Aperio radix, pro bono publico. (Open source, for the public good.)

The Internet Has Sucky Taste in Films

Date/Time Permalink: 12/10/09 01:01:52 pm
Category: Geek Culture

I've been noticing a trend in films discussed online in the past few years. The more the social web hypes a film, the less I'm going to like it. You might see it as hype backlash. I'm definitely keeping my head while all about me are losing theirs.

With 300, I basically watched it for the memes. Now I know what "This is SPARTAAAAA!" is all about. Big deal. It's OK for extra-cheesy entertainment, but it's the kind of film where I own the DVD and only watched it twice - the second time just to mock it.

With The Dork Dark Knight, there's no chance that I'd like it after the juggernaut of marketing saturation that it was. It was meh-OK. Yes, I know, a different interpretation of the Batman mythos. I'm bat-burned-out. Here, I'll say it: Heath Ledger did not make a better Joker than Jack Nicholson. Yes, I'm sorry he's dead and it's commendable that he did Brokeback Mountain. But there was no chance that the film could live up to the million squeeing fanbois having trembling, eye-rolling orgasms of catharsis over it. Fortunately we'll never have to deal with that again, because there's a whole generation there that has sworn that they will never watch a film again so as not to tarnish the everlasting memory of its perfect glory. That's nice. They'll look ridiculous with it tattooed on their forehead at age 40.

The Matrix films sucked. How anybody can be a geek and like that franchise is a loss for me to explain. The Matrix series was cheap fantasy done by people who were too ADD to pay attention long enough to get a story straight. I never managed to sit all the way through a Matrix film. People are reading deep meanings into a film that has no meaning. Kind of like with Tarot cards. Why, look at the pretty pictures; they must mean something!

So the other day... I caught Primer. Once.

Yes, I understood some of it - not all of it, of course. The reason it's hard to understand is not because it's brilliant, but rather because it's muddled and murky, perhaps deliberately so for the purpose of obfuscating what's going on. It's a good film, for its style. I found it interesting. I have actually worked with Argon, know that car batteries pump 12 volts, have built things out of microchips, and can follow a discussion about superconductivity as long as you go slow. You can't distract me with techno-babble.

But when I see everybody apologizing for it because it's so confusing and explaining what it really meant, I can't get past the simple flaw that it fails to tell the story. No, I don't watch a film so I can read a thesis to explain it later. Because I have a hard time accepting that the thesis is correct. How do we even know that this is about time travel at all? Maybe the box makes you hallucinate. You can draw all the charts and diagrams and infographics you want, but what you have is a bunch of Powerpoint slides explaining your theory. Which, if the film could tell the story on its own two feet, we wouldn't need.

And I'm talking as a David Lynch fan. There's more going on in Inland Empire than there is in Primer. There's more to a mindf*** than just being obscure.

Internet, we're through. I like you, but I'm not going to let you recommend any more films to me.

All you need is wuv wuv wuv

Update 8/24/10: I have recently applied this new policy to Inception. First I heard about it and I was curious. Then fanbois online starting creaming about it, and I got turned off. Then the film was hyped and astroturfed from end to end of social media and I got more turned off. Then the insect-minded fanbois can't shut up about it weeks later, and now... only now do I find out that it was directed by Christopher Nolan, the guy who cursed us with Dork Knight.

What is up with the fantards around this one director? Google "Christopher Nolan" along with "objectivist" and read the interesting results; he's hugely popular with Randroids. For reasons which I probably don't want to know.

Follow me on Twitter for an update every time this blog gets a post.
Stumble it Reddit this share on Facebook

suddenly the moon