Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Reviewing

by Nick
I feel somewhat afraid of being guilty of overpraise in regards to the films I've reviewed so far. Tsotsi is a better film than Strings, but my review of Strings reads more positive. I don't know if one gets across the correct opinion in one's reviews.

Still, I'm very sure history will prove me right (ohey, did that sound desperate) on Fly's social class trilogy.

The difficulty with reviewing films without the benefit of knowing other people's views is that you don't know if anyone else will agree with you, or if you're just plain wrong. I mean, I kinda liked Wild Wild West first time I saw it. Then I found out how bad it was. And I still like watching Forrest Gump, even if I know what its perspective on what the hippies achieved is, and even sort of felt it when I first watched it. Can I then be counted on as someone who should even be reviewing films? It's one thing, after all, to have a different taste in film. It's another to have none.

6 Comments:

Blogger Joe Sherry said...

When I first saw Pay It Forward, I thought it was cute if a bit too sappy. And then the reviews start pouring in.

Apparently Satan himself had something to do with the film.

3/14/2006 05:40:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Smokey and the Bandit 2 is one of my favorite movies. I still like Forrest Gump. I even raved over Euro Trip.

Hell, Ebert Himself liked Shitmaker's Phantom of the Opera.

Here's what you do; rent a film you've already seen and really hated and just shit all over it (in writing form, otherwise you would be making a frightful mess.) That should make you feel better.

3/14/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

The difficulty with reviewing films without the benefit of knowing other people's views is that you don't know if anyone else will agree with you, or if you're just plain wrong.

I look at that as a positive. I don't want to be overly influenced by other people's reviews, and I'm not afraid to be the only one out on a limb. I still haven't found anyone who agrees with me about Walk the Line being a piece of crap.

Look at it this way. If everyone disagrees with you about a film, at least you've found a unique way to look at it. There's a lot of value in that, as long as you come by it honestly and are willing to support your judgments.

3/14/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

Rereading the reviews I can't figure out if it's the Tsotsi, Strings or Drabet review I'm somewhat unhappy with. Individually I'm happy with them, but collectively and comparatively, they paint a somewhat unfair picture. But I really don't have the energy to correct them, so my suggestions for reading whatever future reviews I put up is to read them individually. The comparative will have to be dealt with in the 'Best of'. I think I'll do the first one of those at the end of March, as a 1st quarter thing.

3/14/2006 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Use some sort of rating system if you want to make clear where each one stands in relation to another. I don't know if I'd recommend that personally, because you'll likely end up backing yourself into a corner more than you'd like (see Ebert, Roger), but it's an idea.

Otherwise, it would never occur to me to compare them to each other. Anyone who's read more than a dozen movie reviews in their time should know that if you wanted to make them comparative, you would have done so explicitly.

3/14/2006 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

I may use a point system from time to time, just to have a more direct evaluation, which might be hard to get through otherwise.

Take the NY Times, for example, who sometimes have such abstract reviews that you wonder if they were discussing, or even watching, a film.

Saying something is 'good' or 'great' is a kind of grading system, anyway.

But it's not something I would make a habit of. Like you said, it might paint one in a corner. And sometimes choosing a score takes longer than writing the actual review.

3/14/2006 05:10:00 PM  

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