Movies And Roller Coasters: How Nerds Like Me Can Learn To Not Hate Fun Movies

by Randy Murray on January 15, 2014

I love movies. I love the feeling and excitement of going to the theater, finding a seat among the crowd, and waiting in anticipation as the auditorium darkens.

Some movies are deep and stay with me a long, long time. They provoke me and change me. Others make me laugh. Some make me jump in fright. And others are like riding a roller coaster. I find that I can enjoy a movie more if I understand which type of movie it is in advance. Sometimes I’m surprised when one movie type turns into another, and that’s OK, too.

It puzzles me that some people who might be fans of big, “explodie” movies, of movies with superheros, spaceships, giant monsters, are often the most disappointed, bitter, and unhappy. The “true fans” seem got gain less from seeing these movies than those of us who simply buy our ticket and buckle in for the ride.

I praise nerds. I am one myself. I’ve been a Trekkie longer than most nerds have been alive. I saw, and loved, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars (I refuse to call it “A New Hope”), Close Encounters of The First Kind, Back to the Future, and many, many more on their first day of release without knowing a thing about them (the time before the Internet had its advantages). Alien caught me totally by surprise.

It was wonderful seeing movies that way. And it was very pleasant to walk out, humming the theme music, and go about my business. There was nowhere to go to find out everything wrong with the movie I just saw and loved. I might talk about the movie with friends, but not too much.

When you go to a theme park and board the latest, tallest, fastest roller coaster you pays your money and you holds on for dear life. It’s exhilarating. Then you get off the damn thing and have a slushie. You know that you were there for the thrills. It’s not necessary to pick it apart. It is what it is.

And yes, there are many bad movies. The latest three Star Wars movies were awful. From my perspective they never happened. Even good movies can have clunky moments. But when you’re there for the thrill I find that it’s better to forgive those things and move on.

This summer I loved Pacific Rim, not because it was a careful exploration of how the citizens of Earth would realistically battle giant alien monsters coming from deep in the ocean, but because it had GIANT ROBOTS fighting GIANT MONSTERS and was fun and well made. Star Trek Into Darkness was great and definitely not the worst Star Trek movie ever made.

If you couldn’t enjoy Gravity because you don’t believe that a medical doctor should be installing hardware in the Hubble telescope you’re a wanker. You heard me.

I liked Independence Day, not because a computer genius with a Mac laptop shouldn’t be able hack into alien computers, but because it was a terrific thrill ride. Marvel superhero movies work because they don’t take themselves too seriously. Just go with it. The Norse gods exist and kick ass.

Superman doesn’t need red shorts to be the Man of Steel.

It’s less fun if you insist that movies are only good if they match that imagined movie in your head. Nitpicking action and adventure movies make them less fun. If it’s the nitpicking that’s fun for you please keep it to yourself.

Here’s how I try and see movies:

  • I see the movie trailer and poster.
  • I avoid the online forums.
  • I buy my tickets and go as early in the release as possible.
  • I avoid the online forums.

Obsess about things that make you happy. Don’t obsess about things that diminish your joy in something that you love.

Movies And Roller Coasters: How Nerds Like Me Can Learn To Not Hate Fun Movies by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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