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Brandon Frye
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Posted: 10 January 2019 at 11:51pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

The excitement over the trailer in the Captain Marvel thread has got me to pondering a very odd reaction I seem to have over such things. 

When I was a young lad back in 1982, my older siblings took me to see E.T. 

It was still in it's early release so it hadn't yet generated the attention (especially in those pre-internet days) that would make it the huge hit it was to become. I remember enjoying it. A lot. Laughing at the funny moments, getting teary eyed at the sad ones, it seemed to hit all the right notes. 

As it became a huge sensation over the coming weeks and months (my friends at school would gush over it frequently, most of them seeing it multiple times), my own love of it actually began to sour. The sensationalism seemed to ignite some kind of rebellious spark in me and I started convincing myself I hated it, simply because everyone else loved it (that's not how I rationalized it at the time but it's the only thing that would make sense to me later since I had enjoyed the film).

Years later and well into adulthood, I noticed that I still had a very similar reaction whenever a movie became a huge sensation (Titanic, The Matrix, and Avatar are a few that came to mind) and one that persists to this day. 

There have been exceptions (Jurassic Park was a big one but my life-long love of dinosaurs steamrolled any mental resistance I may have had), but more often than not, when I start hearing phrases like "best movie ever made!" or "best comic book movie EVER!" my knee-jerk thought is "oh no it's not!" and my mind immediately goes to work to find reasons to prove just that.

I've never quite been able to understand why sensationalism alone repels me from seeing movies that I would probably have otherwise seen and enjoyed. Am I subconsciously trying to make myself unique by going against the grain? Or does endless praise and promotion simply became more obnoxious than exciting?

Can the hype machine actually elevate something to a point where it actually has the opposite effect? Or is this just my own personal oddity?

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Bill Collins
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Posted: 10 January 2019 at 11:59pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I`ve got no desire to see La La Land for this reason, i
don`t mind a musical, but the songs i`ve heard do
nothing to make me change my mind.
I liked Black Panther, but i don`t think it`s as good as
the media/internet hype would have you believe, it`s on
a par with the best MCU films, but in my opinion, not
better.
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 11 January 2019 at 2:45am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

La La Land would have been a much better movie if the song "City of Stars", which was hands down the worst song in the film, hadn't been annoyingly used throughout the movie. 

That, and the fact that Ryan Gosling was a bad choice for the lead because he's not a good singer, are the worst things about the movie.

I tend to ignore hype and critics. I tend to pay more attention to trailers and what other people who aren't paid to write reviews (ie, normal movie viewers and people I know who have seen it) have to say.

Leonard Maltin and Siskel and Ebert were the only movie critics I ever gave any weight to, and I disagreed with them plenty.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 11 January 2019 at 7:58am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

A friend used to work for Bell & Howell, in their videotape production division. He told me that they were churning our tapes of E.T. before the movie even hit the theaters. The Studio expected it to be a huge dud, and wanted to flood the market before word-of-mouth killed sales.

There was something of a panic, collecting and destroying the tapes, when the reverse turned out to be true/

At least, that's what he told me!

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Joseph Greathouse
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Posted: 11 January 2019 at 9:01am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

"As it became a huge sensation over the coming weeks and months (my friends at school would gush over it frequently, most of them seeing it multiple times), my own love of it actually began to sour. The sensationalism seemed to ignite some kind of rebellious spark in me and I started convincing myself I hated it, simply because everyone else loved it (that's not how I rationalized it at the time but it's the only thing that would make sense to me later since I had enjoyed the film)."

So my 17 year old tends to have this reaction as well.  He declares things as stupid, site-unseen, just because others are hyping something that they have enjoyed.  We were on vacation and Frozen was on. My wife and his little brother wanted to watch it.  I was on their side.  And he espoused how bad and dumb it was, even though he had never seen the movie.  Most recently, he decided this for Bird Box as well. Again, he has never watched either.

He is a pretty independent kid, and always has been. I think its the declaration that turns him off.  Others telling him he MUST like something or he MUST feel a certain way, that is the turn off.
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Christopher Frost
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Posted: 11 January 2019 at 10:20am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

My best friend is like that. Whenever something becomes popular, he comes out against it regardless of whether or not it merits such a reaction. It's like he has a chronic need to be the naysayer in the group. 
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 11 January 2019 at 11:42am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I liked Black Panther, but i don`t think it`s as good as 
the media/internet hype would have you believe, it`s on 
a par with the best MCU films, but in my opinion, not 
better.

Agreed. A well-made and great-looking movie, but not THE BEST FILM EVER MADE EVER EVER. 

And I don't buy into the Michael B. Jordan hype. If anything, I thought he was a weak link in this movie (I thought he was much better in CREED II).


As for rebelling against the popular, I understand the impulse. I think there's an attractive aspect to knowing something is awesome when perhaps the world at large does not. If the masses love it, it can perhaps become not as...special.


The popularity of comic book superheroes is a good example...especially the Black Panther. How many people thought the he was cool before last year? Or before CIVIL WAR? Or even knew who he was prior to those films? And how many do now?

For decades, I've known he was King T'Challa of the secret African land of Wakanda, where vibranium comes from (and what vibranium is). I knew he was swift and silent, but also savvy enough to be among, and respected by, the Avengers (and Fantastic Four). On the rare chance that I saw somebody with a Black Panther shirt on, it was kinda cool. We both knew something that most others didn't. 

And, while it's validating, in a way, to have so many so enamored with something you've enjoyed for so long, it also kinda loses something. As much as I loved INFINITY WAR, a part of me kinda wishes people would just shut the hell up about it already.  



Edited by Brian Rhodes on 11 January 2019 at 11:44am
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 11 January 2019 at 4:41pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Brandon, I wonder if my first reaction strikes any chord with you though it's not exactly the same.

I loved Talking Heads when they first broke in the late 70s. They were this little new alternative "band that could" that nobody knew about with a strange voiced, eccentric singer named David Byrne who wrote bizarre lyrics and didn't seem to care what anyone thought.  I adopted them and enjoyed them as a bunch of rhode island design school artists having fun and experimenting, not caring about success, cool because they didn't sell out and went their own quirky way.  Then they started getting exposure and got some radio airplay with "Psycho Killer" then "Take me to the River" and "Once in a Lifetime."  Within a few years (particularly by "Burning Down the House" 5 or so years later) they'd built up to a pretty huge commercial following.   I still liked them to a degree but somehow because they were now "mainstream" I couldn't generate the same enthusiasm I'd had when they were nobodies.  It's not like they sold out (they still made quirky stuff) but I couldn't help feeling like they'd "gone commercial" because the general public had discovered them.

There's a certain cachet some good films enjoy because they're not as well known and are like a happy little secret as well as a certain stigma other good films suffer because they're instantly recognizable and thus somehow pigeon-holed.   There's something to the joy of discovery.  If I go in with low expectations I'm far more likely to be more charitable and pleasantly surprised than if I go in expecting a masterpiece, which usually results in disappointment.


Edited by Rick Senger on 11 January 2019 at 4:43pm
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 11 January 2019 at 9:04pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I avoided E.T., Avatar, and Titanic for years after their release. If everyone else has already seen something, I figured, I didn't really need to see it myself. It wasn't going to slip by unnoticed somehow. Everyone else had it covered. Besides which, the popular taste and my own rarely line up. Their embracing something doesn't automatically make it of little interest to me, but it can render things suspect. The general public and I seemed to agree on Star Wars back in the day, but that may just have been an isolated incident. We haven't seen eye-to-eye on much since. :-)

I have a friend who favors cinema with an unconventional, epic approach. David Lynch is a favorite of his. He likes Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo. You don't HAVE TO drag a ship over a mountain to get his attention, but he seems to respect the effort if you do. Shows like Friends and Seinfeld were never going to make his watch list. Aiming for the middle pretty much guarantees you're not going to hit anything meaningful or interesting as far as he's concerned. Early on in his film-watching life, Ed Wood interested him. Whatever Wood was doing, his reach always exceeded his grasp. He made filming a pie pan as a flying saucer seem like it was as difficult for him as dragging a ship over a mountain was for Herzog. The struggle is what mattered.

I'm far less demanding. Give me a lesbian vampire, some nudity, maybe some indie dialogue, and I'm set. My friend puts up with my plebian tastes for the most part, except where Dr. Who is concerned. There, I'm just wrong and should stop watching if I can't appreciate what's being done for me. 

In any case, we hang out and watch films sometimes with his girlfriend, whose taste is even farther afield from his than mine. We try his patience, we really do, but that's part of the fun of it.

So, when I finally did catch it, E.T. was fine. I liked it a lot at the time, but haven't revisited it. I've only ever seen the last fifteen minutes of Titanic and wish that I hadn't. I had a sinking feeling I wouldn't like that one. And Avatar was simply god-awful... My nephew wanted to watch that one and I took a bullet for the team sitting down for that wretched mess. How many pixels were wasted in the construction of that garbage dump? We're never going to get those back, you know.

