Matters of Taste – When was the last time a movie, a book, or a television show left you cold despite all your friends (and/or all the critics) raving about it? What was it that made you go against the critical consensus?


You mean … other people don’t make their own decision about how they feel after reading a book, seeing a movie or watching a television show?

Because I thought that was what we were supposed to do. You know. Think for ourselves. If not, what’s that big grey lump in the middle of our skull good for anyhow?

A high percentage of current pop culture movies and television annoy or bore us. The last one to leave us saying “Huh?” Was Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014). It began with an explosion. It barely paused at any point during the next 136 minutes for dialog, character development, plot, or anything else. It ended with a really big explosion. At one point in the viewing, Garry left. He came back 20 minutes later. He said later he didn’t feel he’d missed anything. He didn’t because nothing had happened except a few more things blew up.

It got great reviews.

We are fans of the franchise. With the exception of Thor, which I thought was too dumb and poorly acted even for a late night stupid fix, I’ve enjoyed watching the superheroes of my childhood come to life and save the world. I don’t expect great art, just a modestly coherent story, handsome guys and beautiful women in spandex, and special effects.

However, I anticipate a plot. It doesn’t have to be anything special, but nothing is too little. I require dialog. In short, a script.

Explosions are not enough to carry a movie for more than two hours. If the production company is going to shell out all that money for big name stars, not to mention special effects, how about throwing a few bucks at a scriptwriter? Writers work cheap. Give it a shot, Hollywood.

I don’t care what any reviewer says. I never did. Or for that matter, what friends and family say. If they feel spending a lot of money to watch things blow up is a worthwhile trade, okay with me. In this household, I expect more. Require more.

I should add you’d never get away with that in a book. A book with no story? No character development?  Even if the plot and characters are lame, they nonetheless need to be there. Without them, it isn’t a book and won’t make the big time. Not yet, anyway. And aren’t we glad for that, at least!

Categories: film, Movies, Reviews, Writing

Tags: , , , , , , ,

15 replies

  1. I’m a big fan of Joss Whedon’s writing and directing. So for me, “The Avengers” was the bee’s knees.


  2. I actually really liked it! And it merged together well with Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (the TV series). Of course, I really liked Thor as well. It doesn’t take much to make me happy 🙂


    • You should go to the movies with my son (he’s probably closer to your age than I am). He liked it too. He says if you follow comic books, it makes more sense. I’m just a bit traditional about this sort of thing and think a movie should have its own legs to stand on. I know people liked Thor. I thought it was totally lame, but apparently I just don’t know what good is.


  3. I’ve always been a fan of comic books and their heroes. I happened to watch the movie mentioned above last night on a website that smacks of piracy, I was bored and looking for something to watch as I don’t have my TV even plugged in yet much less have and cable channels. You’d be surprised how much you can watch on the internet.

    I didn’t think much of the movie in question as the plots been done 1,000 times and much better. Another tragic good guy turned into a monster villain by an ever scientist. Ho hum! Even the Captain America character is tragic, brought to modern times after being genetically engineered to be a super soldier, nothing a single bullet can’t stop.

    Still I continue to watch these type of GI Joe style action movies out of total boredom. Give me a decent original plot with decent directing and dare I say it, decent acting. I don’t care if it’s an animated flick. 😦


  4. All the, oh, I don’t know what to call them….superhero action flicks??….that have been coming on lately — people rave about how wonderful are. I just can’t wrap my head around it. I really don’t get what is so wonderful about these movies and people think that I am the strange one because I’m not ranting and raving about how wonderful they are.

    And you’re right — books don’t get away with no character development, no plot, or the like. With a movie, for some reason, you feel compelled to stick it out — with a book, it’s a whole lot easier to remove it from your Kindle and start another one (and maybe that’s because the “to-read” list is soooo long!). 😀


    • I like some of the superhero movies and a few of them have been clever and well done. Others, though, are just cashing in on a franchise. I grew up with comic books. If you didn’t, the movies won’t make sense. Personally, Superman was “my guy.” I never quite recovered from losing Supe. A lot of the recent movies are all noise, explosions, car chases, and fist fights with no thought to creating a believable character, It ISN’T a comic books. It needs more than a sketch to make it worth my time, much less my money!

      My “to read” list may not be completed in this lifetime! Frankly, putting a book aside, paper or electronic, has always been easy and my time is so precious now, if I don’t like it, I don’t think twice about moving on.


  5. I had to recover from a laughing fit after reading. Loved the bit about Gary leaving, but I can’t blame him. thank goodness I have never heard of captain America – is he something like William Tell? We are a bit behind in Switzerland. I think Thor was quite in with a guy called Wagner and his operas. The problem is that the States tends to export all this stuff to Europe. And we have enough TV problems ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thor. Yeah, although he’s still got a few connections up in the godscape of the northland. At least in opera, no one expects a real plot, just a lot of howling (excuse me, singing). If you have the opportunity to see this for free, skip it. Not worth the price.


  6. I totally agree. Used to love action … Now I am often left wondering what the scripts for these films must look like…. One line of dialogue then 10 pages of instructions on how to safely perform stunts.



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