Filmmakers > Nerds

There are a number of undeservedly popular trends in social media sites and viral videos that I find insufferable, but one that I have an exceptional distaste for is the trend of defacing movies with nitpicking and self-aggrandizing commentary. Granted, nerds have always found pleasure in ridiculing the works of people who can create things that they never could, but the social media age has given them a platform to become stars out of it.

This may seem a tad hypocritical coming from someone who’s dedicated an entire website to giving his thoughts and opinions on movies and video games, with a not entirely un-nerd-like field of preference. But I will defend my stance as someone who simply has opinions and wishes to share them. There are plenty of people out there who use blogs, videos, and other such methods of sharing their thoughts who can be constructive and well-meaning with what they do. While there’s always means for me to improve, I at least try to fit into such a category.

What I’m talking about are people who simply trash movies for entirely inconsequential reasons. A certain technical goof gets blown into a movie-breaking flaw, or a tiny gap in plot consistency demeans all merits a movie could have. Oftentimes, it seems even great movies are written-off for the most trivial things, these days.

The internet age has practically endorsed cynicism and self-aggrandizement, combine this with the nitpicking of nerds and it turns into a whole new beast. Every time I check into YouTube and see a new “Honest Trailers” or “Cinema Sins” video is up, I frankly feel a bit disgusted. Some would argue that they’re “all in good fun” and perhaps on occasion that is the intent. But there are plenty of other videos or blogs I’ve seen that can deliver some inoffensive humor towards movies without seemingly eviscerating them just to inflate their own egos.

"We didn't need to deliver a line about why the dinosaurs in Jurassic World don't have feathers, but we did anyway, because we really just didn't want to hear any more crap from nerds."

“We didn’t need to deliver a line about why the dinosaurs in Jurassic World don’t have feathers, but we did anyway, because we really just didn’t want to hear any more crap from nerds.”

I know, I sound like a horrible jerk now because I’m saying bad things about popular internet videos. The way I see it, these internet videos are the ones that are more or less bullying filmmakers and artists for inconsequential elements just to give themselves a pat on the back. Personally, if I had to pick sides, I’d always pick the artists and studios who are able to create wonderful works of art and entertainment over the nerds who belittle them.

There is the old of “everyone’s a critic.” But I feel things like Honest Trailers are taking it more into the realms of “everyone’s a self-righteous a-hole.” And well, I’d like to see anyone who makes any of these snarky videos even begin to make a movie even half as good as the ones they criticize. Of course, chances are their bully-like critiques probably stem from their inability to create what artists and studios can, and the jealousy that comes with that.

"How could Batman have escaped a nuclear explosion at the last second? This movie clearly sucks!" "Or, it was just a simple editing technique to make it look like he escaped at the very last second to build suspense, jackass!"

“How could Batman have escaped a nuclear explosion at the last second? This movie clearly sucks!”
“Or, it was just a simple editing technique to make it look like he escaped at the very last second to build suspense, jackass!”

Sure, The Dark Knight Rises may have some pacing issues or a couple of questionable editing choices, but it’s hardly the disaster that a lot of these popular internet nerd-baiting sites and videos would like to claim. Even if they don’t like a movie, it’s possible to share that opinion intelligently and even humorously. But pointing out the most throwaway inconsistencies and using them to fuel petty complaining has become so sickening. The sad part is these people get millions of views, proving that we’re willing to feed trolls at the expense of people who are actually creating great things just so long as it gives us a brief moment to feel more important than them.

To be blunt, I hate the whole idea of “nerd criticism” and how popular it’s become. It’s not constructive, it’s not creative, it’s not contemplative. And it most certainly isn’t honest. 

Go ahead and call me an elitist, but I find the things that filmmakers are doing, whether it’s creating something profound or simply entertaining, whether I like it or not, is infinitely more meaningful than the self-insistency of internet nerds.

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9 thoughts on “Filmmakers > Nerds

  1. Matt

    I am with you there. The nitpicking often reaches unbearable levels but I guess that is a way (perhaps the only one) some people have to make themselves feel smart. Too bad they actually come off as… well… idiots.

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  2. AfterStory

    I understand both sides of the coin here. I think it all depends on the perspective on the critquer. Clearly many videos you wrote about have no other intent than reeking benefits from non-constructively nit-picking a work of art, and it baffles me that this is what society eats up nowadays. And most of the time, I don’t find them funny, kind of repulsive to be honest :/ criticism is an important element in any form of medium, but it shouldn’t be taken lightly. I like to think that reviewers like you and me, and plenty of others on here, are honest and telling truthful, meaningful thoughts on our experiences with whatever form of entertainment. I feel that, if we have just cause and relative factual information, then we can harshly criticize a form of art, even if we couldn’t produce it ourselves, just have to understand that there’s an appropriate and constructive way to do so. Even though I compose and record my own music, I still understand people’s criticism on music, even if they don’t produce some themselves. It really just depends on their perspective for me personally, if they’re thoughts amount to nothing more than whining complaints, then it doesn’t help me become a better artist. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but it’s how well you convey that opinion that really counts.

