Thursday, June 14, 2012
The Summer So Far
So here we are, about halfway through June and while the official start of summer on the calendar isn't until the 20th, for movie fans summer began as soon as The Avengers hit theaters back in May. For me, that could've been the whole summer slate right there and I would've been perfectly satisfied. Everything else afterwards is just gravy.
That said, for a summer that - like most summers - didn't seem up front to be too heavy on horror, there's been a fair amount of fear flicks to sample. I just haven't bothered to review any of them as I find myself pretty disenchanted with reviewing new films these days.
There are just so many voices out there giving their opinions - from paid critics to bloggers to talkbackers - and while there's still fine writing to be found here and there, I find myself wondering "what's the point?"
You know, what can I possibly say about Prometheus that hasn't already been said (and been said perfectly well) a hundred times over? It looks beautiful, has some jaw-dropping moments but the script could've been better. If I revisit it down the line I might see it in a new light and have something to say that might be a little more interesting but for now...no.
The same with Dark Shadows, a movie that was better than I'd expected but yet still was kind of a wash-out in the end. But yet, I have a hunch that movie will have a longevity to it. Most genre movies do, regardless of whatever initial reception they recieved. In his introduction to his book Cult Movies, author Danny Peary noted that "almost every science fiction and horror film has at least a minor cult" and while that might be slightly less true now that there's such a flood of product (thanks to the the technology needed to make movies becoming more affordable and accessible), much of it risible, it's still mostly true.
And that, maybe more than anything, is what makes me reluctant to keep up with reviewing the latest releases. Films aren't judged in the moment but over time. Sometimes it takes years for a film to reveal its true worth.
Even the bad ones tend to be rediscovered and embraced by a few devoted fans. So basically I'm just not so interested in judging films in the moment anymore. I'm happier shining a light on forgotten or little-known older films in my Retro Shock Theater column over at Shock Till You Drop (click here for my thoughts on Metamorphosis: The Alien Factor). As for the new stuff, I'm keeping up with all of it like I normally would but just keeping my opinions (mostly) to myself.
For the record, though, I'd like to say that Chernobyl Diaries wasn't so bad. Even though they did miss a golden opportunity to put this song on the soundtrack:
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I completely agree with you about the onslaught of new release reviews for pretty much the same reasons as you mention in this post. Outside of indie films or screeners, I hardly write reviews for new films anymore. But it's funny to look back at some of the films I did write reviews for even a few years back.
A good example would be Rob Zombie's H2, which I pretty much hated when it came out. In fact, I even had it at number 2 on my list of worst films of the year. But now, less than 3 years later, I sort of love the shit out of H2. It's flawed as all hell, but I'll be damned if the movie doesn't do so many things that just work for me. It was somehow able to stick around, and I suppose that goes to show you that a gut reaction isn't always the most appropriate one.
Yeah, time is almost always kind of movies and so many movies that I might've been dismissive or outright disparaging of initially I end up having a more favorable opinion of down the line. And even if I still think they suck...who cares? Not that it isn't worth thinking critically about films but so many reviews written when a film was first released end up looking shortsighted over time.
I also know exactly what you mean. I fell into the trap of doing "zero day" reviews once or twice and it showed because I really don't have that much interest in the new movies either.
Having said that, I just rewatched and reviewed the "Night of the Demons" remake which I was sort of iffy about at the time. I then realised that it was one of the greatest remakes ever because of its accuracy.
I don't want to end up getting all "contrarian" about films which I know are bad but it was fascinating that, a few years on, some films aren't as bad as they seemed, especially in the light of more recent ones.
...And in time those "recent ones" will have hung around long enough and started to look better themselves! I do have a lot of interest in new movies, actually - it's just that I feel like stepping back a bit from that instant rush to judgement that we seem to be caught up in as a culture, a mob mentality that's only been accerbated by the internet.
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