I, like many of you like movies. I just love getting caught up in a story for a couple hours and getting taken away. Movies can be fun, comforting, thought provoking, sad, hilarious, unintentionally hilarious, scary, motivational, thrilling and intense.
I do consider myself to be a bit of a movie guy, I'm more of a sports and music guy but as an overall popular culture fanatic I like to go out there and see a good flick. To me the word good is completely subjective. I don't think that Ice Tea is good. That doesn't mean it's bad, it's just not my preference. I like a diet whatever with a lime when I go out for lunch. That's just me. Same thing with movies. I know many people that will watch any movie they can if it's on TV or they have it at their disposal on Netflix or onDemand etc. and that's totally fine. I'm not like that. I generally stick to what I know I'd like and occasionally will go out on a limb to see something out of my normal routine. I'll generally go see movies that include:
- A bankable comedian (Ferrell, Rogen, Vaughn, Stiller)
- A certain director (Darren Arnofsky, Ron Howard, Christopher Nolan, the Farrelly Brothers Quentin Tarantino or Martin Scorsese)
- A hokey Romantic Comedy story
- Tom Hanks
- Some sort of heist or escape
If you think that's lame that's cool, I don't generally watch:
- Superheros (CGI fests)
- Sci-Fi franchises (CGI fests)
- Action shoot 'em ups (CGI fests)
- Meryl Streep weep fests
- Animated films (Pixar)
- Horror films
- James Cameron films
And if you love those that's also cool, but I will not under any circumstance watch:
- A Tyler Perry production (CGI fest?)
But at this point in my life I'm going to see what I want to see in the theater, generally wait for most films to come out on Redbox, keep my ears open for a word of mouth film and try to catch some classics I've never seen from the past throughout the year.
I also tend to ignore reviewers. They can't really tell me what I want to see although I do enjoy reading the Minneapolis Star-Tribune/MNPost's Colin Covert from time to time simply because I've liked radio interviews I've heard with him. I avoid places like Rotten Tomatoes because it's a movie site named after a vegetable and Roger Ebert because he is a vegetable.
But I've strained.
In the last six months I've talked myself out of going to two movies in the theater I know I'd like ("The Dilemma", "Hall Pass") because of what poor reviews they received. Yes neither looked like the second coming of the "Wizard of Oz" but HP was directed by the Farrelly's and starred Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate. I love all of them! Dilemma was directed by Howard (which of course means his brother, Clint, made an appearance) and starred Vince Vaughn and Kevin James. Again, where could I go wrong?
I skipped them during their brief run in the theaters.
Of course over the last two weeks the word of mouth on "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" was that it was a fantastic film. After a couple friends and I decide to make a little guys night out to the movies I was talked into seeing Apes, a CGI orgasm I tend to ignore, in favor of another film.
I should have known all was going to go downhill when the sign at the local movie theater door read "We apologize for the inconvenience, but we do not accept credit cards at this time." After a two dollar service charge and $10 ticket I'm thinking that for 12 bucks this better feature the corpse of Charlton Heston doing the "Dougie." After a handful of previews that were all so bad I audibly laughed at most of them (and was chided by my two friends because they didn't notice how dreadful these films looked apparently) I was about ready to just walk out and sneak into "Friends With Benefits" or "Crazy, Stupid, Love"- already in progress- but I held in there.
Two hours or so later I left the feeling with a massive sense of MEH. Apes isn't bad, by no means. Every person in the movie plays their parts well, minus a monkey uprising the story is actually kind of plausible and I can totally see where it got the praise that it did. But was it worth $12 to me? Not a chance.
Sunday I hit the 'ol Cub Foods Redbox (because I had a free rental coupon, natch) and finally picked up "Hall Pass" and "Dilemma." Coupled with my vending machine purchase of a Cherry Coke Zero I spent $1.75 on four hours of great entertainment. No neither of the rentals were all time classics, but they provided the laughter, familiarity and simplicity I longed for.
After all this babbling and nitpicking I'm just hear to stay this:
You do you, stay your lane. Go with your gut. No critic can tell you what YOU can or can't like.