Friday, March 09, 2007
Critical pans, public praise
The only major new movie opening this weekend is "300," and based on advance word and tracking, it's easily expected to top the weekend box office. According to The Hollywood Reporter, industry insiders are predicting it to gross about $50 million in its first three days, still a terrific sum.

And yet "300," like so many other movies that have topped the 2007 box office tallies, has picked up some ugly pans. (In fairness, it has earned a good deal of praise as well -- particularly for its look.)

So does anyone care about reviews? Brian Robbins -- who directed "Norbit" and co-produced "Wild Hogs" -- openly scoffs at them.

"Is the audience that stupid? Is America's taste that bad? I don't think so," he told The Hollywood Reporter.

What do you think? Have the movies been as bad as the critics say? Are they providing the entertainment people seek? Why do you go to the movies?
People want to be entertained. Often professional critics lose site of this fact and the public knows this. Many of my favorite movies where torn apart by critics so I will read reviews but ultimately the only review that matters is my own. Its all subjective in the end.
i recently read a review of "300" and the critic panned it. but i noticed that everything the critic picked at were the very things that made me WANT to see "300." it seems that critics think every movie should be "saving private ryan," or "forrest gump."
It seems that critics forget that movies are first an art form, and second a stylistic expression of the directors and cinematographers that create the movie. Critics are looking for a sense of realism these days... but, what they fail to realized (for some strange reason) some movies are specifically designed to be fantasy and entertainment.. isn't that why we started making blockbusters???
I can think, so I don't allow critic's opinions or marketing ploys shape my movie-going judgment. I read the comic and was impressed by the trailer, but I don't operate under the same delusion that many critics are under that "300" is some type of history lesson or a Gladiator/Troy wannabe. Aren't these the same guys who gave "Batman & Robin" massive praise?
I saw it this A.M and was a great film. I was very entertained and felt for the characters. CNN should hire more open minded me. :)
A lot of reviewers don't seem to know anything about what they are reviewing, so why should we take them seriously?

For instance take Tom Charity on "300" on

"Reproducing Lynn Varley's double-page panels as if the comic book were their storyboard..." For starters, Lynn was the colorist and wife of the artist, the artist was Frank Miller of Sin City fame. And secondly, the whole idea of the movie was to use the graphic novel as the story board, there was nothing as-if about it.


"They even couple their death wish with ahistorical sentiments about "defending freedom" from Persian slavery and mysticism, though this hardly jibes with the regime the movie itself reveals."

The theme of defending freedom came straight from Herodotus and Plutarch's accounts of Thermopylae. Charity needs to re-read his classics before he can toss around words like ahistorical. Sparta was never subdued.

I loved 300 for its artistry, its passion, its men in gold panties, and its thunder. I'm 29, female, college educated, and buying another ticket for the IMAX.
I love how your piece on "300" spends so much time trying to explain to the movie goer why they shouldn't be enamored with its spectacle instead of trying to understand the obvious attraction. Your moralizing will only convince those who don't need convincing. The facination is not with the spectical alone but with the notion that human beings and entire societies would be dedicated to a set of creeds to the point of death. People want something to fight for and want to find a conception of reality that is ultimately worth more than themselves. We are drawn to those who have seemed to find this certainty and it gives us hope that we can find some for ourselves.
I just saw 300 last night in a packed viewing. After watching everyone in the end was saying how amazing the movie was. Even my wife (who hates the gore), said the visuals were amazing. I think this movie will be a landmark, like sin city was.
I've watched quite a few movies that were unjustly rated by Film Critics. Just yesterday I went to see 300. I read the review of it and the long and short of it is that IT'S A MOVIE. You critic spouts off about historical facts but did it follow the book? Even then, It's still a movie. Reviews should be about the entertainment. Did you enjoy the movie. Realistically, the movie is based in ancient Greece. Of course there is going to be violence. Expect it. I notice that he mentioned the rippling bodies of the men but did he say anything of the women that were bedecked in cloth, jewels and sheer fabric? Did he mention the praise of the strength of the women? Did he speak of the ferocious fight to protect ones ideals and freedom? Unfortunately critics place too much of their person ideals into reviewing movies instead of actually watching the movie. It was a great movie. I'm going to see it again today.
I saw the movie last night and found that I couldn't get enough. The story that this movie is based upon is one tht will live on as long as human memory and media allow. I don't think that the whole of it's implications on how the world as we know it changed because of what those people did 2500 years ago can be appreciated by modern folk. The movie is art, and fantasy - based on historical facts. Pure and simple.
I recently saw the 1962 version "300 Spartans" which was a "big" production for it's time, and the way that one played out held my attention almost as well as this version. There are intangible elements that men and women can find that their souls will hearken to in this movie and I don't think that many "critics" will bother with those types of feelings in their "reviews".
I have heard time and again that if directors, producers, and story tellers could have their way they'd make their epics more like Lord of the Rings was done, rather than the 2 hour and 15 minute "audience-friendly" versions that they have to in order to satisfy budgets, studios, and attention spans require them. I think that normally the creators of the movies like this, that could easily spin hours of content-wise out of control to tell the whole story and stay "historically accurate", have to make a choice about what they think people will want to see and remember for the small amount of time that they know we'll be in their crosshairs.
There are just so many movies out there, that I really believe reviewers are jaded. The CNN Entertainment review of 300 is a perfect example of that. I'm sure there was a time when reviews weren't so biased. But I have an experience the movie for yourself policy now.

Critics are too high and mighty (and over indulged with indie-intellectual flicks) to understand or accept the artistic brilliance of 300, and the passion it brought out in it's viewers.

See 300 in a packed theater, with 18 year old fanboys, their girlfriends (who many cringe at heads flying off, and blood splattering), and curious older couples alike(even the underage kids who sneak in). Or even better, watch the movie in a theater packed with artists of all types. (I had both experiences). Watch their mesmerized faces, listen to their gasps of fear and delight.(Instead of worrying about the CG backgrounds replacing Greece) 300 did exactly what it was meant to, captivate the audience in it's battle.

As for cheesy comedies, and quick buck movies that were sort of thrown together. I can't speak for those. But as a die hard fanboy's girlfriend, an artist and computer animator, 300 met the goal making the audience forget they were in a theater.

Also, this is more directed to Tom Charity with his harsh review on CNN.

Before you knock the use of visual effects, and the cg environment, and make it sound like something that lessens the quality of a movie. Go interview some of the artists who worked on that film and recognize a little of how much slaving away it takes to create those effects.

Maybe you didn't think it was too bad, but your review was a little offensive in that department.

Also, go watch Gladiator or Troy if you want your softer take on Ancient Greece. Frank Miller was not trying to make that for you in his graphic novel, and the movie adaptation wasn't either.

