Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Hype Machine

I'll keep the post simple today. I have to be honest when I say people need to calm down a bit when it comes to hype. I can get caught up in things just as easy as the rest of us, but there's a segment of the hardcore movie watching community that takes it a bit too far.

The broad claims about how everything they've just seen is the greatest thing ever. The general desire to devour anyone who opposes their thought. A complete thirst for the film they champion to become the ruler of the universe, and for all to love it.

Why? Because someone, or some people, involved they greatly enjoy. Perhaps it's an adaptation of something else they enjoyed. Or because the commercial had a lot of appealing images. Who knows. All I know is people really need to chill out some. We love to hide behind remarks like "the internet is made for arguing."

Or, as I prefer to call it, the I need a reason to feel a sense of belonging, but at the same time alienate those whom I don't know, and claim my own superiority through the use of misguided google based analogies argument. Or, we could just call it Hype. Ah yes, the great builder, and destroyer.

This movie has Boob in the title, I like boobs, therefore it must be good. Send forth the word my loyal minions. Boob is good. Movie shall be as well. No, we don't need to see it. Did you see the commercial? If a commercial isn't the greatest broadcaster of the impending quality of a film, I don't know what is.

Now, all we need is to crap on the opinion of others, compare them to Nazis (always does the trick). Call the rest of them morons, assholes, or any other (and often more violent) insulting remark we can think of. Belittle anyone who agrees with us, but isn't really one of us. Claim ourselves king, and watch the masses come graveling when they finally succumb to its awesomeness. Obviously recognizing our superiority by the fact that we liked it first. Thus giving us rights to domain over the world. Just you wait and see.

.....What if they don't like it? Well, then we get to feel elite because only we recognize how amazing it truly is. The rest will obviously be wrong, because we're obviously right. There's no denying my logic. Therefore we shall never lose.

Wait, they signed who as director? Well, hell. Never mind. Christopher Nolan got anything coming out soon? That's always an easy one.

11 better thoughts:

The Mad Hatter said...


I must ask, what prompted this post??

MovieNut14 said...

Well, I get caught in the hype for some movies as well (*cough*Inception*cough), but I don't OBSESS over the movie. I might a little when the release date is just a few days away.

Univarn said...

@Mad Years of forum mongering, and an overwhelming desire to have a post for today? Pretty much was prompts all my posts :)

@MovieNut That's OK. As long as you don't, like so many seem to, confuse high anticipation with self superiority.

Yojimbo_5 said...

Well, there's a lunatic fringe to any endeavor, and one deals with the lunatics as one does with slugs...with a pinch of salt. When, a week before it opened, one "reviewer" stated unequivocally that "Iron Man II" was "the greatest super-hero movie ever made," I immediately lowered my expectations. When a neophyte says they're NOT going to see a movie because "I don't like the trailer," I file it as someone who's confused by hype over the actual film (I occassionally write for a site that has one correspondent who "reviews" trailers, which, to me, is like reviewing the Coke commercials). A trailer is a selling tool. A film is a statement. My favorite film has one of the worst trailers I've ever seen. Gene Siskel refused to watch trailers.

But, the word "gullible" is not in the dictionary. There will always be those who'll be taken in by the Message Machine. The final analysis should be, and about, the final product. Anything else just corrupts the signal-to-noise ratio, and discriminating viewers and film-lovers have to find their own ways of filtering the static. I ignore it. And keep my eyes on the prize—that long ribbon of dreams in the dark, and how it moves me. And that's what I write about.

Keep up the good fight, Univarn. You da man.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I love my movies, but there's few things in life I get that excited about.
Anyone trying to belittle others is just trying to hide how little they feel themselves.

StudyCool said...

I am conflicted about this because I am guilty as charged... But I believe that I live a dual movie watching life when it comes to hype...

On the one hand I am continually and massively guilty of getting sucked into the hype machine, especially in recent years. Lately I've realized that I simply enjoy having something to look forward to. I love the anticipation that builds as I watch a trailer a dozen times before a film releases. I love the excitement that comes with the snippets of information that trickle out from sets. I just cannot help it. I get excited about these films!

@Yojimbo_5 Then on the other hand I agree with this post completely when it states that "The final analysis should be, and about, the final product." And I like to think I accomplish that. When it comes time to actually sit and watch films I forget the trailer and I try to be open minded about watching films in the first place.

For a recent example of this dual nature take Clash of the Titans. I am a fan of the original and was very excited about this remake. I watched the trailer countless times ("Have you seen what is happening out there! Have you even bothered to look?") and even stood in line at midnight on opening night. In other words... I fueled the machine. But when the film fell crashing around me and ended with disappointment I just went home and slept. I called it, in my opinion, a poor film and moved on..

In short I think I can successfully separate myself into equal parts hype fueled maniac and rational movie watcher.

Castor said...

This obviously happens more and more as you can see with the ridiculous scores some very hyped movie received recently, from The Dark Knight to Avatar to Toy Story 3 or Inception. As with everything that is hyped too much, you get the backlash afterward.

Heather said...

This is the very reason I stopped posting anything I had (except for the rare occasion) on reddit. I can deal with constructive criticism or a thoughtful counterpoint, or even someone just venting their thoughts, but when others begin to claim peoples OPINIONS are wrong, insults begin, or actions become argumentative for the sake of all the sad reasons you listed above, it becomes an exhausting place of existence. But hype does often do that.

After Clash of The Titans came out many of my friends ranted at how GREAT it was. In all seriousness! But in any case I usually keep quiet in these situations because my differing opinion will be attacked by the angry mob. I want to ask them, Did you like the movie because it was good? Fun effects, good story or what? But the discussion never gets that rational and I'm usually looked at as though I'm trying to feel superior to them even though it's quite the opposite.

The flipside of that is movies that have been widely loved (Titantic, Avatar, and Transformers) and afterwords the mass hate developed for these films is..........well strange........Hype and advertising certainly plays a potent role on how movies are received.

Clarissa Draper said...

Hmm, interesting post. I usually keep my thoughts of movies to myself because I know I'm going to upset someone with my view. Yeah, hype. It's out there. And boobs are nice.


Castor said...

@ Heather: Yes! I often do the same with my own friends. I'd rather just not say anything because they usually don't want to hear it anyway.

Fletch said...

We all need to learn to temper our extreme thoughts, whether they be good or bad towards something. One of my favorite life maxims - everything in moderation - most certainly applies to movie blathering as well.

Love this post.

Now what the fuck did Castor say about TDK? Jerk!


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