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March 31, 2015 10:39 pm  #1


Entertainment movies vs Good movies

This is just my personal opinion, but would be interested to hear if you guys have any thoughts on the matter.

I divide movies into (at lest) two broad categories: There are entertainment movies, then there are good movies. Now, let me explain. 

The one supplier of entertainment movies is Hollywood. Hollywood is about number one when it comes to high-quality production and entertainment. Very few can reach the production level of Hollywood. They produce comedy, horror, sci-fi, comedy, romance, action and a bunch of other categories in very high quality, and it's very entertaining. 

To me, personally, the best in this class is the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. This is of course very subjective, but to me, when it comes to entertainment movies, no one has been able to reach the level of quality in every single dept as LoTR has. I love it to death, and the amount of work that has been put into every single dept of these movies is nothing short of astounding.

Then we have the Good movies. To me, they are a very different breed. Good movies strive to do more than entertain. Good movies leave you thinking. Now, I used to believe that movies like LotR could do just that - until I saw Tokyo Story. To this day, Tokyo Story remains the first Good Movie I ever saw. It blew my mind, because I never knew a movie could make such an impact on such a profound level as this. I remember after seeing it for the first time, my hair was metaphoricallly blown back and I remember thinking: "So THIS is what a Good Movie looks like!"

To me, entertainment movies are about melodrama. Good movies are the ones that make you have a very good and very satisfying intellectual discussion afterwards. It reaches something deeper than melodrama.

However, that doesn't mean that entertainment movies are "bad". You will never find production quality any higher than you will in Hollywood. And there is nothing wrong with being entertained. To me, they just serve two different functions.

What are your thoughts about this?

Last edited by Vhanja (March 31, 2015 10:43 pm)


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April 1, 2015 6:59 am  #2


Re: Entertainment movies vs Good movies

My thoughts are that I'm not really thinking in such categories. I understand what you're saying, but in my experience what you call "entertainment movies" can also make you think and what you're calling "good movies" can (and to be honest: should) also be entertaining.
The main difference between your two categories seems to be: money. Hollywood spends a shitload of money on their movies, often this shows, often it doesn't. "Important" movies very often are made with only a small budget, so the story is more important than the visuals, not even to mention SFX.
Of course the distinction you are talking about indeed is also made by people in the business. Just look at the movie theatres: In Germany you very often know what to expect when you go to a certain movie theatre. Some mostly show "entertainment movies", others almost exclusively show "good movies". Still, I'm not happy with such a stern distinction.
 

Last edited by SolarSystem (April 1, 2015 7:00 am)


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April 2, 2015 6:29 am  #3


Re: Entertainment movies vs Good movies

One of my favourite movies of all times is "Big Fish". It left me thinking about life and truth and fantasy and the relationship between parents and children even though it did not evoke any intelectual discussion. I would still call it a good movie because it has a certain depth and a high cinematographic level. Most people would not call it an entertaining movie, I think. But for meit fits into both categories you define.

What I am trying to say is that your system does not work for me. But I get the idea. I also divide movies into categories. Now that I am writing about it, I realise the difference between your system and mine. To me, a "good movie" is one that touches me emotionally, not intelectually.

What you call "entertaining movies" I call "popcorn movies". I would say that Jurassic Park fits in here, or Peter Jackson's King Kong, or Inception. I love watching them. They are fine pieces of film making, but they don't have an emotional impact on me.

(Well see, there's the problem again. Inception left me with an emotionally impact,but not as deep as other films.)

Big Fish on the other hand, or Juno, are films that touch me deep inside.


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April 2, 2015 7:18 am  #4


Re: Entertainment movies vs Good movies

Maybe to Vhanja there is a difference between "entertainment movies" and "entertaining movies"...?
Because let's face it, every film-maker wants to make a movie that entertains the audience, don't you think? Of course there are different nuances to what is entertaining (apart from the fact that everyone has a slightly different idea of what he/she finds entertaining). But no film-maker wants to bore his audience, no matter how 'important' or 'intellectually challenging' his movie is supposed to be.

Schmiezi, since you mentioned "Inception": This is definitely one of my favourite movies ever. When I left the cinema afterwards - it was late in the evening and dark outside - I suddenly had goosebumps all over because there was the weird idea of: Hey, what is even real? Is this real? Does this feel real? I heard my boyfriend and another friend talk about the movie next to me, but it all felt totally surreal for just a moment there. That's the impact this movie had on me. It made me think about what reality even means and whether or not we can always trust our senses. At the same time this movie is highly entertaining, I have no idea how many times I've watched it again since then. And I would probably call it an "entertainment movie", because even though I have no idea about the film's budget I would assume it cost quite a bit. All those SFX...
So, entertainment, entertaining, with an emotional and an intellectual impact. The total package.


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April 2, 2015 7:27 am  #5


Re: Entertainment movies vs Good movies

This topic reminds me a bit of the traditional categorisation of literature in Germany: E literature (ernst = serious) and U literature (unterhaltend = entertaining). The problem is that both often seem to exclude each other. Serious literature cannot/must not be entertaining and entertaining literature cannot/must not deal with serious issues. I have always regarded this as an impediment to enjoying literature as such. Therefore I would as far possible avoid such categories. Of course there are films that are purely meant to be watched and forgotten soon after and others that are so very intellectual and difficult that they reach only a small group of viewers, but in general I think films (and books) should be somewhere between these extremes. They should entertain and give food for thought at the same time. 


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April 2, 2015 8:06 am  #6


Re: Entertainment movies vs Good movies

Popcorn movie might be a better name for that category. It's not that good movies can't entertain, but that popcorn/entertainment movies are made to first and foremost entertain. They can deal with serious issues, but often does so in a superficial way, and are usually also melodramatic.

Good movies can of course also be entertaining, but they are made to do more than just give you quick and simple entertainment. 

And, of course, there are some movies that land more or less in the middle of this. It's not waterproof categories, but personally I believe the great majority of Hollywood movies fall into the popcorn category.


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April 2, 2015 8:15 am  #7


Re: Entertainment movies vs Good movies

Could you give some examples for the different categories?


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"To fake the death of one sibling may be regarded as a misfortune; to fake the death of both looks like carelessness." Oscar Wilde about Mycroft Holmes

"It is what it is says love." (Erich Fried)

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I’m also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Benedict Cumberbatch)

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April 2, 2015 8:23 am  #8


Re: Entertainment movies vs Good movies

So does this influence in any way how you decide which movies you'd like to watch, Vhanja?

My decision most of the time is based on the subject-matter of the film, on who directed it and/or who stars in it and sometimes also on the genre. And sometimes it can be very tricky. For example, I usually don't like the western genre very much, but when the Coens did "True Grit" I couldn't wait to see it.
 

Last edited by SolarSystem (April 2, 2015 8:23 am)


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April 2, 2015 8:57 am  #9


Re: Entertainment movies vs Good movies

I have to admit that I used to prefer films in the past that didn't make me think too  much. I was satisfied with "superficial" entertainment. Only a few films I watched, most times more or less "by accident" really touched my heart or made me think. Guess who changed that. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png

That's true. Shame on me.
It's funny how Benedict changed my point of view. Now I also discover depth in films I've seen before without noticing any emotinal relationships. Do you know what I mean?

P.S.: Nevertheless it all is a matter of taste and point of view. One example: In December I watched a German film called "Honig im Kopf", a story about a man in his sixties suffering from Alzheimer's. He did a lot of funny things and the whole audience at the cinema was laughing. For them it certainly was a popcorn movie. But for me ... the film made me really sad and touched me.
It's difficult to place films in categories.

Last edited by gently69 (April 2, 2015 9:14 am)


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April 2, 2015 9:03 am  #10


Re: Entertainment movies vs Good movies

gently, I don't think that's a shame at all. I think it's wonderful that actors, writers, musicians, artists have the capability to touch people's hearts and/or minds and thereby open up a whole new universe for those people. For example it's wonderful that because they are a fan of Benedict, some people are suddenly interested in theatre, Shakespeare, mathematics... you name it.
(I posted this before I read your edit.) 

Last edited by SolarSystem (April 2, 2015 9:04 am)


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"I see no shame in having an unhealthy obsession with something." - David Tennant
"We did observe." - David Tennant in "Richard II"

 
 

April 2, 2015 9:05 am  #11


Re: Entertainment movies vs Good movies

What influences what I would like to watch varies. A lot of times I decide upon a movie based on the actor(s) in it. Sometimes a story interest me. Sometimes I just want to sit back and be entertained, sometimes I want something more. It varies.

Examples will always be subjective, but here are some from me:

Popcorn movies
LotR
The Hobbit
Titanic
The Imitation Game
Star Trek


Good movies:
Maborosi
Tokyo Story (most of the modern Japan movies from Ozu)
The Tree of Life
Solaris (Original Russian movie)
Melancholia


Movies inbetween categories (entertainment movies that also has elements of being good):
Hero 
Sunset Boulevard
Casablanca
The Matrix (debatable)
Blade Runner

Come to think of it, I'm not too happy with either of my category names. Good movies imply that popcorn movies can't be good. But of course they can - you will probably never find movies with higher production quality than Hollywood. They can have brilliant acting, good score, good script and be overall of a very high quality.

