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Josh Bell’s “AND SERIOUS MESSAGES” Lacks Heart and Care for Reader

In response to Josh Bell’s 353‑word review of Ender’s Game on Las Vegas Weekly

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Josh Bell provides a solid recap in “FILM REVIEW: ‘ENDER’S GAME’ HAS LOTS OF ACTION-AND SERIOUS MESSAGES” but fails to deliver a comprehensive critique. Curious fans look to their critics to produce memorable pieces of art, but far too often one will only find the basics. The writing of Bell is superb, however the critic appears to be lacking enthusiasm for the job.

AND SERIOUS MESSAGES begins with an intriguing opening paragraph about the backstory of the novel, which takes up one-third of the review. The experience is almost over once Bell prepares the reader. How much can one accomplish with a brief intro, summary and conclusion? Where is the heart?

The second paragraph of AND SERIOUS MESSAGES is all summary, which will make one question what the critic was expecting to achieve with the final paragraph. Is their a concern for the reader? Is there a love for film? Or is the review just something that has to be done? Bell’s writing is clearly capable, but for some reason he doesn’t dig very deep into the film.

The conclusion of AND SERIOUS MESSAGES is a paragraph of thin analysis about dialogue and special effects. Although Bell describes who the lead character is, he says nothing about Asa Butterfield’s lead performance. The other actors are briefly mentioned in the work and quickly tossed aside like so many average reviews. One will likely take a deep breath after the review is finished and contemplate a hidden meaning.

AND SERIOUS MESSAGES is a classic case of a critic working off a checklist.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation