Lately I’ve been wondering about something in regards to my reviews. Now I do two types of reviews. I review previously released films that usually I have time to stew on and ponder. Many times it is a rewatch and there is no sense that I have to rush to get the review out. We saw this with my Disney Canon Series, Pixar reviews or Scrooge Month.
However, there are the reviews to new releases. These I try to get to you as soon as I can so you have some guidance on what to see and not see. The problem with this is I’m not able to ponder about the films as much as I do on the films that aren’t new releases. It’s more of a gut reaction, which is a valid response but not always the most comprehensive of what becomes my true feelings on a film. Some films I give a mildly bad review to like Minions or Independence Day Resurgence but then the more I think about it the more annoyed I get or the more forgettable it feels. I knew they were bad but they become more bad the more I have time to stew on it.
The same goes for certain good films. I respond positively to them but the more I rewatch and see them the more I love them. This year Only Yesterday was that way. I gave it a B+ I believe but the more I have seen it the more charmed I am by it and the flaws become easy to forgive. My initial review is still valid and it’s not inaccurate of my feelings, it’s just I’ve noticed more good things and been able to ignore the problems. Mad Max Fury Road is another one the more I watched and thought about the more I loved it.
What really got me thinking about this is Trolls. I gave Trolls a C in my review. I felt it was very hit and miss and I think that is a correct diagnosis. However, the more I’ve thought about it the more I’m bothered by certain aspects of the film. Particularly the messaging and what it says about happiness.
I admit part of these new ideas have come from conversations with others who’ve seen the film and some of my fellow youtubers/bloggers reviews. For example, Jim Gisriel makes some great points about how some of the ideas are actually dangerous.
A friend brought up to me that Inside Out is about accepting all emotions and that all feelings are vital to finding joy. Whereas, Trolls is about how happiness exists and is the only correct response to life. There is no sense of the trolls learning from the Bergens about how to be angry, upset, sad etc. It is a My Fair Lady type experiment to teach the bergens how to be happy.
That is alarming.
Angry Birds is even worse where anger is actually the solution to the birds problems and the happy birds are stupid and naive. They literally have to take lessons from Red on how to be more angry….
Zootopia, on the other hand, still holds up as a powerful fable with amazing animation, humor and characters. It’s a richer experience each time I watch it.
This is a problem.
The more I think about these messages the more bothered I am. I don’t know. Is it overthinking the films too much? Should I just go with my initial gut reaction? Should I write up a new review when I have these new revelations or be happy with the initial thoughts?
What do you think? Have you ever experienced this change in your views of a movie or are you pretty consistent?
9 thoughts on “How Did I Miss That?…”
Well, this is one of the reasons why I wait to review a movie on my blog when it comes to DVD because if I’ve seen it previously in theaters, watching it back later on DVD can get me a deeper understanding of the film. Or if I only watch it when it comes on DVD, then the experience of the theater (big screen, loud sound, comfy seats, popcorn, etc.) doesn’t affect my enjoyment of the movie and I’m able to rate the movie more objectively.
So it really depends on what you wanna do. You’re much more of a film reviewer than I am, so I feel more people like to see what your opinions are before seeing the movie, so making a review right after you see the film is probably a good idea. But if you prefer having a review for posterity, then I’d say give time to process the time and go in depth in the review.
Yeah you make some good points.
I guess at least I rarely go from disliking something to liking it. It’s just the degrees of liking or disliking
Well, there is a reason why I usually review movies which are a little bit older, so that I can delve deep into them. But, yeah, I get where you are coming from…this is often a problem in children’s entertainment. The simple message can get so simple that it doesn’t leave any room for different opinions. That is one of the reasons why I appreciate Disney…usually.
Thanks. You are right about children’s movies
I have definitely suffered from similar issues regarding reviewing a movie that is currently making airwaves in the media and theaters. Even though when I get to the film, it is a few weeks/months after it initially premieres, but you still want to get it out a lot quicker, and there is a lot less to research overall regarding the film. When I am compiling my list of the “Best/Worst of the year”, and I see the results, so much ends up being a shock to me.
We try to ignore the recency, the race reception clouding and trending the internet, but it is hard to simmer and settle in your thoughts for a recent film in the review. Great post.
This is such a strange time for animated movies. On one level, there are more now than there ever have been in the past and there are many great examples of the genre, but with films like Trolls or Angry Birds it almost feels like the studio expects them to not be taken seriously and the writing is much sloppier. Granted, I have not seen either, but it always disappoints when a film can get retroactively worse on further reflection.
Also, I know this is a bit of an awkward juncture to start commenting again, but I I do do hope to start catching up on a lot of the films you’ve covered, the good and the bad, and how I felt about them. If you don’t mind. 🙂
I always love your comments!
Totally agree with this! I also tend to rush out my reviews of current releases while I give more thought & time to reviewing older films (since people are always eager to read about very current films). I hate doing this, though, as I like to give more thought to certain films. I have very strong opinions so will never change my mind 100% but plenty of films have definitely gone up or down in my estimation since my initial, rushed reviews. I did a post at one point where I re-rated quite a few of them. What I hate is that I often rate things lower, actually, than how I really felt. I should go with my gut. Then I rate a lot of mediocre films too highly. If I can’t remember much of them a year later, I know I was too “nice” to them. Totally agree about Trolls! I trashed that one, mainly because I just found it bloody annoying. But I think I was still a bit too nice. SO true that the message is NOT actually a good one. “You must be happy at all times!!!”. Ugh. Thank god for Pixar – they send the right message & I’m always happy for my daughter to watch those. But, okay – yes, we probably overthink animated kids’ films. ; ) I got yelled at by a blogger once for taking kids’ films too seriously. I don’t care – they’re aimed at kids so they DO have a responsibility to send the right message…. They can be entertaining as well as “good”. It’s not difficult. : )