I Don’t Care What The Critics Are Saying, Five Nights At Freddy’s Was Great For This Former FNAF Player- Armessa Movie News

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I don’t care what critics say – I enjoyed the new Five Nights at Freddy’s movie.

I grew up watching horror playthroughs. One of the first games I ever watched someone else play on YouTube was Telltale’s The Walking DeadThe video game later got me interested in watching the TV show, The Walking Dead until its emotional finale. But from that first playthrough, I started to become fascinated with horror games, and as my love for horror movies and TV shows grew, so did my obsession with horror games and the playthroughs that would come from YouTubers.Regardless, Five Nights at Freddy’s was one of those games that I watched many YouTubers play. And I wound up playing it on several occasions, from the first to the 2021 release of Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach (as buggy as it was). And when I found out there would be a Five Nights at Freddy’s movie, I freaked out. 

I kept up with every FNAF trailer and every update, and when it was finally released, I went out to see it. And yes, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I will explain my reaction– and why it’s alright that critics might not have liked it. Although for me, it was perfect. 

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Josh Hutcherson Killed It In The Main Role 

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Why Five Nights At Freddy’s Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score Is So Much Higher Than Its Critics Score – Armessa Movie News

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Summary

  • Critics and fans have mixed opinions about the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie, with critics giving it a low rating but fans loving its faithfulness to the source material.
  • Critics find the horror elements in the film lackluster and not impactful enough, while average moviegoers appreciate its toned-down horror.
  • Longtime fans of the game feel that the wait for the movie was worth it, as it captures the lore and spirit of the source material and satisfies their nostalgia.


The Five Nights at Freddy’s movie has divided critics and fans, evidenced by the discrepancy between the film’s Rotten Tomatoes scores. The critics Tomatometer currently stands at a rotten 27%, while the audience score is a much more favorable 88%meaning Five Nights at Freddy’s audience score is nearly triple its critic score. Judging by viewer reviews, it’s clear fans are excited to see a faithful adaptation of the Five Nights at Freddy’s video game, even if critics don’t see its merit. And the Five Nights at Freddy’s director has already teased a sequel, so there may be more content on the horizon.

Five Nights at Freddy’s was released in October 2023 after being in development since 2015. The film is based on the video game franchise of the same name, which launched in 2014. In the Five Nights at Freddy’s video games, players must survive at a family pizza restaurant — Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza — as they fend off its violent animatronic mascots. Over the years, lore from the games has been revealed and expanded in sequels, and now this lore has finally made the jump to the big screen. Critics may not understand the excitement, but longtime fans are clearly pleased with the movie adaptation.

Audiences Love Five Nights At Freddy’s Accurate Lore & Tone

Fans of the Five Nights at Freddy’s games have positive things to say about the movie, and their Rotten Tomatoes reviews praise its faithfulness to the source material. Reviewers note that the film gracefully captures the tone of the games and stays true to the gameplay. One reviewer writes that the film is “filled with lore for all fans of the game,” while another adds that “it was great to see a lot of elements from the games.” It’s clear established fans are the intended audience for Five Nights at Freddy’s — and that may be why these strengths didn’t woo critics.

Critics find the film to be lackluster, and many are disappointed in its horror elements. James Berardinelli from Reelviews writes, “I was more bored than scared,” while Rafer Guzman from Newsday notes that “the scares are too mild to make an impact.” The toned-down horror doesn’t seem to bother average moviegoers, with several praising the movie for being available to a younger audience. Reviewers also claim that Five Nights at Freddy‘s is a fun viewing experience even without knowledge of the games’ lore. However, the anticipation and built-in fan base are clearly factoring into the movie’s reception.

Five Nights At Freddy’s Was Worth The Wait For Longtime FansThis collage shows Mike and Spring Bonnie from the FNAF movie.

Five Nights at Freddy’s was in development for nearly eight years, so game fans were anticipating the film for almost a decade. When the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie finally came out, it seems it was worth the wait. A major talking point in Rotten Tomatoes reviews is that the movie builds on the nostalgia for the original game — and that nostalgia has likely only grown over the years. While critics are less wowed, fans of the game appear to love the adaptation. With Five Nights at Freddy‘s end-credits scene hinting at a new villain, a sequel seems likely. Hopefully, moviegoers will be less divided over a follow-up.

Source: Rotten Tomatoes, Reelviews, Newsday

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HBO Used Bots to Fight Critics on Twitter, New Lawsuit Reveals – IndieWire – Armessa Movie News

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It’s not easy to deal with a negative review. But while most people shrug it off and move forward, HBO programming chief Casey Bloys employed a…unique approach. On multiple occasions, Bloys orchestrated the use of fake accounts to troll the critics on Twitter.

Between June 2020 and April 2021, as first reported by Rolling Stone, Bloys and his SVP of drama programming Kathleen McCaffrey repeatedly discussed using burner accounts to directly combat critics of their shows on Twitter. According to the publication, there were at least six different text-message exchanges between the two executives that involved using a fake Twitter account to harshly respond to TV critics who gave negative reviews to HBO shows. The messages were reviewed and verified via their metadata.

