The Nostalgia Critic Interview

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The Nostalgia Critic is the Internet's king of rage-fueled cinematic humor. He is known for his comedic critiques of films ranging from Man of Steel to Starchaser: The Legend of Orin .

His videos are filled with puerile tantrums and comedic hyperbole. But don't let this humorous facade fool you; the Critic's reviews are founded on the basis of insightful film analysis.

The mastermind behind the Critic is Doug Walker--a lifelong fan of cinema.

Recently, Empty Lighthouse got a chance to ask Walker about the Critic. He told us about his passion for the medium and his creative process.

You refer to the Nostalgia Critic as a character that you portray; how much of your personality is reflected in the character?

A lot.

Much of my opinion about a movie or issue is incorporated into the Critic, but the actual anger and emotional frustration is usually just the character.

If I treated movies as life-changing disasters like the Critic does, I think I would need to tell myself to get some real problems.

What got you interested in film? When did you first get the idea for the Nostalgia Critic, and were you expecting to develop it into what it is today?

I've always loved film, I can't think of a time when I didn't. I love telling stories and film is my favorite combination of visual, audio, and mental stimulation to do it in. I got the idea for the Critic when I was going through that nostalgic phase I think everyone goes through where I became obsessed with watching media I grew up with. I discovered, however, that a lot of it wasn't as good as I remembered it.

So I thought it'd be funny to create a character who felt betrayed by the fact that his childhood wasn't as perfect as he remembered it, and chose to blame everyone else but himself for it. I always thought in the back of my head that it'd be great if this became a big thing, and I could end up doing it for a living.

But I didn't think it would actually happen. Whoever's writing my life is not a very realistic writer.

Your videos evolved from comedic commentary to satirical narratives based on the film you're reviewing. What inspired this change?

These are additions we've always wanted to work into the reviews, but we never could due to time restraints.

With the return of the character we were allowed double the time to work on fresher writing and new ideas. I certainly didn't want people to say the only difference in having more time was a different colored wall.

How long does it take to film a review? And how much preparation goes into them?

It takes two weeks from watching the movie to review.

It takes about two days to write; a day to plan, a day to film, and then the rest of the time is dedicated to editing (which is in my mind the most important).

Do your reviews strictly follow scripts, or are they more malleable improv-based performances?

They're mostly script based. But every once in a while the other actors or I will feel a new line or scene, and we'll try filming it. Sometimes they make it in, sometimes they don't.

What's it like reviewing a film that you are a fan of? Is it difficult to put your fandom aside and look at it objectively?

Not really. In fact, it's even more interesting to come at a film from a different point of view. I love a challenge like that.

In contrast, is it especially difficult to sit through some of the worst films you've reviewed? (i.e Foodfight, Batman and Robin, etc.)

It depends. Some films are really fun to watch despite the fact that they're bad.

Films like The Room , Dungeons and Dragons, and Maximum Overdrive are great fun to watch because of how funny they are.

Others are tough because they're just boring, like: Junior, Master of Disguise, and The Last Airbender. Some films are very standard in how bad they are, but others are so fascinatingly and entreatingly bad it's hard not to enjoy it.

Which of the two do you have more fun reviewing: the bad movies or the ones that you like?

It's about even; it just has to be entertaining. I think any film, even a bad one, can still be fun if there's a lot of passion and creativity that went into the creation of it.

Super Mario Bros. is an awful movie, but its vision and cinematic choices are so odd that nobody else could've thought of them, and it makes it a truly unique experience to watch.

There are lots of bad movies out there, so what was it about The Odd Life of Timothy Green that made you want to bring back the Nostalgia Critic?

I'm not sure. Maybe it was just good timing-- the right film at the right time. But once again the story choices are so removed from reality, and the film tries so hard to convince us that it would happen in reality.

I think that die-hard dedication to something, even if it is misled, is strangely irresistible. Again, it was just so odd that a movie like that, especially made today and by a company like Disney, could actually exist-- and for kids, no less.

It's fascinating.

What's your favorite running gag in the NC reviews?

It changes over time. Somehow, bears keep coming into the mix. So at one point I threw ten bear jokes together in my Wicker Man review. I don't know what it is, but something about bears always equals funny.