Why Can’t I Watch Movies Anymore?

Why Can’t I Watch Movies Anymore?… after the break…

Why Can’t I Watch Movies Anymore?

I have a confession to make: I have a really difficult time nowadays watching a movie from start to finish.

I used to be able to watch movies all of the time in one sitting. Good movies. Bad movies. Funny movies. Scary movies. Serious movies.

Not anymore.

What’s wrong with me? Why do I press the “fast-forward” button after only a few minutes into a movie? I used to never be so impulsive.

For a while now, I have tried to find out why my tolerance for most movies has become so low. Here are my observations:

Get On With It Syndrome: I understand how difficult it is to make a movie. The financing. The actors. The props. The crew. The cameras. The time pressure. Do you want your characters to walk down a hallway? Money. Sip on a cup of coffee? Money. Want to change the angle of view midway through a conversation? Money. Every prop, every angle change, every character, every line of dialog… Money, money, money & money. The problem, of course, is that the fun stuff – The zombies ripping arms off of victims, spaceships shooting the snot out of each other, CGI monsters tearing apart buildings… Cost a boatload of money. So filmmakers are constantly relying upon tricks to pad out running times and avoid giving audiences the goods. We have characters who talk endlessly about pop culture references. We make attempts at relationships.

OK, here’s a hint… I’m not interested in deep personal character arcs while watching a zombie film. Sorry. I don’t care if the main character was laid off at work – If it’s a zombie film, I want to see zombies trying to kill humans and humans trying to kill zombies. I don’t care what the female lead eats for breakfast. It’s an alien invasion film… To heck with knowing the character’s motivation for avoiding attending college or why she doesn’t like her parents or why he’s through trying to reconcile with his estranged wife or why he’s ditched the country life for city life or…

You’re a zombie film. Give me zombies. You’re an alien invasion film. Give me aliens. If I want “Remains of the Day,” I know where to rent / download / stream it.

I Know More Than You Do Syndrome: Look, there’s only so many ways that you can tell a “Boy Meets Girl; Boy Loses Girl; Boy Gets Back Girl and Than Shags Her So Hard She Forgets Her Name For a Week” story before people start yawning and looking at their smartphones. That’s not the fault of anyone.

When I can start predicting who the murderer is or what the twist might be or where the “jump-scare” is… That’s a bad day for the movie that I am watching. A good movie might be formulaic but it usually has a technique to make you forget about how formulaic it is. Bad movies paint inside of the lines; Good movies might also paint inside of the lines but make you forget that the lines are even there to begin with.

Bad Decision Syndrome: How many times have you said to yourself while watching a movie, “Hey, don’t go into that room with the lights turned off?” How often do you say things like that before you hit the fast-forward button? Movies are not interactive; The characters do and say things that areĀ  beyond your control. How exciting is it to watch someone else play a video game as opposed to YOU playing a video game? Unfortunately, if a screenwriter wants to kill off a character than that character must perform a stupid act that allows them to get killed. Why should I waste my time watching characters make bad decisions when I can play a video game and make my own decisions (bad or otherwise)?

Waiting for “The Twist” Syndrome: Thanks to M. Night Shaymalan, we live in the modern era of “The Twist,” where good guys are revealed at the last minute to be bad guys, where the entire movie was revealed to be the figment of a character’s imagination, where the character suddenly gets eaten by a giant dinosaur at the last possible moment, where all of the humans are revealed to be aliens pretending to be humans, where… Ugh. Look at it from a viewer’s perspective: You have just forced me to invest all of this emotional time and effort to appreciate your main character and then – SURPRISE! – She’s secretly an alien spy sent to assassinate a prominent political figure. Why bother watching 89 minutes of fluff when it’s the final minute that reveals everything? I don’t want to waste my time rooting for a character who is secretly a ghost sent back in time to kill his former self because of… I don’t know… Ancient Aliens. The telephone company. Vietnam. Something.

Waiting for the “Tragic Hero” Syndrome: There’s an old expression that, whenever you buy a pet, that you should expect the mental anguish and pain of eventually burying that pet. There’s not too many people in this world who enjoy mental anguish. There’s a reason why we hate lousy jobs, lousy co-workers, lousy significant others of either gender, lousy spouses, lousy bosses, lousy neighbors… Because they make our lives more miserable than what they were before. Our lives are miserable enough without the addition of self-inflicted misery. Why should I watch your film if you’re just going to kill off the protagonist during the final moments of the film? Seriously… Why? So, you want me to root for your hero for 90 minutes only for the hero to tragically die in the final two minutes? Thank you for wasting my time. If I want that kind of emotional let-down than I’ll look at my next paycheck, thank you very much. People like movies because they make them happy. They inspire them. They give them hope. If I’m wasting an hour and a half plus change on this character, I expect them to live up to and through the closing credits.

To each their own, I suppose. For myself, though, the “fast forward” button has caused me to become a very fickle viewer.

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2 Responses to “Why Can’t I Watch Movies Anymore?”

  1. 0ctaviamelody Says:

    I utterly refuse to watch the first Equestria Girls. So much filler and idiocy…sigh.

    • Lutonaut Says:

      Hi Octaviamelody and thank you for reading my blog.

      Since I do not watch or follow the latest iteration of “My Little Pony,” I can not comment any further on this. I am glad that you have shared your thoughts on that movie, though.

      Again, thank you for reading my blog.

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