Jury Coordination and Notes

Disagreeing with Critics by Keefer C. Blakeslee

SeeYouatMovies.2.jpgHere’s something we can all relate to. I’ve recently been thinking about it because I’ve seen a lot of films recently that I’ve enjoyed and yet critics disliked. Now, film is art and art is subjective so, of course, people are going to have different thoughts about certain films. That’s what having an opinion is all about. Here are some films that come to mind.

Money Monster – This Jodi Foster directed film starred George Clooney and Julia Roberts. Just uttering those three stars should make critics go wild. Well, in fact, the opposite happened. While critics enjoyed the cast, they thought the themes of Wall Street were clouded by action. Now I can understand where they are coming from. The drama comes from George Clooney’s character becoming a hostage by a young man played by Jack O’Connell, who lost  everything by following a stock tip by Clooney. This film had the potential to use the power of film to comment about Wall street and commerce but they played it safe. I think it works. This is one of those films where it’s fueled by its actors. Lucky for Foster she has two of the best in the film industry plus Jack O’Connell  who steals the show with his performance.

Bridge of Spies – Now let’s talk about a film that was praised by critics. Many people called it Steven Spielberg’s best film and who could blame them. It stars Tom Hanks. It’s written by the Coen Brothers and Matt Charman. And, it’s based on a true story set during the cold war. I was excited for this film, which could be the reason I didn’t go nuts over it. Don’t get me wrong, I like this film and have no problems with it. However, I just didn’t get into it that much. I thought Tom Hanks’ performance was good, but not amazing compared to his other roles. The dialogue was flawless, but standard drama. Even Spielberg’s direction wasn’t anything special. Not only do I think the hype for the film influenced my opinion, but I also think it was expected to be good. With the cast and crew, I expected an amazing film, making it almost predictable. That’s where I think I didn’t connect with it. I know it sounds crazy but the film was too perfect for me to enjoy.

Ace Ventura – Here is an example of a film audiences loved but critics thought it was too obnoxious and desperate. Keefer.2014.5.jpgOne of Jim Carrey’s signature roles was disliked by many critics including my hero Roger Ebert who called the film “a long, unfunny slog through an impenetrable plot.” Yes, the film is filled with Jim Carrey’s silly comedy and even I agree it’s not his best. I have to admit, this film makes me laugh every time. I think it showcases Carrey’s best comedic attributes. His physical comedy, fast-talking quips and absurd acting ability are all wrapped up in one movie.

Now You See Me – The closer you look, the less you see.  Critics looked at this film so close, trying to find a good movie, that they missed it. Rotten Tomatoes gave this film a 49% and said, “Now You See Me’s thinly sketched characters and scattered plot rely on sleight of hand from the director to distract audiences.” I can’t disagree with the points they made but that doesn’t make it a bad film. It’s a popcorn movie! It’s meant to entertain and it does a stunning job at doing that. The story is unique and the many twists and turns keep you on the edge of your seat. So instead of trying to analyze this, you should stop looking and just enjoy the show.

Rocky and Bullwinkle Movie – Okay, this one really gets me. This film brings back the cartoon icons Rocky and Bullwinkle in a feature length film. Rotten Tomatoes said, “Though the film stays true to the nature of the original cartoon, the script is disappointing and not funny.” I totally disagree. This film has hilarious lines and action from our favorite moose and squirrel. Sure, some of the jokes are incredibly cheesy and even cringe worthy, but the original cartoon was like that as well. Even the movie makes fun of their writing at points. I believe the so-called “unfunny” parts stays faithful to the original cartoon. Compared to other adaptations, I’m looking at you Smurfs, it’s comedy gold.

Are there any films you liked and the critics hated or vice versa? In the end, there are movies we love and some we hate. While critics can influence our opinions, it’s up to you to challenge your thinking of films and figure out what you enjoy at the movies.

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