Critiquing the Critics: “SF Debris” review- The Zombie Sushi edition.

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MartialHorror reviews SF Debris…and is promptly gang raped by legions of angry fanboys…That is, until the killer mutant zombie sushi come to save me. What follows is an epic war between angry fanboys and the zombie sushi. Whoever loses, I win because either the fanboys are gone or I get to eat some sushi. Yum. This is what happens when you write your descriptions on acid.

I thought this video was overall fine, but the humor segment suffered some major post production rewrites, so it seems a little awkward to me.

I originally wrote a script which I thought was funnier, but it would’ve required A LOT more work. I actually would’ve been okay with that, as I had planned on this being a pretty large scale project compared to what I usually do, but I felt my criticisms were unorganized. So I re-wrote it. This video actually wasn’t as difficult to make as I thought it would be. After spending an hour working on the background (NEW JAWS POSTER!), I chose to just film as much as possible without editing. The end result was I got more time to edit when I couldn’t film, so everything went faster. I think I’ll do that from now on. After finishing the video, I had trouble uploading it to youtube. The subtitles would appear too early, but I eventually got it figured out. At least it didn’t nearly cause a mental breakdown like some of them (My “Spill Crew” review…ugh) did.

My “Dead Sushi” (link for written review) references might’ve been self indulgent, but I think that movie is just too funny so feel incline to shoehorn that shit in. Plus, when I think of classy film-making, which SF Debris seems to be an expert on, I immediately think of killer mutant zombie sushi.

His website: http://www.sfdebris.com
His Twitter: https://twitter.com/sfdebris

My website: http://www.bitfister.com/martialhorror
My Twitter: https://twitter.com/MartialHorror

THE ORIGINAL SCRIPT

-Hello and Welcome to another episode of Critiquing the Critics. What have I been doing since last time? Watching movies about zombie mutant killer sushi. It was amazing. But todays subject, oh boy, SFdebris.

SFDebris is short for Science Fiction Debris, giving us the first indication of what his subject is…Science Fiction? Oh, wait, no, I said something stupid again. Actually his subject is romance. Um, what?, I was right the first time around? Huh, that’s new. I would’ve thought I’d make a stupid gag out of that. Anyway, while he covers movies, it seems like he spends the majority of his time reviewing single TV show episodes. Every once in awhile he’ll review something less Science Fictioney, presumably because if you donate 50 bucks to him, he’ll review whatever the hell you want.

-Someone needs to make him review Attack of the Vegan Zombies.

SFDebris has acquired quite the reputation, but those who follow my works may remember my subtle but unspoilery indications that I wasn’t his biggest fan. I’m not his biggest fan. But why? Do I think he’s a bad reviewer? No, not really. My feelings towards him are…more complicated than that. Every good point met with a bad point and every bad point is met with a fire breathing zombie sushi point. I will concede that the majority of my criticisms and praises are more personal than practical.

-My gut tells me that I might be missing something. Fuck you gut! So if there is something I’m overlooking, please comment below and lets have an intelligent discussion-oh. That is difficult to say. Just do your ‘Critiquing the Critics? That’s stupid”, or “your just jealous” or “SFdebris is awesome. You= suxors” comments and return to the sad and lonely domain known as your room which is located in your parents basement.

So lets bring up the reviewer triforce and…completely ignore it, as it will implode under the madness of my opinions regarding SFdebris. I’ve noticed four different kinds of formats to be found in his videos and I’m not referring to the medium.

Reviewing SFdebris is going to be difficult because I don’t have anything to really cut too. Using his clips won’t work because he’s a disembodied voice and only uses footage of what he’s reviewing. The triforce is useless because as I said, every good point is met with a bad point and every bad point is met fire breathing zombie sushi point…which means the triforce will end up looking discombobulated. So the structure of this review will be different. There are four different kinds of reviews present on his website, and no, I’m not referring to the medium, I am referring to the format. Two of these will be more positive while two will be more negative. But lets start on the wrong note by discussing his overarching weaknesses. I don’t care for his sense of humor. He’s fine when he’s just pointing out the follies of whatever he’s reviewing, but when he tries to branch out and deliver some gag, it just falls flat. What is funny is the awkward pause he’ll have after a failed joke. I like to think it’s a pause of shame, as he contemplates the badness of what he said. Or he’s waiting for us to laugh, only for the sounds of cricits chirping to be heard in the distance. But more likely, he had just gone off script to do the joke and was finding his place again

-This kind of ties into the editing. 

