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HoRRoRFaN
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PostPosted: 07.22.2004 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The DC ending reminded me very much of DONNIE DARKO's ending, but I liked it better than the theatrical cut but also can understand why they didn't go with it. Although some people may complain about the original ending being laughable in the way that his fate is destroyed before he has a chance to be born, I thought it was more effective, making more sense with the theme of the movie. Yeah, it is kinda shocking, but think about the (SPOILERS) scene when he visits his father and when he mentions to his father that he can change everything, but his father tells him that it is impossible, it can't be done, etc. His father tries to strangle him, so if he kills him, it will end with him. This moment makes a lot of sense when viewing the DC, it's the only appropriate conclusion, and the movie, being sadder with it, is more effective; an otherwise okay movie would have benefitted from it, IMO. I watched the DVD and I am glad that the other alternate endings were not used, they were horrible.
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HoRRoRFaN
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PostPosted: 07.23.2004 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

New Jack City (Mario Van Peebles, 1991) 27

This movie wants to be SCARFACE, THE UNTOUCHABLES, and THE GODFATHER so much while changing its setting to the ghetto, and it fails miserably. With no momentum to feul its painfully unoriginal plot, it is extremely boring even with its action scenes. Wesley Snipes is Nino Brown who, along with his right-hand G Money, takes over the drug game by the idea to take over an apartment complex in Harlem to set up his crack operation, The Carter. Ice-T is the cop that of course only works by himself, does everything his way blah blah blah, he wants to take down Nino and his crew by sending Chris Rock's character, a "reformed crack head" to work from the inside of The Carter, wearing wires and the necessary recording equiptment, and he actually believes that this is going to work. But the movie is full of these insanely stupid and lame examples. I can go on and on mentioning them: to start, he actually believes that a crackhead as seriously addicted as Chris Rock was will not break down in front of an entire fucking table of crack being produced, but to his and Rock's benefit, G Money, the leader of recruiting new workers, promotes him on the spot and doesn't investigate him any further, he just talks to him for a minute and sends him to the production room, and so on. It's laughable really with its countless contrivances (the death of Ice T's mother and his connection to Nino; undercover when your cover is already blown) and lack of realism (breaking into a drug kingpins home and being able to not be stopped by a bodyguard, a gun in a courthouse, etc) but because there is no end to them, you can't can't laugh anymore. You want to turn the movie off in disgust because it becomes too much to endure after a while. I prefer Abel Ferrara's KING OF NEW YORK to this in every way; this movie makes it look like a classic in comparison.

Mother's Day (Charles Kaufman, 1980) 25

Much to my surprise, this is far from the gory, sick, and shocking movie that it is made out to be by some people. Given the twisted plot (a controlling, deranged mother of two pyschotic grown kids teaches them to rape and murder and they come across three high school friends camping in their woods, near their home), I expected this to be a controversial, groundbreaking shockfest that I was told it was. But it was just stupid. After all, it's a Troma flick -- the fact that Tromo is all over this one (though it may not be as lame and mentally retarded than their other piece of shit disasters that I've seen), I can understand why the movie is so cheap and badly shot. And it takes takes at least a half hour for the backwoods clan to capture the three girls, and before they meet, you would think that the boring introduction to the girls would allow some development, so we can care about them for a change, but no. Don't expect any development -- instead, all that we get from director Charles Kaufman are brief or vague tidbits and the three friends fooling around with each other in the woods where they are camping out. That's it, and that's not any sort of development as much as it is a waste of time. Why the fuck do people compare this to Wes Craven's debut, LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, which actually is an important, powerful film, a meditation on how violence can be so unprovoked and ugly, violence where the villian is scared of who he is, and tries so desperately to hide it within? In my opinion, they shouldn't be allowed in the same sentence. And I hate it whenever I hear that people consider MOTHER'S DAY a classic. Yeah, right. Nor is it a scary or a funny movie. It is cheap and shallow, and the twist at the end, while original, is something you can foresee an hour in the movie. You see the girls fight back here, but them fighting back is something that I didn't particularly believe and wasn't convinced by. One of the girls who is so frightened and weak takes over the role as her strong friend that fights back, then the originally strong friend turns weak suddenly and wants to give up. The director claims it is a parady and still works on many levels, but I believe that it wants to be social commentary and it wants to be important, but it doesn't know what the fuck it is actually doing. Interesting thing is that it was filmed the same time as the original FRIDAY THE 13th, which is a horror film that features another pyschotic mother, but the mother in this movie is bent on revenge and has a motive to her killing spree. Here, Kaufman's reason for the mother being so pyschotic and controlling has a lot to do with the twist (which I won't reveal), but I didn't believe it for a second. How does that explain how she is pyscho to the point where she trains her dimwitted sons to murder people?

Cremains (Steve Sessions, 2000) 30

What's the point in this, exactly? To me, it just seemed as if there were a bunch of scenes, for no apparent reason, just randomly jumbled together -- although we rarely get to see these types of movies much anymore (anthology of four horror stories), the collection of stories here are disconnected, too random, and simplistic. After an introduction that comes out of nowhere, we see a mortician sitting in a dark interrogating room. We do not see the two "detectives" that are interrogating him, and they have the man admit that he burned two bodies the same time saving costs and the trouble to do one at a time. There's only five minutes or so of this actual story, so the man begins telling stories that he has heard of, for reasons I have no idea why. Stories that he tells are about cults, serial killers, lesbian vampires, and the living dead. The anthology start off promising enough, in a creepy, darkly shot story that is not only told but shot the best out of the following: it is a story about a local legend, and it ends in a human sacrifice. It's my favorite story yes, but still, I don't think that one short story will accuse CREMAINS from really making no sense whatsoever. When the events need to be expained near the end of the movie, it is an incoherent mess, and the stories do not add up into anything. A worthy effort, but next time, I hope that Steve Sessions can direct a flat-out horror that flows together nicely because he sure has the atmosphere and attention to detail down.

/Love Object/ (Robert Parigi, 2003) 63

It's been a while since the last time I've seen it, at a film festival last year, but its effect hasn't diminished any. Still confused as to why people call this yet another attempt at a MAY, which this movie is sometimes critiqued as -- this movie is anything but a rip-off, its screenplay is very original. Even when it shares Polanskian themes, it knows just how to capture the atmosphere correctly and effectively. The movie even understands symbolism, with its attention to detail, the camera lingers from time to time by taking the role of the distorted perspective of the lead character Kenneth (a haunting Desmond Harrington performance), the scene where we see a store manager comes to mind. A random character that we wouldn't normally pay attention to carries a nasty scar on her back. It isn't heavy-handed by working on the levels it works so well on, juggling its tones also. The movie is a light, quirkly comedy with awkwardly put dark humor when it begins, then after development all throughout the first act, the atmosphere is now more creepy and morbid when Kenneth loses his grip on reality. Though it may surprise some viewers with this progression, I was convinced by the transformation because of the dread that slowly foreshadows, hovering over the day to day in life of Kenneth when Parigi relies on the weird, uneasy atmosphere that people can relate to: the work place. As soon as the film moves along, it is more and more natural if anything with its change in genre -- this also helps rack the tension up tremendously all up until the twist end. Don't expect a movie that features a sex doll that comes to life and starts killing every one in sight and don't expect a gore fest either. I do not consider this a horror movie as much as I consider it is a fascinating pyschological study of a corrupted society (i.e. the shocking twist and last shot), alienation, and sexual identity.

/Visitor Q/ (Takashi Miike, 2001) 34

Watching it again, I realized how much I dislike it so in my experience, I don't think that Miike's films hold up for me at all. For instance, I dug AUDITION on my first viewing, but a second viewing of it bored me pretty much and it even failed to shock me. In this case, I wasn't amused anymore by the audacity and the taboo subjects that Miike presents because for one, I hate the characters completely and cannot sympathize with them. Even if the father's actions bring the family closer together at the totally fucking bizarre events at the end, why are viewers supposed to give a damn? I sure didn't, it just made me hate the annoyance in the characters. And the character of the Visitor is rather pointless to me, he didn't have much to offer and made a boring, random character. The funniest scene in the movie (and the only scene that actually made me laugh) is a moment when the family is sitting down to eat dinner. The father's son has a few bullies that throw fireworks through their windows and the father, who is a news reporter trying to expose a story on bullying and its effect on him and the rest of his family, goes around the table with his camera reporting on what is happening. No one has any emotion, they just sit eating as they're used to this happening and the father is trying to explain how enraged his family is because of the constant torment. Miike's camerawork, which is quite bad, isn't anything that annoyed me this time around: I still liked the movie's cinematography because of how uncomfortable Miike elevates the voyeurism; the amateur camera techniques are similar to the video that the father is trying to film; also, the camera is eavesdropping the same way that the characters do at times. The other problem that I did have was how Miike relies on the family's dysfunction to stem from the son's bullies, it is simply dumb to be narrow it down to bullies. If I am indeed wrong about this, then it sure seems that Miike is implying this because nothing else is explained: the movie begins with an unforgiving act of incest, and it resolves itself kinda in a similar manner with another unforgiving act of violence, even if the family is "back together" in fact.

I Spit On Your Corpse, I Spit On Your Grave (Eric Stanze, 2001) 17

Taken from another recent thread where I posted my thoughts: I watched I SPIT ON YOUR CORPSE last night and hated it. I wasn't expecting much especially after reading Michael's review, which is dead-on by the way. Emily Haack does go way out at the end in the broom handle scene, the biggest shock that the movie had to offer. Other than that, nothing disturbed me to be honest, as most of the movie was as predictable as it can get, not to mention its very tedious, as I was bored to tears through most of it. Stanze, who directed the movie due to French investors (the ones suggesting all of the exploitation mostly), stretched it out. You get twenty or maybe thirty minutes of the actual story and the rest is bullshit, jerk-off direction with its annoying wearisome dissolves in the cemetary. The only thing that I thought was cool was the mention of this being an unofficial sequel (of sorts) of Meir Zarchi's I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE when, in one of the interludes with Haack's character in extreme close-up explaining the story, she mentions that her mother is named Jennifer just like the character that and was brutally raped and exacted revenge. It isn't mentioned any further, but it is very possible with its connection. Other than that, nothing about the movie is worth of any recommendation; it's truly awful without any redeeming quality. I was going to write a full review for it, but that won't be necessary. I think I said everything that needed to be said about it.

I, Robot (Alex Proyas, 2004) 41

Was really unsure about my score for it, as I was leaning towards a 39 but I suppose that the enjoyable factor weighs a bit more than the negative factors. I doubt that I'd want to see this again, whether in theaters or on DVD, since I'm very close now to not giving it a recommendation -- but I did actually enjoy it. Despite all of its problems (which I'll get into in a minute), it's hard not to have fun and I don't see why people can flat-out hate it. Certainly it's not bad but it's also not a real good movie, either. I liked how the well done the FX, visuals, and the montages were, so much that the vision of the future was believable enough for me in every one of the shots of Chicago in the future 2034 -- however, I am not particularly a fan of sci-fi, so that comment may not mean much coming from me. I also liked how surprisingly, it does not veer too much away from Asimov's conception. And as Gabe Leibowitz says in his comments on his web site, it doesn't want to be anything deep -- but its entertaining in presenting its ideas, the comments about how society has grown to be so arrogant and how dangerous that can be for the rest of society. Aside from the robot Sonny, the only that can come the closest feeling a human emotion, robots are very boring villians. But worst of all, the screenplay poses most of the problems as far as the corny plot elements and the dialogue goes. Will Smith seems a great choice to play and did do a good job with the material, but I particularly hated that one scene in which he explains to Bridget Moynahan's character why he disdains robots so much. And his co-stars Moynahan and Chi McBride are very forgettable and wasted. Speaking of McBride, who plays Smith's police chief, if you were to fall asleep or even leave the theater for whatever reason, you wouldn't miss any thing during the blah, boring cop-movie stuff, believe me. The movie, which I consider to be a fairly smart action/sci-fi flick, has problems that are sometimes an interruption to the fun I had while watching.

The Locket (John Brahm, 1946) 57

Overlooked and rarely mentioned, this film noir is a psychological study evocative of the works of Hitchcock, namely the films SPELLBOUND and MARNIE. Starring Laraine Day, Robert Mitchum, Brian Aherne, and Gene Raymond, the three flashbacks included here in the film are to tell the strangely fascinating story of a kleptomaniac who gets herself involved with three men, while demons from her past catch up to her. I want to continue with how the story unfolds and how the flashback structure is important with the overall ambiguity of the picture -- each narrated by a different character's perspective -- but I don't want to give anything away. The movie is all over the place, but regardless of the way that the story is told, the cast elevate things because the actors each play off different emotions -- even a secondary character is important. Climax at the wedding is very memorable at its dreamlike level. Like many movies made around this time in Hollywood, THE LOCKET may be heavy-handed and melodramatic but because of the other expressionist and intricate qualities that it has to offer, I am able to dismiss some failed attempts in the plot when deeply enjoying complexities with the somber study of Day's flawed character.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 07.23.2004 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HoRRoRFaN, I'm taken aback!

Are those digits attached to your capsule reviews?!?

I had a vague recollection of something you wrote a long, long time ago, and went back to check...

filmsRpriceless wrote:
D'Angelo is probably my favorite critic currently, although like many of you, I cannot understand the 100 system. I have been thinking about trying it to see what it is like, but I don't think I'd be able to, just because I like trusty old 4 star system so much.


What happened? Did the D'Angeloes show up at your door, bearing pamphlets and promises of critical salvation?

Seriously, I'd like to know what persuaded you to finally convert. I still don't get the 100-point system (here's that old conversation), and I'd love to hear a practitioner's viewpoint. (Mostly, I really want to know what the difference is between a 39 and a 41.)

Eric
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 07.23.2004 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
(Mostly, I really want to know what the difference is between a 39 and a 41.)


I do, too. I'm pretty sure it's the difference between two and two-and-a-half stars, but I'm not sure at all.
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HoRRoRFaN
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Posts: 128

PostPosted: 07.24.2004 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To start, let me try to explain the best that I can with the system that I use (not comparing to the 4-star system):

90-100: oh shit, masterpiece status!

80-89: amazing stuff etc

70-79: truly great filmmaking

60-69: awesome, recommended

50-59: good, barely recommended

40-49: fair; with merit but flawed

30-39: don't recommend

20-29: unpleasant, poorly made etc

10-19: beyond awful filmmaking

0-9: oh my god, worst movie ever made

One day, I decided to try it after getting tired of the four-star system and I liked it simply because it worked for me at the time, which is why I ran with it from that point on. But I prefer commenting the films I watch too much to narrow it down to a four-star rating unless I really think that it's a great film. But sometimes, great films have problems too. Some will contain flaws and things that I don't particularly like, which is why the 100 point system allows me to narrow it down. This is a system IMO that is a bit more of a flexible, reasonable system. I didn't think that I'd be able to handle or go along with the point system, but when I tried it a while back, I liked it. I got tired of using the star system because after using it a lot, I thought that it got harder for me to express my opinions because the point system is much easier. The point system is very free, as it lets me be more careful with a rating, and within the 70-79 for example, I can look at my comments (I write my comments before slapping any points on it) because that way, I am more careful like I said. To answer your question with 39 and 41, when you look at my scale, 41 is different than 39 because the former is basically on the verge of a 39, a movie that I didn't like and wouldn't recommend. But when there are elements to the movie that won me over and were more important than the gripes I had with it, then I'll give it a passing grade. Look at my I, ROBOT comments. I dunno but, my comments and the reasoning on why I use it may not make any sense to anyone, but its just the way that I see it, it works for me I guess.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 07.24.2004 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HoRRoRFaN wrote:
I got tired of using the star system because after using it a lot, I thought that it got harder for me to express my opinions because the point system is much easier.


To me, though, NO scale system--numbers, stars, letter grades--is a reasonable method for expressing an opinion; sans context, the scores are meaningless. Opinions can only be accurately shared through analysis and commentary. I agree that the 100-point system can offer a vague shorthand version of where you stand, but I still don't grasp why it is preferable over other systems.

Out of sheer laziness, I'm going to paste in comments from the old thread:

Here's another quote from the Cinemarati board, from Mike D'Angelo: "It's simply an overall indicator of enthusiasm, and handy when (a) you haven't written a review or (b) the reader hasn't seen the film and wants a sense of how it's been received but does not at this stage want to learn even vague details... The 100-point scale may seem needlessly precise, but try assigning a dozen B's in a row and see how frustrated you get." D'Angelo also explains that he never spends more than "three seconds" determining a score.

