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Movie reviewers?

Old 01-26-12, 01:25 PM
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Movie reviewers?

I'm sure there are times we all read what reviewers - Ebert,Maltin, otherwise have to say about a movie.I'm just curious how many reviews you use to gage how well your tastes match.Which in turn will tell you how reliable this person would be for you to pull future watching froms.

I don't think atleast, that you can tell how well you match purely off of one movie.For example, Leonard Maltin gave Planes,Trains and Automobiles ** 1/2.Now I really enjoyed that movie.However, does it mean we don't match at all taste wise? No of course, it is only one movie.

Just curious as to what everyone else thinks.
Old 01-26-12, 01:42 PM
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Re: Movie reviewers?

Critics, just like marketing, should never be an absolute when figuring out what to watch, but their diametric opposition makes for useful tools, as the marketing tells you how good the movie could be while the critics give their informed account of how they perceive it.

Now and then you'll get some blowhard that says "I never pay attention to what critics say", which most of the time means "I watch exactly what the advertising tells me to". Even people who choose based on descriptions are still being swayed by reviewers or the marketing's press kit.

There are a few critics I enjoy reading, because they are fine writers in addition to being well-informed about their subject. Sometimes we disagree, but that's fair, and no critic is an idiot just because they have a different opinion.

What makes a critic useful, in addition to their insight, is their range. Had DVDTalk's Jason Bailey not reviewed A Separation back in September, I may not have heard of it until the end-of-year best lists. As it stood, Bailey made it sound very intriguing, and I was able to seek it out and see it. It was in my top five of last year, and I have Jason, an informed critic who took a chance on a lesser-known film and took the time to let us know about it, to thank for letting me know before anyone else.

Perhaps there is a critic out there whose tastes match up with mine almost completely. If there is, I almost don't want to read him/her. It might take too much out of the filmgoing experience if I knew in advance exactly how much I'd end up liking the film.

So, to sum up - critics are fun to read and their information is helpful, but no opinion should matter more to you than your own.
Old 01-26-12, 01:48 PM
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Re: Movie reviewers?

I'm no professional film reviewer, but I do write reviews for another site. Ironically enough, I don't enjoy reading film reviews. I just go see what looks good to me, or what the Internet scuttlebutt tells me is worth my time.
Old 01-26-12, 02:04 PM
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Re: Movie reviewers?

No reviewer is going to go along with you 100%. Enjoying a movie is just too subjective an experience. It's not just the sheer number of reviews that help me determine if a particular reviewer is someone whose opinion I value ... it's also the quality of the review. Roger Ebert usually makes good points explaining why he gives a movie a certain rating, which I can understand even if I felt differently about the movie.

I'm not impressed with the reviews from the Maltin guides. Too many reviewers are contributing to the ratings (Maltin actually doesn't do them all - he has staff do them), and there are a lot of inconsistencies. I just can't give any value to the reviews of someone who would rate "Batman and Robin" higher than the Tim Burton Batman movies (especially "Batman Returns"). Or is all over the place with the kind of horror/cult/sci-fi movies of the type I enjoy. Many mainsteam reviewers crap over those types of movies ... which means I have to be particular about which reviews to trust to help me choose what to watch. On the flip side, reading reviews of a movie by critical darlings like Woody Allen or Stephen Soderbergh feels pretty pointless as well.

Anyway, for me at least reading reviews if just one thing that helps me decide if I want to watch a new movie. Maybe I liked the work the actors or filmmakers have done before. Or just think the story sounds interesting. Or just generally bumbling about on the internet and hearing opinions.
Old 01-26-12, 02:06 PM
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Re: Movie reviewers?

I used to skim through 4 or 5 reviews for movies I was interested in but I found the best way to gauge what I'd like is to use the tomatometer on Rotten Tomatoes.
Old 01-26-12, 02:12 PM
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Re: Movie reviewers?

I use the DVDTalk method to figure out which movies I'll like: look only at the director, and nothing else.

Nolan:
Whedon, Fincher:
Van Trier:
Russell:
Boll, Perry:
Lucas:
Old 01-26-12, 02:15 PM
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Re: Movie reviewers?

I don't strictly rely on the Maltin guides.Picked it up for less than $10.Mainly got it for browsing and seeing what catches my eye as something that might interest me plot wise, more so than the actual rating/review.Easier to have a book compainion than pulling up all the info on the internet in various tabs.Of course it all depends on the individuals taste but there are denziens who live by what Maltin/Ebert etc say and think.
Old 01-26-12, 02:16 PM
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Re: Movie reviewers?

Originally Posted by Smeeg26
Of course it all depends on the individuals taste but there are denziens who live by what Maltin/Ebert etc say and think.
I've been on a million film forums and talked film with people all over the world, and haven't found anybody who meets this description.
Old 01-26-12, 02:20 PM
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Re: Movie reviewers?

Originally Posted by Groucho
I've been on a million film forums and talked film with people all over the world, and haven't found anybody who meets this description.
Suppose I should have rephrased this.Mean people who live by what critics have to say about movies.See what they deem good, skip what they deem bad.
Old 01-26-12, 02:44 PM
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Re: Movie reviewers?

Originally Posted by Groucho
I use the DVDTalk method to figure out which movies I'll like: look only at the director, and nothing else.

Nolan:
Whedon, Fincher:
Van Trier:
Russell:
Boll, Perry:
Lucas:
I think you forgot Malick:
Old 01-26-12, 05:43 PM
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Re: Movie reviewers?

I only trust my own reviews ...

I don't find that there are any critics out there I trust absolutely. Not even Joe Bob Briggs!

I do, however, trust good writers, because even if they're trashing a movie, if they do it in a thoughtful and descriptive way it can steer me toward it. That is, I use their taste as a balance against my own.

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