About

About Drew, his reviews, and how to contact him. Also, some of the films, books, and games that Drew loves/hates.

 Drew Reviews Things (2014): Drew Ninnis.

Drew Reviews Things (2014): Drew Ninnis.

Drew Reviews Drew Reviews Things (2014)

'Because the internet needs more opinions!' the tagline of Drew Reviews Things trumpets, in a winking reference that neatly encapsulates the cheap snark and referential banter that readers are more than likey to encounter in one of Drew's reviews. Focusing mostly on new releases and festival film reviews, the website also includes the occasional book or game review too; marking Ninnis as a Renaissance man of James Franco proportions.


Reviewed by Drew Ninnis.

Country: Australia

Website Proprietor: Drew Ninnis

Email: drew@drewreviewsthings.com

Review: I have read good reviews and I have read bad reviews, and now I have read reviews by Drew Ninnis. It has been a singular experience, and I would like to share it with others. (Apologies to Haym Soloveitchik)

The author, a PhD in philosophy and a visitor at the School of Philosophy at the Australian National University, seems to fancy himself as a modern man of letters – reviewing such cultural mediums as films, books, and the occasional children’s computer game. That Ninnis has earned that distinction about as much as James Franco has earned the right to be called a talented artist of many mediums seems to bother Ninnis not one jot, as he holds forth sanctimoniously on everything from Andre Tarkovsky’s Stalker to John Landis’ The Blues Brothers.

Indeed, Ninnis seems to only review films in one of two ways – either burying them under cheap snark and scorn, or praising them to the roof with a mass of superlative adjectives. Unfortunately, it is usually snark of the lowest common denominator; and the author generally overcompensates with cheap references to big ideas (usually Nietzschean, despite the fact that he is ostensibly an expert on Bachelard, Canguilhem, Deleuze, and Foucault). Witness his review of The Giver; a tour-de-force of Western political rationality and individualism that no one seems to have asked for, let alone read.

One is at risk of cultural whiplash moving from review to another; completely unproblematic for Ninnis, who far from being consistent, changes his opinion at the drop of the hat. Significant critics such as Pauline Kael, A.O. Scott, or Siskel & Ebert developed a refined aesthetic and cultural lens through which to view the world and forms of representation; not Ninnis, who seems to believe that art is like pornography and he ‘knows it when he sees it.’ Whether he can subsequently communicate that seeing without reference to a dozen ten dollar words is another matter entirely.

Yet the news is not all bad; I found his review of that cultural blight The Sims 4 rather entertaining, although constituting further evidence that future generations shall have their brains completely rotted out by gaming. Hopefully we will all be dead by then. Ninnis’ quiet, sceptical celebration of Haruki Murakami’s work is also laudable; demonstrating an affection but criticism, and finding a reasoned middle ground that is notably absent in his other reviews. If only he had it within him to consistently produce this nuanced and intelligent work; sadly, this does not seem to be the case.

Overall, I can’t recommend the reviewer Drew Ninnis and his website www.drewreviewsthings.com, unless you happen to be waiting for a bus or working your way through a particularly obstructive digestive complaint. That a man chooses to sit in judgement from on high despite never having produced a creative work himself indicates a particularly deranged character; entirely in keeping with what incidental descriptions I have gleaned from his acquaintances. Let us hope that this fad for ironic hipster statements and referential humour eventually fades; and with it, Drew Reviews Things.

Rating: One and a half stars.


Films Drew Loves:

  The Great Beauty  (2013) Dir. Paolo Sorrentino

The Great Beauty (2013) Dir. Paolo Sorrentino

  M  (1931) Dir. Fritz Lang

M (1931) Dir. Fritz Lang

  The Blues Brothers   (1980) Dir. John Landis

The Blues Brothers (1980) Dir. John Landis

  A Night at the Opera  (1935) Dir. Sam Wood

A Night at the Opera (1935) Dir. Sam Wood

  Werckmeister Harmonies  (2000) Dir. Béla Tarr

Werckmeister Harmonies (2000) Dir. Béla Tarr

  Le Quattro Volte  (2010) Dir. Michelangelo Frammartino

Le Quattro Volte (2010) Dir. Michelangelo Frammartino

  The Virgin Spring  (1960) Dir. Ingmar Bergman

The Virgin Spring (1960) Dir. Ingmar Bergman

  Barry Lyndon  (1975) Dir. Stanley Kubrick

Barry Lyndon (1975) Dir. Stanley Kubrick

  Stalker  (1979) Dir. Andre Tarkovsky

Stalker (1979) Dir. Andre Tarkovsky

  Il Posto  (1961) Dir. Ermanno Olmi

Il Posto (1961) Dir. Ermanno Olmi

  The Spirit of the Beehive  (1973) Dir. Víctor Erice

The Spirit of the Beehive (1973) Dir. Víctor Erice

  The Third Man  (1949) Dir. Carol Reed

The Third Man (1949) Dir. Carol Reed


Films Drew Hates With Every Fibre of His Being: 

  We Need to Talk About Kevin  (2011) Dir. Lynne Ramsay

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) Dir. Lynne Ramsay

  Jules and Jim  (1962) Dir. François Truffaut

Jules and Jim (1962) Dir. François Truffaut

  Leningrad Cowboys Go America  (1989) Dir. Aki Kaurismäki

Leningrad Cowboys Go America (1989) Dir. Aki Kaurismäki


Books Drew Loves:

   The Man Without Qualities  (1930-43) by Robert Musil

The Man Without Qualities (1930-43) by Robert Musil

   The Vivisector  (1970) by Patrick White

The Vivisector (1970) by Patrick White

   Earthly Powers  (1980) by Anthony Burgess

Earthly Powers (1980) by Anthony Burgess

   2666  (2004) by Roberto Bolaño

2666 (2004) by Roberto Bolaño

   Your Face Tomorrow  (2002-9) by Javier Marias

Your Face Tomorrow (2002-9) by Javier Marias

   Small Gods  (1992) by Terry Pratchett

Small Gods (1992) by Terry Pratchett

   Catch 22  (1961) by Joseph Heller

Catch 22 (1961) by Joseph Heller

   A Dance to the Music of Time  (1951-75) by Anthony Powell

A Dance to the Music of Time (1951-75) by Anthony Powell

   The Master and Margarita  (1967) by Mikhail Bulgakov

The Master and Margarita (1967) by Mikhail Bulgakov

   In Search of Lost Time  (1913-27) by Marcel Proust

In Search of Lost Time (1913-27) by Marcel Proust

   The Border Trilogy  (1992-8) by Cormac McCarthy

The Border Trilogy (1992-8) by Cormac McCarthy

   The Glass Bead Game  (1943) by Hermann Hesse

The Glass Bead Game (1943) by Hermann Hesse


Books Drew Hates, Mostly Because of High School:

   It's Raining in Mango  (1987) by Thea Astley

It's Raining in Mango (1987) by Thea Astley

   American Psycho  (1991) by Bret Easton Ellis

American Psycho (1991) by Bret Easton Ellis

   The Message to the Planet  (1989) by Iris Murdoch

The Message to the Planet (1989) by Iris Murdoch

   The Handmaid's Tale  (1985) by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale (1985) by Margaret Atwood


Games Drew Loves:

   Dune 2: The Building of a Dynasty  (1992) by Westwood Studios

Dune 2: The Building of a Dynasty (1992) by Westwood Studios

   Civilization II  (1996) by MicroProse

Civilization II (1996) by MicroProse

   Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind  (2002) by Bethesda Game Studios

Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (2002) by Bethesda Game Studios

   Simcity 4 Deluxe Edition  (2003) by Maxis

Simcity 4 Deluxe Edition (2003) by Maxis

   Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic  (2003) by BioWare

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (2003) by BioWare

   Bioshock  (2007) by 2K Boston/Australia

Bioshock (2007) by 2K Boston/Australia

   Evil Genius  (2004) by Elixir Studios

Evil Genius (2004) by Elixir Studios

   Europa Universalis 4  (2013) by Paradox Development Studio

Europa Universalis 4 (2013) by Paradox Development Studio


The decisions of the judges are final. No correspondence will be entered into.

Unless you enter it into the comments section, below.