 pm

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    Citizen Kane isn’t necessarily the greatest film of all time but certainly the most innovative film of all time. There’s a subtle nuance there.
    Anyhow, it’s good to have a host here standing by his opinion, because that’s what it is here. His own opinion, that’s why we have blogs. Wether they’re commissioned by the medium you’re working for shouldn’t matter.
    I still think we need a forum though to talk about it more extensively ;)

  • 16 12-22-2008 at 4:03 pm

    KBJr. said...

    I just recently watched ‘Citizen Kane’ and I was wondering the same thing…what’s the big deal? Good movie. Greatest? Not of the lot that I’ve seen.

  • 17 12-22-2008 at 4:04 pm

    KBJr. said...

    I would say the same for ‘In The Bedroom,’ another good movie that I feel was (is) overrated.

  • 18 12-22-2008 at 4:10 pm

    Raw Shark said...

    My big problem with Kris’s position on WALL-E is that he does not merely consider it a “good” film, but he has said on multiple occassions that it is “morally objectionable”, and his agressive denouncement of it has grown more heated as it receives more and more critical recognition. The height of that was the recent post where he quoted several comments from Awards Daily that agreed with him, and called them smart, and then put up several illegible comments from WALL-E supporters, implying that people who agreed with him were smart, and those that supported WALL-E were, well, morons. There’s a critic/blogger on another site who also happens to dislike WALL-E. Originally, he was really vocally negative about it, but he calmed down, and staked out the position that he didn’t like it, but he respected the intelligence of people that did. Kris has failed in that regard. He has also failed in being “honest”. When he can admit that putting Bolt as number 2 on his list was influenced by his rage at WALL-E supporters, maybe then you can call him honest. But pettiness and honesty really don’t go hand in hand.

  • 19 12-22-2008 at 4:25 pm

    John said...

    I completely subscribe to the “I know the film is good, but I didn’t like it” critique.

    Last year for instance, I KNOW ‘No Country for Old Men’ is a good movie. Better than good. The acting, direction, editing, cinematography, sound, etc. etc. were all very, very stellar. But I did not like the ‘story’.

    So, instead of giving the movie 1 star out of 4 and saying “Blech, didn’t like the story”. I give films just like ‘No Country…’ a 2.5 or 3 out of 4 and make the distinction that the craftsmanship was excellent, but that I subjectively did NOT enjoy it as a movie experience.

  • 20 12-22-2008 at 4:37 pm

    Drew Roddy said...

    It’s interesting how people who make their living off criticism and speculation can get so sensitive when their opinions are criticized and speculated. When you start up a film review blog and open it up to anonymous comments, you’ve no choice but to deal with the heat. By doing that, you give every single opinion, no matter how inarticulate it may be, absolutely equal weight, and the fanboys and the zealots will come out and take advantage.

    No one has to agree with anything anyone says; that’s the innate beauty of art and communion through art. Nothing personal is taking place here. If anything, you should be so thankful to have posters that feel so passionately about films that they are tearing each other to shreds.

  • 21 12-22-2008 at 4:38 pm

    John Foote said...

    Kris’ opinion vicious???? Come on this is getting out of hand. You have a host here who made clear his opinion, has the balls to stand by it, post it, and fend off those attacking him and taking much of what he states out of context. I write for the site, Kris does not tell me what to write…ever..it is my opinion when I do and I am left alone to do so. To me that displays a great love of cinema because he is inviting debate on his site for an art form, he, Guy Lodge, myself and all the rest of us here at incontention love so much — film IS my life gang, I do little else but watch films, write about, write books about them, and read about them….and for John, true enough no one has said I have stated Wall-E is a bad film, but someone states I siad it was not very good, which I never stated…ever — on the contrary I think it is very good…just not the masterpiece and best of year many others do.

  • 22 12-22-2008 at 5:06 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Vance:

    “I do think it hurts the credibility of what you’re trying to do when you allow your opinion to interfere with the meat & potatoes of this site, which is Oscar speculation.”

    But I haven’t. That’s the LAST thing I’ve done. WALL-E is all over the place in my charts, currently listed in the #6 spot for Best Picture, and in my recent “Off the Carpet” column I mention how exciting it is that it (and TDK) are in the running.

    John:

    “don’t give your audience anything to be bitter about”

    Open up a film site and within five minutes, you will have done something to make someone somewhere bitter. It’s the nature of these things.

    Rob:

    I don’t believe int he Jeff Wells mentality of “taking a film down,” and even when I agree with his opinions against a film in his sites, I’ve told him, both publicly and personally, that it’s childish behavior to put a film in your sites like that.

