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Web Video / MauLer

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Hello there ladies and gentlemen...
MauLer (real name unknown) is a cynical critic who reviews both movies and videogames, and also, along with fellow reviewers Rags and DishonoredWolf run a podcast called “EFAP" (Every Frame A Pause) where they discuss media. He is known primarily for the extreme length of his videos and his focus on what he deems to be objectivity, where he purports to rely on research and references to determine whether a film or game is of quality or not. To keep his critiques entertaining he throws in plenty of Deadpan Snarker, especially when he finds what he is reviewing to be terrible.

His reviews can be viewed on his YouTube channel here, while his EFAP podcasts are all archived on his alternate account here.

Notable Tropes Invoked or Discussed by MauLer:

  • Accentuate the Negative:
    • His "Unbridled Rage" series focuses solely on the negative aspects of the film and goes over the movie from start to finish with his thoughts sprinkled in. While they are his views, the point is that they are purposely overly negative.
    • His normal "Critique of X" are a bit more 'nuanced' about this, breaking down both positive and negative small touches alike even if the work itself is not something he finds to be of a good enough quality. He'll quote a soldier for briefly calling the planet they are on a "salt planet" just to separate it from Hoth as cheap and a poor Call-Back, but will praise something as subtle as Finn grabbing Rey's hand as a growth of their trust by breaking down the nuances of the scene and how well it establishes both characters. Arguably things get a little too 'nuanced' around the 6th hour of the video.
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  • Anti-Climax: One episode of EFAP has everyone watching No Bullshit’s “SJW Moments in Avengers Infinity War”, and after seeing him fume about a scene with female characters teaming up, they anticipate his reaction to the “girl power” scene in Endgame. To their surprise and disappointment, he basically just mentions it as a little stupid and nothing more.
  • Appeal to Ridicule: Tends to ridicule certain counters and arguments he finds terrible by repeating them in an American accent before tearing them apart in his usual accent.
  • April Fools' Day: GDELB, a video filled with clickbait gags, blatant factual errors, made-up terms meant to complicate simple ideas, and pretentious delivery mocking typical video essayists and far far shorter than the usual fair.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Finds that Captain Marvel becoming the main focus of the MCU and being hyped up as the most powerful hero to justify it just doesn't work for this reason. He also argues it goes against the idea of the Avengers themselves, as their leader is not those who can rival the gods in power, but a man only stronger than most humans who understands all the members the best.
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  • Badass Boast: This from his “A Critique of Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Introduction”
    MauLer: Besides that no matter how much mud gets slung at me I won’t just stop the objective and subjective train. I’m afraid I’m a big fan of research, references, knowledge, passion and effort. So either get on the train and argue your ideas, or get off the damn tracks.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Presenting your personal opinions/feelings as if they are irrefutable, objective facts will earn a severe verbal lashing from MauLer.
    • Relating to this, the idea that art (be it books, movies, video games, etc.) cannot be objectively assessed of quality and can only be judged subjectively gets torn apart savagely. While MauLer admits feelings are part of the process of critiquing, even something that's able to invoke powerful feelings in the viewer (positive or negative) can be judged using logic and facts and be found wanting if it's filled with plot holes, fallacies, or breaks its own established canon rules.
    • Strawmanning peoples arguments, or taking what they say out of context really pisses him off. As he explains in a few videos, he purposely puts time and effort into his videos so that they can be as accurate as possible, so taking his arguments out of context or strawmanning him means the person is not willing to engage him, but instead is willing to slander him.
  • Caustic Critic: Can take as much as he dishes out, and gives no quarter, ESPECIALLY during his Unbridled Rage series.
  • Character Derailment:invoked
    • Has this problem with the original series cast in The Last Jedi, as it takes the image of them built up over the franchise and derails them for the sake of the plot. While he acknowledges characters can change, the problem is that they do so in a way that has no logical path or build up behind it, abruptly breaking the foundation of their character rather than making the change feel natural over time.
    • Finds Game of Thrones Season 8 to be disastrous because of this, whether it be Tyrion appealing to Cersei's better nature (despite previously making it clear he despises her for her attitude towards him and her repeated attempts to get him killed), Jon telling Ghost to go to with the wildlings without giving him a proper goodbye (when previously he treated Ghost like family), or Jaime and Daenerys abruptly turning on the principles they've been developing the past seasons with little to no buildup beforehand, causing the plot to feel rushed and go in directions that seem to come out of nowhere.
  • Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch: Defied. MauLer only talks about things he had either watched or played, as he feels it is dishonest of him to give his thoughts on something he had no experience in. For example; during one episode of EFAP, when the video they were watching started talking about anime, he asked a fellow content creator who watches anime to join in because he has no way of making a fair claim about the shows being discussed.
