We’ve all been there. We’ve walked out of a dark theater into the blinding sunlight feeling disheveled and ashamed of ourselves. We’ve wondered what we did to deserve sitting through the atrocity we’ve just seen. We contemplate writing a strongly-worded letter to the studio to harangue them for having the balls to take our money for the piece of trash we just watched. We all have experienced the anger of a movie that not even Ryan Gosling can save.
There is a way to avoid this feeling. Or at least, there is a way to increase the chances you’ll avoid it. Keep an eye out for these key indicators to determine the likelihood that a movie will suck.
- The first time you see the trailer on TV, it is two months before the movie comes out. If a movie is trying to convince you this far in advance that it’s awesome, it’s really not. The studio is willing to risk you getting sick of the movie in an effort just to get you to remember the movie exists. I’d cite John Carter here, but I wouldn’t want to insult The Hotness.
- The cast has 87 celebrities. Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve, or just some random schmucky movie, if a movie has a billionty two celebrities, it’s sure to suck. Here’s why: they all want to be the center of attention. However, an 89-minute movie does not have time to get you to care about all of them. The attempt to do so results in you not giving a crap about any of them. (Note: Love Actually is the exception to this rule.)
- It is more than the third in a series. There is a reason trilogies are made. That’s typically all we can take in terms of a story being told with any compelling logic. Eventually, the core villain is defeated, the guy gets the girl, conflicts are resolved. And then… they try to manufacture some NEW drama for us to care about. We don’t, we won’t, we can’t. Don’t ruin the original with a Phantom Menace of a movie. (Note: Harry Potter is the exception to this rule as it was originally written by a magnificent author and conflicts are not resolved until movie 8.)
- It stars Kevin Costner, Nicolas Cage or a WWE star. I don’t need to explain this to you. You know what’s wrong.
Of course, these tips aren’t fool proof. If they were, Twilight would never have been filmed.