Thursday, May 21, 2009

Relationships and Movie Reviews

So I just got back from seeing Terminator Salvation with my roommates, my brother and his sons and something dawned on me. In the past few years, I have tried my best to avoid reading reviews of movies that I had an interest in seeing (especially my beloved geek movies due to fanboyism which I will touch on later) and this movie was no different. What I had heard, however, was how the reviews were less than flattering from the sites I frequent. After getting home, I went through my normal post movie routine and read reviews on a few sights to see how my thoughts on the movie matched up. These reviews, overall, can be sumed up in one word:


Now, don't get me wrong, my intent here is not to kiss the throne of the new Terminator movie (I really enjoyed it, but did not think it was a perfect movie or even the best movie I have seen this year *cough* Star Trek *cough*). I think a lot of movie reviewers, especially my fellow fanboys when viewing our beloved geek content inspired movies, view movies the way teenagers view romantic relationships. Now, of course, both components of this analogy are generalizations and do not refer to ALL of either set, but read on to see my point.

I know you all remember feeling differently when you were in High School, but that feeling you felt when you and that hot chick from Bio II started going steady was in no way matter how hard you wanted it to be. It may have been puppy love, but there is a reason for the differentiation between puppy love and love. You are not going to marry your childhood sweetheart. You are not going to spend the rest of your life with the first person you ever went to spring formal with. Relationships, especially romantic ones, are one of the most important things developmentally for people to experience. That is not because you are going to be set for life, rather it is because each one serves its individual purpose in your development as a teenager adult on the path to adulthood. Some of these relationships don't even feel like the one while you are in it, they are just a ton of fun. Some are terrible and you know that as soon as it becomes official, but you stick it out for a time anyway. Some are even so real (this is the puppy love) that you think you are going to be 2getha4eva even though that is rarely the case.*

*I will come back to this a little later on.

As such, I feel that movie reviewers often expect so much from a movie that the movie doesn't even have a chance before it is viewed. You see, I feel that movies, much like relationships, are made up of a lot of different pieces and serve a lot of different purposes for a lot of people. I have to believe that every filmmaker, on at least some level, thinks that they are making a good movie. The definition of what a good movie is probably varies depending on who is making it, but I imagine that the filmmakers ant others to enjoy their work. Do all filmmakers think that they are going to change the landscape of movie making as we know it? Do they want to revolutionize the specific genre with a film making technique or plot device? Surely not.

Then I ask this question to the movie reviewers of the world...

Why so angry? Why is it, when a movie doesn't live up to your unrealistic expectations that you lash out at it. Why does the fact that the movie not fitting into these expectations mean that the director is terrible or that the writing was bad? Granted, there are some movies that are just plain bad movies from a film making point of view, but that is not often the case. What it normally is, told you I was coming back to the relationship thing, is that movies reviewers often want to "marry" these movies that they highly anticipate. They expect that it is going to change everything and that they are going to be happy forever after seeing it (because they are married...duh). They do not often seem to think, "You know, this movie is going to be a lot of fun and, although I will probably forget most of it after it is done, I will have a great time with it." If more people did, specifically fanboys, movies would be much more enjoyed on the whole.

We fanboys are the worst at this by labeling someones interpretation of a script. I literally read this tonight about the Terminator movie, "He (McG) is still a crap filmmaker and he managed to brutally kill the Terminator franchise for me."

Seriously Mr. Movie Reviewer? He killed a franchise for you? Wow...that is pretty deep. So McG's interpretation of Terminator makes you dislike the world of T1/T2?

Now, I know the biggest thing with fanboy related rants is that these movies are often drawn from source material that has been around for some time and that has a rabid fanbase, but I do not remember reading reviews of old Kenneth Branaugh movies based on Shakespeare plays that said, "He (Kenneth) is still a crap filmmaker and he managed to brutally kill the Shakespeare franchise for me" and I doubt I ever will.

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