Saturday, January 22, 2011

Critique of the Critics

Movies. What would we do without them? They give us an escape from reality. They are an opportunity to spend two hours in someone else's story. They're an excellent excuse to blow eight dollars. Let's be honest--who doesn't enjoy them? Infants, obviously, but there is a small portion of the population who you'd think would be avid fans. False. These people I refer to are movie critics and they don't like movies.
A movie relies heavily on reviews for publicity and credibility. Consumers use reviews as well, as a means of deciding which movies are worth seeing. I am no different and frequently visit sites such as to see which movies people seem to like. This particular website literally has every review from every critic for every movie. When I first discovered the site I followed it religiously. If a movie had a fresh rating it was automatically good, rotten meant it was bad. Eventually I started to notice that some of the movies with good ratings weren't actually that good, and a lot of the movies with bad ratings were really great. It doesn't make sense. You'd think that with countless opinions the consensus would match up with the typical American's opinion. Not even close. Thanks to the audience meter which takes normal viewers' opinions you can see that the opinions rarely match up. Why is there such a big gap?
The answer is: critics are just that. Critical. Their job is to look at movies from an objective position. They judge a movie from an unemotional, uninvolved standpoint. By doing this they make their opinion appeal to everyone because in theory it's factual. In the end, it just appears that critics never actually like movies.
While it's important to have an opinion that's broad enough to include everyone's point of view there's another important factor. Every movie is different--at least most of them--No one goes to Madagascar expecting to be intellectually challenged like they were when they saw Inception. It's important to take the right attitude. There are many critics who will make disclaimers such as: "It's the typical romantic comedy so you know where the bar will be set, but if you're judging by that standard it's an alright film". If you're going to a romantic-comedy that's what's expected. Judge on the Romantic-Comedy rubric. But critics generally don't follow that idea. That's OK though. If you want to analyze Beverly Hills Chihuahua on the same scale as Avatar be my guest.
The one kind of movie critics do like are the ones fewer people enjoy. It's like they always have to disagree with the common consensus. It seems that the only movies critics do like are the weird indie films from the Sundance Film Festival. Those are the ones that significantly more critics than average people enjoy. Go figure.
The moral of this story is: if you want an opinion on a movie, get someone's who doesn't write critical reviews for a living. If their livelihood doesn't depend on hating 98% of all films ever made you're much more likely to get a accurate opinion. And, if worst comes to worst, it's only eight dollars.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Best Show on Television

Over my nineteen years of life I have come to realize one truth: American citizens never seem to tire of watching people slip, fall, trip, or get hit in the face-or elsewhere. (America's Funniest Home Videos has 22 seasons to prove this). There have been a handful of shows over the past several years which have tried to cash in on this fact. Wipeout is one such show which has not only tried to, but has very successfully captured the hearts, minds, and funny bones of America (not to mention an hour of their time each week).

This is the very first episode of Wipeout I saw. Needless to say I was hooked immediately. It's impossible to name my favorite part of the show. Is it fair to say everything? So great is my love for this show that I am planning to try out for this show. As many times as it takes to get on. I don't even need to be in the running for $50,000. I would pay them just to have a chance to go on the obstacle course, but i'm pretty sure that's not allowed. I looked it up. But, while doing research I learned that all you have to do is go to Burbank, California in June and try out. Since I learned this it's become part of my five year plan to go to Burbank with my cousin, after we graduate, and get on the show. Anyone who wants to accompany us is more than welcome.

Friday, January 14, 2011

We R Who We R...I guess

What do T-Pain, Owl City, the Bed Intruder Song, Rihanna, and Auto-tune the News have in common?
-Auto-tune obviously.
T-Pain is mildly annoying, Owl City is overplayed, and Rihanna is more overplayed than Owl City. Auto-tune the News and the Bed Intruder Song are both hilarious. So obviously it's doesn't have to be a given that anything with auto-tune will be 100% awful. But sometimes there are songs with auto-tune that are completely disastrous. As are the people who sing said songs.
There is one person who not only utilizes but relies solely on auto-tune. This person's name is Kesha. I know it's really supposed to be Ke$ha but I think that's stupid, so Kesha it is. The worst part about it is that her songs are insanely catchy and a lot of people (me included) probably sing along wen no one is around. You could call it a guilty pleasure. But as with most guilty pleasures you wish they didn't exist because you would be fine-if not better off-without them. The reasons I hate Kesha are probably limitless but I'll narrow it down to three. Most are on her physical appearance which might seem petty, but since I don't personally know her it's all I can comment on.
1. Her choice of wardrobe is always ridiculous. She has described her style as Pirate-Chic, but I feel a little differently about it.
If she means pirate in the been-on-the-high-seas-for-months-at-a-time-without-a-brush-or-shower sense then I can see where she's coming from. But then where did "chic" part come from? Just sayin'. (and yes that 'dress' is made of a garbage bag. No joke.)

2. While hair and makeup might fall under the wardrobe category I chose to give it a separate bullet point. On the red carpet Kesha has said she generally does her own hair and makeup. While it's perfectly reasonable to not want to fit into the Hollywood definition of beautiful, don't you actually want to look...beautiful? Even if it's in your own way. I feel like sequined eyebrows, massive amounts of eyeliner, silver lipstick, ratty fohawks, and glitter EVERYWHERE doesn't really show off your beauty. Maybe she could pull off one of those at a time (even the fohawk if it looked less gross). But all at once it makes her look like...a drag queen. Is that mean to say?

3. While it's impossible to keep your foot from tapping while one of her songs is playing, once you've heard it five million times on the radio you realize that 1. She doesn't sing, 2. the lyrics are any combination of weird, trashy, gross, and/or stupid. Who wants to date someone who looks like Mick Jagger anyway? 3. She doesn't sing. I realize that's been mentioned twice. But that's how much of an issue it is for me.

I realize I shouldn't bash on her so much. And I should probably find positive things to say about people. So I will say this-I've never seen a garbage bag made into a dress. Kudos for being resourceful.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Recession is Affecting Everyone

The housing market was among the industries that were hit very hardest in the recession that has recently affected our country. After the market tanked there were numerous construction companies which either quit their projects and/or went out of business--or just about.
From the other end of housing were those trying the sell houses. In case anyone had been waiting to see if house prices were going to go up anymore before selling--they should have sold because prices plummeted. Prices dropped by thirty percent all over the country. A home that would have fetched $265,000 in 2007 would only get $180,000 one year later.
There was one section of the consumers who actually prospered due to the bursting of the housing bubble. The buyers. There were countless opportunities to buy partly finished homes at dirt cheap prices, or homes that had been foreclosed on. A home that someone never would have been able to afford was much more attainable.
One such high profile "home" that suffered from the recession was none other than the White House.
In 2007 the White House was worth $332 million. This house has 16 bedrooms, 35 bathrooms, two dozen fireplaces, a tennis court and a bowling alley. You'd think that a house with that many perks would keep it's value. But the value of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has dropped down to a mere $252 million. I feel like the White house would be one of those "priceless" type of dwellings. Especially given the unlimited appeal that it has due to it's history and importance.
Since no one has ever, could ever, or will ever even try to buy the White House why is there a need to appraise it anyway? This leads to a bigger question. Even if there is some reason that such a historic building should be given a value why is it put on the news, much less the Yahoo home page? Probably to make it seem like the president's home life suffers from fluctuations in the economy as well.

Which it doesn't.