With one view at mainstream critics, you’ll almost immediately see the difference between someone who knows the genre or has the knowledge to share versus someone who is just watching the content as an obligation. So, why rely on them?
The quality of entertainment produced by the West has declined, especially during the last 10 years. However, most mainstream critics will tell you that everything, especially popular IPs, is great. The decline has prompted global audiences to look for alternative entertainment and care less about what mainstream critics have to say.
Today we expect less from traditional entertainment, including mainstream critics and the way they review films. If they continue this way like they used to do in the past they will become irrelevant because today any random person can perform proper research online to obtain at least the basic information about the film which includes details about the plot and how it was made.
When a critic knows about the genre and is able to give an objective review that gives you both the pros and the cons, it is appreciated more than someone who doesn’t like the genre and reviews the movie unfavorably just because he doesn’t like the genre.
Critics have a difficult job because they should have knowledge about the different film genres to judge them. Sounds logical right? Even when they don’t, critics should research the topics and the people involved with the projects but most don’t and have no problem saying it. So what added value do they offer in addition to their own personal opinion?
Let’s take the science fiction genre, for example, it is a popular and difficult genre to review because there are so many sub-genres and styles of filmmaking. There are critics that have their Sci-Fi knowledge limited to Star Wars and Star Trek and don’t see anything beyond that. Or you have the group that has absolutely no clue about science fiction or simply doesn’t like the genre. It would be okay if we were talking about regular people who have the right to like whatever they want but we’re not.
As a mainstream critic, if you happen to enjoy the movie that is a bonus but even if you didn’t you should be able to follow the story and give an objective view of the story. Mainstream critics should be able to give an honest judgment but many have their own agenda. They should have rules that forbid them from accepting money, sponsorship, or access in exchange for their supportive opinion.
Therefore, it is better to make your own judgment. Especially when there is no added value when the professionals criticizing the film don’t even take the effort to know who is in the film or even appreciate how the film was made. At this point, you are better off hearing the opinions of your peers. Even then you should still do your own research based on what the general audience says not the mainstream magazines. It’s so easy to do with social media these days.
If it is a genre that you are unfamiliar with, seeing it with an open mind and low expectations, regardless of the premise or actors in the film, is very helpful. This approach helped me enjoy movies I didn’t expect to enjoy as much as I did. In the end, the power that mainstream critics had on defining the success or failure of a film or series with their options has been lost.
One of the benefits we, the global audience, are enjoying today is the benefit of having online access to foreign entertainment through streaming platforms. Anyone with internet can review anything they want and all information is available online. It does take some work to find the correct information but it is totally worth it when you find something new. It may be an old foreign film that you never heard about or a new series that went under the radar.
Unfortunately the pandemic show that there is a large group of people who can’t think for themselves and like to be told what to do. Just the thought of taking care of your health by exercising, taking vitamins and supplements was a weird thing to do.
Moreover gyms were closed while fast-food restaurants remained opened. Even though it is general knowledge how unhealthy fast-food is. It is incomprehensible how it was promoted to be consumed during a time where the immune system should have been strengthened not weakened. It has been disappointing to see how ignorance was taking advantage of.
We are in an age where we are able to look for information ourselves and we used to learn a thing called critical thinking. Even though they had the time the look for information during the pandemic, many still relied on others to do the work for them and tell them what to do. Many governments and corporations took advantage of that and instilled fear in people and forced a medication on everyone when it should have been taken on a case by case basis with medical monitoring if needed.
As time passes the truth is coming into light and it opened the eyes of many on how their rights were trampled on, in particular privacy rights regarding medical information. Most of us are individuals raised with a set of morals and principles. each person has their own set of life experiences that influences the decisions taken.
We are all unique individuals that experience things differently. If this is true, then why do we rely on the opinion of a collective to evaluate entertainment not based on professionalism, knowledge of cinema or the themes and topics involved but based on their own personal biases, sponsorships, and access received. The general viewer doe s better job that the mainstream reviewer. In the end, be brave and take your own decisions.
Be open to understanding the culture and be respectful when criticizing the content. Sometimes cultural differences, ignorance, and our own biases prevent us from sincerely enjoying foreign content. Be open to appreciating the effort to make the content.
In some countries, filmmakers make financial sacrifices, risk their lives to do stunts, and sometimes must endure character assassination or mockery by their mainstream media. When the theme of the movie is sensitive, filmmakers, actors, and crew must even stand against politicians and civilian groups that will protest at the theaters before the film’s release. These protests sometimes turn violent with the unnecessary destruction of property.
In the West, people idolize Tom Cruize because he does his own stunts. You’ll be surprised how many men and women are doing their own stunts in foreign cinema. Despite all the challenges and obstacles what keeps them standing tall with the urge to make more cinema? The support of the fans.
Try unconventional platforms other than Amazon Prime and Netflix such as PLex, Apple TV, Zee5, or Viki. I would have mentioned Tubi TV and Pluto TV, but those are U.S. targeted and geographically restricted. Peacock is also not available in all territories, only in the U.S., U.K. & Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy. Take a few hours from watching reruns and browsing through the new titles or check new stuff on IMDb. You may discover something new for you to enjoy.
There is sufficient alternative content to keep us entertained. Mainstream critics can still give their opinions, but it won’t influence the audience from watching the content they want to watch, and it is great to see. Keep looking out for alternative entertainment.
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