Guest Column: Form your own opinions on movies

Hearing people’s opinions — whether friends, critics or the Academy — is a great way to learn more about movies. But are people just taking opinions at face value?

Whenever a highly anticipated movie comes out, most people look online or in the newspaper to see what the critics have said about it. After all, critics are paid to watch movies and tell people their thoughts about them.

If people don’t want to read about a critic’s thoughts on a movie, they can go online and see what other people think about it. These people thoughts usually won’t go as in depth as critics do, but they will usually explain why they liked or disliked a movie.

And, of course, you could always just talk to someone you know who has seen the movie. But, if you do that, you run into the danger of just taking their advice without thinking for yourself.

This has happened to me on multiple occasions. I asked my friend once what he thought of “Looper,” because I wanted to watch it. He told me not to waste my time on it. Because I took his advice, I never watched the movie. I might be missing out on a movie I would have enjoyed.

Some people might think that all we have to do is look at a critic’s review, or even a person’s response on Facebook or Twitter, to decide whether or not to see a movie. They think that we wouldn’t need to look into the movie ourselves because they already did.

Granted, the whole point of being a critic is to tell people what you think about a movie. However, we do need to realize that their reviews are subjective.

We need to take other people’s opinions online with a grain of salt as well. When they claim that a movie is or isn’t good, you don’t know if that is how they really feel. They could just be saying that because it’s what they heard their friends say.

And even if it is their personal opinion, opinions are, once again, subjective rather than fact. One person’s thoughts on a movie could be the exact opposite of what another person thinks, or what you would think if you saw the movie in question.

For example, I looked at several people’s comments about “Man of Steel.” Several people said they thought the movie was boring and wasn’t exciting. I disagree. I thought the movie was entertaining and I wasn’t bored at all.

We should try to find out as much as we can about a movie before seeing it. Admittedly, reading critics’ reviews and looking at people’s reactions to it is a good way to find out more about it. But that shouldn’t be the only thing we look at.

First off, potential viewers should look to see what the movie is actually about. If they like the story synopsis, there is probably a good chance they’ll like the movie. Granted, they might like the general idea of a movie and hate how it plays out on screen, but at least it’s a start.

Looking at the casting of a movie would also be a good way to get interested in it. If you see that an actor or actress you like is in a major role of a movie, you’d probably be more likely to see that movie. Keep in mind that just because a favorite actor or actress is in a movie does not mean the movie will be good. You could have people who are good performers give horrible performances.

People should also look at any trailers that have come out for a movie they’re interested in. By watching the trailer, they can get an idea of what the movie is about and if it looks like something they would want to watch. However, just because someone likes the trailer of a movie does not mean they’ll like the movie itself. The trailer could give people a completely different idea of what a movie is going to be about.

Another thing to watch out for with trailers is that they can give you the wrong idea about a movie. I’ll use “The Avengers” as an example. The trailers suggested it was a dark, serious movie, but the actual movie was lighthearted and funny.

The point is, while it is good to hear what other people think about a movie, we shouldn’t just take their word for it. We should do what we can to form our own opinions, rather than just accept what people tell us.

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Posted by on February 27, 2014. Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Columns, Movies, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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