Review Rating System

Must See-- I think it explains itself

Theater-- Not without it's flaws, but still worth seeing in the theater any time

Matinée-- Not worth the full normal price, but if you're in the mood you might want to catch the matinée

Watch it at home-- Not worth the price at the theater, but if you're flipping through TV channels or happen to find it on netflix or feel like renting, then this could still be worth the watch.

Don't Watch-- This movie is garbage


The Tripod (With four legs):
 FilmyFilm here, the Tripod is a number of elements that I believe are needed to make a great film. I call it the Tripod because there were three elements or legs, and because each element is needed to make a movie great or stand, and it obviously relates to film. But as I kept analyzing films I realized that the Tripod needed to be amended and now has four elements instead of three (I still call it the Tripod nonetheless). So here are the elements in no particular order.

 Story is made up of everything from the plot, the genre, to the lines of dialogue actors say. Writing is one of the main aspects of the story, and can make or break a movie even if it has great actors. On the flip side, a great story can make me interested in a movie even if it has other weak elements. A great movie often needs a great story to keep me interested in what's about to happen as well as giving me a reason to watch the movie in the first place.

 Probably the most immediately visible and noticeable element of a film, acting can make or break a movie just as the story can. A bad actor can ruin a good character, but conversely a great actor can make a bland character otherwise interesting. An actor's performance is an essential part in suspending your disbelief and making you believe that the story is real for 2 hours.

 My personal favorite leg of the Tripod (if I had to pick a favorite). The form of a movie is composed of almost everything you see in the frame, and between the frames. Form consists of the way the camera is used as well as the place it's used, the use of sound, the lighting, set design, costumes and so on. Form also includes the style of editing and the way the shots are woven together in the context of the story. Bad form can make a movie look amateurish, confusing, and it can be distracting to the viewer. Great form gives a movie grace, makes it easy to watch and follow the plot. Form is the element that movies have almost exclusively as an art form and is the essence of pure cinema.

Prevailing Conditions:
 This is the element that I realized I had to add and thus ruins the whole tripod analogy. Prevailing conditions are the things that you the viewer bring into the movie, whether it be your love of westerns or sci-fi, or the era you were born in. Age and political affiliation are strong forces in what you like, so your expectations and what you bring to the movie personally affect how you like a movie. Originality also comes into play, because the movies you've seen before effect your perception on if a movie is genuine or not. In an ideal world this leg of the Tripod would not exist, but it is impossible to block out the outside world when watching a movie, some movies use this leg to service the story while others suffer from it.