Matt's Movie Watching World

Last movie seen: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)  4 :(
Last movie seen for first time: 12 Angry Men (1957)  6+
Last movie seen in theater: San Andreas (2015)  8  :)

Opinion of the Week (Aug. 31 ‒ Sept. 5, 2015)

Review: 12 Angry Men (1957)  6+  

If you had asked me ten years earlier if I would watch this movie out of self-motivation, I would have denied it based on my low interest level at that time, though there's reasonable doubt that I would have stayed at that low interest level my whole life. Related to that low level, this is not my kind of movie, an old black-and-white serious courtroom drama. But I keep hearing about it, it's one of the best reviewed movies of all time, and it was the highest ranking movie on IMDb's Top 250, that's not R rated, that I hadn't previously seen. And maybe it had a good story. In the story, 12 jurors, known in the courtroom only by their numbers 1 through 12, deliberate on the elaborate trial they've listened to and discuss whether an 18-year-old boy (who probably should have been referred to as an 18-year-old man) is guilty of the murder of his father. Initially, all jurors believe he's guilty, except #8, played by star Henry Fonda, who doubts the boy's guilt, and the reason why he suggests he's not guilty is because he's careful about human life and wants to talk about it for a while before he condemns the boy to the death penalty. **spoiler ahead** The judge informs the jury that their verdict must be unanimous; if the defendant is to be executed, all 12 jurors must agree on a guilty verdict; if the defendant is to be acquitted, all 12 jurors must agree he's not guilty. If anyone disagrees, they have to talk about it and deliberate until all of them agree. With the jury 11 to 1 in favor of the accused being guilty, it's more likely that the one who thinks he's innocent will come to agree with the other 11 and vote guilty. But as the plot evolves, the other 11 jurors each change their minds in favor of the not guilty verdict. That makes for an unlikely, interesting, and unique story. Here's what I don't like about it. There's not enough variety in the setting. There's nothing that takes place before the trial, and the bulk of the trial isn't shown either. 99% of the story takes place in the jury deliberation room. After the jury reaches their unanimity, they are not shown delivering the verdict in the courtroom. It's interesting that the jurors are known as numbers instead of names, and it's good that they each have various personalities and objectives, but no one out of the jury has any personality. We don't get to know anything of the judge, the accused, or the families of anyone involved. Also, the story is more about the jurors trying to find the doubt, not the truth. I wondered and hoped that there would be something that one of the jurors knew that the others didn't. For example, did the one who believed he wasn't guilty have that knowledge because he actually committed the murder? The last juror to come to the not guilty agreement had the most angry kind of personality, and I wondered, was he so insistent on the guilty verdict because he committed the murder and was trying desperately to cover it up? No, all they were trying to do was come up with enough doubt that the accused committed the murder to make a guilty verdict unethical. Also, though there is some anger demonstrated by some of the men, there's not enough of it to justify a "12 Angry Men" title.


How to make the most of Matt's Movie Watching World

1: Come visit this page, the Facebook page, and the Twitter page whenever you feel like it. I recommend that you visit often. You decide what qualifies as "often." See what movies I have seen recently, which ones I have added to my list, and which ones I have added reviews for since the last time you visited.
2: Familiarize yourself with my system of rating movies. I rate movies on a scale of 1 to 10, ten being the best. I also add + and - signs to many of my ratings, similar to grading systems in school. Most movies I watch get a 7 or 8, while 10's and ratings less than 5 are rare. I think of this as being because I'm often too optimistic to think most movies deserve less than 5, and I'm too realistic to think most movies deserve higher than 9. Sometimes I feel like I rate movies on a scale from 6 to 9, nine being pretty good. I encourage you to use the same or similar system when you rate your own movies.
3: When my "last movie watched" section says "in theater," that means that that movie is the most recent movie I have seen in the theater. When it says "for first time," that means it's the most recent movie I have added to my list. If the last movie I watched, the last movie I added to my list, and the last movie I saw in the theater are three different movies, then three different movies would appear on the page. If two of those movies are the same, then two movies appear. If one movie counts as all three, then only one movie appears.
4: Understand that I like a lot of Disney, animated, and family movies. I like a good number of superhero movies, comedies, sci-fi, and fantasy movies. I watch and like other movies too, but accept that I think these kids' movies and other varieties are some of the best movies ever made.
5: Understand that I haven't seen every movie. I've seen a lot of movies, and I've heard of a great deal more movies, but I'm only one person. I do other things besides watch movies sometimes, so to save time and money, I have to pick and choose which ones I care enough to watch. And some movies I could have seen earlier I see later instead.
6: Follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter if you have such social network memberships. My movie viewings and my scale-from-1-to-10 numbers should appear in your feed. My Opinions of the Weeks will appear every weekend. If I watch a movie you like, or if you agree with the general opinion I have of it, click the "like" button on my Facebook post, or make an interesting comment. The more you like and comment, the more it will appear in your feed.
7: Whenever you think about a movie, whether I've seen it or not, think to yourself, "I wonder if Matt/MMWW has seen that movie," or "I wonder what Matt/MMWW thinks about that movie." Come to the page, click on the movies list and/or reviews chart, type ctrl-F or command-F (find) to search for the movies you're interested in, see what I think, and if you've seen the movie, compare your thoughts to my thoughts. If I haven't posted on Facebook recently about that specific movie, feel free to type something directly on my Facebook wall.
8: If you feel like watching a movie, but don't know which one to watch, come to my page, click on the movies list, and look over my top 100 favorite movies, marked in yellow, and watch a movie you haven’t seen before. To expand, feel free to look over my top 200 or 300, not marked in yellow. Look over anything I give an 8 or higher, or 7+ or 7. Obviously, the ones closer to the top of the list I tend to recommend more than the ones under it. If you're looking for a recent movie, playing in the theaters or recently released on home video, type ctrl-F or command-F (find) and look for this year or last year. Watch a movie or a few movies that are high on the list.
9: Look over my list and find out movies you have seen and enjoy that are not on my list. Try to analyze my list, reviews, and opinions to figure out what movies I might be likely to enjoy. Post on my Facebook page your recommendations.
10: If you're an everyday visitor, look at my Quote of the Day. Try to guess what movie each line and character come from, then drag your cursor over the empty space in the box to see if you’re right. (Hint: The Princess Bride, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Forrest Gump, and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl are my most quoted movies.) Have fun with this even if you’re not an everyday visitor.
11: If you miss out on seeing my reviews and other opinions featured as Opinion of the Week, or simply have a curiosity about what I've written about in the past, look over my Opinion of the Week archive on Facebook.
12: Look at my Gunnther Awards page to see what I think about the best in various categories for every year (or at least the last 20 years). Do this especially during awards season.
13: I always have a box on my page that counts down to my most-anticipated movie being released sometime less than 9 months away. This countdown number changes every day, but I don't change what movie I'm counting down to more than 2 or 3 times a year, so don't expect a new movie countdown often, unless the number has been pretty low recently.
14: Films and movies are essentially the same thing, but films are for reviewing and studying, and movies are for watching and enjoying.
15: If you can think of a way I can improve Matt’s Movie Watching World, by my webpage layout, or the way I conduct my social networking, make a comment on my Facebook page or send me a private email. I can’t guarantee to have the resources necessary for all improvements, but I would still appreciate feedback if you ever care to offer it.

I review and study films. I watch and enjoy movies.

This is my world. Thanks for visiting.