Adam Johnston, a Vancouver-based cinephile and musician, runs YourMovieSucks.org: a movie review show known for the nasal and snarky delivery of himself, inquisitive demeanor of explanations, a use of a weird soundtrack and altered images to create a psychedelic experience over sardonic comments, and a lack of taped material or a narrative/character of any kind.
Outside long reviews known as 'Your Movie Sucks' (abbreviated as YMS), he does shorter ones known as 'Thoughts On', maintains movie vlogs known as 'Quickies', and might even recommend a good film every so often. One major draw is his care for film as an artform, rather than any particular genre or style, as well as his rather forgiving demeanor toward almost everything he reviews. Also, since 2009, he's been doing top ten films of the year, which include indie or foreign films that were made in the year but did not get a wide release at the time.
As for that musician part, he has been running an alt-rock band known as An Unkindness, which had a few songs of theirs featured on Rock Band.
He was once a member of The Amazing Atheist-run entertainment network Not Productive until he left due to committment issues.
YourMovieSucks.org provides examples of:
- Accentuate the Negative: Invoked with some of his reviews (See Jupiter Ascending), but subverted with his ratings as they're meant to be an objective measure of the movie's quality.
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: Cool Cat Saves The Kids. The cheesy filtered shot of Cool Cat running to uptempo synth music and the Tarantino-esque Power Walk in the gun sequence seem like they might be jokey inserts created by Adam, but they're actually in the film! And they Make Just As Much Sense In Context.
- Animal Motifs: Equine, as his current face card shows an anthormorphic horse.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Adam's managed to amass a very deep, detailed knowledge on the technical aspects of movies despite not going to film school. Instead, he says he got most of his knowledge from watching DVD Commentaries growing up.
- Berserk Button: Some, including American remakes of foreign films which he considers extension downgrades.
- In his Quickie review of Birdman, he takes a moment to rant about a particularly rude filmgoer who was texting during the film.
- Adam reviewed Quarantine and was not very happy that it ruined not only its own ending but the ending of Rec, which he considers to be an amazing horror film.
- Adam really doesn't like Lucas Hedges, as expressed when he talks about Manchester by the Sea and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
- Canada, Eh?: Adam used 'pop' for soda like some parts of the United States and most of Canada until he gained quite the following of Americans. Lampshaded in his review of Riding the Bus With My Sister:Adam: Filthy subhuman! The audacity she has to put fishies in her pop! Whoops! Almost forgot about my target audience for a second! Soda!
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Remarks on one After Earth scene that it appears as if the protagonist is masturbating to the memory of his sister being murdered.Adam: *As Kitai dips his fingers in a blood splatter* "Gotta lube up!"
- "X is a shitty movie." How he begins nearly YMS review.
- "Just don't think about it!" after pointing out a glaringly obvious plot hole.
- Adam starts every review with, "So I just saw [Movie Title ] and it was [Opinion]."
- Deadpan Snarker: Adam can deliver long strings of puns, hyperbolic analogies, and snide remarks on a work piece, all in an almost completely monotonous voice.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: He at one point comments in his The Amazing Spider Man 2 review that at many times Gwen pissed him off so much he wanted to punch her in the face the instant she came on screen, and then he adds a (probably sarcastic) addendum "but only assuming she has a sex change operation in the time it takes for my fist to connect because making jokes that include violence against women is wrong!"
- Dull Surprise: Freqently speaks in a monotone, and dry tone of voice in his reviews. Often times this is fine however, as he tends to do so for movies he has either criticisms for, or does not like. When speaking about films he enjoys more than he dislikes, he tends to have a more casual sounding tone.
- Early Installment Weirdness:
- Adam's earliest videos (such as the Quarantine review) were more reminiscent of Mr. Plinkett. It wasn't until later that he developed the more dynamic style of editing and voiceover that he'd come to be known for.
- Several of his early videos had him use recorded footage of himself for various reasons, usually for skits. His newer reviews have mostly done away with this, focusing on describing the story using examples from the movie itself. In his less serious reviews, he'll sometimes use footage of himself, such as his discussion on Neil Breen and his films.
- The Faceless: Adam used a horse mask in Cyberbully, and didn't show his face until the quickies came to be.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: In his Unfriended video, he talks about the idea that it would have been clever if the main character was shown muting apps in the background instead of the Skype call simply fading to nothing while she checked Facebook. Accompanying this point, he has a screencap of a Windows Audio Manager... where all the volume bars are showing various furry porn applications and webpages. Yes, really.◊
- When he checks out the Cool Cat book he got with his copy of the movie in his Cool Cat Saves the Kids review, you can see that he filled in the blanks on one page so that it said: "This Cool Cat book belongs to the Islamic state" and "I like to read it with no clothes on".
- Go Mad from the Revelation: The trippy montage that plays when it's revealed that M. Night Shyamalan directed After Earth certainly gives off this vibe.
- Hand Wave: His After Earth review stopped every once in a while to let his friends offer bullshit explanations for egregious Plot Holes.
- Hypocritical Humor: Done as a deliberate contrast in "Cool Cat Learns Fair Use". After showing Derek Savage's repeated claims that for-profit videos are automatically susceptible to copyright law, Adam explains how Savage himself is exercising fair use principles to make his argument by using copyrighted material; he then cuts to later in that "non-profit" video, where Derek begins giddily plugging Cool Cat Saves the Kids.
- Invincible Villain: His opinion of Jigsaw from SAW, whose plans have every eventuality, even random chances all factored in. Even after his death, he somehow planned ahead and manipulated all sorts of people. Adam got a lot of milage out of making fun of the contrivance of it all.
- Kubrick Stare: A rather unsettling one done to the tune of "Under the Sea" in his Frozen review. It Makes Sense in Context. Sorta.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Adam has very long, straight hair.
