What set Vogt-Roberts off? If you guessed, the brand-new Cinema Sins video “Everything Wrong With Kong: Skull Island”—you win a stuffed giant ape!
Vogt-Roberts starts the epic Twitter thread by writing,
Mystery Science Theatre built something artful, endearing and comedic on top of the foundation other people’s work. It had merit to itself.
Things like Cinema Sins simply suck the life blood of other people and are often just wrong about intent or how cinema works. It’s terrible.
He then goes on to take issue with various points about Kong: Skull Island raised in the Cinema Sins video—providing screen-shots and commentary like this:
There are many review shows on YouTube that take this sort of sardonic approach to film criticism (Nostalgia Critic and Cinema Snob immediately come to mind), but this is the first time I’ve seen a producer of one of these films specifically call them out in this manner. The question is, are these videos simply film-crit—or are they purposely “obliterating” these movies to get a quick laugh, adding little in terms of anything constructive?
And my first thought in terms of that is: have read some of Roger Ebert’s reviews on films he really hated? Or watched episodes of At The Movies where Ebert and Gene Siskel focus on movies and genres they dislike (their famous take-down of late 1980s horror comes to mind)? Those reviews could be absolutely brutal.
At the same time, if these videos are actually getting movie details wrong, then they probably should fix that. And then there is the separate issue of reviewers who seem to have personal vendettas…though I didn’t get the impression Cinema Sins had such a nut to crack specifically with Vogt-Roberts. (having just seen the video, however, I do agree that it was pretty harsh—though not that much more than the others in the review series)
Maybe Vogt-Roberts should learn what so many other creators have in the age of the internet…don’t read/watch reviews of your own work. Reactions such as his, expressed publicly, often does the exact opposite of what is intended—providing more publicity to the video or website one feels offended by (certainly, I had no real plan today or ever to watch that particular video until it was pointed out to me; now, more sweet YouTube revenue to Cinema Sins).
Avoiding the rabbit-hole of online reviews might also lead the director to not, in his own words, “make me hammer a nail through my dick and point out more errors.”
No hammers through dicks. It’s just not worth it.