Memento Movies

Movies are art. Even movies that I hate, from genres that I find useless – I can admit it, and include them. Art is subjective, after all, and you should not dismiss things outright.[1]We all have our tastes and preferences when it comes to everything, and art is of course no exception. There are films and genres for everyone.

You like flying people in tights who punch other people in tights? Covered. Maybe you prefer quiet romantic films that express a deeper yearning, and question why humans are weighted down with the ability to feel these things? It’s out there. Maybe you just like to watch Keanu Reeves be the greatest human being alive.[2]I am one of those people. Luckily, we have that, too.

The act of liking a specific genre of films isn’t bad, in and of itself.[3] It only becomes a problem when you limit yourself to watching only that particular sort of film. If box office numbers, streaming algorithms, and the Twitter are to be believed, a lot of people limit themselves. Here’s the thing with that, too much of a good thing is, actually[4], not good.[5]

If you limit yourself to one genre or one type of movie, you also limit yourself to experiencing other things and branching out. You set yourself up to only be able to connect to and participate in that experience to which you have limited yourself.

Art is designed with the purpose to make you feel, to make you think, and to provoke – limiting yourself defeats all that. Be daring with your choices. Watch something out of your comfort zone, within reason. I would advise against seeking out something you think/know will seriously upset you. There is nothing wrong with challenging yourself – it’s encouraged! – but don’t feel like you should harm yourself by watching something traumatizing.[6]

Make no mistake, though – you also don’t have to feel obligated to like everything you watch.[7]I have watched a number of the MCU movies, for example. I could not tell you which ones because they all sort of ran together, but I’ll focus on Avengers: Endgame.[8]This movie was popular, and well liked.[9]Comparatively speaking, I didn’t really have a desire to see it; at least, not in the way I have a desire to watch, say, every movie John Woo has ever or will ever be even tangentially involved in.[10]

But, in some ways, I felt obligated to watch it. I’m a nerd. I’m on a podcast called “Geek Garage… Goes to the Movies.” It’s the largest property ever in geek and/or film media. I need to see it, if only because of those reasons. Parts of it I enjoyed.[11] Parts of it made me want to roll my eyes so hard they fell out of my head.[12] Overall, it was… fine. Not great, not terrible. I could see why it was so popular: it was easily digestible and played the hits. It’s fine to like movies like that, and the MCU films are decidedly not the only examples I could have used. The issue is, again, if that is all you seek out it’s all you engage with.[13] Challenge yourself. Watch something out of your comfort zone. Be daring. Listen to your records backwards and try to summon a lesser demon.[14] In short, live a little.

And of course, as always, watch more movies. Because movies make life better.


[1]There are certain exceptions to this rule that prove worthy of derision. Examples of things you can fairly, safely, and understandably dismiss include, but are not limited to: Suicide Squad (D. Ayer, 2016), a solid 70% of movies starring The Rock, and the oeuvre of Joss Whedon. 

[2]I am talking, of course, about Point Break. However, you really can’t go wrong with his filmography. He is a saint that we do not deserve. He also may be immortal. Jury’s still out.

[3] There are exceptions to this, too. For example, liking the movies I named above is bad and you should feel bad for doing it. But also, if you are watching actual propaganda, you probably suck.

[4]https://i.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/021/665/DpQ9YJl.png

[5]With all respect to Mr. Barry White, who tried to argue against this theory by proposing that he could not get enough of his lover’s, well, love. That may be one of those notable, “proving the rule” exceptions. Hard to say. 

[6]Like Suicide Squad

[7]Although if you watch Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love (2000) or Chung-King Express (1994) and say you don’t like either of them, you are wrong.

[8] Episode #31 of Geek Garage covers this, but we don’t talk about that episode. It’s basically the Titanic disaster of the podcast medium. It is our The Room, but without the charm or accidental comedy.  

[9]Shockingly, almost offensively understated I know. 

[10]Listen to Geek Garage… Goes to the Movies episode “John Woo-mp There It Is” for my takes on The Killer (1989) and Hard-Boiled(1992). Spoiler alert: I like them a whole lot. 

[11] Scarlet Witch finally getting a moment to show that, canonically, she is one of the strongest characters. Like, look, in House of M she literally rewrites the human genome so that mutants don’t exist. That is hard AF.

[12] No Adam Warlock, no care. There are no real stakes. Forcing in dumb, unfunny quips every thirty seconds – I’m looking at you in particular “America’s Ass.” I could go on, but you get it.

[13] It’s also makes you boring and safe, which are both just dreadful things to be.

[14]Don’t actually do this, duh. The real action is with the Great Old Ones; everybody knows that.

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