The "Message Board Debate" Movies

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott Weinberg, Dec 30, 2001.

  1. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    After seeing the polarized opinions of Moulin Rouge, I got to thinking about the movies that cause the most Internet arguments. I came up with The Blair Witch Project, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, The Phantom Menace, Titanic and Moulin Rouge. I'm sure there are more, but it's currently 4:30 AM.
    With movies like this, we generally have two sides:
    The PRO group, which often implies that the film's detractors "didn't get" the movie, or that they're simply too unintelligent or uncultured to enjoy the show.
    The CON group often counters by deriding the PRO group's skills at gauging what a "good movie" is, or imply that they're feigning their favor in order to seem smarter.
    Any of these (totally made-up) quotes sound familiar?
    CON: "Forgive me if I don't take movie advice from someone who enjoyed Armageddon."
    PRO: "People who bash Armageddon have no idea how to turn their brains off and enjoy a popcorn flick!"
    ---
    PRO: "All of the Blair Witch bashers are simply unable to see the movie for the brilliant independent film it so obviously is."
    CON: "I know for a fact that The Blair Witch Project is a pile of crap and anyone who thinks different knows nothing about good moviemaking."
    ---
    CON: "The Phantom Menace is George Lucas at his most clueless. Anyone who supports this movie does so only out of loyalty to the original trilogy, as the movie on its own is a pile of crap."
    PRO: "Whoever hates The Phantom Menace is simply looking for the new pinata to whack on. Think for yourself, people, and you may just find a really fun and exciting movie."
    etc., etc., etc.
    I'm a guy who's pretty damn confident in his own opinions. (Not confident that my opinions are RIGHT, but confident that I can state my case on any movie in a thoughtful and intelligent style.) And I really do enjoy the flame wars that flare up from time to time when something controversial hits town. Most of these arguments continue for eternity - NOT because people are having heated and interesting debates - but because the bulk of the discussions consist of bullying, posturing, subtle digs, outright rudeness and everyone's desire to get in the legendary "last word".
    But you gotta figure that the internet community (especially the people at a site like HTF) could eventually evolve past the "I'm right and you're wrong" style of cinematic discussion.
    I'd love to hear opinions on this topic, and remind me of some of the other 'flame war' movies I forgot.
     
  2. Joe_C

    Joe_C Supporting Actor

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    Wow, it's pathetic how dead on all of those statements are. I've seen them countless times on various message boards, and, sadly, here on the HTF as well. I think one of the biggest flame starters has to be Phantom Menace.
    You will always get the staunch Lucas-bashers on one side, and those who have deified him on the other, with the few people actually attempting to state their opinions intelligently being swept away by the vehemence of the (often ignorant) hardcore.
    And with the Armageddon reference, just insert any big action blockbuster. They all work just the same [​IMG]
     
  3. Derek Miner

    Derek Miner Screenwriter

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    I too have seen all those types of opinions posted in various places over the years. I make an effort to avoid attacking others when discussing opinions on movies. I have often gotten a lot more out of just describing what I thought was good or worthy in a particular film and asking for similar input for others. I have, once or twice, got someone to rethink their opinion based on something that hadn't occurred to them. And others have done that for me.
    The exception, of course, is when I'm hanging out with people who I know so well that I can just throw around a blanket statement like, "The Blair Witch Project was a piece of garbage!" and not worry about having to argue it logically. [​IMG]
    And as proven by another thread in the last few days, one sure-fire topic to bring out the die-hards on both sides is Kevin Smith's career.
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Don't forget "Gladiator" nor "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon".

    Crawdaddy
     
  5. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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  6. Damien Montanile

    Damien Montanile Stunt Coordinator

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    as of recent, can we throw the Jurassic Park Trilogy to the mix? While I think majority rules on the Lost World.
    -Damien
     
  7. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Scott, that was well stated. Personally, I try to stay out of such debates. For one thing, I'm not very good at expressing my opinions in writing. Also, I'm in the middle-ground concerning the merits of those films you mentioned. Except for the Michael Bay films, that is! Yuck... [​IMG]
     
  8. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    I personaly stay out of those flame war threads as they seem to quickly deteriorate into insulting each others personal taste and intelligence. Although they are sometimes very funny and entertaining to read though.
    Who could forget that infamous CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN SCHLOCK thread of about a year ago. [​IMG]
    Jim
     
  9. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    Hi Scott! A belated happy birthday. I have weighed in on many of the recent threads involving almost all of those movies. I even started a "In defense of Titanic..." one myself. Each time I do, I just try to show my perspective on the film or filmmaker's intentions, as best I can. A problem with these discussions is as previously stated. The notion that there is a "RIGHT" answer is poor, and people love to make blanket statements regarding their pet peeve films, myself included. In the end, some people like to bash, and some people like to praise. Some people hate movies that are popular, and some people hate movies that are small/independent. Depending on MY mood, I can fall into any one on those categories. I have defended Lucas, and attacked Lucas. I have criticized and defended most of those movies. And I feel we've had some good discussions on here. Keep em coming...

    Take care,

    Chuck
     
  10. Mitty

    Mitty Supporting Actor

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    Let's not forget Fight Club, Magnolia and, to a lesser extent, Being John Malkovich.
    Waking Life had the potential to polarize an audience, just not a wide one. I'm sure when it debuts on DVD, and those not in large centres get to see it, we'll see a lot of debate on this one.
    Come to think of it, add A.I. to the list as well. Those of us who "got it" loved it, while those schmoes who didn't, hated it. [​IMG]
     
  11. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    I've been on both sides of those debates and certainly have ( at times ) fallen in to some of the traps described above. It's easy to describe your reaction to a film, which is probably why folks resort to that type of response. It is more difficult to discuss the choices made by the filmmaker and why they resonate with you as a viewer, or why the converse applies. I believe this is one factor that contributes to some of the 'blunt' responses that only begin to address a film.
    Just like folks have different taste in film, many bring different conversational styles to the table, which contributes to the dilemma of rationally discussing a polarizing topic. The fact is that some folks simply are not disposed to discussing a film beyond its surface properties. That is just another personal choice that can compound the problem in a divisive thread.
    Also, much of the division of viewers comes from the perspectives of the viewers. Some consider films nothing more than 2 hours of entertainment and place no serious demands upon the filmmaker to deliver anything more than a pleasant diversion. Others consider film to be an art form and place serious demands on the film and filmaker(s). And of course, there is a wide spectrum of tastes between those two positions. BTW, I would consider all of those perspectives valid in the sense that it is a matter of individual preference.
    FIRST DISCLAIMER: Just a few thoughts on the division of opinions that take place. No implied or direct judgements were intended in any of the above statements. Most of this is a question of personal preference. I don't begrudge anyone their choices, I'm merely commenting on how they can work as an obstructing factor during the conversations that take place.
    SECOND DISCLAIMER: If any of the above offends you, then apologies are proferred as that was not my intent.
    ( Because any post that attempts to categorize HTF'ers needs 2 disclaimers. [​IMG] )
    - Walter.
     
  12. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    Most of these threads here, mostly are carried out in a respectable manner. Although they do cause a polarization of opinions. You think it's bad here, check out AICN and TF.N. They go way nutso over there.
     
  13. Chris Lynch

    Chris Lynch Stunt Coordinator

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    Usually, when I begin reading a thread, I can tell by the initial tone whether or not there is going to be a flame war. I have a hard time being rude to anyone (even on the internet), and I tend to take it personally when someone is meaninglessly rude to me, so I usually don't jump in on threads of that nature. I do love reading them, though, and occasionally I will find some point of insight in direct opposition to my own opinion that will give me some food for thought to chew on. So flame on! I may not join you, but I may learn from you.
    My addition to the list: 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Matrix, and many Schwartzenegger films.
     
  14. Kurt B

    Kurt B Stunt Coordinator

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    I too avoid those threads. I've not taken any courses in college on what makes good movies and so on. I do appreciate a lot of what I garner from the members here. I've come away knowing more than when I started here.
    I do know what entertains me and to me that is what counts most. [​IMG]
    And truthfully, like Chris, I at times come away from the threads with some things to think about.
    I do make judgements on the films based upon the genre. A movie that I view as 'just for fun' like Legally Blond is judged differently than more serious movies like Citizen Kane. I guess sometimes I just need to be entertained and escape the real world for a few hours.
     
  15. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  16. Mitty

    Mitty Supporting Actor

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  17. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  18. Mitty

    Mitty Supporting Actor

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    Fear not, my friend. I never assumed you were being anything less than your usual good natured self.
     
  19. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Another film that comes to mind is Eyes Wide Shut. Personally, I usually avoid the flaming thread on these types of discussions. In some cases, I loved the film (e.g. Moulin Rouge), others I hated (Pearl Harbor), and some I could take or leave (Titanic). In most cases, though, I try to avoid adding fuel to the flames.
    Some of the threads do remind me of the old Monty Python "Argument" skit. [​IMG]
     
  20. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    "Ahh...well, if I didn't pay....why are you arguing?"
     

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