June 4, 2015

Cinema Theory: Tapestry of Experience

Have you ever thought about what makes you watch the movies you watch? What makes your cinematic clock tick? What itches that filmic scratch? I do, on occasion. Every so often I think about what it is that drives me to watch movies, what movies to choose, how to process them, how to rate them, and any other number of things. They are often not deep thoughts, but they are interesting to dwell on. We all do it, whether we recognize it or not. We all make choices in our avenues of entertainment, be it movies, games, books, cooking, toys, comics, whatever. Welcome to Cinema Theory where I will occasionally look at some aspect governing my choices and processes. For better or worse.

If you know me, or have been checking the site for a long enough period of time, you know that I am not all that discriminatory when it comes to the movies I watch. I hit the theater and see just about anything (although, I have been a bit more selective of late... a bit). I will see movies of any genre, any target audience, a good movie is a good movie. I have gotten more than my share fare of odd looks as I walk into the latest Spongebob movie, romance film, or Bollywood release. Yes, my love will always belong to the genre fare of science fiction and horror, but that does not mean there are good movies of other genres. Why not explore the possibilities?

Are they all good? No, no, no, no, no. I see a lot of stinkers. The thing, and I have caught a little flak for this too, I am something of a cinematic optimist. I don't really like to hate on a movie just to do so, or because everyone else is doing it. Still, while a movie may be bad, there may be something good in it, a scene, a performance, a line, a shot, something making the watch worthwhile. Sometimes not, but more often than not I do find something to like.

Sometimes I will come out of a bad movie and a friend will ask me if I liked it. Of course, I said no. They will occasionally say “sorry” or “sorry you paid for that.” Not completely unwarranted replies, but they also imply that if you do not like a movie, your time was wasted. This is not the case at all. If you like movies, you like movies. I know most will disagree with me on this, but any movie I watch, good or bad, is a good thing.

Yes, you read that right. Of course, I will always prefer to watch good movies, but everything has its place and fits into my movie experience. The more movies you watch, the greater the experience you have, the more you will understand why things are good and why some things just downright suck.

It kind of ties into those times you see people write or hear them say they “don't listen to critics, they don't know what good movies are” or something along those lines. I admit, I review movies and it stings a little bit, it doesn't matter that I don't do it well, it still stings. I would never be one to dissuade you from seeing something, but I will still give you my opinion, for better or worse of it.

If you are into movies, you should consume whatever you can. The more you watch, the more experience you have. The more you watch, the more you will understand. Your tastes will become more apparent and you will recognize why critics pan certain movies, love others, or are ambivalent to some. It is like someone turning on a light switch, you will discover some really good movies. You may agree with some critics and be a virtual opposite of others, but you will know what you like. Even better, you will know why.

This is part of how I approach movies. I try to be optimistic, you never know where you might see something good. Every movie adds to the tapestry of your experience and adds to your own ability to judge movies, and you never know where the next surprise may come. I don't know if this was worth your time, but it is a little insight into me. Very little.

What are you still doing here? Get off my lawn and go watch a movie or ten!

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