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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Movie Criticism for Dummies

This short article is the love child of intellectual internet arguments and fan rage sprung from the latter. Hey, at least something came out of them.

I'm not saying you shouldn't have a personal opinion about movies, or art in general, my following points will just be guidelines for bringing a cinematic piece of art's objective qualities in the spotlight:

  • The books/comics or any other source material DON'T COUNT, at all. A movie is an individual piece of art, thus it needs to be treated as such. If certain critical (/necessary) plot elements from the source material are excluded from the movie, that's a major flaw. The same can be said for reboots and remakes. You can measure them in terms of their faithfulness, but in that case you evaluate the movie as an adaptation, not a stand-alone film.

Strictly as a Batman adaptation, The Dark Knight trilogy is weaker than as a stand-alone series.

  • The trailers don't count either. Most of the time they are works of the marketing department and the movie directors don't have a say in them. So treat them as such and don't blame the actual creative people for their work not being in line with the tone or message of glorified ads. Also, don't devalue great, or otherwise, scenes just because "they were in the trailers". 

Aaand this picture found its home too.

  • "This is how it should/shouldn't have happened..." and arguments as such are valid if your name is Aaron Sorkin, Shane Black, even, hell, Damon Lindelof... If the story of a plot doesn't contain errors, the aforementioned idiotic forms "criticism" are invalid.


Regardless, this shouldn't have happened. Really.
 
  • Don't mind the people behind the film. Sure, if you won't watch it by principle or distaste/disdain for certain directors,actors,writers, etc., that's totally fine. But if you take your time and experience the movie, don't be a hypocrite and judge the art, not the artist.
  • There's a huge fucking chasm between "worst piece of crap" and "the best thing ever". Take advantage of that when forming an (educated) opinion.
  • Know what you're going into. Don't expect David Fincher caliber film making in an Adam Sandler movie. Also, do a solid for the human race and don't watch Adam Sandler movies.

So the first rule of film club is that we don't talk about Jack & Jill

  • "This actor's face is wrong", "he/she's ugly" and such shenanigans are valid points when you're declining dinner invitations and rejecting celebrities' advances. Don't be a vain. superficial douchebag. and judge the performances.

      Here's 4x Oscar nominee, Amy Adams. A friend of mine said Megan Fox would be a better Lois Lane.

  • Basic human logic comes first, then come the technical stuff. Let's assume a movie's shot beautifully, the sound and video editing is tight and even the plot structure is deemed good by the scholars of the cinematic arts. That's great and all, but if the character's motivations and/or ongoing events don't make sense, the movie's doomed.

P.S.: Don't forget, saying a movie's good or liking it isn't the same. It's more than okay to hate/dislike any piece of art and give the artist his or her props (and vice versa). Just don't be an asshole about it.

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