The following is a blog (of sorts) where I discuss movie-related and site-related thoughts that I can't express within the confines of a normal review.  Some of them may be responses to e-mail I've received, trailers I've seen, or just an overall theme not specific to a movie.  Most of these writings are meant strictly for me, but I do consider them of potential interest to those of you that love movies or are just interested in the running of the site in general.  I welcome any feedback you might have on any of the subjects listed in this (or any other) section of my site.

2/9/2006 -- Should I cut Vin Diesel some slack?

Apparently, my one-star review of Vin Diesel's The Pacifier touched a nerve in one of the readers of my site.  I re-read my review to see if I was being deliberately insulting, which I can be from time to time, and am a bit at a loss to find out what the big deal is.  Before I get to the point, I suppose I should show you the e-mail I received:

"okay listen dude what your saying about vin diesel in the pacifer was just plain wrong. Yes maybe it was not like the rest of his films him being a badass. But you need to freakin know THE MOVIE WAS FOR KIDS my little daughter whos 5 loves the movie watches it every day. Also i for one love Vin Diesel not only is he good looking but he is a great actor so i dont mean to flame ya but it pisses me off when pepole talk bad about vin diesel i mean he tries so hard. He hasnt won barely anything for his efforts too so lay off NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR NEGATIVE THINGS ABOUT THERE FAV. ACTORS AND MOVIES!"

I suppose I should start out by stating that, if people don't want to hear negative things about their favorite actors and movies, they really shouldn't bother reading opinions of movie critics. Basically, the task of the critic is to watch a movie, relating to others what they thought about the film.  If the film worked for them, the critic is able to articulate clearly as to why, and if it didn't, why it did not.  If movie critics only gave praise to every movie they saw, what would be the value in his or her opinion?  Obviously, there are going to be negative reviews in addition to positive, or you'd never gauge the critic's personal tastes and make a sound judgment as to whether or not to see the movie.

I don't necessarily agree that The Pacifier is a children's film.  True, there are some films aimed squarely at kids, but I think The Pacifier would more likely be categorized as a "family film".  A family film, by my definition, is a film that is aimed at entertaining a family with children, rather than just entertaining only the kids. 

Like movies, my website is also aimed at a particular type of audience.  I haven't done much research as to the demographics of who is reading my site, but it's a safe bet that a miniscule amount of five-year-olds actually bother scanning the internet for the latest reviews of potential future viewings.  Consequently, I don't write my reviews from a five-year-old perspective.  Sorry, preschool kids, you are S.O.L. if you are looking for recommendations from me.

My review did not attack Vin Diesel in any way.  Perhaps I attacked the screenwriters and studio execs that came up with such a vehicle, but as far as Vin Diesel goes, he remained completely unscathed by the vitriol that I unleashed on The Pacifier with a vengeance.  My belief is that Diesel only consented to the movie in order to soften his image somewhat, and perhaps more realistically, to get paid. 

Cutting right down to the heart of the matter, The Pacifier flat out sucks (no pun intended), and nothing that Vin Diesel could do in the film would have changed that fact.  It is poorly written, horribly plotted and about as numbskulled as family films go.  You may not agree, and obviously your daughter doesn't, but I bet Vin Diesel probably thinks it sucks as well.  Let's think about it for a second -- do you think Vin Diesel himself would actually watch this movie if someone else starred in it?

Sorry to tell you, I'm going to continue talking about movies, what I like about them and what I don't.  If you want me to stop badmouthing Vin Diesel's movies, then he's going to have to start making good ones again.  The last good film he was involved with was The Iron Giant, a "family film" that Diesel might actually be proud of contributing to, and better than anything he's done since.

2006 Vince Leo