I’m a pretty even-keel guy. I don’t like hype. I don’t like hyperbole. I don’t like anything too over the top.
Hell, I even get annoyed when audiences constantly applaud a presenter, musician or any type of entertainment during the act they are performing. It’s a weird pet-peeve but I like it when people don’t lose their shit.
I know this paints me a Debbie Downer. I am not trying to take any enjoyment away from anyone. Personally it’s how I express my enjoyment. When I like something I tend to shoot Jesse a text telling him exactly that, “Hey I saw Ex Machina. I liked it.” Sure we will chat a bit about what we liked about the movie but it is usually a pretty calm analysis.
I’m not exactly sure why I am like this. I regard it as a personality flaw of mine. And I am working on it and making progress. A few years back I was even worse. I would loathe any popular movie if I felt it was overhyped. You can ask Jesse about this. He has heard me vent my frustrations and vitriol towards critically acclaimed movies like Up and The Dark Knight. It was bad.
I still don’t like those movies but I have stopped ruining other’s enjoyment of it. And I have come to a more calm approach towards overhype. It’s more of an indifference approach that I now practice. I try to ignore the hype and excitement and go into each movie with my own opinion. It sounds so simple right? Don’t let anyone else’s opinions, positively or negatively, effect you.
Lately I have done an excellent job practicing this. I’ve watched Frozen 300 times and I have sung the songs even more. I even enjoyed Jurassic World for what it was: a mindless and entertaining nostalgia trip. A few years ago I would’ve ripped people’s obsession of Frozen and I would’ve avoided seeing Jurassic World for months. It’s progress I tell you!
Unfortunately relapses occur with every habit a human tries to break. For some unexplainable reason, despite all logic and contentment, humans are constantly one step away from falling into the vicious cycle they set out to avoid. Despite my progress, my anger and disdain are building up for a movie that isn’t even out yet. A movie that has already made $50 million without even being released yet. A movie that, 10 years ago, I would’ve wet myself in excitement for. That movie, of course, is Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
I’ve been attempting to explain my apathy towards the upcoming release of the 7th Star Wars film to my wife. She never prompted me for my opinion but I nevertheless felt my need to express my outrage to her. What else is new?
“Look at this, Star Wars shower curtains, Star Wars toothbrushes, Star Wars waffle maker! This is getting out of hand!”
As I raged about Disney’s product mongering, I started telling myself that I never even really liked Star Wars in the first place. The first trilogy, I told myself, was flawed and only revered for its nostalgia. And the second trilogy, ha, don’t even get me started am I right?
I started to realize that I only ever got into Star Wars because of some fortuitous timing of my birth. My father grew up with the first Star Wars trilogy, and had a kid just old enough (9) for the second Star Wars trilogy. It was apart of my dad’s childhood so he was excited to share it with his only son. At the same time I knew my dad loved Star Wars and I wanted to be just like him. It’s almost like some sort of, modern, time-honored tradition that I was born into. But did I really, truly even like the films?
Over the next few weeks I avoided the trailer out of indifference, and the spoilers, out of fear of ruining the movie. I read an article that simultaneously induced rage and joy. I bounced around from hoping it’s a failure the size of The Phantom Menace to hoping it’s a classic like The Empire Strikes Back.
It’s complicated right? When my friend Jesse inquires about my excitement level towards the upcoming movie he can tell something is up. He asks whether I am emotionally invested in the Star Wars franchise or if it’s just that, a franchise, to me. I have emotional memories with Star Wars. Trying to bond with my father, the disappointment of the new trilogy and it may even be the catalyst of my disdain of hype. So am I emotionally invested in Star Wars or is it just another franchise to me? Both, I suppose, and that’s the issue.
As I trudge through an endless amount of Marvel movies I find myself exhausted. Is this the feeling of having too much of a good thing? Or is this just growing up? As a kid the idea of a Marvel universe on the big screen was impossible to even imagine. As a kid having every superhero available in Lego form was unfathomable. As a kid playing countless of classic superhero video games was a thing of dreams. Okay so that last one still is but my point is that in my mid-twenties I am living in my childhood utopia. I have unlimited access to pop culture and pop culture memorabilia. And the stigma behind being a nerd hardly exists. This is the dream right? Then why am I sick of it instead of overjoyed?
I’m not exactly sure. I could blame the over exposure of everything. And a lot of people are slowly starting to feel that way too. Or maybe I could blame the unbelievable amounts of products that Disney produces to take advantage of the audience. Or perhaps I could blame my own dislike of hype and popularity.
Most likely it’s a combination of all three. I am just burned out. Burned out on franchises, on products and on hype. I’m exhausted from franchises, universes and spin-offs. And all of those are culminating to push me over the edge towards hating a movie I haven’t even seen yet.
So what do I do? Let’s face it, we all know I am going to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens in theaters. How do I get to the point of going into it without expectations or outside factors influencing me? Do I impose a self-imposed ban on anything Star Wars related? Do I rewatch both trilogies to remind myself that I enjoy them? Or do I just try to suck it up, clear my mind and try to enjoy a childhood dream come to life? What’s that? Do or do not, there is no try, you say? I will do my best.