With the release of this year's Kong: Skull Island on home video, the popular YouTube channel CinemaSins uploaded their latest episode listing all the errors and mistakes found in Kong's latest cinematic adventure. CinemaSins' videos are divisive: Some generally accept them as snarky comedy that shouldn't be taken too seriously while others see them as a blight on film criticism (or "criticism", in their case).
Apparently, Kong: Skull Island director #JordanVogtRoberts is firmly in the latter camp. Just a few hours after CinemaSins released their new video, Vogt-Roberts demolished the video's "sins" in a point-by-point Twitter rebuttal.
Everything Wrong With CinemaSins, As Narrated By Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Vogt-Roberts, as you might expect, took issue with the channel's nitpicks of his film, and expressed his annoyance on Twitter. While he didn't actually finish the whole episode, he still found numerous errors within the first few minutes and countered their complaints by explaining the logic behind the creative decisions in #SkullIsland.
The future Metal Gear Solid director pointed out that CinemaSins had surface level insights at best and that most of their "critiques" were made up of petty complaints masquerading as wit, finally signing off with this epically frustrated tweet:
But Vogt-Roberts Was Not Quite Finished
Hilariously, Vogt-Roberts was still irritated the next day and took to Twitter once again to deliver a blistering criticism of the entire negative concept of CinemaSins and YouTubers of their ilk. To illustrate his point, he used one of CinemaSins' previous episodes that focused on time travel movie Looper as a 10-point case study that showed just how shallow the channel's brand of humor was. While pointing out the flaws in their critical thinking, he also called the channel out for being needlessly mean-spirited and having a smug "know-it-all" attitude when it came to pointing out the obvious.
Clearly Vogt-Roberts doesn't hold CinemaSins in the highest regard. The filmmaker made it clear that while he loves a well-structured criticism of any film, he has no respect for CinemaSins' brand of patronizing humor.
CinemaSins, Filmmakers And A New Kind Of Film Criticism
Vogt-Roberts isn't the only filmmaker who doesn't like CinemaSins' approach to film criticism. Prior to irritating the director of Skull Island, the channel got on the wrong side of both director #RianJohnson and screenwriter #DamonLindenlof for mocking Looper and Prometheus, respectively.
The channel, however, wears their irritation as badges of honor—as you would expect of a YouTube channel that built its brand on essentially trolling the people making movies.
But not everyone hates CinemaSins. Comedian #DaneCook and independent filmmaker #KevinSmith defended CinemaSins, saying that the channel's signature brand of nitpicking is not only hilarious, but witty as well. In fact, Smith is such a fan of CinemaSins that he was featured as a guest on the show's Star Wars episode.
Whether established filmmakers like them or not, CinemaSins and many others represent a new kind of film criticism that puts analysis and comedy in one place. Thanks to the internet, amateur critics don't have to be so formal in their criticisms and they can view films as fans or as regular moviegoers. This in turn makes their opinions more accessible and less intimidating than what a film scholar may have to say about a popular blockbuster.
On the other hand, some online critics go too far and needlessly nitpick a movie instead of giving legitimate arguments for and/or against the film in question. There are times when they would try to sound smart by finding faults in just about everything regardless of its context or the cinematic liberties present. It's also worth noting that many YouTube comedian-critics have a profound lack of understanding of how the movie industry works in the way that other trained and experienced critics do. The problem, as Vogt-Roberts pointed out, is that far too many fans hang on their takedowns as if they were informed opinions.
Compared to other established online critics who combine humorous satire and actual film analysis, CinemaSins stands out for building an entire platform on nothing but nitpicking. While the outlet has its fans and defenders, it was only a matter of time before someone took things personally, and Vogt-Roberts is by far the most vocal filmmaker to stand up to them.
Who do you find yourself agreeing with? Share your thoughts in the comments below.