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Old 07-14-2014, 01:33 PM   #7
weezerspider's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,387
Default Re: Can An Opinion Be Wrong???

Anyone's opinion not lined with mine is wrong.

But seriously, I get what you are throwing down and have been saying this for awhile now. I posted this awhile back about film critics which kind of flows into this conversation:

Many casual moviegoers look down on film critics and brush them off. They don't care if a film gets terrible reviews or wonderful reviews. Now, I'm not saying all film critics are right, and I'm not saying to drop your personal opinion, but completely disregarding film critics blindly is a disservice and a tad ignorant.

Most of the really good critics have studied film much more than the average moviegoer. This is often why many 'film buffs' and filmmakers agree with critics on a lot of films. Does this make their opinions more valid? As unpopular as this sounds, I believe it does in a way. I'll trust a doctor to give me medical advice over Joe next door because my doctor has studied medicine his whole life. Its not as clear and cut as that because film is art(or its supposed to be anyway) and art is subjective. However, from a technical standpoint, those who have studied filmmaking know more about sound design, editing, camerawork ex, than the average moviegoer. And yes, those things to play a part in judging if a film is 'good' or 'bad'. For example, when a critic says this film is edited well, or this film has good cinematography, I take that in consideration when I choose what film to see. If critics have studied filmmaking, those 'tangible' aspects of filmmaking are a little bit more objective, though still not entirely.

However, the story and the overall entertainment of a film,which is what most average moviegoers go to see, is entirely subjective and their opinion has no more validity than anyone else. This sometimes, in my opinion, is what causes the rift between a lot of critics and casual moviegoers. Moviegoers care primarily for the entertainment factor, while the critics factor in the other 'tangible'(not the right word really, but just go with it) aspects that casual moviegoers simply don't care for. For instance, The Tree of Life was beautifully made. The cinematography and editing were wonderful. The acting was great. However, I wasn't extremely entertained by the story, so while I have some respect for it from a filmmaking standpoint, I wouldn't say I really 'liked' it. A critic however, with my same opinion, may give it a pretty good review because everything else, aside from the entertainment factor, was extremely well done. I too, gave it a good review because there is so much wonderful filmmaking techniques in it.

Thus brings me to Ebert. Ebert was the greatest critic of all time because he thought both like a critic and like a fan. He rated things based on the type of film it was. Its silly to think Anchorman 2 should have the same filmmaking craft as a David Lynch film. In Ebert's own words:

"When you ask a friend if Hellboy is any good, you're not asking if it's any good compared to Mystic River, you're asking if it's any good compared to The Punisher. And my answer would be, on a scale of one to four, if Superman is four, then Hellboy is three and The Punisher is two. In the same way, if American Beauty gets four stars, then The United States of Leland clocks in at about two."

Most casual moviegoers think like him. When I give The Dark Knight a 10/10, that doesn't mean that I think The Dark Knight is perfect and right up there with The Godfather. It means its The Godfather of its genre.

Me personally, I really enjoy critical reactions. That doesn't mean that I always agree, but I love reading a well written film review. It can praise a film I hate, or hate a film I love as long as its well written. Reading reviews can help you expand your mind on a film and re-think it entirely. I also personally think people take film critics too seriously. They aren't saying 'hey you have to think like me'. They simply get to see films early and they get paid to let people know what they think of them so you can decide if you want to spend the $10 on the ticket for it. Its just like asking a friend if they saw the most recent release and if its worth seeing. Like your friends, its all about following the right people. If you're an action junkie, you probably don't ask your friend's wife,who loves all chick flicks, if she liked a movie. You ask your friends who have the same tastes as you. Similarly, find a critic with similar tastes and you will begin to enjoy reviews. I didn't always agree with Ebert, but I loved reading his reviews and we often agreed on films, so when he liked something I was anticipating, my anticipation grew. When he didn't like something I was looking forward to, I lowered my expectations

Don't judge film critics. Find the right ones to follow and they can be your friends and help you save $10 on a crappy movie.

But yeah. Thats what I think about critics.

"If you figure a way to live without serving a master, any master, then let the rest of us know, will you? For you'd be the first person in the history of the world."
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