Getting a room full of movie aficionados to agree on anything can be a dangerous task; their tendency to polarize a conversation and spark debate is almost as notable as their ability to entertain. The life-changer, the guilty-pleasure, the inspirational, the scare you silly: they all have a place in the escapism of cinema. With that said, here is the countdown to the top 5 conflicts about movies:
#5 Movie Trailers– This can be a divisive one: some simply do not like movie trailers and see them only as a delay to the entertainment they came to see. That is a valid point to be sure. But, think about it: almost every movie looks great in a trailer! It’s a little mini-movie almost guaranteed to entertain. It introduces the characters, the tone, the plot, at their most succinct; they’re like epic period pieces for coffee junkies. Still, the dark and dirty side is that they often give too much away. How many times have you seen a hi-ll-ar-ious trailer, that clearly showed all its magical funniness in the 3-minute preview. So you see my friend, I love you, but you trick me too, and that upsets me greatly.
#4 3D movies-Technically speaking some form of 3-D films have been around since around 1915, but they did not really take off until the American cinemas of the 1950’s. After being away for a spell, they started coming back into mainstream favor in the last few years thanks to all types of “improvements” in the technology. When they get it right, it’s amazing: things leap out at, and threaten to hit you in a way that absolutely draws you into the film. However, when done wrong they can make you nauseous and take away from the film entirely. Plus, by the time you throw in the fact that there are now 2 types of processing (a pre and a post-the latter of which looks far worse quality-wise), which yield significantly different results, and you have all the makings of a movie riot on your hands. Plus—you mean to tell me that in the time since we have developed spaceships, Mars rovers, Internet, cellphones, and ASIMA the human-like robot, etc., we can’t find an extra couple “D” out there? We should be at like 9-D technology, by now. Wake me up when that hits, otherwise—I’m out.
#3 Sequels, Blockbusters, Superhero movies- While comic book purists are probably already hitting their computers to complain about these 3 being lumped together, we only have so much room in this column. Plus, in recent years, they go together like rama-lama-lama-ke-ding-a-de-dinga-dong. Nearly every big movie out now meets all 3 qualifications of this cinematic trifecta—so there! While we all love these films for the over-the-top, larger-than-life, futuristic or otherworldly beauty that they are, maybe its time to pick a new thing to adapt: like, er…I don’t know, religious texts of the world?
#2 Bootleg movies– While bazaar takes no official stance on the subject of bootleg movies (upon the advice given in a very curt email from our legal department), they are as ubiquitous as sand in these parts. Between the versions you can by in the souks, to the guy we all know who is downloading right as we speak (you know who you are), bootlegging is here to stay. Still, the downside is that you never know what you’re in for when it comes to quality. Even with a good copy, there is no guaranteeing it won’t cut off 5 minutes before the end (sorry, Rebecca!). But the absolute worst offense of all bootlegging offenses is when some guy in the audience (or the guy filming) is providing his own laugh track or even stands up for a bathroom break mid-way through…sometimes it’s better to wait.
#1 The no-ending-ending– One of the more annoying trends to take off in its most recent form is the ending of a movie without any resolution. This is normally followed by a grunt and sigh of “what…that’s it?” from at least one member of your party. As any student of literature at large will tell you (and always annoyingly so, admittedly), these non-resolve endings have been around for centuries, and are meant to evoke some response in you further than the film (in this case) can take you. They can, at their best, provide a little jolt that sparks much needed conversation on the drive home-and that’s a good thing. But, like anything else in films, it is now being done to death. In one of the funniest and most critical responses to the practice I have read about it (though admittedly he is discussing books—samesame) writer Jonathan Franzen, in The Paris Review said, “this came to be my gripe with the postmodern aversion to closure. It’s like, grow up already! Take some responsibility for your narrative! I’m not looking for the meaning, but I am looking for a meaning, and you’re denying me a vital element of making sense of any story, which is its ending!” Touché, Jonathan…touché!
This months Love/Hate column is a Scaredycat film and a production of whybother media, brought to you by Minimusmaximus Distrubution, in coordination NonetoSpeakof Entertainment. Up next month: