Thursday, January 11, 2007

Movies I haven't seen and still call myself a film critic

One thing that I find mildly annoying is other film students who are like "you've never seen this movie!? Oh my god?!" Or general people who when they hear that i'd like to be a film critic thinking i've seen every movie in existence. I'll put it this way: I've seen a million movies, there are also a million movies i haven't seen. I haven't seen the Godfather, Casablanca, Lord of the Rings, The Pianist, Metropolis, Clockwork Orange, Crash, any films by that guy Kurosawa, I haven't seen Pulp Fiction in its entirety. I haven't seen Crash or Brokeback Mountain (so i can't answer the question of which one deserved the oscar more. i would have voted for Munich, which by the way i didn't see either). I haven't seen The Piano or The Pianist, The Matrix, Fight Club, Transpotting, Traffic in its entirety, Gangs of New York, Raging Bull, Apocolypse Now, On the Waterfront, Lawrence of Arabia to its finish, Ben-Hur, Braveheart, and the list goes on.

Then again, i'm not in any rush to see all the classics at once, i'll be alive for a while and there are a lot of rainy days to save them all for. I have seen Citizen Kane, Gone with the Wind, Third Man, Double Indemnity, Gladiator, Battleship Potemplin, Breathless, Psycho, Vertigo, MASH, The French Connection, Rainman, Goodfellas, American Beauty, A Beautiful Mind, Charlie Chaplain's pictures, the Marx Brothers, Elvis Presley's films, one of the Beatles' films, The Graduate, The Apartment, The Searchers, 42nd Street, The Rules of the Game, a couple Spike Lee films, some of Clint Eastwood's films, The Great Escape, Bridge on the River Kwai, From Here to Eternity, etc., etc., etc.

Anyway, I just recently borrowed "Dog Day Afternoon" from the library. It's one of those movies that hurts my credibility as a film critic for not having seen. In order to understand Al Pacino better, I think I'd probably have to familiarize myself with one of those three 3 cult films "Scerpio", "Dog Day Afternoon", or "Scarface" that have pretty much survived the test of time, solely on the basis of his performances. Without having seen any of those films or The Godfather, I probably won't really get what's so great about Al Pacino, and someone was just insistent that I rent Dog Day Afternoon. So I rent this and I'm sorry, I just don't feel like watching this. If I were a higher level film critic (and a paid one) who was assigned stories that he'd have to complete every week and that were my full-time job, yes, i'd have to watch good and bad movies and what not, but until then, I have the luxury like every other member of the viewing public of being able to chose what I want to watch, and therefore the film has to be able to draw me into wanting to watch it in the first place. Like anyone else, I don't feel like wasting 2 hours of my life if i don't feel like I'll like the movie and I am pretty good at predicting how I'll feel about a movie before I see it, although movies are by no means predictable. And I absolutely appreciate a film's context in history (which would be my only reason for watching Dog Day Afternoon), I really don't care how many people say the movie is good, if i don't feel like it'll be good, I'll stick to my guns on that. A classic example of that for me is Lord of the Rings which I can't possibly see why I'd like. A sci-fi/fantasy film which comes with its own mythology like Star Wars I would watch because it's set in Space or Blade Runner because it's set in the future, but Middle Earth and Hobbits and Dwarfs and whatever else they have in there have just never really appealled to me. I'm sorry, it also sounds really confusing, I've even given a shot at watching Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings, so i've seen parts of it (I was walking into and out of a free screening of the film) but that is 9 full hours of my time to watch that, just so I can say that I've seen it? I'm sorry, I'll need better convincing, thank you.

In some cases, though, a bad movie is not a bad experience at all. I'd personally love to see Gigli sometime, to see what all the fuss is about and I recently watched Wayne's World just for the hell of it. I watched parts of Sharkbooy and Lava Girl 3D and the Perfect Man during the summer before last when I worked at AMC just to see exactly how low the movies have sunk to.

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