You know, I remember actually really loving the Nostalgia Critic, back
when I was in middle school. I remember laughing hysterically at his
overexaggerated brand of comedy and his angry temper tantrums at films,
directors, and characters he doesn’t like. I remember how his content
helped get me really interested in the art of filmmaking and also in
film criticism. I remember how his various crossovers and anniversary
specials introduced to other great Channel Awesome producers like Brad
Jones, Allison Pregler, Lewis Lovhaug, Mathew Buck, Todd Nathanson,
Phelan Porteous, and Noah Antwiler among others. But as the years went
by, that love gradually faded away.
I was only a kid when I was introduced to the Critic. I didn’t hate his
Let’s Play of Bart’s Nightmare. I stood up for Demo Reel. I ate up a
large majority of the videos he pumped out when he brought the character
back in 2013. But sometime around 2015, something started to change. I
remember being thoroughly unimpressed with his clipless reviews of films
like Jurassic World and Hocus Pocus. I remember loathing his review of
Christmas with the Kranks, in which he addressed the criticism towards
his reviews for relying too much on comedic sketches, pointless
plotlines and story arcs, and excessive green-screen and special effects
in the worst way possible. Nonetheless, I stuck with him in spite of
all that. As time went on, his reviews just started getting worse and
worse, and eventually, I stopped watching.
And then, there was Change the Channel, in which it was revealed that
Doug, Rob, Mike Michaud, Mike Ellis, and others had grossly mismanaged
Channel Awesome and mistreated their content creators for over ten
years, with various grievances including failing to communicate with the
other producers about significant decisions that would greatly affect
their content and their income, a gross Tommy Wiseau-esque level of
filmmaking and storytelling incompetence when it came to the anniversary
films, a history of sexist and misogynistic behavior towards female
producers courtesy of Michaud, and even covering up and protecting one
of the producers, the deceased Justin Carmical, who turned out to have
groomed and raped an underage girl.
And then there were things about his reviews prior that I never took
into account, i.e. his blatant transphobia in his reviews of the Matrix
trilogy and Jupiter Ascending, his use of the “N” word in his review of
Ernest Saves Christmas, his gross misogyny in his review of Mamma Mia,
his failure to pay attention to certain story and character details in
his review of Signs, and the vile, perverted sleaze that permanently
coats every frame of his review of Sailor Moon (which I still have never
seen in its entirety but I have unfortunately seen its most despised
excerpts of). And yet, after two bafflingly horrible responses (i.e. the
infamous “We sincerely regret you felt that way.”) and most of the
Channel Awesome producers leaving, Doug still pumps out video after
video, taking pot-shots at easy targets (Jack & Jill, The Emoji
Movie) and doing clipless reviews of recent cinematic works (Deadpool 2)
to distract his fanbase from the controversy.
Which has now brought us to this: Doug is doing a clipless review of
director Alan Parker’s 1982 live-action/animated musical drama, Pink
Floyd: The Wall, adapted from the groundbreaking English psychedelic
band’s seminal 1979 rock opera album of the same name.
Not only is it a clipless review attempting to analyze the picture, but
it also serves as a supposed satire of the film as well, with a parody
album accompanying the review featuring lyrics by Doug and music by
frequent collaborator Rob Scallon. This should all send chills down the
spines of Doug’s critics and Pink Floyd’s fans, and it eventually did,
as it’s now Doug’s worst-performing video of all time, the likes
overpowered by the dislikes.
First of all, I’m not even sure why Doug felt the need to make this a
clipless review at all, because the film is in no way recent. It’s over
37 years old. If he wanted to avoid copyright, then he failed, because
if you look at the comments section of the video, you can see that
Channel Awesome is still fighting copyright claims, so they’re not even
making money off of this review.
Really, the only positive thing I can say about this wretched excuse of a
video is that Tamara Chambers looks really hot in a maid costume, and
when that’s the only positive point I can give a video that’s supposed
to be a review of a film, that’s setting the bar as jaw-droppingly low
as it can go (especially since Tamara’s proven to be a not particularly
nice human being, judging from how she handled the Change the Channel
controversy when it was brought to her attention).
The review’s substitute for The Wall’s unreliable narrator protagonist
Pink is none other than Corey Taylor, the lead singer of Slipknot.
Taylor, along with his son Griffin (who plays the younger Corey in this
review), previously made an ending cameo in Doug’s review of Disney’s
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
Anyway, let’s move on to Doug’s commentary.
“Hello, I’m the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don’t have to. Pink Floyd: The Wall… or is it Pink Floyd’s The Wall? I never know where to put the ‘s’ there.”
You don’t have to put an “s” there, Doug, because a quick Google search will tell you that there’s no “s” in the full title of the film.
After that introduction, we come across the utterly horrifying realization that, with this being a parody album, all the songs in the review will be sung by Doug. Oh, deep joy. I, for one, am positively thrilled that the worst thing to happen to song-singing this side of Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger and Treat You Better vocalist Shawn Mendes will go out of his way to make my ears bleed.
Plus, you’ve got to love it when a supposed analytical critic contradicts himself in the same portion of the video.
Doug, 84 seconds into the review: “When it came out in 1982, it got mixed reviews and did only okay at the box office.” Doug, less than 20 seconds later: “When all the critics told youPink Floyd’s Wall was shiteAnd the masses gave thanksAs the movie tankedFading into obscurity for a while”
Which one is it, Doug? Make up your mind! Also, the film currently has a
68% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and the critic you supposedly
worship, Roger Ebert, gave it a glowing four-star review. Plus, I’d
hardly call the film obscure since it was still being talked about
before this video, and it’s based off of a huge best-selling album.
And yes, in case you’re asking, Doug will attempt to recreate the film’s stellar animated sequences. It will be the Princess Leia at the end of Rogue One to Gerald Scarfe’s Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy.
“Good old Pink FloydMade a movie devoidOf even the slightest bit of subtlety”
You know, I must say, this is a rather bold statement coming from the
man who went on a loud, childish tirade against Jan de Bont’s directing
style in his review of The Haunting.
Cut to a flashback of young Corey being insulted by his teacher, Rob Scallon.
“Now, what did I just say, Corey?”“We don’t need no education?”“Well, that’s grammatically incorrect, so apparently, you do need some education.”
Oh, wow, I have totally never seen that joke done before, like, in the history of ever.
This, of course, leads into Doug’s parody of the album’s most famous track, Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2), a song that Roger Waters based on his, and the late Syd Barrett’s, experiences of being subjected to vicious abuse during their childhoods in post-World War II Britain by very cruel teachers who physically harmed their students for acting in a way that didn’t fit the mold during the time period.
“We need more victimizationWe need more stuff to rebelThe war education system’s brokeThis is pandering like hellHey!Who cares?All this bitching sells!Well, oh, well, we gotAnother hit in the wallLOL, so school sucksGrow a damn pair of balls.” So of course, the brothers Walker, in all their infinite wisdom, reduce it down to a generic whine anthem about privileged teenagers complaining about how much school sucks and that they should just get over it and move on instead of moping about it all the time. Even though that completely misses the point of the song and is just straight-up mocking Waters and Barrett for them being abused and not being able to do anything about it because they were children.
“Wait, time out. Is this really a World War II reference?”“No, it’s just a bunch of kids being herded onto a train to a horrible torturous building– oh.”“Yeah, we’re really comparing this to high school?”“No, no! It’s just meant to be weird and creepy. They’re not implying… that.”“I don’t think there’s a way to not connect that.”“Oh, come on! They’re just saying school sucks! They’re not making
any connections to that. Now let’s go on to the next song that talks
about the horrors of World War II– oh, crap.”“See?”“It’s just a coincidence! Maybe. I don’t know.”
Once again, you’re completely ignoring how much of an impact World War II had on Britain and its people, especially a profoundly negative impact on the state of the British education system, just so you can crack very unfunny jokes.
So after that nonsense, Doug parodies Goodbye Blue Sky.
