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Bill Goodykoontz’s “Furnace Stars” Could Have Been Written by Anybody

In response to Bill Goodykoontz’s 578‑word review of Out of the Furnace on Arizona Republic

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After reading the latest piece from Bill Goodykoontz, “Out of the Furnace, 3. 5 stars,” one can’t help but wonder how long it actually took to write the review. Plot summary overrides the dull and unimaginative critique.

Goodykoontz’s argument in Furnace Stars focuses on the neglect of the actors by director Scott Cooper, however the critic’s work suffers from that very problem.  

Furnace Stars opens with a brief opening sentence, and Goodykoontz serves up seven paragraph that literally describe the action without any commentary or critique. It’s unbelievably boring, and sadly, it doesn’t get much better.

A review such as Furnace Stars is frustrating because when Goodykoontz finally gets down to business, the critique feels like a bonus. A true bonus would be expansive commentary on specific themes after a thorough look across the board, however all Goodykoontz offers for his fans are brief statements on the actors (which are at the center of his argument).

Goodykoonz’s analysis of his dear actors is about as simple as you can get: “Affleck is astonishing” and “Bale’s reactions are heartbreaking.” Anyone coming out of a movie theatre could produce this type of critique, and the critic does little to separate himself from some movie rube with a box of popcorn. There’s really nothing to take away from the review other than the understanding that Goodykoontz saw the film.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation