While trying to find out what this site should be we tossed around the idea of movie reviews. Now of course this is a tough question because every film site has movie reviews so you would think it would be natural to have them. Then again, EVERY FILM SITE HAS MOVIE REVIEWS. Why would we need to put something on here that you could find anywhere else? This lead to the next question, Why do we read movie reviews at all?
Why exactly do you need someone to tell you whether or not you are going to enjoy a film? You have no idea who these people are who are telling you what to watch, yet you are basing your opinions on theirs. Even listening to a site that has a collection of reviewers (like rotten tomatoes which is a scale of hundreds of critics) can lead you astray on occasion. Two of my personal favorite movies include Wristcutters: A love Story and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. If I watched movies based solely on what critics told me to watch odds are I would have never found these or many other hidden gems in movie history. That is merely my opinion as a fan of film though. When you watch films for pleasure it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, your experience with that film is you own, it was made for that reason. But as a filmmaker you have a completely different responsibility when it comes to reviews (like it or not).
The film industry (just as any other artistic industry) is run by popular opinion. What interests most people is what is going to make the most money and therefore be acknowledged as superior. You might say that The Academy and Sundance fight this model but I would say that they are also just supporting the most popular choice within their communities interests. This is why both the major studios and independent films follow certain trends. So if you are making a film you are in the business of pleasing people. Whether you aspire to be a big budget hollywood director, or you just enjoy editing short films for entry into film festivals, you need to know what people enjoy. You can’t make a short zombie film without knowing why people love zombie movies. So as it turns out reviews are absolutely crucial to filmmakers. They are a guide to what people want to see from you. They can help you make smarter decisions for your films and learn more about what people want. Just try not to listen to them the next time one tells you your favorite movie stunk. The filmmaker probably values your opinion more than the critics anyways.