After seeing Blade Runner for the first time about 6 years ago, I have been wondering ever since “why the world is infatuated with Blade Runner?” I’ll admit it looks cool but I don’t think it’s that great a movie. Sure, it gets high points for style and imagery but the ending alone killed it for me. Such an interesting story and all that build up for what…an unimpressive ending that just ends like they couldn’t think of anything better.
That’s my personal opinion but still I wonder, and more to the point of my post – Do people like it now just because they saw it as a kid?? Where did the increasing popularity come from? Same goes for Legend, and Krull (and basically any other movie from that era that I just don’t get). Admittedly, they are all very cool looking, but they just don’t do anything for me since I didn’t grow up with them.
Same goes for really any movie you saw as a kid. Does nostalgia tell you to like something now that, if you hadn’t been wow’ed by it as a youngster, you’d have to admit the movie in question is…<sub-par, hokey, insert adjective>?? As children, we are all ignorant of bad acting, plot holes, cheesy effects, etc. We watch something with our parents or older siblings and it’s clear that most of the time, we’re watching two different movies. Kids will focus on what kids focus on, and miss elements that make movies less than perfect. In the end, we all like movies for different reasons.
Personally I recall being floored at how cool James Bond was seeing him when I was in 3rd grade. I had not been introduced to the one, the only, Sean Connery, so my first Bond was Timothy Dalton. He wasn’t totally bad but, (yes I’ll admit it now) he’s not the best either. I remember it was summertime and being home from school and I was watching License to Kill on HBO during the day and to a kid, seeing MI6’s best on our 22″ Sony TV was the coolest thing since Superman. Now fast forward 20 years…I try to watch that movie today (and yes I bought it out of nostalgia and because it was the better of the 2 Dalton movies) and try to keep myself from stating that it looks dated and some parts are awful. It has some good parts but it also has one really bad part…Wayne Newton…I rest my case, but this is still true to my point. For probably the rest of my life, anytime someone says Bond I think of Dalton because of my childhood.
So to advance my opinion, and maybe open it up to other films as a way of bringing hypothetical credibility to this post, I’ll ask this: could nostalgia keep you from acknowledging that even our most sacred films aren’t as great as we make them out to be (i.e. Sean Connery‘s Dr. No or Michael Keaton’s Batman)? Now I know these two examples are much better films as a whole and stand the test of time better than other entries in their respective series, but even these legendary inceptors have their faults. Again, I have to ask, do we look past their flaws because of nostalgia or because they established what coolness was to a child? I admit I do.
Furthermore, beyond defending a bad movie out of nostalgia comes one particular defense I hear plenty of times. It goes and ends the same way every time like this…”Yeah, well he was the first one!!” OK, fine Michael Keaton did a great job as Batman and even though the film is not perfect, most people will agree that he was the best of the cinematic series..well, until Nolan and Bale came around. Yet, in an argument, people will stand in defense of the film’s weaknesses just because the actor in question was the first. It’s easy to overlook that Prince (really? of all people?) did the soundtrack whenyou can’t forget the image of Schumacher’s versions running around in neon lights and nipple suits. Well that defense only works when the movie is good. Can anyone seriously say that about a Spawn sequel (which will probably bomb) with a different lead character and defend the first film just because Michael Jai White was the “original” Spawn??
Now to close this little opinion piece, I will have to take a stab at applying my theory to the one guilty pleasure film I love more than any other from my childhood…Big Trouble in Little China. To those of you who have seen it, own it, or have grown up with it, you know what I mean. However, to be fair to those of you Blade Runner fans I may have offended, even the mighty Jack Burton’s legendary film has its flaws, weak spots and bad dialog. But again, seeing this as a child I was also wow’ed like no other movie before. I’m lucky to have watched the adventures of Jack, Wang and Egg as a kid and because of that they’ve become my childhood heroes, but admittedly, if I had only seen BTILC in passing on cable at my age now, I may have passed it up completely.
So, in closing, does anyone believe they love a certain movie just because of the impression it had on you as a kid??