STORY BY NED LEEBRICK-STRYKER
I’m worried everyone, including myself, is watching movies the wrong way. Websites like Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic give us an idea of what we should and shouldn’t like.
A lot of critics like to bash most things with giant robots and unanimously praise anything with the name Christopher Nolan attached. Nowadays, before we have even stepped into a movie theater, we already have an opinion on what we’re about to see.
Parents Weekend came around about a week ago and, predictably, my parents were off having fun in Alaska or something.
So generously, a friend of mine let me spend time with her parents and not feel so lonely. It was a great evening. We hung out in a fancy hotel, had some juicy steaks and I got a front row seat to some fun family squabbles (If you’re reading this and you know who you are, I’m joking. It was a fantastic night and I’m very thankful, but I have an audience to entertain with my clever wordplay and convenient stories, so don’t be angry).
Anyway, before the night ended, my friend’s father asked if we wanted to see the movie “This Is Where I Leave You.” Without hesitation, I said, “I heard it wasn’t very good.” I immediately felt bad. In fact, we didn’t even end up seeing the movie, which might have been partially my fault.
So upon this rude comment I made from having just looked at its Rotten Tomatoes score, I began to ponder. “Is this what I’ve become, just blindly following some random person’s opinion they put on the Internet?”
Then it got weirder, because I realized that’s exactly what I do in this paper. I tell you all what to think. At least what I think. But it’s the implication that if I like something, you should too and vice-versa. My whole perception of reality was shattered.
But regardless of my world being turned upside down and the obvious coming of the apocalypse thanks to this revelation, I made a goal for myself: Don’t read, watch or listen to any review or analysis of something until I’ve had a chance to see it myself, preferably if it’s something I’m actively looking forward to. I need to be an independent thinker.
Even if I try to form my own opinions, I know that if I have seen the general consensus for a movie I’ll subconsciously let it get to me. There’s no escaping it. So when “Avengers: Age of Ultron” comes out in May, I won’t even look at a review until I’ve written one for The Times-Delphic and you can hold me to that, Mr. Features and Opinions editor, Tom Scearce.
But this rant isn’t meant to discourage anyone from reading my column.
An open dialogue is just as healthy as an individual thought.
But keep what I said in mind and take what I say with a grain of salt. Your opinion is the only one that matters, so don’t worry about how much people hated “Pain and Gain” (which I thought was a surprisingly dark and smart satire on the American dream, but I digress).
Anyway, I should probably go now, because I heard the TD staff thinks my articles are all giant run on sentences and they’re probably getting sick of reading at this point.
So stay cool. Don’t be the kind of person to destroy the paper, because my column is in it and I’d cry, and I’ll see you next week.