The texts were provided to Rolling Stone by Sully Temori, a former HBO staffer who filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against HBO, McCaffrey, HBO head of drama Francesca Orsi, and Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye and two producers of his showThe Idol.” Temori, who joined HBO in 2015 as a temp, became an executive assistant in 2017, and then script coordinator on “The Idol” in August 2021 before ultimately getting laid off in October 2021, says that he was asked by McCaffrey in June 2020 to create the fake accounts she and Bloys discussed.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 14: Shawn Levy speaks during Netflix's "All The Light We Cannot See" Tastemaker at San Vicente Bungalows on October 14, 2023 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Natasha Campos/Getty Images for Netflix)

Bloys approached McCaffrey in April 2020 with the idea to respond to a negative tweet from Vulture TV critic Kathryn VanArendonk about Season 1 of HBO’s “Perry Mason” reboot. (They ultimately did not respond to her tweet.)

In April 2021, a newly-created account from “Texas mom and herbalist” Kelly Shepard tweeted in response to Rolling Stone TV critic Alan Sepinwall’s negative review of HBO series “The Nevers.”

“Alan is always predictably safe and scared in his opinions,” the response reads. The language in the tweet matches the directions McCaffrey allegedly texted to Temori, and the account’s profile picture is a stock photo used on several business websites, according to Rolling Stone.

The Kelly Shepard account also replied harshly to several other critics who gave negative reviews to “The Nevers,” including New York Times chief TV critic James Poniewozik. It again targeted Sepinwall after he linked to a mixed review of “Mare of Easttown.” Aside from the tweets, Temori also allegedly used anonymous accounts to defend HBO shows against negative comments in Hollywood trade publication Deadline’s comments section.

One source inside HBO told IndieWire there is no concern inside the organization over the tweets or the Deadline comments.

Bloys will get his turn to address the article tomorrow. HBO and Max will present their 2024 slates to media (including IndieWire — and critics!) the morning of Thursday, November 2. Bloys will share clips from his upcoming content and then host a Q&A. IndieWire is told Bloys will address the Rolling Stone piece head-on, and field at least 25 minutes worth of open questions overall. The parts of the Rolling Stone story directly related to the pending litigation cannot be discussed in any level of detail; the tweets are not in the lawsuit.

Temori’s disclosure of the tweets comes as part of a broader lawsuit in which he alleges he was harassed and discriminated against by his bosses after disclosing a mental health diagnosis. Temori says he was forced to babysit rescue kittens in Orsi’s office while she joked on the phone he was playing with them to “improve his mental health.” He says he was also sexually harassed due to his sexual orientation, with one unnamed employee allegedly slapping his butt and “commenting about personal and sexual matters.” The lawsuit alleges he was told by the HBO executives to take the “Idol” job as a better opportunity, only to face harassment from star Tesfaye and other producers before getting laid off.

“HBO intends to vigorously defend against Mr. Temori’s allegations. We are not going to comment on select exchanges between programmers and errant tweets,” an HBO spokesperson said in a statement shared with IndieWire. “We look forward to a full and fair resolution of this dispute. In the meantime, we wish Mr. Temori, a former HBO employee, well in his future endeavors.”

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Critics Have Seen Five Nights At Freddy’s, And They’re Not Holding Back In Their Opinions Of The ‘Sanitized’ Horror Video Game Adaptation- Armessa Movie News

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This year has been a good one for video game adaptations, with titles such as The Last of Us and The Super Mario Bros. Movie hitting our screens, but one of the flicks we’ve been most excited about this Halloween season is one that fans have been waiting on for nearly a decade. Five Nights at Freddy’s has been released on streaming and theatrically, but critics had the opportunity to screen the horror game adaptation early, and they’re not holding back on their assessment of Freddy Fazbear’s world of animatronic tragedy.

Emma Tammi has brought Scott Cawthorn’s brainchild to life in the big-screen adaptation, which stars Josh Hutcherson and Matthew Lillard. Fans are familiar with the lore — and if you’ve never played the video games, here’s everything you need to know — so let’s get straight to the critics, starting with CinemaBlend’s review of Five Nights at Freddy’s. Our own Dirk Libbey rates the film just 1.5 stars out of 5, saying it’s only slightly better than actually being murdered by robots at a birthday party. He continues: 

It turns out, that if you were to actually see a giant fuzzy bear robot stalk a human being, it would look really silly. As a result, the ‘violent’ and almost entirely bloodless horror moments in this PG-13 horror movie come across as more comic than carnage. It would be one thing if that were intentional, but everything else about the movie’s tone doesn’t indicate that’s the case. The franchises’ trademark jump scares are surprisingly minimal, which may be a good thing for most movie audiences, but if there were any place such things would feel justified, it seems like this would be it.

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Yet Another A-List Netflix Thriller Getting the Cold Shoulder from Critics- Armessa Movie News

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It’s becoming a bit of a running gag that Netflix’s highest-profile projects never tend to find much favor among critics regardless of the talent assembled on either side of the camera, but the more often you hear a joke, the less funny it becomes. Despite being utterly stacked on all fronts, Leave the World Behind is shaping up to be the latest disappointment from the streaming service.

Of course, based entirely on its easily-marketable premise and ridiculously talented roster of talent, the literary adaptation is going to be a huge hit when it premieres on Nov. 22. And yet, the first wave of reactions have hardly been enthusiastic, which isn’t even a surprise at this stage when Netflix more often than not fails to maximize the riches at its disposal from both a budgetary and performative stance.

Image via Netflix

Let’s not forget that we’re talking about an apocalyptic thriller written and directed by Golden Globe-winning Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail, with two-time Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali and one-time Oscar victor Julia Roberts joined by four-time nominee Ethan Hawke and Kevin Bacon, never mind a certain Barack Obama serving as a producer.

