What makes a movie objectively good/bad? Specifically the Transformers Movies?

Discussion in 'Transformers Movie Discussion' started by Zemah, Aug 25, 2020.

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Can a movie be objectively good/bad?

  1. Yes!

    18 vote(s)
    43.9%
  2. No!

    7 vote(s)
    17.1%
  3. Maybe...

    2 vote(s)
    4.9%
  4. Not sure...

    3 vote(s)
    7.3%
  5. It depends.

    11 vote(s)
    26.8%
  1. Hobbes-timus Prime

    Hobbes-timus Prime Well-Known Member

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    Someday a filmmaker like Nolan or Cuarón is going to shift aspect ratios between shots (or even - gasp - in a single shot without cutting) in a way that blows your mind and you're going to regret saying these things.
     
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  2. Arrogant Arachnid

    Arrogant Arachnid Banned

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    For me something is objectively bad when there's not a single good thing to be found there.
    Sam is a bad character, a lot of people can agree on that. That doesn't make it objective though, some people still find him enjoyable or just don't really mind him much.
    When it comes to the shifting aspect ratio, I can't see why anybody would go "Yes, I like this." Which is what I consider to be objectively bad.

    You're missing the point. I'm sure a constantly shifting aspect ratio could be done under the right context. It's just that TLK lacks this context.
     
  3. ChaosDonkey

    ChaosDonkey Lord Brain

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    as soon as a judgment is influenced by personal feelings or opinions or thoughts, its not objective. No matter how many people feel the same way.
     
  4. Arrogant Arachnid

    Arrogant Arachnid Banned

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    By this logic the camera glitching out mid shot and it being left in the movie isn't objectively bad either.

    I swear man every single time I have these debates about the movies it eventually feels like:
     
  5. Hobbes-timus Prime

    Hobbes-timus Prime Well-Known Member

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    Look at how often you use these qualifiers. Not trolling, I'm really beginning to wonder if you understand what objective means.
     
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  6. Arrogant Arachnid

    Arrogant Arachnid Banned

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    Charming.
    Much like how objectivity to you is by looking at the artist intent? At best you can call what I said as wording errors, which yeah, that's a problem I got.
    We gotta define objectivity when talking about movies. And as far as I know defining something as objectively bad is "The complete absence of good."
     
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  7. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout ...and I'll whisper "No."

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    That doesn't make any sense, your argument is reliant entirely on the assumption of something that doesn't currently exist and you have no proof will ever exist.

    So you're saying that a film could be an unwatchable piece of shit in the vein of Space Thunder Kids which is literally just a ton of cheap anime movies frankenstien'd together with no discernible plot whatsoever, and even though there isn't a single good thing about it, you're saying that a piece of crap can not objectively be called a piece of crap for literally any reason because you could just counter any argument with 'well, that's just your opinion' and suddenly applying your own definition you can turn any criticism non-objective.

    I mean, the first thing that gets brought up about TLK being a bad film is the aspect ratio screw ups, which is a byproduct of poor editing and would probably be a failing grade in film school in a student film, and suddenly people are rushing to defend a film that is still widely regarded as terrible in every way? What the fuck is going on? We can't even call TLK bad now?
     
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  8. ChaosDonkey

    ChaosDonkey Lord Brain

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    7 billion people can agree on Tlk being bad.
    If its the personal opinion and feeling of 7 billion people. Then the movie is not objective bad, but subjective bad for 7 billion people.
    Wasn't me who defined the definition of objectivity.
     
  9. Hobbes-timus Prime

    Hobbes-timus Prime Well-Known Member

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    The artist's intent has nothing to do with me. That's why it's a useful metric with which to judge objective success or failure. It goes back to the guitar analogy I posted - "Do you want to play the song? Can you make the guitar do what you want?" Completely objective standard. Did Bay want shifting aspect ratios and did he get shifting aspect ratios? That's where objective begins and ends.

    And it's the only useful metric that I'm aware of. Again, if you have another, I'd love to be presented with it. "The complete absence of good" can't be an objective metric because "good" and "bad" are subjective judgments.
     
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  10. Arrogant Arachnid

    Arrogant Arachnid Banned

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    It still is how you define objectivity.
    When it comes to the aspect ratio, name me one good thing to come out of it.
     
  11. Hobbes-timus Prime

    Hobbes-timus Prime Well-Known Member

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    You're either a troll or you don't understand what objective and subjective are.
     
