What a time to be alive. For the frequent moviegoer, such as myself, the vast selection of movies to choose from is incredible. On one hand, I get to check out the latest from Marvel, such as 2015’s Age of Ultron or Ant-Man. On the other hand, we are witness to Western epics, like The Revenant and The Hateful Eight. Whatever kind of movie fan you are, there seems to be just about something for everyone. However, in an increasingly digital era, it has become difficult to avoid reviews and spoilers about upcoming films. And, I don’t know about you, but those opinions affect me.
One example from 2015, the very disappointing Fantastic Four reboot. From the very early stages of the film’s production, many were sold on this incarnation of the franchise. The cast was stellar, the director was well-known, and the trailers seemed to resonate well with audiences. However, news quickly spread about the studio’s lack of press screenings, pointing to a lack of confidence in the film. Mere days before its release, Josh Trank, director of Fantastic Four, tweeted out his feelings about the release.
The horrible reviews about Fantastic Four spread around social media like wildfire, and it caused me to question my own preconceptions about the film. Although I was initially optimistic about it, the negative word-of-mouth made me stay at home during the film’s opening weekend. I allowed other’s opinions and reviews of the film to become my own thoughts, and that just isn’t how movies should be experienced. When I finally made it out to see the film, I was surprised. It wasn’t as bad as the world made it out to be, but it was surely disappointing. In fact, there were some elements of the film that could’ve been turned into something great. We later learned of the behind-the-scenes issues with the director and studio, which more than likely contributed to the film’s failure.
Another film that didn’t necessarily do well at the box office, but promised something great, was Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak. Strong cast, renowned director, and promising trailers: what wasn’t to be excited about? As Crimson Peak was to be released around Halloween, many were expecting a straight horror movie. A story about ghosts, and a creepy mansion, sounds like a perfect Halloween movie. Though Crimson Peak had its fair share of scares, it followed more along the lines of a gothic romance, rather than a horror movie. In an early part of the film, I even had to readjust my expectations. I came to think of it as a Shakespearean drama, one full of interesting subtext and social commentary.
The point of this being, we need to keep in mind what makes going to the movies great. It’s an experience. Whether it’s with your significant other, family, or friends, the movie-going experience is one that brings all people together. Sometimes, we suspend our realities and allow the movies to immerse us in their reality. Sometimes, we go to see a spectacle or to be frightened. Other times, movies have a powerful message that resonates with us. We shouldn’t allow these experiences to be tarnished by the words of others. Make up your own mind.
Now, if you’ve seen a movie and wish to discuss the film amongst other fans, please join us here! We love movies and love to engage in thoughtful discussions. We don’t wish to influence your thoughts on movies, but rather talk about them as friends. In 2016, let us all make an effort to enjoy the movies again.