Editorial: In My Opinion - My Views on Opinions of Movies

Well I'd like to start off by saying hi, I'm the new contributor to this excellent blog. I'll be called Alkazor, or Al. I'd thought before I get started with a review I'd just do this little piece about opinions and movies.When asked my favourite movie I reply with Back to the Future, as it is my favourite. I won't go into it much just now but it's just the comedy, characters and rewatchability which makes this such a great film. However, and this has happened at least three times, when I tell people this they often are startled. "Really?" they say, "I'm surprised." They don't deny it as a great movie, they just don't think it's the best, or they wouldn't expect it to be my favourite. But of course, we're perfectly entitled to have favourite movies because of opinion.

It got me thinking what opinion is when talking about movies. The Academy Awards for example, when choosing Best Picture are not judging their favourite movie of the year, nor the most enjoyable, but the most dramatically and technically astounding. Very rarely has a movie I wanted to win Best Picture ever been nominated, let alone win. (that said I absolutely loved Argo) And despite the flaws in the Academy Awards system and judges, most years they do pick the 'best' movie of the year, even if I preferred five others.

So this is where opinion comes in. If we are to look at it simply you could argue it's about what genres you like, for example I love superhero movies and one of my friends does not, therefore I love the Iron Man franchise and he less so. But that doesn't stop me liking Green Lantern movie (I'm so so sorry) and literally everyone else on the planet (except for, as Rotten Tomatoes informs me, Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times) hating it. Now we reach the first type of opinion, Agreeing to Disagree. I didn't think Green Lantern was the best movie ever, but I enjoyed watching it, I bought the DVD and if I watched it again I think I would enjoy it once more. What this means is I know that it has flaws, and I know why lots of people hate it, and I accept that it may be a sub-standard, dumb movie. But be that as it may, it's a sub-standard dumb movie that I like. I'm not asking anyone to like it because, most likely, it's a bad film.  And most people are fine with that. So everything's fine. But as long as I'm allowed to enjoy it, I'm happy. I don't want anyone else to join my legions of Kenneth and I in our quest for critical recognition of the super-awesome absolute gem that is Green Lantern.

But genres may not be all there is. The great Looper/Hunger Games Debate of 2012 between me and my friends saw to this. I'm all game for adolescent teens beating the bejesus out of each other with oppression blaring in our eardrums, as were my friends for a bit of science-fiction-action-time-travel-Bruce Willis-extravaganza. So why after we had seen both, were they in awe of The Hunger Games and shunned Looper as just an average movie despite all the hype, whereas I was the exact opposite? Now I'm not going to start the whole Looper plot-hole fight because personally as long as I don't notice plot-holes in a movie I'm fine, I can suspend my disbelief. But I loved Looper (as does Kenneth Turan, coincidentally). It was tense, fun, enjoyable and I really liked the ending. Then there's The Hunger Games, which for me, like The Amazing Spider-Man and Avatar I enjoyed watching but as soon as I stepped out the theatre I was like "Wait what that makes no sense and is dumb." It was an average movie, an enjoyable one, but still average (again, my dear friend Kenneth agrees) .This is still under the Agreeing to Disagree part of opinions, as I can understand why people don't like Looper and they can understand why I don't like The Hunger Games, but it sort of contradicts the genres point as they were both science fiction action movies. Which were executed pretty well, I'll admit. Opinion just decided to split our interests.

Then there's the second type of opinions, the What, seriously? type. I was sitting with my friend one day telling him my favourite movies and the film Donnie Darko (if you haven't seen it, check it out, it's so god damn good) and my friend immediately said, "No, I'm sorry, I hated it." I thought, how could this be? It had everything, psychological horror and science-fiction, time travel, a troubled main character looking for purpose played so very well by Jake Gyllenhaal, what wasn't to like?

Apparently, everything for my friend. While I'm not saying he should like it, I'm not forcing people to like films, I just didn't understand what was wrong. My friend in question likes all those elements as I do, maybe he just doesn't like the way they came together or maybe there was one thing that wasn't well done and it made it all fall apart.

My uncle has similar film tastes to mine and Donnie Darko is also one of his favourites. When talking to him about it, it seemed to almost convince me that I was right, and it was the fantastic film I thought it to be. But if you hop on to Rotten Tomatoes and dance your fingers over the keyboard to enter Back to the Future you'll see it currently stands on 97%. It's not a perfect movie, there's never going to be a perfect movie, at the end of the day your movie will impress some people and others not, that's life get over it. Opinion is what makes movies good, and what makes some movies better than others. That's why we have favourites. Because there may never be a perfect movie. But you can get damn well close.