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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Are you an opinion-maker among your friends when it comes to movies?

It’s Friday, which means new movies opening — lots of new movies, if you’re in New York or Los Angeles, more than even a dedicated film critic like me could ever see. But most people won’t go to the movies this weekend: most people, if they ever see anything new opening today, will wait for DVD or premium cable… but most people also have a friend who’s “crazy about movies” or who “knows everything about movies” or “see everything” whom they turn to for advice about what’s worth seeing.

Are you an opinion-maker among your friends when it comes to movies? Are you the one they turn to for advice on what to see? If you are, how to feel about that? Do you enjoy sharing your perspectives on films? Do you wish everybody else would do their own homework?

You can probably guess my answer to that question: If I ever stop talking about movies, it’ll be because I’m dead. Unless I can manage to be a head in a jar à la Futurama — then I’ll keep talking about movies even after I’m dead.

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me.)



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  • Martin

    It only bugs me when they don’t listen.

  • I follow the entertainment industry a lot closer than most of my friends because it fascinates me. I read reviews and watch the news of films in production so I often know something about films before they are even released.

    For films I am excited about (or films my friends may be excited about) I can often give them a head-up about what the ‘buzz’ is about a film or even some relatively informed opinions about what to expect.

    Usually my advance knowledge has been useful but I have been totally wrong, too.

  • markyd

    I’m extremely opinionated on everything, so naturally that carries over to movies. Unfortunately, I only get to the theater once every 2-3 months, so I am unable to share my opinion on all the new releases.
    Most people know about my love of movies, though, and will ask for advice on occasion.
    Then there are the times when I overhear a fellow employee talking about a movie they saw. I just HAVE to get into the conversation. Like last week, when a guy I work with was talking about watching Shaggy Dog. Now, I haven’t seen it, but I KNOW that it’s crap. I made fun of him for liking a crap movie and will bring it up for laughs in the future.

  • Mimi

    Not really, but if I see a movie I love, I evangelize.

  • Jan Willem

    I’ve got a lot of movie-savvy friends, so there’s a healthy back and forth. Lately I’ve been bugging everybody to watch Nina Paley’s hilarious Flash animated 82 minute feature Sita Sings the Blues, based on an Indian Hindu epic and featuring songs sung by obscure 1920s blues/jazz singer Annette Hanshaw.

  • e

    I am by far the only one who really keeps track of more than major major releases, and they come to me to ask. But in the end, they’re very very specific in what they like, so my opinion means little. Most of them like to check the review aggregating sites, and base a rental off of that.

  • hdj

    If I say its a great movie, the years must see movie ,they wont see it. If I spend alot of time ranting how much it sucked, thats the one they see.
    So now I dont care I literally just agree with everyone, and inside I make my own opinions. I’ve trained my self to say to my friends ” I knew that was gunna suck” till after the movie.

  • Well, I have a reputation with my siblings–and had one with my late father–for being “the one who knows all about movies.”

    But I wouldn’t call myself an opinion-maker.

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