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Tarantino tosses the gauntlet to critics

The relationship between filmmakers and critics has always been more hate than love, at least from the point of view of the filmmakers. Some directors have tried to confront their animosity directly, as did Uwe Boll  when he invited a tag team of on-line critics to go mano-a-mano with him in the ring over their negative reviews of his films. Needless to say, he beat the shit out of every one.

Recently, though, Quentin Tarantino made some comments that suggest a kind of competition that would give the lowly critic at least a fighting chance. Here's what he had to say in a recent "Culture Vulture" posting on the "New York" magazine website:

"'I respect criticism. But I know more about film than most of the people writing about me. Not only that, I'm a better writer than most of the people writing about me. And I can write film criticism better than most of the people writing about me. [My goal was] to get the biggest standing ovation of the festival, and I got it [...] Sometimes it's your time to be Elvis, and that was my time.' - Quentin Tarantino, on the mixed reviews of Inglourious Basterds and its reception at Cannes."

Easy for you to say - how about putting your money where your mouth is? I think this calls for a "review-off" in the mode of the male model "walk-off" in "Zoolander." Tarantino can pick his challenger among any of the critics who have given thumbs down to his "Inglorious Basterds." The actual ground rules of such a showdown I'm not sure of. Perhaps after a screening of, say, "Transformers 3," the two challengers can sit down at a laptop and hammer off a 600 word review on a two hour deadline ready to post. Or maybe we could ask David Bowie to make the arrangements like he did in Ben Stiller's movie.

Or maybe it could be something looking like this:

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more by Peter Keough
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