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Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

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Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

Old 02-21-15, 05:58 PM
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Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

I've recently spent quite a bit of money upgrading my home theatre to a full 7.1 with a really good quality receiver and speakers etc

It is scary how much difference to the movie viewing experience having really great sound makes.

Now i don't for any minute think my home theatre is the ultimate, i only have a 65 inch plasma tv for example, not a brand spanking 4K projector and screen

Cinema's are set up to show a movie how it was intended in terms of visuals and audio

It's fine for people at home to watch movies at home, but can they honestly really review and critique properly a movie watched on say a 40 inch TV with a 200 dollar soundbar ?

of course visuals and audio aren't everything, BUT i would say it represents 20 percent of the movie experience and obviously more for certain type of movie. A great movie will always be great even on shitty equipment but there are movies which i could easily see being 5/10 watched on crap and 6.5/10 watched on great equipment

e.g. i recently watched the horror movie Annabelle which would have been really tedious without great audio but i actually really enjoyed the audio mix and it helped provide the scares and horror element that the movie needed
Old 02-21-15, 06:11 PM
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Re: Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

Yes.

You've got a story and imagery w/ sound. Some films, the rare ones, are ones that home cannot replicate. Without it all being at the same level that visual/audio quality can be at (most) theaters, you've got some downgrade. But not enough to kill what the film is at its core.

Also at times a film is truly that much greater when put into the context of the time it was released. The impact and culture around the region. Some films like that surpass it and some don't. Got to put it into context sometimes.

But... it doesn't hurt a film really.

Watching a film at home for the most part is fine. Probably 85% or more of films are the ones not affected by home viewing. The ones that revel in the idea of being in the cinema are the very good exception.
Old 02-21-15, 06:11 PM
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Re: Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

I probably wouldn't review a film like The Avengers based off my experiences with a home system (unless it was for a blu review), but it wouldn't bother me to read a critic's review from a home screener of most comedies, dramas or indie films.
Old 02-21-15, 06:13 PM
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Re: Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

You also have to factor in the crowd reactions that can alter how you view a film.

That said I want reviews based off of the story, the acting...things that translate to the small screen.
Old 02-21-15, 06:31 PM
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Re: Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

If it was 1988 & we were still watching pan n' scan VHS, I'd agree. However with Blu Ray & lossless audio, we're closer than we've ever been to getting cinema quality at home. A halfway decent projector can even be found for less than 1k, bringing it even closer.

The bigger issue I have with home viewing is that the vast majority of people seem to believe the world will end if they take their eyes off their cell phone for more than 15 minutes. I guess that happens at the cinema, but it bugs me when people critique a movie they have only watched out of their peripheral vision while playing Trivia Crack.
Old 02-21-15, 06:48 PM
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Re: Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

It's fine for people at home to watch movies at home, but can they honestly really review and critique properly a movie watched on say a 40 inch TV with a 200 dollar soundbar ?
On the movie's merits as a film - absolutely. In terms of reviewing home media like Blu-ray and DVDs - then no.
Old 02-21-15, 07:38 PM
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Re: Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

Originally Posted by Timber View Post
I want reviews based off of the story, the acting...
Old 02-21-15, 07:41 PM
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Re: Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

Not really.
Old 02-21-15, 08:18 PM
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Re: Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

Yes
Old 02-21-15, 08:29 PM
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Re: Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

But remember, how the story and acting are delivered is dependent on the delivery of the audio and visuals

even a dialogue based movie sounds so much better (and therefore the acting performances are enhanced accordingly, whether for the better or worse) on a setup with kickass speakers
Old 02-21-15, 08:39 PM
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Re: Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

Big-budget Hollywood horror movies are greatly enhanced on a dynamic home theater audio system. It's far easier to become scared without being surrounded by hundreds of other viewers.
Old 02-21-15, 08:53 PM
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Re: Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

Originally Posted by Timber View Post
You also have to factor in the crowd reactions that can alter how you view a film.
I've found that watching comedies at home aren't nearly as much fun or funny as in a crowded theater.

I'll buy something that I died laughing in at the theater and then watch at home and not laugh all that much.
Old 02-21-15, 09:06 PM
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Re: Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

We talking Avatar here?
Old 02-21-15, 09:13 PM
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Re: Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

Not all movies shine at the Cinema. Certain movies are loud and obnoxious. Which can be a huge distraction and take away from the concentration of what is going on. Man of Steel comes to mind.

