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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The recent thread about great roles from otherwise mediocre (or bad) actors had me thinking about this topic again, so I thought I'd share.

When my friends and I get together, we talk about movies. A LOT. (We also make movies, and music videos, and commercials, but that's a different subject) One thing I've started to do is to talk about movies, and talking about films.

There are some products released by Hollywood that are great entertainment, but they don't tell any groundbreaking stories. They rake in the box office, get a lot of buzz, maybe generate a couple of sequels, but they're mostly forgotten in a few weeks when the next "big thing" comes down the line. They get a resurgence when the DVD/BRD comes out, but that's about it. To me, these are movies.

Films are something else. Films are groundbreaking for different reasons - story, acting, subject matter. These are the ones that don't make very much money (they also typically don't cost a lot of money), but critics can't stop talking about them. These are the titles that are in the "big" categories at the Oscars - Actor, Actress, Supportings, Director, and Best Picture. How many times have you looked at the "Best Picture" nomination list and say "I haven't even HEARD of half of these!"?

Movies - Armageddon, Avengers (and the collective Marvel Cinematic Universe), Shaun of the Dead, Gremlins, Goonies, Top Gun, Argo*, Zero Dark Thirty*

Films - Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, The Artist, Life of Pi, Jaws**, Rocky**, Cloud Atlas, The Green Mile, Citizen Kane

*These movies had the goal of becoming films, but (in my opinion) fell short of the mark. That could change with time and historical perspective

**Exactly the opposite, these started life with the goal of being just entertainment, just movies, but have elevated to a higher platform. In the case of these films, I think it's because they changed the entire landscape of cinema in this county for the better.

This is pretty subjective, obviously, but I hope my thoughts are coming through, and I'd like to hear others' input. I don't think one or the other is better, they're just different. There are some great movies that will never be more than just a movie. Films tend to be something that don't get a lot of re-watches, but are quite impacting on that first (maybe second, as in the case of Cloud Atlas) viewing. They both have their place, and I welcome it all! But I like to differentiate when I talk about things. I see new movies and, when asked if they're any good, I'll often say "It was a great movie, but it wasn't a film by any means." (This year's re-imagining of The Lone Ranger comes to mind).

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