  • Conflict Ball: One of his largest complaints about The Last Jedi was this trope. So much of the film has drama and conflict that felt either shoehorned in, or wasted from a narrative sense. The drama between Holdo and Poe for example was unnecessary because it did nothing but make Holdo look incompetent, while the whole plot of the film being a chase to get the Resistance felt unnecessary because everyone seemed to have the Idiot Ball.
  • Continuity Porn: Discussed in several of his videos. One of his largest complaints with modern filmmaking tied to a long-running movie series is that they tend to do their hardest to reference as much material in the older works to appeal to as many fans as they can. However, these references are done to merely get cheap emotional reactions from people and to remind audiences of the previous works. Basically calling back to previous works is nice, but doing it to just get quick reactions without any depth is lazy and bad writing.
  • Continuity Snarl: Discussed in his "An Unbridled Rage: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom". The film loves to reference the first Jurassic Park film whenever it can, but ignores the second and third films existence, which bothers him because, like those films or not, they still happened. Ignoring them and focusing on callbacking to the first film is a sign of lazy writing on the writers part, and creates plot holes in the narrative, such as what happened to Site B. What bothers him even more, is that the film still references the second film with a quote based on one from the second movie.
    You have strong references to the classic film. You have Doctor Ian fuckin Malcom. Enjoy the benefits you get by referencing these fan favorite elements, but if you're gonna do that, you can't ignore your own continuity, you silly bastard.
  • Covert Pervert: Appabend’s reasoning as to why Patrick H. Willems likes the scene of Luke milking the alien creature so much.
  • Crossover: Episodes of EFAP have featured Shadiversity as a guest, usually discussing the flaws in fictional fight tactics.
  • Deadpan Snarker: His default expression throughout most of his videos.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: He's willing to extend an olive branch to debate or talk with those he feels he wants to respond to, and in cases such as Jay Exci, I Hate Everything, and The Right Opinion, may even become friends with or support them in future endeavors.
  • Dirty Coward: Views people who strawman the positions of other people or act as if they've debunked others while never countering any of their points under this light, as it shows a willing dishonesty towards engaging with their opinions while acting as if they've won.
  • Door Stopper: His critiques often last hours, often putting other long-form critics and reviewers to shame, or putting himself to shame, depending on your perspective.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Discusses Rey's first scenes in his TFA review as a brilliant example, setting up her human side and the potential motivations she has for living as a scavenger. Though he's not a fan of the outcome or development later on.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Make no mistake about it, MauLer is not afraid to be critical of someone as a person in his videos if he thinks they are deserving of it. However, MauLer never once advocates that you should use that to justify harassing someone over the video, and that you should at least try to be willing to open an exchange with someone you disagree with. For example; when he watched the videogamedunkey video "Game Critics (Part 2)" and saw Dunkey mock someone for making a response to one of his videos, MauLer was very vocal about how he thought that Dunkey stepped out of line, and basically made a video where he threw his fanbase at a smaller channel out of spite.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Prefers to title his videos in this manner, with "A Critique of X" and "X: An Unbridled Rage".
  • Franchise Original Sin:invoked MauLer dislikes it when people invoke this as a defense but refuse to acknowledge why people take issue with something a specific work does, instead blaming older works within the series. Each piece of media should be able to stand on their own, so trying to shift blame to something that came before is a weak defense and shows the person making said point has no means of defending their opinions beyond "well it was a problem in the previous installment so if you didn't hate it then, you can't criticize it now". Just because an earlier media in the same series has elements that are now disliked doesn't mean the new piece of media is free from being criticized, if anything it makes it worse because it shows a lack of understanding on the part of the creators to avoid making the same mistakes.
  • I Am Very British: Welsh, technically, but people nonetheless assume that he is British due to his accent. He has stated that he actually has a stronger Welsh accent in real life. He purposely downplays his accent and speaks in a more standard British one so people on the internet can understand him.
  • Idiot Ball: MauLer despises it when characters grab hold of this for no other reason than the fact it helps to move along the plot, as it makes the characters come across as jarringly out of character. One of the more consistent jabs in his Unbridled Rage video at "The Long Night" was the blatant use of Hollywood Tactics against the White Walkers and wights by people who are established as strategists and tacticians and should know better.
  • It's the Same, So It Sucks: invoked One of the many issues he has with The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, feeling that they copy or recycle way too many of the Original Trilogy’s storylines, and motifs.
    • Also discussed at length in his review of Solo A Star Wars Story, arguing that Disney has become so bereft of ideas that they’re starting to plagiarize material from the Special Editions (the dancing scene from Return of the Jedi), the prequels (Darth Maul from The Phantom Menace), and even their own Star Wars films (K-2SO from Rogue One) as well as thoughtlessly reference canon from the previous films.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: At his worst, MauLer is known for being blunt and having no desire to sugarcoat things, and if he feels something is important to say, he will say it regardless of how someone feels. At the same time, he is very honest and always extends an olive branch to anyone who he discusses in a video, even if he does not agree with them at all. Several youtubers he has been critical of who did come and talk to him admitted he was a good guy.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While he is very blunt about his criticisms and does not sugarcoat anything he has to say, he'll usually only do so if he feels there's a point to be made.