The story finds a family vacation on Long Island being rudely interrupted by a pair of strangers carrying ominous warnings of a mysterious blackout, plunging the makeshift unit into a crisis as the world begins to look as though it’s crumbling all around them.

In any other hands, you’d expect Leave the World Behind to score rave reactions from all corners, but the irony is that nobody should be surprised in the slightest that its status as a Netflix original means there was always a high chance it would underwhelm.

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A Terrific Horror Movie From 9 Years Ago Was Unnecessarily Panned By Critics – Armessa Movie News

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Summary

  • Lower-budget horror movies like As Above, So Below often receive bad reviews, but this film is an underappreciated gem worth revisiting years later.
  • Critics didn’t see the cinematic value in the film because it followed the found-footage trend and tried to cram too much plot in a short runtime.
  • As Above, So Below is underrated because it offers a unique setting in the claustrophobic catacombs of Paris and combines found-footage horror with archeological adventure and historical elements.


It’s not uncommon for lower-budget horror movies to receive bad reviews, but 2014’s As Above, So Below remains an underappreciated little gem that is much better than its critical legacy suggests. The horror genre, which has been around since the dawn of cinema, has a winning formula where films are produced with smaller budgets and then make a decent return on their investment by promising fans innovative scares and stories. Critics, however, rarely see these movies as cinematic classics.

Some films in the genre become instant favorites, such as the modern horror movie classics Midsommar, The Conjuring, and Hereditary. These films break through the horror movie noise to become instantly re-watchable. While many other horror movies receive negative reviews and are mostly forgotten, As Above, So Below provides an interesting twist on a familiar trope and is worth revisiting years later.

Related: As Above, So Below’s Twist Ending Explained


As Above, So Below’s Poor Reviews Explained

When As Above, So Below was released in 2014, the movie was almost universally panned by critics. Starring Perdita Weeks and Ben Feldman, the film was chalked up as merely the next in a long line of found-footage films, which were becoming a tired trend at the time. Audiences were growing weary of the horror subgenre after so much inundation of such films in the 16 years following the success of The Blair Witch Project.

Reviews of As Above, So Below also commonly claimed that the film tried to cram too much plot and exposition of mysterious history in a 93-minute film. As Above, So Below is about much more than a chase through the Paris underground, and audiences and critics got lost in the intertwining stories between myth and fiction. In the end, much of the criticism came back to the point that the setting of the Paris catacombs was the only original and interesting part of the film.

Related: Why As Above, So Below’s Title Isn’t Based On What You Think

Why As Above, So Below Is So Underrated

Perdita Weeks in a cave in As Above So Below.

While it’s considered one of the best-found footage horror movies, As Above, So Below did not break any ground with the subgenre. There are, however, a number of elements of the film that remain underrated and earn it a re-watch to better appreciate its story. The fact that the main antagonists in the story are trapped within the claustrophobic catacombs of Paris is a new spin on films like The Blair Witch Project filmed in open spaces. It also gives the audience a real feeling of the space caving in on them, heightening the fear the characters have while trying to escape.

What As Above, So Below also does so well is to combine the traditional found-footage horror genre with an Indiana Jones-style archeological adventure, as characters Scarlett and George search for the fabled philosophers’ stone. The film also draws on numerous literary references, including Dante’s Inferno, as well as historical elements of the Knights Templar and Gnosticism. Unlike traditional found-footage films that focus on a number of teens or uninteresting characters just avoiding bad guys, As Above, So Below adds a mystic, historical layer to a familiar genre and a creepy plot.

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 5 Women Rock Critics Reflect On Music Journalism’s Misogyny And How It’s Changing- Armessa Music News

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PLEASE ALLOW THIS ASIAN AMERICAN music writer to articulate this at the level it deserves: Egregious racism and misogyny have a long history in rock & roll — from those on the industry side who have appropriated Black artists’ work to those at the top of the publications who dictated what has been featured. The gatekeepers have always been a boys’ club — specifically a white boys’ club.

Among the earliest influential U.S. music magazines, Rolling Stone was helmed by Jann Wenner from 1967 to 2018; Barry Kramer launched Creem in 1969 and published it until his death in 1981; and there was Spin, run by Bob Guccione Jr. from 1985 to 1997. So, many of us weren’t surprised when RS founder Wenner said he didn’t include women and Black artists in his recent book, The Masters, because they just don’t “articulate at that level” philosophically like the white male artists he highlighted.

Althea Legaspi

Photo: Andy Argyrakis

Despite the narrow lens from which decades of music magazines were culled, women and BIPOC voices have been there, often behind the scenes, doing the work.

The historic bias speaks for itself, but there’s still a lack of diversity across newsrooms; a Digiday analysis published this year found several major U.S. publishers are still hiring primarily white people. Worldwide, women represent only 22 percent of the 180 top editors across 240 brands, Reuters Institute found.

Yet, despite the narrow lens from which decades of music magazines were culled, women and BIPOC voices have been there, often behind the scenes, doing the work.

