Monday, November 02, 2015

What influences you with a movie?


I have good friends who will go to virtually any movie with Johnny Depp or Helen Mirren. Other friends who wouldn't miss a movie directed by Scorsese. One or two who never miss a romantic comedy. And there's those (a lot of them!) who like movies about causes, injustices, third world suffering.

With me, it's the critical word. If a movie gets good reviews, I will see it regardless of the subject, director, stars. I can never be convinced that if a movie scores over 85% on rotten tomatoes, I might not like it.

What's your Achilles' Heel? What takes you into a theater or onto netflix most of the time?

17 comments:

George said...

I'm a sucker for MARVEL movies. And James Bond movies. But other than those exceptions I'm like you: movie reviews will send me to see a film...or stay away.

Margot Kinberg said...

If it's Tom Hanks, I'll check it out. Just saw Bridge of Spies, and was impressed!

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

It's more of a negative thing for me, as in I won't go to see a movie if certain people are in it (and yes, it's a long list), starting (off the top of my head) with Adam Sandler, Kate Hudson, Tom Cruise, and Shia LaBoeuf. Also, there are certain genres, like weepy chick flicks and movies aimed at pre-adolescent males (did I mention Adam Sandler?) that won't get my money.

What do I want? Well, indies and other "small" movies have a chance, as does something aimed at a more mature audience. And there are actors I am inclined to see because I like them, though I'm still look at the reviews and plot line before committing (as in Bill Murray's latest, a miss for me). Jackie is much more influenced by Rotten Tomatoes than I am. That's the other factor, if Jackie really wants to see something I will generally go along.

Jeff M.

Charles Gramlich said...

The only director/actor who can pretty much guarantee that I'll see his movies is Clint Eastwood. The things that persuade me to give a movie a try are 1) genre (SF/horror/fantasy/western), 2) if the trailer looks like my cup of tea, 3) if it's based on the works of an author I really like, such as ERB or Howard.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Oh, I missed the "or Netflix" thing the first time. Jackie definitely checks Rotten Tomatoes for movies on pay cable or Netflix and we are definitely more likely to try something we don't know if it has good reviews. But the good reviews can also come from bloggers. And we are also more likely to turn something off after 15 minutes than we would be to walk out of the theater.

Jeff M.

Jerry House said...

I tend to go for genre (thrillers, horror, etc,), director, source material, and a few actors.

I don't do theatres.

The main problem is that most movies (and television shows) are just plain bad. Now I don't mind bad (I set my bar pretty low) but I do detest just plain bad. Predictable, one-note wonders almost as much as the disrespect many Hollywood execs show to both the audience and to the art form.

I guess I'm just a curmudgeon. Deal with it.

Todd Mason said...

Not only is much of the Rotten Tomatoes index derived from bloggers, but much of the rest of it is derived from the usual run of shallow reviewers in various media. I don't take Peter Travers's word for anything, as the most visible apparent font of praise for crap since Rex Reed, so, oddly, I'm not too swayed by the bulk of voices of people who resemble less fortunate versions of Travers or Reed or Harry Knowles. (I'm somehow reminded of the idiot who was the primary NEW YORK TIMES reviewer in the '60s...Crowther, as I recall.)

I will be drawn by content, writer, cast, and other matters, though none is foolproof, of course. SICARIO was just a disappointment to me, since it's Yet Another example of a protagonist who is unbelievably naive about matters that a veteran FBI agent is NOT going to be ignorant about. (And neither is her boss who basically asks her Really, Ya Wanna? twice and leaves it at that in trying to get her to realize what someone in her position would already know.)

Johnny Depp is an almost certain factor against my seeing a film. Are these people simply in lust with him, or have they not seen his last twenty, thirty films?

Todd Mason said...

And can they be nearly as much in lust with Depp as he is with himself? Is that remotely possible? Yet even Depp has slipped up and made a few good films. Few things are certain in this life.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think there are people who form an attachment to an actor (director, writer) and see every misstep as still worthwhile if you are invested in their output.
I only look at the "elite" type critics on RT.
Cast rather than a single actor might draw me. Content is pretty unreliable because they tend to veer from didactic to incorrect if they deal with real issues. I like tone as a predictor sometimes.

