Friday, April 15, 2011

Time For A Second Opinion

As I sat down yesterday, I looked over my Complete 5-star 500 list and admired how the reviewed list is starting to grow. I reminisced about some of the better films on the list and sought out those pesky films that irritated me. Out of Empire's list of 5-star films, while most have been some enjoyable, enlightening experiences, a few have been really difficult to sit through.

One such example is Apocalypse Now, a revered film amongst movie lovers everywhere. It currently sits alongside the best films on the Internet Movie Database, rated 8.6 out of 10 and ranked joint 26th best film ever - yet when I watched it I just couldn't get into it and awarded it just 3 out of 5 stars. Sure, it had its funny moments, but it was - in my opinion - just plain weird.

So why exactly do I find some of these films so bad when Empire - arguably one of the greatest film review team - and IMDb - the 40th most visited site in the world and renowned place to share opinion on films - award near-on perfect marks?

To start off with Empire, it is important to remember that they are a reviewing team. No doubt they have arguments in their offices over the mark that many films receive, and at the end of the day the final say goes to the guy that manages to write the review. If you happen to follow the links from my reviews to the Empire website, take a note of who writes the review. For those of you who like numbers, Kim Newman is the man who has reviewed the most 5-star films for Empire according to the magazine I am running my challenge from.

Whilst many of their contributors are well-regarded in the movie industry with many other articles about film, it is also important to remember that their target audience is other movie enthusiasts. Don't get me wrong - I love films - but equally I can only do my challenge part time with my other work commitments. In my reviews I try to write as a person whose only previous reviewing experience was as a 14-year-old submitting a C-grade Johnny English review as part of my coursework in education. As much as I'd like to, I've never sat down and had a cup of tea with Angelina followed by a quick game of croquet with Brad and the kids.

As for Internet Movie Database, I can only suggest that my opinion will occasionally differ from the masses. I try not to be overly influenced by other reviews and opinions - though to some extent everyone will be - and if my rating is drastically different from yours then perhaps we should be grateful we live in a world where we are able to offer the views. That said, I quite enjoy a good movie debate when someone expressed a different opinion on a review.

So thanks for visiting my alternative viewpoint. Please stay a while, read those reviews and tell me I'm wrong - I'd enjoy your second opinion.

1 comment:

  1. Watching Redux first may have been jumping in at the deep end - it's veeeery loooong. But honestly Apocalypse Now is a masterpiece. Don't focus on the "funny moments" (?!!) but marvel at the cinematography. Try and see the helicopter attack scene on a big screen, it looks amazing. And if you see the making-of documentary (Hearts Of Darkness) you'll see how near-impossible it was to make.

    That said, an alternative viewpoint is excellent. Taste is subjective. It's great that you're giving all these films a chance.