What is a “critic?”  Well, if you were to type these six letters into Google, you will be provided with the following information:  A noun meaning 1) a person who expresses an unfavorable opinion of something or 2) a person who judges the merits of literary, artistic, or musical works, especially one who does so professionally.  If you would like to look it up yourself, go ahead…I’ll wait.  OK?  Good. 

Now, I am willing to bet that when you hear the word critic, the latter of these definitions is what pops into your head.  It certainly does for me, more specifically of the movie variety.  I ask you, what does it take to be a movie critic?  Does one need to study film or the art of film making to be qualified as a movie critic?  I’m sure that helps if one wants to do so professionally.  No, I think the only qualifications necessary are having an opinion and being able to articulate one’s opinions into a coherent sentence.  Why is it then that so many of these professionals feel the need to pontificate about the movies they are reviewing like pretentious boobs?  To justify an over inflated salary or ego, perhaps?  Who can say?  Why do I care, you ask?  Well, because I am a critic myself.

I am not a professional, mind you.  I have never received a salary for providing my opinions on the movies I have seen but I am a critic none the less.  I shared my opinions on a local access television program for a little over 15 years.  When I first started, I tried to play the part of the pretentious boob because those were the examples of the professionals I had to emulate.  However, one day I had an epiphany after watching a movie that I had planned to review on the next show.  I could not tell you now when exactly this took place or even what movie it was that I had seen at the time.  What I do recall is that it was a movie that held no promise of traditional “critical” acclaim and one that I had fully anticipated would be a total drain of not only my wallet but also of what little precious time I have left on this Earth.  However, I found myself walking out of the theater elated that I had not wasted either my time or my money.  I found myself…entertained.  After all, isn’t the core goal of every movie, to entertain the movie goer?  So I asked around, and low and behold, lots of people agreed with me.  Granted there were some in search of Oscar worthy performances and artfully crafted cinematography and the like, but the majority just didn’t want to spend $50 on a couple of tickets and snacks only to walk away feeling they were cheated.

It was at this point that my entire philosophy about reviewing movies evolved into simply letting people know whether or not I found a movie entertaining.  I also find that this open minded approach resulted in my being able to find redeeming qualities in most of the movies I see.  Not all of them mind you (“Eye of the Beholder” comes to mind), but most of them.  With that said, it is my pleasure to present you with Through the Lens…and a look at an upcoming movie. But first, let’s go to the clip!

Star Wars fans had a lot to celebrate this week with the release of episode 7 “The Force Awakens” on DVD and the teaser trailer for “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” set for release in December 2016. This will be the first installment of what is referred to as the Star Wars Anthology, three movies that will take place in the time frame between “Revenge of the Sith” and “A New Hope.” This movie focuses on the rebellion and their efforts to steal the plans for the Death Star that was unveiled in “A New Hope.” The second movie, scheduled for release in 2018, will center around a young Han Solo and the third movie, scheduled for 2020 tentatively, will focus on either Boba Fett or Obi-Wan Kenobi (although very little information has been released about the plans for the third movie as of this moment). Based on this one and a half minute teaser trailer that was released earlier today it looks like this new series of Star Wars movies will be pretty exciting and I for one will be looking forward to seeing “Rogue One” this Christmas.