Movie stars should not go off on Film Critics for getting bad reviews. It is a part of the industry. You get good reviews, you get bad reviews. Rob Schneider made that legendary mistake last year of calling out one of Roger Ebert’s critic friends… and Ebert gave him the very best verbal bitch slappings I’ve ever read in my entire life. It was classic… and it was what Rob deserved.
However… there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed. Such is the case with “Good Morning America” movie critic Joel Siegel and his behaviour at a screening of Kevin Smith’s Clerks 2. Kevin Smith writes about the situation himself, and gives us the following account in an article he entitled “A Dick in a Mustache is Still Just a Dick”:
Check this shit out: roughly forty minutes into the flick, when Randal orders up the third act donkey show, Siegel bellowed to his fellow critics “Time to go!’’ and “This is the first movie I’ve walked out of in 30 fucking years!’’
Now, I don’t need Joel Siegel to suck my dick the way he apparently sucks M. Night’s, gushing over his flick before he’s even seen it; but shit, man – how about a little common fucking courtesy?
Never mind the fact that when you’re paid to watch movies for a living and the only tasks required of you are to a) sit through said movies and b) write your thoughts about them before your deadline, walking out before a movie’s over is pretty unprofessional. Never mind the fact that the scene he was offended by (the ordering of the donkey show), with its (misleading) crude references is only the set-up to a third act pay-off that is a true bait-and-switch from where Joel’s imagination went (and if you’ve already seen the flick, you KNOW what I’m talking about). Never mind that this dude is so straight-laced in his tastes and hyperbolic in his praise that when The Onion took a poke at Joel, I was almost unsure whether it was a joke or not…
You never… NEVER disrupt a movie, simply because you don’t like it.
Cardinal rule of movie-going: shut your fucking mouth while the movie’s playing. They even ask you to do so in the pre-show run-up to every flick (”Cell phones and pagers off, no talking during the show”). This guy went beyond talking, even; he was making a spectacle of himself as he left. I’ve now spoken to three folks in attendance last night, and all have said that Siegel WANTED everyone to know how disgusted he was, and that he was leaving. If you want to share your displeasure with everyone, that’s fine, dude; just do it AFTER the movie, not during. Some folks were enjoying themselves. I don’t come down to your job and slap the taste out of your mouth for coming up with a line like “‘Shark Tale’ Is a Halibut Good Time”; so don’t fuck with my stuff WHILE IT’S STILL SCREENING.
This is total ignorance on Siegel’s part. What a total ass. I totally agree with Smith when he says “look, if you don’t like it… write about it AFTER the movie”.
Both Doug and I have walked out of movies on two occasions. Hey, if I can’t stomach what I’m watching, then I leave… no one is paying me to stay. But when we left, we QUIETLY just got up, tried not to disturb anyone, and silently left the theater.
For this ASSHOLE to get up and proclaim to the world “Hear Ye Hear Ye! I’m Joel Fucking Sielgel, and I doth proclaim to one and all that I’m walking out!!” What a dick.
Siegel had EVERY RIGHT to write that he hated the film… he had every right to write that he hates Kevin Smith. That’s all cool. But man, when you’re a guest at a free screening and you’re a professional film critic, you DON’T have the right to act like that in the screening.
Kevin Smith then went on to write the following about Siegel:
– Apparently, rather than quietly exit, both Joel and his Cum-Catcher (my slang for the fancy kind of mustache he sports) made a big stink about walking out, calling as much attention to himself as possible, and being generally pretty disruptive.
– I don’t need Joel Siegel to suck my dick the way he apparently sucks M. Night’s
– Leave the diva-like behavior and drama-queen antics to the movie stars, not the movie reviewer, ya’ rude-ass prick.
– This is the guy who stole his mustachioed critic shtick from Gene Shalit years ago, and still refuses to give it back.
Smith is 100% right on this one. WHen you’re a PAID critic… someone is paying you to review a film… you DON’T walk out before it’s done. And if for some reasons you MUST walk out, you do so quietly and without drawing attention to yourself as much as possible.
Joel Sielgel didn’t like Clerks 2. Fine, fair enough. Maybe I won’t like it either… but I sure as hell won’t walk out yelling: “Damnit! John Campea is too good for this movie! I’m leaving!” Although I might do that for 50 Cents next film.
To hear Kevin Smith confront Joel Sielgel you can listen here.