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Critic's Corner: Peter Travers

Updated on March 12, 2012

Peter Travers...the man that played a key inspiration behind my writing style on hubpages...

Welcome to another edition of "Critic's Corner", where we'll be analyzing our next Travers; famous film critic of Rollingstone Magazine. As some of you may know, "Critic's Corner" is essentially a hub series that I recently started to analyze various film critics. Some of them ranging from the drastically under rated hubpage writers such as JBunce to HL allen, but we'll also be going over other film critics that aren't bound to hubpages like Peter Travers, Roger Ebert and etc. In this latest edition, I've decided to review one of my favorite film critics, and the movie writer that has played a very big inspiration behind my writing style as a critic.

I remember a while back when I originally started writing reviews, as a kid on yahoo/myspace/etc for fun, my brother would always tell me that I should to model my critique style after the infamous film critic, Peter Travers.

When I originally started off on hubpages, I would often try to mimic my review style after Peter Travers. But as time went on, I started to gain influences from other critics like Roger Ebert and etc. Incorporating various other film critic styles into my own, while learning from their mistakes as well to eventually surpass them. Granted, it's a bit more complicated than what I've just described to formulate the current writing style that I have now, but this is more of the simplified short version of it. Besides, you didn't think I was going to give away all my secrets in this hub did you?

Anyway, to get back to our analysis of Mr. Travers, I feel it's best to go over the vintage Peter from Rolling Stone Magazine first; before we analyze the current one. What do I mean by this? Well, it's simple. Over the years, it does seem like Mr. Travers has gone from being an insightful writer that wasn't afraid to speak his mind, and go against popular opinion, but these days it seems he's become sort of ranting biased film critic at times. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing but the utmost respect for Peter Travers, as he'll always be one of the key inspirations behind my writing style, but I can't ignore the painfully obvious here.

I remember a while back that one of my favorite reviews of his was when he analyzed "The Incredible Hulk." Granted, it wasn't that long ago, but I loved how he was quick to point out that "The Hulk" was nowhere near as bad as it's reputation, and how the "Incredible Hulk" was nowhere near as great as the hype, to start his review. Seriously, that line alone gives him instant credibility in my book, as he's right. "The Hulk" is NOT as bad as a movie people make it out to be, as there have been worse superhero films out there. And, "The Incredible Hulk" is NOT as great as people want to believe either, as there was a lot of flaws with that movie. From there, Peter Travers would go on to give a brutally honest analysis of "The Incredible Hulk", while comparing it aptly to Ang Lee's version. Not only did he judge both films fairly, but he was right on the money to not jump on the proverbial bandwagon so to speak of bashing "Hulk"; while over praising the ridiculously over hyped "Incredible Hulk."

Plus, I do love his direct to the point style to call out a movie if it's bad, and how in depth he could go into any movie, as many of his early reviews showed that he put a lot of research into them. In fact, I wish I could base this entire analysis off vintage Peter Travers, as that version would definitely get a perfect score as a film critic. Unfortunately, I can't ignore the current model of Peter Travers....

Over my time with hubpages, I've not only taken the time to try to incorporate various styles in my own, but I've tried to analyze flaws in other critics to see how I can surpass them eventually. Needless to say, this has also led me to discover various flaws in the current model of Peter Travers. Don't get me wrong, he's still a great mentor to me (even though we've never actually talked, or met before), as I'm sure he'll probably forget more about films, in a day, than I'll ever learn in a lifetime. However, if you've honestly stopped to read all his reviews, then you tend to notice that some of his current ones are not only biased, but some of them can come off as nothing more than rants that you'd expect from a random teenager on youtube or something.

Take the review that he did last year on the "Green Lantern." You could clearly tell from reading it that he came off as more of ranting fanboy fanatic; versus trying to review the film objectively and fairly, like he did with the "Incredible Hulk" review. If anything, you could even tell that he didn't even bother putting in the same amount of research he did with "The Incredible Hulk" review. For starters, not only did he fail to recognize the symbolism behind the character himself, but he calls out the movie for making a mistake about how Hal Jordan was not the first human "Green Lantern"; hence citing how inaccurate the film was in his view. Granted, I know that seems like a fair assessment, as he's technically right that Hal Jordan was not the first human calling himself the "Green Lantern" in comic books.

However, what he failed to realize was that movie is based on the silver age version of "Green Lantern"; which was technically more of a re-imagining of the character, where Hal Jordan was the first human "Green Lantern" in that story line. Therefore, his analysis to point out that inaccuracy is way off base, and incorrect.

As I stated earlier, I mean no ill offense to Peter Travers, nor do I intend to p*** off any of his die hard readers that may stumble across this analysis of him. Trust me, I'm still an avid follower of his. Sure, like all film critics, I don't always agree with his opinion, but I do feel he's lost some of his touch over the years as a writer.

However, that's not to say that all his current reviews aren't good, as he did write a very insightful, yet direct to the point review about "The Descendants", for example. It's just when he has to review bad movies that he seems to come off as more of ranting youtube user than an actual film critic.

As I mentioned earlier, I still have nothing but respect for him, so I do apologize if anything I said comes off as disrespectful towards the man. If anything, I owe part of my early success on hubpages to him, as I never would've evolved as a film writer without his reviews to inspire me. In the end, I'd probably have to give Mr. Travers a three out of four. Granted, vintage Peter Travers would've gotten a perfect rating, but the current model still works just fine.


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    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 5 years ago

      Thanks. I'm glad you think so too. The only problem with writing these types of analysis on other critics is that it puts me in an odd position where i have to nitpick at them; which could always come off as disrespectful to some people. lol. However, I'm glad that hasn't become a problem so far though, but you never know. Anyway, thanks for stopping by again Cogerson. :)

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

      Excellent review on Pete Travers the reviewer....I have also enjoyed reading his work for many years myself. You have picked some excellent people to that influence how you write your awesome reviews....voted up and interesting.