Expectations and Hype

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?

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