It seems that average pop-culture fans forget that movies are artistic expression. Online forums and discussions arrive at a binary decision to banish a movie to never be enjoyed again or to hold it as “one of the greatest films of all time.” There is rarely any middle ground. But it’s rare for viewers to immediately banish or add a movie to their top ten list after leaving the theater. After some researching online for the famous “Spoiler Reviews,” we allow a third party’s feelings about a movie to invalidate our own. I am sure that this is how public consensus of a movie’s fate is reached and shared amongst popular culture. It has gotten to the point where, in some cases, you will be scolded for liking a particular movie. This has detrimental effects on the industry and ruins the experience of both creators and consumers alike.
The worst case of this is the vicious hatred of the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy. Personally, I liked the prequel trilogy when I first watched them. I liked the action, the visuals, the actors, and the story. (However, I support all Jar Jar hate.) It was until I began talking to other Star Wars fans that I felt that my appreciation of the prequels was “wrong.” The community of Star Wars fans forced this particular emotion onto those that may have liked the prequels, and they continue to do so. This hive-minded mentality essentially destroyed Star Wars with this behavior. The fan’s hate affected George Lucas so strongly that he vowed to never make another Star Wars movie again. This lead us directly to Disney producing the sequel trilogy, which may face the same fate as the prequel trilogy.
The superhero movie genre is victim to the same complications with its fanbase. Public consensus is that the newer Marvel movies are great and the DC movies are horrible, with the exception of Wonder Woman (2017). I wouldn’t disagree with most of these claims other than a few examples, all of which are blasphemy to most fans. I do not like Wonder Woman, Thor Ragnarok, or the Ant-Man films. I dislike these movies for various reason, but it does not matter for the most part because I’m “wrong.” I’m sure that everyone has some dissenting opinions from the consensus, but the dissenting opinions are rarely talked about in depth online. It creates a bubble for companies, who do not really have the capacity to foresee the outlook out their business to operate by these rules set by the community. This is why I was not surprised when Sony decided to make Spiderman movies without having rights to Spiderman, or when Universal Studios announced its Dark Universe of films, or when New Line announced the “The Conjuring Universe.” The seemingly perfect bubble of the MCU created collateral disasters across Hollywood.
Other forms of art are not treated like this. Imagine eating a burger from McDonalds, and a friend (who read a Reddit post of strangers “objectively” analyzing the taste of McDonalds burgers) attempts to shame you for what you like. Ridiculous, right? Imagine listening to Mudboy, and your friend (who watches music reviews on YouTube) tries to convince you that everyone hates the album. Absolutely, ridiculous. So why do we treat movies this way? Pseudo-objective criticism of movies is commonly based upon plot-holes and fine-detail complaints, which are not great metrics of quality. This is not to say that discussion of plot-holes is useless, however. Exposing plot-holes can show the amount of effort and care put into movies. A plot that is put together in a careless way will not make much sense and result in a bad experience for the viewer, but some small plot-holes and discontinuity do not make a particular movie bad.
The measurement of a good movie should be based on the quality of emotions that it draws from the viewer. And quality discussion of movies are based upon their appeal to our senses and emotions. Watching a movie that is too unrealistic and inconsistent can be just as bad of an experience as watching a movie that is unimaginative and boring. A good character does not need to be particularly realistic, or fully-developed, it only needs to fulfill its purpose. A good plot does not need to be bullet-proof, it only has to match the scale and detail provided by its creators. Some movies are made to provide a strong emotional effect for the viewers. And like all art forms, discussing a movie with friends can add to any movie watching experience.
As always, discussion of movies are important and are encouraged on my posts. Feel free to comment or email me in discussion of the article or my views.