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IMagius
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PostSubject: Movie reviews   Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:56 pm

I watch a lot of movies. At least 2 or 3 a week. And since RS asked for reviews, I figured I'd do my part to contribute to the site here.

I have no idea what someone else looks for in picking a movie, or what they expect from them. THat is mostly due to the fact that I don't expect anything from a movie. ~90 minutes of not thinking about my mortgage, work tomorrow, etc.. is all I ask of a movie. I pick my movie mostly based on the DVD Cover. Occasionally I'll remmeber seeign a trailer for something and it'll stay in my mind and I'll watch the movie when the DVD is out.

Speaking of DVD's ... That's what I'll be reviewing. I do not go to theaters any more. THey are too expensive for my budget currently, but aside from that, I simply can't watch movies on screens that large. Huge screens give me vertigo and that wonderful qeasy sea-sick feeling, so I dont' go. I can tell you right now that I also will not be reviewing anything in it's 3D version either - same problem as big screen.

Plot Originality:

I do NOT compare movies to books. The majority of the time, i don't even know there was a book for any given movie. I don't feel it is fair to compare a 90 minute movie to a book that takes 10 to 30 hours to read - certain elements cimply can not be translated from one medium to the other.

Remakes are also fairly stand-alone for me as well. Unless there is a reason to compare them, I try not to when forming my Ratign of the movie. That's not to say i won't compare the two during my review - I think it's fair to give a person something to compare to - but in the end, the ratign will be for the movie o it's own merits.

Actors/Actresses:

For the most past, I don't know one actor from the next. I could not identify Matt Damon & Brad Pitt if you gave me two photos to label. At best, it would be a 50/50 coin flip. There might ba a dozen actors/actresses that I could identify in a line up easily. After that, it'd be guess work. Especially if you asked me to come up with their names on my own. Give me the name and a dozen pics, and I might be able to do it ...

I like actors that pic a role and play it well, no matter the movie they are in. Tom Cruise plays an excellent "adrenaline junkie hero". Meg Ryan has the "broken hearted romantic" role perfected.

More than that though, I enjoy seeign an actor step outside of their traditional role. Woody Harrelson's performance in Defendor was outstanding in my opinion.

I don't judge an actor's performance on the script. They can only work with what they have - the movie may suck, but if they do their job well, I'll still enjoy watching them.

Plots, Scripting, etc.. :

I prefer a movie that tells me a story and lets me believe it for those 90 minutes. It doesn't need to be an emotionally moving story - more so than books, I'll watch almost any movie once. Sci-Fi, Romance, Horror, Animated, Comedy, etc.. I just want to be entertained.

Cinematography:

You won't see me talking much about set design or wardrobes. Unless there is something seriosuly noteable about it, it's just "there" for me.

Same for the latest age of digital manipulation. For the most aprt, it's good enough that I don't notice it - as it should be. On rare occasions though, something ground breaking will occur and then I'll make note of that. I still remember the first time I watched Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. I had to re-watch it a second time so that I could pay attention to the dialogue - the first time I watched it, I was captivated by the graphics of it and spent too much time looking and admiring. Avatar was something else entirely for me - I felt let down. Yes, I know that in a purely technical sense, that film set all sorts of standards - after eharing all the hype and hub-bub leading up to it, I walked away from it feeling very let down. The merge between CGI and actual people was too good. Most fo the time, I didn't see it. Tht speaks quite positively for the skills of the film-makers, but it sucks for me as a fan of seeing technology in action.

Ratings:

I rate movies from 0.0 to 10 out of 10.

The majority of the ratings you'll see will, I expect, be 6.0 or higher.
It takes a lot of effort to drop below 5.0 Pretty much anything that scores below a 5.0 will mean that I wish I had those 90 minutes back
6 to 7 are watchable, but probably not twice.
7 to 8 I would watch again, but probably not pay very close attention to the second time. A good movie to have on while cleaning the house or such.
8 to 9 will be very good movies. These are movies I would look forward to watching again, movies I would recommend to friends.
9+ are movies that I will go out and buy to add to my personal collection becuase I know I will watch them at least once a year for the forseeable future.

So, to give you an idea of how I rate movies, I'll scan through my list of movies I've seen, pick a random bunch of them and just give you my rating that you can compare to your own internal measure of them.

