Hello, Spongey here.
6 Years ago, I did two posts looking at some of my screw ups. Yes, 6 years ago, back when I had only been doing this for like a year. I already had quite a few mistakes I wanted to own up to, and now it’s 2019.
…There’s more to cover. I’ve wanted to do a Part 3 to this for years now but one draft got lost so I just gave up. But during 2018, a l lot of my mistakes were haunting me. So I figured I’ve finally come back to my favorite subject: How much I suck!
All jokes aside, this one will be different. I only have a few fact based mistakes because those don’t bother me as much, and plus I’ve tried to make less of those. That and I keep forgetting which ones I’ve made.
This will be either focused on whole reviews that sucked or more abstract issues I have. Some of you may be worried about all the self flogging I keep doing but this is where that all ends.
I think after I have some of this off my chest, I’ll feel better and be ready to really move and jumping into a future with a better me, Some of these I’ve already moved on from but I need to address why they were a problem to begin with.
And hey, this may help some people wanting to get into reviewing, by showing them everything NOT to do. Because if I learned anything this past year, is that seeing the mistakes of others helps me learn how to grow more than looking at role models.
I’m weird like that. With that said, let’s see what I’ve managed to get wrong this time.
This, is Yet Another Look at my Screw Ups
10. The 41 Year Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sara Marshall and felt Superbad about it/The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
We’re starting with some fact mistakes so minor that I felt I would tie them. There’s another one after this but it’s a slightly bigger deal to me so here we are.
The first one shall be quick. The credits of 41 year old waste of time had a dance number I thought was a reference to the a similar one from The 40 Year Old Virgin. You know, the movie this is a parody of.
But nope, it’s a reference to Slumdog Millionaire. While you could say the style should have tipped me off, this movie has flat out nothing to do with Slumdog and I hadn’t seen it so of course I wouldn’t make the connection.
This kind of explains the Indian guy now though. This is an example of me screwing up only because of how stupid the film is. Still, should have looked it up a bit more.
The other one is more on me. In The Mortal Instruments, there’s a twist where it turns out Clary and her love interest were actually siblings, with their father being the villain.
Yeah. I said there I read up on the books to see how this is handled and I found out that it turns out the villain lied about the sibling so they hook up, making all that kind of moot. But I didn’t need to do that becaus…this was revealed in the movie.
Granted it as a clearly ADR’d at the last minute line, but it’s there as someone tells the villain to lie to them about this.
As weakly as the movie handles it, I should have caught it before I went on like that. You can thank Cinematic Excrement for catching that one. Now to be fair, Clary and Jace don’t find this out so that icky-ness is still there to some extent.
I’m still not sure why incest needed to be hinted at in a YA story to begin with but yeah, should have paid better attention this time. This is why watching the move once beforehand is a good thing.
Granted, it doesn’t always help but here it would have been a wise thing to do. So yeah, both dumb mistakes that are dumb even if the movies themselves are also quite dumb.
Side note, did the Shadowhunters show ever go into…all that? I only saw the pilot episode. It was better than the movie.
9. A Cinderella Story
I somehow managed to make two mistakes in this one, and a commenter was one the one to point it out. Yeah,I didn’t expect to be called out for making a mistake in a Cinderella Story review either.
Anyway, when Hilary Duff shows up at the ball, the Alpha Bitch goes “Love the dress, hate her” or something along those lines. I took that to mean she knew this was Hilary and so I added to the list of reasons the film’s set up is so contrived.
And while the commenter did freely admit this was a guess, looking back it is kind of clear that she means she is jealous of whoever is in that dress and doesn’t know who it is.
While I still think this could have been shown much better (I mean, how else is someone gonna interpret it based on the execution?), I do think it’s pretty obvious in hindsight. The movie may be contrived, but it’s not THAT bad. For the most part.
The other mistake is near the end where i say that the male friend ended up with the Alpha Bitch during the wrap up. Nope. She did try to go after him but he rejects her and goes for some goth chick instead.
This one goes by pretty fast but Wikipedia mentions it so this is another case where I should have caught it. The latter mistake doesn’t matter too much but if I’m gonna make a big deal out of something,I should think about it a bit more.
And I watched the movie beforehand this time and I thought over some of the other stuff I called out,so there’s no real excuse this time. But yeah,that does it for the fact mistakes.
Now onto the less excusable stuff,starting with a few entire reviews I gotta talk about.
8. Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie
A review this somewhat recent has no right to be this bad. I can see why I didn’t mind it at the time but looking back it’s almost as annoying as the film itself.
It’s one of those times where I should have seen the movie first so I could list think of ways to vary up my complaints. My main problem with the movie is that most of the scenes barely any humor.
And while I did try to say more, that’s really all I said. I kept getting annoyed at the lack of substance and as a result I get annoyed reading it. It felt like I couldn’t find more to really say about it.
