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Johanson’s “Prisoners Review” Couches Criticism in Colloquialism

In response to MaryAnn Johanson’s 893‑word review of Prisoners on Flick Filosopher

By ,

It’s too bad MaryAnn Johanson didn’t have the courage of her convictions to write “Prisoners review: the unbearable darkness of being [premium]” like a professional film reviewer, because had she sidelined the colloquial prose she uses throughout it, the astuteness of her critical eye could have shone through.

Here we have a review that starts with a “pro” and “con” rating system that needs to be explained by a “minifesto” (her portmanteau, not mine) that the reader must click through to another page to read. By the time the reader gets around this gimmickry to the actual review, if indeed he hasn’t give up by that point, he is confronted by an opening sentence that opens with that bane of the professional writer: the exclamation point.

It doesn’t get much better from there as Johanson uses a light-hearted, bantery tone that is at odds with the subject of her review.

Perhaps the greatest sin Johanson perpetrates in her review, though, is dropping an f-bomb in the closing paragraph for seemingly no reason besides shock value. It certainly adds no real value to review, and only further cements its amateurishness.

In the part of the review where Johanson actually discusses the movie, she makes some astute observations and has thoughtful points to make about her subject. It’s just too bad that her actual criticism is drowned out by amateur theatrics.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation