Blogs I’m addicted to + Film charts !

Blogs I’m Addicted To

FlixChatter – A great mixture of features, reviews and especially great lists, rtm’s blog is one of my go to film blogs. Especially loved the recent 15 Favourite Period Drama Heroes.

You Can Observe A Lot Just By Watching – Fellow Scotland based blogger with especially excellent reviews, check out the newest one on Meek’s Cutoff. Still on my to-see list!

Andrew At The Cinema – Great blog, with an excellent all time Top 10 list. Also, Andrew had interesting things to say about Sucker Punch.

Couch Potato Club – Entertaining source especially for film news. Great insights on casting. Don’t miss the Movie Poster Giveaway!

The Droid You’re Looking For – Recently found this really fun, entertaining blog. Was interesting to notice that all of my favourite directors fit into the Stanley Kubrick- influence box. Love the Bergman shoutouts!

Have films gotten worse or are people just more stupid?

Click on the image to see the fullblown data.

Discovered this quite interesting piece of statistics on the quality (based on RottenTomatoes ratings) of Top 10 highest grossing films for every year. With it’s downwards slide it would seem that either the quality of films has gone down, or people pay more for less quality. Of course with this kind data, statistical errors are pretty likely, and we have to remember audience responses aren’t the same as actual quality of a film. But it does seem fair to say that film isn’t what it used to be, at least there’s a lot more of movies that get ‘dumbed down’. Also, my love for 90’s film seems to be justified as quality peeks are hit in 1991 and -99, when 00’s score consistently lower.

According to this, 1964 would be the best year for blockbusters with such hits as Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady, Goldfinger (my favourite Bond) and A Shot In The Dark bring in the most $$$ that year.

The worst year would appear to be 1995 with Die Hard: With A Vengeance, Apollo 13, Batman Forever and Casper (I loved Casper! .. When I was 6.) in the Top 10.

Must not take the list too seriously, but I get the point of it; I do think there is a trend with Blockbusters getting more stupid (or does that people now are willing to pay for stupid?). What do you think?


13 responses to “Blogs I’m addicted to + Film charts !

  1. Hey thanks for the link love, Anna… I’m honored that you visit my blog, so to be listed here just makes my day. The feeling is mutual btw, I love the variety on your blog, too, very clean and inviting to keep me and lots of others coming back :D

  2. Thanks for the mention, Anna! That’s very cool of you. As you know, this is definitely one of the blogs I keep making my way back too. So you keep up the good work as well.

    On a side note, it’s interesting you bring up that image there about movie quality. I’ve actually been putting in some research for an article about that as well. My biggest problem with this one here is it’s based on RT score.

    I don’t think the Tomato-meter is a very reliable meter in regards to this. I’ll lay out a quick example for you:

    Let’s say “Movie A” gets five 10/10 reviews, then three 8/10 and two 4/10 reviews. This would give the movie 8 “Fresh” scores, thus a RT rating of 80%. Now, let’s say “Movie B” comes along and gets five 7/10 reviews and five 6/10 reviews. This gives it an RT rating of 100%. Indicating that “Movie B” is much better than “Movie A”.

    However, if you go back and look at it from actual rating perspective you’ll find the average rating for “Movie A” is 8.2/10. Whereas the average rating for “Movie B” is 6.5/10, showing that “Movie B” is definitely inferior to “Movie A” according to the general consensus.

    This is my biggest problem with the RT system. Granted I know they also show the average rating there too, but the RT score is based simply on that fresh or rotten scale which is definitely flawed. You could even have a movie get ten 10/10 reviews, giving it 100% RT score. Then another movie come in getting ten 6/10 reviews and also getting a 100% score. This makes them look like they’re on the same level which clearly they’re not.

    • Definitely there’s a flaw there, I mean as I was looking the IMDB scores for some of the years that were very much on opposite peaks (high/low) on the scale, and didn’t really notice a massive change in the average rating.

      The fact is though, that this could be a question of volume too; obviously before the 80’s (or even the 90’s) not that many films got made per year, as they do now so the choice for people to go to films isn’t merely “I hear this is entertaining” but “should I see the entertaining comedy, thriller, action, romcom or drama this weekend”!

      My hypothesis is, that even though some of the best films might be equal or better ‘now’ as ‘before’, the amount of not so good, or bad films that get made is a lot more than it used to be. And now even the worst films get tens-of-times a bigger marketing value and a huge promotional tour through every medium -> more people will go and see it.

      Also, it would appear that the recycling of storylines is bigger now than ever before, and stories are often written to please all audiences (men, women, adults, kids, action buffs, romantics etc.) at the same time rather than dedicating themselves to one focus group and then hoping (or even not caring) that other focus groups would enjoy it as well. Obviously there are uncompromising films today, but this seems to be a widening trend.

  3. As you like me are a big fan of movie lists, I thought I would guide you to my blog where top 10’s are a key part. I even invite people to send in there own top 10’s which I post on the blog. Check out some of the recent top 10’s here or send in your own one here.

    Great post and thanks for highlighting some great blogs for me. Keep up the good work.

  4. Yea I’m with JL that the tomatometer chart is not very reliable because of many of the reviews for the older films aren’t actually from back in the days but recent ones. This skews the ratings since critics already know some of those movies are “classics” and are subconsciously inclined to give it a more positive reviews.

    • That’s another very good (valid) point. They’re just accepted as classic, thus you see a lot of those movies getting inflated scores. Not to say some of them don’t deserve great scores, but just that there’s a definite bias of sorts. It even causes stuff like the ol’ “Well it is considered a classic. I have to give it a great score or my credibility as a critic will be targeted” type stuff.

      I will agree with you, too, Anna. I would say there’s probably more bad stuff being made these days. But, as you mention, that’s more because there’s just more movies being made period. I say we definitely have plenty of good movies being made just as much now as then.

      Something I’ve noticed so far in my research on it (actually using ratings/scores and not the Tomatometer) is that there seems to be no big change over the last 30 years. Sure you’ll have your peaks and dips here and there, but on average, still the same.

      • Sure, there’s not going to be a difference between the worst and the best, great movies get made all the time. But as they often get compared to other films coming out that year (mostly) the scores and ratings might be twisted as well. I mean Source Code was great, but if it had come out at the same times (or in the same month) that something 5-star worthy, I don’t think I would’ve given it an 8/10.

        If I wasn’t so lazy (I might do this at some point with comparing just a few years) I’d like to see the percentages of bad/good movies per year. Like split it at 6/10, below that, it’s a bad movie, and above that a good one and see whether either side has gotten bigger or smaller through the years, thus eliminating the volume factor.

        The IMDB 250 has about 68 films (I really tried to count, but I just woke up haha) that were made in 2000 or later. This would suggests that actually 2000 onwards might actually have a slight advantage over other decades (if we’re counting from 30’s onwards). The thing is though, that most people that give ratings out to films made those years, have only ever seen films that were made in their lifetime (i.e. after the 70s/80s). I think someone who has a wider knowledge (more film notches on the belt so to say) of films throughout the decades has a better view on what’s a especially good film (5 stars).

        I mean in ratings on the interenet, there’s going to be a lot of people that give out 10/10 reviews to a film that’s maybe the 5th, or 10th or 20th film they’ve ever seen. But people who have seen a 1000, or 2000 films are usually the ones rating older films (mostly out of interest, or you just run out of more recent ones to watch). They might possibly be a better judge on whether a film is rated great, or not.

  5. Personal reactions to classics really mean very little once they’ve attained that iconic status; they’re classics for a reason beyond being well-received, after all. Citizen Kane isn’t truly a classic because it’s the greatest movie ever made– even among the most well-versed and scholarly cineastes, you’ll find more than a few, I’m sure, who will make that claim of something like 8 & 1/2 or Rashomon or some random Godard film or another– but because it constitutes an enormous part of the foundation of modern filmmaking. Negative critique of it reads as contradictory and inflammatory by proxy. I mean, I really don’t care much for Citizen Kane but I’ll always be among the first to speak of its greatness because without it, cinema today wouldn’t at all be the same.

    That’s why I tend to avoid writing about classics, save for those that are personally dear to me, through any perspective that isn’t contextual. An audience today might find La Dolce Vita boring and tedious, but that audience’s reaction means fuck all because that film practically caused a social civil war in Italy when it was released in 1960. It’s made its mark. Writing something negative about it inherently poses a challenge to its place in film history, which is something that can’t be disputed even if an individual reaction to it isn’t favorable.

    Thanks for the mention, Anna. This is fast becoming one of my favorite blogs around and one I look forward to checking up on. Make sure to pick up your Versatile Blogger award– you’re one of the 15 I named in my list!

  6. Firstly, thanks for the mention Anna, your blog is likewise one I read regularly.

    Regarding the quality of films at the box office, as some have already mentioned we often find history is kinder to films than critics might be at the time.

    If we look at 2009, which has a very low score, it’s interesting to consider how some of those films might be rated in years to come.

    Twilight: New Moon is one of those very lowly rated. Now I’ve only seen the first one, but I really can’t believe in ten years time people reviewing it will still give it what seems like a very harsh 27% rating.

    Likewise will critics really look back on the fairly harmless Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel and rate it as merely 21%?

    Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, however, will probably always be remembered as the turkey it is.

    One thing I do think which is worth mentioning is that critics don’t have much time for sequels (as the three films mentioned back up), where as audiences can’t get enough of them.

    This had led to a situation where we have more sequels this year than any other before. The guardian posted an article today about the death of the trilogy, and how basically studios will keep on churning out sequels to films as long as audience members are willing to pay to see them:

    Perhaps we shouldn’t be so worried about the apparent lack of quality in films over recent years, but the evident lack of originality we as audience members are willing to buy into.

    • If in ten years either New Moon or Alvin and the Chipmunks 2 is viewed in a less harsh light, I’ll suffer a fatal heart attack on the spot.

    • I hope this isn’t something that actively happens in people’s minds. That older automatically equals better; I mean I have seen New Moon, and even though it is entertaining it is neither filled with any technical expertise, good acting nor proper story. If you do compare it with others of the genre, and with other genres, it becomes apparent that if there wouldn’t have been the bookfollowing before the films, nor Robert Pattison’s looks, it would never ever have been even made.

      Even if critics didn’t watch sequels, isn’t there something inherently worse in the idea? (especially in the case of films that aren’t meant to be a series (like Transformers), where the sequel is merely going to be made solely on the basis that the first sold so many tickets that it would be foolish not to make another) I mean if you are not telling a story that continues on so that it simply cannot be in one film (Godfather, LOTR, Star Wars), is there any point in showing the characters simply in another situation (Hangover II ..). Kids films are an exception in the way that kids like the characters and they just want to see them again regardless of quality (basically every Disney classic has a series of almost all straight to DVD sequels). But surely an adult can’t in a way argue that any that type of film would be somehow better than the original (which is source of the characters, storytypes, surroundings, atmosphere, techniques, creators, actros etc.) or a good film in itself. Something like Chipmunks 1 (which I have seen but only in part) I would probably never give more than 3 stars -> thereby half of that to the second seems fair.

      But ratingssystems in themselves are obviosuly going to be flawed, as they are always subjective. Maybe I would recommend Chipmunks as 5-starredly suitable for a 4 year-old, but I highly doub it. I would put it a framework of others that I’ve seen.

      “Perhaps we shouldn’t be so worried about the apparent lack of quality in films over recent years, but the evident lack of originality we as audience members are willing to buy into.” Exaclty sort of what I was thinkin when I first saw this albeit strongly dubious statistics. Why are people paying so much money for clearly something that it is in now way shape or form going to be nothing else but fluff!

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