Why We Should Never Solely Base Our Decision To See A Movie On Critic’s Reviews…

Do movie critics ever sway your decision to go see a movie in the theater? And do you pay attention to things like the Rotten Tomatoes score, which is a percentage rating of all the critic’s reviews for each film? Or are you someone who sees a movie regardless of whether it has positive or negative reviews, simply because it interests you?

I ask these questions because I’ve noticed over the past year, I’ve gone to a number of movies that were poorly reviewed by plenty of critics, yet I still thoroughly enjoyed them. Movies such as “Collateral Beauty”, “A Dog’s Purpose”, “Ghost In The Shell”, “King Arthur”, and “Everything, Everything” to name a few. Personally, I don’t like reading critic’s reviews of films for this very reason, as I don’t want to become biased by their opinion, even when the majority of them may be saying the same thing.

Watching movies is like viewing a piece of art. It moves a person individually in a unique way because of where they are at in life and what they’ve gone through. Take “Collateral Beauty” for example. It was loathed by the majority of critics in this country, each claiming it was far too unbelievable. Me, on the other hand, went into the movie with no expectations and emerged several hours lately spiritually charged and feeling quite uplifted. Why so many critics didn’t like it, I have no idea. But my point is that if I had listened to all those negative reviews or based my decision on its Rotten Tomatoes score, which in this case was a measly 14% (meaning 86% of the critics in this country hated it), I probably wouldn’t have gone to the theater and never known how much it would have touched my soul.

Another case in point is with a film I just went to the other day, that being the 2017 remake of “Flatliners”. It actually received a dreadful score of 4% on Rotten Tomatoes (meaning 96% of critics shunned it), yet I was determined to see it anyway because of my great love of the original. And you know what, I absolutely adored it. I appreciate the director’s take on the update, as much as I did the original. I also liked the younger cast of actors and actresses and I treasured its underlying message on forgiveness, one that moved me so much that I cried by the end of it, because so often in my life my ego refused to forgive both myself and others, the result of which made me greatly suffer on my spiritual journey.

Thus, my point is this. If we always base our life’s decisions on what other people say, we may miss out on beautiful opportunities for our Higher Guidance to show up in our lives and bless us in ways we might never expect. Movies truly are like art and appreciation for them can vary greatly from one person to the next. Just because the majority of critics despise a film doesn’t mean you will too. So, my suggestion is this. When you find your spirit perk up while watching a preview of it or reading a promotion about it, go see it when it comes out, even if the majority of critics say to avoid it. You might just discover a diamond in the rough in the process and a greater connection to your Higher Self as well. And wouldn’t that alone be worth it on your spiritual journey in life?

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Navigating A World Filled With Alcohol And Drugs…Sober

I would never tell someone relatively new to sobriety from alcohol and drugs to hang out at places were either were abundantly present. But that’s not true for those who have worked solid 12 Step programs, as one of the goals of recovery is to learn how to be around those things again without feeling the desire doing either.

The first few years of my own recovery were spent avoiding bars and parties where any type of alcohol or drugs were present. About the only place I ever was around either was at a bowling alley where I was in a league. I just didn’t feel strong enough yet to resist the temptation of being around all that energy of people who were still enjoying them.

Thankfully, that’s no longer true for me. I have no problem going to a bar or a party where people are doing things like drinking or smoking weed. In fact, I was at a gathering recently where both took place and I still had an immensely good time. But, I also set boundaries for myself, which is an important tool in recovery from an addiction. What that means is to know one’s limits and respect them. In my case, that meant leaving the party after spending four or so hours there, notably right around the time I started feeling myself become a little tempted to engage in some old behaviors.

Nevertheless, the point I’m making is that while it may be a healthy thing to initially avoid being around all the people and places that trigger a person into their alcohol or drug addiction, eventually everyone can find freedom through the 12 Step work to be around them again, except this time having healthy boundaries in place.

Healthy boundaries can include setting time limits of how long to remain in various places or be around certain people that may be triggering. It can also mean going with someone who is sober or even calling a sponsor before arriving and after leaving. And it can mean leaving a situation if certain conditions arise like when hard-core drugs show up.

However one chooses to set healthy boundaries for themselves, one should never spend frequent time around bars or people where alcohol and drugs are regularly present, no matter how short or long their time in sobriety is. Because that old saying still continues to prove its validity in that the longer one hangs around a barbershop, the more they are assured of getting a haircut.

Overall, the point I’m trying to make is that 12 Step recovery can and will help a person coexist in a world that will always be filled with alcohol and drugs. Today, I can coexist successfully amongst neighbors who occasionally drink and smoke pot. I can coexist successfully at parties and other social functions where both are present as well. And I can even coexist amongst friends and loved ones who like to have an alcoholic beverage here and there, such as when we’re out to dinner.

In the end, it all comes down to me being ok with it, because I’m ok with my recovery. I have the strength and foundation of a program under my belt and a Higher Power guiding it, whom I choose to call God, that constantly supports me and navigates me through life where alcohol and drugs will always be present. And that alone is one of the main reasons why I continue to stay active in my recovery, one day at a time, for over 22 years now…

Peace, love, light and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson