Some online criticism shows scant regard for the movie

The Gripe

the gripe

February 16, 2007|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,sun movie critic

Everyone is entitled to his opinion about a movie, but wouldn't it be nice if he saw the movie first?

With the Internet giving an instant worldwide audience to every would-be movie critic, it's apparent many aren't even abiding by that one seemingly obvious rule. Sometimes the results are just silly: When word leaked out last year than actress Anne Hathaway appeared nude in the film Havoc, "reviews" started appearing on various Web sites -- especially those devoted exclusively to tracking actors' nude scenes -- that couldn't find the proper superlatives to describe how explicit the scenes were. In fact, Hathaway appears topless for only a few moments.

In the case of Disney's Bridge to Terabithia, opening today, the "reviews" are both misleading and downright unfair. Many lambaste Disney for changing the tragic ending in the Katherine Paterson book. The film does no such thing.

One opinionated viewer on the Internet Movie Database (imdb.com) slams the movie for relying too much on special effects, thus destroying the message of the film, which is all about the importance of imagination. But the movie contains precious few special effects scenes (save for the very last shot), and those that are there are parceled out with great care and subtlety. They certainly don't dominate the film.

Anyone who sees a film deserves to have his or her opinion heard. But is it too much to ask that those opinions be based on fact and observation, not fantasy and assumption?

chris.kaltenbach@baltsun.com

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