Your last 5 paragraphs of your review were ridiculous. The outrageous appearance and attitudes of the characters were meant to create a lasting impression, not become historically accurate. As I said before, reviewers just have to throw intellect and reason into everything. Kind of kills the magic of movies.
Critiques like most reporters, are completely out of touch with the tastes and views of most Americans. This is a movie for patriotic, red meat eating, Americans. This is not a limp wristed navel gazing art flick. Chesty Puller, and George Patton would love this movie, so it doesn't suprise me that the liberal press scoffs at it.
Yes, people are stupid. So many dumb movies are made, like Norbit and Wild Hogs, look like garbage, and a waste of money. I for one will be boycotting these films, as I have no interest in stupid movies like those. Hollywood makes too many stupid movies, and too many stupid people go to see them. This doesn't really set well with me, and just goes to further prove how stupid a society America is.
"300" isn't supposed to an historical treatis. Hell, "Gladiator" played fast and loose with the death of Marcus Aurelius and the rise of Commodus. You can say that "300" the end result of ancient storytelling where some facts and details become obscured over the years. Remember in "Braveheart" when the Scots were coming together and meeting William Wallace and they were saying "You're smaller than I expected" and other such tall tales. If "300" was just a series of pictures no one would care about the historical accuracy of it at all because it's at that point. Once those pictures start moving and talking it stops being art for some freakish reason. We're not going to see "300" for historical accuracy or reality. We're going to see beautiful and artistically created moving pictures that captures the emotion and imagination of the story of 300 Spartans kicking some ass and taking some names for the honour and glory of being able to live.
Movies are a form of escapism, as are books, and arguably music...if these forms of entertainment (not everyone goes to the movies for a history lesson, that's why higher education was invented) were meant to be completely real, they would be called documentaries or would be marketed as such. These critics are giving us their opinion, they don't reflect the opinions of the consuming public.
If I wanna see a video game, I'll get out the XBox, otherwise, this video game movie genre bores me like crazy, It's awful.
I've never written in a blog like this, but movies made for men, about heroism or "real dude stuff", seem to be a target for critics who feel threatened by a movies that are there to entertain, without bloviating pronouncemnts of morality, or ridiculous notions of political correctness. 300 is a perfect example---a great flick with beautiful women, fighting and sacrifice....done in a ridiculously cool manner. Give me more of those movies and less of Brokeback Mountain and the Family Stone.
I review movies, amateurly, at because I enjoy sharing the opinion of an "average American," for people to read because it is very seldom that I agree with the "professionals." In fact, if the paid critics rave over a movie, it usually works to disconnect me from wanting to see it. I go to the movies because I have enough drama in my life. I want to go to exotic places, meet outlandish characters, and have wonderful adventures, without fear of foreign prisons, terrorists, or other untoward events. Scare me, thrill me, or make me laugh. Those are the reasons I crave the big screen.
300! That movie was booty!!!! I want my money back or I'll call the cops!!!
300 is the best movie i have seen in a long time. the review on completely missed the boat, what a joke! i never pay attention to movie critics. i can spot a bad movie a mile away on my own.
Tom Charity is in simple terms a moron. He states in his review that Thermopylae doesn't even look like Greece - has he ever been to Greece or for that fact the actual battleground and seen it, I venture to say NO. He also describes the movie as macho militarism - what happened, did he get rejected for the military and they gave him a liberal job as a reporter for the entertainment section so that he could bash the current events of the real world in his column. He evidently knows little about the history of the time, the people that he is describing in his column or their actions and or any of the books written about the subject. Maybe if he took the time to research a book or two and learn something before he critized it, then he would not appear so brain-dead and moronic. Persians by the way were from many different cultures that they had conquered, so the racial profiling that he does about King Xerxes is unfounded. He shouldn't write reviews for movies, he should be out covering a news event that is worthy of his abilities - maybe Groundhog Day events or something simple instead of telling us about history, when he has no knowledge of the past.
I don't put any stock into what critics say about moves, instead I want to decide for myself. I saw "300" last night and I loved it, from start to finish I enjoyed myself, thats the only review I care about.
300 was great....we loved it....the critics again trying to dictate what movies goers should like...
i usually read what critics have to say about a movie that i'm interested in seeing, but i don't use their review as a deciding factor on whether or not i'll actually go see the movie. i think some critics simply overlook the fact that most movies are made simply to entertain with some kind of story. am i going to go see 300 for a history lesson on ancient greece? no, i'm going to go see it because it looks cool, and to experience the story that frank miller and the rest of the film crew created and want so share with me. i think critics sometimes forget that the entertainment from the story being told is sometimes greater than the individual parts (i.e. acting, set quality, editing, etc.). star wars, for example, is routinely bashed for bad acting and cheesy dialogue, but i'm pretty sure george lucas could wipe his ass with the salaries of every movie critic combined and still buy himself a private archipelego without breaking the bank. the bottom line is this; movies are our age's method for telling stories, and as long as the story has entertainment value, people will continue to see movies that critics deem unworthy. i, for one, would like to meet one single person who saw the movie "elizabeth," whose main actress (i can't remember her name) won an oscar for her performance. the point is artsy well reviewed movie= boring stupid crap that nobody cares about. 300= fun, violent, visually stunning movie ENTERTAINMENT.
I just hope that critics aren't overpaid...that would be a shame seeing as how, ultimately, their opinion holds very little weight in the moviegoers mind and choice. I just got home from seeing "300" and all I can say is "Holy crap I can't wait to see it again". It was paced well, entertaining, thought provoking...and I'm not a fan of gore at all...but I never flinched throughout any of the fight scenes. I LOVED IT. The technique used is genius and allows the movie to reflect the same look as in Frank Miller's graphic novel...which I believe was it's original intention. And after watching several shows on the History Channel dedicated to discussing the history of the battle at Thermopylae...I feel that they stayed pretty true to history with a few artistic liberties. I HIGHLY recommend it.
Of course many people care about reviews. The majority of reviews for this film are at least mildly positive. This is a good movie, not a great one. People should not expect Braveheart quality, or even Gladiator quality, but it is still an enjoyable film. Many critics are hung up on social issues that frankly I feel have no relevance to the film - pick apart an overly critical review for this film and it's generally obsessed with perceived homophobia or racism, or perhaps worse, the review itself is largely homophobic.
I saw the movie with 20+ college guys. Everyone loved the movie. Many said it was the best movie they'd ever seen. 300= far from perfect? I'd say you need to find new people to write your reviews.
Is the audience that stupid? asks Brian Robbins. Well, according to the imdb, Norbit gets a user rating of 2.8, so I guess not. You can't fool all the people all the time.

As cnn's critic in the firing line here, I think it's worth pointing out that my review acknowledges that 300 "etches out the horizons of a new cinematic landscape" � that's not meant as faint praise. I also finished the review by admitting that for most people, my grave reservations will be beside the point � they just want to have fun. That seems to be the over-riding opinion of most of the posts here.

But is a critic's job just to tell the public if they're going to have a good time? I don't think so � for a start as someone else says here, it's all subjective, so that's a hopeless task. But I do think it's worth raising questions about the movie just as food for thought. It's not this film's historical inaccuracies that bother me, so much as why it distorts certain aspects � why it gets caught up in the stirring rhetoric about fighting for freedom when Sparta was a slave society; and why it lies about the prevalence of homosexuality. These changes reflect on what we the public want from our culture, and I think that's worth talking about.

I find this movie's celebration of death troubling and borderline fascistic � look at the way it equates physical imperfection with deceit. The idea that we're all hoping for a creed to believe in to the point of death is pretty scary to me � hence my allusion to Jim Jones. You may want to escape reality, but the reality is we're at war. Isn't it kind of sick to get our rocks off on all this cartoon violence when people are dying in our name?

Finally, on specific digs at the review: Mary, my reference to Lynn Varley was addressing the use of colour and to point out how faithful the film is to the comic book. Micah, yes, I have been to Greece, and I recommend it. And Cathy, no I am not trying to dictate what anybody should like. Just having a conversation!
Sometimes, a movie is just a movie.

A movie doesn't have to be a in-depth social commentary on the state of our world. Sometimes people go to the movies to escape current events.

A movie doesn't have to be politically correct. We get enough of that in our everyday lives.

This movie is just flat out cool to look at, and recreates a beautiful graphic novel. Every critic agrees with that at least. Are some parts of the film over the top? You bet. But at least I don't have to suffer through two hours of individuals agonizing over the tortured state of their emotions (Babel, The Queen, Notes on a Scandal, etc). All of these movies have substance but lacked viewers. We want to be entertained, and this movie is just that. Entertaining. I actually bought a ticket to another movie, hid just inside the door till the guy taking tickets to 300 turned his back, and ducked in. Any movie that inspires that kind of interest in the audience deserves to be recognized for it's strengths, not over analyzed for a critic's lack of interest in the material, or a critic's individual hang-ups with political correctness.
1st: Tom Charity's opinion is as useful as a flat tire. Does anyone actually care what he thinks? Just curious.
2nd: 300 is an excellent movie. Most entertaining movie I've seen in a long time.
Dear Mr. Charity,

I do not read critics reviews before I go see a movie. B/c, believe it or not, it will affect the way I see the movie when I go and I prefer to see the movie with fresh eyes. Therefore, I did no read your first review. Nor do I intend to. I have not read any critics review of the 300. I tend to get defensive when I read a bad review of something I really enjoyed. And I love the 300.

