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Meet Entertainment Critic John Dempsey

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Reel Life With Jane: John DempseyWe have great contributors at Reel Life With Jane. They’re funny and insightful. They have a wide variety of movie and TV knowledge. And they’re great writers, to boot.

John Dempsey is not only one of the best entertainment critics around, but he also subs as a Web editor here. He never balks at writing about not-all-that-exciting TV shows, he knows how to review a DVD set inside and out, and he never complains when I ask, “Hey, did you see such-and-such movie this weekend? Want to review it?”

And so without further adieu, meet one of the most entertaining entertainment critics on the Web…

If you were stuck on a desert island (with a TV and electricity), what one movie or TV show would you like to have with you?

The smart answer here is probably The Simpsons because then I would be 85 before I was able to watch them all. However, I would still go with The Godfather because it is my favorite movie, and I could watch it over and over.

What’s the dumbest movie you’ve ever seen?

The Room. However, I think everyone alive should see this film at least once because it is so hilariously awful.

What’s the smartest movie you’ve ever seen?

Memento. “The movie filmed backwards” has to be seen to be believed.

What movie do you wish you’d never seen?

Meet the Spartans. I have seen bad movies, but this is just 90 minutes I will never get back. Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg are terrible people, and they should be ashamed.

What remake would you love to see happen? 

Back to the Future. Going from 1985 back to 1955 was good. But a kid from 2012 going back to 1982? Hysterical.

Upcoming movie you can’t wait for?

The Dark Knight Rises looks great, but I am ecstatic for Wreck-It Ralph. A GOOD video game movie? I never thought I would live to see it.

You’ve named Bella from Twilight as 1) Best Villain in Fiction; 2) Scariest Movie Monster; and 3) Most Hated Fictional Character. Explain.

I think #3 falls into the other two, as I will explain. From watching the movies and having the books summarized, it is obvious that Edward and Jacob were meant to be together. They have a lot in common, and it would be a much more interesting Romeo and Juliet metaphor if they loved each other.

However, a cruel succubus creature named Bella is after Edward’s eternal life essence. She uses her bewitching succubus powers to keep both guys trapped forever, their true love now impossible. Edward will forever be mind controlled by an empty husk of a character with no personality, and Jacob is a slave to her evil spawn. It is impossible to name a more heartless and monstrous villain.

You count The Godfather and The Godfather Part II among your favorite films. If you could be a Godfather character, who would it be?

I suppose I would be Tom Hagen because I would actually survive the movies, and he is a pretty smart guy. He also dies before Godfather Part III, so that’s even better.

I’ve tried watching Futurama and can’t get into it. What’s the appeal?

[amazon_link id=”B0029XFNBC” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Futurama[/amazon_link] has a lot of geeky jokes about Star Trek and science fiction, so I enjoy that kind of humor. There is also a ton of jokes about 90’s culture like the Beastie Boys and Sega Genesis. I can understand why it would be hard to get into, though. The characters are even stranger than [amazon_link id=”B000083C6V” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Family Guy[/amazon_link]’s talking dog and baby. You’d probably have to watch it right from episode one to care about an alcoholic robot or an alien lobster doctor named Zoidberg.

What’s your preferred gaming system?

Currently, the Xbox 360. All time, the Nintendo 64.

What’s the first game you ever played?

The original Super Mario Brothers. My dad had that game mastered.

What’s your favorite game and why?

Super Smash Brothers. It is a fighting game where you can have Mario and Pikachu battle each other. My friends and I played it all of the time during high school, and even after everyone moved away, we still find excuses to meet up and play it again.

Tell us something about yourself that no one else knows.

I was a huge professional wrestling fan back in the day. I’d watch every single Wrestlemania and my room was covered in wrestling memorabilia. The Rock was my hero when I was a kid. When he became an actor, it broke my heart. Then his movies gave me indigestion.

If you could time-travel, where would you go?

It is the unwritten rule of time-travel that you are required to kill Hitler. Since that is a given, I would probably go forward in time to see how things turn out in 100 years or so. Hopefully, the robots haven’t taken over by then.

Check out all the Reel Life With Jane contributors

Jane Boursaw is the founder and editor-in-chief of Reel Life With Jane. Her credits include hundreds of print and online publications, including The New York Times, People Magazine, Variety, Moviefone, TV Squad and more. Follow her on Twitter at @reellifejane.

Jane Boursaw has written posts on Reel Life With Jane.


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  1. John Dempsey, you’re my kind of critic. I love the fact that you geek out over Godfather I and II and you’re clearly the age of my kids. Best movies ever. You should however mention Sofia’s death scene in Godfather III, which may go down in history as the longest comic death scene in the movies (please, die already). Another kudo for hating Bella. Most vaccuous character ever (both in writing and on the screen). 

    •  @rachelbirds Will and I recently watched the Godfather trilogy and it took us about 2 years to get through the whole thing. We just couldn’t commit to an entire movie at any one time, and by the time we got to III, I can’t even remember what happened, to be honest. Which sounds like a good thing, although I really want to see Sofia’s death scene now. Just recently, I said to Will, you know, we should watch Godfather III sometime and complete the trilogy, and he’s like, we already watched that, Mom, last year. Huh, ok. 

  2. Anyone who loathes Bella is my kind of critic. Did you hate The Titanic, too? Hope so. 

    • JohnDempsey

       @Kristin Ohlson I probably would dislike Titanic more if James Cameron didn’t make Avatar. I only have enough hate in my heart for one extremely bad Cameron movie.
       

      •  @JohnDempsey  @Kristin Ohlson See, now I really love Avatar and look forward to Avatar 2, 3, 4 and maybe even 5, but can’t stomach Titanic because, well, I know how it ends and it’s too depressing. How do you guys feel about Terminator? 

  3. @jane I love The Terminator. The character of Sarah Connor was awesome and the movie came out at a time when we needed more kickass female characters. Also love Arnold in that movie. Have to laugh about Titanic because it came out when Railey was 14 and she saw it a zillion times and cried each time. Then this spring when it came out AGAIN Gwen was 11 and saw it several times and cried each time. It really appealed to adolescent girls the first time round and tweens the second. @John — agree with you about Avatar. Blech.

    •  @rachelbirds  @jane  @John Missy just turned 15, and she and her friends are obsessed with Titanic! Well, basically anything with Leonardo DiCaprio in it, and who can blame them? Maybe he’ll finally win that Oscar this year for The Great Gatsby. 
       
      Sarah Connor – yes. 

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