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Cole Smithey’s “Video Essays: Lovelace—I Give It a Year” Is Muddled and Boring

In response to Cole Smithey’s video review of I Give It a Year on

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Fans of Cole Smithey are sure to have grown accustomed to the deep bass voice proclaiming him to be the “smartest film critic in the world”, newcomers however may be put off by the braggadocio and high expectations. In his recent COLE SMITHEY’S MOVIE WEEK—EPISODE #284 VIDEO ESSAYS: LOVELACE—I GIVE IT A YEAR CLASSIC: DR. STRANGELOVE, Smithey does not justify the moniker, awkwardly squeezing in three strange bedfellows into one 13 minute YouTube movie review.

Cole Smithey knows his place and his role. He lays out his goals clearly at the outset and sets happily off to achieve them. Unfortunately, those interested in the merits of I Give It A Year have to twiddle their thumbs for over 4 minutes before the film even comes up.

Smithy doesn’t spend much time on screen, instead choosing to be the man behind the curtain as scenes from the movie play under his voice. It makes the whole proceeding feel very impersonal. It also shows a lot more of the movie than any trailer would.

Though Smithy starts off strong, focusing on merits rather than recap, the second half of his review devolves completely into simple, and rather boring descriptions. Smithey’s attention shifts dutifully from one character to the next in what feels like nothing more than an attempt to cover all his bases, terrified of leaving something out.

Though only about five minutes are devoted to the film, Smithey manages to go on two extended tangents, one an attempt to relate his audience to characters in the film, and one about microwavable dinners and the 70’s that still has me scratching my head. These missteps will leave viewers wondering just who it was that bestowed Smithey’s title upon him.

Nine minutes into the whole affair Smithey appears back on screen and thankfully ends his review by zooming out a bit from the tight focus he kept on the individual scenes in the film and discusses the film with a few broader strokes. Unless viewers wish to feel that they have seen the entire movie already, this is the only part worth watching.

Coley finishes off the review a million miles away with other recommendations and a review for Dr. Strangelove. Though the staff at exhibit quite a bit of skill in the editing department, they seem unable to structure his video essays in an approachable, organized fashion.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation