13 Rules On How To Discuss Movies Online
It can be overwhelming and confusing to wade into online discussions about film. One minute you’re just saying that Grandma’s Boy makes you laugh and before you know what happened, you’re accused of being a heathen for not worshiping at the altar of Truffaut. Here is a primer for how to participate in discussions about movies in the age of the Internet.
1) “Michael Bay is a hack.”
You’re allowed to classify his films as guilty pleasures, but only if you qualify that by stating that you know how absurd his movies are.
2) “Christopher Nolan is a god.”
No matter how many times you’ve seen the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Frame of Mind,” you have to declare that Inception was a wholly original, mind-blowing story unlike anything that has ever been imagined.
3) “American cinema hasn’t been good since the 70s.”
Since then it’s all vapid franchises, cloying romantic comedies and banal melodramas. If this means you have to rationalize acceptance of vapid franchises, cloying romantic comedies and banal melodramas from the 70s or deny the existence of great movies made since then, so be it. It’s a small price to pay for honoring the daring 70s.
Side note: you are allowed to use the term, “melodrama” to disparage a dramatic movie even though that’s not what the word actually means. It just sounds like a put-down, and that’s good enough. Mirriam-Webster’s not the boss of you!
4) “There are no good remakes.”
John Carpenter’s The Thing is the lone exception. If you admit preferring the remake to the original of any movie, you implicitly permit the entire Internet community to tell you how wrong you are. This goes double if the original was a foreign film.
5) “If the critics don’t like a movie, then that means it’s probably good.”
There’s just no way that people who have seen thousands of movies and spend their waking hours studying and discussing the art form can possibly know what’s “good.” That would be like letting the dictionary tell you how to use the word, “melodrama.”
6) “All hail the di-rec-tor.”
Yes, someone else had to develop the story and write the screenplay. Sure, someone else had to design and build the sets, imagine and create the costumes, work out how to block, light and film each scene, perform the roles, compose the music, create the special effects and sound effects and edit the whole thing. You can praise the work of these people if it demonstrates that you’re serious enough to know who these people are, but never in a way that appears to detract from the glory of the director.
7) “The book is always better.”
Of course, that’s assuming you’re a nerd who read the book. Real movie fans don’t have time for books.
8) “Steven Spielberg is an overrated, heavy-handed manipulator who panders to the masses.”
Is he one of the most respected and well liked people in the industry? Well, sure. Has he inspired an entire generation of film-makers and fans alike? Yeah, okay. Has he used his celebrity to promote important social issues? Alright. But E.T. was as subtle as Foghorn Leghorn and that means you have to denounce him whenever possible.
9) “I don’t go to the theater anymore because of the poor behavior among the kids.”
No one ever talked during a movie, laughed obnoxiously loud, talked to the screen, threw popcorn or came into the theater late until 2003.
10) “No movie in the last 30 years has actually deserved to win Best Picture.”
Not even Schindler’s List, which you are required to dismiss as simplistic and lazy, per the “Steven Spielberg is overrated” clause. Otherwise, you are at risk of being branded a sheep who lets the industry tell you what’s good.
11) “The Criterion Collection is only for pretentious snobs.”
Because the Criterion Collection rarely features any contemporary American film with any mainstream exposure, it can only exist for elitists. There’s just no way that The Seventh Seal is a better movie than Goodburger. At least you don’t have to read Goodburger.
12) “The Godfather is the greatest film of all time and The Godfather, Part II is better.”
Don’t ask how that makes any sense. In fact, don’t ask anything. Never go against the fandom.
13) “Joel Schumacher is the greatest villain Batman ever faced.”
Never mind that Warner Brothers gave him a scant two years between release dates to make Batman & Robin, or that licensors were peering over the shoulders of the costume, set, wardrobe and prop designers during the planning stages of what was clearly meant to be a toy commercial. The movie is evidence that Schumacher never understood Batman and was a horrible human being. Bonus: When possible, use this as an opportunity to remind the world that “Christopher Nolan is a god.”
Pay no attention to the fact that these positions are ridiculously stupid or that they contradict one another. These are the accepted points of view online. Deviate from them at your own peril.
This post is part of our User Showcase series. You can find Travis as minlshaw on Flickchart. If you’re interested to submit your own story or article describing your thoughts about movies and Flickchart, read our original post for how to become a guest writer here on the Flickchart Blog.