TMI (Too Much Info)
I was recently reading an interview with musician-turned-filmmaker Rob Zombie where he mentions that the movie going experience has changed dramatically since he was a youngster due to the abundance of information available at our fingertips and therefore people are going into movies now with too much knowledge about the film they're going to see and coming out of it disappointed. This makes total sense to me. I'm guilty of this myself where I'll research an upcoming movie, find out all about it, watch the trailer, and read various pre-release reviews across the Internet. This is, in effect, pre-determining what kind of attitude I will go into the theatre with.
Now, I'd love to say that I go into every movie with no expectations, but then I'd be a liar. How can you not help but take into account all the information you've been bombarded with? It's just too easy to do. These days viral marketing and hype are the machines that help mold Hollywood. Machines that, I'm sure of it, operate on the blood of level-headed movie fans in order to get the general public so excited about their latest "product" that you have a theatre full of self-appointed "movie experts" (mind you, experts that talk to their friends the entire movie and only manage to piss me off in the process).
It's just too difficult these days to not be affected in some way by this mass marketing. This is certainly true for those who consider themselves "movie buffs" because we're always so hungry for the latest news and we're also ready to throw in our two-cents whenever anyone even mentions an upcoming movie. Is it our need to try and look smarter than everyone else that drives this? I wish I knew. But what I do know is that I'm finding it harder and harder to enjoy movies without having marketing effect me.
When I was a kid and just getting into movies I was starved for the things. I would watch anything and everything with only the brief description on the video box to guide me. I had no pre-conceived "pros" and "cons" in my head and I wasn't too worried about how well received the director's last work was. I just wanted to be entertained. You would see some box art (probably the first real "marketing" regarding movies to steer you on the wrong path with artwork that would promise a lot more than it would usually deliver), think it looked "cool", see if the plot description held any interest for you, and take it home with you. You wouldn't feel the need to hop on the IMDB (Internet Movie Database) and see what others had to say about it. It was movie watching in its purest form.
Now there's too many factors to consider before even watching a movie. Who's in it? Who directed it? What have others said about it? How are the special effects? It just seems we're in an age of film going where the foreplay is more important than the actual act. I for one would like to make a pact with myself where I ignore pre-release hype and reviews and just go into the theatre hoping to enjoy the movie I've paid to see. Just to get back to that pure movie going experience I used enjoy. Because eventually all this plethora of information is going to suck the fun out of it entirely. -Chris Hartley, 11/10/05