Just got back from Megamind, and I loved it! Near the end of the week, one of my friends sent me an e-mail with some early reviews. Stuff like unoriginal, stale, cheesy. My thoughts on those:
Unoriginal: It’s really hard to be original these days. What defines something as original? If there are humans in it, is it unoriginal? Most things involve humor. And talking, and buildings, and colors. But when it’s black and white, it’s also “copying old-style movies” or something. I read that the writers strove to make all the jokes and comedy original. Only a couple gags had concrete past references, such as the “space daddy” Marlon Brando character. I can say that I really did appreciate the “original” humor. I’m a sucker for witty banter and obviously bad jokes, and this movie had a ton. I felt that the twist in this movie made it quite unique. Apparently some people don’t.
Stale: Again, it’s a double-edged sword, if you really think about it. New movies that have specific genres (i.e. superhero/supervillain movie) can be seen as copycats, “the same thing again;” movies that try to do something new are labeled as “too complicated” or “too audacious.” If you go to extremes, any movie will be either stale or trying too hard. As far as reviews go, it’s probably more that very few movies are perceived as “perfect,” so it’s like “if you have to list the 3 worst attributes, what would they be?” But, this works against the viewers since they might be more likely to notice things about the movie that they might perceive as negative, contributing more to a negative perception of the movie as a whole. Again, being a psych major, I’d love to do an experiment where you see how people rate movies based on whether they read no review, a generally positive review, or a generally negative review.
Cheesy: Meh. If you saw the previews, you should be aware that it’s pretty cheesy. I think part of what glues the movie together is its cheesiness. The characters even indirectly comment on it. Sometimes it takes well-known memes to establish an understanding with the audience to save time in presenting the material you want to show.
As per usual, I urge you all to see it for yourself if you are interested and make your own judgment rather than using a metacritic or my own review to decide for you. People say reviews are helpful, they can decide whether they are likely to enjoy a movie or not from a movie. I say, if you like spinach, you like spinach, no review in the world is going to convince you one way or the other. That being the case, where do you draw the line? You like the foods you like, you like the activities you like, clothes, cars, music, etc. Letting someone else’s opinion drive your actions just means you’re missing out on your own ability to find something enjoyable to you. So many of my friends cringe and gag when I tell them I like turnip cake and stir fry tofu dishes. Well, if you haven’t tried it, it’s not really fair to be prejudice.
Fair to whom? Fair to yourself! Don’t set limits and you’ll discover that, surprisingly, there is no limit. How’s that for metacognition?