The Big Weekender of Meta Reviews, Part 1: Plot Holes

Day 38. 99 pages, 44,958 words.

My boy Ilya shared this video on Facebook, which I believe is by the same guy who did a cool one about JJ Abrams and Felicity (yes, yes it was). The video’s by the same guy, that is, not Facebook:

All in all, I took this video as an extended take-down of Cinemasins, which I believe he’s done a fair bit of (yes, yes he has), and a few other things. Some of it was interesting, and I am beginning to roll my eyes more and more about Everything Wrong With videos. I don’t care about forty seconds of logos! I don’t care about narration! One actor looking like another is not a sin!

On the other hand, we’ve been over and over the pros and cons of paying attention to critics and reviewers. I’ve mellowed somewhat, in that I will decide not to waste my time with a movie if it’s properly panned by someone I know. For example, I decided against Geostorm because according to a trusted source apparently it’s obnoxious, poorly made and the effects are substandard and minimal, and the effects were literally all I was interested in. I still don’t care about critics. And yes, I know a bunch of you do, and for good reason. It’s fine, you don’t need to justify yourselves.

Still, there was some interesting stuff in the video about the origins of “plot holes” as a phenomenon, and its link to the establishment of the Internet and social media as something accessible to the common clay.


The point is, I guess, that there is way more pointless nitpicking and failure to take a story as a story, than maybe there should be. People are getting dumber, and also more obtuse in equal measure. Refusing to accept that a thing happened, without it being fully explained and justified. But also being annoyed when things are explained, because TL;DR.

But – but.

If that’s what takes you out of a movie, if that’s what makes you stop enjoying it, then that’s a problem. And it’s fine if you want to rant about those things. The fact that these nitpicking videos have such a solid response online means that they’ve tapped into something, it’s not just an illusion we’ve been convinced to believe in. And maybe this shit’s been bugging you for longer than it’s been a phenomenon online.

That’s also fine. I really don’t care. Sometimes I like picking a movie apart, and sometimes I don’t. And when I am picking a movie apart, you’d better believe I’m going to call out the people making stupid nitpicks. And if my nitpicks are stupid, I’m happy to see where I’m getting it wrong.

Are we watching movies wrong? I don’t think there’s any point in saying that, it’s just a cynical bit of viewer-baiting. If you don’t like movies, then don’t watch them. If you’re not enjoying movies when you watch them for these reasons, there’s probably not any way you can change how you watch a movie, in order to enjoy it more. And why would you try?

I don’t know, I’m too sick and tired to ramble about this. And I’ve got a ton to do today.

– Posted from my Huawei mobile phone while sitting in the carpark.

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy.
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4 Responses to The Big Weekender of Meta Reviews, Part 1: Plot Holes

  1. ☕Filbo☕ says:

    I agree with you that things like CinemaSins aren’t good for the overall experience of a moviegoer as their “critiques” are just awful. However, I kind of do disagree with some of the things you said or something. Anyways, here’s a shameless plug of a nitpicking essay i did a while back:

    • stchucky says:

      Good stuff! Nice to run into a fellow traveller in the blogosphere. And I don’t see that we disagreed much on anything there. There’s a time and a place for nitpicking and it can be fun (heck, sometimes I still watch CinemaSins for a laugh but you absolutely don’t want to consider them actual critics), but it usually means there’s another problem.

  2. Pingback: The Big Weekender of Meta Reviews, Part 3: No, Really, Is Star Wars Dead? | Hatboy's Hatstand

  3. Good thoughts again, of course (you seem only capable of that sort, color me jealous). I guess what I would say is that plot holes are acceptable to me if I get the impression it wasn’t a complete oversight/blunder by the writers and directors. If I can come up with some other reason why a plot hole remained (or if I have to rely on some nitpick with far too much time on his hands to show it to me in the first place), then I need to calm down about it. Did I like the fucking movie or not. Did I love the book or not?

    I’ve specifically learned that latter lesson through a “booksins” process, as you know. I try a lot more to just enjoy reading, and SMH if something wasn’t thought out well, unless I find myself S-ingMH too often. Then I’m probably reading or watching something poorly done.

    Life’s too short to hate on everything whenever possible, amirite? Sadly, as you’ve been pointing out, far too many people seem to enjoy nothing more than hating on whatever they can.

    I’m sure “some of them are good people” XD

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