Sunday, September 12, 2010

Watch At You're Own Risk

I'll never understand why some people don't trust movie reviews. I mean I realize it's just another persons opinion and we all have different tastes. But here's the thing, it's not just the opinion of one person, it's the opinion of several people, people who love movies and have made a career out of watching them. Reviews are there to help you make better choices about what to watch. But for some reason people see reviews or critics as a negative force trying to keep them from watching what they want.

"Damn it, I'll see night at the museum 5 if I want to"!

I've also heard strange comments like "Well if the critics hated it it must be good". That quote actually comes from my own sister sadly who's movie collection includes everything from Dumb and Dumber to Joe Dirt (a family favorite in her home).

It may also be that there is a large number of casual movie goers that just don't care what crap Hollywood shits out as long as Ben Stiller continues to play the same role over and over. If you're one of those people then fine, go see the latest SNL throw away vomit.

But if you're like me and have bills and a family then you know that $10.00 is like gold. If you're like me, you go to helpful sites like Rotten Tomatos. The great thing about Rotten tomatoes is their system of rating. They've really simplified it so that even the casual movie goer can understand it. Everything from 60% and up gets a fresh rating and a cute little red tomato icon. Everything bellow 60 gets a rotten rating and a nasty little green snot stain icon. So you actually don't even need to read the reviews if you absolutely cant be bothered with it.

Sites like Rotten Tomatos or RT if you're cool like me eliminate the bad walk out feeling you get from a shitty movie.

"I don't get it, Vampires sucked seemed like a sure hit"....


Mr. Black
I can understand why people wouldn't trust a single reviewer's opinion, but in the case of Rotten Tomatoes, it's difficult to dispute the claim of a pool of professional critics. I think the mainstream public confuse an opinion with an analysis, and while I guarantee there is a lot of opinion in film reviews, people need to understand that these analyses aren't merely subjective in nature.

Believe it or not, in film there is technique such as cinematography, acting, writing, art direction, and so on. Amazing right? And presumably these critics look for these things in film when watching them and reviewing them.

I like to compare the the mainstream public's movie taste to my taste in food. Stay with me here. So I have the palate of a 10 year old. And being 31 that is a bit odd. Usually you grow up and start liking vegetables, weird spices and the like. But not me. Don't get me wrong I've tried things like vegetables before--broccoli in particular--and really thought I was doing well until my body decided it tasted like complete shit and wanted me to hack it up (and don't tell me to lather it in cheese that defeats the fucking purpose). So I like to compare my like of basic foods such as hamburgers, sandwiches, pizza, chicken, etc to that of the taste of American mainstream.

This isn't completely accurate however, as I attribute movies like "Joe Dirt" to that of a Big Mac which I find disgusting, but I think it helps illustrate my point anyway.

So I guess the moral of my little story is that if when watching the next critically acclaimed independent film makes you physically want to vomit, then by all means pop in that copy of Norbit. I won't give you shit for at least trying.

1 comment:

Dr. Squid said...

What you both fail to realize is that you are in a minority. Most people don't want intellectual stimulation out of their movies because they aren't smart enough to appreciate it. They want to go to the movies to turn their minds off. For most people, Joe Dirt is great stuff.

But, that's beside the point. I completely disagree about Rotten Tomatoes; I can't count the number of times they get it wrong. Opinions of movies are completely subjective; why do I care what ANY critic has to say? They aren't me; how would they know what I like? Critics review movies based on how artistic and structured they are, as if they are giving it a place in the Oscar awards race.

All I care about, however, is if I'm going to be entertained for 2 hours. I don't really care if my movie is making an artistic statement or if an actor is giving an especially brave performance. I could give a shit if the director is making a daring social statement or portraying some taboo subject in a new light.

I just want some interesting shit. Critics get it wrong way too often.

The only thing critics are useful for is to point out the movies that are really just complete shit. The only time I pay attention to RT is when they give a score of 10% or less. In that case, pretty much nobody liked the movie and I'm pretty confident it sucks.

Other than that, I've completely LOVED some movies that had an RT score of 30-ish.

It's rare to get a true movie treat (like Inception) that actually challenges us mentally.