"It isn't supposed to be Citizen Kane."
"It's for kids!"
"It's just for entertainment."
"You have to turn your brain off to fully enjoy it."
"You're just a snob."
Everytime I criticize a popular movie (oftentimes directed by someone whose name rhymes Gichael May), I often hear these directed at me again and again. I'm getting tired of it, quite frankly. I've done this in other message boards but I'll expound on it here.
I have nothing against mainstream, escapist Hollywood fare and other blockbuster movies designed solely for the purpose of entertaining it's audience. But wishing to entertain should not be an excuse to lower one's standards, be it as a filmmaker or as an audience member. The reason I refuse to accept "it's just for entertainment" as an defense against a crappy is that a lot of great films have been made that were crafted solely for the purpose of entertaining an audience. Escapist, Hollywood money-makers have been made without sacrificing a good story and good filmmaking. It can be done. It should be done. Praising a subpar effort just because it "entertained" you is to lower one's standards. It gives an excuse and a justification for hack filmmakers to undermine an audience to make a buck. For me, a standard for a good film is good filmmaking and a good, interesting story. I don't look for an Oscar winner or a masterpiece in every movie that I see. I always judge a movie by it's own parameters and standards.
More on this in future entries.