SFdebris has a very simple editing style. It can be summed up as: Let clips go on for as long as possible even if they ceased having anything to do with what he’s saying. Any backstory to the movie is doomed to be described during clips of the opening credits. But he should at least edit out those pauses, which don’t even always follow the jokes. Sometimes they’ll appear in the midst of his information. He’d probably save 5 minutes by just cutting them out in post. Speaking of minutes, OHMYGODTHATIS…not a very long running time. Oh wait, OHMYGODTHESEVIDEOSAREFREAKINGLONG.

-This is my biggest issue with him as I don’t think his videos need to be so hefty in the runningtime department, but we’ll come back to why later. Presuming I don’t forget.

His energy level always seems to low to me, like he himself is even more bored of droning on about the subject than I am when listening to him done on about the subject. He has overarching strengths as well though. His silky smooth voice is pretty memorable. I always thought he sounded like CR. He’s insanely articulate, using that big fancy word speak like it is part of his everyday vocabulary. His microphone captures his voice perfectly and I want it for myself. NOW! He definitely knows his proverbial shit, giving him credibility in his statements.

But my overall opinion of him is a bit on the bi-polar side of things as he has four different types of reviews. I refer to type 1 as

Bad Movie Beatdown that’s not Film Brain’s Bad Movie Beatdown. Rolls right off the tongue…No that is part of the title for type 1. And…that is also part of the title.

-What’s consistent about his videos, besides their length, is that he’ll discuss the subject from beginning to end…so expect heavy spoilers.

But when he tackles something awful, like Battlefield Earth or that Wonder Woman TV pilot, he is at his most entertaining. I love listening to him use his mad critiquing skills to destroy the subject. He definitely has an eye for flaws that surpasses my own by far, but his criticims aren’t pompous or overzealous. Usually. He lets the badness of what he’s reviewing speak for itself, but also explains what it’s doing wrong and why. This allowed for some hilarious observations, which made for an entertaining video. Okay, it’s not perfect. He does occasionally get hung up on some stupid shit no one should care about.

-You have a goldmine for comedic criticism and you’re focusing on that? This trait will come back to haunt us- or just me…presumably his fans, which seem to be everyone else, don’t care.

Still, these kinds of videos are fun. Type 2 is not so entertaining. Type 2 is called Caustic Critics shouldn’t review good stuff. Because MartialHorror will rape them…sexually. Every once in awhile, SFdebris will break down something he likes, but make fun of it in the process. This isn’t immediately a recipe for disaster, but they end up consuming the majority of the screen-time. He’ll talk about “Alien” and I swear he’s either just explaining what’s going on, delivering useless info that everyone knows about or making snide remarks. It’s even worse with his “Star Trek” episode review of the pilot. He seems to be riffing it, but will admit that he likes it in the end. Some of his jabs just seem too mean spirited for this. Now he’s coming across as pompous and overzealous due to his excessive nitpicking. But Type 2 is God compared to Type 3.

What is type 3 called? Why the Beep would anyone watch this? You see, a big issue I have with the running time is that the bulk of it is dedicated to explaining what’s going on in the story. This makes it less of a review and more of an analysis. Except that’s not true either. It’s less of an analysis and more of a walkthrough. I don’t understand the appeal of someone explaining what’s going on in “Avatar: The Last Airbender”. I’ve seen the show, I know what happens.

          This is why I avoided his reviews of most of the Star Trek episodes. I’ve been slowly going through the series. There wont be a point if he tells me everything that happens in them.

If you’ve seen what hes reviewing, then so much of the video is unnecessary because…you’ve seen it. If you haven’t watched what he’s reviewing, then I hope you have no plans too because he’s going to spoil everything. You can argue that the Nostalgia Critic can be condemned for the same reason, but at least his videos are intended to be funny and I have no desire to watch half of the shit he reviews. SFdebris often reviews cult classics, some of which I haven’t seen. And Even though he will attempt something comedic every once in awhile, he’s usually dead serious. How does this tie in to type 3? Well some of his videos are mostly made up of his explaining what happens in what feels like every scene. He will occasionally give his opinion on something, but watching his review of “The Thing” felt like I was experiencing a 40 minute runthrough of what happened. That’s just so…boring. But that’s almost all it is. Thankfully, Type 4- which is called…huh, I forgot a title- is what Type 3 should be. His reviews of “Sunshine” and “The Day After” are better because he balances the walkthrough aspect with his own insights and observations. He makes some interest points and I’d rather hear his OPINIONS on the subject than hear his plot summaries which I can get off Wikipedia.

