It’s Not About the Acting—Four Boxes Review

Movies are a form of therapy that help distract us from the constant assault of negativity in the world, and I love them for it.  A small luxury in life is Netflix, and my plan allows unlimited streaming. The selection of movies available for streaming is meager compared to regular-delivery DVDs, it’s only the gratification of an immediate need for escape that supports its appeal. I often scan the instant movie list looking for something that isn’t awful. Many of them are either Independent or “B” movies, but you can sometimes find a sparkler among them. I don’t read professional reviews because they often pan my favorite movies but praise convoluted hipster crap.  So it’s helpful to read customer reviews, but not for reasons you might think.

One common complaint by amateur reviewers is the quality of acting and/or graphics. You should hear them go on. Even low-budget movies I really loved such as Four Boxes continue to get terrible reviews full of much worse clichés than the movies they complain about. It’s as if the reviewers see this venue as a legitimate invitation to flame something that displeases them. Many of the reviewers are semi-literate and out of 78 reviews for Four Boxes, a few people loved it and nearly everyone else complained about the bad acting. The reviews basically read like these:

stupid, the acting is bad, and im glad they all die.

i got to say this was the worst movie ive got from u it absolutly sucked never quite got the plot and far as acting VERY POOR.

whoever wrote the dialog for this steaming pile of feces should do the world a favor and never write again. words cannot desrcibe how much I detested this aweful, aweful abomintion before god.

And here I thought the characters in this movie were acting like real-life 20-somethings. I had no idea that made them “bad actors.” I was finally compelled to join about three other people and write my own favorable review.

How do they know the acting was bad? Is it because they found the characters annoying? Then what difference would it make if they cast Shia or Leo or Keira? Why does the acting matter so much if a movie is original and intriguing? It’s all about the writing. I would watch a school play if the story was good and I could hear it. Half-billion-dollar budgets featuring gorgeous Hollywood clones are no guarantee of a good movie—just witness the heap of boring clunkers starring highly paid actors. My biggest complaint is the trend toward non-articulate speech, and that’s why subtitles are indispensable. In streaming, subtitles are rarely available, so if the music is overpowering, the actors mumble, or the script ridiculous, they lose me. Subtitles would have greatly enhanced Four Boxes, but despite the fact they weren’t available I was completely absorbed.

I don’t care how primitive the production or how unskilled the actors. Movies are all about the script, and that’s what smaller production companies should strive for.

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10 responses to “It’s Not About the Acting—Four Boxes Review

  1. One of my favorite movies was They Might Be Giants. Never was a hit but I loved it. And I’m with you. This overpowering music on both TV and in the movies drives me crazy. I hate it when I can’t hear the dialogue.

  2. I haven’t seen that movie but the reviews quoted are straight out emotional responses with no or little professional objectivity; and you don’t need poor movies to get mumbling; Jeff Bridges, for instance, in an otherwise fine movie ‘True Grit’ mumbles to such an extent that we were shouting out, “Where are the subtitles?’ 🙂

    But you’re right: professional reviewers often pan movies that I really enjoy and laud movies that are, if you’ll pardon the phrase. ‘up themselves’.

    • Hi JL, exactly. When reviewers just rave about how they hated it without explanation, they’re just using the review option as an outlet for their pissy little rants. It sometimes actually makes me consider watching the movie. I only need a few “thumbs up” to win me over.

      Professional reviewers are as full of themselves as the movies they applaud, I swear they’re in bed with the industry.

  3. When I had Netflix a few years back, I used it to catch up on all the Oscar-winners I hadn’t seen. I was surprised how bad some of them were! The gems were the independents and documentaries I wouldn’t have been able to see any other way. It certainly proved that hype doesn’t correspond to quality.

    • Hi Harry, I pay no attention to award winners. It means nothing. It’s a closed club of beautiful people patting each other on the back to maintain their status on the red carpet. I read that many of these movies cost up to 250 million to make, and most of it goes to the actors and their entourages.

  4. You said it. The music! Why does it have to be so loud? I know they want to move us, but all we end up moving for is the volume button. It’s those loud bursts of music that bother me the most. You have to crank the volume up to understand the mumbling actors, but then the scene changes and the music attacks. And with two sleeping children down the hall… not cool.

    I’ve seen a lot of good stuff on streaming. And a lot of bad. But the great part about it is if it’s bad, you can just turn it off. You haven’t waited for the DVD in the mail. No commitment!

    • Hi Kay, and they have the technology to fix this murderous music. Even a local bar band has somebody on the mixer board. How can they not see this problem?

      I love the Brit productions, but often can’t understand a bloody word. After 20 minutes I give up! Maybe someday Netflix will provide captioning for anything streamable.

  5. Very well said.
    “aweful, aweful abomintion” – not even I could come up with that. 😉

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