Initial thoughts:

Isn't a star or letter grade an "overall indicator of enthusiasm" and doesn't it equally satisfy the needs of points A and B?

Sounds to me like the only justification for the scale is to help the critic sort and rank--which again raises the question about what defines good, useful criticism. Is the main function of a critic to merely rank works against one another, or to provide perceptions about them? D'Angelo's gripe "try assigning a dozen B's in a row and see how frustrated you get" seems to suggest that he places more emphasis on the ranking function than he ought to. That's particularly disappointing, since his perceptions are often very worthwhile.

If D'Angelo doesn't mull over a score--which is good, of course--doesn't that invalidate the rankings? If it's just a general idea of his response, why an 86 rather than 88? Why not just a "B+," which is certainly a reader-friendly grade? I have to assume that the answer is that D'Angelo is less interested in the reader than in playing a personal--and essentially meaningless--ranking game.

Eric
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HoRRoRFaN
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PostPosted: 07.24.2004 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
To me, though, NO scale system--numbers, stars, letter grades--is a reasonable method for expressing an opinion; sans context, the scores are meaningless. Opinions can only be accurately shared through analysis and commentary. I agree that the 100-point system can offer a vague shorthand version of where you stand, but I still don't grasp why it is preferable over other systems.


But that's exactly the thing: like I said, I don't think that any type of rating system, whether it be what I use now or used to use, can form my opinion. That's why, for fun, I decide on the points. I took the a lot of time to shed all of my thoughts on the movies I recently saw, and I think that my opinion on them is infinitely more important than the points. I'd be more than willing to not use any rating system because discussion is a lot more rewarding to me and I hate when people can just post a point or star rating and not give any reasons, ya know? So, I understand where you are coming from, we are in complete agreement when you say that opinions are best stated with elaboration in your analysis, I never thought different. As for your last sentence, I haven't used any other systems other than the four-star (which I've used for a long time) and this system right now, so I can't comment on the other systems. I'm not sure why some people use what they use because if it works for them then it works for them, it's as simple as that. Even the people who use the 100-point system may have different reasons for using it from one and another. As for your comments from the older thread: unlike D'Angelo (who obviously has mastered the system, IMO so he works better with it), I spend five to the most ten minutes (also considering how long it takes me to finish my comments on the movie) and again, about 39 or 41 or the 86 or 88, they are clearly ratings that fall into their certain category and the difference in points all depends on what the critic/reviewer decides. The letter scoring that you, Michael, and the rest of the critics for Flipside use seems to be even easier than the star system, it breaks down the point categories and gives the film a definite and solid grading.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 07.24.2004 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HoRRoRFaN wrote:
I'm not sure why some people use what they use because if it works for them then it works for them, it's as simple as that.


True enough. I guess I'm just seeking insight into why this particular system "works" for so many online critics.

Eric
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PostPosted: 07.24.2004 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HoRRoRFaN wrote:
The letter scoring that you, Michael, and the rest of the critics for Flipside use seems to be even easier than the star system, it breaks down the point categories and gives the film a definite and solid grading.


If I have to use a scoring system, I do indeed prefer letter grades. Yet even that system seems essentially arbitrary and meaningless. I always know what I consider a film's virtues and drawbacks, but I rarely know how to convert those swirling thoughts into a letter grade (or a star, or a digit). To me, compacting those thoughts into a single representative score is utterly preposterous--as if a textured aesthetic response can somehow be translated into an "average." This is why the so-called "precision" of the 100-point scale strikes me as an illusion.

I realize that most critics would argue that the score doesn't gauge their opinion, representing instead how much they would recommend the movie. I suppose that's easier to judge, but even that baffles me: I bristle to think that anything above "B-" might appear to be a recommendation, since the very act of "recommending" movies to strangers presumes we know something about their preferences, biases, and tastes. (I know what I like, but I have no idea what anyone else might like.) Rather than recommendations, I merely offer opinions that others might choose to be influenced by when deciding for themselves what sounds interesting. In other words, since a "score" reflects only the writer's tastes, it has little authority as a recommendation guide.

