About Drew, his reviews, and how to contact him. Also, some of the films, books, and games that Drew loves/hates.
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.
Website Proprietor: Drew Ninnis
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:
Films Drew Hates With Every Fibre of His Being:
Books Drew Loves:
Books Drew Hates, Mostly Because of High School:
Games Drew Loves:
The decisions of the judges are final. No correspondence will be entered into.
Unless you enter it into the comments section, below.