Good afternoon everybody, I hope you’re recovering well from that sunburn you got this weekend. Remember to use generous amounts of aloe. Doesn’t that feel better? Good. I wanted to have a little chat with you about expectations, specifically expectations for movies. We are all aware of how expectations influence our perception of things. Many times, things get hyped up and our expectations get away from us which can ultimately lead to disappointment. As we get into the bulk of the summer blockbuster season I am here to help you manage those expectations. Below is a list of tips to manage your expectations so that your movie going experience is not a let down.
1. Assume the worst.
The easiest way to avoid a letdown is to just assume the worst. From the time a movie is announced until the time you see it, the hype machine is in effect. This has been amplified through the 24/7 access to hype. Every website you go to, every time you log on twitter, there are promotional videos and and blurbs for movies. All of these lead you to believe that said movie is the best movie since the last great movie and naturally you get your hopes up. Whenever you feel yourself getting this way, think of these movies: Cowboys and Aliens, Gigli, The Lone Ranger, etc. Now adjust your expectations accordingly.
The second easiest way to avoid a letdown is to predispose yourself to something awful. Say you’re excited to see Terminator: Genisys. To make sure you bring your expectations down a peg, watch Terminator: Salvation. By doing this, you will remind yourself how the movie you’re about to see could result in a letdown and you can adjust your expectations accordingly. This strategy is particularly effective with franchises, as most franchises have a movie that was a letdown. In cases where the movie you’re excited for is non-franchised, refer to the above list for good letdown-proofing options.
3. Eat one of your favorite foods prior to the movie
Let’s face it, if the movie you want to see ends up being a dud, there’s not anything you can do about it. To make sure your time out isn’t a total waste, why not go to your favorite restaurant and enjoy some good food prior to the movie. What you eat should be in proportion to your excitement for the movie. For example, I am mildly excited to see Ant Man. Prior to this movie I might enjoy a buffalo chicken wrap from Cheddar’s to match the excitement level of the movie. On the other hand, I am most excited about Jurassic World, which means that I will likely eat a ridiculous amount of wings from Wingzone followed by a large chocolate milkshake from Coldstone. Regardless of how the movie turns out, that will be a good night.
4. Avoid spoilers.
A seemingly obvious thing to do, but sometimes this requires a bit of skill. The best way to do this of course is to stay away from any possible information about the movie, especially opening weekend. It’s important, however, to not fall for traps prior to a movie’s release. As you may be aware, information often leaks well before a movie’s release date and important surprises can be compromised. (Spoiler alert for The Dark Knight Rises and Star Trek:Into the Dark.) Months before the release of The Dark Knight Rises, many speculated that Marion Cotillard’s character was a plot twist and she was actually Talia al Ghoul. The same was speculated of Benedict Cumberbatch being Khan in Star Trek: Into the Dark. Speculation like this is rampant on most movie information sites so these should be avoided regarding movies you’re excited for.
5. The heck with it.
Just give in to the hype machine and let your hopes run wild. Every once in a while expectations are met and even possibly exceeded. When this happens the risk of a letdown is worth the reward. If a movie ends up being a letdown it’s not the end of the world. Besides, pretty much every movie worth getting excited about these days automatically has a sequel lined up so you can just hope for an improvement in the next installment.