    What I’ve been doing with “WALL-E” is nothing — NOTHING of the sort. I’ve called it the most overrated film of the year. I haven’t harped on that at all. I’ve posted a trio of comments presenting smart views against the grain of the film’s overwhelmingly accepted socio-political message, and I was picked apart for that. What you are calling for is nothing short of silence on my end about a film I think is considerably less than the majority seems to think it is, and I’m sorry, but I won’t stand for essentially being told to “shut the fuck up.” Would you?

    Additionally, I’ve always offered sound reasoning for my thoughts on the film, starting with my initial mini-review back in July. It’s not like I’ve been out here saying “The film is not all that so everyone get over it,” with no room for discourse, which seems to be what you and others think I’ve done.

    And finally, though I wouldn’t say my intention is to “provoke” (it’s more like I’m presenting my case through the words of others after doing so with my own), I must ask this: what’s wrong with provoking? Are we to accept the popular opinion as gospel and simply proceed amicably?

    Raw:

    “The height of that was the recent post where he quoted several comments from Awards Daily that agreed with him, and called them smart, and then put up several illegible comments from WALL-E supporters, implying that people who agreed with him were smart, and those that supported WALL-E were, well, morons.”

    Not the case at all. I’m really sorry you feel that way because I was making a point about a couple of comments that sadly drowned the smarter assessments (from pro-WALL-E folks) out as a result of their loud, brazen foolishness. And I offered as much in the body of the post. That you or anyone else considered that mention a swipe of an aside, that I didn’t spotlight the few (at that time) extended thoughts from those presenting intelligent counter arguments, well, all I can tell you is, knowing my own readership, I knew such intelligent retorts would soon be on the way. It was and still is a conversation piece, a starting off point, and any aggressiveness you’ve read into it was simply amplified as a result of the heated discussion with one offensive commenter.

    Also, this statement is infuriating:

    “He has also failed in being “honest”. When he can admit that putting Bolt as number 2 on his list was influenced by his rage at WALL-E supporters, maybe then you can call him honest. But pettiness and honesty really don’t go hand in hand.”

    INFURIATING. I don’t do that. I don’t compromise my opinion of one film or my opinion of the year’s product based on my feeling of another film. I wouldn’t be able to live with such a thing. I could only ask you to query the group of friends I originally saw Bolt with and ask them my reaction. I was over the moon as soon as I left the theater, so again, you and YOU ALONE are reading this nonsense into the situation for no other reason than to instigate. I’m sorry you can’t get over how I feel about my #2 film of the year but I really hope you get over it soon.

    Drew:

    My opinions haven’t just been speculated upon, they’ve been offensively battered about and pumped full of insinuation that has no place in the discussion. There is a huge difference.

    I think that covers it. Personally, I really hope this drama settles before Christmas because, hey, I’m trying to get into the holiday spirit here.

  • 23 12-22-2008 at 5:42 pm

    Drew Roddy said...

    “My opinions haven’t just been speculated upon, they’ve been offensively battered about and pumped full of insinuation that has no place in the discussion. There is a huge difference.”

    That sucks. Maybe you should disable anonymous commenting or not enable commenting at all. Either that, or realize that bitches ain’t shit and move on :)

  • 24 12-22-2008 at 6:11 pm

    John said...

    ‘Wall-E IS A COMMUNIST’

    I just want to lighten up the room…

  • 25 12-22-2008 at 6:15 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Thick skin is key, Drew. To be sure. And mine can be thinner than most.

  • 26 12-23-2008 at 1:53 am

    Mimi Rogers said...

    John you’re a true fan of Australia – “Just because it is, doesn’t mean it should be” Lady Sarah Ashley

  • 27 12-23-2008 at 4:29 am

    Dean Treadway said...

    I, too, find Kris Tapley’s manner to be quite abrasive, though I do enjoy his site. The fact that he personally responds to criticisms of his criticisms (and he is a critic, not just “a guy with an opinion”) with harsh invectives towards his naysayers adds fuel to the fire. This is, of course, his prerogative. But this doesn’t make it the correct route to take.

    I agree with Drew Roddy who said “No one has to agree with anything anyone says; that’s the innate beauty of art and communion through art. Nothing personal is taking place here. If anything, you should be so thankful to have posters that feel so passionately about films that they are tearing each other to shreds.”

