Letter: In defense of expert movie reviews

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I was out of town for a couple of weeks, and it looks like I missed some excitement around the Mountain Xpress — specifically in the film section. At first, I was saddened by the absence of the generally excellent reviews that Scott Douglas wrote, and I was surprised to hear that the Xpress will be soliciting reviews from the community at large. While I applaud the impulse to include a wider variety of viewpoints, I’m not sure that movie reviews are the best place to start.

I may be old-fashioned, but I tend to give more weight to opinions that are informed by years of intensive experience in a given field over those that, well, aren’t. (This is aside from the fact that even film reviews with which I may consistently disagree are valuable precisely because of their consistency.)

I am, however, trying to practice radical acceptance in this and many other matters. In that spirit, I wondered what else in the Xpress might be improved by a multiplicity of voices. Moving on toward the back of the paper, the next logical place for change might be the horoscope. Why should we continue to gain our astrological insight from the heavy-handed authority of Rob Brezsny? Why not consider what other stargazers might see in the night sky? Thus, I respectfully submit my own astrological readings for the week ahead:

I once took a bus from Berlin to Hamburg. Even though it only took about a half-hour longer than the train — and it was considerably cheaper — I found that I preferred to ride the rails. My readings of the astrological omens suggest that you, [insert your sign here], will have a similar experience in the coming weeks, although, to be perfectly honest, with all the inclement weather we’ve had lately, those omens have been hard to read. I guess take your best shot. Or whatever.

Thanks for being there for us,

— Richard Benson


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to letters@mountainx.com

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.