I am rather baffled by the way that certain movies have a bad reputation for years, but one day, it has a completely different one. I fully understand that opinions are subjective, yet when a movie is seemingly so hated for years and years, I find things strange when people start praising it. It's like I could start hearing all sorts of praise for Mamma Mia! after hearing nothing but negative reviews since its original theatrical release. Wouldn't that seem strange, or am I just listening to loudest haters too closely?
I remember when I didn't follow what movie critics thought about movies currently showing at the box office. I never read a review of Buckaroo Banzai growing up, nor did I ever read an analysis of Back to the Future's script, but I watched those movies at least a dozen times each growing up. Only until high school was I really aware of what critics or academics thought about movies. Now I'm trying to get a point where I was before all of that.
What got me thinking about all this came from reading another one of the many lists that Entertainment Weekly posts on their site. This one pertains to a top twenty list of horror films since 1989. On this list were a few films that, up until I read this list, seemed universally despised by Those Who Choose to Speak Up (as in, most people who post things online, from Roger Ebert all the way down to the grammatically-challenged anonymous writer on a message board). These few films include From Hell, Hostel 2, and Alien 3.
Why should I care what people really think of these films? Well, I'm just all too aware of movies that generally elicit a very negative response from people that are into movies. Just standing behind my love for Mamma Mia! comes with some rather guard and preparedness to give exact reasons why.
So in the case of From Hell, Hostel 2, and Alien 3, my opinions of them have little or nothing in common with the negative responses I've heard from Those Who Choose to Speak Up. With From Hell, it was "not as good as the comic" (but I loved the film). With Hostel 2, all I heard was "Oh brother, more Torture Porn" (but I looked passed the grisly aspects of the film and found some really disturbing parallels to human nature). And in the case of Alien 3, all I heard was that it was nowhere near the greatness of Alien or Aliens (and I have never seen it before).
Once again, why should I care what people really think of these films when they were released or when writers decide to do retrospectives? Well, films strongly affect people, and those that are passionate really speak their minds about what they like and don't like. I don't consider myself a one-of-a-kind sort of person or anything like that, but I do have opinions about movies that seem to fly in the face of the average pissed-off-and-bored-at-work message board troll. That's where things can seem isolating, and frankly, a reminder about what it's like to have a passionate desire for films.