Most of the conversations that I have with my friends and family revolve around movies. The people that I surround myself with all speak a universal language of obscure quotes and references that a good amount of people do not understand. While having discussions about various movies, lively debates can spring up when two people have different favorites, and believe that their movie is the best.
In my mind, I have a system of classifying movies. There is a large amount of criteria that a great movie has to check off, including story, character development, cinematography, effects and acting.
On the other hand, a movie that I can consider my favorite only has to fulfill one criterion, was I entertained? By having completely separate lists for movies I look at with an objective eye and ones I look at with a subjective eye, I personally find it easier to articulate the points I am trying to make about each movie.
For anyone who has watched the movie “Lincoln” with Daniel Day Lewis, there is almost no denying that the movie is objectively very good.The true story is compelling enough, and Steven Spielberg brings his typical quality to the directing and cinematography.
The casting of Lewis as the titular president was so spot on, it makes you forget that you’re watching an actor play a part. It is almost as if Lincoln came back to life just to appear in the movie. It was nominated for 12 Academy Awards, and won two of them.
With this in mind, I have sat through “Lincoln” twice. The first was during a family movie night where I was the only one who stayed awake for the entire film, and the second was for a film study course I took in high school, where a couple of my classmates fell asleep right at their desks.
While “Lincoln” is full of great scenes, direction, cinematography and acting, it is slower than molasses. Unless you are deeply interested in the subject matter, it can get pretty boring. “Lincoln” is one of those movies that it is almost a chore to watch. You have to constantly be paying attention or you will get lost in the parade of congressional meetings and monologues. While I can enjoy these types of movies, there is a time and a place for them. But if I want to just unwind from a long day, it’s not the movie I’m going to pick.
On the other side of the coin, there are movies that can be watched at any time. These movies just let me shut off my brain and enjoy what is on the screen. My favorite example of this type of movie is the “Transformers” franchise.
I do not want to be misunderstood, the “Transformers” movies are by no means monumental achievements in acting, story or character development.
What the “Transformers” movies are able to do is put me in a catatonic state for a couple of hours where all that matters is that the good robots beat the bad robots by using all kinds of awesome explosion-causing weapons. For me at least, once I start a “Transformers” movie, my mind is pulled into their world, and nothing else matters until the credits roll.
Objectively speaking, I believe “Lincoln” is a far superior film when compared with any of the five “Transformers” movies, but that being said, I get much more enjoyment out of watching giant robots that turn into cool cars fight.
But this is purely subjective, and the next person I talk to may have a completely different way of thinking about how they think about movies. And if that occurs, I know I will be adequately prepared to explain my thought process.