Sunday, March 25, 2018

A problem we have...

A problem we have...  Debbie and I have different tastes in movies, mostly overlapping.  In music our tastes are nearly two disjoint sets. :)  That's just background for the problem we have, though: we can't rely on reviews to help us choose a movie to watch.

The latest case in point is Pan's Labyrinth.  On Rotten Tomatoes, we saw that both viewers and critics loved it.  We watched the trailer and thought it had possibilities.  So a couple of nights ago, we streamed it from Amazon, and ... we were disgusted with it.  One big surprise for us: it was full of gratuitous, cartoonish violence.  There were many scenes that we just couldn't stand to watch, and several violent scenes that happened by surprise, so we had no chance to turn away.  We thought the characters, even the main characters, were very poorly developed.  The plot was full of things that just made no sense to us as we were watching, though some we managed to puzzle out afterwards.  It was definitely surreal, but not in any way that we found interesting, intriguing, or entertaining.  I had a similar reaction to it that I have to much modern art: I just don't get it.  I don't understand what could possess anyone to say “I like this!”

And that, in short, is our problem.  This one you could summarize as “lots of false positives” on movie reviews, meaning that many movies that are positively reviewed – either by critics or viewers – we think are awful.  It is quite possibly over half of positive reviews are “false” from our perspective.  Even worse: we also get a lot of “false negatives” – many movies are are negatively reviewed we think are great.  The rate of false negatives isn't quite as high as the false positives, but it's far from zero.  So the end result is that we basically can't use reviews as guidance for movies we've never seen.

What we need is “movie reviews for weirdos like us.”  Rotten Loonies, maybe?  Anybody know of such a thing?

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