Even in the early days, women were changing the paradigm. As Jessica Hopper wrote in Vanity Fair, in RS’s first decade, women made inroads on the masthead. In Detroit in 1972, Jaan Uhelszki was one of the women who defined Creem; and in 2022, she resurrected it alongside the co-founder’s son, JJ Kramer. In the Nineties on the East Coast, Kandia Crazy Horse covered Southern rock with a feminist sensibility and an eye toward its African American roots; she edited the 2004 anthology Rip It Up: The Black Experience in Rock ’n’ Roll; and she’s an artist herself, making what she calls Native Americana music. In the late Nineties on the West Coast, author and Yale professor Daphne Brooks co-launched what would become the template for the definitive music-critic/journalist event of the year: Pop Con; her recent book, Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound, was published in 2021. Brittany Spanos wrote for RS in 2014 as a freelancer, and rose to senior writer in 2019. In addition to writing groundbreaking covers, beginning with Cardi B in 2017, she’s helped shape our coverage, pushing RS’s focus to include younger and newer artists.

As for me, growing up as a first-generation Filipina American, music was the language through which I most connected with my family, and later, as a defiant teen with conservative parents, music was rebellion, freedom, and community I found at indie record stores and sneaking out to concerts. Despite not seeing people like myself on covers or in stories, let alone penning the articles, I wanted to write about music. I got my chance when I became the first woman editor-in-chief of the magazine Illinois Entertainer. In 2005, when I joined the Chicago Tribune’s music-critic team, I was one of two women and the only one of color (the late, great Chrissie Dickinson, who began before me, primarily covered country). And I helmed a “Women Rock” column for the now-defunct zine UR Chicago. From sexism experienced from interviewees and co-workers to fighting for more than what my friends and I dubbed “the vagina assigna” — because the choice assignments were often gifted to men — it wasn’t an easy or comfortable journey (and it’s still painful to recall). But I had allies and mentors, including men, without whose support I wouldn’t be here. Today, I’m senior news editor at RS.

There are many more women who forged a path and enriched coverage in a predominantly male space — and every day, exciting young women, BIPOC, and underrepresented voices enter the fold. I wish I could include them all here. For now, I’m honored to share the stories and insights of Brooks, Uhelszki, Crazy Horse, and Spanos.

Quotes have been edited and condensed for clarity.

BROOKS: My parents were civil rights educators — they escaped the Jim Crow South in 1950 to the San Francisco Bay Area. Being able to hear music in the house, from my parents’ big-band and bebop music to my older brother’s passion for the Temptations to my sister’s American Bandstand, Soul Train era — [it all] trickled down to me. But then, I’m going to integrated schools, discovering punk rock and New Wave. Nobody wanted to talk to me about that in my house, even though I was so deeply passionate about the Police and the Clash.

I start going to Tower Records — moving from the bins over to the magazine racks, and that’s where I discover Rolling Stone and Hit Parade and Creem, but really Rolling Stone. Those covers were so intriguing to me, and it was about making sense of the music. I knew there was something about the Police sounding a little bit like Bob Marley — I was making those connections, trying to put it all together. So that leads me to rock-music journalism, and it became a side passion that twinned with my passion for African American literature. I really followed it, and I also struggled with it because I didn’t see myself in it, even though I wanted to be in the room.

CRAZY HORSE: I didn’t grow up wanting to be a rock critic. I really wanted to be a record producer when I was a little kid in the Seventies, because I read liner notes and I got fascinated with the process of making a record. I used to go to record stores and talk to the guys who work there — guys, of course. And I didn’t know any other women who were as caught up in music. It was just my isolated thing to do.

In the Nineties, I moved from Ghana to New York City to attend art school. Then I worked at the United Nations. And by the later Nineties, I [applied for] an internship at The Village Voice. I got the internship, and that’s where my career started to take off.

Kandia Crazy Horse

Photo: Camara Dia Holloway

Being a Black female journalist covering rock music, it takes stamina, passion, and patience, because there’s loneliness in it and cultural isolation. I just pushed forth on what I wanted to do.

UHELSZKI: When I heard music, I understood. I understood what musicians are saying, how they’re tapped into something we’re not. But I’ve never had an ambition to do rock or to write music.

SPANOS: I was really of a one-track mind with becoming a music journalist from the time I was 12. My first full-time job was at The Village Voice. I started an internship, and then that morphed into assistant for the music editor. While I was there, I was freelancing [at] Rookie magazine, where I was brought in by Jessica Hopper. She connected me with editors at Spin and Vulture, and I eventually began freelancing for Rolling Stone in the summer of 2014.

BROOKS: When I was getting a Ph.D. in English at UCLA, my best friend in graduate school, Sonnet Retman, and I were going to just tons of shows. This is the heyday in the mid-Nineties — this is riot grrrl but also alternative hip-hop. And we were studying literary criticism and cultural criticism. We decided to apply for funding to hold a conference. As fans, we’re like, “Let’s have a conference about popular-music culture and popular-music writing.”

CRAZY HORSE: Rip It Up was certainly a highlight. There hadn’t been an in-depth book about Black rock before. And getting to work with writers like Vivien Goldman and Amy Linden was very gratifying.

UHELSZKI: I got a job at Detroit’s Grande Ballroom [where] I was the Coca-Cola girl, and I used to bug the people who sold Creem, saying, “I’ll give you free Cokes and chips and cigarettes if you let me write for Creem.” I was ready to do anything to work for Creem. I sent a letter to the editor. I sent them unsolicited articles. I knew that was my job. I knew this was what I was supposed to do. There was a woman named Loraine Alterman who worked for the Detroit Free Press [as their teen columnist], and I wanted to be her.

SPANOS: A lot of artists who I ended up being their first interview at Rolling Stone would get covers years later. I did Dua Lipa’s first RS interview, in 2016, a full year before her debut album came out. And Blackpink, Lizzo, Shawn Mendes, and Halsey.

