Critiquing Skill: 3/10
Humor Quality: 2/10
Production Quality: 7/10
Frequency of Updates: 7/10
I’m taking my discussion about this guy a little different than the previous two, because after writing this, I’m done with this guy and his site.
Confused Matthew was my first exposure to these kinds of online, video critics. I was drawn in quickly by his savvy ability to catch plot holes and subsequently rip them to shreds. I was further intrigued by his apparent education in philosophy, which gave him an ability to intelligently discuss some of the more heady aspects of certain films. The two biggest examples of this were 1) the Matrix sequels, where he not only pointed out the plot holes, but ridiculed the cheaply assembled philosophy that was meant to drive the characters, and 2) the intro to his review of The Golden Compass, where he explicitly said what I had thought about atheist author Philip Pullman, who once stated that he hated C.S. Lewis’s beloved Narnia series because it was “Christian propaganda” disguised as a children’s story, but then turned around and wrote atheist propaganda disguised as a children’s story. (Basically, he’s a hypocrite). For the record, I don’t get the impression that Matthew is Christian, so I was impressed that he would defend someone like Lewis and lambaste someone like Pullman. I guess that’s not all that impressive or really unthinkable, but I wasn’t expecting such a calling-out of Pullman in a secular review. I didn’t finish watching that review, though; I realized pretty quick that since I hadn’t seen the movie, I didn’t care about it.
Then I started watching more of his reviews, and some things weren’t sitting right with me. I found his take on The Lion King (arguably his most well-known review) to be odd. He hated it. He expressed complete disdain towards the character of Simba. Especially young Simba. In fact, he called young Simba “an asshole.” Then he pointed out what he perceived to be a plot hole when Simba thought he was responsible for Mufasa’s death. Then he declared that Timon and Pumba were horrible influences on children, and that THEY were less than quality, too, because they were using Simba and didn’t care about him (shown “clearest” when Timon and Pumba laugh when Simba says the stars are the kings of old). I’m not going to do an in-depth point-by-point through his very ill-based objections to the film. I am going to make it very clear, though, that he missed the point by a mile. People send him letters and videos all the time letting him know what he got wrong about this or that, but he remains undeterred. He is incapable of understanding that Simba’s character grew up, of grasping that Timon and Pumba’s “no worries” philosophy was shown to be wrong, or of noticing that the reason Simba blamed himself for Mufasa’s death is because he thought he started the stampede by practicing his roar.
It continued. He couldn’t like The Incredibles because of the serious themes it took, like death (and because, in a couple scenes, the family fought and argued with each other). He bashed 2001: A Space Odyssey because it moved too slowly and because the ending was so pointless, he recommends not even watching it. He belittled Spirited Away because Chihiro was a brat at the beginning of the story, and because the spirit world was “weird and random.” And what makes it all even worse is that he honestly tries to come across as someone who is objective and “gets it.” He is anything but. Opinions are opinions, but it’s one thing if I say, “I hate Mystery Science Theater 3000 because the constant wise-cracks bug me to no end;” and quite another if I say, “Mystery Science Theater 3000 is one of the worst shows ever made because that guy and those robots will NOT shut up during the movie! Not like it matters, though, because all the movies are just AWFUL! Who would think a show like this would be entertaining? IT’S NOT ENTERTAINING!”
Well, while his production style is more than edible (mostly just narration over stills, it keeps you focused on the “discussion”), his few attempts at humor are pretty bad. I chuckled the first time he tossed up his hands in frustration over a large plot point not being explained and he concluded that “a wizard did it,” but that’s the exception and not the rule. I doubt he’d proclaim to be a comedian, but the fact remains that his jokes are beyond amateur. I could dig around in his reviews to find examples, but I’d rather not waste the time. I hope you understand.
So the last straw came for me last week. It was set up when he bashed Iron Man 2 for not being exactly what it was (a fun movie), and then followed that up with a discussion on the last episode of Lost in which he protests . . .
. . .
. . . You know what? I’m going to assume that you, the reader, at least somewhat got the point of the ending of Lost (and by connection, will assume you’ve seen it, so major spoiler warning). Based on those assumptions, I’ll seal my case against Confused Matthew as someone worth writing off as a self-important, clueless blowhard with a quote from his review of the last episode of the series.
“This last episode, that–the very ending, is basically just about where these people go when they die. And I never got the sense that this show, in any way, was leading up to telling us where these people go when they die. That issue is so far removed from not only this episode, but also this season, and also the series, that if you really think about it, you could end any show with that ending. The final episode of The Jeffersons could have been, ‘Oh, hey, here’s this place that we all go when we die!’ But that doesn’t have anything to do with what we were watching. . . .”
And that, my friends, is the very definition of “missing the point.”
There’s no better, further damage I can do here other than letting him continue to do it to himself. Here’s his infamous review of that beloved Disney movie:
Explanation of scored categories:
Critiquing Skill: How insightful are they? Can they provide objective support for why they say something is bad or good? Are their issues with a particular film based out of misunderstandings, a lack of paying attention? Or are they based out of something genuine?
Humor Quality: How funny are they? Most, if not all, internet video critics attempt at some form of humor. Are their jokes cringe-worthy and cliche, or are they genuinely funny?
Production Quality: How good is their editing? How do they handle their segments vs. clips from the movie, etc? If there is added dramatization or acting involved, is it any good?
Frequency of Updates: An entertaining site is one you can visit fairly regularly and have something new to see on most visits. How do they fare?