Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Boon Film Theory 385

What makes a "good" movie?

Just because a movie is aesthetically ( pleasing doesn't mean it's a "good" movie. So don't be offended if your favorite movie sucks. I enjoy many movies that suck, (

So, what's the difference? How can you tell if the movie you like is "good" or not?

Ask yourself these questions -

1. Is this movie well acted by a majority of the cast?
2. Is this movie sophisticated?
3. Is this movie dumbed down for children?
4. Does this movie have dull spots?
5. Is this movie painfully predictable?
6. Is this movie created by James Cameron?
7. Is this movie ridiculous?
8. Could this movie be considered cheesy? And does it know it's cheesy?
9. Is this movie clever, or is it like every other movie?
10. The most important one - do I care about the characters? (Characters should be established within 4 minutes of being on screen.)

For example let's look at the Pirates of the Caribbean series. Curse of the Black Pearl was inventive, had fun characters, decent to great acting, and a fun script. The characters were established very well. The first time we meet Jack Sparrow he's sailing proudly and triumphantly on a tiny, sinking, boat. Within seconds of being introduced to Jack Sparrow we know he's reckless, crazy, and confident. When we first see Elizabeth Swan she is complaining about wearing a corset. We know right off the bat that she's not an ordinary pirate-movie-girlie-girl who enjoys beauty despite the pain. When we first meet Will Turner he's shy and breaking stuff. This tells us that he's inept. While this isn't the best movie to teach character development it's good enough, especially when compared to the following Pirates of the Caribbean movies. In Dead Man's Chest and the rest of them they do something a lot of sequels fall prey to, they skip character development. They assume we're already familiar with the characters, so they don't bother making us like them again. This leaves the movies fall and dull. They kind of continue to develop Jack Sparrow, but because Jack's not the protagonist (,) it's not enough to develop his character and not Will's.

Compare the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels to the Star Wars sequels and you'll see what I mean. (And no, I'm not talking about Episodes 1, 2, or 3. Those are great movies to view if you want to know what a "bad" movie is, though.)

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