  • Pet the Dog: Says that the compilation of Stan Lee cameos to pay tribute at the beginning of Captain Marvel (2019) is a nice dedication, even if the film is just boring.
  • Precision F-Strike: His usual style of swearing.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: It is a Berserk Button of MauLer's to imply that his (or truthfully anyone’s) thoughts and critiques on a movie are somehow worth less because of his gender, sexuality or skin color.
  • Running Gag:
    • Using a clip of Luke from the The Last Jedi where he is shaking his head after taking a drink of an alien's milk while he says "What the fuck" has becoming a recurring one in his videos.
    • "Captain Marvel: An Unbridled Meh" has him sarcastically say "You Go, Girl!" after Carol does something dickish, dangerous, or downright stupid while being portrayed as empowering.
  • Self-Deprecation: The title of their podcast “EFAP” (Every Frame A Pause) is a jab at themselves for how they often take hours responding to a video that’s just ten minutes long, frequently pausing the video so they can respond to and discuss what was said in the video.
  • Shocking Swerve:invoked MauLer dislikes these, particularly if the swerve in question was for the sake of "subverting expectations." Subverting the audience's expectations is fine, but what the audience gets should at least be just as interesting as what was subverted.
    • One of his biggest issues with The Last Jedi is that in subverting expectations such as who Rey's parents are or Supreme Leader Snoke getting offed by Kylo Ren, Rian Johnson instead offered nothing interesting in return: Rey's parents are nobody and don't flesh out or factor into her growth as a character at all, while Snoke anticlimactically dies without any of his backstory revealed such as how he founded the First Order or how he took in Kylo despite being built up as one of the most powerful Force users since Palpatine.
    • One of his biggest critiques against "The Long Night" is who ends up killing the Night King: Arya Stark. He admits he's actually a fan of the killer in question and he would be perfectly fine with her having a role in killing the Night King, but he tears apart the choice because story-wise the character's plotline has little-to-no connection with the White Walkers or the Night King and there's very little foreshadowing for her doing it in the series either, so it makes little sense narratively or thematically for the character to be the one to do it aside from wanting to "avoid the expected choices".
    • Conversely, he admits to liking the end of Avengers: Infinity War because it went against everything he thought would happen by having Thanos gather the stones and do the snap despite the heroes best efforts. It works for him because he thought the Russo's didn't have it in them for doing such a twist, but the fact they did impressed him.
  • Shown Their Work: He puts a ton of time into rewatching or replaying whatever he is going to talk about. As a result, his videos are very long because he wants to make sure everything is captured correctly. Whether he achieves this is arguable, as he has admitted before.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Embodies this trope in his “Unbridled Rage” series.
    • Subverted, however in his proper critiques of The Last Jedi and The Force Awakens, where he deliberately refrains from swearing so that his videos can be shown to children, God have mercy on them.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:invoked Complains in "Captain Marvel (2019): An Unbridled Meh" that if the MCU wanted to make a female-led movie, Black Widow would have been a better choice before Captain Marvel, given that she's had an interesting history shown beforehand, moments of weakness in spite of her own ability, and a desire to be independent from her team to fight for what's right in moments of conflict.
  • Unintentionally Unsympatheticinvoked: While he previously just didn't like Captain Marvel (2019) for being not that interesting, the release of the deleted scene showing Carol assault a man into giving her his clothes and bike made him hate her. From his perspective, what she did was so far removed from what a person would normally do to a would be potential harasser, and makes her seem more villain like than she is supposed to be. He admits it would've been one thing if the man in the scene had actually assaulted her or said something that very clearly warranted a defensive reaction, but he finds it disturbing that the film treats her threatening to remove a mans arm for asking for a smile and making a flirty comment towards her as being justified. The fact it was supposed to be a homage to Terminator made this worse for him, because the homage was for a villain, not the hero.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • Considers Hbomberguy to be this, acknowledging that he has made good content and can make intelligent arguments, but feels he is often blinded by his own biases and his inability to honestly engage with people who disagree with him.
    • MauLer has comended Jonathan McIntosh, if only for the fact that he respects that McIntosh doesn’t use the phrase “in my opinion” in his analysis videos. He is that sure of his perspective on media. MauLer has admitted that he wishes that McIntosh would actually be willing to explore the perspectives of people he disagrees with.
  • You Keep Using That Word: MauLer has pointed out several times that many of his fellow YouTube critics/essayists will use the phrase “It’s just my opinion” as a sort of shield to protect themselves from criticism if and when they say something that someone might find objectionable or just flat out wrong.

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