    When the LOTR series netted so many Oscars, including a Best Pic nod, earlier this decade, I visualized an entire nation of fantasy fans heaving a sigh of relief. “Ahh,” I imagined them saying to themselves, “finally, confirmation that I haven’t been wasting my time with kid’s stuff.” The problem taking place here is that, in awards season, the fanboys come out and try and legitimize their love for genres that have gotten little awards attention–i.e., sci-fi, fantasy, or horror. I think this comes from the nagging suspicions they might have that their lifelong love of these genres is constantly at odds with the more “grown-up” notions of what is truly “good”–notions that come grossly to the fore when the Oscars are about to be handed out. In other words, we’re seeing these people’s “growing pains” being played out on these sites. Nothing says “I am now an adult” more than embracing “adult” movies like MILK, FROST/NIXON, REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, and DOUBT, while being willing to leave behind even the most ambitious entries in the largely childish “superhero” genre (this goes also for the lovers of WALL-E; animation, also, is largely kid’s-stuff when it comes to awards).

    I, personally, weathered a not-so-personable tete-a-tete with Kris following his disrespecting of my own favorite movie of the year, THE FALL, in favor of his much-trumped-up favorite THE DARK KNIGHT. Using horrible language I reserve for my worst enemies, I replied to his notes on his site’s boards, and later, in private. The reason I responded this way? Because I found it unbelieveable that sci-fi/fantasy/superhero/horror fans such as he (he is a self-proclaimed lifelong Batman fan) could have such blinders on to not see the folly in the notion that TDK or any other critically-acclaimed film of the genre would and will always have an uphill road to climb in getting that much-vaunted, legitimizing Best Pic Oscar nod. Thankfully, I think Kris has come around to realizing that, though it’s in the realm of possibility that TDK will receive a top nom, it’s also very much in the realm of impossibility as well. Remember: if TDK gets a nom for Pic, it will not only be the first superhero movie to do so, it will be the first sequel to get a nom without its predecessor receiving one.

    I do think Kris has a strangely thin skin, as he has admitted. For a man who’s making his living off his writings, he’s not very concerned with not pissing off his readers. I wonder if Roger Ebert would be where he is now if he responded personally to every one of the people who think his writing about one thing or another is horseshit. Of course, I should note that Kris’s chutzpah in this arena is something that, for better or worse, keeps me returning to the site. But I do think that it contributes to the overall feeling of negativity that pervades IN CONTENTION. I agree with the assessment that THE ENVELOPE and AWARDS DAILY do a much better job of keeping the mood light-hearted. (In my blog, by the way, I avoid negativity of all stripes by talking only about the movies I love, and pretending the movies I don’t love or even actively hate don’t even exist.)

    That said, I think it’s an interesting and necessary evolution in the annals of film criticism that the net has provided for all us movie lovers. Now we are all able to critique the critics, and I think that’s a good thing. Anything that provides a platform for the discussion of the betterment of cinema is good stuff, as far as I’m concerned.

  • 28 12-23-2008 at 4:37 am

    John Foote said...

    Kris — ignore the attacks, they are childish and mean spirited — go in the direction of the Christmas spirit — thanks for the chance you have given me to write for this wonderful site, thanks for the chance to get to read and comment and learn from Guy Lodge — Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to you, the rest of the gang and all the readers…all of them…

  • 29 12-23-2008 at 5:43 am

    Dean Treadway said...

    I should note that I am not trying to “attack.” I am merely reporting what I have observed and experienced. Happy Holidays.

  • 30 12-23-2008 at 6:01 am

    Dan said...

    You’re movie taste is shit because it fails to coincide with mine. So go to hell Kris.

  • 31 12-23-2008 at 7:35 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Dean: You’re actually quite wrong. I was on the “TDK won’t be nominated” bandwagon all alone for a LONG time. The fact of the matter is, I had to come around to the idea that it had a shot at a Best Picture nod.

    Go back and read the posts. I’m on the record on this and I know many readers will vouch for it.

    But I must insist, again, that I am not a film critic. It is certainly not what I am paid to do. Just because I write reviews does not make me a critic. Do you write reviews on your site? Do you consider yourself a film critic? Truthfully, if anything, I’m a pundit. And certainly, a journalist. But a critic…no. At least not a proper one.

    (FYI, I don’t see your post as an attack. We’re having a conversation here. I think John was referring to other things.)

    Dan: Your vitriol helps no one and should go ignored, but I don’t like to ignore people, so there we are.

  • 32 12-23-2008 at 12:28 pm

    John said...

    Wow Kris, you seem to miss the point each and every time. I’ll give you ‘pundit’, but you are a long way from being a journalist. Here is a link for ya, consider it an early holiday gift.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modesty

  • 33 12-23-2008 at 12:56 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    John: My credentials speak for themselves. Times of London, New York Times, Variety. Pathetic you put me in a position that I actually have to paint a picture for you, but yeah, I’m a journalist. And I’m more than modest about it. I never feel a need to go there until someone like you thinks he can back me in a corner and take it from me.

