Thursday, 23 October 2008

My Movie Watching Guide

I enjoy seeking the best movies to watch, books to read, music to listen to and food to eat. Which is why I've compiled a list of points that I aim to remember, to ensure that I always pick the best movies to watch, instead of flops or mediocre movies that'll only waste my time, money and energy.

1. Avoid old movies – any Hollywood movie (and most other movies) made before 1995 can only be appreciated when seen in the social/historical/etc. context in which it's been made. If you're unable to watch a movie this way, you're probably going to find it slow and boring. For example, Once Upon a Time in the West might be rated high, even though I find it slow. This is true for many Sergio Leone, Ingmar Bergman and Frederico Fellini movies. Which brings me to my next point.

2. Don’t watch a movie simply because it’s been given a high rating - for all you know, the people who rated it high could be your parents, who definitely have a different view about what makes a movie worth watching. A black and white silent film like Battleship Potemkin could be a masterpiece in your great grandparent's eyes and a snooze in yours.

3. Research movies before spending money on them - don’t watch a movie simply because it’s a foreign film or an offbeat movie – many of them are flops. Research the movie first. A movie might be good to critics who only follow technique whilst ignoring the very subject matter that you might love or hate. For example, Pulp fiction is original, fresh and creative, but its graphic content doesn’t make it everyone’s cup of tea. If you can’t look at a movie objectively, then reading up on its story and subject matter is essential to avoid any disappointment or unpleasant surprises.

4. Avoid Big Budget Hollywood action thrillers – they’re mostly mediocre. Avoid them like the plague. The bigger the budget, the bigger the unrealistic stunts, thin story lines, plot holes, and cardboard characters with uni-dimensional black/white or good/bad personalities with no grey areas.

If you like a movie, make a note of the director and writer’s names - then see other movies credited to the same people. Chances are, if you like one of their moves, you’ll like most of them. This ensures continuous satisfaction. Don’t see a movie because of its cast. They never matter.

6. Avoid movies with low ratings – common sense actually. If a recently released movie’s been panned, stay away from it. Eg: Hannibal Rising.

Avoid British Comedies – they’re usually boring and not as good as American ones, not that American ones are that good either.

8. Don't watch Bollywood movies



Bits and Pieces said...

Hey I like British comedies! Have you ever watched Fawlty Towers (TV series)?

As for Hollywood action movies, I don't know about you, but I kinda like the Bond movies - kinkiness, cliches and all!

Daniel said...

Of course I've seen Fawlty towers :-) I've also seen Black Adder, etc and found them reasonably funny, though I don't feel they're anywhere as hilarious as American T.V shows like Seinfeld or more recently, Scrubs.

But just to clarify, when it comes to funny movies, I pretty much dislike most of the stuff I see these days - British and American.

I find that the best comedies have reasonably good overall content and not just screwball joke after screwball joke. For example, Welcome to Mooseport was funny, so was Johnny English; The Scary Movies and Meet the Spartans, on the other hand, aren't funny at all.

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