14 Responses to What really draws you into a movie or series?
A bit of everything, in my case.
I love Sci-Fi and horror movies, and a good, original plot is always welcome. I'm also drawn to some supporting actors and actresses who usually add up a great deal to the movie, sometimes they are even better than the main performers. Great characters usually come from them, and I've seen those guys actually improve badly written ones.
Great directors are important, they really matter in my opinion, although with "great" I don't necessarily mean "known".
Competent cinematography and edition wouldn't hurt either, for it's always nice to see something beautiful and a well-placed/edited narrative.
Well, oddly enough, with most movies (big tentpole events or smaller indy films) it is the first images I see. I usually only decide to watch something due the trailer. So, I think it starts with visual style for me. I have to judge the book by it's cover to get in the theater or select that title on a streaming service. For a movie to truly be a quality one and have a lasting impact, there has to be a good story. Now, some films have underwhelming stories that I still enjoy, so it can be subjective of course. But what matters to me is the style/visuals (even if only initially) and story
Not a map, an invitation
cuponator3000 that's funny, I do the same thing. Visual style is definitely important. As is the story arc.
Setting is another big one. Especially with Sci-fi films. It has to be somewhere intriguing. I get instantly hesistant if the setting looks boringly urban. Typically if I see a school, Im out. Im too old and unhip for teenage drama lol hahaa. That means you AVP:R!
Characters must be interesting and challenged.
IRaptus Characters are key. Alien was all about the characters and we didn't know much about the Alien. Imagine if a new movie was about David but instead focused on the characters figuring out David's next move. We already know about David so he would be more in the background playing his games like we would expect.
dk 100% agreed, Characters are key. I emphasised challenged above because boring characters that learn nothing after a movie/series are pointless. Its harder with film due to limited run time, but when you have a bunch of characters that have a range of perspectives, morale alignments, judgement/prejudices, and their own agenda's pitted against each other is when you have the best story dramas.
Game of Thrones is an obvious example. Lots of characters following their own agenda's. Sometimes they team up with characters of opposing perspectives, sometimes they betray them.
LOST was another great series with complex good characters, but a shitty over-complicated story line.
I don't know if you get the series Black Sails or Spartacus in the US (Australian/New Zealand productions) but if you can I recommend checking them out. B-grade and theatre actors that do an absolutely amazing job because of excellent character driven storylines!
What draws me to a film or series is intelligence, originality and entertainment value. I can enjoy derivative stuff only if done with class.
IRaptus I am still watching The Orville with the time that I have. The cool thing is that episodes build characters and then the rest is complex situations that the characters deal with. You can be laugh, be intrigued or even cry within one episode. To me, that is what is important, but it is all about characters first.
dk that's awesome, that's what you want in a show! I don't know if you saw my post to your Orville II thread, but we don't get the show in Aus until December, I have to wait :(
The cool thing is that episodes build characters and then the rest is complex situations that the characters deal with
Characters should be tested, no easy runs. Sorry to harp on about GoT but the best example I can think of is Jaime Lannister, a renowned swordsman, loses his sword hand and has to adapt. You can literally watch his smug arrogance dissolve and change with humility and humbleness through the seasons.
If you want dynamic characters, pit them against things they hate/fear. If they're good at something, take it away from them. Test their moral compass. Force them to survive with someone they dislike.
IRaptus Or if the character is moral/ethical, have him/her deal with a force that is the opposite. See who wins. I think characters need to be flawed too. Sometimes they lose or win. You never really know. That element helps to maintain engagement.
@dk - I am interested in a movie that is able to present a larger concepts that can get me to ask myself why I believe what I believe. It is the movie's ability to to get me to question what I have always seen as reality. For me, that movie was once Star Wars, but I am now able to say that movie is Prometheus!!
The story, well-written characters, and pacing.
The story is important, there got to be themes that are interesting. My reason for putting it like this is that the story usually (it seems to me) sort of sets the frames of what is about to happen.
Without well-written characters there is no one to support or connect with. Even with an interesting story about rebellion, free will, and similar things that are interesting in themselves it can't turn out well if the characters are people that we don't care for.
A a slow pacing is boring (a lot of movies that I have seen getting good reviews have had slow pacing, they have stated that in reviews it is usually a movie about the journey of a character or characters). I doesn't have to be action paced the whole time but if it is too slow it gets boring which means that I usually switch it off and do something else. There got to be a balance between slow and fast scenes.
The visuals can be necessary but it is usually not what I think is the most necessary thing. The characters and pacing can usually make the surroundings become less important.
If we are talking about Alien movies I need that tension or fear that something bad is about to happen but that is also connected to the characters, if I care for them or not. That didn't happen in Covenant much since we didn't get to know them very much.
To sum it up:
I am not sure if this list is in a hierarchical order but they are all important.
Actually this is a good topic, sometimes there can be improvements and constructive things out of complaints.
dk and IRaptus - Ok-ok, the characters are key, that is apparent, but specific actors are important as well in my opinion. It is a brilliant thread to name my favourites (for the AC sequel) again: Olga Kurylenko and Theo James.
Ridley, you need them. And please don't kill them in the movie. And it's time to see a female lead with long hair. Thank you.
'Force them to survive with someone they dislike.'
I look at the trailer as well but also who is in it and who directs it is big for me and I look at the genre. chick flicks and romance doesn't interest me in the slightest regardless who is in it or directing tbh. I think it helps with a big name but the most important thing is that the actor gets the ark of their character and can handle it regardless of how big or small a star they are. sorry to do this but just for reference. take Daniels and Ripley. Waterstone, a decent actress in previous movies and pretty well known. didn't do much for Daniels and was just one of the crew imo. Weaver. stage actress who wasn't known really on the scene. the rest is history. tbh with hind sight, id have rather seen Theron as Daniels. I think Daniels would have been a more meaningful character but I digress. if I see a 'ridley scott' movie for instance, I don't care whos in it. if the genre is right, im watching it. but then the trailers can get me. I didn't know the director for pacific rim but man was I watching that. so in closing, I don't think any 1 thing matters. its a combination of things that suits the individuals personal pallet
Sign in to add a reply to this topic!