Movies  •  Critics  •  About
Existimatum  >  Movies  >  The Counselor  >  Reviews  >  Los Angeles Times

Kenneth Turan’s “Bleak Waste” Is Coffee Talk Quality but Flawed

In response to Kenneth Turan’s 709‑word review of The Counselor on Los Angeles Times 

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-the-counselor-review-20131025,0,4116157.story?track=rss

By Marcus Julianus, Associate Critic

Kenneth Turan has a small victory with “Review: The Counselor a bleak waste of A-list talent.” The critic builds on his key argument about the script, but the rest is all style over substance.

Turan’s introduction to Bleak Waste will make some laugh, but also simultaneously delivers bold remarks on the film. However, this crime thriller gets nasty when the critic begins the next paragraph with “The film is ably directed by the veteran Ridley Scott,” and rattles off actor names as if part of a checklist. It manages to turn what was a promising read into a slog extremely quickly.

Turan’s take on the characters is offensively shallow. If you believe critique means to identify what characters look like, then Bleak Waste is for you. The analysis that Turan attempts to convey is far from what the average reader expects to find in a quality review, and a critic’s negative thoughts on the film are no excuse to abandon the audience.

Bleak Waste succeeds in a small way by focusing the commentary on the script of Cormac McCarthy, and expanding on the flaws of the dialogue. It allows the critic to make a clear point on the film, but unfortunately Turan fails to provide a classic critique for his loyal fans.

Bleak Waste will be discussed in some circles, but quickly forgotten in others.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation

Marcus Julianus was born and raised in Byzantium, where he spent his youth herding goats and making cheese. As a gatekeeper of the review world, Marcus offers his background in poetry and drama to opine on the work of the film critics.