- Milking the Giant Cow: Parodied. When the actress playing one of Megan's friends from Megan is Missing does her "Oscar-worthy performance", she starts flailing her arms around so much that Adam begins pumping hardcore rap.
- "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Does this in his Megan Is Missing review, when the first shot freezes."I haven't actually edited anything yet."
- Not So Stoic: In his quickie for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, he eats "The hottest sauce in the world". He spends the next few minutes trying to review the movie whilst in serious pain.
- Nothing Is Scarier: In his Unfriended review, he notes the inconsistency of whether or not the Skype call is audible while another program is being used, with most cases being that it's dead silent. He notes that this could be a setup for a potential Jump Scare, and tries to demonstrate by showing eerie footage of a dark room with atmospheric sounds, although there's no scare, since he loves us too much.
- He also points out how this trope is exploited in Megan Is Missing, when two photos of Megan being tortured are shown with no music or sound effects, explaining that people find it one of the scariest scenes in the movie because it takes advantage of the anticipation that usually comes before a Jump Scare, but without an actual Jump Scare.
- Overly Narrow Superlative: Delivers a very long one in "Thoughts on Nanalan". Where he describes Nanalan as "Possibly the best Canadian tv-show marketed towards preschoolers with a runtime of under 3 minutes of all time."
- Pet the Dog: He's perfectly willing to acknowledge when he finds something he likes in an otherwise bad film.
- After savaging Megan Is Missing, he declares that he understands and sympathizes with the message the director was trying to convey (that blindly trusting people you meet on the internet is a bad idea).
- His "Best Underrated Horror Films" video.
- He freely admits to finding some of the films he reviews to be So Bad, It's Good, to the point of where he'll happily watch them again.
- After spending twenty minutes mocking the dreadful films of independent writer-director Neil Breen, he said that he respected that Breen is obviously very passionate and sincere about what he does.
- Plot Hole: An in-universe example. Pointing out glaring inconsistencies in films is sort of his thing. Often follows this up by sarcastically saying "Just don't think about it!".
- Right for the Wrong Reasons: In response to Derek Savage's videos, he states that Derek is right in that there are many misconceptions about fair use on the internet used to get out of breaking the law, except Derek doesn't actually get it right or explain anything properly.
- Running Gag:
Adam: Fateful Findings is a work of sheer Breenious.
- Jaqui from The Walking Dead smirking and Michael Scott's 'NO, GOD, NO, PLEASE, NO!' scene from The Office (US).
- Used Jaden Smith's distinctive Wifi-forehead throughout the After Earth review, especially when discussing the "getting a signal" plot points.
- Pronouncing the title of "I am here....now" with an increasingly long pause in his Fateful Findings review.
- In the above review Adam will also often sneak the name "Breen" (the name of the director) into certain words.
- Playing a Master Chief death scream whenever someone dies onscreen, whether male, female, or zombie.
- Also, using the Mario coin sound when people are shot.
- He actually gets pissed off at Nymphomaniac's reference to Anti Christ, and argues that it ruins the latter for those who haven't seen it.
- At one point in the Cool Cat Saves the Kids review, he puts footage of Death Grips and Uncle Ricky over Cool Cat. He even gets dubbed by M.C. Ride.
- During the "wolf mauling" scene in his review of Frozen (2010) (wherein the trained animals used for the film were clearly only playing with him with SFX to make it sound brutal), he states that the character is only being kissed by doggos all the while playing the Annoying Dog's theme.
- Shown Their Work: Adam has a rather impressive vast knowledge of what works within a film and such, always looking for key elements in a film such as purpose of framing, the sound production, ect.
- Case and point, he criticized Lars von Trier's logic of constantly throwing stuff in his films with little to no reason for it and getting immensely frustrated that his fanbase are able to justify everything he does as art. He even threw a rant about how Lars made the aspect ratio in a scene of Nymphomaniac completely small despite it appearing normal, even saying he did in fact look through various versions of the movie to explain this point.
- Straight Gay: If you didn't know any better, you'd have no idea he's homosexual unless you follow his gaming or vlog channels.
Adam: [In his Death Race 2 Review] "This movie's gay for me and I suck cocks."
- That's not to say he doesn't drop hints in his proper film reviews, however.
- Stupid Statement Dance Mix: In his review of Cool Cat Saves the Kids, Adam made a beat of Erik Estrada's hammy exclamation of "That kid kicked sand in Cool Cat's face!"
- We Used to Be Friends:
- More of "We Used to Respect Each Other" in regards to Derek Savage, creator of Cool Cat. When Adam basically gave the Colbert Bump towards the movie, saying that while being heavily flawed it had some heart, Savage appreciated his criticisms and even did a recut of the film because of it. Unfortunately after Savage endured an implied Creator Breakdown and attacked several people who did reviews of Cool Cat such as I HATE EVERYTHING and attempted to justify his actions and failing to use the correct definition of "Fair use", Adam immediately went to IHE's defense and posted his own thoughts and a calm "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Derek regarding his actions. Derek took such an offense he deleted the YMS cut of the film and removed Adam's cameo in his later film.
- Played straight with Mark, Adum's friend and roommate. The two of them were friends, and Adum even had Mark work for him as an editor, but sometime between 2016 and 2017, Mark began to flake on his job, while also demanding money despite not working for his at the time girlfriend and drugs. This, along with Mark constantly taking advantage of Adum's attempts to be reasonable and understanding, eventually reached a point where the two started arguing during streams, most cases being Mark lashing out at Adum. Adum eventually reached a boiling point and not only fired him, but also kicked him out. Since than, Adum has not talked about Mark at all, while Mark has attempted to make his own youtube channel, all while being nearly homeless.
- Video Review Show