As you may have guessed from the title, there will be no mid-week review for this week. I had planned on seeing Queen of Katwe but some car troubles forced me back home. I do plan on seeing that movie in the future but since I was home bound I figured I would knock another film off of my Netflix list so I decided to finally watch Good Will Hunting. This has been on my list for quite some time and I’m not sure what drove me to finally watch it last night but I did and was appropriately amazed by the film.
This movie is almost twenty years old so I am not really going to review Good Will Hunting, I wanted to review the lens through which I see films. The Magnificent Seven was actually my twenty eighth review and now that I have a break in the movie schedule I thought it would be a good time to think about what reviewing movies is all about. I am not a recognized reviewer in the sense that neither the production studios nor anyone involved with a movie that I review reads or even cares what I say. In fact most of these reviews are for friends and family and even they probably don’t care that much.
I have said in these reviews and on our podcast, The Trailer Park, that I love all movies and expect all movies to be good. I never go into a movie expecting it to be bad and I never want to tell someone “don’t go see a movie”. Unfortunately, some movies suffer from poor performances, a bad round of editing, or story struggles that make it sail by unnoticed or become the source of hatred from devoted fans. The thing I tend to struggle with is saying those three things, editing, acting, and script, are bad as I am not a film maker. I have never struggled to overcome the thousands of problems that a director has to overcome to even bring a movie to a studio or the amount of rejection a writer faces before a script is picked up.
The struggle for any good critic, I think, has to be balancing their love for a good movie with how it is made. Sadly after you see movies over and over and write about them multiple times a week you tend to become jaded towards things that are good and seek to set yourself apart by attacking things that are popular and glorifying things that are unpopular. Cover that with the fact that you are in charge of driving traffic to your site and we get titles like “Suicide Squad Review: Worse Than ‘Green Lantern’, Worse Than ‘Fantastic Four'” which exist only to be reposted on Facebook and not to be seriously considered. Reviewers and Critics do not exist to break down an object but to help something reach an audience.
Art is a tricky thing. The everyday person on the street does not know that a new Ed Clark exhibition is coming to the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Arts in a couple weeks and therefore these creations will only reach as many people who care to engage themselves naturally. But when a respected art critic can attend this event and write what the art made them feel, the value of the colors or techniques used, and the themes represented in the work, the audience begins to widen. Now if this same critic went to every gallery in the state and made top ten lists about what’s wrong with Michigan art, it would definitely get a ton of shares on social media and probably be picked up on national lists driving a bunch of attention to the critic, but the audience for Michigan art would never grow.
This entire article might be pretentious crap so if you think I’m an idiot, I apologize for wasting your time. I just wanted to take some time out of seeing movie after movie to let you into a bit of my thinking when I watch a movie. Before I try to break down the specifics about what I like or don’t like about a movie, I think of entertainment value or did I enjoy seeing the movie. If the answer is yes then it was a good movie. I have to fill in a couple of paragraphs so there may have been a performance that was a little shaky or a joke that didn’t land that I will bring up but the core of the matter is that a movie that entertains me is a good movie and everything else is just filler. Except for Independence Day 2, that was terrible.
Just because I brought it up earlier, there really is a new Ed Clark exhibition coming to the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Arts on October 14th. If you have the time check them out!