I’m not sure if anything all that important can be gleaned from comparing two films that are so different in quality. What this does perhaps more than anything else is bring to question my own movie watching patterns.
Being a bit of an omnivore I do consume films of many stripes and though that is not uncommon nor in itself that bad I do know that like with junk food compared with “better” food though the immediate pleasures may seem that far apart, it is after consumption that you really notice that the after effects are quite different. After Push I just felt ripped off in so many ways and sad about the state of entertainment these days but after Casino Royale I felt the opposite.
By the way this is not an argument against teenager or fantasy films. If done right, like Scott Pilgrim, they are phenomenal. What this really is, is me expressing the desire to be a little more particular in how I spend the few hours I have in this life. It is not so much that I feel so bad after watching a bad film, or justifying it on some small positive element in an unholy mess (as in I loved The Joker but hated Dark Knight) but the feeling that I get, such as I got today, after watching Blue Valentine and then later The Temptations of St Tony (a film very different from but reminiscent of Bela Tarr and also one of that stream of recent great looking black and white films like White Ribbon) just makes me wonder why I can’t just limit myself to strong films.
But I am also rebelling against that horrible sentiment that smart friends of mine have expressed, “just want to see something mindless” or “don’t want to have to think”. I find that if you end up not having to think about a film its usually piss poor. Or to paraphrase a classic “the unexamined film is not worth watching”.