Eric
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PostPosted: 07.24.2004 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
If I have to use a scoring system, I do indeed prefer letter grades. Yet even that system seems essentially arbitrary and meaningless. I always know what I consider a film's virtues and drawbacks, but I rarely know how to convert those swirling thoughts into a letter grade (or a star, or a digit). To me, compacting those thoughts into a single representative score is utterly preposterous--as if a textured aesthetic response can somehow be translated into an "average." This is why the so-called "precision" of the 100-point scale strikes me as an illusion.


Some people use the 1-10 rating system, which works fine for most of them. Using the 100-point system with its categories and everything, I am fully aware of where in the scale is the recommended half and what is the not recommended bottom half. I don't think any system is "perfect" exactly, but because I enjoy using it, I don't have a problem with it at all meaning that it works great for me. Maybe not perfect, but it allows me to rate movies in the categories that I am satisfied with. After I write my comments, I decide on a rating based on my opinion so because of this, I would think that my opinion is way more important than the rating I give it. If you believe that your system even is flawed, then why do you care much about the D'Angelo system?

Quote:
I realize that most critics would argue that the score doesn't gauge their opinion, representing instead how much they would recommend the movie. I suppose that's easier to judge, but even that baffles me: I bristle to think that anything above "B-" might appear to be a recommendation, since the very act of "recommending" movies to strangers presumes we know something about their preferences, biases, and tastes. (I know what I like, but I have no idea what anyone else might like.) Rather than recommendations, I merely offer opinions that others might choose to be influenced by when deciding for themselves what sounds interesting. In other words, since a "score" reflects only the writer's tastes, it has little authority as a recommendation guide.


Since I'm not a critic the same way you are, I can't respond to this. I do love movies and watch as many as I can and I'm not writing for people who are deciding to see what they want to see, but I write because I love writing about movies and my different experiences with them, and to any one here that is interested in my opinion can discuss with me, people can agree or disagree with me, etc. With the scale that I use, I reserved the 30-39 category to the movies that I would definitely not recommend. I'm in agreement with what you mean when you say that you offer opinions to people so they can decide for themselves. I am doing the same thing with my comments because the points that I give the movie reflect what the rating means. But I don't think that most people are more interested in the rating than they are with the comments, as they should. Because as you are saying, the analysis is the only thing that matters and the only thing that I hope any reader cares about. I agree with a lot of what you are saying, so I kinda lost track of what we were debating. Smile
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 07.24.2004 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HoRRoRFaN wrote:
I write because I love writing about movies and my different experiences with them


That's what it's all about, isn't it? For me, the value of criticism is largely personal; the act of writing forces us to confront and better grasp our own tastes, biases, and aesthetic convictions. (In other words, it delivers us deeper knowledge of ourselves.) The best criticism also helps illuminate our own relationship with art. That relationship can exist on many planes; occasionally I sense that a written response cannot possibly convey what I feel about a movie--as if words, at best, can only approximate or "point at" my true, complete aesthetic response. (Sometimes I think I can better relay my response through an abstract painting.) If paragraphs can't do full justice to an aesthetic response, how can a star, a digit, or a letter grade?

HoRRoRFaN wrote:
I agree with a lot of what you are saying, so I kinda lost track of what we were debating. Smile


I didn't really see it as a debate, just a discussion about what matters in criticism and how we accurately relay that information. It's not that I'm embittered about D'Angelo's method--by all means he should use the system he prefers--it's that I'm baffled by it. I would be less interested except so many critics are now opting for it, and I'm simply curious about why. Plus, I enjoy investigating the philosophical and/or theoretical underpinnings of the subject. (Admittedly, my curiosity is exacerbated by the fact that the 100-point scale seems irrelevant to what I consider important to criticism.)

Eric
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beltmann
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 07.24.2004 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
Cool DVDs are truly the best thing to happen to movie-lovers since the advent of home video, don't ya think?


Without a doubt.

Still, I ache a little to think about how home video killed the concept of film societies throughout the nation. We traded big screen access for home access, and while the exchange clearly gave us greater overall access--especially in rural regions-- there's a part of me that resents how being a film fan today means watching most works far removed from their natural habitat.

(Nevertheless, if my home catches fire the first thing I'm going to rescue is my Indiana Jones box set.)

