Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Going to the Movies: Everyone's a Critic

Last weekend the hubby and I went to Iron Man on the big screen. I sat there for the duration of the movie, absolutely besotted. Iron Man was an excellent movie. There was no doubt in my mind. I felt that Robert Downey Jr. inhabited Tony Stark so well I forgot he was acting. The whole experience was great for me.

Then I get home and read some of the reviews. They were mostly good but some were a buzz kill. How someone can pick a movie apart with such bone cutting precision is beyond me. To me, the whole joy is actually going to the show, getting a small bag of popcorn, and watching the movie. It is an event for me, and I seldom walk away disappointed.

Evidently I am in the minority.

I don't know how many times I have went to see a movie, felt like it was alright, and been pretty much satisfied with the whole deal, only to have friends or co-workers rip it to shreds. The acting was flat. The way the movie was cut detracted from the viewing. The ending sucked. It wasn't what I expected. It goes on and on.

My point is this: sometimes a movie is just a movie. It may not be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it is an escape. That is why artistic license works in the absence of all other reason. That is why we continue to spend our money going to a show rather then staying home and watching our big screen hi-def entertainment centers.

An example for me of a movie I enjoyed that others hated is 10,000 B.C. In my mind, the cinematography was awe inspiring. Some parts lagged a bit, but I was caught up in the beauty I was seeing onscreen. There was a bit of an emotional touch to the movie, and while it wasn't a film I would buy on DVD, I wasn't disappointed. I got my $7.50 worth and went on my way. When I talked to others afterwards, I was really saddened. They didn't like it. They thought it sucked. Okay. That is your opinion.

The greatest blunder many moviegoers continue to touch on is the second Star Wars trilogy. Because of the progression of technology and the lack of chemistry some of the actors had paired with subpar dialogue, many folks have taken the whole thing as a personal slap in the face. That makes me sad. Since it is almost impossible to surpass what magic Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill had together in the first trilogy, I am not surprised that the second one wasn't as well received. I was let down by how harsh folks were, having really enjoyed Ewan MacGregor, Samuel L. Jackson, and Liam Neeson as Jedis. I know that I am in the minority, and that the movies didn't capture lightning in a bottle like the first time around, but going in it was pretty damn obvious that it wouldn't be the same.

Please Star Wars fans, don't send me hate mail. I am just trying to get the point across that many moviegoers have such perceived notions about a film that they will never enjoy the actual movie itself. That is what is sure to happen when Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull opens tomorrow. I am mentally preparing myself that I will like it, while many others will be pissed or sad because it doesn't meet their expectations.

Maybe I am simple and it is obvious I am not a movie critic, but I plan to go and enjoy the movies this summer. Indy, Dark Knight, Sex & the City, Hulk, Hancock, and many more are on my list. Some will be better then others, and I expect this. It is a fact of life, so I am trying to go in with an open mind, knowing that I will spend $7.50 and watching something that was lovingly created by people that had a vision. Thank God for creative expression.

Next time you walk into the movie theater, try and focus on the experience. Are you there with loved ones or good friends? Is it paired with dinner or some other activity? Did you really enjoy getting out of the house and doing something out of the ordinary? Ask yourself these questions rather then going in with a closed mind. I guarantee it will increase the joy of it all 100 fold.


Nick said...

I think your probably more in the majority then you think.

Most people I have talked to have loved Iron Man, and some of these are even non-comic people too.

I didn't especially dig this movie but, by no means did I hate it either. I think when it came down to it, Iron Man as a movie was pretty good a comic movie...I've seen better and I've seen worse.... bare in mind though that I LIKED my tastes in movies is suspect.

Heidi Meeley said...

Nick, I can agree that I enjoyed Iron Man more then Daredevil. I saw the movie in the theater and ended up being more captivated by Jennifer Garner as Elektra and Colin Farrell as Bullseye then I was by the lead character. There was an essence and a charm I appreciated, but it isn't a movie I pop into the DVD player with any great frequency.

Iron Man really worked for me on all levels. It was engrossing, exciting, and believable all at the same time! It was so good, I want to see it again and am sure I will buy the DVD.

I am glad you thought Iron Man was good. What has been your favorite comic book movie so far?

Nick said...