          So I’m cool with some of his reviews, but not so much with others. The problem is I can’t tell what it’s going to be until I’ve begun watching the video, and for some reason, I never learned how to press the stop button so I do the more sensible and easier thing which is to bitch about his videos.

So…for me, it’s just not worth it. But my gut tells me Im just not getting it. Fuck you, gut.. SFdebris has made a connection to a surprisingly big audience and they are clearly seeing something I don’t. Just as I see something you don’t in the appeal of killer zombie sushi having a musical number. I don’t care if that movie has nothing to do with the reviewer. I will plug it until everyone has seen it. I’m giving him a 2 star rating, but I’d still recommend you give him a shot. Maybe you will become one of his many fans too. If you’d like to watch his videos, he has a pretty epically designed website. He also has a youtube page, but it only contains trailers for his actual reviews. Please check out my website if you’d like to flame me until I turn gay…and follow me on twitter if you want to know who my next subject is…Dammit. Why do I always spoil it in the plug. This is why no one follows me…

          Anyway, that’s all I have to say. Remember my little graboids, these are only my opinions. I don’t expect you to agree. You asked me to review him fanboys. I didn’t ask myself to review him. Now I must return to the pitiful and sad domain known as my room in my parents basement. My name is MH- 

 

  • Edward Graham Peeler Jr.

    Yo, Blane, I’m an angry fan boy and I’m here to gang rape you. Yep.

    Kidding. I am a huge SF Debris fan. He is probably one of my favorite reviewers right now. BUT! I loved your review. Everything you said was true. You are absolutely right about the way he does things. And you were also very even handed when you spoke about him even though your not crazy about him and I appreciate that. I felt you were very fair.

    As for my feelings on Chuck, I think a lot of the summarizing he does doesn’t bother me for two reasons: 1) His reviews feel like he’s just a guy sitting in a booth at a diner or a bar talking about science fiction, which is something I love to talk about so I like that and 2) Regardless of love of sci-fi, I haven’t seen everything that’s out there so his spoilertastic reviews can be helpful if you say haven’t had a chance to check out Avatar the Last Airbender YET. And I have always felt that talking about or watching a review of a movie is never the same as actually watching the movie, so the spoliers don’t bother me.

    What do I not like about the guy? Well, two things you brought up that I agree are issues: the summarizing and the length. Even though the summarizing doesn’t bother me too much, it has been pointed out that that’s not reviewing. Your boys Asalieri and Afroblue have gone on record that that is a bad habit a lot of reviews get in. Afroblue in his RAR of Linkara pointed that Linkara doesn’t review the comic, he just reads which is absolutely right. I as an older fan Linkara find that his reviews do not age well with me because all he does is read it (and as time goes on I’m starting to think his opinions on comics are from outer space!) The Nostalgia Critic, Spoony, and many others especially Film Brain fall into that trap and they spoil the whole movie for you. Sometimes it doesn’t ruin the review like in the case of Doug and Spoony but in the case of Film Brain it’s really irritating. As Asa says its suppose to be a comprehensive opinion video. I think a lot of the times the reason Chuck spends so much time summarizing is because he himself is often unfamiliar with his subject matter since he takes many requests. For example, he is brand new to anime and so he admits himself that he doesn’t necessarily know what he’s talking about but he approaches it from the perspective as a sci-fi fan and provides cool insights….most of the time. I think his Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop, and Ghost In The Shell reviews are excellent. His Madoka Magica reviews however……only an anime newbie would give a show that is that much crap that much attention.

    As for the length, that can be a problem too. I find that I primarily watch him for sci-fi movies and shows that I am familiar with or am a fan of. I check out stuff he reviews that I am unfamiliar with as well but I have less drive to do so and part of that comes from the fact that I know he’s going to take a thousand years to talk about a show I don’t really care much for in the first place. A lot of times I’ll avoid his Doctor Who, Avatar, Avatar Kora, and Madoka Magica reviews because I am very unfamiliar with them or in the case of Madoka Magica am not interest at all and thus I just skip them and wait for him to review something I care about. I usually get to the videos of his I skip eventually and sometimes I’ll be pleasantly surprised but I guess he’s just not the best ambassador for a new show your on the fence about just because you know he’ll take 20 minutes to let you know whether he recommends it or not.

    Anyway, great review man. Looking forward to the Iron Liz review. Rock on Blane.