The Hard Decisions That a Pop Culture Writer Needs to Make

A doctor needs to make choices that will determine the future health of her patients.  A police officer needs to make choices that will affect a society's safety.  A teacher makes decisions that have repercussions on how a child learns.   

But I have decisions too.

This weekend, I needed to decide if I was going to see a movie or not.

My choice may not be as monumental, but that is why I never went to school to be a doctor. 

As you know, I get paid to review films.  It is a tough and arduous task but someone needs to do it.  This weekend was the premiere of Trouble with the Curve.  It was Clint Eastwood's first starring role since Gran Torino, and a really long time since he starred in a film that he didn't direct.  So, there was a lot of buzz for this film, and some were thinking it had an outside chance to get an Oscar nomination for best picture.  I was interested in seeing it, because as a pop culture writer, I wanted to try to see all the best film nominations this year.  It would have at least allowed me to make far more educated guesses for Oscar winners than what I attempted to do with the Emmys.

It was also a totally different film than any of the types I reviewed this summer.  I got some pretty good experience reviewing films these past few months, but they've also all been large, Hollywood blockbuster action type films.  I wanted to try to challenge myself by reviewing something far more dramatic, and the quality not judged by how many cars explode.  It had the added bonus of being a potential Oscar nomination, which made the film even more appetizing.

I try to avoid reading reviews before I see a film.  I don't want to be influenced by other critics before writing down my own thoughts.  I want to keep my thoughts as honest as possible.  But somehow I ended up finding out about the early reviews of Trouble with the Curve, and they weren't very good.  Suddenly, it looked like the Oscar hopes had been smashed apart, and I was far less interested in seeing this film.

Then I realized Dredd 3D premiered this weekend.  A film that I had absolute no interest in, and would never bother to pay to see if I wasn't a reviewer.  I was slightly interested to try to review it because it was rated R.  Last week, I wrote an article lamenting the downfall of R rated action films, and so I thought a review of a modern R rated action film would be a cool follow up.  It would allow me to discover if R rated action films of today are able to stand up to those I have fond memories of.

Well, I couldn't get past my apathy for the film.  I used to collect the comics for a short time, but there is a reason it was short.  The Judge Dredd character is a very black and white character.  I've never been interested in those type of characters.  I like my characters who are deep and have several layers.  The film I'm sure would have lots of wonderful blood and guts, but I also was pretty sure I'd never be able to actually care about Judge Dredd. 

In the end, I looked at the schedule over the next few months, and realized there was a lot of interesting films that I wanted to review.  I thought that since I had so many films lined up, it was probably for the best to pass on a week that I'm leaning towards ambivalence. 

The thing is that I'm not officially the film reviewer for Collective Publishing Company.  I am the pop culture writer who occasionally reviews films.  I ended up reviewing a lot over the summer, and I will likely review a decent amount during the "Oscar season."  My official deal with Collective Publishing is that I cover all aspect of pop culture, and review major films or events when they come along.  I like films enough that I know there is a good chance I could turn myself into the site's film critic.  Maybe one day I will officially be a film critic for a magazine or site.  This isn't what I am for Collective Publishing, and it isn't what I want to become.  I like the challenge of trying to properly critique a film I just watched, but I also like writing about other parts of pop culture while trying to make it entertaining for a broad audience.  I feel that I haven't necessarily explored all aspect of popular culture on the site, because I've written so many film reviews.  For example, I still haven't really written anything about music.

I decided to leave those films alone this weekend.  In the case of Dredd 3D, it seems like most of the film goers followed my lead.  I definitely love reviewing films.  I am going to try to take on several different genres.  I also want to try to write about a variety of things in pop culture for Collective Publishing, because that is the agreement we made.  I also like the challenge of trying to come up with different topics, and not always defaulting to going to see a movie in order to get an article written.

These are the kind of things that I let bounce around my mind on a weekend.  A bad decision won't lead to the world exploding or anything, but then again, how would I watch films without a world?