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Publisher's Summary

The UK's most trusted (and scathing) film reviewer asks: who needs the professionals now that everyone's a critic? For decades, the backbone of film criticism has been the hatchet job - the entertaining trashing of a film by professional reviewers, seen by many as cynical snobs.

But with the arrival of the internet, have the critics finally fallen under the axe? With movie posters now just as likely to be adorned by Twitter quotes as fusty reviewer recommendations, has the rise of enthusiastic amateurism sounded the death knell of a profession? Are the democratic opportunities of the internet any more reliable than the old gripes and prejudices of the establishment? Can editing really be done by robots? And what kind of films would we have if we listened to what the audience thinks it wants?

Starting with the celebrated TV fight between film-maker Ken Russell and critic Alexander Walker (the former hit the latter with a rolled-up copy of his Evening Standard review on live television) and ending with his own admission to Steven Spielberg of a major error of judgement, Mark Kermode takes us on a journey across the modern cinematic landscape. Like its predecessor, The Good, The Bad & The Multiplex, Hatchet Job blends historical analysis with trenchant opinion, bitter personal prejudices, autobiographical diversions and anecdotes, and laugh-out-loud acerbic humour. It's the perfect book for anyone who's ever expressed an opinion about a movie.

©2013 Mark Kermode (P)2013 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ian
  • 02-17-15

Perfectly acceptable book from the Good Doctor

Another fine dissection of the movie industry by Dr. K. Lots of interesting anecdotes recollected with aplomb and insight.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tim
  • 11-23-13

A skilled orator giving an insight into his world

Being a relatively recent convert to the @wittertainment podcast and the flappy handed blather of BBC Radio's version of Statler and Waldorf, I looked forward to hearing what the good doctor had to say in book form.

Dr. Kermode is very good at speaking, easy to listen to and, giving that he was speaking words he himself had written it came as no surprise that the delivery was crisp and impassioned in all the right places.

Peppered with humour as well as the rants he is famous for the tale moves on at a brisk pace and is enlightening as to what it means to be a full time film critic, from the arcane days of print media in the 80's when he started, to the digital age in this century. It goes someway to explaining how on earth someone can make a living by watching films and complaining about them while simultaneously admitting that they couldn't have done a better job themselves.

An enjoyable listen which includes my current favourite phrase "turned it up to eleventy-stupid"

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul S. Turner
  • 07-20-14

the wolves of wardour street

Would you listen to Hatchet Job again? Why?

i love Mark Kermode

What did you like best about this story?

Brutal honesty and fantastic stories

What does Mark Kermode bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

His funny wit and insightful anecdotes

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

carry on Kermode

Any additional comments?

nobody else could have narrated this book

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Letitia
  • 01-18-14

Kermode's new book is a real treat, Loved it!

Would you listen to Hatchet Job again? Why?

Iwill listen to this book again.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mark Kermode.

Which character – as performed by Mark Kermode – was your favourite?

the author.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

In a world of critics, he was another one... with a hatchet.

Any additional comments?

Mark Kermode is an excellent movie critic. He has a very engaging style and a real love of film with a wealth of knowledge and a real death of understanding of the art form. Though, you won't ever hear Kermode himself say that. He is self deprecating to a fault and has real warmth and affection for takers of and he audience of cinema in all it's forms. This third book is thoroughly entertaining. I would rank this book as joint close second to his first, “It's only a movie” alongside his second outing, “The good, the bad and the multiplex.” All three are very entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable, “It's only a movie” is excellent with the next two far from being the difficult second and third albums. They stand on their own merit and will stand the test of time. The first book is more of a manifesto and a positioning statement, it comes from the writer's heart and is a joy which survives many repeated listens. Looking forward to the next listen and the next book. Brilliant stuff indeed. Thanks Mark.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • mary
  • 01-07-14

A very intelligent look

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This audio book is like the kermode and mayo show but with out simon stoping kermode ramblings. Mark clearly shows his love of cinema in his thoughtful arguments on a subject which is changing his field of work.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Iain
  • 12-11-13

Kermodian flappy hands at their best!

If you know the work of the good Dr. then you know what to expect in this his third book looking at the industry with which he has become synonymous with.

In Hatchet Job Kermode looks at modern film criticism and asks the question 'who needs the professionals now that everyone's a critic?'

Through his flappy handed ramblings and entertaining stories from throughout his career he sets about to discover where the current day professional critic sits alongside reviews written in 140 characters now that everyone is a critic.

Never short of opinion Kermode posses interesting questions about how the world of film criticism is changing but as most blogs are 'graffiti with punctuation' I think he'll be doing fine for some time to come.

A must read for any wittertainment fan!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mendo Shutaro
  • 10-15-13

A Kermodian rant, and essay on criticism

I imagine most (or all) listeners will be very familiar with Kermode's film podcast, and so will come to this knowing all about Mark's likes and dislikes. This time he talks in some depth about movie criticism, from it's origins to it's current position in the hands on amateurs on Amazon and the like. There are rants of course, and some of it feels a little forced, but plenty of good points are made too. I'm not sure what the conclusion was, but it was entertaining to listen to.

This is also a surprisingly foul mouthed book, which isn't a problem, just surprising. Away from the shackles of the BBC, Kermode swears like the proverbial trooper.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Steven
  • 10-14-13

Another Kermode book, top job.

Ok Kermode is not a professional reader, I don’t care, yes he asks rhetorical questions, I don’t care. Yes his reading style is a tad erratic and oddly emphasised. DON’T CARE. The book is a laugh, he’s a laugh, it made me smile.

Note it also had some interesting information in there to.

So basically fun and you learn something. That’s about as much as you can ask of any book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Rob Wilson
  • 06-02-14

Love Mark but this book is poor compared to others

What would have made Hatchet Job better?

Love Mark and his show but this is poor especially when put up against his two other books which I've listened to. I'll happily go back and listen to random chapters from the early books but this one was just a bit boring. You can only go so far talking about critical review and this finds it out way too soon.

Would you ever listen to anything by Mark Kermode again?

Absolutely

Which scene did you most enjoy?

hmm tough one I could go back and listen again but it kind of says it all that none were memorable

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Hatchet Job?

eek dare i say it I wouldnt have made it :( sorry mark

Any additional comments?

Feel bad jumping on this but I didn't like it at all

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ian
  • 06-04-17

An exceptionally long essay

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I have enjoyed Mark's other books and this one does provide insight into the world of film critics and their relationship with the film industry. However, to be totally unfair, the book should be called 'an essay on why my job is important'. It is, without doubt, a well written and perfectly argued piece... but a little boring. I felt it was an achievement when I reached the end of the book..not a good sign. So I don't recommend it for entertainment or even interest, unless you are doing a degree in the film industry.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I am sure that those who are really into the film industry will find this book very interesting. If you are Joe public, who enjoys the Mayo and Kermode podcast, then this book is a bit heavy going.

Have you listened to any of Mark Kermode’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Loved Mark's other books, I even enjoy his performance because he reads so clearly and has a master of English word. For someone who spends everyday struggling with the written word I find his work a delight.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

God No! Sorry...