That being said, your reply in this column brought up an issue I thought should be addressed. You think it's "sick to get our rocks off on all this cartoon violence when people are dying in our name". I think, for the kind of war we are in--quagmired, with hidden enemies who refuse to come out and fight in the open and instead take the brunt of their fighting to civilians, and with no good end in sight, with servicemen and women dying for a cause not many of us believe in--we want something that is more clear-cut. Spartans are good and Persians are bad. There are no reporters telling us the plight of the average Persian slave-soldier. There's no one talking about the good that Xerxes has done for the nations he's enslaved. No one is blurring the line between right and wrong. They, both Spartans and Persians, fight out in the open. Tactics and training are superior haphazard onslaughts. We're not ignoring our servicemen and women. We just want a different conflict. Innately, we want to win. Get right down to it in a Darwinian sense, we are programmed to win. And we're not doing that in the real world. So we do it vicariously through a movie. You want to yell at us for getting our rocks off on the cartoon violence in this movie? Fine. I'm not ashamed. But that does not preclude us from caring about our people in Iraq. In fact, it probably makes us wish for more for them.
Critics typically hate action/adventure/comedy. The reviews for such movies as "The Hours" are typically better than most other genres. In my opinion, critics place too much emphasis on drama...most of the highly praised movies make you want to run out and buy a bottle of prozac. It's the movies the public wants to use as an escape from reality that the critics usually hate.
The problem is everyone is politicizing EVERYTHING these days. This was a historical event. This is a campfire telling of a historical event. This is NOT West good East bad, or muslims bad christians good (christ neither religion even EXISTED when the battle happened) This was 300 men defending themselves from a army bent on destroying their way of life. If we didn't have so much historical evidence it DID happen the tail it's self would be though to be complete myth. The critics missed the whole point of the movie. Its not about how accurate it is, its about being entertained and feeling good about yourself when you leave. Everyone I saw leaving the sold out theaters pumped and excited showed me how well this movie did to make people feel good in a world of a LOT of bad these days.
300 is a good movie. I like it. It is imperfect, but it is good in its own rights, and should be judged in light of its creation. It is a comic book adaption.

Tom Charity's article is a real expression of idiotism. Truely. His comments show his lack of understanding that this movie is based on a comic book. At the very least, 300 states this is adaptation of the comic book, much like Sin City. Why doesn't he critize that Sin City is nothing like Las Vegas. Or does he really think Las Vegas has flying Japanese female prostitutes/ninjas flying around? At the very least, 300 certainly did not pretend to be a historial document as Braveheart did, and Braveheart by all account is not more accurate than 300. Tom Charity also critizes the movie is out-of-step in a war-weary time. When did this become a requirement for a good movie anyway? So he would be more supportive of the same movie had it been released in 2002, when the public supported the Iraq War? Tom Charity is the only person who link the Iraq War to the movie. That is the problem he actually thinks we are that stupid. Historically, this war was fought long before the Iraq War, and Frank Miller published his comic version in 1998. I bet Tom did not even know any of this. Finally, if the movie is so "out-of-step" with the public opinion, I wonder why it is doing so well in the box office. I wonder who is watching it? Tom Charity is the only person who is "out-of-step" with the public opinion.
Phenomenally bad. To quote director Matthew Bright, "We're stupid, so our movies are stupid."
The cartoonish revamp of the battle of Thermopylae in "300" is an insult to the 300 warriors that actually did the fighting.
Yes, Sparta was a slave-based society, or maybe serfdom more accurately, but Tom Charity is completely off the mark here. 300 Sparatan did fight for the freedom of Spartans. Those slaves were not Spartans, were they? Sparatans do not considered their slaves as real Spartans. One thing, Tom Charity completely overlooked (intentionally perhapes) is that the 300 Spartans who fought are free. The Persian armies are largely constitute of slave soldiers -- which is historial accuray. So, the 300 Spartans did fight for their freedom, by definition.

By Tom' definition, we should never make a movie which speaks of the word "freedom" in the American revolution. We probably should burn the declaration of independence at the same time. Americans (or patriots) fought for their own freedom against the British rule while embracing black slavery at the same time. So, do you think we fought for freedom in the American Revolution? If so, how can we critize the Spartans? If not, how can we not understand the Spartans?
Speaking as someone that's done reviews for a publication, the biggest misconception people will have towards the critic is that we simply "don't get it." The constant barrage of, "if only you knew how to enjoy movies!" comments one would get after panning ANY film became laughable. After all, these were the same people that could not remember a positive review a week ago for a so-called "movie for normal people."

So why did I once refer to a broad-comedy film as "soul sucking?" Simple, I cared about people that took the time to read my column because they needed to make a decision about that month's entertainmnet. The majority of people do not go to movies in theaters that often - they will see films once or twice a month. If you cared enough to read my column back in the day, I felt that I owed it to you to be honest. My reviews contained phrases like "for what it was meant to be" when describing genre films. Like it or not, there's a way to do an action film, a way to do a broad comedy and a way to do a date film. Those that do those genres well deserve the accolades because there are far too many pretenders out there eager to churn out an 85-minute steaming pile of you-know-what because they know that a certain segment of the population will just show up to the theater.