I still feel like I can do without the things everyone else already has, so long as a few oddball things crop up every now and again that I can enjoy just for myself. Clever little indie pics. Movies about movies. Weird sci-fi things you wonder where the budget for originated. Am I fueling a Colombian drug cartel by renting this film? Hard to tell sometimes...


Edited by Brian Hague on 11 January 2019 at 9:06pm
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 12 January 2019 at 2:38am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

 Brian Rhodes wrote:
Agreed. A well-made and great-looking movie, but not THE BEST FILM EVER MADE EVER EVER.

Find me a quote by a reputable reviewer who said that BLACK PANTHER was "THE BEST FILM EVER MADE EVER EVER". 

You can even take out one "ever"!  Just "the best film ever made". And please avoid posting clickbait headlines like the first in a Google search: 

Move over all other films - Black Panther is officially the best film EVER MADE These are dealing with metrics like Rotten Tomatoes, agrigating reviews for percentages, and not what reviewers actually said.  


Reviewers did say that it was the best superhero film and some said it transcended the genre, but none to my knowledge put it up with CITIZEN KANE as the best film in the history of cinema. That's an important distinction regardless of your personal opinion.  
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 12 January 2019 at 6:32am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

"Reviewers did say that it was the best superhero film..."

...

Nope, not for me anyway. That distinction goes to SUPERMAN.
I loved BLACK PANTHER and would put it up top of the Marvel movies alongside IRON MAN and CAPTAIN AMERICA:: WINTER SOLDIER. IMHO.
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 12 January 2019 at 7:55am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Matt, would it hurt to be a bit less pedantic? You come
across like a haughty school teacher and it isn`t
pleasant. I knew what Brian meant, without taking him
literally.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 12 January 2019 at 12:02pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Agreed. Brian Rhodes was clearly characterizing the hype around the Black Panther film in a humorous manner. Working too hard to miss the point as you've done here is supposed to be something this forum tries to curtail.

Edited by Brian Hague on 12 January 2019 at 12:03pm
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 12 January 2019 at 6:54pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

You took it one way, I another.  That's not "missing the point" Brian. 

Bill, I am obviously someone that sets you off in some way as most of your replies to me are about how I choose to frame my opinion.  Easy enough to skip past me instead of finding every opportunity to correct me or tell me how you think I should respond.  
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Brandon Frye
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Posted: 12 January 2019 at 9:51pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply


 QUOTE:
Brandon, I wonder if my first reaction strikes any chord with you though it's not exactly the same.

Now that you mention it, I did have a very similar reaction to a different type of 'rock star', Todd McFarlane.

I remember enjoying McFarlene's art quite a bit in his earlier days, particularly Spider-Man. But following the rise of Image, when LCS's and publication rags like Wizard Magazine started presenting him as though he was the greatest artist that ever lived (as well as some kind of messiah for creators right's), my enthusiasm for his work dwindled and eventually petered out altogether. 

I can still appreciate his artistic abilities, but I felt the same type of disenchantment that I described in my first post. It didn't even occur to me until now how similar the reaction was. 

 
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 13 January 2019 at 2:00am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Matt, you often come across as rude and pedantic, as you
did in reply to Brian, yes i could skip it, but i chose
to point it out. You don`t know what`s happening in the
personal lives of those you reply to in that manner and
maybe they visit here for a little relief, a little
civility wouldn`t hurt.I`m sorry if that is hard for you
to hear.
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 13 January 2019 at 2:07am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

I'm not going to argue with you, Bill.  Of course I don't know how anyone feels at the moment they choose to post on the board.  No one does. Do you know what happened with me over the holidays this year? No.  Not at all and I don't expect you to because I haven't made it public. But are you honestly saying that's how I should choose to frame how I reply? Expect something bad to have happened to anyone replying and not question a post I think needs to be addressed? That would curtail any discussion or debate, no?  So how am I any different?  

Continue to point it out if you choose.  Fine.  And I'll continue to ignore it. As long as it makes you feel good, I guess that's all that matters.
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 13 January 2019 at 5:35am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

"Continue to point it out if you choose. Fine. And
I'll continue to ignore it. As long as it makes you feel
good, I guess that's all that matters"

"Sigh"
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 15 January 2019 at 11:12am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

I was being facetious with the BEST FILM EVER MADE EVER EVER comment...but also kinda felt it was in line in a thread about hype. 

Thanks to Hague and Bill for recognizing it. Matt, I really like some of what you have to say. Not sure why this got stuck in your craw, but it wasn't meant as a serious evaluation or quote of anything anybody said. 
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