Steve on Movies

If you ask my friends, a great many of them will tell you that I am notoriously easy to please when it comes to films. Exhibit A – I thought Batman vs Superman was very good and that Suicide Squad was fine. A hot mess…but fine. As it happens I don’t disagree with my them; I do like a very broad range of films, and I am, by and large, easily entertained. Now those same friends might tell you that my opinions/reviews on movies are, therefore, not to be trusted. I am some idiotic madman who is incapable of recognising that a film is badly made, edited, or written, or a poor performance by some hack actor. I prefer to think and I have an ability to get some entertainment from…well…a lot of “bad” movies.

I suspect it boils down to the fact that my movie tastes are sometimes – even often – at odds with the movie/review industry zeitgeist. In honesty it may be more…active than that. I can be something of a contrarian. I don’t like to let anyone else do my “liking or disliking” for me when it comes to media in all its forms. Particularly films. And I despise pretention (the irony of making these statements is not totally lost on me.) I can honestly tell you I’d much rather watch Bad Boys 2 than…what’s a real darling of the filmy types? The Godfather. In the words of Peter Griffen “I did not care for the Godfather…it insists upon itself.”  In point of fact that isn’t true. Of course I like The Godfather; I’m not a total Philistine. I’ll think of a different worthy, insufferable bore of a movie before this rant is over I promise. The problem is these days everyone’s a critic. I can’t help but feel they can’t just….well…enjoy those cheesy, popcorn, big dumb actioners or dumb comedies or dumb Sci-Fi films. Worse still, maybe they just don’t want to admit they actually kinda did enjoy them, for fear of being ridiculed as someone with such low movie watching standards they probably shouldn’t darken the door of another cinema ever again.

Now I’m sure I’ve lost some of you at this point. “This guy’s just as pretentious as those he’s complaining about…and now he’s writing this he’s become even worse…oh this guy just won’t stop…hey get out of my head…stop typing that…hey…HEY!!” (aAAAAaaaand scene). Truth is though I just don’t care. I’m totally happy for someone to feel bad for me because I just don’t “get” good cinema. I do. I love lots of critically acclaimed “masterpieces.” Orson Welles’ The Third Man? Amazing.   Apocalypse Now? Love it. Metropolis, Taxi driver, Vertigo, 2001: A space Oddysey? All favourites. I am a genuine movie fan and, I guess, buff. But I also actually didn’t mind Battlefield Earth. (Yikes! -Ed) Or, as I said before, Suicide Squad. 2014 Godzilla…yep liked it. Or actually the Warcraft movie. Honestly what was the problem there? Silly nonsensical story? Bad acting and one dimensional characters? So. What. What did you want? I personally wanted some guys with big swords fighting some Orcs with big swords. And in that regard you know what? Bang. On. The money.

Perhaps this is why I can enjoy bad movies. I’m rarely disappointed as I almost always know exactly how good a film will be. Solid 6 out of 10 silly fantasy film?….Yeah ok why not! Hey it’s not gonna be Schindler’s List but it’s a pleasant enough diversion. Don’t feel bad for me. I can go to the cinema any time I like and probably enjoy something that’s on. I feel bad for those people with such a narrow view of what constitutes good cinema that they barely ever enjoy themselves. Just adjust your expectations and enjoy something for what it is – you might be pleasantly surprised!

So if you’re like me and have enough room in your heart for Seven Samurai and Dumb and Dumber, perhaps you’ll enjoy my articles on “film.” And if not, ah well!

P.S. Wes Anderson films. Don’t get those. Snoozefests.

Stephen Harris

Maker/gamer/geek/dad/husband.

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