Aquestion. In relation to tentpole movies, has film critique followed politics/social media and lost the ability to find the middle ground? Can a movie like Solo: A Star Wars Story, whose recent Small Screen review included the line, “The plot is almost an afterthought. The real story here is a sequence of nods to Star Wars history,” really be a four-star film? Although your great mag often proves the exception, I feel most reviews nowadays of big, franchise movies (Star Wars, Marvel) will lead me down one of two very opposing paths – those who LOVED it and those who HATED it. What happened to balance? SIMON ELLIOTT, VIA EMAIL
We’re all about balance at TF Towers. Reviewers are encouraged to tattoo their knuckles with ‘love’ and ‘hate’ à la The Night Of The Hunter, which oddly seems to give us first dibs on the Doritos in screening rooms. Solo, meanwhile, is what we refer to as – and this is very technical stuff, so pay attention – a ‘low four’, which means it’s a stand-out scene (or two) short of a ‘solid four’, but a meme-able one-liner (or two) ahead of a ‘high three’. There’s a chart explaining it all in the TF kitchen; it’s like an eye test designed by The Matrix.