Week in Geek, episode 3, recorded 9/7/17. News since last recording , including: good reviews for The Shape of Water and IT; a bad summer at the box office; upcoming NetFlix including The Magic School Bus and Punisher; set photos and casting discussions and whitewashing and live action adaptations (especially Aladdin); and Terry Pratchett’s final manuscripts being steamrolled.
So after seeing trailers, it’s probably not far wrong to say that Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets was the movie that we were most intrigued and excited to go see this year, especially taken on its own merits. Okay, sure, there’s lots of continuing franchise films to see this year – Marvel, Star Wars, etc. But this one captured our imagination, and it’s Luc Besson, and it seemed like a sure hit. The new Fifth Element.
And then… people actually saw it.
We’ve now heard from family that has both said “skip it in theaters” and that has said that they liked it. So… just as split as the Rotten Tomatoes score makes it seem. That means, tossing it back to you, dear readers! Vote in the poll! And if you’ve seen it, comment or shoot us a message on social media, letting us know whether we should go or not go!
We’re keeping busy out and about at the Comparative Geeks HQ, although we do have tickets already for Saturday for Wonder Woman… Anyway, haven’t had much time for writing, nor for consuming much media to write about…
Although, we have had time for trailers – and there have been several good looking ones in the last few days!
First, the new movie from Edgar Wright, which just makes me happy on a fundamental level… and then it also looked awesome: Baby Driver.
I’m annoyed that this movie is not currently in my plans for seeing it in theaters, and it’s competing with a number of other good looking movies in July and August!
Next up: one we would totally have done a LitFlix for, Murder on the Orient Express.
That cast! I suppose the proper way to do this is an ensemble cast anyway, but they seem to have pulled that off pretty well. Probably just one we’ll rent, but still looks good!
I think I’ll just link to the red-band trailer for The Hitman’s Bodyguard, but it made me realize that of course Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson needed to make a movie together. I think that this movie makes sense as a result of that.
I guess if I’m linking to movies I’d rather not embed, The Little Hours had us laughing at its debauchery and ridiculousness right up until it said at the end it’s based on The Decameron, when I said oh, of course it is.
And finally, one that looked like an Oscar contender sort of movie, but one that we might actually be interested in seeing (a bit of a rarity): The Mountain Between Us.
Basically, I’m good with more Idris Elba in my life. Hey, we should finish watching Luther…
How about you, any trailers catch your fancy lately? Any good finds here? Let me know in the comments below!
Welcome to the Comparative Opinions podcast! Catching up on movies seen, Holly and David decide that there’s only one way to talk about Passengers: with lots of spoilers. Join them for a discussion of what this movie did well, what it did poorly, and what changes might have made sense! Also, David was a little under the weather, sorry if his sound levels fluctuate a lot.
I know that when you think about this the statement makes sense in general. Our expectations of what is going to happen often affects what we think about the reality of the situation. At the same time it often feels as though when people consume media they do not seem to take this into account when thinking about their reaction to what they saw or watched.
Where you see this most often is with movies. Certain movies due to the director or story being told tend to get more hype than others – either good or bad – and therefore tend to lead to certain reactions. Now this happening for an average movie goer is one thing, but I feel like sometimes it happens with critics, which seems to create an unfair balance in how movies are reviewed.
One of my favorite TV shows was The West Wing – it really had such a great and balanced look at politics. In the episode “The Red Mass” President Bartlett is having his first debate against his opponent in the reelection campaign. The team gets worried because Bartlett is known for his strength in a debate, but Ritchie is expected to fail. The thought is that because the expectation is that Ritchie will fail completely, the only thing he needs to do to succeed is not fall flat on his face. Then for President Bartlett the expectations are so high that if he only meets the expectations it won’t be news. The same thing happens when we watch a movie, or really consume any type of media.
Whenever we go into a movie with low expectations – or even concerns of any kind – we can often come out of the movie saying that was not as bad as I expected. It is interesting because the low expectations can be built up at a variety of times. It can either be from the critics’ reactions, our friends, previews and trailers, even the general storyline can throw us off. Whatever the case may be if you have low expectations, but are still willing to go to a movie then usually there is something. Very rarely have I ended up going to a movie with low expectations and not ended up at least a little surprised. This of course can end up the opposite situation if the expectations are higher!
Having high expectations going into a movie can end up so much worse, because if it does not meet that expectation… In some ways the only thing you can hope for is that it is as good as expected. The problem can really happen when the hype machine gets going after a movie first comes out. Suddenly when everyone is coming out of a movie saying that it was the greatest and so much fun, then our hopes get up about the time we are going to have. If we don’t have as good of a time as others seemed to have then we can feel like we are missing some piece of information. Rather than missing information we have almost gained too much because seeing how other people reacted is influencing our own enjoyment of the movie.
Now where critics come into play in this is that sometimes I feel like they play heavily into this influence and at the same time can potentially be influenced by it themselves. Just like the average movie goer has expectations of a movie, it seems that so does any critic. Now as a critic you are supposed to try and be objective, but you cannot completely remove yourself from your own feelings. It can feel as though the critics let outside elements influence their critique, which then has a larger impact on the general expectations for the movie as a whole.
What are some movies where your expectations did not match reality?