Hidalgo 9.3
The Expendables 8.0
You've Got Mail 8.7
The Straight Story 8.2
Juno 6.4
Lars & The Real Girl 4.0 (though this is one that I would inflict on friends for the shock factor)
Avatar 8.0
Batman Begins 9.5
Master & Commander 8.9
A Knights Tale 9.2
Saw (any of them) 7.0
Nightmare on Elm Street (original) 8.8
Edward Scissorhands 8.5
Dumb & Dumber 5.5
Balls of Fury 3.5
The 40 Year Old Virgin 6.8
Burn After Reading 8.2 (fixed)
What Just Happened 1.0
Epic Movie 3.0
Farce of the Penguins 0.5
Marley & Me 8.1
Superhero Movie 1.1
I Know What You Did ... (pick one) 4.5 to 6.0
Scream 4.0

That shoudl give you an diea of how I value a movie "overall" ... though there will be reasons for each one as to why it scored so high/low - also for the middle fo the road movies, I'd have a reason why it failed to succeed.

If there are other's you'd like my rating on to compare to your own rating, just ask.


Last edited by IMagius on Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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rainshadow
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PostSubject: Re: Movie reviews   Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:33 pm

Very nice layout. Informative and a logical approach.

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Calwyn
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PostSubject: Re: Movie reviews   Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:58 pm

Burn after reading got a 1.0 from you? Man, I'd like to see a review of that just to see why you dislike it so much Razz

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PostSubject: Re: Movie reviews   Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:13 pm

Calwyn wrote:
Burn after reading got a 1.0 from you? Man, I'd like to see a review of that just to see why you dislike it so much Razz

You know what, I was going through my text list of the movies I have watched and pic ked random ones from it and based those ratings on memory. After reading your post, I've gone to my other list that includes DVD Cover art, and ....

I screwed up!

... I somehow confused Burn After Reading with What Just Happened

Burn After Reading should be about a 8.2
What Just Happened scored a dismall 1.0

I'll go edit my initial post to correct that.
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PostSubject: Re: Movie reviews   Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:10 pm

I forgot to add a couple things to my explanation of how I judge a movie.

Historical/Factual Accuracy:

Unless it's somehow critical to the plot, I don't care! I don't care if a 12'th century warrior is wearing 14'th century armor, nor if a 15'th century guy is using a 12'th century sword from a different country.

Also, if historical facts are stretched, remanufactured, etc.. it doesn't matter to me. I'm perfectly comfortable with letting things like this go and classifying it as "creative license".

I'm not a historian. As long as when I watch a movie as I'm told "that's the medieval era" and what I see looks somewhat realistic, I'm happy.

Cinemetography:

Steady cams rule! Directors that insist on using cameras that are continually on the move and panning in and out really ruin most movie viewing experiences for me. Slow pans are fine, that adds a dimension of "being there", but the fast cut's from one view to the next to the next are hard on the eyes and become a distraction from the movie itself.

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PostSubject: Re: Movie reviews   Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:08 am

Quote :
I'm not a historian. As long as when I watch a movie as I'm told "that's the medieval era" and what I see looks somewhat realistic, I'm happy.
~puts on pedantic hat~ Really, the only problem is with anachronisms forward in time--meaning, for example, a 11th century knight in plate, or a Victorian era gentleman rolling up his sleeve to look at his watch. Particularly in terms of weapons and armor, there was a fair amount of carry-over. In particular, Germania for a long time appeared to be a few decades behind in terms of armor, and the Battle of Wisbey included a number of different styles of armor typically associated with a range of times. So a combination in an army actually makes it MORE realistic. ~takes off pedantic hat~
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PostSubject: Re: Movie reviews   Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:42 am

No doubt if a person knows enough about such things, it could be iritating to them. Myself though, armor is armor, chain maille is chain maille. I couldn't tell one from the other as far as country/cenury of origin.

A wrist watch in the wrong era is soemthign I might take note of ... but so lang as pocket watches were available at the time, it's not that much of a stretch, so I'm happy to call it "creative history" Smile

Minor things like that are something I try to ignore. Otherwise, a person could spend their entire time looking for inconsistancies - like the crowd that spends more time looking for typo's in a book than actually immersing themselves in the story.
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PostSubject: Re: Movie reviews   Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:49 am

"Alternate Universe" is a popular excuse as well... LOL

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