Tuesday, May 14, 2013

In Defense of the Optimistc Film Enthusiast

Tom and Jerry walked out of the theater, each presenting their opinions on the movie with increasing enthusiasm. Tom started off the loudest.
"Jerry, that movie was phenomenal! It had great action, it was funny, and it had my favorite actors!" Jerry shook his head with a sarcastic grin.
"Come on Tom, you actually liked that disaster of a movie? My favorite part was watching the trailers for heaven's sake!" Tom wore an expression halfway between shock and disgust.
"What's wrong with you?" He managed to say despite how utterly at a loss for words he was. "It was completely entertaining! I mean, it's not like it had a brilliant and original plot, but it was a solid movie! How could you not like that?" Jerry looked Tom straight in the eye.
"Because I have standards."

I swear, I have had this conversation about a dozen times, and I am almost always Tom. And since I know that most of my friends are the Jerry in this situation, I would like to explain why I am the way I am.
You see, I am an optimist when it comes to movies. Really, I am just an optimist in general. I hate wasting my time, so when I feel like my time is being threatened, I try to make whatever endangering experience there is more enjoyable by changing my perspective. In summation, I basically try to find a way to like EVERYTHING. The interesting thing is, I usually don't have to try very hard. Especially when it comes to movies.
Why? Because movies are actually extraordinarily well made. Virtually all of the ones we see are fantastic in the way they entertain. Want proof? Think back to when you first saw Star Wars: A New Hope. It was freaking awesome! In fact, it was probably one of the coolest things ever. Now, do me a favor and pretend that instead of seeing A New Hope as a kid, you saw The Phantom Menace. You know... that movie that just sucks so much, right?
I think by this point, you have begun to see my point. Looking back on it now, I can honestly say that the A New Hope isn't very well made by today's standards. The pacing is slow, the dialogue is cheesy, and the special effects leave much to be desired. If a movie came out today with those same qualities, it would bomb so hard we would all be screaming at North Korea. But somehow, I still love it, just like any of the other hundreds of thousands of Star Wars fans. 
In summation, I like movies because they are entertaining. They have funny quotes, memorable characters, attractive women, and more explosions than I could ever hope for being the right-wing hedonistic American that I am. I understand why other people hate so many of the movies we see in theaters, and I can live with that. This is merely a post trying to help you live with my opinions, however unrefined and unsophisticated they may be. 


  1. I find myself shouting to my family (mostly males) who cares if the actor is using a gun from the wrong time period--the rest of the movie is great. It's so easy to criticize, but harder to do better.

  2. Great post Isaac. I am with you. I find criticism so much easier than useful engaging commentary. Reading The Shadow of the Wind, one remarkable character, Fermin, states "Between you and me, this business of the seventh art leaves me cold. As far as I can see, it's only a way of feeding the mindless and making them more stupid...The cinema began as an invention for entertaining the illiterate masses. Fifty years on it is much the same." I love this quote for it's characterization of all of us punks who forget to enjoy being the masses.
    Movies quickly engage, inspire, entertain provide new worlds, educate and sometimes even bore. The conversation the provoke is delicious.