Story: Until this winter I maintained a regular and much-appreciated (by its limited readership) blog where I reviewed films. You know this. You’re on this blog now. But somewhere this winter, in the middle of the so-called ‘award season’ I stopped.
This wasn’t a conscious decision. I was just ridiculously busy with other things: finishing my PhD, my teaching duties, directing a play, doing some contract research on the side… I was happy whenever I had the time to watch a movie; let alone review it.
But when things settled down in the course of April, I didn’t go back. I still watched movies – I’ve probably seen as many films this year as last year or the year before. But I stopped writing about them. And I’ve been wondering why. Was it me? Was it the movies?
Well, the movies had certainly something to do with it. This is a piss-shit bad year for popular cinema. (Almost) all the movies I used to look forward to disappointed. Iron Man 3 was not bad. Man of Steel was more Snyder than Nolan. World War Z was uneven. Strak Trek Into Darkness was just more of the same. Fast & Furious 6 was just no fun. Many films were an insult to their audience. You expect that from GI Joe Retaliation, but not from the star studded Now You See Me, the equally star studded RED 2 or any movie directed by Bryan Singer (Jack the Giant Slayer).
On the other hand… Despicable Me 2 was a delight. Pacific Rim was surprisingly enjoyable. Stoker was brilliant, as was The Master… There will always be more bad films than good ones. But why couldn’t I be bothered writing about them anymore? Did I stop having opinions? I used to be able to have opinions about even the most middle-of-the-road average fair.
The epiphany came last week during RED 2. The final trick with which Bruce Willis kills the bad guy was just so textbook, so standard, so expected. Such a blatant ripoff of Casino Royale, The Dark Knight Rises and a dozen other recent movies… I saw it coming. As I saw anything coming. Any slightly commercially ambitious film can be plotted out entirely after you’ve seen the first twenty minutes. Well, I can plot them out after twenty minutes.
So it’s not the movies. It’s me. I’ve seen too much. I have become numbed. I still enjoy the cinema going process and I love being surprised by an actually interesting film. But the cumulated mass of everything else has just made me senseless and opinion-less. Coming out of RED 2 I wasn’t even angry. Or at least not as angry as I used to be. About the most movies I see – even the bad ones – I have nothing left to say.
So this is it. This is the official goodbye, for now at least. I won’t stop writing. I’ll find me another subject. Or maybe, in time, I’ll return to movies. For now I want to thank you all for reading, for commenting, replying and discussing. I’ll keep this site online as a little archive of three years mostly well spent.
It was my pleasure reviewing movies for you.
All the best, Jasper
PS I saw The Lone Ranger yesterday, I won’t review it, but it is quite enjoyable and I can recommend it.