Cardi B was my first cover, in 2017. I was 25 at the time, and it happened by accident. I covered her before she was even signed to Atlantic. She was just really funny on Instagram. I got assigned this short print piece on her. And in the time that we were reporting it, “Bodak Yellow” hit Number One and they ended up bumping the other cover … and [giving it to] Cardi B. I was scared it was gonna go to someone else, but I’m thankful I was able to write it.

Brittany Spanos

Griffin Lotz for Rolling Stone

The most important work we do is creating careers and legacies. And it’s our job to make it clear that those legacies are not reserved just for straight white men.

CRAZY HORSE: Early on in my career, I covered Southern rock, jam bands, country, Black rock, and Black roots bands. The other Black writers [at The Village Voice] wrote about jazz or so-called urban genres. When I got down South and the publicists were there, they were always shocked it was me coming to cover their bands. Being Black and Indigenous was basically unheard of.

BROOKS: When [my book] Jeff Buckley’s Grace (33 1/3) came out, there was feedback from a fan base who could not imagine a Black woman writing about Jeff Buckley — even as the book has also been received so well by so many people. But the pushback came in the form of indignation, and a kind of inability to conceive of a person with my profile being able to create knowledge and narrative about Jeff Buckley.

UHELSZKI: What I noticed back in the day with why [Wenner] didn’t put women in Rolling Stone is women in the Seventies and the late Sixties were just encouraged to be pretty. No woman was expected to give her opinions. You were a groupie; if you’re an artist, the attention was on that quaint little term “your old man.” And no one took you seriously. When I started writing in the early Seventies, when you went into an interview or got on a tour, (A) nobody thought you were the writer, and (B) nobody was happy to see you, because the prevailing notion was “What’s a woman know about rock & roll?”

My first road tour was with Steve Miller and I thought he made a pass at me, and then he told me, “That was just a test. How could you actually sleep with the subject of your story, and then the next day shove a microphone in his face?” It was a wakeup call. There was no way I was ever going to have a liaison with one of the people I was writing a story on. [Being hit on] happened all the time. Rick Wakeman answered the door in a towel, and he wouldn’t get dressed.

I have a friend who calls it “embrace the suck” — when something untoward happens, I just use it as part of the story. Every little slight became fodder. Like when Jimmy Page wouldn’t speak to me except through an interpreter when I was on the Led Zeppelin tour — I think it was ’77. He said, “You have to tell my publicist the question, she’ll relay them to me, and she’ll tell you.” It was like a translation, even though we all spoke English. And I made that a story. (Editor’s note: A rep for Miller said he wasn’t available for comment; reps for Wakeman and Page didn’t respond to requests for comment.)

Jaan Uhelszki

Courtesy of Jaan Uhelszki

What I noticed back in the day with why [Wenner] didn’t put women in Rolling Stone, is women in the Seventies and the late Sixties were just encouraged to be pretty.

SPANOS: Coming to Rolling Stone when I did, I was working under Jann but not directly with him. But his presence was still a big factor in how things functioned. That left the brand and what we were covering falling behind. I was hired by Caryn Ganz, [who] was helping build the website and making it more of a presence because that was not Jann’s focus.

The struggle, specifically for me, was being alone in a lot of respects. I was, for a long time, the only Black woman who worked at the magazine, and for even longer, the only Black woman writing full time for both the magazine and website. There are a lot of difficulties with that. It is hard to carry that weight and desire to see more representation and more diversity in the coverage. You often feel tasked with doing that entirely on your own. And it didn’t help that everyone had to sort of kneel to a boss, a founder, whose vision of what we were doing was very limited and close-minded. While I’ve been lucky to have great editors over the years and people who wanted to see me thrive, we were all struggling to get past that narrow vision and expand it.

BROOKS: We all develop thicker skin, right? My thicker skin came in the form of a style of writing. I went through stages of being combative and defensive — I needed to work to not center these voices of domination who don’t see me, but to be able to stylistically engage with them. And to also keep generating a kind of writing that acknowledged the bigness of the world that exists outside of their narrow viewpoints. That’s what a lot of my writing has been about. I had to model this for my students, to find a way to still speak to these people who I felt very entangled in battles with — to speak to them in a way that was not just respectful, but that could acknowledge and dissect the terms of who they were based upon how they had come into the world as a cisgendered, white male critic. And to be generous in offering these alternative ways of being able to read and reckon with the music that they oftentimes heard through only one particular lens about Blackness and about gender.

Daphne Brooks

Photo: Matthew Jacobson

Cultural criticism is central to the Black-freedom struggle.

CRAZY HORSE: Being a Black female journalist covering rock music specifically, it takes stamina, passion, and patience, because there’s loneliness in it and cultural isolation. I just pushed forth on what I wanted to do. There’s a certain view that Black writers are supposed to write about Black music. And for some other people, I’m sure that’s true. But for me, that was never the case.

UHELSZKI: You guys hope that it’s a better world, and in my era, we just knew there were a lot of odds against being a woman in rock journalism, so you had to get really creative. You couldn’t complain because they’d just take you out of the story: “What, are you going to cry?” It toughened us up. Or you just wrote about women, and I didn’t want to just write about women … I wanted to write about everybody.

