I am not going to lie: being a film critic does not make you friends. It took a while for me to internalize that fact. People have come up to me just to tell me how wrong my opinion of a film is. People have asked me if I still enjoy films or if there is a film out there that meets my standards. To be honest, there are dozens of films that I personally love. It just so happens that some of the newer releases haven’t been exactly good in my eyes.
What is a “good” film? That is something that every film critic has to ask themselves before taking on this role. This is before the realization hits that there is no such thing as a bar for “good” films. There is, however, one for “bad” films. Films that are lazy, uninspired, monotonous, money-grabbing, heartless projects that only seek to break the box office. I think people dislike my opinions because I sound like I am only seeking the bad and nitpicking the details like some kind of sadistic vulture. I admit that I do nitpick films, but only in the name of love. If one has to find flaws in a film, they either love it or want to find reasons to hate it. I despise terrible films, but there is a line even in “bad” films. There are films that I love to hate, like Sharknado, National Treasure, and Good Burger. Nothing is more relaxing than watching a terrible movie just to laugh at how bad it is. On the other side, there are films that are not just horrible, but boring. Case in point: Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Was this movie terrible? Yes. Was it enjoyably terrible? No. Films like these are what I try to avoid. Films that are so bad that they cannot even entertain the audience. Films that make you ask yourself why you are spending your precious time on this planet consuming this garbage. This past year has made me realize how many truly “bad” films there can be.
However, this year also made me realize that there are films which are neither good nor bad. Finding neutral or average films was more commonplace than I thought. After a year of reviewing more than a dozen films, it does feel like there were quite a few films which were just average, vanishing quickly from memory. I had a couple of these films pop up this year and I was not sure what to make of them at first. Saying that a film is average gives people more questions than answers. Would they have fun? Would they dislike it? Would they be bored? It was strange to write some of these reviews.
But that is what leads me to say that the biggest thing I learned from this experience is that a fantastic film will simply be a film that resonates with you.
When I say resonate, I do not mean that this film will just connect with you, but it will speak to you. It is a dialogue. An intelligible and interesting dialogue between a person and film; this is what I believe makes films and other artistic mediums amazing, essentially the ability to create meaningful dialogues between people. There are plenty of films that I argued against, but they almost certainly resonated with at least one viewer. Some people prefer simple dialogues, others prefer complex, or intellectual, or emotional, etc. The point is that film, at the end of the day, is all about perspective.
My word of advice to you, dear reader, is that you should never take my opinion or any critic’s opinion of a film to heart. Film is a fantastic medium that lets us get lost in a totally different world for a few hours at a time. Regardless of whether someone says this film is bad or that film is good, I suggest seeing if it piques your interest. Have fun with it. I am just a 20 year old college student with an opinion and love for film. What do I know?