Why are people proud to not see a film?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Alex Spindler, Jan 25, 2002.

  1. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    I see this come up whenever a movie arrives that appears to be both popular and critically lauded. In recent times, I can think of Forrest Gump, Titanic, The Phantom Menace (well, maybe not all critically lauded), Harry Potter, and The Fellowship of the Ring. In most of these cases, the movies have proven to be extremely popular, even outside of the genre enthusiasts and movie fans. They also have their share of critical acclaim, which could be taken as an indication that they aren't hollow Blockbusters. However, there seems to always be a contingent that will actively avoid them, and proudly state that fact. Why is this?

    To me, it seems to be some kind of parallel to the rebelliousness of youth. When you were young, it was ideal to reject anything popular on the basis that it would make you cool. Does that persist into adulthood? I only really see this behavior in movies and occasionally music (for people over 21 anyway).

    My general thinking is that liking, or getting yourself to like, something based on it's popularity is a terrible thing to do, but popularity and critical acclaim are an excellent reason to investigate. Draw your own conclusions, but why not even show up to the dance?
     
  2. Leroy

    Leroy Second Unit

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    Seems to me that some(at least from my experience)are afraid that they will actually like a movie that they see as being "below" them for whatever reason.

    I have to admit, I was once like that many years ago. Then, I realized all the great(or at least enjoyable) films I was missing. If people want to be like that, it's their loss.
     
  3. Stacie

    Stacie Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, it's very silly to avoid a film simply because it's popular. Alex, I have seen all of the films you mention, even though I dislike Forrest Gump, Titanic, and The Phantom Menace, I'm still glad I saw them, if only to find out what all the ruckus was about (I like Harry Potter, and I LOVE Fellowship of the Ring).

    There are some films that qualify as popular successes, though, that I won't see, usually because I've heard too many bad things about them from people (personal friends as well as critics) whose opinions I usually trust. Armageddon comes to mind. I think of it this way: my time is precious. I have a limited amount of time to devote to watching movies. There are probably thousands of great movies that I will never see because of a lack of time. So, why would I spend two (or more) of my precious hours watching a film that I'm almost certain not to enjoy? Anyway, the popularity of a film has nothing to do with my decision not to see it -- it's just that sometimes, films that I choose not to see end up being extremely popular.
     
  4. Andrew W

    Andrew W Supporting Actor

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    Some people like the idea of not running with the herd. What they don't realize is that by always doing what is not popular, they are still letting everyone else make up their mind for them.

    The best thing is just to like what you like. If a lot of other people like it too, that's nice. If everyone else hates it, so what?
     
  5. Paul Richardson

    Paul Richardson Second Unit

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    I don't understand it either. It's not a great accomplishment or anything, so why the "pride"? I can understand not wanting to see a film because it doesn't interest you, but I don't understand boasting about it.
     
  6. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Oh, I fully agree Stacie. Popular successes that don't share critical acclaim should be approached with caution.

    Andrew, that was a great way to think of the effects of that mentality. I'll have to remember that.

    The part that gets me is that I can understand apathy about a film. Some movies just aren't your style, or there was something about the trailer or TV spot that rubbed you the wrong way. But I see a surprising number of perfectly rational people who say "haven't seen it, and I'm NOT going to" as though it were a badge of honor. Hey, that makes a lot of sense when you're talking about the latest Britney Spears CD, but how can you apply it to the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main St?
     
  7. Jeff_P

    Jeff_P Stunt Coordinator

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    With popular films I do like to admit it so this way I can be a critic. Some movies I regret not seeing right away. It took me awhile to watch Moulin Rouge and now I can't believe how good it is.

    But then again, I am once of those people. I never seen Titanic. Not because I dont want to jump on the band wagon but becuase the movie premise doesnt excite me. Don't get me wrong when I see the ending on cable I site through it because thats the only part of the movie I feel compelled to watch. Never watched anything before though. Except for the nude scen also.

    I almost do the same with music. I hate it when bands get to popular and then the masses like them. I know we all want fame and fortune for our favorite artists but I like to see bands in small intimate clubs rather than seats 4 miles away from the stage in Giants Stadium(even though I cant remember the last time I was there for a concert).
     
  8. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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  9. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  10. Brett_B

    Brett_B Supporting Actor

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  11. David Susilo

    David Susilo Screenwriter

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    Well, talking about Britney Spears' latest album, from a production standpoint, it's a great album. I'm not going to go deep into it, but I've studied the album and sex appeal aside, I know why it sells.
     
  12. Bob McLaughlin

    Bob McLaughlin Screenwriter

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    I agree, Alex, it's just plain pathetic.