BROOKS: [In my] class [Black Arts Criticism] I want my students to understand something about the power and worth and centrality of criticism across the generations being a form of knowledge production, and administering value to certain cultural objects and devaluing other cultural objects. And I wanted to be able to show Black critics, going back to the first published Black poet, Phillis Wheatley, in the colonial era. They tried to seize control of being able to say what mattered about their own cultural forms, right? They tried to instill value in those forms in the face of systemic white supremacy, not only devaluing them, but dehumanizing African Americans. Cultural criticism is central to the Black-freedom struggle.

UHELSZKI: [At the resurrected Creem,] we make sure we have even representation. The old Creem lived to offend, and we were not all that nice, and we were sometimes a little racist. But now it’s not like that at all because the people who are involved think in a way that we didn’t think in the 1970s. I’m proud to say that.

CRAZY HORSE: In my [music] duo Cactus Rose, I write the songs and sing — and I have a male guitarist who is very supportive of female artists and appreciates my unique perspective on Americana music. I write songs that try to illuminate the experiences of Indigenous women. I hope to have women journalists — especially of color — share their perspectives on what I am trying to do. I would hope to be considered articulate and intellectual enough as an Indigenous and Black woman artist to discuss my music.

SPANOS: I always want to create a welcoming space for my fellow colleagues, especially with the type of history that we know the magazine has and that its founder has made very clear. The most important work we do is creating careers and legacies. And it’s our job to make it clear that those legacies are not reserved just for straight white men. 

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Killers Of The Flower Moon Has Screened, Critics Agree On Leonardo DiCaprio’s Latest Scorsese Collab- Armessa Movie News

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The mere mention of a Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio team-up is enough to excite most film enthusiasts, and the pair behind The Aviator, The Departed, and The Wolf of Wall Street are back together again for their seventh collaboration. The 3.5-hour epic (a runtime the filmmaker has defended), Killers of the Flower Moon has finally been screened, and the early buzz for the book-to-screen adaptation of David Grann’s gripping non-fiction book makes us more excited than ever.

Killers of the Flower Moon delves into the chilling true story of the Osage Nation murders, where a series of mysterious deaths shook the community in the 1920s. The movie’s stellar cast and crew have done a spectacular job bringing this tale of conspiracy, greed, and vengeance to the big screen. With Martin Scorsese at the helm, audiences can expect nothing short of a cinematic masterpiece. Since Killers of the Flower Moon premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, critics have given the film glowing reviews. So, just how good is the movie? Let’s see what the critics have to say. 

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Critics Have Seen Dicks: The Musical, And They Seem To Be In Agreement On The ‘Absurd’ And ‘Irreverent’ Comedy- Armessa Movie News

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Dicks: The Musical got its start as a 30-minute stage show titled Fucking Identical Twins, and now Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson of the Upright Citizens Brigade have expanded their raunchy musical for the big screen. A24 has made a name for itself with its unique and often bizarre content, and from what critics are saying about Dicks: The Musical, the comedy seems to fit right in with the best A24 offerings. With the movie getting a wide release to theaters October 20, let’s take a look at the comedy that’s being touted as a meta masterpiece of humorous irreverence.

Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson reprise their roles as “identical twins” Craig and Trevor, but instead of the two-man version at UCB, they’re joined by some iconic co-stars in Nathan Lane, Megan Mullally and Bowen Yang as the narrator God. The plot has strong notes of The Parent Trap, but it’s so much more than that. CinemaBlend’s own Corey Chichizola calls it the “most unhinged” movie he’s ever seen, full of wild musical numbers that poke fun at the tropes of musical theater. He’s ready for a rewatch (or 12), writing: 

In a time where IPs are ruling the entertainment industry and most studios are afraid to take risks, Dicks: The Musical stands out as something wholly original. It’s almost a wonder the movie was produced at all, given how the script and songs truly pull no punches in regard to their filth. But it really hit me right in my comedic sensibility, and I bet I’m not unique in this.

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‘Marvel’s Spider-Man 2’ Is The Best Superhero Game Per Critics- Armessa Music News

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Source: Insomniac Games / Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is just days away from swinging onto PS5 consoles, and the reviews are coming, with many critics having nothing but great things to say about the upcoming game.

It’s been roughly four years since Insomniac’s Marvel’s Spider-Man launched on the PS4 console, and the follow-up but not as lengthy, and 2020’s Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales gave us the first taste of a Spidey game on the PS5.

After years of waiting, the third game in Insomniac’s trilogy has arrived, and most critics are calling it the best superhero game ever.

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 - Launch Trailer I PS5 Games

That says a lot, as the title unanimously belonged to Batman: Arkham City, but it looks like the webhead has swung in and kicked the Dark Knight off the throne.

So What Exactly Are The Critics Saying?

Once the review embargo was up, the overwhelmingly positive reviews started pouring, with critics praising the new switching ability, story, and other features.

“Insomniac has nailed that rarest of video game development feats. The team has landed a trilogy of games that all stand strong on their own merits but unite into a sweeping saga made better by experiencing its entirety,” Matt Miller, Game Informer’s Editor in Chief, said in his review, giving the game a 9.5 out of 10.

He continued, “With Spider-Man 2, the developer has found what makes superhero stories worth telling (and retelling) and given its likable heroes the journey they deserve.”

“Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 improves on its predecessor across the board while saluting the superhero genre over the last 30 years as a whole,” Joe Donnelly wrote in his review for Gamesradar, giving the game a perfect score.

