Reviews: Bad Movie Beatdown

One of my TGWTG Favourites

I recently started watching Film Brain's videos over the last few months, mostly because of seeing him in To Boldly Flee after a friend and I watched it. I've actually grown to quite enjoy his videos in that time. I honestly feel like one of these reasons is that I feel like one of his values resonates with me, his outspoken criticism and disgust of homophobia and blatant misogyny in films (something I also like about Linkara). No matter the film, he won't let it go by without comment and that's something I find quite commendable.

His analytic approach is also something I enjoy, especially when he enjoys himself by pointing out when cast members, boom mics and even lighting equipment are visible on camera. He clearly knows his stuff and does the research about these films, and seeing him discuss something a film has gotten horribly wrong (see: his comments on how Hangover II and 10000 BC fail geography) can be quite enjoyable. This isn't to say that he isn't lacking in humour, and even when he's showing his work, he never feels that dull.

About the elephant in the room: I have never personally found his voice irritating. I can't even see why people find it annoying. If you don't like his voice, please don't take this personally, I just personally never found myself getting annoyed by his voice.

He might not be the best reviewer on TGWTG, but honestly, he's one of my personal favourites. I enjoy both BMB and Projector, albeit for different reasons, as in Projector he tends to employ his analytical side more and examine the films from more of a critical bent as opposed to providing entertaining critique as he does in BMB.

Like David Spade with Bell's palsy

As much as TGWTG mastered the angry reviewer genre, they certainly have acquired some hacks over the years. If I had to rate the Top 3 weakest hosts on the site, it would be Angry Joe (dolt), the Blockbuster Buster (fame-hound), and Mr. Buck. There is no point to these shows, other than the self-glorification of the hosts.

The best you can say for BMB is that Matt typically eschews sketch comedy, and he actually knows his movie-making shit. Unfortunately, Film Brain really has no personality or uniqueness of his own: a self-admitted copy of the Nostalgia Critic (himself an over-the-hill parody these days), he acts snide and sarcastic toward everything, moving his head around a lot as he does. No jokes or levity in-between.

Perhaps the most annoying aspect about Matt is his clumsy padding out of each review. It's obvious when he's running long on time: he'll start acting self-righteous or offended like Helen Lovejoy. This could be anything, from a Hollywood explosive which doesn't damage the set to his liking (where's the demolitions degree, Matt?), or allusions (not on-screen depictions, merely a mention) to child killings on the part of the lead villain. "OH REAL TASTEFUL!", he moans. Either he's finding reasons to get angry, or he needs to develop a thicker skin. He's not reviewing arthouse cinema here, it's mostly action schlock; so what's with the moral outrage?

Anyway, he's a terrible reviewer and hasn't evolved one inch since he began all those years ago.

Excellent and solid film reviewer and humourist.

There are a many reviewers on TGWTG and I believe that Mathew Buck or “Film Brain” is among the best. What makes a good reviewer is someone who takes a crappy film and makes the review far more interesting to watch than the film itself a la MST 3 K. Mr Buck reviews mediocre-to-terrible films in a format similar to Screenwipe, whereby a British person tears apart a subject using snark and logic. His tendency to stretch out the last word in his sentences may grate on some but there’s a lot of good in his favor.

He always does his research beforehand and he'll give us background on a troubled production. He knows the principles of storytelling and can tell when a film suffers in the pacing department. He’s wary if the subject matter of the film may be upsetting so he’ll post a disclaimer and will cut gags if they are Too Soon. He’s willing to concede that the film may have a good performance or moment. He’s modest and not above making himself the punchline.

Did I mention he's funny? He's also funny.

The best parts of his reviews is when he reviews a film on a critical level. He’ll call out a film that:

  • Has a moral that reeks of hypocrisy (Gamer, The Condemned)
  • Panders to its audience (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End)
  • Plays sexism and stalking for laughs (The Ugly Truth, All About Steve)
  • Has a morally-repulsive message (Seven Pounds)
  • Doesn’t give a shit (Grown Ups)

It also helps that there are few annoying gimmicks on his show. He doesn't have a mad scientist or hobo alter-ego, he doesn't use Top 10 lists, there aren’t any storylines, there’s little continuity, and he restrains himself to a few catchphrase and the odd crossover. He wasn’t much good starting off since he employed many gimmicks like these, but he got much better after the first season. I believe that Mr Buck is the most consistent reviewer of TGWTG in terms of quality, and I hope he continues to suffer through the worst films cinema has given us.