If you type in the words “meh meaning” into Google, it’ll give you 762,000 results in 0.59 seconds. The first result will include the following definitions:
expressing a lack of interest or enthusiasm.
“meh, I’m not impressed so far”
“a lot of his movies are … meh”
It’s appropriate (and a little unsurprising) that one of the examples mentions movies. Recently, I’ve watched a few movies that have prompted that very response: meh. The movies in question have been Mechanic: Resurrection, Bastille Day, and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (all 2016). These are all very bad movies, movies so bad that they carry their own aura of awfulness about them. They are to moviemaking what Donald Trump is to race relations, or Liam Hemsworth is to Method acting (yes, that bad). And they, along with many other movies reviewed here this year, all have one thing in common: their makers (apparently) didn’t seem to care that they were so bad. How else can you explain the dire nature of all three movies? And not just those movies, but the myriad others that have been released this year? Movies such as Grimsby, Independence Day: Resurgence, and Misconduct? All featuring big names in their casts, all made by well-regarded moviemakers, and all with the potential to surprise, reward and entertain us.
But they all fell short of that ambition, and horribly so. And it’s these movies that the multiplexes offer us year after year, week after week, and no matter how many times we’re disappointed and made to feel that we’ve wasted our money on tickets, we still go back, year after year, and week after week. And nothing changes.
Well, thedullwoodexperiment, in its own small way, is calling time on the credibility-free blockbuster; the unnecessary, lacklustre sequel; the poorly executed original concept movie; and any movie that attempts to fool people into believing that it’s better than it is just because it has a couple of big names heading up the cast list (and especially if their roles only amount to cameos). These movies will no longer get the exposure that a main review would give them – they already get enough of that from other blogs and websites, critics, and a wide variety of journalistic outlets. As of today, these movies’ presence on this site will be reduced to the standard mentions given to movies in the Monthly Roundups.
Instead, thedullwoodexperiment will focus on bringing more thoughtful and thought-provoking movies to a wider audience, and from a wide variety of genres and sources. Some may be dramas, some may be comedies, some may be documentaries or defy easy categorisation – some will definitely be foreign language movies. But all of them will be chosen with the intention of bringing something a little different to the table, and giving exposure to movies that might not otherwise get as much of a look-in as they deserve. I’m pretty sure that I’ll get it wrong from time to time, and some of these more thoughtful and thought-provoking movies will turn out to be anything but. But they will have been chosen because they don’t follow the standard formulas and predictable plotting of more mainstream features. Until Hollywood and the large independent production companies and distributors, e.g. Warner Bros. and Lionsgate, realise that they need to up their game considerably, then this site will boycott them as much as possible until they do.
Who cares? you might ask. Well, increasingly, I do. And as the song has it (kind of), “It’s my party, and I’ll review what I want to”. Now, let’s see where that takes us…