    However, I do get somewhat irked when people just assume that I've seen a movie just because it's a box office hit. Sometimes they act as if I'm weird because I haven't seen the latest flavor. Then, when I try to recommend something a little off the beaten track, I'm made to feel like some sort of freak. Some people just dismiss me with "never heard of it". What does that mean, if a movie isn't marketed to death, it's not worth seeing? That attitude will surely rob these people of interesting and different experiences.

    So, I'm guessing a lot of people who are proud to have resisted certain movies, are just people who are experiencing backlash.
     
  13. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    Other things which fall into this category are:
    The Ford vs. Chevy debate: People who swear that they will never drive a Ford because they suck and chevy kicks ass. [​IMG]
    Boy Bands (along with Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Christina A., etc...): It all sucks ass. Fine, don't listen to it. I'm 27, my girlfriend is 24, and we both enjoy that musical genre (along with country, classical, rock, classic rock, industrial, opera, some gospel, some heavy metal, rap, hip hop, and blues), and like David Susilo, have studied it and know why it sells. I was once a horny 16 year-old buying every Samantha Fox and Heather Lockleir(sp?) poster I could get my hands on. [​IMG]
    Whenever I hear someone slam a music genre or artist simply because they are careening over the cliff like a good little lemming without actually listening to the music first and trying to understand why it is so popular, I can't help but think of the Bob's Country Bunker scene from The Blues Brothers. Bob's wife tells Jake they have both kinds of music there ~ Country and Western. [​IMG]
     
  14. Ray R

    Ray R Stunt Coordinator

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    I think you will find that people who pass on extremely popular movies also pass on lessor know movies as well. We, I'm one of them too, only seem to be criticized when we pass on a popular movie and that's when we become a little defensive. It's not teenage rebelion. It's just being more than a little annoyed by the arguement "everyone else thinks it great, you don't know what you are talking about". After giving in and going against my better judgement on movies like The Sixth Sense and Twister, I have learned to trust my own sixth sense.

    The other side of the coin is I can't help but think that the opinion the masses have of extremely popular movies would be different if they walked into a screening room knowing nothing about the film.
     
  15. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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  16. Brett_B

    Brett_B Supporting Actor

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  17. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Ah, an interesting take.
     
  18. Ray R

    Ray R Stunt Coordinator

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    Alex,

    These two things are not mutually exclusive. Someone could be very picky when it comes to watching movies, but then watch the same movie 30 times.

    Does critical acclaim of a film mean that everyone will like it? If it doesn't, then critical acclaim by itself is not a reliable predictor of whether or not a specific individual will like a film.

    I'm also not sure that I agree with your assumption that some people don't want to see a movie just because its popular. Could it be that someone knows enough about the movie without seeing it to know that they wouldn't like it. Unless you have seen every movie ever made, you must have some way of determining which films to watch and which ones not to. You seem to put a lot of emphasis on whether or not other people liked it. If you typically like mainstream movies, then that works for you, but that doesn't mean that everyone shares that approach. If someone doesn't like mainstream movies, then it would not be surprising that they would stay away from critically acclaim movies.

    This was all typed with a smile. I'm just in that agruing mood. Give me an hour and I might be supporting your side.
     
  19. Tim Abbott

    Tim Abbott Second Unit

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    This is an interesting thread. I feel obligated to contribute because I have always been kind of proud that I haven't seen Titanic. Why? Well, it has nothing to do with the "herd" mentality.

    During the theatrical release, I went to see it 2x during the opening week, and both times it was sold out. I was pretty busy around that time and never got around to trying again. I figured I would rent it when it came out.

    By the time it came out on video, all of my friends had seen it. I was in college at the time, so almost all of my video rental opportunities involved a group. You can guess how many times Titanic was the popular choice.

    Other than Titanic, I have seen the 36 highest grossing films of all time (I haven't seen the Exorcist, which is #37; It's too creepy).

    That being said, many of my friends know that I am into home theater and a big fan of movies. Whenever the fact that I haven't seen Titanic comes up, they are usually pretty surprised. Maybe this is why I feel proud?

    One of these days I will just go out and rent it. I don't have anything against the movie, I just haven't had a real convenient opportunity to watch it.
     
  20. Tony_Faville

    Tony_Faville Supporting Actor

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    I know alot of people that will not see a movie simply because it has Drew Barrymore, or Tom Cruise, or any one of a thousand different actors.

    To me that is so closed minded and I have a difficult time understanding that mentality. At the same time I am a very firm believer in "to each their own". I deal with people on another forum that continually belittle other individuals because of their taste in movies. One even went so far as to flat out call another one a liar because he said a movie was good.

    It's a big part of the reason why I am spending more time over here lately.
     

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