Thursday, July 27, 2006

Movie Review Rationale

If I’m going to do movie reviews on this blog, then I’d like to lay some straight sticks to give readers of this blog (both of them) an understanding of my presumptions and process. Movie making is really hard.

No one has any idea what will be a hit and what won’t. There are some good ideas out there, and there are some stinkers. I’m thinking if you’re going to spend between 45 and 250 million dollars on a film, then for the investors alone (let alone the viewers) you should do the best job of bulletproofing everything that you can.

And that isn’t easy. A hundred thousand things can and will go wrong. The actors phone it in, are difficult, can’t act, can’t act today; the effects don’t work (which made JAWS a better movie, since it meant showing the shark less and building suspense more), the weather won’t cooperate, the star won’t cooperate… So you’d think nailing down the one thing that CAN be nailed down would be a safe bet.

That, of course, is the script. I understand that what’s written isn’t often actually shot, but it should be a good road map for the director. And it’s all about the director. A movie is a director’s medium. A good director can make bad actors good and good actors bad (anyone remember Tightrope? The director is SO BAD he makes Sean Connery boring. Something I wouldn’t have thought possible). You may think it’s a good actor that pulls a bad story along but if the director doesn’t use that footage, the actor’s in soup.

Tim Burton aside, most directors understand story. Nail that down, make sure you shoot it, and make sure the editor cuts it and you may not have a blockbuster, but you should have a good movie (not necessarily an enjoyable movie).

So my reviews will occasionally look at the actor, often at the director and ALWAYS at the story. And it won’t be often, because I don’t have much time to actually see very many movies...


malissa said...

I don't care what you say, as long as it isn't politics ( not because I disagree, but because I'm not up on everything), I just enjoy your ranting! (sp?) And I'm proud to be one of the 2 readers along side of Susan (that is the other person, isn't it?)

bdfytoday said...

Your site is on top of my favourites - Great work I like it.