Granted, there’s not you really can say once you’ve established the films basic flaws so there wasn’t much point in this one. At least this got a strong reaction out of me, which puts it above other reviews I suppose. However, this one got flat out annoying because I keep repeating myself.
But on top of that, at the start I say the show isn’t my thing just based on some clips. I likely was jus trying to say my impressions but I feel some random clips aren’t enough for me to totally say it’s not appealing.
I should have said it doesn’t seem like it could be my thing, which is distinctly different. I did explain myself better in the Worst Films I reviewed in 2014 list but the review itself still could have been so much better.
This entry is the most filler-y but I feel this example of me being repetitive needed to be called out. There are worse reviews are far as lacking substance goes but this one was more annoying than some of the other examples.
I get what I was going for, but if I saw the movie beforehand, I may have either skipped this one or put more effort into it. Either way, it’s pretty bad.
7. A Serbian Film
….I wasn’t ready. Now I actually like this review more than the Tim & Eric one, but frankly the sections I did on it in other posts served as far better reviews of the movie.
Now to be fair, this was a request/dare from someone and if it weren’t for that I may have passed on it. It was late 2012, I was still trying to figure out how not to angry at children’s films.
What made me think I could do an exploitation arts-y movie? The outcome of this was really predictable. Of course I’d flip over the gross shit and focus on that.
I did the best I could but I should have done this a few years alter doing more reviews and watching other reviewers like Brad Jones who do this stuff more often.
Reacting in an over the top way Is exactly what the movie wants and exactly what every other reviewer would do. Pretty much any other reviewer who got to this before me did a better job.
Again, I later did a better job of explaining why it sucks without getting weird about it. I explained why the gross stuff fails and why it certainly does not help the story at all and why the movie is pretentious trash to me.
I haven’t touched anything like this since then, not even outside of the blog because I think so many other reviewers do it better than I could. I do know more about this stuff and why this example seems to fail.
But I’m still not into this kind of thing and really only dive in sometimes, and stick to what I’m used to. I branch out sometimes but as far as actually reviewing movies, I leave shit like this to the experiments who can get more out of it.
But if I do ever come back to this kind of movie, I will do a better job and try to explain myself better instead of getting angry at the gross parts. …But yeah, this move still sucks, even if A Frozen Christmas gave me more respect for it.
And now for the real problems I have/had.
6. Getting too angry
This one is somewhat low because I don’t think I’m as bad with this as you might think but it’s still worth talking about.
I started the scene by scene stuff in 2012 when the whole angry reviewing thing was thankfully not as big, as even the ones who started it were trying to be more intelligent. However, I still enjoyed accentuating the negative here and there.
Some of my early reviewers like Inspector Gadget 2 had me getting worked up simply because that was still to be expected in a sense. I’ve never really faked my anger so much as I kind of exaggerated it a tad for the sake of humor.
There are some reviews I’ll come back to and wonder why I felt the need to get upset over a movie. Usually my point still stands but I should have given that caps lack key a break.
I just think in you should only get angry when the product deserves it, or when it’s funny. If you get angry too often, no one will take you seriously because you do it too often and for the dumbest reasons.
That said, some of my angry reviews work like Miss March. Perhaps it was over the top but it was at least funny and it was quite fun to write for me. But otherwise I try to have fun with my negative reviews while not blowing a gasket.
Getting angry can be fun but try not to overdo it. The angry reviewer shtick is no longer cool so don’t have it bleed into otherwise normal reviews. My general review of Man of Steel had me randomly being angry at a thing that actually wasn’t too bad simply because everyone else was doing it.
There’s a time and place for anger but sometimes I overdid it a bit. You may notice my reviewers are a bit more chill these days with me having a bit more fun with the bad movies, because I feel I’m just better off that way.
It’s dumb to get angry at a Pup Star movie for example, I’d rather just snark at it and explain why it sucks. I’m far from anti angry/negativity (frankly I’d rather have a balance instead of being a one trick pony) but going too far is really annoying.
But speaking of doing things because others did it…
5. Copying from other critics
Okay, copying might be a strong word but there’s no doubt I’ve been “inspired” by others in the past. In the reviewing world it’s impossible to really stand totally so of course most people who don’t have a crazy gimmick will take inspiration from somewhere.
The problem arises when you act too much like your inspirations or don’t really add anything that new. I do tend to like certain things reviewers I like do enough to do them myself and sometimes that results in me being a tad too much like them.
I covered some of this in the anger section where I’d get worked up over things because others did. Then you have a few of the early TV Reviews which I will had a certain Enter influence, before I branched out and complained about other problems. Although episodes with a lot of annoyance/unfair treatment of characters do still get to me the most since I judge based on enjoyment and that stuff manages to have more direct annoyance to me than simply a weak story.
