Monday, February 16, 2015

It's Called a Job For a Reason

In case you haven't heard, there was a little movie that came out this weekend called "Fifty Shades of Grey" that showed how sick people really were to the tune of over $200 million worldwide.  I had the misfortune of having to view the film two weeks ago, which resulted in (what has possibly become) my most read review in the last year.  I also happened to get a lot of e-mails about it, and I'm going to answer the biggest question I got: Why did I choose to see the movie?  Why didn't I just choose not to go see it?  The reason I was asked this is because this movie has been a... well, a bit of a concern for Christians out there.  I have never been shy about my Christian faith nor have I ever pretended it doesn't affect my film criticism (sometimes I'll even preach in the reviews).  By willingly watching the film, I was setting a bad example.

I'm certain there are other critics who got this same question who aren't Christians, so I'm going to point out something that clearly must be escaping our readers: It's our job stupid!  Believe it or not, when we get up and say this is a job that we are paid to do some people must not realize we are being totally serious.  What, do you think the studios are inviting us to early screenings just for fun?  They want reviews.  Preferably good ones.  In some cases they even want bad reviews, because they know the dumb people they are marketing their films to will look at our negative reviews as snobbery and use them as justification to go have a good time (on another note I want to say to those people we don't care what you watch, just enjoy the movies you want to go see).

Now then, sometimes the studios will do us a favor and not screen a movie for us, but for the most part reviews are just part of the business.  Whether good or bad, they help get the world out about the movies, and without that publicity they die on a vine.  I want to take this moment to say that, no, I didn't want to see "Fifty Shades of Grey." Much like I wasn't that crazy on the idea of seeing "The Smurfs 2," "The Seventh Son," or "Hairspray" (that last one ended up being great though). Yet I got an e-mails saying there would be a screening of the film and that I was invited. So what do I do?  Well, I go see the movie.  I mean really folks, what did you expect me to do? It's a job. To choose not to see it would be the same as blowing off work.  To put this into context, let's say you work at Disneyland (or Disney World for my family back east).

Disney has Gay Days, Mickey's Trick-or-Treat nights, and the two weeks out of the year where there is a candle light vigil that ends with a celebrity reading the Christmas story (you know, the one with a little baby named Jesus).  They hold events for private companies, they celebrate Goth people, they even have something called Bat Day.  And believe me, it doesn't matter if you don't agree with some of the above celebrations; if you work at Disney you work on these days.  Unless you managed to get the day off in advance you can't not show up just because you disagree with whatever theme the park is celebrating that day.  Just because you vote for different values doesn't give you the right to refuse to do your job.

Yes, you technically can refuse, but then there would be the risk of you being fired.  This is how virtually all companies work.  If I were to refuse to see "Fifty Shades of Grey" I would be blowing off work.  I would risk not being invited to future screenings.  This is not a job where you pick and choose what you want to see.  Even if you are your own boss there are certain rules you play by if you want to remain in this business.  I did not want to see "Fifty Shades of Grey," but I was called to do so and thus I saw it.  Because it was my job, and I wouldn't be doing it properly if I let personal feelings get in the way.  Besides, personal feelings are part of the job, so it makes for a bad excuse. I want to end by saying I have been invited to see another movie I'm not looking forward to: "Paul Bart: Mall Cop 2." I REALLY don't want to see it, but I have been informed of a screening, and so I must!  Because that's my job.


This job isn't all fun and games.


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