But the "Good movies" category is something else for me. It goes beyond the script formula of Hollywood. (In Hollywood, you have genres that usually follows a set pattern and tropes. So if you've seen a few movies of a genre, you can often predict a lot of what will happen in other movies of the same genre). The movies are often easily accessible, play on melodrama, and there isn't much to get from the movie beyond the surface.

I know I probably sound negative and arrogant towards popcorn movie, that isn't my intention. I love a lot of them myself. I cry and cheer when I watch LotR, I love them to pieces. But they are still popcorn movies.



 


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April 2, 2015 9:12 am  #12


Re: Entertainment movies vs Good movies

The Imitation Game? Popcorn movie? Wow ... that's strange.

So I understand something different about a "popcorn movie". For me those are films I can eat popcorn with because they don't "challange" me.

Last edited by gently69 (April 2, 2015 9:18 am)


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Sherlock: "I heard you.”

"Temptation coursing through our veins " 
(Tony Hadley)

 
 

April 2, 2015 9:21 am  #13


Re: Entertainment movies vs Good movies

I knew I would probably get reactions from putting that movie up there, but yeah, I think it's a popcorn movie. A really good popcorn movie (that's why I don't like the name of my category, "good" is not a fitting word for what I mean). 

TIG is a story-driven movie, streamlining the story to fit a movie formula, it has melodrama and is easily accessible. That does NOT mean the movie is stupid, bad or anything of the sort. But the movies I talk about for the other category are very differen. They don't follow the set formula of modern movies, they are usually not that story-driven, they often avoid melodrama by not "forcing" or "manipulating" you to feel what the director wants you to feel through close-ups and an emotional score.

 


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April 2, 2015 9:24 am  #14


Re: Entertainment movies vs Good movies

I guess the popcorn movie category might be the 'easiest', most people would probably agree which movies belong in that category and which don't. "The Imitation Game" definitely isn't a popcorn movie for me, faaaaaaar from it. Considering that I would place movies like "The Fast and the Furious" and "Independance Day" (just random examples) in that category, I'd never be able to put TIG in a category with such films.
But here you go: even popcorn movies aren't just popcorn movies... there are good ones and bad ones. Which has nothing to do with the category. 


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"I see no shame in having an unhealthy obsession with something." - David Tennant
"We did observe." - David Tennant in "Richard II"

 
 

April 2, 2015 9:33 am  #15


Re: Entertainment movies vs Good movies

I agree. There are good and bad popcorn movies. The movies you listed are action movies. TIG is... historical drama? So a different genre, but to me still the same category. 

I would've agreed with how you view it a few years ago. My views on movies changed after I saw Tokyo Story for the first time. I remember the movie left me with my hair metaphorically blown backwards and I was thinking: "So that's what a good movie is!" It was just a whole different category or ball game than anything else I'd previously seen, and it completely changed my view on what I think are good movies.

But again.... bad choice of wording. Because TIG is a good movie. It's just not a Good Movie. I wish I had some better words to use for the categories. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/tongue.png


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April 2, 2015 9:35 am  #16


Re: Entertainment movies vs Good movies

I guess TIG made some people choke on their popcorn, though?


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April 2, 2015 9:38 am  #17


Re: Entertainment movies vs Good movies

Harriet, that could be. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png


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Sherlock: "I heard you.”

"Temptation coursing through our veins " 
(Tony Hadley)

 
 

April 2, 2015 9:40 am  #18


Re: Entertainment movies vs Good movies

Harriet wrote:

I guess TIG made some people choke on their popcorn, though?

Could be, although I'm not sure why they would?


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April 2, 2015 9:43 am  #19


Re: Entertainment movies vs Good movies

But now you're talking about genres and not categories. Action and historical are genres. Of course you can even have a film which sort of has both, action and history (we watched Oliver Stone's "Alexander" last week, I didn't expect anything but it actually was pretty interesting and had both, action and history), very often genres get blurred and you rarely have a film which belongs to only one genre.

Still, I just think that your way of categorizing films is not for me.  


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"I see no shame in having an unhealthy obsession with something." - David Tennant
"We did observe." - David Tennant in "Richard II"

 
 

April 2, 2015 9:43 am  #20


Re: Entertainment movies vs Good movies

Well, I was not in popcorn mood when watching the film. All five times. 


------------------------------
"To fake the death of one sibling may be regarded as a misfortune; to fake the death of both looks like carelessness." Oscar Wilde about Mycroft Holmes

"It is what it is says love." (Erich Fried)

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I’m also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Benedict Cumberbatch)

http://up.picr.de/28609194so.png

 
 

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