“D-D-D-Doesn’t this seem too heavy?Is World War II with monsters too silly?Oh, Roger Waters, did you ever wonderWhy these images of slaughterMade it in a film that alsoSings about how high school bites?”
Still missing the point of the film and the album, I see? Pink lost his father during the war and was abused by authority figures post-World War II, and both of these things had a very negative impact on how he grew up in life. Roger Waters, Alan Parker, and Gerald Scarfe are in no way literally saying that school is on the exact same level of bad as war.
“So longOscar-bait song.”
The song was on the original album, which was officially released three years before the film came out, so this in no way qualifies as an Oscar-bait song. My God, man, is your way of taking notes on films for reviews and editorials just watching it only once and then never doing any further research on it?
“Watch how I do a sad song about being cheated on.”“So you’re going from World War II, one of the worst things to ever happen…”“…to bitching about your girlfriend cheating on you?”“Hey, if someone doesn’t like my artistic dive into madness caused by an affair…”“You mean like The Room?”
How can you miss the point of the album so badly?
“Hey, so you invited me up here. What you want to do?”“Just watch TV.”“You invited me up here to literally watch TV?”“I’m a successful musician with millions! How can you expect me to be happy?”
Can we please effectively do away with the completely toxic idea that just because someone is a rich celebrity who lives a lavish lifestyle doesn’t mean their depression is in any way real? Try telling that to Robin Williams, Anthony Bourdain, and Chester Bennington… oh, wait, you can’t, because they’re dead and they’re never coming back.
And following all that, Doug parodies Comfortably Numb, the most popular and beloved song off the album next to Another Brick in the Pall (Part 2).
“Have become comfortably dumb.”
Wow, what a very original joke. I’ve totally never heard that one before!
And then we get a cameo appearance from Brad Jones, who’s also proven to be a terrible human being following the Change the Channel controversy. Lovely.
“Ah, shit! He’s watching the boring parts of The Wall. Wake him up!”
It’s widely considered one of the greatest moments of the film and one of the album’s best tracks. Whatever world you’re living in where it’s considered the more “boring” part of both, I have zero interest in living in it, Doug.
After the song ends and we get an ad break, we now get into Doug’s parody of In the Flesh (Part 2), Run Like Hell, and Waiting for the Worms, a collection of songs about Pink fantasizing himself as a Nazi dictator, showing just how hateful and fearful he’s become due to his isolation. In this video, however, Doug morphs it into an anti-Change the Channel anthem.
“It’s us vs. them! I don’t even know who us or them are! I just wanna be angry, so I can be…!”“Tweeting.”“Above those who hate me.”“Tweeting.”“I need their attention.”“Tweeting.”“Love me or hate me, just look at me more!”“Tweeting.”“Whatever side you choose, just don’t ever wait!”“Tweeting.”“Waiting for the point!”
For someone who says that this film spends way too much time complaining about things, he sure does complain a lot about the onslaught of people who have pointed out the list of things he’s done so terribly wrong in regards to his company and his employees over the past decade since Channel Awesome got started.
“As long as you don’t see me as human, you can hate me all you want! Because remember: it can never happen to you! I’m bad! You’re good! The more extreme you can get, the more happy you’ll become! So put that friend whose face you hate here!”
The purpose of Pink fantasizing himself as a Nazi dictator isn’t so can the audience can project someone they hate onto. You would know this if you actually paid attention to both the film’s visuals and the songs’ lyrics.
Oh, I get it! It’s cell phones instead of hammers this time around! Isn’t that just so clever? Because social media is bad! Are you sure that this is the Nostalgia Critic and not the Boomer Critic?
“Bring the runtime downDon’t run the viewers’ patience into the ground”
Bring the Bays Back Home, a song about how war shouldn’t overshadow family relationships and leave children parentless, has now been transformed into a song about how the film’s too long. Doug, it’s only an hour and thirty-five minutes long. Is that really too much for a man who made the three and a half hour long To Boldly Flee to handle?
“Hello, Critic. It’s Sullivan Croft.”“The Satellite City guy?”
