Saturday, February 14, 2015

Setting the bar

(Thanks to George for the idea)

Reading a post on George's blog last week,  I realized I am not able to set the bar low with movies. And I am wondering if it is more a male thing. Most men I know enjoy junky movies of some kind-horror, adventure, science fiction, war.  Most women will tolerate a poor romance but not me so much.

 However, it is possible that I set the bar in the middle too often. I see a lot of stuff none of my friends would see. I guess I am a mid-bar setter.

Where do you set the bar with your favorite genres? 

18 comments:

Deb said...

If I'm going out to the movie theater to see a movie (a rare occasion), my bar is very high. It must be a movie that I believe I am going to really love. On the other hand, when I'm watching movies on Netflix, I'm much more likely to give a chance to something that really didn't grab me when it was in the theaters. However, I can't abide slasher movies, over-the-top action flicks, or anything based on a comic book character.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

When we're watching a movie on HBO or SHowtime or one of the many other pay channels - perhaps I should say when Jackie is watching - the bar is fairly low, as in Deb's example above. She will ask me to check it out on Wikipedia for plot and Rotten Tomatoes for consensus of reviews, but she is a lot more tolerant than I am.

In the movies these days it needs to be either:

1. an Academy Award nominee (this time of year)
2. a "big screen" movie that would not be as enjoyable on the small screen (the Hobbit movies, Planet of the Apes, etc.)
3. something we pretty much know we will like based on reviews, theme, cast (the older the better!)

But there are occasions we just are out for a little mindless fun (Liam Neeson's recent ouevre usually satisfies that, though we have drawn the line at Taken 3), in which case standards go out the window.

Jeff M.

Charles Gramlich said...

I guess it depends on how you define the bar. I think I tend to set my bar very, very high, but I bet my bar is a lot different than yours. For example, movies that portray 'real life' stories pretty much never cross my bar because I live real life and am not that much interested in more exposure to it. On the other hand, for special effects I set the bar pretty high too and that's probably more like what a lot of folks mean by the "bar." A movie that hints at preaching will not cross my bar. a movie that just throws everything at the screen and hopes something sticks will not cross my bar.

Charles Gramlich said...

one further thing about the "real life" movies. I've found that I'm almost unique in having that bar at all. Almost everyone either likes realistic movies or at least enjoys them along with genre type films. I'm kind of the same way with books. I want stories that read realistically but that are not simply a telling of absolutely real events arranged in a fictional format.

George said...

I set the bar low for animated series, action movies, and movies with a favorite actor/actress in it.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Patti, I don't think I have ever set a bar for any movie. Sometimes I have come back disappointed but that's about it.

Richard said...

We don't watch that many movies, and when we do we want to be entertained. Except for big screen epic science fiction/fantasy stuff with lots of special effects, that usually means things we can be happy with at home, which is where we'll watch The Theory of Everything when it comes out on disc, and where we watch things like Midsomer Murders. Comedies get no love here, nor rom-coms or romance movies or car-chase-explosions-lots-O-guns or most war stuff, mostly. But I often like scary alien stuff. so maybe we have a bar that varies too much for definition.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

It ate my comment.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

It ate my comment.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Sorry!

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

What I was trying to say before was that I don't have a problem watching "real life" movies as long as they are real and not mostly Hollywood. We saw UNBROKEN yesterday. I haven't read the book but it seems, from what I've read, to have followed his life very closely. After all, when you have an amazing story like that you don't need to embellish it.

This is in stark contrast to what they've done to Alan Turing's life story in THE IMITATION GAME. For one thing, he did not (from what the people who knew him have said) have Asbergers or any other personality disorder as in the film.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I guess writers need to add their own take on a script. I have UNBROKEN sitting here but I haven't been able to watch it. Phil loved the book but it just seems too dark for me. I know, I know. I can take dark easier in fiction.

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

When it comes to horror I actually know a lot more women that men who tolerate them - but then a loot of my friends grew up on the books of King and Koontz, which I did not. On the other hand, the kinetic aspects of Westerns and 'adventure / action' films certainly do seem to be aimed squarely at me and my male chums! However, I cannot wait to find out what the gender breakdown for the screenings of the FIFTY SHADES OF GREY movie turns out to be - I just cannot imagine going to see it without a gang of friends dragging me.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I was very hesitant about seeing UNBROKEN because of those dark elements. But Jackie wanted to see it and I knew he lived through it all so we did.

But here's a contrast. If it is a basically silly action movie (it really helps if there is humor, as in SHOOT 'EM UP) the bar is lower, as long as I can put my brain on hold and not worry about credibility. Witness the movie we rented last night (again, Jackie's choice): JOHN WICK. I'm not a huge Keanu Reeves fan but this one was fun, the main villain was made much better by having him played by Michael (GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO) Nyquist, and the supporting cast included Willem Dafoe, John Leguizamo, Dean Winters, Lance Reddick, Ian McShane and Clarke Peters, among others. Yes, the violence was over the top (that and the plot reminded us of the ultra-violent Cinemax series BANSHEE) but the star was not older than me (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone) and we enjoyed it.

Jeff M.

Margot Kinberg said...

I have to admit, Patti, that I set the bar fairly high for films. I do that even for films I'm just watching on TV (i.e. not paying extra for them). I'd say the same is true for the books I read. I guess I figure life's too short to waste my time on a film or book that isn't well done.

Dana King said...

I have to say, "it depends." I generally have some idea of what a movie ants to be, and can accept it on those merits. This takes in disparate films such as MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL, LA CONFIDENTIAL, ANIMAL HOUSE, THE BIG LEBOWSKI, THE MALTESE FALCON, CHINATOWN, and just about anything by the Three Stooges. All I ask is that a movie accomplish what it set out to do. How it gets there is pretty much up to those respinsible.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Judging from what we saw the other day I would guess 50 Shades is drawing an overwhelmingly female audience. Other than one poor shlub accompanying his wife or girlfriend everyone I saw going in was a woman. You couldn't pay me enough to sit through it.

Jeff M.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Judging from what we saw the other day I would guess 50 Shades is drawing an overwhelmingly female audience. Other than one poor shlub accompanying his wife or girlfriend everyone I saw going in was a woman. You couldn't pay me enough to sit through it.

Jeff M.