Blockbuster Fanboy Culture Encounters Lukewarm Movie Review, Asks for Reviewer to be Fired

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In an especially moronic (Is there any other kind?) celebrity twitter hissy fit yesterday, Samuel L. Jackson used his twitter feed to call for New York Times film critic A.O. Scott to be fired for the offense of writing a mixed review of “The Avengers.”

Scott’s review was far from a pan. It even compares “The Avengers” to all-time cinematic classic Rio Bravo in parts, but the review is also a thoughtful examination of many problems currently bedeviling the big budget superhero film genre in general, such as “the glowering authoritarianism that now defines Hollywood’s comic-book universe.” This was too much for Jackson, who ironically proved Scott’s point by calling for Avengers fanboys to pile on Scott for his disobedience:


There was some mild back and forth on twitter but nothing between the two principals in the putative feud. The twitter account for movie site The Film Nest posted this:

To which Jackson replied:

Meanwhile, other film and cultural critics understandably circled the wagons around their colleague. Film and TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz had the most salient points:

The latent fascism of fanboy culture manifests itself through Samuel L. Jackson. “A few negative reviews in hundreds? Get ’em, boys!”

This tweet does a good job in pointing out the ridiculousness of Jackson reacting so strongly to one mixed review (albeit from one of the more influential critics) when the critical consensus surrounding The Avengers has been so overwhelmingly positive. In addition, this episode points out the bizarre new culture of hyper-sensitivity regarding reviews among superhero and other genre fans. As MZS says:

In a further irony, this weekend’s New York Times Magazine features a glowing profile of Jackson, portraying him as a humble down-to-earth guy in spite of his immense fame and fortune.

No word yet on whether Paramount, Marvel, or the Joss Whedon fan community are planning on taking legal action against A.O. Scott or the New York Times.

Superheroes, Super Battles, Super Egos: Robert Downey Jr. in ‘The Avengers,’ Directed by Joss Whedon [New York Times]

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