They’re Not the Boss of Me!

Does a movie review really matter? Will a thumbs-up or rotten tomato prod you to go or keep you away from any particular movie?

The less-than-stellar reviews that The Dark Knight Rises is accumulating got me to thinking about this idea. Will a negative review turn fans away from this last installment in the Batman trilogy? I doubt it. Most of the midnight premiers across the country are sold out and scalping has begun with $100.00 per ticket asking prices.

Considering this, how much influence does a film critic really have? How much does their opinion play into my film choices?

I usually see the movies that I want, based on the story and the actors. I consult the reviews and critics more often for actual content of a movie. If a critic remarks about extreme profanity or highly offensive material, I will usually skip the movie. I’m very delicate. (That’s what I keep telling people.)

If the critic didn’t “get” the movie’s theme, or just found the film too confusing, I am willing to give it a chance. If the critic explains that the movie is too high-brow or low-brow, I ask my friends or check out the critic’s other reviews on movies that I loved.

Some reviewers I find myself constantly agreeing with, while others make me wonder from which planet they hail. Finding a source that matches my sensibilities gives me a little more confidence in their suggestions.

But when it comes down to the actual purchase of a ticket, I usually trust my own instinct. If I’m a fan of a particular actor, writer, or director, there’s a pretty good chance that I’ll shell out the cash for a seat.

Sometimes I wonder if the filmmakers themselves hype up the bad reviews for the extra publicity. In the world of celebrity there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema. Thanks for reading.

My 1st Movie Review: The Avengers!

Here is my disclaimer: I am terrible at reviewing movies. I love them too much to write anything truly mean about them. There. I said it. So, here goes my first attempt at a review.

The other night I went to see Marvel’s The Avengers in 3D. I am not a huge comics devotee, and I’m not always impressed with wearing 3D glasses. To be honest, I usually become a bit woozy.

Until Iron Man came out in 2008, I had never heard of Tony Stark or his bad-boy/ good-guy escapades. I grew up watching the 1978 series of The Incredible Hulk, with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno, on the small screen. I didn’t love the whole idea of the show, but the special effects were cool—I was ten. My superhero knowledge is limited to what I glean from movies and TV. I watched Batman and Wonder Woman on TV and Superman on the big screen. The only thing I knew of Thor and Loki was from Norse mythology. I had heard of Captain America, but never of Hawkeye or Black Widow. I have sons, so I watched both Iron Man movies, along with Thor (2011) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).

With that little background behind us, let me say that I thoroughly enjoyed The Avengers. Joss Whedon impressed me yet again. When will he stop that?

The banter between the characters was clever and actually served to propel the story, and the actors really endeared me. I am now a Hulk fan. Really. He has one particular scene that absolutely cracked me up. Okay—maybe more than one. Mark Ruffalo is a terrific Bruce Banner. He’s so laid back that it’s not difficult to believe that he must be fuming inside.

I laughed aloud at one of Black Widow’s very first lines in the film. “I’m working…”

While Stark retains his selfish façade, Captain America leads with his do-good-always persona. The fact that it’s sincere makes it even better.

As the end credits began, I asked my boys which was their favorite Avenger. My husband and older son like Iron Man best, and my younger son refuses to answer. I think he’s like me, and can’t really decide.

The Avengers broke records with an opening weekend box office bringing in over $200 million. That makes sense to me. It was pure fun. I laughed, I (almost) cried, I jumped out of my seat a few times, too. It’s what a movie should be. Even the 3D was great—no wooziness. If you are one of the eleven people who didn’t see it this weekend, you should go. This is a family-friendly movie with lots of action.

I only have a few negatives to add. If you haven’t seen the other Marvel movies, you might be a little bit lost on minor points. I’d recommend watching them first. In addition, I would warn that the film is over two hours long—visit the theatre facilities before the movie starts.

There’s my first review. I’m sure some critics can find all sorts of ugly things to say about this film, but I was too busy watching it.

That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema. Thanks for reading.