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MaryAnn Johanson’s “Are We There Yet” Signals Her Arrival

In response to MaryAnn Johanson’s 1045‑word review of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug on Flick Filosopher

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MaryAnn Johanson has been skewered in the past for failing to properly critique the films she’s reviewing. She’d opt instead for tangential discussions of the characters’ motivations and hiding the sparseness of her criticism with heavily stylized prose.

Well, there’s none of that in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug review: are we there yet?” Johanson appears to have deliberately shifted her focus and intent (she also appears to have removed the annoying pop-ups) and the results are as satisfying as anything that’s been written about the new Peter Jackson film.

Yes, the prose is still heavily stylized, but where it previously felt ponderous, when aimed in the right direction, Johanson’s demonstrative personality feels fresh and snarky in all the right ways. The words all but pop off the page and her immense skill as a writer makes this 1045 word (a genuine opus these days) review fly by effortlessly.

The criticisms, an area of concern in previous efforts by Johanson, are solid and as in depth as they come. It’s not scholarly—that wouldn’t fit her conversational style—but it arrives at the same destination in its own way.

Johanson’s reviews are a pay service and it always felt like an empty cash grab, but with Are We There Yet, this critic has delivered something worth paying for.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation