Low Standards for Nerd Movies

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Low Standards for Nerd Movies

Post by Jayce on Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:33 am

Ok so I have finally watched The Battle of the Five Armies, I don't get why so many people said it was absolutely atrocious. Yes it has obvious flaws like dragon sickness being a problem for like the first hour but suddenly it goes away, legolas ninja-ing himself over those falling rocks, unresolved plot points like Thranduil's search for gems of pure starlight, why did Galadriel look like a banshee for a second there when she faced Sauron, Tauriel's silly confession of love for the dwarf she knew for like two days, what even happened to the arkenstone and what significance did it even had? etc.... However I enjoyed the film. Bilbo was in my opinion more likeable than Frodo, I didn't mind Tauriel, there was Legolas, and I loved it when Thranduil finally cathartically realised the mortality of him and his people. Plus Thranduil is so sexy! Lovestruck Lovestruck Lovestruck.

I also liked Revenge of the Sith. I haven't read any star wars material so I'll only consider the six films canon. I didn't see why people say it sucked so much compared to the original three. It was an enjoyable story. Am I missing the reasons why it sucked because I've not read any of the novels?(I don't even know if the novels are considered canon) Yes it had flaws but the struggle and the stakes felt high. I could see why Attack of the Clones was stupid, and Phantom Menace. But Obi Wan having to face Anakin in the lava pit and parting with his disciple was enjoyable and one of my most memorable parts of the franchise.

I don't know why but I just seem to suspend a high amount of disbelief when it comes to fiction, even for ridiculous things like Batman magically making it back to Gotham after climbing out of that well, I just think, eh its a movie,I'll roll with it. Unless a movie sucks so much that its super cringy (transformers, ninjas turtles, ehh Michael Bay why! Headsmack ) I generally can still enjoy the film.

I don't get why people bash Revenge of the Sith and The Hobbit trilogy. What am I missing? Is it weird that my standards for movies are not that high?

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Re: Low Standards for Nerd Movies

Post by Andrew Corvero on Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:51 am

What am I missing? Is it weird that my standards for movies are not that high?

Not at all. I think that enjoyment of art in general is very subjective. What works for you may not work for someone else, and vice versa. Personal tastes are...personal (well duh, thank you Captain Obvious). We all have our standards and to say that one's aesthetic standards are "right" or "wrong" is not only pretty douchey IMHO, but misses the point.

That said, I too think that sometimes some problems that people have with some movies are too nitpick-y for my tastes. Although what's a legitimate complaint and what's just nitpicking is, again, very subjective.

You seem to have a pretty nuanced view of what you like and why you like it. You acknowledge flaws but don't think that they're annoying enough for you not to like a movie. Other simply disagree.

Specifically I too think that Revenge of the Sith gets a bad rap that is partly unfair. It's not a perfect movie by any means but it has many enjoyable moments, more than The Phantom Menace or Attack of the Clones. Although I have to confess that I can't take the bit where Anakin has just been turned into Vader and goes "NOOOOO" seriously. I think it's way over the top and it ruins what could have been a potentially cool scene.
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Re: Low Standards for Nerd Movies

Post by Guest on Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:30 am

I don't think it's weird. I feel like, out of the nerds I've met, they've had an especially high standard or bar for movies in particular, with an additional interest in 'schlock' that is relevant to subcultures they involve themselves in.

But really, it varies from person to person. One of my favourite films is Harry Brown. It's not exactly a film that would be high on many people's favourite lists for a plethora of reasons, but I love it. It's also fun to tell people it's what I think an actual scary film is, and it's not even of the horror genre...

And, for the record, I enjoyed all of the Hobbit and Star Wars films.

Enjoy what you enjoy. It can sting when someone craps on something you love (especially when it's near and dear to your heart *cough*pinkfloydsthefinalcut*cough*). However, it's rarely personal. Nor does it mean that your standards aren't 'correct'. They are just different.

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Re: Low Standards for Nerd Movies

Post by Enail on Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:51 am

I didn't watch any of the Hobbits, and gave up sadly after the first of the Star Wars prequels, so I'm gonna talk a little more generally. I have kind of low standards in some ways for action, fantasy and sci fi - I don't care about plot holes big enough to drive a fleet of trucks through as long as it's fun and makes emotional sense. So I get that "just suspend disbelief already" sentiment, but there are other things that I'm very, very picky about - lazy, sloppy storytelling, generic or unconvincing characters and plot motivations, and adaptations/sequels that don't feel true to the spirit of the original drive me nuts (though I don't mind fairly major changes otherwise), so I'm just as often on the other side of it.

