It raised an interesting point though: What is it exactly that makes a film any good? Can a film be purely good or purely bad or is the worth of each cinematic outing based purely on personal taste alone? December was an interesting time to talk about good and bad movies too, notably due to the release of James Franco’s The Disaster Artist. Debuting just a week or so before The Last Jedi, Franco’s film revealed the story behind The Room, Tommy Wiseau’s infamously terrible movie that’s since gone on to become a sleeper cult-hit with movie fans. With Franco likely to win big during award season (scratch that - already winning big) thanks to a pitch-perfect performance of a character once deemed too terrible to succeed, it blurs the lines even further on what constitutes good art in the eyes of viewers.
With movies like Star Wars, the task of earning the accolade of ‘good movie’ is an even trickier task. Fans have had years to paint their own personal futures for their favourite characters and dream up bespoke swan songs and additional adventures that no Disney-released canon storyline can ever hope to compete with. For every person who admired The Last Jedi’s unexpected new direction, there was someone disappointed that their latest trip to a galaxy far, far away left them a little short of satisfied. Try as you might, you just can’t please everyone - not even if you’re a money spewing powerhouse like Disney.
And yet it gets more nuanced still. Perhaps a film’s worth depends less on the quality of its story and performances and more on the the personal impact it has on viewers when it lands on their radars. As time has told, box office returns - despite often feeling like the be-all-end-all signifier of a film’s overall worth - mean little-to-nothing in the bigger picture of a movie’s lifespan. There’s a reason why Best Picture winners are often hard to recall but no one has any trouble fondly remembering the movies they grew up with, no matter how shoddy or bizarrely constructed they are. Rarely are the latter included amongst the former yet its these movies that shape our tastes, fill our DVD shelves and adorn our walls. What makes a movie any good? Whatever you bring to it.
What do you think separates a good film from a bad film? Let me know in the comment section below!