The Green Mile
NOTE: Comments contains spoilers.
30 July 2000
Ugh. I disagree with the review. Very much, in fact. I just finished watching The Green Mile. I thought it was very entertaining. A little far fetched, maybe. But reality bites and I'm sick to DEATH of reality. So let's try and believe in that kind of movie for once and stop being so analytical. Maybe we'll enjoy more things more often.
Thanks for your comment. For the record, a C+ (the grade I gave The Green Mile) is considered an above average grade at our site (with a C being average). [Editor's Note: Carlo has since raised his rating for this film to a B-] So I didn't hate it at all. But I didn't love it either. Also for the record, I have nothing against supernatural or religious elements in movies per se. In fact, I tend to rather enjoy movies about the supernatural.
Anyway, let me clarify something about how I approach movies: I always want to enjoy a movie. I never walk into a movie theater hoping to find fault with a film (well, except maybe if the film is Battlefield Earth, but I avoided seeing it). I want to be transported to another time & place; I want to be moved. Perhaps there are other reviewers who analyze a film first, then decide whether they liked it based on their analysis. But I respond first, and then try to figure out why I responded in the way I did. Although there were moments that really worked, The Green Mile as a whole left me a bit cold and disappointed. As I noted in my review, perhaps this is partly because The Shawshank Redemption raised my expectations. But I also think it's because several elements of the film are a bit ham-handedly exaggerated. Plus, they struggled to fill the 2 hour and 40 minutes.
All of this is just my opinion, of course. That's all any review is. I don't expect people to take my at my word, because there will always be some people for whom a film works, no matter how poor other people think it is. But I don't have to agree with other reviewers to get something out of reading their reviews, if they do a good job of explaining the reasons for their opinions. That's all I try to do myself. That's all any of the reviewers at AboutFilm.Com try to do.
Thanks for visiting, and I hope you'll stop by again.
January 2, 2001
Your review is crass, imperceptive, and tediously long. Mr. Carlo, you missed the point of the movie and one can only hope that not too many other people pay ANY attention to your misguided views. You are unprofessional in your assessment, lack academic credentials,and should be treated with the derision and lack of respect that your review merits. It is worthless and boring - probably much like you.
I am writing from Ottawa Canada and have a doctorate in linguistics and byzantine studies. What are your credentials? By the way, my doctorates are from Cambridge University in England. Where are YOUR degrees from?
January 2, 2001
My review of The Green Mile is admittedly not one of my best critiques, and you rightly point out that it is flawed. Your own criticism, however, is invalidated by your personal attacks, which are as irrelevant as they are unsupported. I note that your observations about the film are also unsupported. Perhaps I did miss the point of The Green Mile–I am always willing to reassess a movie, but your caustic assertions fail to convince me a reassessment is necessary. You have impressive degrees, but clearly at Cambridge they did not teach you to provide evidentiary support for an argument, which is something that was always emphasized at my alma maters ([deleted] and [deleted], not that it matters).
In any event, the notion that academic credentials somehow make a criticism more or less valid is related to the idea that a film can be correctly and objectively assessed. We at AboutFilm vigorously reject that idea. All criticism is subjective, because all criticism is opinion. In the end, that’s all I have expressed–an opinion. I was harsh about some things in my review, but I did give the film a positive grade. A B- is a recommendation, according to our site’s rating system–something you failed to note.
Of course, to be worth anything, an opinion should be carefully thought out and written well. I will accept any and all criticism on that front. In fact, I welcome it, because only by listening to criticism can one learn to improve. Unfortunately, the only thing I learned from your criticism is that you are a self-important snob who needs to denigrate the work of others to improve his sense of self-worth.
January 2, 2001
I am NOT a snob and will speak with anyone, including persons who have graduated from your glorious universities. Like MOST Americans you are self-absorbed, self-important, and consumed with "the American way" of doing things. Believe it or not, there ARE other countries in the world - including Thailand (where I teach Business English to the Thai Chamber of Commerce University - I am an invited lecturer at the personal request of the Royal Thai Government) and publish books for the Chinese market on English for Secondary Schools - also by official invitation.
Just because my credentials may be impressive to some does not mean that I am a snob, to use your very unfortunate epithet. Not all of us Brits are etherealised and arrogant people but merely approach things differently from Americans, the French, Italians, etc.
Perhaps we can agree to disagree and at least one of us can stop with the name-calling.
January 2, 2001
This is a quote from the original e-mail you sent me:
You are unprofessional in your assessment, lack academic credentials,and should be treated with the derision and lack of respect that your review merits. It is worthless and boring - probably much like you.
If that is not a personal attack, then I don’t know what is. Then, when I confront you on it, you cry foul, pretending never to have made a personal attack in the first place. You cite your professional and academic qualifications as evidence that you have a greater right to interpret movies than I do–that is something most people would call “self-important.” You assume, mistakenly, that I am a parochial American, and offer your own “British” perspective as being more enlightened–that is what most people would call being a “snob.” If you do not like these labels, then I suggest you re-read your e-mails before sending them.
At any rate, you seem more interested in discussing yourself than the movie. I am open to other perspectives and want to hear them, but you are not offering one. If you do not wish to discuss the film, further correspondence is pointless.
January 2, 2001
Most persons consider myself to be absolutely fascinating and knowledgeable, as I am sure most of your friends and professional colleagues consider you, Mr. Carlo to be.
Let us not involve ourselves in these interpersonal invectives and sniping. I may have overstepped the boundaries of dispassionate filmic criticism and tainted my views with an excess of zeal.
I DO NOT consider Americans to be "parochial", for the most part, but only self-absorbed and jingoistic in their viewpoint on the world outside of the national borders of the US of A. If I have offended you or any other intelligent citizens of Canada's neighbour to the south, I sincerely apologise for this oversight.
I will re-watch The Green Mile and see if my initial impressions stand. Perhaps, Mr. Carlo, we will arrive at a compromise of opinions that is acceptable to the both of us.
I am but 37 years old and perhaps my outlandish and poised opinions require further maturation.
[no response sent]
January 18, 2001
I have no idea why "the green mile" got a bad review. it was one of the most touching movies I have seen and Tom Hanks did a stunning job acting in it. All the characters did a wonderful job and the guy who played 'percy' was a work of art! so I would give this movie an A. ur review sucked
Thanks for your e-mail. Despite the tone of my review, you'll note that I did give it a B-, which is a mild recommendation according to the rating system we use. The movie did have good qualities that I did not highlight enough in my review, which is admittedly one that I'm not entirely satisfied with.
Nevertheless, we can't all like the same films. The entire process of film criticism is inherently subjective. Critics can make a big show of applying formal criteria when evaluating movies, but in the end, what we're really doing is trying to explain our personal, emotional, gut-level reactions to a given film. I always try to explain the reasons for my opinions in such a way that readers have some ability to guess whether they are likely to feel the same way themselves. (Sometimes the reviews I disagree with are the most informative ones I read!) Whether I succeeded in doing so in my review of The Green Mile is debatable, but this is the approach I use.
In a nutshell, I did think The Green Mile had touching moments, and I thoroughly agree that it was well acted. However, I found it too long-winded and too manipulative for my tastes, and that "Percy" was too much of a cartoon character to be believed, notwithstanding the good acting job.
Anyway, I hope you give our site's other reviewers and me another chance. Thanks for visiting.
January 18, 2001
Don't get me wrong about Percy tho. I HATED the guy, but I think that was half of what made the movie so good. yeah, I guess a B- was a good rating for the movie if you look at all aspects and where you're coming from. Thanks for your explanation! 8)
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