Box office take does not mean a film is good or that the audience really enjoyed the film. In fact, I liken the Monday numbers to popularity. Not everyone that is popular is a quality individual (but when that happens, it's a great thing). When a studio knows that they can put Adam Sandler in a comedy and get 30 million the first weekend the main trick is to make the film for under 30 million. That's it. So while the most rabid Adam Sandler fan will hate to hear that their favorite actor's latest opus is a stinker, those that are picking between the 3 major comedies that month for their hard-earned deserve to know that one of them is not worth seeing.

As far as the 300 goes, I was mixed. I am a huge fan of Frank Miller's and was disappointed to see them add a subplot to the film that largely added nothing but the ability for actors to give overblown mologues. It was so obviously indulgent that the setup for the Queen's big one-liner from half an hour earlier was a bit of an apology.

The look will be something either loved or hated - Art Direction is very much like this. Keep in mind that Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow employed similar technology long before Sin City. The difference? Sky Captain did not have Frank Miller's story backing the visuals. That's why 300 and Sin City while not perfect films, are better than Sky Captain (even though the CGI renderers worked just as hard on both).
I'm not the normal target audience for movies like this. I'm white, female, 50+, and live in the liberal state of Maryland.

Guess what!!! I LOVED THIS MOVIE.

So there.
Haven't seen 300 yet, so I can't comment on the critics' opinions of it, but only in general.

I believe it was Ralph Richardson, the English actor, who said, "Always remember when you read the critics that these are people who failed at everything else."

The Academy-Award winning director, William Friedkin, put it a bit more fairly. He said, "If the critics and the audience like it, it's probably a good movie; if the audience likes it and the critics hate it, it's probably still a good movie; if the audience hates it and the critics love it, it's a piece of sh**."

And he's right. Critics are to art what a fish is to a bicycle. They exist for the sake of commerce only, i.e. to opine whether or not people should see the film. And it is opinion. There will be those critics that sniff that there is a difference between criticism and opinion, but we all know that criticism is merely opinion with footnotes. No critic has ever added to the fabric of motion pictures.

And, if that isn't enough, just remember that they think "Citizen Kane," the ultimate vanity project and a dated yawner is the greatest motion picture of all time - as if such a thing even existed.

In the last, the greatest movie you'll ever see is the one you don't want to end and the one you'll gladly get right back into line to see.
"300" is being panned by critics in large part because they feel it is too contrived, or too much a sword and sandal / blood and guts movie with little more to offer than thunder and rippling muscles. Audiences love this film because it is a myth told in the style of the great bards of old. We believe that Xerxes is 7 feet tall, and that anthropomorphic goats are citizens of his reign. The impossible becomes real, and archetypes walk with an aesthetic grace, beauty and power such as humanity has imagined for thousands of years.

"300" is a story about freedom, about dying for something you believe in, for an idea, for a leader, for a world and a way of life. All things we have lost in our own time.

We are a war weary nation bereft of an idyllic leader. A film about the archetypes of war for a real cause under the banner of a real leader, fighting for real freedom is much needed.

The critics are failing to see just how deeply important escapism has become to the survival of the American spirit.
Critics actually get a bad rap because most Americans haven't seem most truly great films like "Annie Hall" "Casablanca" or "Citizen Kane." They certainly haven't seen great foreign films.

Critics have seen the best and worst that the art form has to offer. Of course it will take more to impress them as a whole.

As a big fan of Woody Allen and Alfred Hitchcock, films by Micheal Bay seem pointless and sad. So I'm siding with the critics.
Most critics are so wrapped up in their own worlds that they do not have a clue what the average person likes and does not like. Sitting in a theater jammed full of people roaring in laughter watching Wild Hogs makes me seriously wonder where critics are coming from when they give a movie like this a bad rating. Also how can critics keep pushing a TV show likes Scrubs when it lacks likeable relatable characters and consistantly lacks viewers. I think the media needs to reassess their critics and stop hiring the highly intellectual young urban writers and find those that are more in touch with the reality of the world.
I go to the movies to be entertained. I don't care about critical reviews and if the movie follows some made up standards. If I'm familiar with the source material (like a book) then it becomes a little more important to me for the movie to have the feel and intent of the source. Sometimes I want mindless entertainment and sometimes something that is more complex and draws me into the twists and turns. It depends on my nature and the mood I'm in that day. With all the tragedy in the world today, I more and more want good comedy and "good" over "evil." That's why I like Wild Hogs, 300, Batman Begins, Hitch, etc.
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