Mosaic / Reviews / February 9, 2011

Problems with movie reviews

The problem with movie reviews is that everyone is wrong but me. It seems that no two people can agree on anything in the business (except for how bad “The Room” was). So, anyone trying to navigate the swamp-waters of popular movies is forced to step carefully between sinkholes of romantic-comedies and gaseous action-flicks in an ultimately futile attempt to survive with their hard-earned money intact.

Really, this is either entirely due to space-lasers that the president has aimed at our brains for nefarious purposes like selling moist-towelettes or, more likely, because of the subjective nature of opinion. So who can you trust to guide you away from the sticky-floored death-trap of the next Hugh Grant movie? Certainly not me, I’ll send you there with a smile on my face. Surely there must be someone out there, right? Wrong. The unfortunate truth is that you can only be guided by whatever information you yourself gather.

Rotten Tomatoes be damned, sometimes a movie is built up extremely well and, despite appearing to be a decent movie, reveals itself to be a seven-headed beast from the mind of the people who wrote “The Human Centipede” (which I originally thought to be a gritty reboot of “The Giving Tree;” imagine my surprise when I was right. If you don’t see it, look again, the connections are clear).

Now, I’m not saying you should don the blindfold and walk off, cigarette in mouth, to the next big movie. I’m just warning you against trusting Ebert and Roeper. How you avoid blowing your cash on cruddy recommendations is simple—research the movie. For god’s sake, at least consult to research the damn thing. If you’re familiar with the cinematographer and director, your chances at assessing the movie are good. Looking at actors is also helpful, because any movie that stars Cher as a rugged ex-cop is probably not worth watching. If you’re too lazy to do anything before walking into that theater, you probably deserve your fate.

Dan Kahn

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