Spider-Man 2 is exceptional. In your hands, it’s the best a superhero game has ever felt. On your eyes, it’s a pure tour de force of what the PlayStation 5 can do. On your heart, it’s heavy, enticing, exciting,” Dom Peppiat wrote in his review for VG27, giving the game a perfect score.

Sounds lit, and we can’t wait to play. We also suggest you utilize that mute button on X to keep spoilers off your timeline.

You can see more reactions about the game in the gallery below.

Photo: Insomniac Games / Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

4. 8 Is the lowest score.

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2023 Critics Choice Documentary Nominations: Taylor Swift, American Symphony – Armessa Movie News

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Netflix’s “American Symphony,” which follows Grammy and Oscar winner Jon Batiste as he prepares for his performance at Carnegie Hall, leads the 2023 Critics Choice Documentary Award nominations with six, including best documentary feature and directing for Matthew Heineman. PBS’ “20 Days in Mariupol,” Magnolia Pictures’ “Kokomo City” and Apple Original Films’ “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie” are tied for second with five nominations apiece. Each were also were nominated in the top category.

Other nominees for documentary feature include Roadside Attraction’s “Beyond Utopia,” MTV Documentary Films’ “The Eternal Memory,” Amazon’s “Judy Blume Forever,” National Geographic’s “The Mission” and Netflix’s “The Deepest Breath” and “Stamped from the Beginning.”

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Oscars predictions in all categories.

Now in its eighth year, the Critics Choice Documentary Awards have previously given the top prize to Oscar winners “O.J.: Made in America” (2016) and “Summer of Soul” (2021). Last year’s award went to Ryan White’s “Good Night Oppy,” which was snubbed by the Academy, marking the first time a CCA doc winner failed to make the Academy’s preliminary shortlist.

One notable nomination is megastar Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” in the music documentary category. The re-capturing of the pop star’s sold-out SoFi Stadium show in Los Angeles is coming off a record-breaking opening weekend, grossing the biggest opening for a concert film of all-time with $95 to $97 million, surpassing “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” (2011). If “Eras Tour” ended up grossing the higher end of that range, it will become largest October opening ever in North America, surpassing “Joker” (2019) at $96 million. Unfortunately, this can’t translate to Oscar attention, as the film isn’t eligible under the Academy’s current rules (and neither is the upcoming Beyoncé one).

Other notable mentions include Steve McQueen in best director for his four-hour and 22-minute “Occupied City,” and Natalie Portman in best narration for the National Geographic doc “Secrets of the Elephants.”

Documentary filmmaker Ross McElwee
Boston Globe via Getty Images

Acclaimed documentarian Ross McElwee will be honored with The Pennebaker Award (formerly known as the Critics Choice Lifetime Achievement Award), named after D.A. Pennebaker, a former recipient of the Lifetime Achievement prize, who passed away in 2019. McLewee, 76, has made 10 feature-length films over his career, most of which were shot throughout the American South. Among his most notable are “Sherman’s March” (1986), which won best documentary at the Sundance Film Festival and was chosen for preservation by the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 2000 as a “historically significant American motion picture.” Others include “Bright Leaves,” which nabbed noms from the Directors and Writers Guild of America. McLewee is currently a professor at Harvard University and is working on a documentary about the cable television remake of “Sherman’s March.”

Penneker’s producing partner and wife, Chris Hegedus, will present the award to McElwee.

Actor and standup comedian Wyatt Cenac, best known for the HBO late-night comedy docuseries “Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas,” will return as host for the second consecutive year. The ceremony will be livestreamed via Facebook, YouTube and X (formerly known as Twitter) from the Edison Ballroom in New York City on Nov. 12.

View the full list of nominations below.

Best Documentary Feature

“20 Days in Mariupol” (PBS)

“American Symphony” (Netflix)

“Beyond Utopia” (Roadside Attractions)

“The Deepest Breath” (Netflix)

“The Eternal Memory” (MTV Documentary Films)

“Judy Blume Forever” (Amazon Studios)

“Kokomo City” (Magnolia Pictures)

“The Mission” (National Geographic)

“Stamped from the Beginning” (Netflix)

“Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie” (Apple TV+)

Best Director

Maite Alberdi – “The Eternal Memory” (MTV Documentary Films)

Madeleine Gavin – “Beyond Utopia” (Roadside Attractions)

Davis Guggenheim – “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie” (Apple TV+)

Matthew Heineman – “American Symphony” (Netflix)

Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss – “The Mission” (National Geographic)

Steve McQueen – “Occupied City” (A24)

First Documentary Feature
“20 Days in Mariupol” (PBS)

“26.2 to Life” (Film Halau)

“Bad Press” (Oklafilm)

“Bobi Wine: The People’s President” (National Geographic)

“Kokomo City” (Magnolia Pictures)

“Orlando, My Political Biography” (Sideshow)

“Smoke Sauna Sisterhood” (Greenwich Entertainment)

“The Thief Collector” (FilmRise)

Cinematography

Tim Cragg – “The Deepest Breath” (Netflix)

Tony Hardmon, Matthew Heineman, Thorsten Thielow – “American Symphony” (Netflix)

Lennert Hillege – “Occupied City” (A24)

Franz Lustig – “Anselm” (Sideshow)

D. Smith – “Kokomo City” (Magnolia Pictures)

Toby Strong, James Boon, Bob Poole, Neil Fairlie, Wim Vorster, Joshua Tarr, Pete Allibone, Neil Harvey,

