I watched El Camino at the weekend, the Breaking Bad movie that follows the aftermath of the final episode by focussing on Jesse Pinkman after he escapes from the neo-Nazis. I enjoyed it but this isn’t a review of it.
If I review something I do one of two things:
- Read other reviews first
- Avoid reading other reviews first
Generally, I’ll read other reviews if I feel I don’t have a good grasp on the thing. I avoid reading other reviews when I think I’ve got a good sense of the thing and my reaction to it. Then sometimes I just read other reviews before hand because I feel like and I’m not the boss of me.
I didn’t feel like I had good sense of what to say about El Camino, so I did read other reviews. On review I thought was particularly pertinent was this one by Abigail Nussbaum http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2019/10/el-camino-a-breaking-bad-movie
Unfortunately, it was a bit too good i.e. I felt I had nothing to say afterwards. This is one reason why I’m always impressed by how people like Charles Payseur or Greg Hullender manage to review so many things, even if the reviews are short.
There are two things I find very difficult to review: things I had complex reactions to and things I didn’t have much reaction to at all. In both cases it is the issue of how to go about writing something that stops me. I know that I’m most comfortable writing things that in essence arguments i.e. have the structure of:
- I think this
- Here is a chain of facts and reasons
- See, I was right
But what I’m actually writing is more like:
- I felt this about a thing
- Here is what happened in the thing
- My feeling are now validated
And I’m not so sure about that and it makes me want to write reviews differently but I’m not sure how. And that is enough introspection for today!