Yes, I’m that person who didn’t like “Pulp Fiction.”
I watched it very recently for the first time, and although there was some great writing and a lot of laugh-out-loud moments, I was pretty disappointed. Of course, this drew the wrath of many a Facebook friend when I posted about it, and one of them pointed out something.
My expectations were too high.
This movie is supposed to be Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece, the quintessential 90s gangster film….I recognized the iconic scenes and lines…realized this is what resparked the careers of Travolta and Jackson. But alas, I was disappointed.
I’m also that person who will passionately organize a movie outing with a few dozen people. I did so for several movies, such as “Superman Returns.”
With “Spider-Man 3″, I inhaled everything there was to know about the movie, including actor roles, all trailers, possible plots. I blogged on MySpace about it several times up to the premiere and, like many fans, was disappointed by the outcome.
Now that I’m older, a lot of these traditions have become tiresome and, in a way, seem to go against my inner movie geek. Here are a few unusual things to try in preparation for a either a movie outing. A few of these tips can apply to movie nights in, too.
1) Never, ever, ever see a movie on opening weekend. The reasons why are pretty obvious. Yes, I have attended midnight premieres of movies and enjoyed myself. The last one I did was for “Harry Potter” with my niece, and it was an incredible experience. But more so because it was the end of a tradition I had been doing with my niece for a decade and I caught some friends there.
I also braved the crowds even though I was recovering from mono and went to the midnight premiere of “Star Wars Episode Three.” My then boyfriend at the time sewed his own Jedi costume, so it felt pretty important for me to be there. (No, I wasn’t contagious and yes, he sewed a costume, cut and died his hair and grew a beard for Halloween and opening night. I ended up marrying a *Con gamer, so there you go.)
But then there are those ultra-crappy experiences. There’s the time I planned an outing for the opening of “Spider-Man 2″ and we had to endure second row seats and a set of chair-thumping rugrats behind us. Once we finally said something, we got lip from their mom. It was a terribly unpleasant moviegoing experience, considering how epically awesome that movie turned out.
I only enjoy movies now when there are smaller (and less rowdy) crowds. I tend to go on second or third weeks of big premieres. Sure, I miss the costumes, the greeting from movie employees and the thunderous applause at the end of the last scene.
But now I feel like my inner geek is much more content.
2) Don’t read or watch reviews until after I’ve seen the movie. This is a toughie for me, because I’m a film critic at heart and (seriously!) take the reviews of critics to heart. Of course, there have been plenty of times where I’ve disagreed with them.
Okay, okay. If you haven’t already written me off about “Pulp Fiction,” I will tell you that I cried watching “The Postman.” In a good way. Because I liked it!
It’s very, very easy for me to have certain ideas in the back of my head while watching a movie that shape the way I look at it. Usually, if a movie gets poor reviews, I end up walking into the theater already disapproving a bit, and how can that be an enjoyable experience?
It just can’t. And, of course, like “Pulp Fiction”, “The Departed” or other critically acclaimed movies, it can backfire. I go in thinking it will be amazing and then I’m extraordinarily disappointed.
3) Don’t watch movie trailers anymore. Period. Sure, I’ll catch them at the movies, because it’s an inconvenience to show up late or walk out, but other than that, I’ve stopped. Here’s the problem. The quality of most trailers has decreased dramatically. Particularly after a movie’s release, they reveal more and more information. The “camel straw” for me was when my husband informed me that a key scene in a movie trailer ended up being the actual ending of the movie.
Sure, people want the familiarity of saying, “Hey, I remember that. I saw that in the trailer!” But there’s the problem. Often times you’ll notice random little things about trailers that *weren’t* included. Or there will be entire scenes that don’t show up. Or you expect a certain song to be in the soundtrack, and it never happens.
Teaser or viral trailers are few and far between nowadays, and I hate that. I hate going into a movie knowing every single plot element, every important scene, every funny line.
Here’s an interesting example: I’m a *huge* superhero movie fan. I absolutely loved watching all of the different Avengers trailers. I tried to do some research on characters, since I haven’t followed the comics. So I dissected this trailer with a fine-toothed comb. At about 2 minutes in, there’s that great scene where all of the Avengers are gathered in a circle, prepping for battle. When Black Widow loads her handgun, her wrists light up in blue.
I posted it on Facebook when the trailer came out, and the best answer I got was that I’m sure they would talk about what that was all about. Unfortunately, at no point did I ever get a real indication of what actually happens with her wrists. I think there was one scene where she punches through something, but I’m not sure if that was it. I’ve had to actually go back and Google this now to figure out why they were used.
Honestly, her character was a smidge disappointing in the final battle, but after watching and re-watching that trailer, it really did influence my opinion of the movie in a negative way. I won’t do that ever again.
I still have yet to see a full trailer of “The Hobbit,” and I could not be more excited!
What are you passionate about that you take extraordinary measures to have the best experience possible? What do you think of doing all of this to watch a good flick? Sound off in the comments!