A month after its release, Naughty Dog
's sweeping interactive epic The Last of Us
is being hailed as one of the best games of all time
, with perfect scores even from notoriously demanding critics
Inspired by an eerily beautiful segment from the BBC's Planet Earth
, the game portrays an America twenty years after a pandemic of the zombiefying Cordyceps
), leaving behind lush wastelands
of elegant decay
teeming with monsters
and beset by vicious bandits, a brutal military, and the revolutionary Fireflies.
Into this bleak vision of desperate violence
journey Joel, a gruffly stoic Texan with a painful past, and his ward Ellie, a precocious teenager who may hold the key to mankind's future.
Boasting tense, immersive gameplay
, compelling performances
from a diverse cast, a movingly minimalist score
from Oscar-winning Gustavo Santaolalla
, and an array of influences from Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men
to Cormac McCarthy's The Road
, it's already being slotted alongside BioShock Infinite
and Half-Life 2
as one of modern gaming's crowning achievements
. And while it's hard to disentangle plot from action, you don't have to buy a PS3 to experience it -- YouTube offers many filmic edits of the game, including this three-hour version of all relevant passages
And don't miss the 84-minute documentary
exploring every facet of its production. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jul 14, 2013 -
What makes the music critics at Collapse Board
more interesting than the ones at Pitchfork or Rolling Stone or the AV Club? Well, for one thing, they have more fun: witness The Audacity of Barry Manilow
, or their take on Kimbra's "Vows"
, written as a response to the outrage they received after a negative Gotye review
. When they love something, they love it with relish – they think Micachu understands 2012 like no other musician
, argue that Nirvana was the biggest thing since the Beatles
, and think Lana Del Rey is more interesting than her lips. And when they dislike something, they make no qualms about disliking it – they rip into Titus Andronicus
something good, describe a Matt & Kim album as "an excellent litmus test for weeding out fluff-eating imbeciles
", and express more ambivalent opinions about My Bloody Valentine
and The Mountain Goats
. They also, predictably write frequent critiques of music criticism.
posted by Rory Marinich
on Mar 21, 2013 -
's Hatchet Job of the Year
rewards "the angriest, funniest, most trenchant book review of the past 12 months," with the winning critic taking home a golden hatchet and a year's supply of potted shrimp. 2013's winner
: Camilla Long, for her devastating review
of Rachel Cusk's divorce memoir, Aftermath
. Among other things, she described it as a nasty, bizarre memoir written by a "brittle little dominatrix and peerless narcissist." (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Feb 18, 2013 -
"I was never threatened covering the cops beat nor while reporting on a big Mafia trial, but I was threatened – twice – for writing negative reviews of two restaurants. Shows where the passion is, I guess
." Restaurant critics write about (and link to) their most negative reviews and discuss the measured and reasonable responses they received after their publication. [more inside]
posted by the young rope-rider
on Dec 27, 2012 -
For Roger Ebert, it's a prayer that made him "more alert to the awe of existence."
For Rober Koehler, it's a kitschy New Age con.
For Richard Brody, it perfectly captures the essence of a generation by depicting a character thinking "back to the musings and fantasies of childhood, which are the product of a wondrous and fantastic view of science formed by popular-science books for children and by the commercial artists whose illustrations adorned them."
For Stephanie Zacharek, it's "a gargantuan work of pretension."
For Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, it's "a creation myth in the guise of a crypto-autobiography" that invents a universe of its own only to destroy it.
For J. Hoberman, it's lifeless and dull, "essentially a religious work and, as such, may please the director's devotees, cultists, and apologists."
It spent thirty years in development, three in editing
and, yes, it contains dinosaurs
. The Tree of Life
, written and directed by famously reclusive Zoolander fan
and "JD Salinger of American movies" Terrence Malick
, won the Palme d'Or
at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Tomorrow, it comes out in the United States
. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar
on May 26, 2011 -
Then That's What They Called Music
is a series of posts on the Onion AV Club where writer Nathan Rabin (previously
) listens to all of the NOW! That's What I Call Music CDs from 1999 onwards. The essays read like a history of a forgotten world, reminding you of terrible yet infectious pop tunes, and are full of great links, snappy writing and one man's struggle to deal with why the Black Eyed Peas, the most corporate band
in America, are so popular. [more inside]
posted by Sifter
on Dec 24, 2010 -
Roger Ebert is returning to television
: "'This is the rebirth of a dream,' said Ebert, who partnered in recent years with Richard Roeper before cancer robbed him of the ability to speak. He said he will act as co-producer and employ a computer voice to appear on every episode with segments titled Roger's Office devoted to classic, overlooked and new films." (Ebert, previously on MeFi
posted by jbickers
on Sep 10, 2010 -
Shockingly, a novel about a Nazi officer who abets murder squads, transports Jews to Auschwitz, has sex with his twin sister, possibly kills his parents and then dies rich, old and reflective has caused a trans-Atlantic controversy among literary critics. Published in the original French three years ago, the English translation of Jonathan Littell's The Kindly Ones
hit American bookstores this week. [more inside]
posted by zoomorphic
on Mar 11, 2009 -
Lorenzo Semple, 84, has been a screenwriter for more than 50 years; his credits include "Papillion," "The Parallax View" and "Three Days of the Condor." Marcia Nasatir, 81, is a longtime agent and production executive, was the first female VP of production at United Artists, and produced films like "The Big Chill" and "Hamburger Hill." Together, they are the "Reel Geezers
," offering irresistible film reviews on YouTube. To wit: Superbad
, Iron Man
, Sex and the City
, Lars and the Real Girl
, No Country for Old Men
, There Will Be Blood
. [more inside]
posted by jbickers
on Jun 11, 2008 -
Looking for an ego boost?
The fine people over at The Screenplay Agency
are the place for you! No logline too stupid, no script too poorly written! Are you tired of agency after agency telling you that they don't want your 20 year old screenplay about how much you love peanut butter just because "It doesn't make any sense, and is written with crayon on a pile of dirty gym socks?" I know I was! Until I found out about The Screenplay Agency, who promptly accepted every criminally copyright infringing idea I threw at them until I just KNEW I was every bit as good I writer as I've always told myself I am. And all they asked of me was approximately $250 in fees paid to coverage agencies no one has ever heard of and which seem to be owned by the same company that owns The Screenplay Agency! Sure, you've heard of publishing scams like Publish America (part 2)
thanks to the diligence of sites like Making Light
and our own thread on the matter,
but The Screenplay Agency is totally different! For one thing, they only
rip you off
boost your ego through screenplays
legitimate screenplay writers high and mighty hollywood types
have gone and pranked this excellent automated delusion reinforcer.
But don't let those spoilsports spoil your sport! (God, I am such a great writer. No wonder they loved my screenplay!) Go ahead and generate your own rave reviews!
posted by shmegegge
on Feb 25, 2006 -
Ten best film list a critique of the U.S?
The venerable [some say notorious] French film magazine Cahiers du Cinema
unveiled their ten best films of 2004
Other than their list typically leaning toward films by auteurs
- such as Ingmar Bergman
and Hou Hsiao-hsien
] - they also included The Village
by M. Night Shyamalan. With that choice are they rewarding the artistic merits of the film [which most critics view
as minimal] or are they making a statement about The United States? In short do they view the U.S. like the characters in the film - an isolated bunch of paranoid [Puritan] villagers living and acting off of their fears? Or is there some other reason they would choose the film as one of the year's best?
posted by Rashomon
on Feb 24, 2005 -
There's a movie out now that, like The Crying Game,
depends for much of its impact on a plot twist. Are critics honor-bound not to blab that development to readers? (More Inside, including, duh, spoilers)
posted by soyjoy
on Feb 8, 2005 -
A Critic's Coda.
William Grimes, departing NYT food critic, gives an interview to Newsweek. "It’s like 'Groundhog Day.' You wake up the next day having eaten a four-star meal, you must go out and eat another four-star meal. And you get up the next day and you have to go out and eat another four-star meal." I think we've all been there before.
posted by adrober
on Nov 25, 2003 -
Why Are The Six Best Restaurants in New York All French?
Because William Grimes
from the New York Times
is a massive, provincial, toadying snob, that's why
says so. [NYT reg. req.
] With his haughty tone, architectural blatherings and whiney voice
[Real Video link
] he's undoubtedly my pet hate among restaurant critics
, even though he obviously knows his stuff, not to mention a thing or two about cocktails [here is his take on the Martini
]. My favourite critics
are GQ's Alan Richman
and the Anti-Grimes
himself, a man who truly knows his food, Robert Sietsema
of The Village Voice
. What critics get your
goat or vote? Which ones are worth reading and following? More importantly, which ones - or anonymous restaurant guides, like Zagat's
, can you trust, if any
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Jun 10, 2003 -
Ain't It Cool: Hollywood's Redheaded Stepchild Speaks Out
is the title of Harry Knowles
' recently published book. Written with Paul Cullum and Mark Ebner, the book is a biting, dead-on critique of the film industry. "If smart audiences can't find the smart movies that are out there, then it's only because they have been systematically alientated from movies over a hard-fought twenty years. Films didn't get stupid all on their own; they were beaten and bloodied into submission in the mistaken belief that it would generate greater profits."
posted by Mo Nickels
on Apr 11, 2002 -
The Bottom Feeders.
Are these truly the 5 worst movie critics in America? Personally, Ebert gives me migraines and Joel Siegel makes me want to claw out my eyes. Who's your most hated movie critic?
posted by tankboy
on Mar 29, 2002 -
As to be expected
the dumb critics are ripping Lara Croft to shreds; I mean really
tearing it a new orifice. Which means of course I must see this film
. Major argument against? A hack plot designed only to engender scenes of mindless violence. Duh. It's not supposed to have emotional impact
. It's just supposed to be fun. Did any of these critics actually play the game? What frightens me though is that Roger Ebert
enjoyed it... I'm so torn...
posted by ZachsMind
on Jun 16, 2001 -