Oh, yeah, I forgot, apparently a YouTube content creator named Fennah is in this video as well. I have no idea who he is, nor have I ever watched his videos. Then, we get this weird cat-like CGI thing called Lucy Lacemaker. I have no clue what’s going on right now, but then again, I don’t particularly care.
“The beauty of music is letting your minds deal itself. The beauty
of cinema is taking those raw, maddening ideas and developing them.
It’s easy to think of a nonsensical idea. Fucking children do it! It’s
hard to turn these ideas into thinking, feeling characters and worlds.
And isn’t that the point of a cinematic adaptation? To make a point?”
Because that’s all film is and that’s all it should always be. Every film has to be the same. It can’t be just an experience. It can never be. Because that’s not what a real film is, according to Doug’s logic here. Every film needs to follow the same three-act structure even when it doesn’t necessarily have to. For a man who makes a living reviewing films, does he not understand just how utterly regressive and damaging this kind of take is? Film is a hugely varied medium, and by saying it should only be done one way, that’s limiting the medium to such an embarrassing and creatively bankrupt degree.
And then… this happens, during the parody of The Trial.
What on Earth is all of this CGI nonsense and what in the royal blue hell does any of it have to do with The Wall?
“This film’s not bound by characters, it’s a visual affair!”
Almost as if film is a visual medium and some of the greatest films ever made use the visual part of visual medium to their advantage.
“It never aimed to tell a story.”
Except it is! It’s just telling it in a very unconventional way through visuals and music. Just because a film can be purely visual doesn’t mean it’s in no way telling a story.
So after all of that, we finally reach the end of the video.
“What, that’s it? We’re stopping there?’“Well… yeah, the movie did.”“I didn’t even get a line! Hell, I didn’t even sing a song! What’d you even think of the movie?”
I’d like to think that Corey Taylor was going off-script when he asked Doug that question. Because it’s a good one. This barely even qualifies as a review, because an actual review would actually discuss the movie and present its high points and low points in a balanced, informative, and entertaining fashion. This is just a terrible parody of The Wall and a mockery of everything it stands for. It’s no better than those Friedberg & Seltzer spoofs that he took shots at in one of his editorials.
“Well, the movie ended on such an open vagueness, that it only makes sense that the review end on such an open vagueness.”“…it’s a REVIEW!” No.
So after forty minutes — seriously — of pure, uncut, unforgiving pain courtesy of Doug’s atrocious lyrics and even worse singing, what do we get in regards to actually discussing the film itself?
“OKAY! I liked it fine.” And that’s it.
That’s literally it. He spent 98% of this parody album complaining about how much of a self-indulgent ego-trip it was (and yet here he is standing in front of posters of his own videos; his lack of self-awareness is astounding), but he says he likes it at the end. That isn’t good film criticism. That’s just being lazy.
“I think I can sing you one of my biggest hits.”“You mean…?!”“Oh, yeah.”
“Oooohhhh… who lives in the pineapple under the sea?””SpongeBob SquarePants!”
While it’s really sad that Change the Channel wasn’t enough for people to see how truly awful Doug is, both as a reviewer and as a person, and yet a very bad review was enough, I’m nonetheless exceptionally glad that people are finally starting to see the light about this pretentious hack who stopped being relevant years ago. This is not only one of the worst excuses for a review I’ve ever come across, with a total lack of understanding of the source material and a complete disrespect for the talents of Alan Parker, Gerald Scarfe, and the members of Pink Floyd, but this is the worst thing I’ve ever seen from Doug. I’m legitimately gobsmacked by how terrible it is, and how much it misrepresents such a powerful album and beautiful work of filmmaking. It is exceptionally bad.
Do yourselves a favor: Avoid this review like the plague. There are other, much better things to do with your time.
Change the channel.
Originally Posted by Flounder’s Reviews Monday, September 30, 2019
Sunday | October 20 | Ant Hall
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This was originally intended for a compilation. But, I missed the deadline. So, I reworked it into something different, a bit longer, for an upcoming issue of “Theee Urban SpaceCat” #3 cassette-zine. I’m working on more material that I can perform live. But, this plunderphonics style track is still pretty good and I didn’t want to waste it.