Fourth Season of Battlestar Galactica.
Mortal Instruments: The City of Bones.
Star Trek Into Darkness
John Carter of Mars
Jack The Giant Slayer
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Man of Steel
The above list is one of movies (and TV shows) that were panned by critics and/or belittled in the comments section on the Internet.
It’s also a list of movies that I thoroughly enjoyed. We can now add one more movie to this list: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
This post is something that’s been building up inside me for quite a while–but in reading the comment section of a site I regularly go to it finally bubbled out. Here you go.
Look, if a movie isn’t to your liking, that’s fine. Actually, that’s more than fine: if something’s not your cup of tea you have the right not to pretend to enjoy it. If you want to state the reasons you didn’t like something, that’s fine too. More than fine. Be passionate, be eloquent, be expressive. You have a right to your own opinion. It would be a sad, colorless world if everybody thought the same and liked the same things. But don’t call me a “pretentious idiot” or a “bad fan with bad taste” or any of the other hateful words thrown around the Internet just because I enjoyed the thing you didn’t like. I would make three requests of everyone posting opinions on the Internet, including myself.
1) Be honest when stating your opinions: don’t pre-judge based on someone else’s opinion. Go see the movie or go read the book before you start flinging around opinions. If you didn’t like because you didn’t like it, that’s one thing. If you’re tearing into it because you read a bunch of crap about it online, that’s another. You have the right to think for yourself and, if I may be so bold, the responsibility to exercise this right.
2) Be kind while you are typing your review or comment. Remember that real people will read it. Real people with real emotions that can be damaged with real consequences. While it is true that some people take things too personally and are extremely sensitive, that doesn’t excuse unkindness. Bullying isn’t okay just because you can’t see the other person’s face when you call their opinion or their work the “stupidest shit ever”.
3) Be respectful of people with a different opinion. Remember that any story is a two-way relationship between author and audience. No one is going to experience a movie in the exact same way as the person sitting next to them because we all bring a unique perspective to it. Each story means something different to each person who hears/reads/hears it. The question is: what did it mean to you?
So what is my unique perspective? Why did I enjoy both Man of Steel and Dawn of Justice?
I like this Superman because he’s quiet, understated. He reminds me of Helo from Battlestar Galactica: the incorruptible good man surrounded by chaos who is constantly misunderstood and consistently relied upon. This type (or should I say, archetype) of character is special to me. This Superman is reserved crusader and I, as an INFP, really connect with that. This Superman is humble and I am inspired by that. I struggle with pride: I like everyone to know what I’ve done. I wish I could be more like this Superman, who is humble and doesn’t require or desire the fanfare.
I loved the strong emphasis on the influence of mothers. So many stories skip over this, but Batman v Superman lingered here. Superman’s love for his mother is his strongest connection to humanity and that influence was clearly shown. Shown and celebrated. Maybe it’s me, because I have a very strong relationship with my mother…but this element really resonated with me.
This Batman made me stop and think. I see in him a lot of what I see in America right now: weary, losing hope, getting old and becoming accustomed to cruelty. Easily manipulated by fear. No longer believing that goodness and good men exist. His characterization warns me not to let my fears take control because they can be manipulated. If I no longer believe that good people exist, I won’t be able to recognize them even if they are standing in front of me. I won’t believe that I can be a good person…I won’t even try. Why should I? As Alfred so perfectly says, “It’s the feeling of helplessness that turns good men cruel.”
But, in this movie, Superman inspires Batman to hope again. To try again. Go ahead and laugh, but that inspires me. That’s why I liked this movie.
I’m not claiming Batman v Superman was a perfect movie. It wasn’t. There was a bit too much crammed in, it was disjointed…but I liked it. I consider it a good movie and I’m gonna see it again. Most importantly, my brother loved it. That’s the big guns in my argument here: please be kind and consider this before you call something a “worthless piece of garbage”.
It might be something precious to another person. Don’t call them stupid for having different taste and different needs.
In the interest of practicing what I preach…if you enjoyed the Star Wars prequels…that’s great. I prefer the Originals and Sequels but I’ll admit there’s merit in the prequels. Personally, I think they’re a bit half-baked, but hey, that’s what people are saying about Batman v Superman. I guess every movie has flaws and we love them in spite of it. We all just pick different flaws to ignore.
However, if you liked The Last Airbender movie, I’m gonna beg you to explain that to me.