Embrace Your Inner Child at the Movies

A growing concern I have about the current state of podcasts is the amount of negativity sneaking into some of my favorite shows. No names shall be mentioned here, but on a recent episode of an established show, a listener encouraged the hosts to be more critical. He hoped for the failure of a blockbuster movie because it wasn’t his idea of a good film. Not enough gore and lazy writing. On one hand, I can understand what he was trying to say but I also heard something that really puzzled me. Why would we hope for the film to fail when we can simply choose not to support it at the box office? It’s been successful, so there are obviously people who enjoyed it. Does every movie released need to fit our designed parameters of success?

Last year, studio executives successfully sabotaged John Carter, dooming it to be referenced for the foreseeable future as one of the biggest flops of all time. Yet, there are those who thoroughly enjoy the movie, this writer being among them. In fact, it was one of my favorite movies from last year. Many of us were upset that a movie studio would hope for a film to be a failure yet here we have a listener hoping for the very same thing. Now, I understand his overall point. He is hoping that Hollywood studios listen to the fans and start giving us movies we really want. However, I think we need to understand that those of us who listen to podcasts are only a portion of the audience. We have a passion for all things horror or sci-fi, or just film related in general. Yet, that passion can often turn into an outcry of negativity towards anything that doesn’t fit our parameters of “fun” or “successful”.

Let’s be honest and admit that for every well-made film, there are dozens of mindless flicks many of us find a waste of time. Brother D reviewed countless zombie movies on the Mail Order Zombie podcast. Many were not well-made yet had moments that gave him enjoyment. Some of these I enjoyed, others I did not. Yet, at no time did I wish for these filmmakers to stop making them. I simply chose not to watch them. Many of us love the old and cheesy movies of the 50s. Yet, at the time, they were cheaply made and many turned their nose down on them. But, because there were people who enjoyed them, they continued to crank them out. Just as today, SyFy and The Asylum continue to release film after film of two-headed sharks and bigfoot-inspired beasts, riddled with forgotten TV actors and horrible CGI. And people continue to watch them week after week. I choose not to but I also don’t wish they’d stop being made. There is a little something called diversity. The sci-fi and horror genres used to embrace it. Now, I fear there is a growing trend that is making many so-called fans sound like those film lovers of decades past who turned their noses down on sci-fi and horror.

Many people have forgotten a time, or perhaps never lived through it, when sci-fi and horror was not main stream. It was a niche group looked down upon by true lovers of film. After all, those types of movies were crude and not really worth a true cinema lovers time, right? I thought those days were gone yet now I am beginning to see a growing trend amongst genre fans and podcasts where many think its okay to be overly critical and hope for a film’s failure simply because it doesn’t fit their vision of what a zombie flick should be or what Star Trek is supposed to be about. Remember that little saying Gene Roddenberry came up in the third season of Star Trek? Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. It’s a saying some of us have lost sight of but sorely need in our daily lives.Film

These movies we watch online or rent or go to the theater to see are supposed to be for enjoyment. An escape from our everyday lives. They can make us laugh or cry, scream out in terror or clap in celebration. No director or writer ever created something in hopes that people would bash it for every possible fault. The podcasts we all listen to have created a community of diverse opinions interspersed with familiar visions. However, when the negative begins to overwhelm the positive, it leaves one to question whether they are truly enjoying what they are watching or listening to. Too many of us have lost connection with that inner child we all embraced when we discovered the wonderful world of movies. It was that child who chose to enjoy the moment rather than be overly critical of every fault. It’s that inner child that many of us need to reconnect with. Otherwise, what’s the point of going to the movies when all we do is moan and complain about what we just paid $10 of $15 to see?

Remember that if a horror flick you just watched doesn’t have enough blood and gore, I guarantee you there is one out there you haven’t seen yet full of just that. Not a fan of shaky camera? Do some searching and embrace a movie from decades past that matches the style you love. The movies of the past never go away. They wait to be rediscovered. I am constantly amazed by what I still haven’t seen. For me, a movie truly has to be bad for me not to enjoy it, at least to some degree. Yet, I guarantee you, someone out there enjoys every movie I don’t, and that is what used to separate us from the so-called Hollywood snobbery. Many have abandoned that philosophy and sorely need to rediscover it. Embrace your inner child and enjoy the cinematic experience. Otherwise, what’s the point?


7 thoughts on “Embrace Your Inner Child at the Movies

  1. Well said, sir. There was one podcast I listened to, which shall also remain nameless, from the beginning and was great for two years. Then they got this email that encouraged them to be more critical and it was like a switch flipped and a couple of the hosts started sounding like they were just watching the stuff they reviewed to collect a check (and I’m pretty sure they didn’t actually get paid for the cast). I liked the podcast so much that I actually stuck with it for three more months even though I really couldn’t stand most of the content any more. My wife was surprised by this because she knows that I tend to be pretty hedonistic when it comes to my hobbies and, if I don’t enjoy something, I drop it like a hot rock. Ultimately, I decided the cast was just not fun any more so i stopped listening to it. This was a couple of years ago and the podcast is still going. I did give it a try again a month or two back and they still have this negative format going. I couldn’t make it past 15 minutes. I gather the podcast is still quite successful so, there must be an audience for these types of podcasts, which is fine. If people like that style of reviewing they can go ahead and listen. I just won’t be one of them as I have plenty of more positive review casts to fill the space.

