Preconceptions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chuck Mayer, Dec 18, 2001.

  1. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    Looking over a few movie reviews (Black Hawk Down, Vanilla Sky, and LOTR), I guess I finally noticed the glaringly obvious: preconceptions drastically affect a person's response to a film. While that statement is obvious to everyone here, it is at the heart of movie criticism. To wit:
    Roger Ebert. One of my favorite reviewers. He is intelligent, open-minded, with a wealth of movie knowledge and experience to share. Yet his review of LOTR seems to hint at the movie he expected to see. He feels that the actual movie may compare unfavorably (ever so slightly, his review was NOT at all negative) to what he envisioned. That seems to run counter to his job. I understand it is impossible to be objective, but shouldn't movies be discussed on their own terms, not the critics.
    Black Hawk Down. Reviewed by The Hollywood Reporter. The reviewer seems to have wanted a different movie than the one he saw. He complains about not being able to tell the actors apart, which is likely due to their haircuts (he did not say that, I did). So, accuracy seems to be hurting this film? For the record, I (obviously) have not seen this film, but he calls it a miss when many others call it a great movie. It's possible they are all wrong as well, and just happy with a "topical" or "timely" movie, but that's the same problem from the opposite side.
    Lastly (and mostly), Vanilla Sky. It's taking a REAL beating. And not just a beating, but a passionate one at that. I have heard the words pretentious and arrogant bandied about (even with regards to the director). More importantly, the word overreaching. I am not here to defend the film. But overreaching? Isn't that what we want out of our best directors? Reach for something you haven't done. Grow. You might stumble a bit, but eventually we'll get SPR or Fight Club.
    So what's the point of this?? Good question. I almost lost it. Were people mad that Vanilla Sky was not a murder mystery (as advertised) or Memento? Or, if they saw Open Your Eyes, mad that it had Hollywood stars in it, and wasn't subtitled. We all know of critics who swear that any small movie, or foreign movie, or subtitled movie, must be better. Just as we know people who won't see a film unless it has at least $20 million spent in advertising, or {insert actor's name here} in it. Both of those views are equally close-minded.
    Maybe I am the one led by preconceptions. I went to V Sky wanting to care about it, and I did. Of course, I went into Pearl Harbor hoping it would move me immeasureably, and came out wishing for a script doctor and somewhat disappointed.
    Why do so many of us dislike movies simply by not being what we "wanted" them to be?
    Take care,
    Chuck
    P.S. I do understand subjective vs. objective.
     
  2. AdrianJ

    AdrianJ Supporting Actor

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  3. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    Adrian,
    My bad[​IMG]
    Sorry...moderators, do your thing!
    Take care,
    Chuck
     

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