    It is what it is, pal.

  • 34 12-23-2008 at 1:47 pm

    John said...

    Kris-

    Do you really want to go here? I never said it was a ‘fact’, you not being a journalist. It was just my opinion which you had to complain about once again.

    And what would your ‘readers’ think of you knowing about your hateful, mean spirited email you sent me riddled with child like insults?

    All of which is more funny than you realize considering the whole reason why this conversation started was from the fact you found Wall-E ‘mean spirited’. Like Wall-E, you are light years away from reality, although I’m guessing his heart is not as cold.

    You have lost more than my respect, you have lost another (and I do mean ANOTHER) reader.

    John

    P.S. – I’m not your PAL, pal

  • 35 12-23-2008 at 2:00 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    My email to you was anything but mean-spirited, it was a defense against what I saw as a childish and baseless attack.

    I tried to take it off-line, but you seem to want to fight it out in public. Since you think the readers would be so aghast, I’ll happily republish the entire email here and prove how diplomatic I tried to be:

    I’ll take this off-line and into a private conversation since you seem to think you know more about me than you do.

    A “long way from being a journalist?” Do you think In Contention is my only presence in the industry, John? If so, you’re mistaken. Do some Googling and find out for yourself. I take serious umbrage with a statement like that because it ignores reality so absolutely. I’ll give it to you, though, because my guess is you are not familiar with my work away from my site (which is, admittedly, not journalistic by and large, though I certainly filter in reported pieces frequently, so your “long way” quip is still off base).

    Take issue with my opinions, take issue with my attitude, take issue with my “abrasiveness.” You won’t be the first. But you have no right to take away from me what I’ve earned and I suggest, at the very least, you educate yourself on my career to date before making a statement like that.

    Yours,
    Kris

    ——

    I’m sorry you couldn’t accept the olive branch.

    Which brings us back to the initial statement that got me riled up, something you’re now calling an “opinion.” Okay, if that’s your story, you’re free to think as you wish.

  • 36 12-23-2008 at 8:41 pm

    eric said...

    i didnt think walle was that great. i thought it was overrated and not worth all of the hype. i also feel the same for citizen kane. yet i loved the dark knight and can’t understand people who dont. so i guess i can see from both sides of the coin.

  • 37 12-23-2008 at 9:55 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    In this line of work, you run into obsessives quite frequently. My preference is to not ban posters or IP addresses because I do not believe in censorship, but if you’ve been following this thread tonight, you’ve probably noticed a commenter going by “John” lashing out with multiple posts. The story is this:

    Upon reading this comment, I sent John an email rather than have a fight in public. I felt it the more gentlemanly thing to do and, indeed, that exchange got a little heated. When John did not want to accept the private exchange and drag it out into public again, I was forced to delete multiple comments because he was posting our private exchange, which I view as wholly unethical. The email posted by myself earlier in this thread was meant to combat his insistence that I was flooding him with “child-like insults.” To my mind, I was being as fair as I possibly could under the circumstances.

    With that in mind, I’m posting the ENTIRE email exchange, both in the way of full disclosure and to combat any further spamming on John’s part. I can only expect that John would have no problem with me revealing his emails, since he did so in this space in the posts I’ve had to delete. And I am officially closing this thread to further comments because the issue has run its course. I have nothing to hide and will allow my words, both public and, in this case, private, to speak for themselves. I’ll leave you to decide whether I was being fair or not.

    And again, I sincerely apologize for the amount of time and space wasted by something so meaningless.

    The email string, in chronological order:

    ME:

    I’ll take this off-line and into a private conversation since you seem to think you know more about me than you do.

    A “long way from being a journalist?” Do you think In Contention is my only presence in the industry, John? If so, you’re mistaken. Do some Googling and find out for yourself. I take serious umbrage with a statement like that because it ignores reality so absolutely. I’ll give it to you, though, because my guess is you are not familiar with my work away from my site (which is, admittedly, not journalistic by and large, though I certainly filter in reported pieces frequently, so your “long way” quip is still off base).

    Take issue with my opinions, take issue with my attitude, take issue with my “abrasiveness.” You won’t be the first. But you have no right to take away from me what I’ve earned and I suggest, at the very least, you educate yourself on my career to date before making a statement like that.

    Yours,
    Kris

    ——–

    JOHN:

    Kris-

    Once again, you have shown me absolutely no insight to who you are as a so called ‘journalist’. In fact, you show no insight at all and that is my primary beef with you and your site. I have done my research and know all about your attempts in this industry. On several occasions I have had colleagues complain about your approach, system and how impossible you are in terms of defining your opinions without having to bring others down in your own defense. If you are going to run a career in film, offer your opinions to other people, do so with insight to your love of film and what it may have to offer others. And just like so many times before, the only words you can offer are rude and unkind to your readers who you so badly want to take you seriously.

