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.
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.
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.