Choosing a Movie? Ignore these 2 Groups
Superman vs Batman exploded into theaters this weekend killing it at every corner on the way to the biggest Warner Brothers opening in the studios history. Hundreds of millions of dollars rolled into the WB account as people paid and watched this landmark DC film that cost upwards of $400 million. Mucking up the clear waters of success for this film have been two distinct voices of dissent that are being placed front and center on media outlets and mainstream websites around the globe. I am referring to critics and super-fans. They are two groups of people who I have, in my thousands of movie watcher experiences, learned to ignore. These groups have an over the top investment in the product and/or film in general that can make their opinions and voices skewed with an overprotective feeling towards the source material. Let’s dig in.
The largest gap between a critic and the general population is the over protection of film in general that they seem to cling to. They are looking for cinematic excellence and the standard they use manifests much more in art house films than in the blockbuster films that appeal to the masses. It’s the same scenario in which a food critic might like the minuscule portions of food served at a prize bistro. They may meet the criteria for his pallet but they do not fit in the recipe for success that appeals to the majority of people. The basic break between the critic and the general population is what they are looking for in a film. Thee majority of movie goers are looking to be entertained and be granted the ability to escape from the goings on in everyday life. Critics are looking for a formula that weaves directing, writing, cinematography and sound into a masterpiece of storytelling. This is not necessarily a bad as many critically acclaimed films accrue box office success. However, films that are not meant to achieve this cinematic checklist rarely get that coveted thumbs up from a critic. Critics and I don’t always disagree on films but we disagree enough for me to disregard a review when making my movie choices.
I am a super fan. 80’s TV, Fantasy sports, and WWE are a few of the things I really hold in high regard. That being said, if a Saved by the Bell movie were to be made, I would not recommend that you come to me for a critique of the film. If you have questions about the content and how it relates I would be helpful. However, I have too much attachment to the source material to assume my opinion should matter to someone seeking a stand alone movie. We are seeing this type of protective reaction to the new Superman vs Batman film. Super-fans are not happy with a lot of liberties taken by the director Zac Snyder. The disconnect here happened long before one scene was even filmed. The announcement of Ben Affleck as a more mature Batman was met with harsh criticism by fans who felt he would not accurately portray their caped hero. The same rings true for the TV Show Game of Thrones. Super-fans of the Song of Fire and Ice books (which the Game of Thrones books are based on) often shriek at the liberties that show runners David Benioff and DB Weiss take. As someone who never read the books I find it interesting to ask questions of those who have. At the same time the deviation from the books does nothing to limit my enjoyment of the series. Not being a super-fan of the books means I can enjoy the television show without feeling robbed of the original content. Super-fans do serve a purpose and are very helpful when I need clarification or background.
Critics and super-fans have there place in pop culture. Each has a sphere of influence that is necessary and sought after to some level by movie studios. In this current market of blockbuster films where entertainment is valued over cinematic achievement (rightly or wrongly) these voices do not ring near as loud as they once did. Once upon a time I listened to critics and super-fans when considering movies to watch. Those voices have dampened more and more with experience and now can barely be disseminated when I make my selections.