By: Matthew Kaiser
Movie Matt-ers is the column you need, but don’t know you want. The great and powerful Matthew will answer any and all of your movie related questions. Just be careful what you ask, he doesn’t always play nice with others. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Movie Matt-ers: Gerard Butler & Critical Disagreements
I first noticed Gerard Butler in “Dracula 2000,” but he was still an unknown to me. What do you think of Gerard Butler’s growth as an actor since that film, compared to his body of works now?
I might be one of the few individuals who enjoyed Dracula 2000 and the four lines Gerard Butler uttered throughout the movie. He made an okay Dracula/Judas (yeah, the storyline is a bit wonky), but there wasn’t much acting from him to judge. Since then, he’s received more attention and has had many leading roles.
I think 300 was his best to date (unlike my wife, I’m not basing this on his six-pack washboard abs). As King Leonidas, ruler of the Spartans and all around general badass, he embraced the role. While it was based on a graphic novel, his acting was believable and well suited for the movie’s theme.
My other example of how his acting has grown may surprise you, because you don’t even see him in the movie. In How to Train Your Dragon, Gerard supplied the voice of the Viking leader, “Stoick the Vast.” Voice acting can be more difficult than regular acting because you have to convey all character emotion and movement entirely through your words and inflection. When he spoke his lines, they matched up to the onscreen animation perfectly and gave depth to the character interactions.
As an actor, I believe Gerard will continue to grow; I’m still holding out for a role reprisal in Dracula 3000.
In your opinion, why do you think every review written by just about any reviewer seems to be the opposite of the general opinion?
I don’t try to speak in generalities, but I can understand your viewpoint. It does seem like many of the hyped movies with big name actors, high demand directors, and exceptional stories get excellent reviews. Hmm, maybe there’s a large conspiracy to bribe critics with free concession stand food in exchange for positive reviews. Perhaps they’re trying to create drama and controversy so as to entice moviegoers to check the film out for themselves. Then again, they could just be good movies.
Obvious sarcasm aside, there are probably some reviewers who have a lemming mentality and go with the popular opinion. I like to think, being a reviewer myself, that we are naturally opinionated people who don’t base our tastes on the majority’s idea of what’s good. I can look at a movie from two perspectives. The first is that of a casual moviegoer: the average person seeing a movie who wants to be entertained and connected in an emotional capacity. The second is that of a critic. We too like to be entertained and have an emotional connection, but we also have to break down the cinematography, quality of writing, believability of the acting, and many other factors that the general audience may take for granted.
What it ultimately comes down to is this. You can take into account the views of reviewers, your friends, your family, and even random strangers. But there is only one opinion that should matter: yours.
Matthew Kaiser is a (self-described) highly opinionated movie geek who lives in Clearwater, Florida with his wife and cat.