The Brie Larson Experiment: Part VII

Posted: May 31, 2017 in Brie Larson Experiment, Uncategorized
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Movies Since Last Post:

Don’t Breathe
Starring Adam West
Tanner Hall
I Am Heath Ledger
Manchester by the Sea
Logan Noir
Ex Machina
Blade Runner: The Final Cut
Becoming Bond
The Meaning of Life

I’m going to give myself a pass for two of the above movies. I Am Heath Ledger was a pretty short documentary made by Spike TV, but since I never specified anything about how long these things have to be, I’m giving myself that one. I’m also giving myself a pass for Logan Noir, even though I had seen Logan already (twice), because the black-and-white version really does change the tone that much. So, if you want to dock me two movies, go right ahead, but I’m counting them.

But at pretty much the half-way point, and I’m at 65 movies. I actually had envisioned being a little farther ahead by this point, but honestly, even with all the streaming services available, movies aren’t as easy to come by as I thought. Well, good ones, anyway. There are 35,250 movies available to stream on Amazon that are free with my Prime membership, but really, how many could I actually sit through? 4 or 5%, maybe?

Speaking of Amazon, however, I did encounter something interesting that I wanted to touch upon here after viewing the Amazon original Manchester by the Sea. After viewing it, Amazon sent me their obligatory email asking me how I liked it (which they do with all my purchases. Even cat litter and toilet paper.) Even though I don’t always respond, this time I decided I wanted to voice my opinion. I do this with movies sometimes, especially if it’s a movie that a lot of people seem to like and I myself do not. It’s probably an actual mental illness.


Courtesy of Billy Eichner

In case you’re curious, you can read my review here, but the gist of it was that the movie was really not structured well because there was no real story arc. Spoiler warning here, (literally skip to the next paragraph if you care what happens) but the big moment at the end turns out to be Casey Affleck saying that he “Just can’t beat it.” He goes back to his shitty life and his now-adopted son or whatever lives with someone else. And neither of them are seemingly better off for it. I have no idea what the point of the movie was if the end result is nothing happens to either of the main characters.

After my one paragraph review had been up for a couple days, I got another email from Amazon saying people had reacted to it. One person said that it was an “insightful review,” which I wasn’t sure was sincere, and they also wrote that even though the movie was “overrated,” they liked it. No problem, there, right? The second person, though, said that I missed it, that it was a human story about healing, and “the love of his nephew was winning him over,” and so on. I didn’t see any love between them at all, because all they did was swear at each other, but okay, this person saw something different. They then said they agreed with me about the script and that it didn’t need that much swearing, and when will Hollywood get that you don’t need to use bad words to tell a story.

Now, I never said anything about the script being bad because there were a lot of F-bombs. I didn’t even notice them, in fact. And while we’re on the subject, I have something to say to you, Amazon reviewer:

larson free fire

Just kidding. I just needed to get Brie in here somewhere.

I replied to that person, thanking them for their response, and saying that it wasn’t the language that I didn’t like, but the structure. And I quote (myself): “Not every movie has to end with the Death Star exploding, but there should be something, some reason to make me go ‘Ah, now I see.'”

So I thought that was it, but then I got another response from a different person, saying that everything I thought was lacking in the movie, they found. They claimed that the movie was “subtle, and not suitably pop-zing enough apparently for the ADHD millennial crowd.” This I found completely hilarious, because I’m 41. Maybe I should take it as a compliment? They went on to say that the movie was “Not your typical Hollywood empty calorie fare. The very good stuff in life is often an acquired taste.”

Ok, I get that. But that’s two reviewers who used the term “Hollywood” in a negative light, indicating, I suppose, that Manchester by the Sea was not made by some big studio who is only out to make a buck. No, of course not. it was made by

All yucks aside, I wanted to bring all this up because I actually enjoyed this little back-and-forth (despite my disagreements with these people), and was kind of encouraged when I saw that 8 out of 11 people found my review helpful. I don’t know if that means they didn’t watch the movie or what, but in general, these conversations reminded me a little of my video store days, when a customer would ask for my opinion on what to rent. The owner of my store would always encourage his employees to engage the customers, feeling that’s what separated him from the Blockbusters of the world. I kind of hated it at the time, but looking back, I actually miss it. And he was totally right, because a person could wander around a Blockbuster for days looking for anything worth renting (similar to how I scroll through Amazon’s 35,250 crappy movies looking for one to watch these days.)

I’m sure if I kept writing reviews I would eventually encounter someone who disagrees so harshly that they would start a whole flame war, much like I would encounter video store customers who didn’t give a damn what movies I would recommend. But for those brief moments, and I guess for those 8 people who supposedly found my review helpful, I feel like I made a difference. I don’t know if I’ll be reviewing more, but who knows? I’ve also heard that if you write enough reviews, Amazon will start giving you free stuff. And God knows, I have a lot to say, and about six more months of movies to go.

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