Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Remarkable Snark.

So, it’s 1995. My wife and I are sitting in a dark cineplex somewhere watching Die Hard with a Vengence. (Don’t hate. I  like Bruce Willis.) Anyway, we are two-thirds of the way through this movie -- this DIE HARD movie -- when John McClane gets shot out of a sewer or a water tunnel or something equally awesome. At that point, the guy sitting next to me says, in a voice loud enough to be heard by the other 200 Die Hard fans in attendance, “Oh, that would NEVER happen!” Well, no shit Sherlock! It’s a frickin’ DIE HARD movie! Of course, it would never happen. That’s the whole point!

Why do you go to a movie? Why sit in the dark with total strangers? Why spend money on over-priced popcorn and over-cooked hot dogs? Well, if you don’t know, I’m gonna tell you:
To feel.

To cry, to laugh, to scream. To feel the thrill as our handsome hero rescues the pretty girl from the scary monster. To cry as the unrequited lovers watch each other sail away, their passion forever lost. To dodge the bullets and the tree branches as our intrepid explorer evades the blood-thirty cannibals. In other words, to willingly suspend our disbelief that we might enter into a fantastic place with Hobbits and villains and space ships and cowboys. Maybe all In the same movie. To watch in amazement as Bruce Willis’ character gets shot out of a sewer.

As I get older (yeah, I’ve never said THAT before), I find it increasingly hard to imagine going to a movie and not willingly enter into the world of the film. Even bad films. Why go if you aren’t going to surrender your everyday life to the two-hour fantasy in the dark? (The movie, I mean. Sheesh. Perv.)

So here's the deal all you self-professed movie critics/bloggers/reviewers out there: Shut up. Stop heaving your remarkable snark on those of us perfectly willing to become Ewoks and run barefoot into danger or fly over Pandora in elaborate contraptions or venture to Mars to team up with a hoard of Tharks or buddy up with Bruce Willis to stop the bad guys or dress like women jazz musicians to escape the mob. Why don’t you try writing reviews or critiques (whatever you call them) that celebrate the art form. Why not intelligently discuss the pros and cons of the script? Or, how about explaining WHY you were not convinced by a particular actor’s performance.  It’s hard enough to get ANY film made without you dropping  your genius wit on movies that do exactly what they were meant to do.

Not every movie is meant to be Citizen Kane. Some films are meant to be fluff. Some meant to be romantic. If you can’t accept a film on it’s own terms, please, for the love of Mike, go do something else. If you watch a movie, then constantly comment on how YOU would have made it better...well, go make your own damn film. Now don’t get me wrong, not all movies are good. I get it. There are some really terrible, terrible films made every year. But, at the very least, tell us why they are terrible, not how you could have made it great. We don’t care. Review the movie on the screen not the director’s cut you would have made had a studio entrusted you instead of Judd Apatow with that $50 million production budget.

And for you moviegoers out there who are too smart for a rom-com or too cool for a Spielberg movie -- lighten up. Allow yourself the luxury of being manipulated. You might actually enjoy an occasional catharsis. Oh, yeah, and would it kill you to go to a Jennifer Lopez flick? I love her!

See you in the dark.

P.S., I still liked John Carter.

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