The filmmaker pointed out a larger problem with the YouTube series
CinemaSins, the popular series on YouTube known for picking apart everything wrong with movies, got a takedown of its own on Tuesday. After the release of a video on Kong: Skull Island, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts wrote a lengthy defense of his film on Twitter and highlighted why the CinmaSins videos are “infuriating.”
“Mystery Science Theatre built something artful, endearing and comedic on top of the foundation [of] other people’s work. It had merit to itself,” Roberts began in a series of tweets. “Things like [CinemaSins] simply suck the life blood of other people and are often just wrong about intent or how cinema works. It’s terrible.”
Watch the video below.
The filmmaker posted screenshots from the video to show examples that “drive [him] crazy.” For one, CinemaSins mocked the opening desert shootout for when young Hank chose not to “walk right up to the other currently unarmed pilot and shoot him point blank.” Roberts noted this scene “is meant to be absurd” and, by that logic, CinemaSins “would ding [Pulp Fiction] for Jules and Vincent not getting shot.”
He also took issue when the CinemaSins video questioned the film for a rain sequence in Saigon and the explosion reflected in an characters’s sunglasses. Regarding the criticism that “there are no songs from the Vietnam era that don’t sound like a ‘song from the Vietnam era’ cliche in movies anymore,” Roberts wrote, “There are songs in this movie like [Jorge Ben Jor’s ‘Brother’] that have never been licensed in a film before. You can’t just say sh– out loud.”
“I just wanted to point out why these videos are infuriating,” Roberts tweeted in getting to the crux of his argument. “They’re often just wrong or think they’re smarter than you. I love film criticism and I love reading negative reviews if the author makes compelling and well-written arguments. To anyone who thinks this video makes me mad or hurts me. It doesn’t. I just wanted to point out a few obvious examples that are just wrong.”
He continued, “It just makes me sad they get so many views / contribute to the dumbing down of cinema as they siphon other people’s work for their own gain. It’s like when [Trump] lies on camera just because he can. It’s infuriating and there are people out there who listen to him & [CinemaSins].”
Roberts concluded his thread, “Go watch a movie you’ve never seen before & actually discuss it with someone instead of focusing on reductive crap…It just gets me that a lot of things get critique seem to have a lack of understanding of cinematic [license] / has an odd disdain of film. I make movies because I love film. These guys are just trolling the art form we love and profiting from it while dumbing the conversation.”
“Hey, everyone! I stepped away from the computer for a few hours to run errands and stuff. Did I miss anything?” the account for CinemaSins tweeted in the aftermath.
Roberts isn’t the only director to call out CinemaSins. Notably in 2013, Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) tweeted in response to a video on his sci-fi film Looper, “I should be good humored about this, but it feels oddly nasty. Also, it’s almost all thoughtless & wrong. Ok, I’ll shush.” Though, the interaction was later squashed when the CinemaSins account tweeted back, “We created a Twitter account just to tell you that we f—ing love your work, including Looper. We’re just idiots.”
CinemaSins also ran a video that year of “Everything Wrong With CinemaSins In 3 Minutes Or Less,” which poked fun at its creators. “We’re not reviewers. We’re a—holes,” the narrator said. “Hate makes us stronger. We’re like the demons in a Ghostbusters movie. Sins are often based on things you will neither notice nor will ever care about.”
After his initial comments, Vogt-Roberts added another thread on CinemaSins and took issue with the videos’ lengths and cast doubt on the idea that the videos qualify as “satire.”