Friday, September 25, 2015

This Open Letter to TV Tropes

Dear TV Tropes,

You've destroyed me. I hope you're happy. You seemed so nice at first, offering me a fresh take on my favorite pop culture. But it's clear to me now what you are. You've baited the trap so perfectly. Just one more little link, just one more page, and suddenly my productivity is gone. It's all gone.

Even when I get away from you, I can't fully escape. I could be on a completely different website, minding my own business, when a stray link brings me back. Suddenly I'm right back in, reading about breaking the fourth wall, being genre savvy, and not being able to get away with anything. Just as I can't get away from you.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Rethinking my Worst Movie Ever

My wife and I caught Batman & Robin on television the other day and decided to watch it. Ever since it came out, I've always maintained that this is my least favorite movie of all time, not only because it was so disappointing but also for nearly killing the Batman franchise. (And yet again why we are so thankful to Christopher Nolan. Hail Nolan! Hail!) It was truly bad.

Sitting down to watch it again, I am struck that this movie is even worse now than when it came out, partly because of the Nolan films. The dialogue is still utterly atrocious, the acting too over-the-top, and the villains terrible representations of their comic book counterparts. (Especially Bane.) And yet, while watching it, I realized something, a truth that so many others have discovered while I stubbornly nursed this decades old grudge: it's actually a fun movie to watch in a so-bad-it's-good kind of way.

I am no stranger to this phenomenon: films made in earnestness that failed so hard they became awesome for other reasons. Plan 9 From Outer Space. Manos:The Hands of Fate. Most Nicholas Cage movies. They develop a cult following because of their stupidity and are, in fact, celebrated because of it. Such movies were the bread-and-butter of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and are still a huge part of Rifftrax. Bad movies can be fun in the right context.