Movies don’t need to be a cinematic masterpiece to be worthwhile

AMC+Theater+by+the+Common.

Photo: Lucia Thorne

AMC Theater by the Common.

By Lucia Thorne, Assistant Living Arts Editor

As we all start slowly returning to sitting in front of the big screen, a once-wide selection of movie showings is lacking as a result of the pandemic. We can either see screenings of classics or movies of our choice, depending on how much one is willing to spend. The alternative option is seeing new movies produced during the pandemic and hoping for the best. 

While I’m sure most of us are looking to see an Oscar-worthy film after being out of theaters for so long, even a cheesy movie can be a good experience. 

Going to the movies is always something I’ve loved doing since childhood, but the pandemic brought the movie-going experience to a screeching halt. I’m from a town just outside of Los Angeles, so movie theaters weren’t open when I was at home over winter break (they just opened up again at the end of March of 2021). 

Since Boston movie theaters have started showing movies again (AMC Boston Common has $5 movies on Tuesdays), I’ve been going on a lot of movie dates lately–and I personally find seeing any movie to be fun at this point. So far, I’ve seen Raya and the Last Dragon, Chaos Walking, and The Courier since returning to the theater.   

As someone who loves historical thrillers, The Courier was definitely my favorite. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, the film follows British businessman Greville Wynne in assisting the CIA and MI6 in obtaining information about the Soviets’ nuclear intentions in Cuba during the Cold War. The cast is amazing, the set and costume designs are beautiful, and I was on the edge of my seat for the entirety of the film. 

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Raya and the Last Dragon was an incredible movie as well. After their world of Kumandra is threatened by Druun, monsters that were held off by the ancient dragon stone, Raya must find a way to fight the Druun and restore peace. The animation is absolutely stunning, the characters are so loveable, and it is a wonderful story. 

However, Chaos Walking, starring Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley, was something else. I don’t know what was worse, the overused concept of Earth becoming uninhabitable and humans needing to find a new planet, or the idea that there is a colony of men who haven’t seen women before. I remember sitting in the theater with my girlfriend, turning to each other in disbelief at how bad certain dialogue and plot points were and laughing until I gave myself an asthma attack. 

With The Courier, I was able to satisfy my want for a historical biopic feature film. With Raya and the Last Dragon, I was able to feel like a kid again. And with Chaos Walking, I was able to laugh my ass off and tear up from how hysterically awful the movie became as time went on. 

Even though these films couldn’t be more different, I enjoyed them all the same. Going to the movies is fun no matter what film is playing on the screen. Take the Star Wars films for example. 

Episodes IV-VI are great, they have good dialogue, good acting, and a good plot. But Episodes I-III are a little lacking in those areas, to say the least. However, as a huge Star Wars fan, I’m not going to skip over the prequels just because they’re not incredible works of art. I love to see Luke destroy the Death Star just as much as I like to laugh at the “I hate sand” speech and watch Yoda do backflips in CGI. 

Movies don’t need to be cinematic masterpieces to be entertaining, and even if it is a masterpiece, it might not be enjoyable for everyone. They can be the most beautiful film you’ve ever seen or they can be so bad you cry laughing. Either way, you’re making memories with loved ones. I crave to feel the same way I did seeing Avengers: Endgame on opening night, but seeing a cheesy film with only 10 other people in the theater is good enough for me.