I’ve been thinking today about the dangers of expectations. What got me on this track is an excellent article over on Rotoscopers.com about hype . The author MJ talks about her experience with Zootopia and how she was super pumped for it- had even bought the art book in advance. And then despite loving the film felt a little underwhelmed by it. I think any movie fan shares in this experience.
Before Force Awakens I wrote a post called The Value of Hype and I stand by that piece. What my main point is that people discount hype as a negative thing but I think being part of the excitement is part of the fun of being a movie fan. It makes me feel like I’m a kid again and part of something bigger than myself.
Maybe part of it is I live kind of a boring life if I’m honest. I mean what do I really have to get excited about? My swims in the summer are probably the most exciting thing but it’s not like I have some super thrilling job or personal life. Don’t get me wrong. I like my life but as far as something new, fresh, to look forward too movies is kind of all I’ve got.
But on the same breath I have definitely been part of hype and been super excited and then let down big time. Anyone remember my feelings on How I Met Your Mother finale? Or the show that broke my heart and pounded it into a million pieces… (yes even now still a little bitter about it).
Other things I am probably over-eager like MJ was for Zootopia and leave liking it but not loving it like I’d hoped. A recent good example is Only Yesterday. This is a good movie but being Studio Ghibli and knowing it was held up for 25 years to be released I was a little disappointed that I didn’t love it. It was not a masterpiece. It was merely good.
I know a lot of people felt that way about Dark Knight Rises and Interstellar, but me watching them later than everyone else I thought they were pretty great. People super hyped for them were a little let down.
Brave is a movie I went into very hyped. The ads were great and I thought it could finally be the epic heroine adventure I’d been waiting for. But then when it was just an ok movie I was so let down. It was only after watching it a couple times that I grew to appreciate it for what it is and ignore what I wanted it to be.
On the other hand, there is something to be said for going into something knowing nothing and having a great experience. Recently I saw 10 Cloverfield Lane and what a fun surprise that was! I haven’t reviewed it because I wanted everyone to have the same experience I did. It’s such an entertaining little movie.
Song of the Sea is another one that I knew next to nothing about and it blew me away. One of my favorite movies I’ve ever seen.
Boyhood is another one I knew almost nothing about and it left me speechless.
So I guess I see a bunch of different sides to this issue. I see the value of hype and being part of a movement- something bigger than just you. That to me is fun. But I’ve also been let down by that experience and I have discounted something that’s good just because it isn’t a masterpiece.
I don’t know what the answer is. I think it is almost impossible with my social media life to not be sucked into the hype so I guess I just embrace it and have fun with it. I think I am a seasoned enough moviegoer to be objective even for ‘hyped’ movies. Plus, these movies I will usually see several times before reviewing just to make sure I am not too caught up in the moment. I even saw Batman v Superman twice to make sure I was being fair.
What do you think about this issue? How do you deal with expectations and hype? Do you find yourself feeling let down by things often?