Judging film can be quite difficult. If I’m just watching casually, each viewing can be an isolated experience and I can love or hate it in it’s own right. However, being a host of a film enthusiast podcast, I feel more of an obligation to justify every opinion I have and judge each film within the context of every film that I’ve seen before it. I mean, I really struggle with the fact that I enjoyed Push and Crank High Voltage, but thought Seven Pounds was a terrible film. The more I think about it, the more I feel that there really is a difference between a good ‘bad film’ and a bad ‘good film’.
When it comes down to it, how good a film really depends on what it’s trying to do and how well it succeeds at that. For example, It’s not really fair to judge something like Hacker’s based on something like The Shawshank Redemption. One is a silly movie about teenagers button mashing their keyboards to take down a big scary corporation and the other is actually an amazing piece of cinema. Hackers has to be judge as a popcorn movie because that is what it is.
Likewise, you can’t really go easy on a legitimate film just because you’ve seen far worse before it. Look at my opening example. I thought poorly of Seven Pounds, not because Push and Crank High Voltage are better films, but because it is unbelievable, predictable, contrived, and overly sentimental. It was an attempt at a serious film that supposedly had something profound to say with it’s main character. I believe it failed in it’s objectives and thus, failed as a film.
I’m not really sure whether I should consider this post an apologetic, or a self-realization. On the one hand, I decided two write it as justification for some of the crappy films I love. On the other hand, reading over my own words makes me feel like I may have been overly harsh to films I’ve seen in the past. Or, for that mater, film’s I’ve skipped because of preconceived notions about them.