Doesn't anyone *LIKE* a movie anymore?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by David Rogers, Aug 6, 2002.

  1. David Rogers

    David Rogers Supporting Actor

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    I normally enjoy movie discussion on HTF, as the only bastion of intelligent discourse I've found on the Internet (for movies), but lately I'm begining to seriously question whether or not a lot of you really like movies.
    Because all that happens lately are these huge threads full all the ways and reasons this director or that has screwed up their latest project. Zemeckis, Lucas, Spielberg, Shyamalan ...
    Doesn't anyone *LIKE* movies anymore? What happened to reactions like "man that was just a great film" or "I totally dig this director and really liked what he did here even though it's different than I assumed." All I see on HTF is "so-and-so used to be great, but man I could film my dog defecating on cardboard and have a better flick" or "so-and-so is an overrated wannabe who doesn't deserve oxygen."
    There's a tagline making the rounds lately that goes "Arguing on the Internet is like running in the Special Olympics". To be brief, this sums up why I tend not to attempt to engage in "I'll convince this guy of " type discussions online. Because I've found the people who are capable of typing and writing coherently enough to converse online tend also to be very opinionated and also very set in their decisions. At least in my experience. HTF threads for some films I've really really enjoyed lately are ONLY about the bad stuff as proclaimed by downers. Leaving nothing for those of us who want to talk happily about what we liked and why.
    Even Harry Potter threads, surely nothing could be happier or more inoffensive than a quiet little world about wizards and witches living in secrecy from the 'real' world, naysayers stomp in proclaiming things like "Quidditch is stupid" and "real magic wouldn't work that way, so that makes the films stupid".
    Supportive or happy messages are immediately lamblasted by someone with LOTS of posts in their sig who goes on and on about how wrong one is to have liked that film, about how the director is overrated, about how this and how that.
    [​IMG]
    I've blasted two films this year, and in neither one did I feel the need to rip into those who said they liked it. One bad film was Collateral Damage, the other was Sum of All Fears. In both instances, I summarized what I was disappointed in and left the threads to the people who presumably wanted to discuss what they liked about the film. And in neither instance did I make disparagements upon the likes others had about the film. I do admit I think I compared Collateral Damage to watching paint dry, and I think I also said something like "and I'll never see another Andrew Davis film ever again", but even so that was one incident out of a very large sample.
    Why can't the threads have more of this behavior, and less Power Posting where a naysayer stakes out negative position and dares all comers to challenge? Is it a game? Maybe the Discussion threads should be divided up if so, so the discussion gamers can have their diatribe that'll go on longer than the movie was in production, and everyone else can just calmly exchange opinions?
     
  2. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    People just love to bitch and complain. Simple human nature.
    I think it is much easier to trash a film than defend it. And to some, I believe, it makes them feel in some way superior.
    It will never change.[​IMG]
     
  3. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    *double*
     
  4. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Although there has been some back and forth with the discussion on Signs, I for one think it has remained fairly civil. In fact, most of the fun of the Signs thread has been trying to postulate ways to get us naysayers (which I am to a very small degree) back on board. Perhaps the franchise wars between Rings, Potter, and Star Wars fans have been a successful outlet for most.
    It's pretty rare for me to really take a contrary position on a film, as I seem to be a bit more middle of the road than most, but I haven't been taken to task for any of my posts (even when I enthusiastically backed 8 Legged Freaks). I also know that I have been persuaded to give a film another chance based on the supportive comments in our discussion threads.
    But I wouldn't consider a film discussion thread to be much of a "discussion" without welcoming an opposing opinion. We have occasionally had 'love fest' threads that are not formulated for contrary positions, and thread farts in them are highly discouraged. But, threads like those aren't really all that informative, and lack some amount of substance without a contrary position.
    I suppose I see what your point is, but I think HTF Movie forum is a very good example of people discussing the subject and not discussing each other - at least in my experience.
    On that note, I think this thread is stupid. [​IMG]
    Edit : On that note, my post is stupid too. [​IMG]
     
  5. Robin Warren

    Robin Warren Second Unit

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    I think people feel hip or above the crowd when they rip into a movie that is popular. They rip the picture apart but are secretly watching it over and over.(at least thats what I tell myself)

    I hate the internet for this exact phenomenom. Is there anything worse than "God that
     
  6. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    I hate to say it David, but I think you have one crucial misunderstanding - that it's the SAME people in every thread trashing all the films.


    I find that people develop your opinion from time to time, that everyone hates film, etc, just from being around HTF Movies for awhile.

    But I think the truth is that few films appeal the same to everyone and every film/artist will have detractors, no matter how many supporters there are.

    Personally, have I liked films this year? Well, obviously since if you look in the 2002 film list thread I have many with 8.5 or higher scores. In fact I scored 3 films as 10s for the year already (Spidey, MBF Greek Wedding, Changing Lanes). I just really enjoyed Signs, I laughed at Goldmember, and so on.

