November 22, 2003

Not spoiled, but still rotten

I enjoy movie reviews, but I almost never read reviews of movies I'm intending to see. I always feel, well, I'm already convinced it's a movie I want to see, I don't want to have any surprises spoiled for me. I mean, yes, most reviewers will avoid giving away major surprises, but they'll still pretty much tell you the whole plot, and honestly, I just don't want to know. I read those reviews after I see the movie, to see how my opinions match up with reviewers'.

But if there's a movie that I never plan to see, come hell or high water, because it looks terrible, and I see that there is what's clearly a terrible review of that movie, well, I have to read that. How can I resist a review that calls The Cat in the Hat (a movie which I constantly worry I will be forced to sit through another preview of) "a vulgar, uninspired lump of poisoned eye candy"?

But although I am a religious avoider of spoilers of movies I want to see, I sometimes wish reviewers weren't so circumspect about not revealing spoilers of movies they have just spent many paragraphs convincing me not to see. Take Gothika. In the Times, A.O. Scott writes:

And I certainly will not spell out for you what you will, before too long, figure out for yourself, at which point all suspense and intrigue will evaporate. About two-thirds of the way through the screening I attended, the startled gasps were replaced by laughter, as "Gothika" began its headlong descent into incoherence.

No, seriously, spell it out! Let me rewrite that for you, A.O. (boy, "A.O." taken out of context sounds like one of those nonsense noises Sting was always sticking into Police songs, or something one of the Teletubbies would say): "Those of you who, despite all my advice, are still interested in seeing this movie, should stop reading now as I reveal the stupid (and blatantly telegraphed) twist ending to this crappy movie."

And, alas, Gothika hasn't yet been posted to The Movie Spoiler, so no luck there. Ah well. I can wait.

Posted by Francis at 11:38 AM