Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

It is currently Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:58 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 
Politics and reviews 
Author Message
Second Unit Director

Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:49 pm
Posts: 211
Post Politics and reviews
I question that I'd like to get some input on from folks here--if a movie supports, or seems to support, a political philosophy that a review doesn't agree with, is it right for him to give it a negative review based solely on its politics?


Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:30 am
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:26 pm
Posts: 2011
Post Re: Politics and reviews
I think it depends on both how the politics are utilized in the film and the personal tastes/style of the critic.

I'll use myself as an example. I think Dirty Harry is a terrific film, and its political stance is one of the reasons for that. It isn't that I agree with the stance--in fact, I don't even slightly. But it advances an argument about a difficult issue and has the balls to stick to that argument through to the end. I admire that courage. Birth of a Nation, on the other hand, is a film that I find repugnant. It isn't advancing an argument about an issue, so much as glossing over an issue entirely and taking for granted that the world is (or should be) a certain way. There is no courage in that.

_________________
The temptation is to like what you should like--not what you do like... another temptation is to come up with an interesting reason for liking it that may not actually be the reason you like it.


Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:40 am
Profile
Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:35 am
Posts: 423
Post Re: Politics and reviews
I'd never give a film bad review simply because it disagrees with my politics (though it may result in a more distancing experience), but I'll admit that I am inclined to view a film more favorably if it AGREES with my politics. Paranorman being a recent example of a film that I can look past a number of its flaws because I agree with what it has to say.

I'd say that this attitude is probably more common among reviewers than the one you mention (JB tends to give positives reviews to films that have a cynical, disillusioned attitude towards modern politics, which is very much his view). Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing I don't know. It makes sense in that you can a more positive reaction to a film if it talks to your ideals and you can relate strongly to its themes.


Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:51 am
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:02 pm
Posts: 2933
Location: Zion, IL
Post Re: Politics and reviews
If I agree with a film's politics it does certianly help me in liking it more, but I can still like a film or at the very least find it watchable in spite of disagreeing with it's politics, "An American Carol" for example had some funny moments even though I thought that David Zucker's overall message in the film came across as incredibly clueless misguided(the ACLU zombie scene for example)


Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:01 am
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:04 am
Posts: 2146
Location: Lancashire, England.
Post Re: Politics and reviews
I like a film if it challenges a certain, stupid conventional wisdom.

Like it or hate it, The Dark Knight Rises does this.

_________________
The question, RAYMOND ... is what.. did you want.. to be?


Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:10 am
Profile
Assistant Second Unit Director

Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:49 am
Posts: 86
Post Re: Politics and reviews
I don't think it does it very well.


Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:14 am
Profile
Director

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 1367
Post Re: Politics and reviews
Quote:
I like a film if it challenges a certain, stupid conventional wisdom.


I certainly agree with this statement, though I might abbreviate it to "a film that challenges." I love a film that's willing to put a smile on your face, then wipe it right off just a second later. It forces you to consider what you're watching more critically. At least I think that's what it does. Every movie buff loves a film where political correctness is brought into question.


Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:55 am
Profile
Cinematographer

Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:19 pm
Posts: 566
Post Re: Politics and reviews
I think it is a good thing as long as the reviewer identifies the politics as the reason for the bad review. That way the consumer of the review will be able to factor in the value of that component to their own political views. Of course that requires the reviewer to make at least some of their political views known, but I appreciate that much more than pretend objectivity.


Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:18 am
Profile
Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:21 pm
Posts: 495
Location: Milwaukee, WI (USA)
Post Re: Politics and reviews
In the same vein, The Contender was a movie that, even trying to divorce my personal politics from, I found to be average at best. Ebert's 4-star review I found to be more a product of his liberal ideology than anything else.


Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:48 pm
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:04 pm
Posts: 1542
Location: New Hampshire
Post Re: Politics and reviews
It depends on how political the film is. In short, do the politics get in the way of the film being good? That is something to take into consideration.

As an example...I despised The Dark Knight Rises' politics, but I won't deny that it is a pretty thrilling film, and exceptionally crafted.

_________________
Death is pretty final
I'm collecting vinyl
I'm gonna DJ at the end of the world.


Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:45 pm
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:35 am
Posts: 1908
Post Re: Politics and reviews
Johnny Larue wrote:
In the same vein, The Contender was a movie that, even trying to divorce my personal politics from, I found to be average at best. Ebert's 4-star review I found to be more a product of his liberal ideology than anything else.


It generally agreed with my politics and I still found it average at best. I also think her nomination would have died on the Senate floor.

_________________
Evil does not wear a bonnet!--Mr. Tinkles


Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:54 pm
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:02 pm
Posts: 2933
Location: Zion, IL
Post Re: Politics and reviews
Likewise I agreed with the politics of Lions For Lambs, but it wasn't an especially memorable film.


Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:55 pm
Profile
Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:21 pm
Posts: 495
Location: Milwaukee, WI (USA)
Post Re: Politics and reviews
Syd Henderson wrote:
Johnny Larue wrote:
In the same vein, The Contender was a movie that, even trying to divorce my personal politics from, I found to be average at best. Ebert's 4-star review I found to be more a product of his liberal ideology than anything else.


It generally agreed with my politics and I still found it average at best. I also think her nomination would have died on the Senate floor.


Not only that, but any realistic politician (or their surrogate) would have refuted the scandal; especially one that was so easily refutable. I don't think any politician, especially at that level, would have so steadfastly stuck to their principles, especially when it was so easy to get out of. Fantasy at best.


Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:02 pm
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:09 pm
Posts: 1147
Post Re: Politics and reviews
I remember Roger Ebert gave "The Life of David Gale" a zero-star review purely because the ending went against his personal beliefs.


Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:54 am
Profile
Online
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:42 pm
Posts: 1071
Location: Bangkok
Post Re: Politics and reviews
Yesterday, when the first negative review of Zero Dark Thirty came up, it reminded me of this thread.

Quote:
By showing scenes of torture without taking any kind of moral (as opposed to tactical) stand on what we are seeing, Bigelow has made an amoral movie -- which is, I would argue, an unconscionable approach to this material.


http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Movies/2012/1214/Jessica-Chastain-stars-in-the-troubling-infuriating-Zero-Dark-Thirty

I guess it can be expected when the site is called "Christian Science Monitor". I still find it fascinating how it relates to everything that this thread is discussing about. In the review there is little talk of the movie itself, with most of the article about the politics (or lack thereof) of the movie.

For me, I don't mind the article, which is articulate and reasonable about her opinions of the film's aspect. But I don't really think it's a "movie review".


Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:06 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Jeff Wilder and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forum/DivisionCore.
Translated by Xaphos © 2007, 2008, 2009 phpBB.fr