I think expectations often play a big role in it - I saw the Phantom Menace pretty late, so I already knew it wasn't going to be very good, so it was actually surprisingly less bad and I even enjoyed it somewhat (though I didn't feel any desire to see the sequels to it, so obviously I didn't enjoy it that much). But also just, yeah, like everyone else says, different people, different taste and differing "it's got flaws but I still enjoyed it"-ness.
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Re: Low Standards for Nerd Movies

Post by The Wisp on Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:52 pm

It's okay to have different standards for movies. I didn't like the Hobbit (because I thought it was trying too hard to be LotR), but loved The Dark Knight Rises. I definitely sometimes suspend my disbelief better than others for certain movies. Minor plot holes or gaps don't really bother me. Like you I don't care how Bruce Wayne got back to Gotham so quickly. The movie worked thematically so I was happy with it.

I'm 50/50 on Revenge of the Sith. I think it is definitely better than the other two prequels, and has the best action sequences in the movies in terms of raw spectacle (so far, anyway). Yeah, some of the writing wasn't good, but the acting was good enough that I could let that bounce off me. And yes, like the other prequels it relied way too heavily on pure special effects rather than mixing in some practical effects, but again that didn't bother me too much.

My big issue with that movie is I feel like they didn't really sell me on Anakin's turn to the dark side. In the span of 10 minutes in the movie, and probably half a day in universe, Anakin goes from turning Palpatine in to the jedi to literally murdering children in cold blood because Palpatine may or may not have a way to save Padame from a hypothetical future death.

I still enjoy RotS, and I do go back to watch it unlike episodes I and II, but I wouldn't call it a great movie either.

EDIT: I feel like a certain subset of nerds get really hung up on minor plot holes or occasional bad lines in an otherwise good script, and it is annoying if they use that to say a movie is bad. I think many point those out affectionately, though, and many are also like you in just not caring about those things.
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Re: Low Standards for Nerd Movies

Post by caliseivy on Sun Apr 19, 2015 1:09 pm

Tastes are definitely subjective. I don't remember all of RotS because I only saw it once and didn't really hold my interest. I use to wonder if my tastes were low brow but realized I honestly don't care because it's what I enjoy, and you're always going to find people who have the same tastes just like you're going to find ones who don't; doesn’t mean it's of low or no value. I still have that conflict with literature.

On the Hobbit movies: it's been forever since I read the Hobbit, but I think they explain the fate of the Arkenstone after the battle.
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Re: Low Standards for Nerd Movies

Post by readertorider on Sun Apr 19, 2015 1:17 pm

I think with the Star Wars prequels and Hobbit movies in particular, many people had strong feelings about the original movies and high expectations for other movies in the universe. It doesn't help that there's been quite a bit of time between the new releases and the more famous original material for nostalgia to set in. When you go into a movie expecting to be amazed, anything short of excellent is a let down. I think in particular the end of those movie series is a prime target, because plenty of people are feeling that they were repeatedly let down and now there's not anything left to look forward to.

Personally the things I loved about the original Star Wars trilogy--the sense of a much larger and complex universe we don't see, quotable dialogue, people fighting a losing fight, Han and Leia and Luke and Chewie's general bond with eachother, the music--mostly got replaced with flashy battles, Master/Padwan relationships most notable for their death scenes, inconsistent characterization, a terrible romance, and a powerful fraction failing by their own incompetence (music's still awesome, though!).

Revenge of the Sith is probably objectively a pretty good movie, but for me that's even worse because you can't have a "drink when Obi-wan calls Qui-gon master" watching experience or summon bigger fish ridiculousness. Honestly, my worst fear is that this new movie will be decent as nonsensical as that may sound. Wink

Jayce wrote:I don't know why but I just seem to suspend a high amount of disbelief when it comes to fiction, even for ridiculous things like Batman magically making it back to Gotham after climbing out of that well, I just think, eh its a movie,I'll roll with it. Unless a movie sucks so much that its super cringy (transformers, ninjas turtles, ehh Michael Bay why! Headsmack ) I generally can still enjoy the film.

I think suspension of disbelief is probably one of the most personal and dealbreaking things in fiction. Sometimes it's enough to completely throw me out of a story and sometimes it only bothers me if I'm not loving the narrative to begin with. It is an easy thing to pick on in reviews, however, vs. less tangible aspects of the story.
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Re: Low Standards for Nerd Movies

Post by Andrew Corvero on Sun Apr 19, 2015 1:53 pm

My big issue with that movie is I feel like they didn't really sell me on Anakin's turn to the dark side. In the span of 10 minutes in the movie, and probably half a day in universe, Anakin goes from turning Palpatine in to the jedi to literally murdering children in cold blood because Palpatine may or may not have a way to save Padame from a hypothetical future death.

Yes, that's pretty bad. I guess that a better development of the romance and the impending death of Padme would have helped to make Anakin turning to the Dark Side believable. I was a bit baffled that they didn't just explicitly say that Padme was suffering from an incurable terminal illness: it would have explained why Anakin was so eager to keep her alive AND why she died after giving birth to Luke and Leia.

EDIT: Actually I had a theory about it: Jedi are forbidden from marrying and having children because the high levels of midi-chlorians (I know, I know, bear with me please) in their blood are dangerous to the people they have children with. However this bit of medical knowledge was lost through the years and only the prohibition of sexual relationships for Jedis remained.

Anakin was too in love with Padme to care about what seemed a meaningless prohibition, but when Padme becomes pregnant she starts to feel bad. Anakin secretly takes her to a hospital where they tell him she's dying.

Anakin doesn't take this well. However Palpatine knew about this problem (Sith scret knowledge), is keeping tabs on Anakin and Padme and when he finds out about what happened he sweeps in, explain what happened and that it's Anakin's fault and promises him a cure if he helps him to take down the Jedis. Palpatine even tells Anakin that the Jedis most likely knew about the illness and kept it a secret from Anakin.

Wracked with guilt and despair Anakin accepts and turns to the Dark Side.

(It's just a theory, but I think it'd work. What do you think? Smile ).
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Re: Low Standards for Nerd Movies

Post by reboot on Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:03 pm

I think Star Wars and Tolkien, and, to a degree Star Trek, inspire very rigid, canonical thinking in some fans, so anything that does not match their expectations is THE WORST EVAH and any deviation from the book (Tolkein) or any reimagining of the source material inspires outrage.

I remember when they first rebooted Star Trek on TV. You should have heard the freakouts.
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Re: Low Standards for Nerd Movies

Post by bomaye on Sun Apr 19, 2015 4:34 pm

Hardcore fans or maybe excitable fans are more likely to have higher expectations that cause them to nitpick and concentrate on what they didn't like or how their expectations weren't met. Your more casual fan or people just looking to have a good time will show up for exactly that. It's kind of like someone who rides all the rollercoasters and goes "Eh, The Screamer at last year's Carnival was better than this" vs the people who get on the rollercoaster because they want to RIIIIIIIDE A ROLLERCOASTTERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

That is what happened to me with Revenge of the Sith. I was hoping for the first half of the movie to be what the second half ended up being (the creation of Darth Vader) and then the nonexistent second-half that never happened to be the Fall of the Jedi. Instead, the first half of Revenge was a lot of stuff that tied into cartoons and other media that I never watched, so seeing Obi Wan hunt down General Greivous for the first hour nearly put me to sleep.
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Re: Low Standards for Nerd Movies

Post by Suika on Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:04 pm

The problem with the Hobbit may have been that Jackson wanted to make something new out of the source material, like adding all the content that would eventually turn a relatively short book into a whole trilogy of movies. Because of the critic that it got from my peers, I never watched them though, so I can't be a 100% accurate judge in this matter either.
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Re: Low Standards for Nerd Movies

Post by Conreezy on Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:50 pm

I also liked Revenge of the Sith. I haven't read any star wars material so I'll only consider the six films canon.

The novelization of Episode III is very good and outlines Anakin's descent into evil better than the film.

(It's just a theory, but I think it'd work. What do you think? Smile ).

It's pretty obvious that Jedi don't marry because it's too much of an attachment. They're monks, after all, serving the Force and supposedly above worldly things, as close to divine as Natalie Portman may be.

But another theory I read said that Palpatine killed Padme through the Force, draining her life, in order to save Anakin after he found him all BBQ'd on Mustafar. Just so happens the twins got out in time. Not sure why it had to be Padme, though, and not some random stormtrooper.

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Re: Low Standards for Nerd Movies

Post by Guest on Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:42 am

Jayce wrote:

I don't get why people bash Revenge of the Sith and The Hobbit trilogy. What am I missing? Is it weird that my standards for movies are not that high?

Attack of the Clones was always the one that bothered me the most.

But anyway, people don't like these movies for exactly the reason you said, it tends to mess with the formula of how the previous movies went. Not to mention that both trilogies are almost completely CGI and fans tend to hate that. I'm not really fond of it either, and I watch the Star Wars prequels and Hobbit films as examples of camp more than anything else.

Going into film-nerd mode, both trilogies completely fail in film theory and how the stories are structured and all that pretentious horseshit. Point here isn't that you're wrong for liking the movies, but your goals for watching films (to be entertained) aren't the same as a film-nerd's goal (to be told a story). These things often conflict.

I'm gonna link the prequel reviews by Plinkett (film critic who's actually really freaking funny) here just so you can see why people don't like the movies, and then you can go on liking them, because the beautiful part about pop culture is liking whatever the fuck you want.

Plinkett's Star Wars Reviews (watch ALL of them)

I mean, this is coming from the guy who loves Batman & Robin and The Room.

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Re: Low Standards for Nerd Movies

Post by CP96 on Sat Apr 25, 2015 5:53 pm

Conreezy wrote:The novelization of Episode III is very good and outlines Anakin's descent into evil better than the film.

I haven't read it but I do know it's by Matt Stover who is a legitimately decent sci-fi/fantasy author in his own right.
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