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Can’t we like simple movies?

Let me expand:

Can’t we like simple movies for their simplicity and complicated movies for their complexity?  I enjoy movies that teach me something, or expose some great injustice, or just happen to be unique and fresh.  But I also like movies that make no pretenses about delivering messages, moral lessons, and are recycled stories.  Sometimes I see a movie just to be entertained (be it a “non-new” action, comedy, or horror flick).

PS – This question was inspired by Mark Palermo in The Coast and his seeming hatred for all moving pictures.  I probably shouldn’t single out any particular critic, but I get annoyed so often by Mark’s reviews of movies that are technically sound yet not necessarily ‘original art’.  It may be true that Guy Incognito made a film similar to Generic Action Flick #9 back in 1962, but I don’t care that much (aside from the potential for trivia).  I want to know if the movie on screen X with the similar plot in Park Lane will entertain me, despite my complete ignorance of the essential reading for Film History 301 at NSCAD.

PPS – There are movies that I think are stinkers…typically they are trying to be “real”, but get the physics all wrong, have huge plot holes, suffer from serious continuity problems, feature bad acting or poor cinematography, or are based on old TV shows in a most annoying and crass way.  I won’t be seeing “Love Boat: The Motion Picture” if it ever gets made, probably for all the listed reasons.

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2 thoughts on “Can’t we like simple movies?

  1. I often wonder about movie critics – there seems to be an unstated rule withing the critic genre that necessitates discovering something wrong about any movie, regardless how good they are. It might partly be the Nadia Comenenci effect -> it looks weird when you give too many “10’s”. I think the important thing is to read the critics for their insight into the art, not to tell you whether a film is good.

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  2. For me, it’s rarely about cinematography or pure originality or some novel effect or shocking element a film may be built around. To become immersed in a story, I need, before anything else, to accept the framework of what is considered ‘real’ in this mini-universe that is playing out before me. Example: I absolutely do not believe that dead people come back to haunt us as wispy apparitions, nor do I believe they rise from the dead to chow down on us. Nevertheless, “Ghostbusters” and “Dawn of the Dead” are two of my favourite movies. The universe for each of the films is consistent internally, and the behaviour of the actors believable within that framework. I can also ‘switch off’ my rational brain and get a huge kick out of “Godzilla” movies – not great art, but entertaining. And that’s what it’s all about, being entertained. I don’t need to learn nothin’, just make me laugh or go ‘cool!’ at some point and I’m a happy camper.
    Critics are professional curmudgeons. I’ll never forget Roger Ebert’s review of “Spider-Man” (which I thought was an excellent movie). He was concerned that the web-slinging wasn’t realistic. Ok, but the being bitten by the genetically-engineered spider stuff and mutating overnight you’re ok with? If you don’t buy one piece of the logic, you don’t buy any.

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