The glory of Dr. Mark Kermode
Over the past few hours, I have been discovering a hitherto unfound appreciation for Mark Kermode. Kermode, for those who don’t know, is an English film critic who, in addition to penning two books on The Exorcist and being hauled out for virtually every horror retrospective piece under the sun, have a regular spot on BBC Radio 5 where, every Friday at 3 PM, he reviews the latest cinema releases in his own inimitable style.
To say that Kermode is somewhat opinionated is like saying the Pope is slightly Catholic. If Kermode sees something he doesn’t like, he will let you know in no uncertain terms, and believe me, there’s a lot he doesn’t like. He has no qualms about insulting the actors and directors who don’t float his boat, and I always have a huge amount of respect for people who speak their mind and don’t feel the need to sugar-coat things. “Absolutely rubbish” is an oft-repeated phrase, although he generally finds more creative ways to express these sentiments. When he gets on to a favourite hatred - such as the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy and Michael Bay movies - he really lets rip and pulls no punches. I’ve listened to at least 30 of his reviews this evening, and, even when I completely disagree with what he has to say (which is with some degree of frequency), I find myself nodding my head and appreciating his no nonsense tone.
You can find an archive of his podcast reviews at the BBC Radio 5 Live site, and a few choice favourites are also available, with video, on YouTube:
Death Proof - I like it, Dr. Kermode most certainly doesn’t. He has a few choice things to say about Quentin Tarantino and his style of “homage”.
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End - a ten-minute out of control rant that has since passed into legend. I haven’t seen this instalment in the franchise, but his diatribe is more entertaining than the first two films put together.
Transformers - in which Dr. Kermode loses it completely and explains why Michael Bay’s entire directorial philosophy is analogous to masturbation.