It may well be apparent by now that one of my favourite pastimes is nitpicking at things.   And a little while back, I watched this:

On one hand, he’s got a darned good point.

Then again, I fell this doesn’t cover the entire thing.  Here’s my take.

I have been absolutely forbidden from talking during movies by my uncle.  I nitpick too much.  I make sarcastic comments.  This throws him out of the movie, and I can respect that.  I do tend to be much more detached from movies; I like to think it’s because I’m discerning enough (or mired enough in my English degree) that I pick up this stuff. 

Does this mean I don’t enjoy the movie?  If I’m nitpicking, does it mean that I’m not immersed?

No, I don’t really think it does.  I absolutely adore the Mummy movies (the first two, at least).  They’re my exam fodder.  I put them on when I’m doing other things as well, because I totally don’t need to pay attention, but they’re still fun.  Same thing with the Matrix movies: I still rewatch them and enjoy them (even the second and maybe the third movie – more on that in a later post, I think).  Does that mean I don’t point out that scarabs don’t eat people, that the sun would have hit the pyramid first before the valley floor, so the kid should really be dead already?  Does it mean that I ignore that if your mind makes muscle damage and bleeding real, the body shouldn’t be atrophied when it comes out of the pod, or that just starting Trinity’s heart pumping again should have meant she bled out more, rather than that she started living again?  Not at all.  I notice, discuss and rationalise all these things.

And here’s where I deviate from the Nostalgia critic.  He says that you shouldn’t be noticing these things, and yes, I agree.  But I don’t think that it’s necessarily a failure if you do.  Most of my friends are perfectly capable of enjoying a movie while also pointing out its flaws.  In fact, I can’t imagine enjoying many movies quite so much if I wasn’t also pointing out the little things while I was going along, for one reason: If I didn’t notice what was going wrong, I wouldn’t notice what was going absolutely right.  If you’re at all mythologically minded – Irish mythology in particular – or have interest in visual media, go and find Secret of Kells.  It’s a gorgeous movie, and if I wasn’t so used to pointing out flaws in other movies, I would never have noticed the significance of the beach at the end, the way each character is animated which reflects and builds on their personality, the tiny mythological references in the shadows and in the character of Aisling.  I adore that movie because of the depth of thought it shows, and I wouldn’t enjoy it half as much if I wasn’t motivated to watch for those things.

And I entirely agree with the point the Nostalgia Critic makes, that if you notice what goes wrong, you know how to make something better.  As someone aspiring to be an artist, noticing these quirks of storytelling is possibly the most important thing for me to improve my art.

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