Movie Reviews and Me

I don’t get out much, so my movie watching is done via Sky and thank the Digi-God on high for Sky, providing a plethora of film to feast upon; otherwise I’d be having to resort to nitty-gritty soapland, chef-based shenanigans, or worse still, to switching the flat screen in the corner off and doing something more useful instead.  However, a disturbing pattern is emerging re: my moving picture consumption, in that there appears to be a massive discrepancy between what think of a movie and what those (presumably well qualified in all things filmic) movie critics think of said movie.

This past week I’ve been enjoying Blended.  Now, Adam Sandler is an acquired taste at the best of times and, at his worst of times, is more than capable of leaving a bad taste in the mouth (and that’s not a Sandleresque joke.)  For a movie star he’s not quite good looking enough, or quite that funny, or quite as clever as some of his cooler and darker contemporaries;  but every time I give a Sandler film a shot I occasionally find myself laughing out loud at the absurdity of it all or, embarrassing to admit, shedding an actual tear at the manufactured sentiment that has a tendency to creep into the gross-out stuff.  Blended tugs at the heart strings in a few genuinely moving scenes, mostly involving Sandler’s interaction with his movie-kids re: their dead mother, and his burgeoning romance with his favourite co-star, Drew Barrymore; before jolting back to familiar Sandler territory  –  rutting rhinos, inappropriate massage techniques and a musical band composed entirely of monkeys, wearing wigs.   Anyways, I thought I’d check out Blended on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Vine:  Blended is awful.  It’s the kind of awful film where it’s hard to resist the temptation to just list all the awful things that happen in it and pass that off as a review.

NB  Blended is so awful he needed to type it three times.

Is there something wrong with me?  (don’t answer that, the question is rhetorical.)  How could I fail to see that Mr Sandler is a god-awful, talentless schmuck?  The remainder of this fairly representative review lambasts Sandler for his political incorrectness – like being non-PC isn’t practically this actor’s raison d’etre.  Maybe there’s a good review, I think wistfully.

Commerical Appeal:  If the movie were just bad we’d ignore it, but it’s so BAD, we feel it’s our duty to warn you.

The ‘bad’ is in CAPITALS.  Clearly I’m a dolt when it comes to movie appreciation.  The gist of this damning review is that Adam Sandler is somehow inflicting further suffering upon the African continent, just by his mere presence (Blended is partly set in South Africa.)

Movie critics seem to not so much offer up a level headed critique of Sandler’s work as object to the fact that Sandler has the temerity to take up space on planet Earth.  You know what, who’s to say that these love ’em/hate ’em Sandler vehicles won’t, in some fantastical, distant future, become classics of their particular genre, in the same way that the equally formulaic british Carry On’s are now revered.

Anyway, I enjoyed Blended;  so there.

Prior to Blended there was the nightly viewing of Godzilla (2014.)  The nightly viewing part is important, as I really tried to give this film a ‘go’.  The Spielberg effect was apparent from the start.  The Jurassic Park opening, the Close Encounters’ gas-masked venture into (un)contaminated territory, the human stories anchoring the monster’s presence.  Spielberg-inspired this re-make might be but, without Spielberg at the helm, it floundered, losing the plot.  I don’t know what this film lacked but it lacked something because I just didn’t care  –  about any of it;  not the characters, who were unappealing; not the settings, which were grim and colourless – of course your average post-nuclear landscape is going to look rather grim, but did everything have to look and feel so grim.  Anyway, I never got to meet Godzilla, as 50 minutes in appeared to be my cue to go and do something more useful instead. What did they make of it over on Rotten Tomatoes?

The Arts Desk:  A huge contender for film of the year   (!)

Good Morning America:  On a scale of 1 to 10, give this Godzilla a 9  (!!)

The Guardian:  ‘for its first hour it is judicious with its spectacular displays’  (?!)

‘judicious with its spectacular displays’ must be Guardian-speak for ‘its first hour may send you to sleep.’   Maybe one day I’ll sit through the entire thing.

And lastly, Maleficent.  Angelina Jolie is brilliant, effectively carrying the whole piece. The music is mesmerising.  The tone is just right.  Let’s see…………

The Guardian:  It’s an icky affair, more Perry (Katy) than Perrault (Charles.)

What does this even mean? (I inwardly cried in bewilderment.)  Did I miss the candy coloured pop princess overtones?  Should I have gone back to the source material so I could note the obvious, that it was highly unlikely that Disney would replicate Perrault’s weirdness, violence and horror (now his is an icky affair, if you’re talking nasty and distasteful.)  Is it a crime to produce something that is way better than the original folk tale?

So here I am, left with the thought that most movie criticism reveals more about the critic than what actually appears on the screen.   I’ll continue to watch the movies in my ignorant bliss;  in future giving the movie reviews a decided MISS.

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