As a film blogger (I can’t call myself a critic, because I’m not being paid to do this) and fan, I see a lot of films through the year. A lot. Not as many as some (Dan over at Dan The Man’s Movie Reviews, I salute you, sir!), but as many as working a full time job, and spending time with two small children, and supporting my wife’s small business, will allow. I’m often asked by folks how I choose which films I will and will not watch – since I am relatively free-time poor due to family commitments, I must make choices as to which films I’ll spend an hour or two with, and which ones I won’t.
It will come as no surprise that some of my choices are fairly easy – I refuse point-blank to watch any Adam Sandler film in which he co-stars with either Rob Schneider, Kevin James, or even Sandler himself (has anybody reading this even seen Jack & Jill?). I refuse to watch terrible film remakes of classic television cartoon series – Yogi Bear, The Chipmunks and The Smurfs, you’re all under the gun. Some films are a given that they’re not worth my time to sit through, even on a so-bad-it’s-good level.
But sometimes I’ll have to forgo even a good film, in order to get to a better one.
Often, though, what drives my film watching is – and I’m a little ashamed to admit it – whether or not a review I write on a film will get hits on this site. Is it wrong to want to skip over Grown Ups 2 in favor of watching, and then reviewing, a film like Elysium, or Fast & Furious 6? Watching Adam Sandler mug his way through yet another inane fart comedy (and I use the term “comedy” in its broadest possible sense) is cinematic anathema. At least Elysium tries for some kind of social commentary, or Fast & Furious doesn’t pretend to be serious in its endeavor to thrill and entertain, and has action scenes to thrill to. I know people will read a review on Elysium, and a whole host of other films, and I’m inclined to think that I’ll attract more readers to a quality film (or potentially quality film) than one which is so obviously a shoe-in for a “Worst Film Of All Time” award, so is it wrong of me to skip a patently shitty film in order to review better ones and get more readers to my site?
Now, I have no editorial bias to most films, in as much as I try and give every film I see a chance to prove itself. Yet, even in spite of myself, I can’t help but abhor the dreck coming from Hollywood’s lower tiers of production, the kind of money-grabbing squash-crock that scoops up oblivious punters’ cash and robs them blind, leaving them poorer and no wiser. Should I be reviewing these kinds of films in order to warn people off them, or skip them in favor of quality material? It’s easy to write a review that rips into some new cinematic turd, giving it the bottom-thwacking critical enema it deserves, and those reviews are often cathartic to write. But by skipping the obvious crud for the hopefully better options, perhaps I am not as unbiased as I like to think, at least in terms of reviews I’m prepared to write.
Obviously, this site is my personal viewpoint on the films I watch. You can agree with me, disagree if you like, or vehemently oppose my opinion, as is your right. I’ll never denigrate you for having an opinion, as long as it’s the right one! 😉 But admitting that I pre-edit what I watch/review to ensure I have higher viewing numbers on “good films” that I review, is this a bad thing? I would love to review every film, but I’d hate to have to watch every film.
Let me know what you think in the comments section below!