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    1. themancalledscott Post author

      Of course someone doesn’t have to be in those fields to have an opinion on something (I’d be a total hypocrite if that were my point). What I’m talking about are things like Honest Trailers, Cinema Sins, and other such videos/websites that, instead of honestly critiquing movies, feel more like they’re trying to ruin them by blowing inconsequential details out of proportion. It almost comes off like they’re trying to insult anyone who likes those movies, and promote themselves for their ability to criticize movies people like. It’s an awfully cynical form of self-promotion that has become depressingly popular.

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      1. AfterStory

        Yeah I understand. They’re trying to be comical but it definitely comes off of as juvenile and insulting and doesn’t really help the industry in any substantial way so its existence is questionable.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Red Metal

    It’s interesting because the whole caustic reviewer shtick is actually one of the things that inspired me to make reviews in the first place. While some of them can be funny, it perpetuates an unfortunate stigma that gamers, and only gamers, are get slapped with. It’s the image of a person with the maturity of someone a third their age flailing around on their keyboards, screaming profanities into a headset.

    I sought to be their antithesis – a video game critic with a degree of professionalism. One who stays focused on what matters rather than trivial details that can be easily overlooked. I don’t think it’s possible to critique without inserting a little bit of yourself in your writings, but a lot of those reviewers rely too heavily on the ego portion of the equation rather than the important facts. In doing so, they make everything all about them and how awesome they supposedly are. Considering that a lot of those people probably had to deal with others in grade school doing the same thing (albeit in different ways), this seems pretty hypocritical.

    Also, I’ve felt the cynicism that’s prevalent on the internet is of a very sophomoric variety – the kind exuded by pseudo-intellectual teenagers that saw Ex Machina (or whatever equivalent happens to be out at the time; this work has many, many names) and think they have everything figured out. Most people grow out of this mentality when they realize that life is not always going to be horrible and is still interesting enough to experience for themselves.

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    1. themancalledscott Post author

      Very well said. I have no problems with people giving their opinions on something, but a lot of these internet nerd types just seem to be trying to “ruin” movies, instead of giving opinions of them. It’s like they just put movies down to promote themselves.

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  4. alex9234

    My god, am I glad to hear someone say this.

    I also think that this can be applied to video games as well. Some very good examples are Persona 4 and Fire Emblem: Awakening. I’m not sure if you’ve played Persona 4 or Awakening, but they are great games, so check them out. I’ve seen a lot of these nerds and “true fans” attack P4 and Awakening since they’ve made both the Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem franchises popular. I saw them attack Awakening for being anime stylized, what with the art and it’s presentation. And I saw them attack it’s story for adding in “I love you, senpai!” -like anime tropes. Well, I played through the entirety of Awakening and I can say that I found nothing of the sort in that game. I thought the story was alright, and I found the game’s atmosphere to be very dark and gloomy as well. I also played through and analyzed Persona 4’s story and found nothing of the sort as well. Overall, I didn’t see much hate get thrown at Awakening overall, since a lot of Fire Emblem fans recommend it as a great starting point for people who want to get into the series. Awakening may get some hate from the nerds, but compared to what Persona 4 gets, it’s a slap on the wrist at most.

    Now onto Persona 4. I’ve seen SMT nerds crap all over this game for believing that it’s pandering to “otakus”(and I doubt that they know what that word actually means), and I’ve seen them say that the game sucks because of it’s story. Mainly the scene in where Nanako “dies” in the hospital from an injury she received from a supposed villain, and then is revived if the player makes the right choices to get the good ending of the game. They’ll say: “How could Nanako have come back to life if you made the right choices? This game sucks!” I would say to them: “Or, it was an editing technique to make it look like she was in a coma-like situation to build suspense, moron!” Much like The Dark Knight Rises, Persona 4 has some pacing issues and some questionable plot and editing choices, like with Nanako’s “death and revival” scene, but it’s hardly the disaster that SMT fans are making them out to be. Hey, Final Fantasy IV had a good number of questionable plot choices and pacing issues, which I would say are far more questionable than Persona 4’s, what with the supposed death scenes of the twins Palom and Porom, Yang, Cid, etc. but it’s still not a bad game at all. I haven’t seen those people complain about FFIV’s plotholes yet.

    And now we’re seeing those same “fans” (the majority being SMT fans, not so much FE fans) complain about the upcoming crossover on the Wii U, Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem.

    They’re worse than hipsters this way. Whenever a developer or filmmaker tries something different or new, according to them, immediately it sucks, and automatically the older stuff is better and then they’ve got to find something more obscure to like and put on a pedestal. The reactions from “true fans” to games like Persona 4 and Fire Emblem: Awakening, and now SMT x FE, prove that Nintendo and Atlus should not be listening to people like them when it comes to the decisions they make with their games.

    Nerds and self-proclaimed “true fans” are just hipsters wearing different clothes. And hipsters ruin EVERYTHING. They ruin TV shows, they ruin movies, they ruin anime, they ruin video games, you know what I mean.

    Liked by 3 people

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  5. smily1111

    The worst part is that this behavior spills over into topics that aren’t nerdy. It actively becomes their (only) character, and it’s everywhere, online and off.

    Liked by 1 person

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