R.T. said...

Am I a prude? I am put off by too much pointless profanity and graphic violence. I am not looking for another "Mary Poppins," but I do not want to waste time among the bottom-feeders of life. Well, hell, maybe I am a prude. You tell me. In any case, give me a good story with good acting and good directing; leave the trash elsewhere.

Richard R. said...

I see maybe one or two movies in the theater a year, some years none at all. Barbara sees several, with a friend, and they alternate picking what to see. The last 3 she saw were Mr. Holmes, Walk in the Woods (she'd just read the book) and Bridge of Spies.

For me, the first criteria is: is it a "big screen" movie? Meaning is it something which benefits from the big screen and big sound? This usually means things like Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Out of Africa, Merchant-Ivory film, Tolkein movie and the like. On Netflix, I set up the queue with Barbara's input, and what comes up comes in, then one or both watch it. Half the time we don't watch it together, it's a "Rick movie" or a "Barbara movie". The last one we watched together was Monuments Men. Before that I watched The Longest Day. It's usually older stuff.

Mathew Paust said...

Hardly ever go to theaters anymore, and when I do it's usually the little cheap indie Hilltop Theater just up the road from my apt. The highly ballyhooed stuff doesn't show up there until it's made the cineplex rounds and is looking to pick up whatever loose change is left before surrendering to DVD. One advantage is that end-of-run feature hang around at the Hilltop longer, giving me more time to decide. If I feel a growing itch to see something they have, I check two or three reviews. If a reviewer's voice works for me it's apt to influence me, as well. One of those persuaded me to see Kingsman the Secret Service, and I'm happy I did. Loved it. Laughed my ass off, which was OK because I was virtually alone in the theater. The Last Witch Hunter has been there about a week now and I just might break down. I've always found Vin Diesel to be a hoot, and the reviewer who hooked me feels the same way (don't remember who it was). The Movie otherwise was fiercely panned by the RT crowd, but...

I'd probly rent or even buy some DVDs, but it seems all the news ones are HD now, and my old clunker laptop can't handle the HD stuff. **sob**

Mathew Paust said...

My apologies for the typos. I got so caught up trying to identify ice cream in the Captcha anti-robot test I forgot to preview it first.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Rick, Jackie totally agrees with you on the "big screen" movie thing.

Jeff

Todd Mason said...

That last is most of the reason I'll see most documentaries, if not nearly all, on video. I suspected I'd lose little on, say, THE BEST OF ENEMIES if viewed on a large-screen tv...or in that case even a laptop.

There are reviewers I respect, such as Cindy Fuchs whose reviews had been dropped by the PHILADELPHIA CITY PAPER before that paper's folding some weeks ago, so I've been linking up to her in the Tuesday A/V. Or, for example, John Simon or Pat Aufderheide or Kathi Maio (whom I was surprised to learn was involved with the DAPA-EM crowd back when) or Harlan Ellison, while uniformly agreeing with none of them (of course)...and then we get to the likes or Roger Ebert, whom I found gratifyingly enthusiastic and often dense (in the bad way), though I was amused when both of us would be among the relative few who appreciated a film such as HOTEL, directed by Mike Figgis and loosely a horror film about attempting to film a production of THE DUCHESS OF MALFI (like myself, Ebert published a few fantasy short stories in the fiction magazines, and was a fannish/convention fan back in the '60s, and might have thus more appreciation for the spirit of that enterprise than non-enthusiasts of both film and pomo fantasy...though Kate Laity loudly hated that one, too.) Hence the notion of Elite critics doesn't do much for me...Kael's impulsiveness and often childish rationales never impressed me much, for example.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Yes, Kathi Maio was in DAPA-EM for some time. We had dinner with her and her husband in the city and saw her at conventions.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Yes, Kathi Maio was in DAPA-EM for some time. We had dinner with her and her husband in the city and saw her at conventions.