Gonna dive in here, and yeah, I'm going to defend Harry, so feel free to skip this if you want.
Harry's online persona and his real-life persona aren't exactly the same. He's genuinely enthusiastic about film - the most enthusiastic film person I know, really - and my favorite writings of his are when he's sharing that enthusiasm. But he also writes to provoke. It's no accident that hit-wise AICN's still a juggernaut in the community. Sure, he was one of the first, but Harry and the crew have engaging online personalities that keep most people coming back.
I've known him for about 13 years now, and met him personally in 2000. I was invited to his wedding but I couldn't go - my mom was in town and it was the 20th anniversary of my dad's passing, so it was a rough weekend all around anyway. I've been to 9 of the last 11 BNATs, and am going to this weekend's 12th. I'd say that BNAT's an important event in film, but that's for a whole other discussion. I know Patricia fairly well too, and she's terrific - she genuinely loves him and they seem to be having a great time together.
Dude's helped found Fantastic Fest, probably the major genre film fest in the United States. He helped build the Alamo Drafthouse into serious prominence, and anyone who's went there probably agrees that it's one of the best theater chains in the country, if not the best. Behind the scenes, you'd be surprised at what the guy's involved in; let's just say that some of your favorite films might be radically different if not for his involvement.
As far as his Internet persona goes, all I can say is that he's different in person. Strike up a conversation with him and he defends his points articulately and with passion. He's had an interesting life, to say the least - you could just consider him the regular basement-dwelling geek but you'd be wrong. I don't know if you know about his upbringing but the dude was raised on film since an infant, and then he's had some traumatic experiences with his mom that's shaped his worldview.
I should know better by now and you'd think I would have developed a thicker skin about this but whenever I see threads like this it gets me because I know him and I know that as a person he's a very giving guy and I've been a recipient of his good nature more than once. He's helped me out in some rough times. I've written for him as much as I can and I'll continue to do so because he's a friend, since I'm not a professional writer.
As far as the BLADE 2 review, it's hilarious to me that people still get riled up about that. Fact is, GdT bet Harry after Harry told him how much he loved his movie that he wouldn't write a review that compared the movie to, erm, cunnilingus. It was a joke review and was always intended as such. You can't bet Harry not to do anything because he'll do it and take wicked glee in doing it (believe me, you should hear him cackle at some of the movies he shows at BNAT).
Do I agree with everything Harry writes? Of course not. But I don't want an echo chamber of my opinions. When he doesn't like something, he's coming from a real place and although I don't agree with his INCEPTION review I know where he's coming from with it. It's actually the essence of civil discourse on the Internet - Harry isn't attacking anyone for loving a movie, he'd never do that.
Yeah, he's a friend of mine, so view this as biased if you want to. As a writer, sure, he may not be Strunk and White, but he does have a genuine enthusiasm for what he does and if you talk to most of the Internet community, minor disagreements aside, you'd be surprised by how much respect the man still gets. As a person, I adore him and Patricia and Cargill and Eric and Jeremy and Steven and Jay, and they've been like an online surrogate family for me these past near 15 years.