Copyright © 2000. All Rights Reserved
by John Tebbutt
Two people see a film. The first one enjoys it; the second one thinks its a piece of garbage, and points out a list of the films deficiencies in an intelligent, succinct manner. Which of these viewers is smarter?
Answer: the first one. He got his 11 bucks worth, while the other guy wasted his money.
Well, maybe thats a tad simplistic. After all, its often more fun to rail about a terrible movie than to enthuse about a good one but you get the idea. I believe its possible to enjoy just about any movie if you approach it the right way, and who wouldnt rather enjoy the flick they just paid hard-earned money to see? The truth is, were all a lot more in control over which movies entertain us than many of us might suspect.
Given this premise, let me ask another question: what movies are you willing to see?
Theres tons and tons of great stuff out there, and some of you probably have lots of very good reasons for not watching it. Thats fine, if youd rather be right than happy. But, if you secretly want to expand your viewing horizons (and I suspect that as a Video Vulture reader, you probably do) then all you have to do is simply let go of some of your favourite "good reasons" for missing certain flicks. For example:
· Good Reason #1: Subtitles
"I dont want to read a movie!" Unless you cant read subtitles because of dyslexia, illiteracy or eyesight problems, I dont buy it. Words are all around us as a society we are constantly reading. Besides, even Star Wars had subtitles. Try something like La Femme Nikita theres so much action that youll only spend about three minutes reading subtitles. Alternately, watch something emotionally involving, like Jesus of Montreal. Youll probably forget that youre reading subtitles, to the point that when they start speaking English during the hospital scene, you wont even notice.
· Good Reason #2: Widescreen Video
"I dont like looking at those black bars!" Yep, videos in the "Letterbox" format have black bars on the top and bottom, to preserve the theatrical aspect ratio. Heres a thought: dont look at them. Look at the movie. You might as well say, "I hate watching TV I just keep staring at the knobs." Those black bars arent covering anything up, theyre just there because the films true shape is rectangular, not square. Unless your TV is small enough to pick up with one hand, widescreen movies shouldnt be a problem.
· Good Reason #3: Stupid Movies
"This movie is going to be incredibly stupid!" Thats no reason not to watch it. Everybody watches stupid movies. We have to genuinely good ones dont come along often enough. Fortunately, we tend to forgive some movies for their stupidity if they contain some element we like. As a kid, maybe you thought that any movie was good as long as it had a puppy that saved the day. Today, its the same deal, only instead of puppies, you want to see Arnold Schwarzenegger shooting two machine guns at once.
When a group of people go to the multiplex, and theres a good movie playing, they go to that, and everybodys happy. More often, theres just six stupid movies to choose from, and they get into an argument about whether to watch the stupid movie with the love story, or the stupid movie with exploding helicopters.
· Good Reason #4: Genre Preferences
"I cant stand that kind of movie!" Well as Mom said during dinner, "How do you know you dont like it if you wont try it?" You might surprise yourself. For years, I thought only evil people would watch horror movies. Eventually I began to suspect that this perception was wrong, and cautiously sampled a few mild horror flicks. Before long, I was amazed to find myself actually enjoying The Evil Dead and the biggest revelation was that I was still a nice person! Groovy.
Is there a film genre youve been neglecting? Westerns? Foreign comedies? Silent? Documentaries? Anime Porn? Maybe its time for a change....
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