  12. Arrogant Arachnid

    Arrogant Arachnid Banned

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    oh im sorry mister man im just dumb guy i dunno what subjectef and objuctuf is
    Course I know what the difference is. And you know what the thing is? You know what the real problem is? the real meat?







    It's that I'm too stubborn to admit I starting to get I might be wrong.
    Fuck me, right
     
  13. Hobbes-timus Prime

    Hobbes-timus Prime Well-Known Member

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    I've been there myself.
     
  14. ChaosDonkey

    ChaosDonkey Lord Brain

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    veal?
     
  15. Furnace

    Furnace Antroid at a picnic

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    Ok, I see where you're coming from. It would indeed be absurd (and likely arrogant) to assert one's own conclusion on a matter to be singularly and objectively correct if said matter does not admit of such objective analysis (in this case, in terms of "good" or "bad"). As for where I stand on the matter, I think I agree with your premise, that films are objectively evaluable in a technical sense but not in an absolute sense (or at the very least, I have not yet found a satisfactory criterion for that purpose). That said, my concern with your argument is mainly that its primary thrust seems to be an ethical appeal rather than a purely logical one, in that what is at stake is whether or not a person is arrogant rather than whether or not they are correct. We then have not determined whether or not movies can indeed be absolutely "good" or "bad", but instead, have presupposed the answer to be in the negative. After all, the four conclusions you listed above would not be considered arrogant in areas such as mathematics or formal logic which can and (usually) do admit of objective evaluation in every sense.
     
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  16. AutobotAvalanche

    AutobotAvalanche Number One in Boogieland

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    I would argue that in this case arrogance requires you to make assumptions that can't be proven which is a failure in logic.

    Let's say I believe in an objective binary for movies, and I believe a movie that most people hate is really, really good. Conclusion one is my analysis is wrong, but assuming I'm correct by my own standards then the only way to prove my assessment is to somehow prove everyone else wrong (unfeasible unless the movie has been seen by only a couple people), or assume that everyone else is wrong, which requires a massive leap in logic. What are the odds that I am the only person who correctly assessed the movie, or at the very least that the vast majority assessed it incorrectly?

    With a mathematical problem you can not only provide all kinds of proofs but you can then look at the other person's work and locate where they went wrong. Even if there were some kind of universal system to use for the objective quality of a movie, unless you're a mind reader there is no reasonable way to locate every other viewer's logical flaws and prove that everyone who disagrees with you is wrong and you're right.

    Or the inverse, if I agree with a majority of viewers that a movie is objectively good, I'm simply relying on consensus. Again without being a mind reader or interviewing everyone I agree with I have no way of knowing if the people who agree with me have flaws in their logic. Maybe I feel I have a perfectly well-reasoned argument about why the movie is objectively great and the next guy agrees it's objectively great, but only because it has his favorite actor in it. To prove your view is right, you have to assume everyone who falls on the same side of the binary as you is on that side for the exact same reasons, which is astronomically unlikely. Objectivity only allows for one right answer.

    TLDR the objective quality angle basically requires you to: refuse to question your own beliefs, and basically gamble that your incredibly unlikely and essentially unprovable assumptions are true.
     
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  17. Furnace

    Furnace Antroid at a picnic

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    Before we begin, I've got to say thanks for your cordiality in this debate. The times haven't been easy of late, and I find discussions like this rather therapeutic. Anyway, to the matter at hand.
    That's fair. However, I appeal once more to the second part of my above objection, namely that your first premise, namely, that movies cannot be objectively "good" or "bad" does not seem to have been proven yet. How can I be sure that there is no objective binary standard for movies? So far, we have begged the question, but I don't feel satisfied that we have yet answered it. The subsequent arguments you listed would follow from your first premise, but again, that premise seems to have been simply presupposed rather than demonstrated.

    I'm not so sure that objectivity requires one to dogmatically cling to one's beliefs. I would think that the first step to being objective would always be to question one's own position and to be open to being proven wrong. Moreover, if there really were an objective measure for films, surely the standard(s) wouldn't be mine or yours, but instead, would be universal, in the sense that anyone could appeal to them and discover them by means of reason? In which case, it wouldn't be a matter of proving everyone else wrong, but rather, of determining whether my own position is sound.

    If arguing from an objective basis required one to prove all contrary positions false, then I can't imagine how we could prove anything at all, since there are theoretically, as many possible positions on a matter as there are people to think them. For instance, say I want to prove that the Earth is round. I don't need to go through all the shapes and prove that the Earth is not a plane or a cube or a pyramid, etc. To prove my premise, I need only to demonstrate the internal validity of my position and the soundness of it with regard to external observations (and of course, test whether or not it stands up to scrutiny). If there were some objective measure of quality for films, surely similar rules would apply?

    I do agree with you that consensus is never the measure of an argument's validity (though it can certainly testify to such).
     
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  18. AutobotAvalanche

    AutobotAvalanche Number One in Boogieland

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    Agreed, a good conversation without any kind of insults or harshness is always enjoyable. :) 

    I suppose I haven't been completely clear about this part, and I think the best answer I can offer is that I'm not trying to prove that a movie cannot be good or bad as much as I am trying to poke holes in the idea that such a concept could ever be true at all. I'm trying to provide reasons why the Loch Ness monster could never exist in reality, as opposed to trying to prove that a photo of the Loch Ness monster is a fake, if that makes sense.

    I agree with this in general, if you were to always want to be objectively truthful about scientific matters for example you would have to be willing to accept that scientists will make new discoveries that may contradict old ones. For movies specifically though, unless the artist makes a related work or comes out and makes some kind of public statement about the work or its meaning, the work itself is fixed. It's not so complex or inaccessible that newer, better instruments for analysis might provide a new viewpoint the same way scientific discoveries do. My DVD shows the same movie now as it did five years ago and nothing short of physical degradation of the disk will change that.

    This is a very good point, and I think my best response is to say that my argument implicitly says it's impossible for this objective measure to exist. When a scientist studies something in space, or on a microscopic level, or whatever else, that thing is largely outside us. In the simplest sense, the only criteria for objective truth in science is to report what is measured. Unless her instruments are calibrated incorrectly or she decides to blatantly lie for some reason, a scientist is providing the objective truth to the best of our technology's and understandings' abilities. In science you interpret findings, and the truth is the same regardless if we witness it or not. We decide how to interpret what we know, but ultimately the universe itself dictates the rules of the game. You can say there are four bacteria under the microscope, but if there are only three, there are only three.

    Art on the other hand is a game controlled by humans. I'm struggling with phrasing the idea that I have in my head for this. Art does not exist without us, art is not outside of us. The "findings" that are a work of art are in and of themselves interpretations of the artist's own findings. Bacteria can be a sign or indication of something else, but they exist without us. For two scientists to be objective about their research, all they have to do is go "just report what you find". Interpretation is a separate act that is not completely objective. With art, I would argue you cannot report without interpreting simultaneously unless it's for purely technical things like who is in the movie.

    Objectivity in general is also typically focused. You could trust a scientist in any given field to provide an objective report on a specific project, but what could they say about their entire field beyond the obvious? You could be perfectly objective about a still from a movie (he's crying in this shot, the stars are out, his shirt is green, he's in the left third of the shot), but I believe you would struggle to be objective about the whole thing in motion, the same way an ecologist might easily understand the life cycle and other habits of a single insect but would struggle to provide a definitive picture of a whole ecosystem.

    None of those last two paragraphs are quite what I wanted to say, lol, was really having trouble with how to expand on "art is not outside of us" the same way science is.
     
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  19. ChaosDonkey

    ChaosDonkey Lord Brain

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    It could done.
    You establish certain criteria that have to be fulfilled. If it fulfill all the conditions set by the criteria a movie is objectively good, if it doesn't it's not objectively good, but if it fail only a little percentage of them, its not bad either.

    Every single one of those criteria have to be viewed independent of and without personal bias.

    How is the structure?
    writing, directing, (is the story coherent, is the message recognizable)
    camera, cgi, cutting, lighting etc etc. (how is it used to tell the story)

    How does it fit with the genre? (sci fi).
    How was it accepted by the audience(looking objectively at the subjective opinions of a lot of people :)  )
    etc etc.

    I think if we on this site tried to establish such criteria, the movies would not be objectively good. Some would be straight out bad, some would be in the grey area.("I" think, therefore its my subjective opinion that we could establish the criteria on this site).
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2020
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  20. Arrogant Arachnid

    Arrogant Arachnid Banned

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    But that criteria would be born from a subjective view, no?