Janet Morris, I liked this movie a lot. I ordered a copy of it here. Every other reviewer liked the movie. I think your very critical and nasty review says more about you than about the movie.
And so it begins…again.
You would think that my review was the single most vicious review in the history of the world. You would think that I encouraged people to sacrifice babies or virgins or something. Or that I declared myself to be a servant of the Antichrist, especially since I was pretty much accused of doing just that at one point.
What I did do was give a bad miniseries a one star-rating and gave it this review:
Like many other movies and miniseries about this topic, this work is horrifically bad. It was poorly written, acted, and produced. It is almost laughable how awful this thing is. This is worse than some of the bad science fiction movies that I watch for kicks. It sticks to a convoluted interpretation of the Christian apocalypse that opportunists like Kirk Cameron, Jerry B. Jenkins, and Tim LaHaye have used to line their pockets for years, but the overused plot not even the worst aspect of this thing.
The shaky camera style is reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project, which fits well with the other poorly executed parts of the miniseries. If you are prone to vertigo, migraines, seizures, or motion sickness, especially if these have been triggered in the past by past movies or television shows, you might want to avoid this for health reasons. If not, just avoid it for quality reasons. It’s not entertaining enough to justify wasting so much time on it.
People focus so heavily on the first paragraph that they get a bit wonky and think I’m some evil heathen that wants them to join a God-hating cult.1 They don’t realize that the second paragraph is exclusively about the production value or that I say that it reminds me of a secular horror film that I hated. They don’t realize that I love religious studies, even if I’m not always good with religion itself. They don’t realize that I know the difference between the different apocalypse stories and that this one does actually fall in line with that opportunism. They also don’t realize that I wanted to watch the miniseries and I wanted to like it. But I didn’t. And when I didn’t, I felt it was okay to complain about it.
Clearly, I was wrong.
The first time I got flack over it was the day after I posted the review. It seemed so coincidental that the person would post a five-star review the day after my review went live, especially since it said:
Finally, a Christian based docudrama that did not have any negative political overtones. Do not fall for the “anti-Christian” reviews by others.
My review of the History Channel miniseries Revelations: The End of Days was the only one until this one posted.
Over a month after I posted my review, I got around a dozen comments from someone using “100% Christian” as their username. All the little things that I’ve said I’ve been accused of came from them. I reported their comments to Amazon and they actually deleted them. The person then commented on a comment I’d made2 on the second review saying, “If you aren’t 100% for Christ — then you’re 100% for satan. There is no middle ground.” Five days later, a different user said, in response to the same comment: “Janet Morris: The criticism against your review is valid, since you posted comments that were not relevant. Your comments about Tim LaHaye, et. al. lining their pockets had nothing to do with the movie and is not helpful in determining whether this is worth buying/watching or not.” I responded:3
Respectfully, I disagree with everything you’re saying, Mr. Ruhf.
I suggest that you look at professional reviews of works like Vampire Academy, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Twilight, and Fifty Shades of Grey. They’re compared by professionals to other works. They’re accused of trying to manipulate fan bases of similar works, as are so many other works. It is not uncommon or wrong to point out that trends in genres are used to make money off of fans of those genres, especially when the result is considered of particularly low-quality.
Now, as for what IS wrong, it is wrong to take a negative review and turn it into a way to personally attack the reviewer. The criticism that you say is valid involved not only this particular reviewer creating a review for this product for the purpose of calling me anti-Christian, but for the other commenter on this review to (before creating their comment on this review) create eleven comments on my review calling me a cultist and Satanist, and comparing me and my review to ISIS. Your calling sort of behavior valid criticism is really quite appalling.
I do appreciate your down-voting of my review and your time spent on telling me the errors of my ways.
Then I didn’t hear anything for while. In the mean time there have been 5 other five-star reviews4 and one four-star. The four-star is the most critical of them. But most of the others? Not at all. In fact, most of the others are barely long enough to be considered blurbs. It seems like someone is faking reviews for this miniseries. It’s possible that there were a lot of people who enjoyed it, but the timing is all very strange.
In the meantime, I wrote this to respond to “Amazon Customer” about their complaints of my “critical and nasty review”:
Then write your own review and leave me alone. People are allowed to dislike movies. People are allowed to be critical and my criticism was valid.
And, for the record, I’ve received quite a lot of hate (dozens of comments that Amazon had to delete because they were *that* bad) from fans of this movie, which may say something about its fans. Or it may just say something about people who like to use the internet as a bully pulpit. But I’m trying not to judge.
I know, it was snarky, but I am so sick of these student comments popping up from this godawful miniseries. And this sort of “hate commenting” mainly seems to happen on negative reviews for semi-religious books and movies. There are stans of Britney Spears and Lady Gaga who have responded with little hostility compared to the religion stans. That’s really saying something.
If it’s the makers of the miniseries that are so butthurt over my review, they need to get the fuck over it. If it’s just overzealous fans, which would also make sense given the topic, then also need to get the fuck over it. Like I said in the comment: “People are allowed to dislike movies.” Some people are going to love your favorite movies and books and topics, and some people are going to hate them. You need to be able to deal with that simple fact.
I got accused of that, too. ↩
I’m assuming, as there are only two reviews, that you’re referring to my one star review when you say “anti-Christian”. If you look at my review, it’s not actually against Christianity, but against the low production quality of this particular miniseries.
The only part of my review that referenced the religion is actually backed up by many religious scholars (and members of various Christian denominations) who point out that a Pre-Tribulation rapture, which is at the start of this miniseries, has only existed for the past two hundred years; and that there are people who have used this new belief in an exploitative way to make money. ↩
Four posted in less than 48 hours with one-named reviewers–three on April 25. ↩