You know it's funny, I dug the secondary characters in Daredevil more too, especially Garner's character, which is ironic considering the writer for Daredevil WROTE Elektra...which....well that movie WAS bad...I'll make no argument on that one.

Favorite comic book movie so far ?

Wow, that's a bit of a ballbuster of a question.

If I had to be put on the spot right now, V for Vendetta. Acting by Portman and Weaving was on point, the cinematography and overall atmosphere portrayed within the movie fit well, and the score wasn't half bad either. The movie just felt like a fusion of a lot of great elements into an already great story. It's one of those few movies wherein I actually enjoyed the movie more then the book/graphic novel.

The rest of the top ones are pretty much:

2.) Batman Begins
3.) Hellboy
4.) Spider-Man 1
5.) Tim Burton's Batman
6.) Sin City
7.) Daredevil
8.) Superman 2....till around the end....then it just got Willy Wonka/Gene Wilder Boat trip weird.

I know crazy list right, lol.

I am kinda curious what are your top 10?

Unknown said...

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Carl said...

I believe a lot of people have become so unbelievely spoiled by modern movies, they can't enjoy anything. I keep having to remind my "children" (these kids that were born in the damned '80s!!!) at the comic shop and such about what we had growing up: The good-but-kind-of-bland Superman TV series. The campy '60s Batman series. The awful DC and Marvel cartoons until the '68 Spiderman. The pretty good drama The Incredible Hulk that was more like The Fugitive then a comic book story. The God-awful Spiderman with Nicholas Hammond. The horrid Captain America movies with first Reb Brown and later, direct-to-VHS/DVD one with Matt Salinger. The Fantastic Four movie that Marvel buried so deep, you can only get a bootleg at conventions. And on and on. And yet, movies that I never imagined that were even possible to film are being done and like finicky spoiled cats living in a brownstone, it's not good enough. Sssssssssoooooooooo, my new method of going to the movies is now called "No Buttheads Allowed". Anyone that constantly comes across as a spoiled and annoying ass, well, let's say, either shut up after you can't defend your POV or STAY HOME. Or go with other negative buttmonkeys and form a "He-Man Movie-Haters' Club" or something. Just stop acting like in a time of over-the-top incredible movies, acting like someone ripped you off or something...

Oh yeah, sorry, but you are wrong, there's only 3 Star Wars movies. I deny that fake trilogy any existence at all. Never happened and Darth Vader was never a whiny lil' bitch named Annie-kins Skywalker...

brad & Krisy said...

I loved Iron Man! Finally a comic book movie that lived up to the comic itself! I had lost my faith in comic book movies after Spiderman. The first Spiderman was not bad, the rest went downhill quickly. Let's not forget the X-Men franchise or the Fantastic Four. Oh, wait! The Hulk!

I think that this year Marvel comic movies are finally living true to the comics! I was ecsatic about Iron Man! Jon Faverau did a tremendous with this movie. Serious kudos to Robert Downey Jr.!

I can't wait to see Tony Stark in the Hulk as well!


Swinebread said...

Iron Man is great film imo but I'm also a harsh critic. I don't like things that take me out of the movie whatever they may be from technical issues to poor story choices.

I think it comes down to having a good story, and staying true to the characters and I think everything falls into place after that.

The movie that gets me really angry is Ang Lee's Hulk. There are so many things wrong with that film but the first is that it's boring...

...and the giant gamma poodle grr.

Eaglewing said...

I have yet to see Iron Man, but I like your outlook on going to just enjoy the experience. Unfortunately, theatres around here don't really offer up a good experience, in spite of the quality of the film.

As I've mentioned before, I've had to dial back a bit on my internet movie site reading. There's too much tearing up of movies. Sometimes a movie deserves it, but it seems people prefer going straight after the tear down first. Still, this is a comic book movie, and no one is as unforgiving as fanboys/girls :)

And since it was thrown out there, I'd have to say my favorite comic book movies would be:

1. Sin City (they just absolutely nailed that one.)
2. X-Men 1
3. X-Men 2
4. Batman Begins
5. Punisher (2004) / Daredevil / Hellboy (yeah, a three way tie is cheap, but there it is)

I am really hoping this year's Punisher movie in December hits it out of the park, but I'm not holding my breath. They've had two shots at it so far and still haven't got it quite right, which is sad considering Ennis' source material would make great movies.