TENTPOLES APART

Total Film - - Dialogue -

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.

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