|Thoughts following the Avengers post
||[May. 2nd, 2012|04:49 pm]
After watching a film at the cinema, I always like to look at the reviews afterwards. While there is some kind of dumb pleasure in seeing a herd-response that corresponds to my own opinion, I always make sure to pay careful attention to the negative reviews. I say the negative reviews because I generally enjoy going to the cinema, even to see trashy films, and very few films leave me feeling angry. Not counting weird avante-garde stuff like Finisterrae and The Gravedigger, Sucker Punch is probably the best example. That film was pure dross. Terminator Salvation was pretty bad as well.|
But putting all this aside, the point is that I like to read criticism of things I like. Maybe this is out of fear that I had the wrong opinion (which is total bullshit, how can you have the wrong opinion about a film?), but I like to think it helps engender a higher level of critical reasoning, and an element of self awareness. It also helps curb hyperbole, and my hyperbole needs curbing more than anyone elses.
Speaking of hyperbole, I think it has become far too prevalent in general recently, and as with much of modern pop culture, I blame the internet. Two things are at fault here. Increased globalisation means increased competition, and championing a film that you like means going up against Every Other Film in the world. Hundreds of new films come out each year, and standing out requires effort. No-one wants to settle for "a decent film" nowadays, people want "an amazing film".
The other part is the group-think that starts to dominate the online space, as ardent fans seek out those who echo their own love of a particular film, and, combined with the mantra "If you don't like it, you don't have to talk about it," has led to a culture of excessive praise in many conversation hubs online.
This is even wors in the world of video games, where it has long been acknowleged that the 10-point scale is represented as follows:
10 - BEST GAEM EVAR
9 - Good game
8 - Decent game
7 - Playable if you like that sort of thing
Less than 7 - Shit
Which is obviously total codswallop to anyone with a functioning brain.
I have respect for crtitics willing to break this norm, and Yahtzee would get more of a bonus for coming down hard on games if I didn't feel he tries too hard to live up to his schtick nowadays.
But back to my main point, which is that I like criticism that actually criticises. I don't always agree with a negative film review, but I do think it's worth checking to see if good points are brought up. I found a couple of Avengers reviews that raised similar concerns to my own, although generally in a more eloquent manner. (Hey, these guys are paid film critics, I just have a Livejournal.) I also saw a pretty terrible review of The Cabin in the Woods, which I dismissed as complete dross and either a troll or a hack job. Not because he disliked the film, but because the review was really bad.
So, um, hooray for criticism? I dunno.
Oh wait, the point I was going to discuss was the self-awareness thing. Some of the stuff I like is complete trash. Complete trash. The fact that I watch so much anime should make this evident. It's not like every series can be as good as Cowboy Bebop or Planetes.
Speaking of Anime ratings, I finally got an up to date MyAnimeList. I was gratified that the scores I gave things I finished had a curve that peaked at about 7. You might think this contradicts what I said earlier about video game review scores, but it is not so. I (normally) only rate things I have finished, and so it makes sense that I generally don't finish things I don't like. Why would I? I'm not being paid to watch this stuff.
But anyway, I like some pretty bad stuff, and I think accepting that was a pretty big part of maturing. Of feeling content with who I am. I do know about art, AND I know what I like, and the two don't always overlap.
I'm going to wrap this post up now before it balloons further.