Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Riske Business: 15 Reasons We See Movies We Don't Want to See

I don’t want to see Maleficent but I am totally going see Maleficent. Why? Good question. Here are 15 reasons we see movies we don’t want to see.
15. To Be an Informed Consumer
I need to see a movie to feel comfortable enough to have an opinion about it. I know I will not enjoy certain movies but it doesn’t matter – I have to see it before I say it’s stupid or any other form of bad. On the flip side, I’m done with the Transformers series and Adam Sandler movies so I’m just not going to say anything about them anymore.

14. Let’s Go Slumming
At certain times of the year I want to see a particular type of movie. Around the holidays, I want to mix my Oscar bait with movies that are schmaltzy. In the early part of the year, I want to see garbage. I’m burnt out on prestige and want to see a junky genre movie that isn’t trying to be anything other than a junky genre movie.

13. Double Features
I tend to see two movies when I go out to the theater. I just enjoy the experience more that way. I’m always mapping out which second movie would work best before or after the show time of the main feature I want to watch. In many cases, I end up seeing a second movie that I would not have seen on its own.
12. Holy Box Office!
The movie opened #1 (or to big grosses) and you want to see what the fuss is about.
11.  Family Matters
You get the errant text message about seeing a movie you don’t want to see and decide to go in order to hang out with your friend. Another scenario is the family movie outing, which almost always gets boiled down to the lowest common denominator.

The most frustrating example I have of this is the movie Just Married. I wanted to see 25th Hour. My girlfriend at the time wanted to see Just Married. We argued because I knew if I didn’t see 25th Hour that weekend (I was on winter break in Chicago), I wasn’t going to be able to see it for months (I was in school in Indiana and it took a while for them to get the indies, ironic because it’s Indie-Ana!). I lost the arguement in every regard. We saw Just Married, still had the arguement and I had to wait four months to see 25th Hour. Dating sucks sometimes. Oh yeah, I’m also selfish.

10.  Do You Like Fiction Movies?
The movie in question looks lousy, but you tend to enjoy action, horror, Pixar etc. and you hope that the movie exceeds your expectations and delivers the goods.
9.  Are You READY??????!!!!!!!
Starting anew is exciting. Who doesn’t love kickoffs? I can’t imagine missing the first movie of the summer no matter how bad it looks (cough, Van Helsing, cough). This also applies to the first major release of the year, the first awards-bait movie of the fall and the first movie of the holiday season.

8. Taste This, See if it’s Bad
This might be my own personal malfunction, but sometimes I’ll go to a movie ironically after hearing it’s crazy bad and actively want it to be bad. It’s stupid, but either way I win because I’m a) proven right and feel superior or b) proven wrong and the movie is good.
7.  Get up You Son of a Bitch, Mickey Loves Ya
I hate when movies get ganged up on and called bombs even by people who haven’t seen them. These are the types of movies I am more willing to give a pass to and secretly crossing my fingers are good to shut up the haters.

6. Go Big or Go Home
For some movies I think I might as well see it in the most expensive way possible. That means taking in a garbage movie in D-Box or IMAX 3D because it stands the best chance that I’ll like it by watching it under exaggerated and optimal conditions.
5. I Thought You Loved Me
Who hasn’t been here before? The movie has an actor/actress/director you are a fan of and that trumps how shitty the movie looks. I am especially susceptible to this for directors such as Jason Reitman, who proves the point that I will see every one of his movies because I plan on watching Labor Day. You figure even if the movie is terrible, you get to spend time in a world you enjoy or with a performer or filmmaker that will at least make the experience somewhat palatable.
4. I’m at the Movies!
It’s Friday night. You want to see a movie and nothing good is out so you default and see whatever is new. This is how I will end up seeing Maleficent -- well, that and my fandom for Elle Fanning, which is weird because she’s 6 years old but whatever, she’s charming. I hope she has a long career.

3. I Never Had a Choice
There is no way to avoid certain movies. It’s an appointment. You have been marketed to death and the day has come where you can finally see the movie and put it behind you.

2. I’m Doing My Homework 
Certain movies become acclaimed out of the festival circuits, from reviews or from garnering Oscar consideration and you feel you owe it to yourself to the see the movie. You are a movie lover after all, and should want to see everything people are saying is the next great thing.
1. Word of Mouth
Someone whose opinion usually matches yours puts a movie over and all of a sudden this movie you didn’t want to see feels different, like it was now made by your friend. Your friend takes on a responsibility for the movie and if the movie doesn’t work for you, you question his or her judgment.

Do you see movies you don’t want to see? How come?


  1. The two things that drive me to them are:

    1) Context - it makes me appreciate good films more
    2) Canon - director/actor/writer. Damn you Nicolas Cage!

    1. 100% yes to your #1. Who are some of your other canon members?

    2. Clint, De Niro (Geez, De Niro), Catherine Keener, Viggo Mortensen, Olivia Williams to name a few over the last few years.

      I always keep an eye on David Mamet from a writing perspective.

      I’ll watch anything by Michael Mann, Spielberg, P.T. Anderson, no matter the reviews.

  2. Being a big fan of the Horror genre, I watch pretty much any horror film that comes out be it in the theater or VOD. I know that I'm usually going to be disappointed yet I watch them anyway. "Devils Due" was one of the last ones that I recall that I knew was going to suck (and man, did it SUCK) but I had to see it regardless. It's definitely worth it though because in sifting through tons of garbage I always come across a gem e.g. "I Am a Ghost", "Resolution" or "Absentia".

    1. Thanks for the head's up on Devil's Due. I've been going back and forth on whether or not to rent it.

  3. No problem. Great article as usual.

  4. Its Sunday...I aint got no job (today)...and I aint got shit to do!

  5. I can only think of 3 movies I've seen in the past 5 years that I hadn't wanted to see:

    (1) Avatar - Am I the only one that found the trailers for that completely uninteresting? It didn't appeal to me at all and I planned on ignoring it until (Reason 12) the Box Office numbers started coming in and I felt l needed to be part of the phenomenon.

    (2) and (3) - These were on you Riske (sorta combo of Reasons 1, 7 and 8) - last year's whipping boys, After Earth and The Lone Ranger, both of which I thought were FINE. I mean, AE, in particular, even with its weird performance and story choices at least had fairly well-defined character archs and such - more than either TASM2 or Godzilla had that's for sure.

    No regrets for any of those so I'm glad there are so many reasons to see a movie you don't want to see!

    1. I'm actually sort of annoyed that there are no whipping boys for me to back thus far in 2014. The closest is maybe 3 Days to Kill. Last year I had a bunch.

  6. Number 11 is why I had to see Dark Shadows, and I really, really didn't want to. My hunch was right in that case, it wasn't good.

    I think I went to Godzilla with #8, #15, #4, and #5 (Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Olsen) in mind. I still don't think I'm over how disappointed I was by that movie.

  7. What's going on in that picture? A ginger with a banana and raisins... I am not sure what that kid is up to, but he must be up to no good!

    1. I like to think he's going to grow up to be Michael Rappaport or Louis C.K.

  8. I think my biggest reason for seeing movies would be #5- most times the director pulls me in and some other times its the franchise (Sorry but I gotta see every Alien vs Predator film) Also Never Had a Choice comes up once in a great while with my usually very awesome girlfriend (I've forgiven her for The Other Woman)