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The Critical Drinker


Somehow I discovered a YouTube vlogger named Will Jordan, who goes by “The Critical Drinker” (exaggerating his natural Scottish accent) and does critiques of modern-day geek stuff.


I watched the above and it cracked me up. I agree with it—Star Trek today is written like the characters are all kids. I first noticed this in the 2009 Star Trek and it struck me as...weird, but I figured, well, that’s just blockbusters today. But Alex Kurtzman continued it in Discovery, and it’s just how CBS has chosen to reinvent the franchise, I guess.


The vlogger is also a novelist, by the way.


Here’s another one, looking favorably at the screenwriting of Tremors and unfavorably (to say the least) on The Last Jedi.


I’ve only begun to check out his videos, so hopefully he’s not some kind of closet Nazi where I’ll have to apologize for plugging his page later. Apparently he hates The Last Jedi and there was a pretty big cultural/political rift on that one—with older, usually white male fans loathing it because it made Luke Skywalker into a loser and elevated Rey as the hero. (I seem to remember they review-bombed the Rotten Tomatoes page, among other things.)

There are, to be sure, a lot of legitimate storytelling critiques of The Last Jedi (and the other sequel films, for that matter). But I liked that they had a female lead and a black lead (until they realized they didn’t have any more story for Finn) and it was a little icky how some people seemed to get up in arms about that.


But I do remember the days when the storytelling in these movies was not quite so A.D.D. and ridiculous. My memory is that the first Batman (1989) was the “eureka” moment for studios, when they realized that it truly didn’t matter if the movie made any sense, as long as it was flashy and cool.


I wish I had the patience and the technical know-how to make videos like this. It looks pretty time-consuming, but The Critical Drinker has a pretty sizable audience. I write this stuff in prose and I’m lucky to get a hundred views—this guy pushes a million on his flashier videos, in only a few days! Congrats!

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Coco ThreeOneFour
Coco ThreeOneFour
Nov 07, 2021

I think he made some valid points in both videos. Concerning the setup/payoff one (the second), one of my favorite example is "Superman cannot see through lead" bit during the Lois/Superman talk on the balcony in the Donner movie. It is an obvious setup, but cleverly disguised as Lois is asking Superman what color is her underwear, creating a marvelous tension and awkwardness. And the chemistry between Reeve and Kidder was so great on top of that. The whole scene is also revelatory on the ADD nature of movies today you talked about. Balcony and Flying sequences take FOURTEEN consecutive minutes in "Superman". But it builds the romance, and when Lois dies in the end, it really hurts. The same "Flying…

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