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Old 10-07-2009, 04:05 AM
 
Location: UK
2,579 posts, read 2,292,446 times
Reputation: 1689

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Reading through the threads I notice that people's opinion differ greatly when it come to movies.
The same movie is great for some and terrible for others.

So I wonder: What make you like a movie? What criteria do you use to judge it?

In my case it has to be the combination of a few factors:

- good and well developed plot, possibly not predictable.

- intriguing, it has to grab my interest and stimulate my mind.

- good acting. I am not interested in famous actors only, many times unknown people can surprise me.

- A good photography and a good soundtrack are pluses of course and sometimes they can help a movie tremendously.

- it has to surprise me in a way or another.


The fact that a movie is uncomfortable or shows me things that I would prefer to ignore does not necessarily make it a bad movie. I do not like violence for violence's sake and I hate gore, but if there are a couple of violent scenes necessary for the final result of the movie so be it.


So what about you?

Last edited by hutch5; 10-07-2009 at 04:23 AM..
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Old 10-07-2009, 05:30 AM
 
1,810 posts, read 3,321,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hutch5 View Post
Reading through the threads I notice that people's opinion differ greatly when it come to movies.
The same movie is great for some and terrible for others.

So I wonder: What make you like a movie? What criteria do you use to judge it?

In my case it has to be the combination of a few factors:

- good and well developed plot, possibly not predictable.

- intriguing, it has to grab my interest and stimulate my mind.

- good acting. I am not interested in famous actors only, many times unknown people can surprise me.

- A good photography and a good soundtrack are pluses of course and sometimes they can help a movie tremendously.

- it has to surprise me in a way or another.


The fact that a movie is uncomfortable or shows me things that I would prefer to ignore does not necessarily make it a bad movie. I do not like violence for violence's sake and I hate gore, but if there are a couple of violent scenes necessary for the final result of the movie so be it.


So what about you?
All of your points apply. In summary, I want a movie to be stimulating, interesting and/or innovative. It has to be either highly entertaining or deep, or both! I also hate movies which turn to obvious tricks to make me cry/shiver/whatever, like when a movie's doing NOTHING for you, you think it's dull and too easy and stupid, then some touching music comes and you begin to cry, or some chilling music sounds, etc: when that happens, I feel somewhat ripped off.

Last edited by noela; 10-07-2009 at 06:24 AM..
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:10 AM
 
Location: UK
2,579 posts, read 2,292,446 times
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Thanks for your comment Noela, I agree totally with you.

I also think that I have too little time and too little spare time to waste it on movies that are supposed to be funny and many times I only find vulgar. Maybe I lack sense of humor
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:24 AM
 
1,810 posts, read 3,321,381 times
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I hate vulgarity too. It doesn't make me laugh: It makes me feel depressed.
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Old 10-08-2009, 04:03 AM
 
Location: UK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noela View Post
I hate vulgarity too. It doesn't make me laugh: It makes me feel depressed.
Ditto, and I feel I wasted my time and my money.

I am surprised that so few people have so far expressed their opinion.
We certainly have different tastes and it would be interesting to see how we look at movies.

For example I just read in a different thread that somebody considers the movie "The Piano" amongst the worst ever!!!!
I respect his/her opinion but it would be interesting to know why he/she did not like it.
I loved that movie, I liked the plot, the acting, the scenary and most of all the soundtrack
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Old 10-08-2009, 04:14 AM
 
1,810 posts, read 3,321,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hutch5 View Post
For example I just read in a different thread that somebody considers the movie "The Piano" amongst the worst ever!!!!
I respect his/her opinion but it would be interesting to know why he/she did not like it.
I loved that movie, I liked the plot, the acting, the scenary and most of all the soundtrack
I saw that and I was shocked too lol. He/she actually mentioned more movies I think are okay, but that one stood out. What I most like about it (besides Michael Nyman!) is the relationships between all the main characters and the character development. None of them is a saint, none is terribly evil. They all make reprehensible things (even the daughter) yet they are redeemed by the fact of being human and feeling pain, sorrow, loneliness... I hate it when a movie/book feels the need to present us with completely evil or completely good characters, or characters where one of the sides is too prominent: I'm always missing more shades of grey.

There's also an intoxicating eroticism about it all (the people up and down that hill, the piano playing and the more obvious "sex" scenes) which I love. And the actors are of course extraordinary.
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:05 AM
 
Location: UK
2,579 posts, read 2,292,446 times
Reputation: 1689
Quote:
Originally Posted by noela View Post
I saw that and I was shocked too lol. He/she actually mentioned more movies I think are okay, but that one stood out. What I most like about it (besides Michael Nyman!) is the relationships between all the main characters and the character development. None of them is a saint, none is terribly evil. They all make reprehensible things (even the daughter) yet they are redeemed by the fact of being human and feeling pain, sorrow, loneliness... I hate it when a movie/book feels the need to present us with completely evil or completely good characters, or characters where one of the sides is too prominent: I'm always missing more shades of grey.

There's also an intoxicating eroticism about it all (the people up and down that hill, the piano playing and the more obvious "sex" scenes) which I love. And the actors are of course extraordinary.

What a great analysis, thank you. You put words to all my thoughts about that movie. Can't rep you any more, I would if I could
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:42 AM
 
1,810 posts, read 3,321,381 times
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Worry not, I have the same problem

I think I'm missing more RISKS taken in movies nowadays. Movies that say things differently and/or generate real debate (as opposed to movies with only shock-value, which is considered risky, commercially speaking, but that is more often just teensy and longing for negative reviews).

As Camus said: "Art advances between two chasms, which are frivolity and propaganda. On the ridge where the great artist moves forward, every step is an adventure, an extreme risk. In that risk, however, and only there, lies the freedom of art". I was looking for a different quote, but this one will do.
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
36,310 posts, read 37,003,809 times
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I really don't care if a movie floats the boat of a bunch of professional movie critics. I just care that I like it. Whether it's good is irrelevant. This is my criteria:

1. Three days after seeing it, I remember it.
2. Three years after seeing it, I can still talk about it.
3. I own the DVD.
4. After the movie is over, I don't have a lot of plot questions.
5. After I see the movie, I tell people about it before they ask me what movies I've seen lately.
6. I've seen it more than once.
7. The movie is just as good or better than the trailer/preview.
8. There are things I remember about the movie that go beyond plot/character.
9. If I'm watching it on TV, I'm not reading a book at the same time.
10. I watch the closing credits because I'm specifically looking for some information that floated my boat when I watched the movie.

I do think, more often than not, what makes a bad movie is bad editing and miscasting.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:30 AM
 
20,728 posts, read 62,003,023 times
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Hutch5, you covered a lot of the basics.

One of the first things that will kill a movie for me is something in it that destroys my "suspension of disbelief." More movies fall flat because of problems in this area than any other. A good movie is a ride that pulls you along with proper timing and pacing. It is important to be able to stay on the ride to get the best impact.

Another aspect for me is that a good movie is not derivative. I have come to a point where I will walk out or shut down a movie that is derivative or maudlin. I found "The Pianist" to be derivative maudlin tripe, and if I never see another WWII suffering jews/poles/fench/whatever movie I'll count myself lucky. Yeah Schindler's List was good. STOP imitating it, fer Pete sake! It is becoming like Friday the 13th, Part 4023. Most derivative movies are like whores with too much make-up, dressed in last years high fashion.

A good movie CAN have homages and insider jokes and not fall into the above category. It can be a send-up of a genre and become a classic. "Galaxy Quest" and "Rocky Horror" and "Mama Mia" all did this.

Then there are movies and shows that are just PURE craftsmanship from the start. To give an idea of what really works, check out the Masterpiece Mysteries Inspector Lewis, series II. The series is a spin-off of the Inspector Morse series, and has had to overcome some character development issues, and has been spotty in the past, but the latest show "The Great and the Good" ranks right up at the top as far as craft is concerned. Lewis and Hathaway track down the prime suspect in the assault of a teenage girl, but he has a seemingly watertight alibi from three pillars of the Oxford community. When the suspect is suddenly murdered, Lewis reveals a web of intrigue and sordid secrets that exposes the Oxford elite.

You can watch it in Quicktime here: Masterpiece | Inspector Lewis | PBS

The mirror coming out of the water is an insider homage to a scene in a classic art film "Landscapes in the Mist." The historical references in the plot are spot-on. The opening scene of the woman in the coat is not only stunning on its own, but has a 3D effect because of subtle movements of the cinematographer. One of the professor characters has the impeccable speech patterns of Gielgud. None of the plot panders or plays to the masses, but it makes you strain and think all the way through. There is almost a palpable rhythm and beat to the pacing. Character development is good and not overdrawn. That program has gorgeous craft, but because of the container of the series, can't rise to the greatness that an individual film can achieve.

A great film has more than craft. It has an exposition of some part of culture, human nature, history, or life that smacks you in the face and won't be dismissed. The problem with this is that, as viewers, we are all at different stages of development and understanding. A teen is doing good to just follow the plot of Hamlet or Macbeth. Asking them if a film based on these stories is good is like asking a blind person to rate portraits.

What I "see" in a good film is more than a combination of good craft and an exposition of a subject, but a lyrical quality that lets me know the people involved in the writing, directing, and editing are intimately acquainted with the pillars that support the plot. Actors act, and it usually is not important that an actor be able to do more than take good direction and deliver lines and feeling. Often, I find the star actors are more of a detriment to a film than a benefit. They want to act their own characters rather than destroy their persona and live the character they should portray.

There are a lot of movies that I like, there are some that I think are very good, but there are only a handful that I think reach the category of greatness, and even with those, I sometimes change my opinion over time. However, even in the ones that eventually get pushed off that list, there are often scenes and sequences that are positively brilliant.

What do I think is up at the top? One that has consistently held up is a little film called "Stunt Man" from Richard Rush. It was filmed on a short schedule, and has a few issues because of that, but overall is about the best mix I have seen. It would take me days to describe why it works on all the levels that I see in it.
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