Alexander Diminiano is the creator of Cinemaniac Reviews, a movie review blog that covers every angle of the Cineverse and is not afraid to ruffle a few tail-feathers with opinions that often go against the grain of popular opinion. Check out his most recent reviews of Wreck-It Ralph, Skyfall and The Network.
Rorschach Reviews: What was it that first got you started blogging, and how has that motivation changed since you started?
Alexander Diminiano: I believe when I first began blogging (late July of 2011), I must have been bored. Since films and writing have always been passions of mine, I had joined Flixster a month before, and it wasn’t so much I wanted people to read what I wrote. I just wanted to get little snippets about movies online. Now it’s totally different. I love the online blogosphere. I always highly anticipate comments from those who read what I write, and I love it even more when someone gives me something to argue with them about. It’s satisfying as a critic.
RR: I’ve definitely found the comment sections for most movie blogs I’ve seen to be a much more civil and supportive environment than, say, the comment section for any YouTube video. Have you ever been heckled in your comments over an opinion someone didn’t agree with, and what is your preferred way of dealing with trolls?
AD: Oh yes. I’ve been disagreed with far too many times, but I very rarely have my opinions shot down. Just skim through the comments sections on my reviews for Black Hawk Down, Good Will Hunting, Brave, There Will Be Blood, Life Is Beautiful, Rushmore, The Mist, Kramer vs. Kramer, The Seventh Seal…you’ll find several commentators who seem to believe I’m somewhere between psychotic and delusional. But it delights me to read comments from those who disagree with me! Not only do I have something to debate about, it gives me hope that I’m not the only one who thinks that I’m crazy.
I usually deal with Internet trolls the same way I would deal with the mythical trolls (if they were to ever exist): lock ‘em out!
RR: I’ve always loved debating too, even if it’s obvious that my opponent is just trying to pick a fight. I myself disagreed with your opinion on a lot of those movies, but I respect you for going against the grain when you legitimately do not like a movie. I’ve encountered a lot of reviewers who fall strictly in line with traditional views of movie quality, but reading your blog is a reminder of how differently a film might appear to one person over another. Most of those movies are films that you did not care for when others did. What would be some good examples of the opposite of that for you?
AD: I’d say there’s just as many. I won’t bother naming any–you’d be able to just glance at my index and such titles would make you think, “Is this guy crazy!?” And I usually fail to understand what all the hate’s about.
RR: As long as we can agree that Batman & Robin is terrible, we’re fine from my perspective. On that note, what would you say is your least favorite movie of all time? (Not necessarily the worst, just your least favorite?)
RR: Oh boy, I can’t argue with you there. It seems like every action star has some unwritten requirement to do a goofy comedy at some point in their career (Vin Diesel in The Pacifier, Arnold Schwartzenegger in Kindergarten Cop, The Rock in nearly everything he’s done over the past decade) and Stallone should have sat that one out. On the flip sides of comedies that aren’t funny, what are some of the most unintentionally funny films you’ve seen?
AD: Twilight, for one. The acting is so abysmal, there’s Internet memes riddled throughout almost every scene. My younger sister and I had a ball catching the film on TV at the most opportune moment: when Edward is driving Bella to the station where her father works, Kristen Stewart sounds like she has a TelePrompTer in front of her! Needless to say, the monotonous “Your hands–they’re so cold” is a line we recite as if it’s the new “offer you can’t refuse”. So horrific, it’s nearly timeless.
Some others would be Catwoman, Red Dawn (the 1984 version), and Troll 2–where laughter is a redeeming quality in productions that were likely put together in a day.
Oh, and I can’t forget the obvious: Plan 9 from Outer Space!! Gotta love that guy, Ed Wood.
RR: I have never understood Kristen Stewart’s appeal, let alone the appeal of Twilight itself. That being said, if you think the first movie was unintentionally funny you should DEFNIITELY check out Breaking Dawn Part 2, it is hilarious. Troll 2 is definitely at the top of my “so-bad-it’s-good” list, right next to Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. Catwoman I might put in the so-bad-it’s-still-bad” category though, (shudders). Before we go, what film(s) from 2013 are you most looking forward to and why?
AD: Being a Stephen King fan, Carrie is an obvious one. Right off the bat, there’s an amazing cast. Chloë Grace Moretz doing what Sissy Spacek did, Julianne Moore doing what Piper Laurie did. Wouldn’t surprise me if those roles got Oscar nominations once again. Either way, I know I’ll love it.
I’m also a Scorsese fan. Who isn’t? And he has a project called The Snowman in the works for a release next year, from Scandinavian author Jo Nesbø. Nesbø wrote “Hodejegerne”, which turned into Headhunters, my favorite foreign language film of 2012. I suspect The Snowman will be a crime film as well, in which case Martin Scorsese can do no wrong with it.
Bronx Bull is a film I wouldn’t say I’m excited for, just excited to see how awfully it falls apart. What kind of nimrod plans and follows through with a Raging Bull sequel/prequel, anyhow? Another film I’d like to see, though I suspect the plot will turn out pretty bad, is Gangster Squad. Hey, at least there’s a nice cast: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, and just about every rising star. Then there’s The Great Gatsby, Catching Fire, Iron Man 3 (still haven’t seen 2 yet!), Oz: The Great and Powerful, Man of Steel, World War Z. Maybe I’m looking forward to one film the most: A Good Day to Die Hard!! Fourth sequel to my favorite Christmas movie. Not joking. Ah, and it hits theaters on the so-called Valentine’s Day. Just like The Silence of the Lambs twenty-one years ago. Gotta love it when cinema finds sarcastic charm in handing out violent cinematic fun on a Hallmark holiday.