Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Weekend Assignment #308: What Kind of Flicks?

For Weekend Assignment #308: Chick Flicks Or Guy Movies?, Carly wants to know what kind of movies we gravitate toward. Of the two general categories in the assignment title, I suppose I must choose chick flicks, but really, that's not how I classify films or what I look for. Here are the sorts of films I'm most likely to pay money for:

1. Fantasy. We're talking Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Stardust and so on. I don't automatically like every fantasy film - it has to be well-written, exciting, with great characters, humor and preferably ideas worth thinking about long after the movie is over. If you think about it, the Peter Jackson-directed Tolkien films are both chick flicks and guy movies, having the romance between Aragorn and Arwen (and the love triangle with Eowyn), and lots of battles and fight scenes. It's even a buddy movie, with the two pairs of hobbits and the friendship and rivalry between Gimli and Legolas. Personally, I love the visuals and the character stuff in the Jackson films, but the battles bore me to tears and I resent major character bits from the books being omitted, such as Eowyn and Faramir falling in love, some of Merry and Pippin's adventures and the Scouring of the Shire.

2. Science Fiction. Again, I don't automatically love it all, but I'm a sucker for a good time travel story, Star Trek, Buckaroo Banzai, Galaxy Quest and some other films. My criteria are the same as for fantasy, and again, some of the best films have both action-adventure and a degree of romance. But they don't have to have either for me to like them.

3. Disney. One of my all time favorite films is Mary Poppins, and another is Lilo & Stitch. And yes, you can class those as fantasy, but really, when it's done right, there's something special about a Disney film.  These, too, can be action adventure, can be buddy movies, can be romances, but that's only part of what they are.

4. Romantic Comedies.  Aha!  Yes, you got me. I admit that I like the classic chick flick category, too, but it doesn't usually drive me to the theatre, and it pretty much has to be humor-based. I've still never seen Titanic, I hate stuff like Wuthering Heights and so on. But something by Nora Ephron or Jane Austin is another story altogether.

For the extra credit, Carly wants a mini-review of the worst film I ever saw. I have to go with the one we drove away from, The Legend of the Lone Ranger - terrible writing, wooden acting, a complete misread of the character and what made him a legend. But it's not my most hated film. I utterly despise Lord of the Flies with its relentlessly negative view of humanity in general and children in particular, and would unsee it if I could. Kill Bill and The Watchmen draw a similar reaction from me. John watches them in the next room and they upset me. Sometimes I make John put on headphones, or wear earplugs to avoid them! I hate depressing, nasty movies. But that doesn't make them objectively bad. Evil, perhaps, but not bad.

The next Weekend Assignment will be posted here tomorrow. I also have a Gallifrey One convention report coming, probably in two parts.


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