Bitch about it

In ‘Bitch about it,’ I want to hear what you have to say! Especially since I usually don’t have a clue.

It’s painfully clear that I will not be able to watch all the movies there are.  That kind of sucks.  Even if I could just watch movies all day, every day, it’s impossible.  So the question comes to all of us, what  movies do you watch with the limited amount of time you have to watch them?  I’m asking all of you, readers of Bitchin’ Film Reviews:

WHAT IS YOUR MOST RELIABLE SOURCE OF MOVIE RECOMMENDATIONS, AND HOW DID IT EARN THAT STATUS?

I found very early on that my movie tastes aligned quite well with Peter Travers of Rolling Stone.  For years, he was the single voice I listened to when it came to well established critics.  My brother-in-law knows movies better than I do, and his word was as good as gold as well.  But as my tastes were evolving, I moved to the rating aggregate site Rotten Tomates to give me a more broad understanding of how well certain movies are received.  I have since stopped reading Peter Travers (the straw that broke the camel’s back was a positive review of The Taking of Pelham 123), and have moved almost exclusively to reading reviews from the critics at The New York Times. Whether or not I agree with their opinions, they at the very least back up their statements and break down the film for me analytically.  Lastly comes social media.  Without all the blogs I follow, I would miss a ton of great films.  I’d list you all by name, but that would take way to long.

So in short, I get 99% of my film recommendations from:

  • Social media
  • The New York Times
  • Rotten Tomatoes

Please folks, share with me your sources so I can find more bitchin’ films.

Comments
13 Responses to “Bitch about it”
  1. I keep wanting to have a mainstream film critic that I always agree with so I can read their reviews for the golden nod ahead, but I actually found one!

    I do have 2 buddies that I have very similar taste too:
    - Kurt Halfyard from Row Three & Twitch. If he loves something, there is a 90% chance I’ll love it too (Mr. Nobody, Birth, 3-Iron, Gerry, etc), although the ones we don’t agree on I *really* don’t agree on.
    - Bob Turnbull of Eternal Sunshine of the Logical Mind, Toronto J-Film Pow Wow & Row Three. I don’t think I’ve disagreed with Bob about an amazing film, we have very similar tastes from quirky Asian to awesome retro SciFi, but also drawn to emotionally powerful and believeable, *or* just all weird (Funky Forest).

    In general though, for new films I base it on the trailer and over time have gotten a sense if I’ll like a film. There are directors and actors for which I’ll always see their work, genres I tend to like (scifi/horror/fantasy/dance/martial arts and horror) and stories I know I like – coming of age, heroes stories, unconventional relationships, etc.

    I’ll also see an occasional film just because it’s all the buzz that year, and to stay on top of the pop cultureness of it. Usually only one year. This year it was Scott Pilgrim. Last year was (oddly) Indiana Jones 4.

    But for people, I definitely go with Bob & Kurt – I’d take a recommendation from either of them any day.
    Shannon the Movie Moxie´s last blog post ..Movie Moxie Podcast- Episode 5 – The Last Exorcism Interviews with Eli Roth- Ashley Bell &amp Patrick Fabian

  2. I don’t go with any particular critics

    These are useful to me:

    IMDB top 250
    Trailers
    The Best Indie Films (amazon.co.uk)
    5 favourite films (on rottentomatoes)
    Best of the year lists on blogs/websites, in january, this can spare you watching some bad films !

    Or try message board on IMDB for Shawshank redemption, tons of recommendations there :
    #1 on imdb. What’s your #1?

    Other than that, I like searching in google for 2-3 of my current favorite films + myspace .
    You often get a few similar movies that way. Some of the websites I found you can locate on my blog under: “Movie blogs/sites I read”

    If you have a favorite genre, try writing in google :
    best/favorite/top 10 + genre.
    I like voice-over narrative, so I’ve been tracking them down lately in this way.

    Hope this is useful ( :
    moviesandsongs365´s last blog post ..Funny scenes in shops from TV-shows

  3. I used to get my movie advice from my roommate, but then he didn’t want to hang out anymore. He knew some pretty damn good movies, but also a lot of pretentious bullshit that was over my head. Oh, the good times…
    Benjamin Jones´s last blog post ..The University of Utah

  4. Blake says:

    @ Shannon – That’s awesome you’ve found so many bloggers with similar tastes. I really should take advantage of the LAMB members and branch out to find my blogging bossom buddy. You and I seem to agree on the majority of things as well, especially festival flicks. I’ll be checking out Bob and Kurt immediately.

    And you bring up a good point about genred films. I’ve never really thought about choosing a genre and seeking out the best of it. I’ll have to try that with Netflix.

    @moviesandsong365 – Wow! Do you really constantly read all those blogs? I’m going to start checking them out as well, adding them to my reader and such.

    I just checked out the IMDb Top 250 list and there’s actually a ton on there I haven’t seen (8 of the top 25). That’s a great source, thanks! Your comment was very useful.

    @ Benjamin – The phone works both ways, bitch.

    But your roommate sounds pretty awesome.

    Skip your fancy medical school on Friday and come to Idaho with me. Just be clear that I won’t be able to hang out with you once we get there.

  5. @Blake

    Glad to be of help. I agree with movie moxie about keeping an eye on favourite directors.

    Some blogs/sites on my list I hardly ever read, some I read often. Some of them I joined to get some interaction going. Good idea to read the writer’s LAMB number to see what the goal of their blog is.

    But wading through all those blogs/sites is time-comsuming. I suggest you check my A-Z of film recommendations, if you want some immediate recommendations ( :
    moviesandsongs365´s last blog post ..Funny scenes in shops from TV-shows

  6. Harriet says:

    I have to say, I usually watch films that friends have reccomended. I wasn’t a big film watcher before I went to uni and now I’m there we watch a alot of films because DVDs are cheap in the Union on Wednesdays and its an activity we can all do as a house!
    Harriet´s last blog post ..Pre Owned TAG Heuer Formula 1

  7. I’d also include you on that list too Blake, you are so right that we have similar tastes on festival films. And if you ever come to Toronto you have to let me know!

    It takes a bit to of time to figure out who you are aligned with, I’ve met both Bob and Kurt personally and that really helps to be able to tell cuz you just yak away!

    One thing I did though earlier this year to see who my tastes were aligned to was picked two recent films – one I stongly liked (The Losers), and one I strongly disliked (Kick-Ass), then searched through my blogroll to find out who felt the same. Voila – alignment found. Not foolproof, but it was helpful.

    For Genre, IMDb is good as they have top 50 by genre that can unveil some that you may not find otherwise. Although, they also tend to have some older & foreign titles that are not easy to get!
    Shannon the Movie Moxie´s last blog post ..Movie Moxie Podcast- Episode 5 – The Last Exorcism Interviews with Eli Roth- Ashley Bell &amp Patrick Fabian

  8. It really helps to get to know a reviewer’s voice – I loved Barry Norman on the telly, but knew to disregard any of his (low) opinions on sci-fi as it was a genre he unaccountably loathed.

    My first stop is usually http://www.littlewhitelies.co.uk as I rate their personality and they’re big enough to have a lot of coverage.

    LAMB is a source of constant personal inspiration. For instance, for horror movies, I’ll listen to http://scaresarah.blogspot.com/. She doesn’t update that regularly, but she is very articulate!

    For Japanese cinema, it’s all about http://www.nipponcinema.com/ – it helps me keep up to date.

    Other than that, it’s word of mouth for me. I have so many friends who consider themselves failed film directors – which makes them the best movie critics in the world!!
    Madgestic, Best For Film reviews´s last blog post ..Going The Distance

  9. Blake says:

    @ moviesandsong365 – I perused your recommendations list and found some great stuff to put on my queue. Thanks!

    @ Harriet – Ah! Bonding over film. I love it.

    @ Shannon – I want desperately to get to Toronto some day. I was thinking about shooting for the festival next year. I hear rumor of a semi-regular movie blogger get together there as well? I’d love to meet everyone. Some day…

    @ Madgestic – Those are some great sites! I hadn’t used them before, but they’re added to my reader now. Thanks!

  10. Scare Sarah says:

    Thanks Madgestic! *blushes*
    When I first started reviewing films I didn’t think I was actually reviewing them! I was just talking about things in horror movies that I loved. I wanted to share. Suddenly the line between reviewing and “gushing” becomes blurred. Being also a reader of reviews I find it useful if, behind all the opinions, I can find out what the film is about, if it is a film I would like to see and if I want to make up my own mind!
    Scare Sarah´s last blog post ..Dont answer the door – Cherry Tree Lane 2010

  11. Colin says:

    Good question. I tend to see the people involved more than anything else. I know, for example, that I won’t like a Schwarzenegger movie, for example, or anything directed by Ron Howard. I like Ebert’s reviews a lot. He writes so well that he can pique my interest in something I’d ordinarily pass on.
    What I’ve found, though, is that there’s an extraordinary amount of bloggers/movie fanatics on the net, and some have real talent. There are a few I read, regardless of the movies they review. I won’t embarrass anyone (or slight anyone) by naming names, but I’m grateful that they’re there.

  12. Fletch says:

    First off, I love that illustration. Good choice, there.

    It’s a conglomerated effort for me, as I imagine it is for just about everyone. There are a handful of bloggers I trust a lot (and with whom we share similar tastes), from Nick at R2D2 to the Mad Hatter to Daniel at Getafilm, to name a few – of course, there’s a lot of dissimilarity there, too, but I kinda go with the thinking that if a few people whom share my general tastes like something, I probably will, too.

    No real mainstream choices for me, but I don’t read all that many published critics regularly. I’ll read the Rolling Stone reviews and the EW ones, but those are mainly as previews to something not seen or as counterpoints. All these years of reading EW and I still don’t really know/pay attention to the differences between Owen and Lisa…

    Excellent question!
    Fletch´s last blog post ..30 dAyS oF cRaZy- Psycho

  13. Blake says:

    @ Colin – Good point. I believe I do that too. I’m quite positive I won’t enjoy anything Nic Cage is in unless it’s a fantastic director.

    @ Fletch – The internet provides me with some awesome graphics. This is one of my favorites. I’ve tried to get into the EW critics, but they’re tastes seem so random to me. I try to distinguish tastes among the NYT critics, but I always fail to do so (except with A.O. Scott who has the occasional hard on for sappy movies). I’ve found my tastes align with Mad Hatter’s as well. I haven’t read Nick’s blog in a quite a while. I’ll have to check it out.

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