Many movies can be more pleasant at home.
Old 02-21-15, 09:20 PM
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Re: Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

I'll buy something that I died laughing in at the theater and then watch at home and not laugh all that much.
That's how Something About Mary made all that money at the theater. Laughter is infectious.
Old 02-21-15, 09:36 PM
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Re: Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

Probably depends on the movie too. Something like Gravity would be a very different experience watching it on a medium sized TV at home versus in theaters.
Old 02-21-15, 09:54 PM
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Re: Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

Originally Posted by Solid Snake View Post
Yes.

You've got a story and imagery w/ sound. Some films, the rare ones, are ones that home cannot replicate. Without it all being at the same level that visual/audio quality can be at (most) theaters, you've got some downgrade. But not enough to kill what the film is at its core.
At it's core, a movie is a story. That is what I'm watching whether I'm watching it on a 50-foot screen in a theater or on the 46-inch HDTV in my basement. A good story can engage me at my home as much as it could at any theater. IMO, it is perfectly fine to review a movie watching it on your home setup.

Last edited by big e; 02-21-15 at 09:59 PM.
Old 02-21-15, 10:53 PM
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Re: Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

Yes, it's fair. Going to the movies can be a torturous experience these days.
Old 02-21-15, 11:04 PM
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Re: Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

Originally Posted by big e View Post
At it's core, a movie is a story. That is what I'm watching whether I'm watching it on a 50-foot screen in a theater or on the 46-inch HDTV in my basement. A good story can engage me at my home as much as it could at any theater. IMO, it is perfectly fine to review a movie watching it on your home setup.
Thank You
Old 02-21-15, 11:22 PM
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Re: Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

The best home video setup is better than the worst theater. In the 80s I was watching movies on VHS with better sound and picture quality than some theaters (with mono sound and out of focus, misframed pictures projected from damaged film prints.)
Old 02-21-15, 11:22 PM
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Re: Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

It depends on what you are reviewing ...

A shitty story, a lousy performance, or half-assed editing won't change when translating from a 60' screen to a 60" one.

On the flip side, technical presentation (i.e., sound, picture quality, atmosphere) cannot be controlled by the filmmaker, so is it fair to account for that? Should I say X-Men 2 is a terrible film because it was the absolute worst experience I have ever had in a theater?
Old 02-22-15, 12:12 AM
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Re: Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

That's a good point to, theater quality can be all over the place these days. I'm glad I have access to excellent theater experiences, but others across the country might not be so fortunate.

That said, are review screenings more tightly controlled? I assume they would be.
Old 02-22-15, 12:51 AM
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Re: Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

Originally Posted by big e View Post
At it's core, a movie is a story. That is what I'm watching whether I'm watching it on a 50-foot screen in a theater or on the 46-inch HDTV in my basement. A good story can engage me at my home as much as it could at any theater. IMO, it is perfectly fine to review a movie watching it on your home setup.
By that logic, you should only need to read the shooting script.

At it's core, a movie is a story, but that is not all it is.

Performances play differently on a theater screen versus a TV.

There are also visual and sound effects.

Plus, and perhaps most importantly, the theater offers an immersive experience that I do not believe any home theater can replicate.
Old 02-22-15, 02:47 AM
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Re: Is it even Fair to Review and Critique Movies NOT watched at the Cinema ?

That said, are review screenings more tightly controlled? I assume they would be.
No, they aren't. A lot of times the reviewers see the same screenings as those who win tickets through radio contests and such- I got lots of passes for those when I worked for Tower Records and saw a lot of bad presentations, including one which truly was the worst experience I've ever had at a theater due to incompetent film projection and an audience that for the most part would not shut the fuck up.
Old 02-22-15, 09:30 AM
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It's all digital now, what's the difference ? In all seriousness, there are who knows how many films I'll never be able to see at the cinema even if I want to, so how else would I watch them? I would hope that a great film would stand up no matter how you watch it. I've certainly had experiences where watching a stunning remaster is almost like rediscovering the film again, but I would hope that a great film would come off no matter how you watch it. After all, how else are you going to dig into the back catalogs of Bella Tarr or Dario Argento or anyone else? They certainly aren't going to show up at any cinemas near me. Lawrence of Arabia is going to be brilliant and The Room is going to be terrible no matter what screen I watch it on.

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