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5 Steps For Enjoying Any Movie Ever Made
By: Mickael
The secret to happiness in life is abandoning your expectations. This applies to everything; when you go on a first date with a girl: expect nothing and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. When you go for a job interview: by acting natural and not expecting a job offer, you’ll be less nervous and less likely to be disappointed. Most importantly for this website, when you go to see a movie: don’t go in with preconceived notions, expectations of what the movie “should be”, or a standard set by a previous movie or book you’ve read: without these distractions weighing on you, I guarantee you’ll enjoy the film more. Next time you find yourself disappointed in a movie and beginning any criticism with “I expected...” just go right on ahead and say, “I wished upon a shooting star...”, “I prayed to Ra, God of the sun...”, or “I hoped for a unicorn to ram it’s horn up my arse, and also...” because all of those things are just as valid as your expectations.
Part of the problem here can be blamed on the internet. Social media addicts are encouraged to display narcissistic behaviors. Just as lab rats in University studies across the country become obese when taught that by pressing a certain button over and over they receive a piece of cheese, people are taught to post things that will earn them “likes”, “retweets”, or “upvotes”. Craving attention, popularity, and approval from your peers is not a new endeavor. However, giving people 24/7 access to such praise is like giving diabetic children unsupervised access to a candy store. People are spoiled into thinking that their opinions always matter, even when they’re underinformed. We all tend to lose perspective and forget that in reality we’re not important, our opinions are worthless, and the whole world doesn’t agree with me that we should send our convicted pedophiles & rapists overseas to a warring nation (like Iraq or Syria) so that they can ruin that country’s youth instead of our own. It’s the gift that keeps on raping!
The internet, despite its reputation for harsh criticisms, can often become an echo chamber for people with misguided beliefs. They find their niche, where everyone hates the same way and loves the same way as they do. A niche where they can virtually masturbate each other with little regard for perspective or challenging ideas. This happens with white supremacists, “social justice warriors”, and even cosplayers. What once seemed taboo, indelicate, or weird can now be seen as a normal way of life thanks to the constant contact with like-minded ne’er-do-wells that cyberspace affords. It can be the same way with pop culture appreciation: a popular opinion spreads across the internet and extinguishes any dissent through a non-stop stream of memes, tweets, facebook likes, and SEO-driven clickbait content. “Dr. Who is the greatest thing ever,” says the internet, and also “I, Frankenstein sux ballz!!1!lol stoopid shite” But, “I, Frankenstein” doesn’t suck balls. You suck balls, internet commenter. “I, Frankenstein” was the tits.
There are different types of movie experiences. Some movies hold your hand and guide you on an entertaining journey through the human experience. For instance, Forrest Gump. Some movies throw a bag on your head, kidnap you, and take you on an exciting ride at all costs. Par exemple, The Avengers. These films are like roller coasters: you sit back and enjoy the thrills. Some movies, though... some movies are more like skateboards. They're stiff and brittle, with all the personality of tree bark. The special effects are just toys held up by fishing line and the lighting is provided by whatever 50-watt bulbs happen to have been left in the foreclosed house that the producer’s real estate agent cousin let them shoot in, “as long as they pinky swore to be out by 8 a.m.” These are the movies that we are here to help you appreciate. The skateboard's problem isn't that it's a bad toy, it's that YOU don't know how to use it. For some, a skateboard is endlessly exciting.
People say life is short, but that’s a lie. People are only telling you that so you won’t take things too seriously and squander your own money, allowing them to take what’s yours and live a longer, happier life than you can. Life is long. Your life can be miserable, if you let it. What is precious, though, is your time. Because, while your life may be unbearably long at times, you’ll find precious little leisure time. So there’s no point in mucking about in bad relationships, playing unfinished video games, being a voyeur to celebutantes on TV, or watching bad movies. Occasionally, you may yourself in a predicament where you’re stuck watching a subpar film and you can’t get those minutes back. By activating your own creativity, you CAN enjoy any movie, without having to bash it’s creators. Without further ado, here’s all the tips and tricks we use to make any film better:
1) Leave Your Expectations At Home
Expectations are like unwanted pregnancies: they should be aborted as early as possible. If the movie you’re about to see is based on a book you read, understand that the filmmakers are making that movie based not on your imagination, but on their own. If you want your version of the book to re-appear: simply re-read the goddamn book. If a movie is based on your favorite childhood cartoon and you want to relive those moments, go ahead and buy the DVD of the fucking cartoon. I’m sure Cookie Jar or somebody already released it and you can buy it for $0.01 used on Amazon. If a penny is too steep a cost for you to ignore “the raping of your childhood”, then feel free to send me a self-addressed, stamped envelope, and I’ll mail you a damn penny.
