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Hatchet Job: Love Movies, Hate Critics by [Kermode, Mark]
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Hatchet Job: Love Movies, Hate Critics Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Product Description

Review

Really loved it (Stephen Fry)

A wry, robust and developed defence of accountable critical voices (Total Film)

Mark Kermode puts up a spirited argument for honesty, integrity and individuality. An opinionated, funny and meandering study of films and their critical reception, it reminds us of the importance of standing by your view (Daily Mail)

Entertainingly incendiary stuff (Empire)

Very accessible, entertaining and relevant . . . warmly recommended (Den of Geek)

Engaging, informative and funny . . . a thoroughly enjoyable and accessible book . . . buy it now (Vada)

Populist, entertaining . . . A very personal examination of the usefulness and value of film criticism . . . Will delight fans of Kermode's previous books, and offers a fascinating glimpse behind the curtain into the life of a professional film critic (Verité)

A passionate history of his craft [from] Britain's premier film critic (Sp!ked)

Mark Kermode, perhaps the UK's most prominent film critic and certainly one of its most respected, covers all the big issues involved in writing reviews: being honest and only saying things you actually believe, trying to get the facts right, writing well, being entertaining, and, sometimes, changing your mind . . . It's funny, moving and angry (Theaker's Quarterly)

Insightful, erudite . . . relaxed and witty (HeyUGuys)

Puts a populist, accessible front on concepts that lesser authors turn into psychobabble (Jonathan Clements, MangaUK)

Entertaining . . . lively . . . valiant . . . he still reacts to cinema with the open-minded enthusiasm of someone who sees going to the pictures as a treat (New Statesman)

Very good (Mark Cousins)

His enthusiasm for film and film criticism is infectious (The List)

Brilliantly puts the shifting sands of contemporary film criticism under the microscope (Digital Spy)

A riveting read . . . essential for anyone who is even remotely interested in movies (I’m With Geek)

Annoying, irritating (Will Self Guardian)

Book Description

The UK's most trusted (and scathing) film reviewer asks: who needs the professionals now that everyone’s a critic?

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1131 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Main market ed edition (10 Oct. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DTUKK4Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #92,702 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I really rate Mark Kermode as a professional film critic: I read his reviews in the "Observer" newspaper, I watch his reviews on BBC television, I follow him on Twitter, and I attended an event at his beloved Phoenix cinema in East Finchley where he spoke about this book. The work is not about films or even film criticism as such but essentially about the role of film critic and one in particular. He is absurdly self deprecating about his persona ("I have a stupid name and a stupid haircut") and overly defensive about his profession ("these days professional film critics are viewed as being on a par with child-molesters and pension-fund embezzlers in the popularity stakes").

Kermode writes like he speaks - a tendency to long, breathless but perfectly-formed sentences full of wit and eudition, so this is an immensely readable work. The book lacks structure - the chapters could have been in any order - and the text has a habit of meandering (several times, he has to resort to a phrase like "anyway, back to ...") , but eventially we always come back to one central message: even in the age of the online, amateur film critic (like me), there is a role for the professional but all critics should identify themselves, the reviews that readers tend to remember are the bad ones, but in the end reviews make little difference to the box office.

"Hatchet Job" tells us something about the odd life of professional film critics. Twice a week, every week, they sit in a darkened room and watch movies that have not yet been released. Kermode reckons that he has averaged 10-12 films a week for the past 25 years, but laments "if you happen to see a couple of good films in any given week, you're doing pretty well".
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like listening to Mark Kermode on the various radio and podcasts shows he appears in; but I also find him rather draining to listen to... he clearly has a lot to say, and often very little time in which to say it.... yet that lack of time doesn't stop him trying. Thus, he tends to speak in very long sentences, without pausing for breath, to prevent Simon Mayo coming in and taking up that valuable time.

With a book, time is not an issue... yet Kermode's writing style is very much like his speaking style. You get the feeling there's a ticking clock in the background, and it's rather tiring to read at times. I would have expected a judicious editor to have scaled back the rambling somewhat. Maybe they did, and this is still what remains.

Nevertheless, it is an entertaining read... who doesn't like to read about bad movies, elegantly trashed? Who doesn't like to read about snooty directors getting their comeuppance? And above all, Kermode is 100% right about everything he says... well, that's my view. ;-)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a writer, Mark is pithy and eloquent and self-deprecating with an easy captivating style. Most well known for his critical slatings of films he shows in his book but there is more to him and his trade than just that. The book is always thoughtful and highly entertaining. Although, I will never agree with his opinion on the 'Twilight' films. He talks about his experiences with filmmakers, fellow critics and people who just generally disagree with his reviews, while stating the respect he has for the people who make the films. I would recommend this to anyone with an interest in films or film criticism, or indeed just anyone.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A funny sharp and insightful look at the world Film Criticism from a man who has been there and done it and isn't afraid to admit he has sometimes got it wrong but stands by his right to say what he honestly believes.

It seems somewhat ironic to be writing a review of this book considering he points up the drawbacks and potential misuse of
such information but I did truly love the book and nobody paid me to say so!
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The latest Mark Kermode book covers lots of ground but is at its heart, a justification for the ongoing role of professional film critics in an age where film companies are happy to publish publicity posters of their products covered with dubious one word "recommendations" from anonymous Twitter users.

The book covers a variety of topics from the joys of blunt but witty reviews ("I Am Camera" reviewed simply as "Me no Lika"), the growing role of amateur internet review sites but most focus is on the implications of the gradual death of the print medium and move to online writing. There's little negative "better in my day" attitude in the text and the discussion and conclusions are balanced so good amateur review sites like Den of Geek are praised while at the same time, the problems with ill informed and potentially faked reviews are flagged.

There's an irony in this review: its an anonymous amateur critic's online review of a printed work by professional critic discussing the validity of reviews by anonymous amateur critics online.

Overall: an interesting book probably more appealing to existing "Kermode fans" than the casual reader - but if you read review magazines like Empire or Total Film, this could be considered an essential companion piece.
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