Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How's my film viewing shaping up?

I've been wondering lately what I've watched so far this year and what those films say about my film tastes.  So, here we go.

I've seen these films so far this a year: The Wolfman, Shutter Island, The Ghost Writer, The Good Guy, The Crazies, The Yellow Handerkerchief, Alice In Wonderland, Brooklyn's Finest, Green Zone, Our Family Wedding, Mother, The Runaways, City Island, How To Train Your Dragon, Greenberg, Hot Tub Time Machine.

First off, I've only been reviewing films since the end of February and I've already ingested 16 films.  16 films hand-fed to me as well.  I did no searching or perusing or prodding to be invited to these films, I'm just on a list like so many other critics and when they beckon I come slouching on through.  All said, that's an average of 2-3 films a week over the course of the last six weeks.  Cinema overload.

Lets break these films down to ones I loved, the ones that didn't make me nauseous, and the ones I would love to fire out of a cannon in to the icy depths of the great, blue sea.

Loved: Shutter Island, The Crazies, The Yellow Handkerchief (minus the film's searing hatred deserving final frame), Mother, Greenberg

Lack of Nausea: Hot Tub Time Machine, Green Zone, Alice In Wonderland, Kick-Ass

Searing Hatred: The Wolfman, The Ghost Writer, The Good Guy, Brooklyn's Finest, Our Family Wedding, The Runaways, City Island, How To Train Your Dragon

What does this breakdown say about my filmic viewing so far?:

Not much.  Seemingly I more interested in the smaller, more cerebral stories.  Ones that challenge, regardless of the genre or subject of the film.  The films that rode down the well worn paths of a thousand big budget shit-fests before routinely put me to sleep.  Serious films, the non-comedic ones I mean, seem to mean more to me.  This is probably because I see most of these films without a cinema partner, and trying to force yourself to guffaw when there's no one to prompt you is strangely hard.  Comedic films are a shared experience, thus many of them fell flat on my solo jaunts.  Hot Tub Time Machine, a fairly hilarious if not forgettable film, was seen with the Criterion Conquistador in tow, and even though it wasn't her favorite film, I found myself chuckling more, amused by her rare amusement.

Action films have a soft-spot in my heart, so I can see why the non-nauseating films were stocked with action films that I consider at least a little sub-par.  I haven't been blown out of the water by a heavily weighted actioneer yet this sun-cycle, and I'm a little worried that I might not ever be again.  Action films can be great, but I want the glut of my story to be based around characters and their moral dilemmas, regardless of the genre.  The modern action film spends too much time, well, blowing shit up, and nearly never incorporates characters or a solid plot and that just doesn't do it for me anymore. 

In general I think I'm fairly hard on films, a trait I hate but can't seem to shake.  I love films so much and all I want is that love to be reciprocated, but of the 16 films I've seen and reviewed, I've only truly loved 5 of them.  I'd only pay money to see 5 of these films, and honestly, I was spared some of the worst ones. 

So does this mean movies are shittier or I'm just because a crotchety old man set in my feeble beliefs about what film should do and be?  Probably a little bit of both.


Criterion Counsel: Again, I feel terrible.  This quest is sandbagged.

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