    It is therefore in my opinion and I unlike yourself, do not need others to agree with me, that you are not a journalist but merely another ‘blogger’. Nothing you can say will change my mind and if you had any real skill, my opinion would not matter.

    The mind of this world and the people in it are of value, as are the opinions of the art of film. Learn from other’s and why film brings so much joy (good and bad) and show some respect.

    Until then Kris, you are way out of your league. Do not send me another email to my personal address, not because I can’t take the heat, but because you have not earned my respect as a writer, journalist or a person.

    John

    p.s.- Typo’s Kris here and on your site, come on now.

    ——–

    ME:

    “On several occasions I have had colleagues complain about your approach, system and how impossible you are in terms of defining your opinions without having to bring others down in your own defense. If you are going to run a career in film, offer your opinions to other people, do so with insight to your love of film and what it may have to offer others. And just like so many times before, the only words you can offer are rude and unkind to your readers who you so badly want to take you seriously.”

    This I’m going to need you to elaborate on because it seems to have no credibility. If I’m reading you right, you’re telling me, what, that I don’t do a good job of offering insight into the films I love? Are my reviews not enough? Are my pieces concerning films, posted on a daily basis, not enough? How are my words to you any more rude than your modesty quip and your insistence that I’m not, in fact, what I am — a journalist?

    As for your second paragraph, I can only think you don’t know the definition of a journalist, John. I am, indeed, a blogger, with opinions that I put out there consistently. But I’ve proven myself as a journalist in this industry and continue to work as such at various outlets, so nothing YOU can say, my friend, will change that.

    And did you really just give me shit for typos? I stumbled through a good portion of your response because of zingers like “Learn from other’s,” so yeah, typos kind of just happen. Don’t be petty. And don’t give me this “don’t send me emails” stuff either, because I don’t need a sand box fight like this on my site. I took it to a private conversation because that’s where it belongs.

    On the rest, I can only say yu have no clue what you’re talking about, my friend. And you have no idea who I am or what I do. That much is painfully obvious. I fully respect other opinions. I do not respect aggression and offensive counter-arguments and if you can’t deal with that, I don’t know what to tell you.

    Finally, to say something like “you have not earned my respect as a person,” when you don’t know a FUCKING THING about me and who I am, betrays your misplaced anger and rage, John. I’m sorry you make up your mind about people based on thoughts posted to a blog rather than the things that really matter.

    Merry Christmas.

    -Kris

    ——–

    JOHN:

    Kris-

    You have sunk to a low that nothing I could say in reply could even come close. That type of talk, the vulgar nature is so vile and ugly. If that is how you choose to go about showing yourself, you are more of a cartoon than I realized.

    Again, nicely, do not send me another email.

    John

    ——–

    ME:

    If you don’t want me to send another email, don’t respond them. But we don’t live in a world where people allow for attacks such as yours without being able to defend themselves. Which is what I’m doing here.

    I truthfully wish you the best if you don’t prefer to read the site anymore and I’m sorry you’ve taken my defense as something more akin to offense. It wasn’t meant that way.

    Happy holidays.

    -Kris

    ——–

    JOHN:

    What part don’t you understand, Kris? How dare you use that type of vulgar crap with me. And you want to be taken seriously? You have shown me today, that you are a bigger waste of time and space than I realized even just a few minutes ago and I’m in the same biz you are and I think it’s sad how you would risk all your own work and reputation with such vile emails, PAL!

    DO NOT EMAIL ME

    get it?

    ——–

    ME:

    Please don’t sign into a blog with a personal email account if you don’t want it used for correspondence with the administration of the blog you’re commenting on. That is the point of registration. Get it?

    -Kris

    ——–

    (And finally, John’s send-off comment that I’ve copied so the string is complete — some of this is entirely fabricated insinuation and stems from a place of rage, I imagine, but I’ll allow John the last word):

    Wow Kris, can’t believe you are taking this so badly! I guess those other sites with the same issues with your writing are wrong too, and the numerous comments about you sending out horrid emails to your readers when they don’t agree with you, I don’t believe it for a moment! I’m glad you are blocking comments here and changing words around, because truth is overrated, like Wall-E! It’s too bad you can’t stop that other highly read by people of great importance in the industry and more respected web site from posting all your hateful emails and comments, exposing you for who you really are.

    Screw them Kris, you have your small piece of the web and don’t need to grow at all in my book, you are the symbol of professional!