I consider movies to be the ultimate form of art. Movies are a creative meld of a host of different art forms from visual arts, sound, and storytelling. Movies can inspire, amaze, entertain, educate, move you emotionally, and yes, even piss you off! It’s no wonder movies have been a part of our lives ever since the camera was invented.
We all have our favorite types of movies and our own reasons why we enjoy them. That is why it is so difficult, at least for me, to judge a film and give it a bad review. There are people who read my reviews and are completely confused by it, especially when I hate a movie, but yet I give it a great review. Critiquing movies shouldn’t be about whether one likes it or not. I hate the “Lord of the Rings” series. Does that make those movies bad because I don’t have the intellectual makings to enjoy those types of films? That’s not what movie critiquing should be about. However, these days, when I read peoples reviews of films, that is the sense I pick up. It’s no wonder people get confused when they read my reviews.
So does that mean that I shouldn’t insert my opinion of a movie when I write a review? No, of course not. But when it comes down to it, just because I didn’t like a movie does not mean that it’s bad. Don’t get me wrong, there are bad movies out there. But it has little to do with whether I like it or not. At the same time, just because I love a movie doesn’t mean that is the best movie ever made. I happen to love Spaceballs—Oh, I’m gonna hear it for this one—Yes, I love Spaceballs! I grew up on it. It’s silly and it makes me laugh even today, but I’m sorry, that is not a good movie. Yes, it is funny at times, but it is also tired–relying on recycled jokes. There just isn’t anything unique about the film.
And while I’m at it–I’m gonna catch even more heat for this one–what is so special about Mel Brooks? Seriously, the only movie he’s ever made that I enjoyed was Spaceballs and I’ve already commented about whether or not that is a good movie. People rave about The Producers, about Young Frankenstin. BORING!!!! I watched them both and I wanted to rip the protective cover off a paper shredder and run my arm through it just for the laughs. Watching his movies is the equivalent to being tortured by Iraqi insurgents. At least it is for me.
Does that mean that you shouldn’t watch or even enjoy Mel Brooks’ movies. No, of course not. That isn’t what movie critics are for. We aren’t supposed to be here to tell you what movies to watch. Movie critics are supposed to give you feed back about the movie and then you make up your own mind from there.
If I had listened to Roger Ebert, I would’ve missed out on one of my favorite movies of all time, The Village. Roger gave The Village zero stars. ZERO! I loved Roger; he was hands down the best movie critic ever! But Zero for The Village? I can’t even process that. But, that’s just it. Movie critics are human, so why would you take anything they say as gospel? If you want to see a movie, go see it. Don’t let someone else tell you not to just because they didn’t think it was any good. That’s silly. But let’s not round up the critics just yet. They do serve a purpose: critically thinking about a viewing instead of passively absorbing one.
Go ahead and read reviews. Compare them. Find out what the movie is about and why or why not they think it is worth your time. Good critics are there to give you insight about the film beyond a simple viewing. For example: a critic might tell you there are too many explosions in a movie, and therefore it was terrible. A different critic might say there weren’t enough explosions in the same movie, but it was still awesome. Do some homework. Get to know what kind of movies these critics like. Follow a few of them, read their blogs, get to know them, stalk them during the holidays–yeah, do that at your own risk, but you get my point. You may find that you relate to a few of them, and that might make movie-going an even more fun experience. In the end, it is up to you to decide. If a critic tells you not to watch a movie, perhaps you shouldn’t listen to them. What gives them supreme knowledge over your tastes or what makes aesthetic gold? They probably suck anyway. Weigh the opinions and then judge for yourself.
Happy movie watching!