Good Movies vs. Good Films

I love movies. Am I like most other people in that respect? Yes. Am I like other people in every way? No! I’m a unique little snowflake, damn it! My mom told me so when I was little. Anyway, back to movies, I’ve watched a lot of movies in my 21+ years. I’ve loved a lot and not loved just as many. Do I think Casablanca is a great film? Absolutely! Am I going to continue asking rhetorical questions to my 5 readers? Nah, this is probably the last time. (It’s getting overused).

Casablanca, The Godfather, and Citizen Kane, are arguably, the three best films of all time. The acting, directing, suspense, costumes, scenery… everything down to Marlon Brando’s Richard Nixon-esque jowls make those movies great. Now, do I also love to watch Beverly Hills Cop, Spacejam, or Ted? (last question, I promise) Yes I do, and am proud of it. My point is, every movie you watch doesn’t have to be a cinematic masterpiece that has Roger Ebert giving you a big ‘thumbs up’ from the afterlife. (Too soon?)

It’s definitely good to know and appreciate some of the classics, give them their time of day, but if you had a long day, I suggest sitting back and turn on Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian and watch Ben Stiller slip deeper and deeper into obscurity (don’t worry he has a nice pile of money to land on). The real reason is, who cares what you watch, pick any Rob Schneider movie, go for it! It’s okay to like “bad movies.” For me, and for most people, the whole point is to feel something, to be entertained, to be scared, to just get a big ol’ cry out after a breakup. If the 90’s Batman movies really get you going, enjoy ‘em!

A ‘good film,’ is a lot more objective than a good movie. I think The Avengers was a great movie and Apocalypse Now was a great film. Now these aren’t mutually exclusive, Apocalypse Now, was both a great film and a great movie, while The Avengers was a good movie, but not a great film. If you’re still reading, I apologize for the confusion and convolutedness of this paragraph. I like to think of the square-rectangle paradox, where all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.

 

Can good films be bad movies? ….. My head is starting to hurt.

 

The distinction between a good movie and a good film is quite different. Although all are (obviously) subjective opinions, some films are just simply better, for lack of another expression. The way I judge if a movie is good, is if I walk out of the theater, my living room, or let’s face it, get out of bed, and my gut reaction is that it was good. I have a huge belief in first impressions, so I rarely change my opinion on a movie upon a second viewing. A good film is about so much more than whether it was good or not, it’s about the message it sent, how the actors performed, how it was cast, if there was a great twist. All of these questions and hundreds more are taken into consideration in my judgment of a movie. No two movies are great for the same reason; on top of having all the important, more obvious qualities, like good editing and acting, there is something new that it brings to the table. The reason sequels often perform so poorly is their heavy reliance on what made the first one great, while failing to create something ‘new.’ A successful sequel will bring back the charm and familiarity of the first one, while appropriately distancing itself in a new direction.

As I close this post, I realize how aptly named my blog is. A few thoughts to leave you with…. a TL: DR if you will… Don’t be embarrassed about that movie you love that everyone hates, good films can be boring, and good movies can suck.p

How Bad Was Batman vs. Superman, Really?

First off…. it wasn’t thaaaaat bad.

Although I never thought I would agree with Ben Affleck, I think he said it best when discussing his new comic book blockbuster on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, “Don’t scare people into thinking this is a critical film. We aren’t going for the Film Critic’s Circle award. Its an audience movie.”

 

Was this movie bad? I mean yeah its not f!#@ing Citizen Kane. Was it even as good as the Christopher Nolan trilogy? No. But it doesn’t deserve the media shitstorm that the movie has found itself in. I went in with very low expectations and aside from the kids narrating the story behind me; I have to say it wasn’t as bad as I had been lead to believe.

We pay a ludicrous amount of money to sit in a large room dominated by strangers, and watch a movie together; lets all follow some simple social etiquette, folks.

That being said, one of my initial reactions after seeing this movie was parents should realize that being a superhero movie does not necessarily make a ‘kids movie.’ (Many realized this when the ‘R’ rated Deadpool came out this winter and made this mistake.)

When your kid talks loudly the first few times, I’m okay with that, I’m not a monster. Kids are kids, man. But once we hit the 4th or 5th inane question or super obvious plot point, the chatter gets annoying. But I don’t blame the kids. Why? Uncaring parents allow it.

If I was at the house of this family and the kids were asking questions, that’s okay! They are in the privacy of their own home enjoying some family time. That’s fine by me! I am in your home, pass me that Pop Secret and I will help them understand the movie as best as I can! When you bring this nonsense into the public sphere, you messed up. I didn’t ask you to reproduce.

 

Back to the movie…. It was two and a half hours that felt like four. One of the biggest complaints of critics (that I wholeheartedly agree with after seeing this) was the reintroduction of the origin story. It was not a new or innovative take on Bruce Wayne’s past. It was a rehashing of a very, very well known story, which only seemed to provide Affleck’s Batman with the classic violent flashbacks that only a brooding and disturbed character like Batman could have.

My opinion on Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex Luthor may be an unpopular one, but I believe he did the character justice. I think Bryan Cranston would have absolutely done a better job, but Eisenberg brought a younger and creepier vibe to the character than Cranston would have or even could have. Lex Luthor is a complex person and Eisenberg was really able to show that.

His Lex Luthor reminded me of a mix between, Heath Ledger’s Joker, Jesse Eisenberg himself, Dennis from It’s Always Sunny, and Eisenberg’s Mark Zuckerberg. This combined to make a psychotic, brilliant, conniving, billionaire bent on changing the world.

I’m tired of Henry Cavill as Superman. Or maybe I’m tired of Superman. I know he is an alien, but other versions of the man of steel have been more ‘human.’ Cavill’s Superman can be distant and cold, yet seems to have a raging fire of emotions for his family and of course, Lois. His undying love for Lois and it’s effect on the rest of the world seems to be a pivotal plot point in both movies. He makes mind-bogglingly bad decisions on her behalf that lead to a big heap of troubles. Take what I say with a grain of salt however, I am just a mere mortal riding shotgun and watching him struggle to save humanity. (At what cost though?)

The highly anticipated introduction of Wonder Woman into the DC Universe definitely met and may have even exceeded my expectations. Although she only was on screen for a short amount of time, Gal Gadot left movie-goers ready for more.

Overall, this movie was an action packed, budget-bloated-blockbuster that had some of my favorite and most recognizable characters on the planet duking it out. If you want to watch a proper film, go watch The Artist and write your thesis on it. Its okay to want to go see Superman beat the snot out of Batman.