Marilyn’s comment got me thinking- I admit to liking a lot of bad movies, but never really define what a good movie is. I probably do the same with music. I’m not a huge movie buff or all that knowledgeable about film (that would be my rarely seen co-blogger), but I would guess that a good movie would have to include the following:
- A plot that has a noticeable arc, is internally logical and has a satisfying ending
- Is well shot
- Has characters with depth
That’s pretty much it, right? I was going to say is original but I don’t actually believe this.
How much I like a movie is independent of these things. For instance, lots of people cite Shawshank Redemption as a great film that they love. I agree it’s a great film. I don’t love it though. It’s OK. It just doesn’t speak to me. But plenty of movies that I love are definitely NOT great films. Here’s a few I’ve seen recently that I love
- Starship Troopers- wooden acting, not really clear to most viewers if it’s fascist propaganda or satire*
- Rock and Roll High School- bad acting, dumb jokes
- The Harry Potter series- my dad asked me after watching it why Snape went through everything he did. I don’t know. It still doesn’t make sense to me. Also, the only really good actor of the kids in the first few movies was Rupert Grint. The other two are not that great.
So what are some movies I have seen recently that I liked and also think are great films? First- recently means “in the last few years” because I don’t watch that many movies.
I LOVE Charlie Chaplin movies. We were on a kick of watching them for months, me and my son. This is my favorite. Chaplin was a genius and a brilliant actor and while silent films tended to have some overacting, when the authorities come for Charlies adopted son it looks real. Chaplin had his own difficult childhood and it seems like he was drawing on that. I really love this film.
I watch a lot of kid’s movies and this was one that I would even watch on my own. I’m not actually sure it is a kid’s movie. I get sooooo tired of kids movies that try to pander to me with snarky, ironic humor. I appreciate that in movies made for adults, but in a kid film it just makes me feel like an asshole for laughing. Also- toilet humor. I love toilet humor, but in kids films it is rote and not funny half the time. Rango is pretty sparing with that. The depictions of the desert are beautiful and the story it tells is engaging and timely.
Land of the Dead
Yeah, it’s very left-leaning, bordering on heavy-handed. If you can get past that it’s a great film. The characters have different motives, and everyone besides Dennis Hopper’s asshole HOA president has different, realistic motivations. Asia Argento is a badass actress.
I don’t care what anyone says, this is a great film. The best part is the relationship between characters- Daniel and Mr Miyagi, Daniel and his mom, Daniel and Ali. OK, the crane is the most telegraphed kick ever invented, but when he wins at the end, WOW, it still feels so good.
Some other movies that I haven’t seen in a while but I remember being really good quality films-
The Wild Bunch, Spirited Away (more animation), Pretty in Pink, Duck Soup. The Shining. Hmm, drawing a blank now, you see I’m really not a film buff.
I’d probably have a long list if I went with movies I enjoy, but wouldn’t say are good films.
What do you think is a good movie?
*It’s very clearly satire to me. It’s also AWESOME