Eric
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HoRRoRFaN
Cinematographer


Joined: 06 Jul 2004
Posts: 128

PostPosted: 07.24.2004 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
That's what it's all about, isn't it? For me, the value of criticism is largely personal; the act of writing forces us to confront and better grasp our own tastes, biases, and aesthetic convictions. (In other words, it delivers us deeper knowledge of ourselves.) The best criticism also helps illuminate our own relationship with art. That relationship can exist on many planes; occasionally I sense that a written response cannot possibly convey what I feel about a movie--as if words, at best, can only approximate or "point at" my true, complete aesthetic response. (Sometimes I think I can better relay my response through an abstract painting.) If paragraphs can't do full justice to an aesthetic response, how can a star, a digit, or a letter grade?


Very well said, Eric. I liked what you said about your written response does not come close to your true thoughts on the movie, but they are the closest that words can describe. That's very true, as its happened to me quite a bit. After being absolutely amazed by Linklater's BEFORE SUNSET and falling in love with it, I can't put my thoughts into words and I bet that, even after when I go to see it for the third time, I'll be even further caught in its elegant spell and the greatest thing about this movie is that, I never expected to fall in love with it. Movies such as this aren't what I usaully adore as much. And with your last question, I never thought that a digit or any type of rating can do a justice. Not even an extensive and lengthy analysis can. I wrote a long, detailed essay on EYES WIDE SHUT once (as of now, my favorite film) and a Kubrick quote that I included in one of my paragraphs was very interesting to me. He once said: "If a film has any substance or subtlety, whatever you say is never complete, it's usually wrong, and it's necessarily simplistic: truth is too multifaceted to be contained in a five-line summary. If the work is good, what you say about it is usually irrelevant." I guess I just have fun with the points that I give the movie afterwards, but no rating that I can ever give a movie will ever mean to me as much as the movie means to me personally. I would be satisfied with no ratings, just detailed and interesting discussion on film -- but even that would be incomplete. That all said, I got a review and a few more capsules on the way since I watched a buncha movies last night. Smile
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 07.24.2004 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HoRRoRFaN wrote:
And with your last question, I never thought that a digit or any type of rating can do a justice.


I didn't mean to imply otherwise. I apologize if it wasn't clear that my question was rhetorical.

I really like that Kubrick quote, except for the last part: "If the work is good, what you say about it is usually irrelevant." He might be right from a filmmaker's stance, but from a spectator's point-of-view, what we say about a work can be extremely relevant to our attempt to better comprehend our own complex response to the work. If we believe that what most matters about a work is what it actually inspires in audiences--as opposed to what its makers intended--then those thoughts aren't "wrong" (as Kubrick said) but valuable additions to the complexity of the work.

Eric
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HoRRoRFaN
Cinematographer


Joined: 06 Jul 2004
Posts: 128

PostPosted: 07.24.2004 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
I didn't mean to imply otherwise. I apologize if it wasn't clear that my question was rhetorical.


No, I understood what you meant, and I just wanted to let you know that I don't rely on the 100-point system to form my opinions just in case you were thinking that I did -- film is deeper and much too important to be criticized by way of digits, stars, letters, or anything else.

Quote:
I really like that Kubrick quote, except for the last part: "If the work is good, what you say about it is usually irrelevant." He might be right from a filmmaker's stance, but from a spectator's point-of-view, what we say about a work can be extremely relevant to our attempt to better comprehend our own complex response to the work. If we believe that what most matters about a work is what it actually inspires in audiences--as opposed to what its makers intended--then those thoughts aren't "wrong" (as Kubrick said) but valuable additions to the complexity of the work.


I think that he was speaking from his point of view, the filmmaker, and I think he is simply commenting on how our thoughts are incomplete in a way and I agree with that. But if he was commenting on the viewer's role then I do disagree with the last part of the quote, also. You said all that there needs to be said about that when you say that our thoughts, while they may never be a incomplete analysis no matter how well explained or how long, are only appropriate to better understanding the complexities and the depths of the work. I probably have different interpretations on say, EYES WIDE SHUT than you do about it. However, neither of us are wrong by any means, we just differ in our opinions because with EWS, the layers are endless.
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