Andreas Knausenberger – “Secrets of the Elephants” (National Geographic)

Editing

Sammy Dane, Jim Hession, Matthew Heineman, Fernando Villegas – “American Symphony” (Netflix)

Madeleine Gavin – “Beyond Utopia” (Roadside Attractions)

Michael Harte – “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie” (Apple TV+)

Michelle Mizner – “20 Days in Mariupol” (PBS)

D. Smith – “Kokomo City” (Magnolia Pictures)

Aaron Wickenden – “The Mission” (National Geographic)

Score

Jon Batiste – “American Symphony” (Netflix)

Danny Bensi & Saunder Jurriaans – “The Mission” (National Geographic)

Nainita Desai – “The Deepest Breath” (Netflix)

Philip Glass – “The Pigeon Tunnel” (Apple TV+)

Katya Richardson & Kris Bowers – “The Last Repair Shop” (Breakwater Studios)

D. Smith – “Kokomo City” (Magnolia Pictures)

Narration

“20 Days in Mariupol” (PBS) – Written and Performed by Mstyslav Chernov

“32 Sounds” (Abramorama) – Written and Performed by Sam Green

“The Disappearance of Shere Hite” (IFC Films) – Written by Nicole Newnham, Performed by Dakota Johnson

“John Lennon: Murder Without a Trial” (Apple TV+) — Written by TBD, Performed by Kiefer Sutherland

“Secrets of the Elephants” (National Geographic) – Written by Martin Williams, Performed by Natalie Portman

“Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie” (Apple TV+) – Written and Performed by Michael J. Fox

Archival Documentary

“Being Mary Tyler Moore” (HBO)

“The Disappearance of Shere Hite” (IFC Films)

“It Ain’t Over” (Sony Pictures Classics)

“JFK: One Day in America” (National Geographic)

“The Lady Bird Diaries” (Hulu)

“The League” (Magnolia Pictures)

Historical Documentary

“The 1619 Project” (Hulu/Onyx Collective)

“JFK: One Day in America” (National Geographic)

“The Lady Bird Diaries” (Hulu)

“Lakota Nation vs. United States” (IFC Films)

“The League” (Magnolia Pictures)

“Occupied City” (A24)

“Stamped from the Beginning” (Netflix)

Biographical Documentary

“Being Mary Tyler Moore” (HBO)

“The Disappearance of Shere Hite” (IFC Films)

“Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project” (HBO)

“Judy Blume Forever” (Amazon Studios)

“Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields” (Hulu)

“Sly” (Netflix)

“Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie” (Apple TV+)

Music Documentary

“American Symphony” (Netflix)

“Carlos” (Sony Pictures Classics)

“Ladies First: A Story of Women in Hip-Hop” (Netflix)

“Little Richard: I Am Everything” (Magnolia Pictures/CNN Films)

“Love to Love You, Donna Summer” (HBO)

“Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” (AMC Theatres)

“What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat & Tears?” (Abramorama)

Political Documentary

“20 Days in Mariupol” (PBS)

“Beyond Utopia” (Roadside Attractions)

“Bobi Wine: The People’s President” (National Geographic)

“Deadlocked: How America Shaped the Supreme Court” (Showtime)

“Every Body” (Focus Features)

“Lakota Nation vs. United States” (IFC Films)

“Silver Dollar Road” (Amazon MGM Studios)

Science/Nature Documentary

“32 Sounds” (Abramorama)

“Between Earth & Sky” (PBS)

“Life on Our Planet” (Netflix)

“Path of the Panther” (National Geographic)

“Poisoned: The Dirty Truth About Your Food” (Netflix)

“Secrets of the Elephants” (National Geographic)

“Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West” (Gravitas Ventures)

Sport Documentary SPORTS DOCUMENTARY

“Black Ice” (Roadside Attractions)

“BS High” (HBO)

“The Deepest Breath” (Netflix)

“It Ain’t Over” (Sony Pictures Classics)

“The League” (Magnolia Pictures)

“Reggie” (Amazon Studios)

“Stephen Curry: Underrated” (Apple TV+)

“Welcome to Wrexham” (FX)

True Crime Documentary

“Burden of Proof” (HBO)

“The Jewel Thief” (Hulu)

“John Lennon: Murder Without a Trial” (Apple TV+)

“Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal” (Netflix)

“Telemarketers” (HBO)

“The Thief Collector” (FilmRise)

“Victim/Suspect” (Netflix)

Short Documentary

“The ABCs of Book Banning” (MTV Documentary Films)

“The Barber of Little Rock” (Story Syndicate)

“Between Earth & Sky” (PBS)

“Keys to the City” (New Yorker)

“The Last Repair Shop” (Breakwater Studios)

“Last Song From Kabul” (MTV Documentary Films)

Limited Documentary Series

“The 1619 Project” (Hulu/Onyx Collective)

“Big Vape: The Rise and Fall of Juul” (Netflix)

“Deadlocked: How America Shaped the Supreme Court” (Showtime)

“JFK: One Day in America” (National Geographic)

“John Lennon: Murder Without a Trial” (Apple TV+)

“Secrets of the Elephants” (National Geographic)

“Shiny Happy People” (Amazon Studios)

“Telemarketers” (HBO)

Ongoing Documentary Series

“30 for 30” (ESPN)

“Frontline” (PBS)

“Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal” (Netflix)

“POV” (PBS)

“Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller” (National Geographic)

“Welcome to Wrexham” (FX)

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