  2. Rich:
    You have a perplexing challenge on your hands. Negative criticism will always be a part of art, including film. The whole point of my blog is to point out that films made in the past are better because there was a focus on story, writing and acting. Films like Pacific Rim do not focus on story -films of the ilk a cartoons that are visuals and a story is developed around the set pieces: Ass-backwards. I see approximately 200 to 250 films a years. Most of them are entertaining. As far as new films go, I consider 2 or 3 a year as being great films (e.g. Argo, The Avengers, No Country for Old Men, Pan’s Labyrinth), and occassionally I stumble upon a classic I missed (e.g. The Spirit of the Beehive). If I fork out $20 to see Johnny Depp in 3D with a dead crow on his head then I am a sucker (I wasn’t that dumb), but I fell for PacRim (twice! -and liked it better on the IMAX and 3D -go figure) because it was a film I so wanted to love. Actualy, I don’t have a problem with belly-achers. The status of films coming out of hollywood right now is deplorable. Hollywood has based their success model on comic book characters, drunk buddy films and 3D animated films. When was a better time to see movies? The 70’s or the 90’s? The 40’s or 00’s? Really, the downfall started with Spielberg and Lucas churning out crap. Lucas is the worst offender recyling ideas (let’s have a new Death Star) and making crappy sequels with dumb ideas (the force is generated by tiny miditictacs…). In any event, I am waiting on Godzilla 2014 and it better be flipping good! Keep the faith Rich!

    • I think we tend to see the films of the past through rose colored glasses. Many of these movies from the past we love and praise do not have good scripts or good acting. They were hated by much of Hollywood as being childish and poor. They were B pictures, which many Hollywood stars avoided like the plague. Yet now, we look at them as classics. They are incredibly fun to watch but they aren’t really any different than what Hollywood is churning out now. Many of the Universal films lacked originality and were uninspired when looked at without those rose colored glasses. I love them and always have but they are not perfect no matter how much we want to think so. And the films of today are not perfect either. I’m all for lively discussion and differing opinions. I just think that when people rush out to see new movies all the time and then complain about these movies all the time, they need to step back and realize their negativity is a sign they’ve lost touch with how much fun these movies can be when viewed in the right frame of mind. So, we have different views and I’m good with that. I just felt the need to express my opinion, knowing that some would agree and some would not. The fact that we can do that is what makes this community we’ve created wonderful.

  3. I agree with Rich. I go to movies to have fun, and if I go in with few preconceptions I often do have fun. I haven’t been to a movie I didn’t enjoy this summer. That’s right, I liked:

    Iron Man 3
    Star Trek: Into Darkness
    Man of Steel
    The Lone Ranger
    Pacific Rim

    And a whole bunch of other things that aren’t springing right to mind this late at night. And I was able to do so because I knew going in that this was _not_ going to be _my_ Iron Man, my Star Trek, my Superman, my Lone Ranger, or my Kaiju — and believe, me I have friends who have worked on classic versions of all that stuff, and I’ve even worked on some of it myself. Films have to be taken on their own terms.

    None of these films is Casablanca or King Kong or Metropolis. Yet, they generally set out what they aimed to do, and in that, they’re no different than Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, or Creature from the Black Lagoon (none of which are Casablanca or Citizen Kane, either).

    I started listening to the B-Movie Cast because I got tired of listening to the “professional” movie podcast I’d listened to for years. They’d brought in a new 2nd-chair host (again) a while ago, and I found myself getting mad at the show nearly every week. “These guys don’t like anything now!” I cried. (Unless it was by Steven Soderbergh.) I decided to find a podcast that actually loved genre films, and was lucky enough to find Vince.

    And that’s one reason the B-Movie Cast remains my favorite podcast — because Vince, Mary, Nic and company (sometimes even me) — love these movies, and appreciate them on their own terms. Sometimes the dopey films are the most fun, or we love them despite their flaws. The Beginning of the End has cardboard Chicago with its giant grasshoppers, for heaven’s sake — yet we love it. Which is why Vince will often say, “You need this one in your collection” even if the movie is lacking plot, story, acting and great SFX.

    Because we love this stuff.

    So, I’m with Rich … and Vince. There’s a place for deconstructing and bitching about the problems with movies today. But I won’t be listening to that podcast or reading that blog or even participating in my friends’ bitch sessions on Facebook. I’m tired of the complaining. I’d rather watch a movie — even Sharknado.

    • Sir, we are clearly on the same page. I think differing opinions and lively discussion is fine and even entertaining from time to time. However, when the same people rush out to see every blockbuster on opening weekend and then quickly post how disappointed they were, it makes no sense to me. Is Star Trek: Into Darkness on the same level than the original TV series? No but is it a fun ride? Absolutely. I go to the movies and watch them at home to be entertained. It has to be really bad for me not to find at least something enjoyable in it. I just don’t see the point of being negative on every movie that comes out. Seems like their time could and should be spent doing something else. Let’s be honest, Godzilla movies are about a man in a rubber suit knocking down models. Many in Hollywood has always and will always look down on these movies. Yet, we enjoy them. I guess I’ve grown weary of all the negativity and I am choosing to focus on the positive. Undoubtedly, some will disagree and that’s okay. But Steve, it is nice to know there are those out there who agree with me!

  4. Pingback: The Sci-Fi and Horror Community May Need a Reset to 1976 | Monster Movie Kid

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