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Movie reviewer upset with Reporter; airs private email

By Frank Parlato

Roger Ebert gets paid to write reviews
Michael Calleri got to see movies for free.

A Chicago Sun-Times blog operated by movie critic Roger Ebert published a guest view last week from Michael Calleri, a man who writes movie reviews more or less as a hobby.

Actually Calleri is a guy who likes to go to movies, about 20 times a week. He can, he told me, get in for free if he tells theater owners he is a reviewer for a bona fide publication like the Niagara Falls Reporter.

In fact, Calleri used this gambit for years as he churned out a weekly column of drivel he called a movie review for the Reporter, long before I took over as publisher.

Thanks to this newspaper, Calleri copped a lot of free movies and free DVD’s from movie studios and, at the height of his career, he also got $25 per week.

About six months ago, I told Calleri that I did not care to publish the type of reviews he was doing but if he cared to concentrate on something important, supporting the efforts of local entertainment, as opposed to big-corporate Hollywood movies, or if he could find movies to review that upheld a kind of human dignity that I once tried to explain to him, but he was incapable of understanding, I would be glad to discuss this with him.

He was not interested. He wanted to spend his time going to movies.

In any event, Ebert, who is a man who actually gets paid to write movie reviews, published Calleri’s lengthy opinion of me on his blog. Calleri called it “Reactionary men who fear and hate strong women.” It runs long at 3,216 words, but you can read it at (http://blogs.suntimes.com/foreignc/2012/11/post-2.html).

In short, according to Calleri, the events that lead to him not writing his largely unread and unpaid movie reviews for the Reporter was “censorship” arising from “one man's loathing of strong contemporary women” and adds, with unintentional humor, “I wonder if any writer has faced what I ultimately faced.”

What Calleri faced was, in fact, an email from me.

He asked why his reviews were not being published, and, as Calleri explains, “I got my answer in the form of an email that is so shocking, it seems to come from another galaxy, an evil one. What dark void produced what you are about to read is anyone's guess. What causes a male human being to so rigidly hate the opposite sex that he fears not only the power of women, but also the power of movies (sic).

“(Parlato) wanted to approve the movies I reviewed… Worse, there would be a litmus test. If the movie featured strong or empowered women, I would not be allowed to write about that film. Fortunately, he put his thoughts in an email for all the world to read.”

One of the problems with Calleri’s writing, and probably the main reason his movie reviews were hardly read, is that he lacks the fundamentals in sound thinking or logic.

For the record, if I knew Calleri was going to publish my off-the-record and, in parts, tongue-in-cheek email, I would have added capital letters and a couple of commas, but I wouldn't have changed what I wrote.

In fact I might have made the language even stronger.

In any event, in the upsetting-to-Calleri email, I told him that a film he wanted to review was “trash. moral garbage. a lot of fuzzy feminist thinking and pandering to creepy Hollywood mores produced by metrosexual imbeciles.”

I thought that plain enough.

I also wrote, “I don't want to publish reviews of films where women are alpha and men are beta. where women are heroes and villains and men are just lesser versions or shadows of females.”

The terrifying–to-Calleri email also included "a word about the moral turpitude,” and the Hollywood agenda, “of glorifying degenerate power women and promoting as natural the weakling, hyena-like men, cum eunuchs.”

I would like to make clear that I was not condemning “power women” but “degenerate power women,” a point wholly missed by Calleri. These degenerate stinkers (male and female) are often glorified as heroes and heroines of Hollywood movies.
Still, possibly for Calleri and the far left, is, worst of all, that I wrote, “i am not interested in supporting the reversing of traditional gender roles.”

And, “it is my opinion that Hollywood has robbed America of its manliness and made us a nation of eunuchs who lacking all manliness welcome in the coming police state.”

Now to explain where Calleri jumped to hasty conclusions.

I might remind the reader that the email does not say I would not consider reviews of films where men and women are both shown in an inspiring light. I am simply not interested in films that demean men, or men of a particular race. I am also equally uninterested in publishing reviews of films that demean women.

I did not say that women should have lesser courage or true, inner strength than a man. I merely said I do not have an interest in seeing men depicted as weaker, dumber, more cowardly or lower than women. In other words, no male bashing. And, consequently, no female bashing.

Calleri jumped to the illogical conclusion that, since I did not want male bashing, I must want female bashing.
Violence, vulgarity, gender bashing, moronic sex acts on the screen, racial bashing, violent women, violent men and promiscuous men and women are the common fare of Hollywood, fed not only to adults but directed and marketed deliberately to adolescents.

I mean who but a moron would want his children watching the kind of filth and violence shown (and gleefully reviewed) by Hollywood every day?

Perhaps many modern movie goers do not care for films of genuine heroism, whether the heroes are men or women. But a movie that shows noble, inspiring themes, I would be glad to review.

I also admit and wrote in that horrible-for-Calleri email that I am interested in publishing that which promotes traditional family values and, at the risk of offending many, supporting the traditional roles between a husband and wife, where, for the welfare of their children, a mother can stay at home to raise her children and a father goes out to work damn hard. That I applaud self-sacrificing motherhood should not be construed as an indication that I hate women by far left liberals.

Of course, I operate from the premise that “women deserve and are fit for everything.” And I believe there is nothing stopping a woman from doing anything she desires, if she has the talent. I sincerely hope more movies are made that genuinely inspire young women. And young men, too. But more than that, I hope that young people veer away from movies and live life more. There are better things to do with our time than sit around and watch others live.

Otherwise they may wind up like Calleri, spending all his time watching movies and writing blather about them so he can get in to see more free movies.

Roger Ebert’s blog attracted attention, as you might expect. Ebert is a well-known movie critic. Most commentators on his blog were sympathetic with Calleri. This is not surprising since this is a blog about Hollywood and its movies.

Commentators called me “a chauvinistic, self-glorifying Neanderthal,” and an “odious” man. I was compared to other “Troglodytic editors.” My actions were “appalling” and “scary.”

One woman wrote, “I wish you could spend one year of your life as a female in this world, just to know what it's like.”
She might wish to consider not thinking of herself as a victim.

A man wrote, “Men like this are one of the greatest reasons why there isn't any progress in the world, and I am embarrassed to be of the same gender as them.”

He might consider a sex change, if he feels so embarrassed because of me.
As for censorship, one person wrote, “The things that this publisher has said (in the email) should not be permitted in this century!”

Two people wrote that I was a guy with deep-seated “mommy issues.”

And while I enjoyed the unintentionally funny and immature rudeness of Calleri and some of the writers who posted comments, some, I suspect, may have a deep-seated daddy issue.

They simply hate the idea of a strong, powerful man in their cowardly and effete new world.

There were a few comments in support, including one who wrote that Calleri was an “unmanly wuss.” “Strong women characters? Bah. Most of it is complete garbage. Utterly impossible situations where skinny women fight off and beat men three times their weight and muscle-mass. It's garbage, unbelievable, and only has an audience because of loser geeks fantasizing about women with 6 inch waists and DD busts. It's the very opposite of feminism. It's misandry mixed with the masculinization of the feminine. It's homo-eroticism for the masses. There is no need to see the movies in question. They are all of a kind. Just as all the half-men here are one of a kind.”

In any event, this is, in many respects, much ado about nothing. The Niagara Falls Reporter is geared toward local news and not reviews of big-corporate Hollywood.

They are unimportant compared to the real issues of this community.

Meantime, luckily for Hollywood lovers, there is no shortage of publications that glorify Hollywood’s big-corporate movies. Many of these same publications take advertising dollars from Hollywood movie corporations. I wonder if that influences their reviews?

As for Calleri, there is good news, too. He is back at his hobby and will apparently be writing his tedious reviews on an internet site. He should soon be able to go to movies again for free.

In the meantime, in what is generally described as a declining newspaper market, the Niagara Falls Reporter has doubled its distribution during the last seven months. We owe a hearty thanks to our growing ranks of readers who are, for the most part, as far removed from the values and morals of Hollywood as Calleri is from being a legitimate, full-time, working writer.



Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Nov 20 , 2012