25 November, 2011

Movie Thoughts - Is there too much information out there?

The other day I was watching Predator while at the Gym and it made me think about the impact of the movie on a film watcher who would have viewed it for the very first time, in the theater, when it was originally released, without knowing much about it? How awesome would be that feeling?

We now live in a world where information is broadcasted to us from all directions. Not only is it hard to get away from all the NEWS, but the nature of the information available has such a wide range of quality that discriminating between it can often become tedious.

So, I wondered, as an avid film enthusiast, if the presence of internet, cable, and mobile technology has stripped us from the experience of enjoying a film in its purest form. Trailers, TV spots, special features, leaked images, spoilers, first day reviews, and plot lines are so abundantly available even before a movie is "officially" announced that I fear we miss out a whole lot more than what the people enjoyed when all this was not the norm.

I still remember watching Star Wars on VHS just knowing that it was hugely popular in the West. My experience of watching it for the very first time has stayed with me till now. I honestly cannot say the same about any of the movies I have seen in the last decade or so. There is always a degree of expectation involved with the recent movies thanks to the extensive marketing techniques used by the makers, and often that very expectation is also the resulting factor in the movie not being successful at the box office.       

Lately, Twitter has been quite active with the buzz surrounding The Dark Knight Rises. We have had too much information thrown at us and honestly speaking I simply skip a tweet that mentions TDKR with a link attached. I must confess, in this regards I almost favor Facebook because it lacks the same amount of intensity when it comes to spilling out details of movies.  

I often imagine going back to the basics. Now, a movie trailer has saved me a number of times from having to waste money on something I know I would detest, but isn't part of film watching also experiencing something new and unknown? I recently watched the Immortals without knowing much about it or without even having seen the trailer let alone any production stills. Although I disliked the movie, but I know I went into the theater with an open and clean mind, not expecting anything, with just a hint of a desire to be wowed. I don't regret my decision of not wanting to watch the trailer, but then again a few duds like this and I would be tempted to view every trailer ever made.

So, what do you think about the overflow of information? Should the producers limit themselves to simple theatrical trailers, or is there too much at stake for them that marketing budgets will keep on increasing? I for one would be more than happy to forego everything except for maybe an odd trailer and prefer to go watch a movie not knowing too much about it.   


  1. I did a post not so long about this Raghav...


    I am the worlds worst at reading them. It is a cross I have to bear

  2. Thanks Saturday!

    Scott, I remember reading that and even commented in it about me having watched Predetor and thinking. But, with the truly excessive TDKR "leaks" and news I'm honestly getting bugged. Although I'm good at holding on. I didn't find out the winner of MasterChef Australia (still going on here) till last week, even though people around me knew who it was.

  3. I do my best to stay away from as much movie news as I can and almost never watch trailers as I think it really diminishes my enjoyment of a movie. I go in to be surprised and have the discipline to skip over any news related to upcoming movies.

  4. I still prefer reading movie reviews simply because it makes me look out on what the reviewer is saying. Like how this scene goes or how this actor smiles? It makes me scrutinize the film and makes me have that "aha" moment.

  5. I read a lot of early news on films trying to learn about casting news, the writer, director, cinematographer, etc., and even to get a sense of the visual imagery and basic story line. But I do have a sort of imaginary line that I try not to cross before I see the film. Too little information and it will go under the radar, Too much and I'll be spoiled. I think it is all about being able to control myself..If the plot synopsis is more than one paragraph long, or if the website is notorious for spoilers, then I just skip it.

  6. Magic - I think basic information about a movie is okay, but it's when there is "too much" information, then I think it becomes a problem.

    Never Too Early - I agree, it's all about the right balance between too little and too much, but I'd rather have too little than too much :-)

  7. Nostra - I have to give it to you that you manage to stay away from everything. I'm trying to do the same.