    BUT, I will certainly be in some other threads on the negative side of some film, and someone in that thread will have loved it.

    I do try to put actual, tangible reasons as proof of these points (like types of shots, specific dialog, etc). I also work hard at having an overall consistent philosophy about what I'm looking for in the film arts. And I (and many others here) spend a great deal of time and thought on many other historical films to expand our understanding of what film has been and can be so that modern films can be better put into correct perspective.

    For me there are a couple warning signs that make me wonder about a person's opinion.

    1) They think new films can't be great.
    2) They immediately annoit new films as great.
    3) They never, ever change their opinion on films from before seeing it to after (come on, we all get surprised once in awhile).
    4) If they seem unable or uninterested in acknowledging that other films have been made before their time, outside their genre interest, outside their own country, etc.
    5) They think that ONLY small, arty, or foreign films can be "good".
    6) They refuse to watch small, arty, foreign, silent films.

    When I see that I dismiss the opinion (usually) and move on to read better posters, of which their are plenty around here. I'm looking for people with some sense of balance I suppose, but I never expect everyone I respect to agree with me.

    I am much more likely to argue with Edwin Pereyra or Mark Pfeiffer if they don't share the same opinion because I know they have given things a proper effort and I respect their opinions. And then the debate is not "to convince them", but rather to hash it out and find out where/why we see things differently. Understanding those types of difference is a big key to understanding the film arts and its effect on our culture.
     
  7. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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  8. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    I dunno. I think almost all of the movie discussion here is done in an articulate and civil mode.
    Gather a large group of opinionated and passionate people in one place, and you're bound to get a variety of opinions: some positive, some negative, some extensive, some brief, some good-natured in tone, some flippant, etc.
    If you suspect someone of just 'bashing' a director's later work because it's the 'cool' thing to do, simply remember that name and choose to ignore their opinions in the future.
    Since I started posting my reviews here, I've received my share of "Your an idiot" responses, yet those are always deleted by a moderator.
    To answer your question: Yes, lots of people like/love lots of movies; new/old, foreign/domestic, blockbuster/indie, etc. I think our discussions would turn decidedly more mundane if everyone adored Harry Potter.
    Intriguing thread tho! [​IMG]
     
  9. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    David,
    They're are just words nothing more or less. If somebody bashes a movie you love then consider yourself luckier than him/her because at least the film worked for you.




    Crawdaddy
     
  10. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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  11. Agee Bassett

    Agee Bassett Supporting Actor

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    The only frustration I ever experience in the Movies section is that peculiar brand of individual whose dubious motive for participating seems only to invariably succeed in steering every discussion--subject, theme, or intent of the original notwithstanding--into the same three or four tired territories ("X just likes to rip X movie because its popular"; "It's a movie, not real life"; "X was stating it as though it were a fact, not an opinion"; etc., ad nauseum) as a "bail" for their inadequately developed/articulated position. Debates can be stimulating and enjoyable. They are the lifesblood of message boards. Debates about debates about debates seldom prove anything but tedious and redundant.

    That said, I will freely admit to falling into one of Seth's "categories". It might not be amiss to assert that I am prejudiced against today's movies. Why? I cannot say much beyond the fact that, aesthetically and morally, the values that they represent simply do not appeal to me. And I say that without apology.
     
  12. Ben Motley

    Ben Motley Supporting Actor

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    Movies suck, yo. Yup. [​IMG]
     
  13. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    I think audience expectations are so much higher now, that there are bound to be more complaints when a film doesn't really impress on every level. Lawrence of Arabia, that impressed on every level. We've seen that, so we want more of that quality.

    And this is accentuated when a film does really well despite being so-so, or is hyped as being incredible. Like the X-Men - a nice beginning to that film, then a bunch of 13-year-old-or-under filler. Yet it was touted as an example of how comic books can make "great" films. That kind of contradiction irritates people, so they vent on the net, to balance out the hype.

    Or so I expect.
     
  14. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    Watch Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Pretty early in the film they explain why people like to blast films (before they are even made sometimes) on the internet: because its anonymous!

    If someone completely missed something in a film and thought it was amazing/horrible because of it, telling them that thing they missed might change their opinion. I would have nothing wrong with people saying their personal pros/cons about a film and legitimately backing them up or people pointing out things that others missed. It's when it gets personal or people don't explain themselves that there's trouble.

    Anyhoo, yes, people still like some movies.
     
  15. Nathan V

    Nathan V Supporting Actor

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    Mr. Rogers,
    Although I could not possibly agree more, i believe this is the best forum on the entire web for intelligent film discussion. If you think people trash films here, try visiting 'Coming Attractions' or 'comingsoon.net.' The people there are constantly making nerdy, wildly inaccurate and often ludicrous accusations on any and every film. I know; I used to read those two forums [I never registered], but was far too often disgusted with the sheer 'juvenileness' of the posts. I then discovered HTF, which I have been reading for over two years. I'm still amazed at the nuanced, non-geeky intelligence exhibited by people here. I love that. The 'adult' way you guys handled the 2002 oscars [beau. mind fiasco, etc] was what inspired me to actually register. [By 'adult' I mean how "everyone" was relatively composed, making thoughtful statements, etc. as opposed to Coming Attractions, with their extreme profanity, juvenile spelling errors, dumb statements, etc]. Bravo to all of us, I say.

    Nathan
     
  16. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    Yeah, but you gotta like the subtle-yet-intentional way I included the improper 'your' to describe the mouth-breathers who have nothing more to add to a movie discussion than "Your an idiot". [​IMG]
    Plus, I'll take any response I can get; that just means someone out there is reading one of my reviews! [​IMG]
     
  17. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    Oh, by the way, Kudos to Nathan for his eloquent and accurate assessment of the kinds of movie discussion generally available online.

    In my mind, the HTF is one of the VERY few oases of articulate movie discussion you'll find online. And believe me, I've seen most of what passes for 'Movie Discussion Boards'. They're like chatroom clusterf*cks.

    I just made that term up, but I think it adequately describes the intelligence level of many, many forums out there.

    60% of the people who post regularly on other movie boards would be warned or outright booted from the HTF. Cuz they can't get over the 'juicy anonymity' inherent to the Internet and subsequently behave like mildly insightful gibbons with only a cursory knowledge of the alphabet. Any movie discussion that includes the words "You stupid ass assholes. Gandalf sucks. DragonballZ rules. Movies rule to" followed by a signature culled from an old Smiths song and a passage from L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics is not a place for me.

    In other words, this is the place to discuss movies. Anywhere else, you're either a shrieking idiot...or an intelligent movie fan surrounded by shrieking idiots.
     
  18. Derek Miner

    Derek Miner Screenwriter

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    You know, I was just thinking how skewed toward positive my feelings have been on movies this year. I've seen 45 of the 2002 releases, and only one of those was something I'd call dreadful (THE CROCODILE HUNTER). Another three or four movies I might consider worth my negative commentary (Oddly enough JOHN Q is one of those, but not SCOOBY-DOO).

    So what's that leave, somewhere around 40 movies I've seen in 2002 that I don't regret seeing? Sure, not all of them were GREAT, but most of them were fun, and a few were darn good.

    And that doesn't even address the other trips to the theater I've made to see classics or movies from 2001. Even getting to see some near perfect cinema on the big screen (RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL, DR. STRANGELOVE, A NIGHT AT THE OPERA, NORTH BY NORTHWEST) hasn't soured me on the current crop of movies. Of course, I am picky, and I try to stay away from stuff that I know I'll despise, like JASON X, JUWANNA MANN, or BAD COMPANY.

    But to address the idea that sometimes people here don't appear to LIKE movies, I have to say that every year at least one movie comes along that I want to tell anyone who will listen they MUST see.

    Two years ago, that was ALMOST FAMOUS. Last year, it was AMELIE. Those films are so special to me, that nobody can lobby a criticism that will change my mind.

    I haven't found that movie for 2002 yet, but I know it will happen, 'cause this year's been pretty darn good, so far!
     
  19. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    I'm not terribly comfortable with naming other sites, even if they are not directly involved with home theater. Let's go easy on that. Cool? Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  20. Brian Kissinger

    Brian Kissinger Screenwriter

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    First off, as usual, I agree whole heartedly with Seth and Scott. Secondly (getting back to the topic), I know I often don't post my thoughts on certain movies for a couple of reasons. 1. Don't laugh, but I'm a little intimidated by some of the posters here. They often see things in movies that I do not. Seth is a great example. I have been reading through threads more than once and he posted something I hadn't really thought about. I may not agree, but he always has a point. 2. I haven't seen a lot of movies. At least not the amount of your average regulars around here, and in specific: many of the classics. Believe it or not, I have yet to see Citizen Kane. It's on my list, but as of present, I haven't seen it. And that's a big one. I know there are tons of great lesser known movies I'm missing. So often I feel unqualified. 3. I know I'm never wrong, but convincing other people can be a bit of a challenge.[​IMG] 4. The negative always seems to stick with me better than the positive. If a movie is great for and hour and then stinks for an hour, I usually remember the negative. 5. I still think I don't really fit in here, because quite frankly I don't think 2001 is all that great. And boy am I in the minority. I think it's a great thought-provoking movie, and there are elements to it that are superior, but I just don't care much for it. I thought Donnie Darko was very thought-provoking, and I enjoyed the Hell out of it. This type of mentality leads me to believe that I might not necessarily be the right guy defending or praising a movie. 6. And I suppose a part of it is the need to fit in. Sort of like when you liked a girl all your buddies thought was ugly. I didn't dare tell them I liked her. Same here to a point.
    But to sum up, I do think that the discussion with differing viewpoints make for better reading and understanding. But, I too do grow tired of the simple "Blank is nothing but crap" posts.
     

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