The Cynical Movie Goer

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Since when have people become so cynical when it comes to film? There seems to be a superior complex where the cynical one comes off as better than the rest for noticing each and every flaw that may present itself in a movie. Suddenly they’re more intelligent for recognizing every con and immediately disregarding a film because it doesn’t reach the right standards. Meanwhile everyone else blindly falls head over heals for the movie and are viewed as uncultured or dumb to the cynical one. It’s a little sad, but it seems to be more and more common today. Then again, maybe this has always been the case, but the internet gives those inner opinions a fog horn.

I personally can’t stand a great deal of cynicism. I believe it has a time and place, but to nitpick every little detail is going overboard – especially when it comes to film. The thing is, they should be fun – for the most part. Can someone still sit down and deconstruct it while giving out constructive criticism? Sure, I do that all the time when I talk about certain movies. Here’s the thing though, there’s a difference between stating what could make a film better and flat out complaining and then placing yourself on a pedestal for harboring such hatred.

A movie going experience should be fun. Even if what you’re seeing isn’t all that good, there’s still something to talk or laugh about. Maybe someone in that theater will notice all the great things about it and it will stay with them. Meanwhile someone else might completely forget what they saw the next day, but at least they got out of the house and saw some good friends for a few hours. Another may have liked the concept, but not the way it was carried out so it may inspire them to create something better. Not everyone will like what they see, but they will walk away with something. I find it important to make sure that something is somewhat constructive.

Again, there is a time and a place where a film should be viewed harshly. For the most part though, I think people should learn to relax and have fun again while watching. Stop taking every scene so seriously. I remember seeing Revenge of the Sith in theaters when I was about 13. This was actually the first and only Star Wars film I  have seen on the big screen and while I don’t enjoy the prequels, I remember that day pretty well and I remember having a good time. It was more about just seeing the last installment (at that point) of a franchise I grew up with and loved in a theater setting. My dad and brother were with me and I think it was nice for my dad to share that experience with us since he also grew up on Star Wars. I walked away from the theater happy and so did my dad. We got to watch Star Wars in the cinema, how could we not be?

The problem I find lately is that people are forgetting to have fun with movies. They should be a source of entertainment, of inspiration, of art and we turn it into a competition of taste. Yes, some are better than others. There are some that the crew spent hours of sweat and tears into and it shows. On some, it’s obvious that the crew didn’t care at all. Still, what happened to sitting and enjoying? Laugh through the wonderfully terrible moments. Get excited for big fight scenes no matter how crazy or impractical. Feel the character’s emotions, embrace the cheesy stuff, appreciate the artistic qualities, indulge yourself in the truly grand moments, and don’t be cruel to someone for liking a movie that is viewed as beneath you.

People should learn to have fun again. Stressful week at work? Watch a movie and let some steam off for a good hour and a half. Had a good week? Celebrate with a movie. Going through some stuff? Forget about it and clear your head by watching a movie. There’s no need to be over analytical or harsh with these films. No reason to roll eyes at a trailer that looks hammy or is only being created so people can watch cars crash into each other. We need to learn to go along for the ride and allow ourselves to enjoy the silliness or over the top acting/fighting/singing. Life is so much better when this happens.

I get being cynical when it comes to entertainment. I do, but it’s also exhausting and too much sometimes. Some days you need to allow yourself to smile and laugh instead of drowning yourself and others in a superior complex fueled by unnecessary cynicism.

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Wells Cathedral

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My group visited about a cathedral a day while we were in England. So much that the reaction to seeing another was “Again? How many are there?”

Not a great reaction to pieces of history that are simultaneously beautiful to look at. The Wells Cathedral was one of the last we visited and I’ll admit that I wasn’t thrilled at first because I wanted to see some other sights. The moment we arrived that awe I had going into the first cathedral on the first day came right back with a renewed edge. This was one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever been to and the inside is just as stunning as the exterior. It’s still one of the most memorable destinations we were at. Unfortunately, I was unable to take any photos outside the lawn area.

The sheer detail in every bannister, every window, every inch of ceiling, every floor piece is inspiring. It’s so easy to become lost in those halls for a day.

A Film with No Director

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I was a little late to discovering just who killed Laura Palmer in the 90’s cult series Twin Peaks, seeing it for the first time only after both seasons were placed onto Netflix and after my brother binge watched it and convinced me to do the same. After episode 3 I was hooked and this amazingly bizarre, emotional, and gorgeous show has become an all-time favorite of mine.

Unfortunately, the show was canceled after season 2 due to low ratings and the absence of mystery and character that attracted its audience in the beginning. Although, that dark charm slithered back in near the end and ultimately left viewers with an intense cliffhanger never to be resolved.

About 6 months ago it announced that Twin Peaks will be returning in 2016 on Showtime so that fans can finally have that season 3 and the series can have a proper conclusion.

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Of course, with all great things, there are always complications. The director, David Lynch, has stated that he will not be returning to the show due to conflicts with Showtime. He needs more money to do the series properly (wanting it done entirely on film and shot on location) and the people at Showtime don’t want to go over their budget.

Here’s why they should: A film needs a director.

For Twin Peaks that director is David Lynch. He’s truly the heart of the show and it was only after he left the project halfway through season 2, that the series started to take it’s downfall. That grim charm was suddenly absent. The plots became too bizarre and not in an entertaining way. The show lost it’s core and because of that, it fell apart.

It was only after Lynch returned that the story started to pick up again and it was only because Lynch said he would be directing again in 2016 that fans got excited. Most of the iconic scenes in Twin Peaks were not scripted. The Black Lodge was created while filming and became a vital part of the overarching story. The character of Bob came about because a sound man accidentally placed himself in a shot and Lynch decided to go with it. He saw something in that one mistake and created a pivotal character out of it.

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If you’ve ever seen a David Lynch film, you’ll know that has this distinct aesthetic. It feels like it was meant to be that he and Mark Frost would come together and combine their styles. Frost giving this pleasant and charming facade that the town of Twin Peaks puts on and Lynch creating the darkness that lies beneath. It was this aesthetic that showered the characters and story in an atmosphere unlike any other. To have one taken away would make a continuation this late in the game unnecessary.

The returning actors recently did a video showing their support for Lynch by each giving a line in coordination to their characters. Each one goes by the same formula – Twin Peaks without David Lynch is like a blank without a blank.

Sometimes I wonder if I’d still love the films I do under a different director. I can’t imagine Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas without Terry Gilliam because it’s one of the few films I can honestly say I like more than book and that’s all due to his style. I think of the Wes Anderson films and how much I love them because of the colors, designs, and quirkiness Anderson brings to the table. What would Clockwork Orange or the Shining be without Stanley Kubrick? What would Seventh Seal be without Ingmar Bergman? Annie Hall without Woody Allen? Say what you will about Tim Burton’s talent as of late, but what would Edward Scissorhands be without him? Or the glorious disaster that is the Room without Tommy Wiseau?

Directors have immense influence on their media. Some for the better and some for the worse. With David Lynch being so vital to the way Twin Peaks looks and feels, I’ve never once felt worried that season 3 could ruin the show. I sincerely hope that he and Showtime can reach a deal or that he can find another way to give Twin Peaks the resolution that it’s earned.

After all, Twin Peaks without David Lynch is like a mug without some damn fine coffee.

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