And while this wasn’t on my blog, over on DA I did do a bit overboard with the notepages and such. I don’t have against doing one sometimes but now I want my DA focused on strictly review stuff where I can explain myself more. I also saw how flawed those notepages are by design when A Frozen Christmas couldn’t even get 30 points, WTF?!
Nowadays when I borrow an idea, I’ll either do my own spin on it or will try to review it in my own way. I think the Bad Episodes of Cartoons I Like lists hopefully succeed for this reason.
I think the reviewing community is moving past that phase where people just copy whoever the most popular guy is. There’s always going to be cheap copycats but I’m seeing people do their own thing, even if they may cover similar subject matter to others. In general, at least.
My focus on bring more critical than funny does prevent me from doing anything too crazy but I do try to just review things however I want, without copying others. At least not intentionally.
Even in the Scene by Scene reviews, I ain’t going full NC (thank god) anymore. So yeah, there’s nothing wrong with being inspired but you should do that without just being a total copy.
Sticking to someone else’s shtick is just going to be a weakness in the long run and this is something I’ve really had to learn overtime. Regardless of how well I’m doing, I’m at least trying to do things in the way I personally want to do them.
And yeah, next one.
4. Overly Long Reviews
I’ll fittingly make this one short as it’s kind of self-explanatory. There was a period in my first few years where for some reason a lot of my reviews where way too long.
It was mostly the scene by scene reviews, as I’d quote things too often and take too long to sum things up. Plus the final thoughts sections were also too long.
How long is too long is subjective I guess but a lot of these did not need to go on as long as they did. The 2013 reviews had this problem the most, I guess to make those 77 reviews really count.
This also applied to my lists as I would sometimes spoil too much.. The Phineas and Ferb Season 3 list had this the worst and it’s why future lists of that kind tended to be more vague when I describe things.
You can also be too short but that hasn’t been as much of a problem for me. Long reviews can work if the reviewer can hold your attention for long periods of time and even if I am one of them, most of my long reviews did not need to be so lengthy.
My whole thing of always watching the movie first does mean I can plan ahead and truncate things when I need to instead of repeating myself or anything like that.
Maybe some find still my stuff too long but I’m generally better at keeping the length of these under control and making sure most of what’s there needs to be.
It’s a fairly hard balance to strike but hopefully it’s not as bad as it used to be.
3. Dull/Pointless Reviews
Here’s one you should all be aware of. This is part of the reason I keep changing how often I do these Scene by Scene reviews to begin with.
The main issue with that format is that it relies on the subject matter being interesting enough to recap or the reviewer being good enough to recap it while still adding jokes/insight.
For me, I kind of need the material to be interesting/varied enough in terms of what happens in it, be it good or bad. This is why I generally watch the movie once beforehand to see if it is worth it now.
Somehow it took me until 2016 to realize that. Sure, it was fun sometimes to see my first reactions to things like Movie 43 or Jack & Jill but then of course you have the many times I didn’t know the movie would give me nothing to work with.
Fun Size, Silver Surfer and even Punch Drunk Love are just a few example of reviews where I simply didn’t say much in the recap portion because there wasn’t much to say.
A far more talented/funnier reviewer than me can make stuff like that work but as you can tell, I’m not more talented/funnier. This can seep into more recent reviews like Elektra where I didn’t have as much say to say I thought but I needed to a bad real movie to fill up the month.
If I had watched the film first for ever review, I may not have even made it 100, much like 300. Although my dumb 4 day schedule that I still don’t know how I kept up for that long played a part in this as well.
Not every review can be of a big movie that gives me a lot to say of course but the amount of dull pointless reviews is still bad. Some of them only existed as tie ins to upcoming release which I’ve done less of and made sure the tie ins I do are good ones.
Like most things on here, I’m not perfect now but I at least don’t pad the blog out with these dull reviews as much anymore. I don’t mind a filler review sometimes but I did far too many of these.
I now try a bit harder to make sure I can say something about the movie before I bother to review it, and don’t flood this place with too many dull pointless filler reviews.
And yeah, that’s all I can say on the matter.
2. Lack of Proofreading
Here’s a totally new screw up I’ve never brought up before! ….Yeah, I’ve talked about my various spelling/grammar errors before, even back in the first screw ups post.
I think it’s time to really discuss how those even happen. They’re all mostly just dumb typos and I do indeed know how to spell everything I screw up, at least for the most part.
I know that goes without saying for most people but some don’t always get it and I just needed to say that. There’s some mistakes that were real like how the whole Its/It’s thing that most people screw up sometimes. Plus, I haven’t always nailed every single word in my early years.
I’m actually a pretty fast typer and I tend to just type without really looking too hard at the keyboard and you can see the results of that. I’m still not sure how a lot of these mistakes even happen sometimes, as they can get weird with me forgetting key words.
And as the title of this section says, another reason I didn’t exactly proofread these posts. Maybe I’ll see some stuff right before it goes up or I’ll reread some posts for fun and then go to edit them because the errors annoyed me.
I have no clue why it took me until last year to read through these a bit before bothering to post them. I don’t like to read over my work too much once but now I kind of have to put a little more quality control in these, especially since it’s what I put a lot of my time into.
I tend to do things kind of quickly so that’s how these kind of happens. I still have to do it a bit harder but at least I’m putting more effort into proofreading these.
Mistakes are going to happen no matter what, it’s that I need to catch them before to post these for all 2 of you to see. Especially the big posts that really matter to me.
So hopefully now you get this stuff happens and that I will try harder in the future. Even if I’m still not perfect, at least I’m taking the steps to make sure dumb mistakes like happen like often.
Because my only other option is having a proofreader and yeah, that wouldn’t look great on me. Granted I don’t look great now but I’m trying dammit. Anyway, expect more of that proofreading in the future.
(By the way, WordPress has a Proofread feature I do use but it doesn’t catch every kind of mistake so there you go) (Also, I carefully went through this section but watch an ironic mistake slip through anyway)
And our final screw up we’re looking at is from..
1. Grown Ups 2
…This is going to be awkward to discuss. No, I’m not talking about that tribute at the end to someone who turned to be a sex offender. As embarrassing as that is, I couldn’t have known that at the time.
It’ll seem kind of small and dumb but it’s something that looks pretty bad on me. Okay, this is back when I’d put pictures from the film in the post pretty often. Like, all the time. It wasn’t always needed.
You may recall that whole “She’s Nice” gag which would involve a picture of an attractive woman. That in itself Is just a dumb gag so stuff like that being in this review shouldn’t be a huge deal in general.
But the thing is, I sort of criticize the movie for the fan service a fair bit and yet here I am, playing right into it. I can’t tell you exactly what was going in my head in 2014 but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t being a tad meatheaded when I threw those pictures in the post.
It’s worth noting this post is one of my most viewed and based on the phrases people tend to google to find this blog….yeah, I think things are adding up. (That happens a lot see also Scooby Doo of all things) It’s mostly just typical stupidity on my part but the blatant hypocrisy is just…bad.
I generally don’t think the “She’s Nice” stuff is too bad given it was mostly for laughs but things like this do cross a bit of a line. It’s far from the worst example of this sort of thing (and hey, most of it was when I was a literal teenager. God, I feel old already) but it’s still bad.
As I said, it seems small and dumb but it’s another thing I did since other reviewers either did this sort of thing or made these sort of jokes. Most of them I can view as sort of harmless but some get rather creepy and in 2019, that looks so much worse.
It’s another one of those I’ve cut back on as I’ve grown up. Again, some of is just jokes but some of it is more creepy than truly funny. Either way, this example from this review was just short sighted and hypocritical on my part.
This is the last one we’re discussing because it’s the one I was the least comfortable admitting, while all this other stuff I’ve talked about before on some level.
But if there’s anything I’ve done plenty of lately, it’s look inside myself and admit mistakes I’ve previously didn’t even want to address. I’m not sure how big of a deal this one was but it took a bit to really address so that’s why it’s number one for me.
But just like everything else here, I’m admitting it and have basically moved past it. Hopefully I can keep that in the future.
And those were even more of my screw ups. I likely won’t do another of these, as I’ll just address any upcoming mistakes in other places. I’ll admit I can be too hard on myself but all of these are things I do need to work and I’m glad it’s all out there.
I won’t pretend like I’ll ever be totally perfect or totally 100% fix every mistake I’ve made but I’m always taking steps to improve in every way I can. Some of it is easier to fix than others and it can be hard to tell what really needs fixing or what I’m just over thinking.
But most of these are indeed problems I’m hopefully moving past. I feel like I’m repeating myself so we’ll wrap this up. Moving past your flaws is not always easy but hopefully you can admit them and try to fix them as best as you can.
You won’t please everyone so it’s best to try to be as good you personally want to be. You should still listen to others and see if they have a point about how you present yourself but the most important thing is if YOU think you’re doing well.
In short, fix your flaws as best as you can but don’t always sweat it too much because you’ll just go crazy if you try to tweak every single little thing someone has a problem with.
Every year it seems like I’m learning something new that helps me improve in some way and this will continue into the future. I’ll never be perfect and I’ll be making jokes about myself but I’ll try to be generally happy with who I am while still keeping all of these mistakes in mind so I can move past them.
…So yeah, I suck but I’ll try to suck a tiny bit less going forward. Hope you enjoyed this bit of self loathing and let’s make this year a far better one now that I’m getting past all this stuff.