How It Works

I love movies, but I hate most movie reviews. I hate them for two reasons: First, they always begin with a 3-5 paragraph in-depth description of the film. I don't want to know the entire plot, I want to know if it's good! I may say generally what the movie involves but that's it. Second, most movie reviews are unclear. I've read countless reviews that left me with absolutely no indication as to whether or not I should even see the film. Not here. I developed three methods to rate television and movies:

1. Just your average 10 point scale.
10 is obviously the best and 1 is the worst. Although, Something Borrowed might make below a 1 if I ever get around to reviewing it. I consider myself quite harsh, so if you see anything above a 9, it's probably in my top ten of all time.

2. What's it Worth?
I will tell you if I think it's worth paying for and worth the 2 (and ever more increasingly 3) hours of your time. I also make an educated guess as to whether or not you can multitask during the film.

3. The (not-yet) Patented Clairometer
In honor of my college friend Claire, I developed this rating system in order to display how "appropriate" the film is. It is designed to tell you a more detailed rating system. I find this helpful. Sometimes you want to know ahead of time so you're not stuck watching Black Swan in an empty theater with your mom. The range between PG-13 and R is more vast than the plot holes in a Michael Bay movie. I hope to combat this. The scale shows photos and descriptions of a few well-known women in film and television. The rating is the farthest woman to the left of the scale who would approve of the film. For example, June Cleaver would not approve of
Tequila Sunrise. The woman who would is probably Mathilda.

THE CLAIROMETER:

Clairometer

Clairometer

conclusion

With this blog, I write as though someone will read it and enjoy what I have to say. I am under no false pretense that I have a wide readership. It is mostly for me and for the one other person who accidentally stumbled across this blog. If that is you, I'm glad you are here. With this blog, I send my thoughts about what I watch on a black box into the abyss of the world wide web. I hope you enjoy reading these thoughts as much as I enjoy writing them.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Too Real for Comfort


The Spectacular Now (2013)
Starring: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley
Written by: Tim Tharp (novel), Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Directed by: James Ponsoldt

My Rating: 5.4
Clairometer: Erin Brockovich
Worth: no money, 2 hours heavily multi-tasked


My friend who has extreme difficulty expressing any opinions on films, be them positive or negative (which she will readily admit), said something quite profound when we exited the theater: "It was just a little too real." I couldn't have said it better myself, and in fact I haven't as noted by the title to this review. Viewers at Sundance loved it. I saw in USA Today that it was named the best film of the summer. And while the acting, writing, direction and everything else I usually care about were above average, there was still something not quite right. 

There is a growing trend of improvisation in independent movies these days, as well as less manufactured lighting, makeup, hair and costumes. I get it though. It's an esthetic. But for some reason, unless there is an extensive plot line or fabulous dialogue (see my post on The Place Beyond the Pines) it leaves a bad taste in my mouth and me feeling as though I could glean the same images going back to my hometown and people-watching at our local mall: Lots of tangled hair and dirty shirts, and overly frequent stuttering. Call me crazy, but movies are supposed to entertain us. That is their purpose at their core. I felt completely unentertained. 

It tales a story of an alcoholic (but this doesn't seem to be the point of the film) high school senior who can't get his life on track until he meets, hurts and loves a plain girl from his class. Their love story is unremarkable. Apart from specific details, it seems to be just like the tale of every other teenager's love story. The girl is too gullible and open with her heart (although I suppose that it is just every teenage girl. I don't know. I never was one). No viewer in his or her right mind would bet on the couple lasting past high school.

But I should note that at the current time stamp of this article, the film has a 93% with viewers on Rotten Tomatoes. Clearly I'm missing something.



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