Thanks for the encouragement, Brandon. It's not necessarily that I feel I need to apologize for my opinions, though, it's more that I often associate movie critics with, well, criticism. And sometimes I judge how good a movie is based upon my degree of like, as opposed to like vs. dislike. Part of me feels that even the "worst" movies warrant some kind of recognition for even being made. Sometimes movie criticism (not from you and John, whose criticism really does come across as genuine, but in general) strikes me as similar to the guy staring at Jackson Pollock in the museum saying, "I could do that." All art is so subjective and there are so many variables involved in making it that any truly objective criticism is pretty difficult. and I'm not the sort to make assumptions about what a director means or doesn't mean. I can only talk about how things strike me, and sometimes about what certain technical aspects communicated (or didn't to me)- like shot framing, particulars of dialogue, editing, etc. So it's not so much an apology as it is the question, "What am I missing, if anything?" Obviously, there are many critics who are well educated and know their film history waaaay better than I do. But if all that education makes you desensitized or cynical, how effective can your analysis really be? It reminds me of how seminary seems to affect people, to be honest :).
In other news, when I read your mention of Margot at the Wedding, I had not to that point realized that it was a Baumbach film. Then, the next day, I discovered that The Bad Lieutenant was a Herzog film. And I had seen both of them at the closing-down-Blockbuster! So I called and had an employee set them aside for me- only $2.99 each. Score! I don't feel quite so jealous of John's loot from Hollywood now, though he did get a number of nice foreign films, which were more in short supply at Blockbuster.
Has anyone seen Gentlemen Broncos? I'd be really interested in discussing it if anyone has anything to say about it. It's a rare case where I loved a movie that was pretty universally reviled.