2) Don't Watch Trailers
If a trailer made some new movie seem awesome but then you went to see it and it was less awesome, well that’s sort of what a trailer is for, isn’t it? Don’t blame the marketing people for doing a better job than the film’s director. It’s called a “teaser” after all. Its mission is to whet your appetite, get you excited, and convince you to shell out your hard-earned cash to see the flick. I agree that misleading trailers suck. However, I’ve discovered this one lifehack that movie companies don’t want you to know: I don’t watch trailers anymore. Seriously. We purposely show up to our movies 5 minutes late so we don’t have to see them. We don’t search YouTube for “redband”. You’d be surprised how much this has improved my appreciation of flicks in the theater. Every movie I see is untainted by my own imagination.
3) Place Your Bets
Playing games during movies is an increasingly popular trend, as millenials begin to gamify every activity they perform. Events like “Bad Movie Bingo” have cropped up at college campuses all over the country, and are a phenomenal way to watch flicks. The thing is, you don’t need to attend an event to play a game. Whether you’re going out to a movie with your crush or watching Netflix with the family; you can always set up “prop bets” to make any film more interesting. For instance, set an over/under line like a Vegas sportsbook would but make it for total kills or character kills. (Remember to set the line at a 1/2 kill, so there’s always a definitive winner.) In the Chuck Norris film Invasion U.S.A., Chuck killed 26 guys, so if the line was set at 25.5, choosing “over” would get you the win. Use pieces of popcorn or candy to keep count. Set over/under lines for anything you’re willing to pay attention to: how many lens flares are in the newest JJ Abrams film, total screams in a horror film, or how many minutes until McConaughey takes his shirt off.
4) Set Up A Survivor Pool
To ensure you and your friends don’t waste 90 minutes rolling your eyes at a film that loses your interest early, spend 5 minutes before the movie setting up this game. Grab a piece of paper, something to write with, and a hat. Go to IMDb and look up the movie you’re about to see. Write down the first 10 character names that you see credited in the film. Now tear that paper into strips, with each strip containing one character name, and put them all into the hat. Everyone closes their eyes and chooses a piece of paper. They now own that character. If their character dies at any point in the film, they have to choose a punishment / humiliation from Step #5...
5) Raise The Stakes
Here is where it gets interesting. Whether you’re doing prop bets, playing “Survivor”, or doing Bad Movie Bingo; there will be winners and there will be losers. Not everyone wants to simply wager money, especially on something as trivial as a movie, so what can you wager that doesn’t get expensive? Simple: your dignity. Humiliations have been used for years to denegrate the losers of Fantasy Football seasons, pick-up basketball games, and anything else dude-bros enjoy. Create a list of punishments (or a spinning wheel of torture, or a dartboard of death), and force the losers to pick a humiliation after the movie. You can make them dress up in a silly costume for the next movie night, or do any number of frustrating tasks. Here are some great humiliations to raise the stakes of your moviegoing experience:
  • Pick-A-Pack-Of-Peppers: Eat 10 jalapeno peppers in 5 minutes or less.
  • The Alopecia: Get your body hair waxed.
  • Only The Lonely: Go to the supermarket and buy only a large cucumber, jar of vaseline, and a pack of condoms.
  • Any Requests?: Has to go up for karaoke night and sing any song chosen by the winners.
  • Movie Majesty: Has to dress as a princess; in a pink outfit, pink tutu, and wear a tiara to the next movie.
  • You Dirty Rat: Sit in the back of a pickup truck, while the winners drive you through a car wash.
  • West Side Story: Has to communicate in song for one whole night; including singing everyone’s food & drink orders, asking for the bathroom, or paying for gas.
Other things I like to look out for in films include: "SPORGASMS" (spontaneously occurring orgasm). This is the O-Face that B-movie actors put on for no good reason, often during death scenes. A "Mazel Tov Cocktail" is when a tough guy character is shockingly revealed to be Jewish. (Happens occasionally to Steven Seagal and Ron Perlman). "Always Representin" occurs during the credits, when at least 3 producers’ last names sound like a billboard for a law firm. Lastly, one of the many things we seek to capture on this site is the "Quotant Quotable". It’s a piece of dialogue that is either supremely funny or especially imitatable. Ian McKellan in LOTR (“You shall not pass!”) or Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross (“Fuck. You. THAT’S my name!”) are great examples of perfect dialogue being delivered with passion by actors that elevate a script above mere entertainment. They coin catch phrases that you will likely recite with your friends for years after seeing the movie. Identifying even one quotable piece of dialogue can turn a boring movie night into a slew of inside jokes that will help you bond with your family, friends, and loved ones. If movies can help us do that, then we aren’t wasting our time at all...
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