Canned Laughter and Serious Moments
A little while ago I decided to go see Edge of Tomorrow in theaters. I sat back, put on my 3D glasses, some guy in a top hat sat directly in front of me, it was great. One thing in particular that struck me as strange though was the way people in the theater reacted to what was happening in the film. So without spoiling much that the trailers already haven't, Tom Cruise, "dies" numerous times in the film, in which some of the occasions were used for tastefully comedic little gags here and there, the only problem was that people laughed every consecutive time that this happened whether it was meant to be funny or not after the first time. Edge of Tomorrow isn't the only movie I've noticed this in, it seems like every time I watch a movie, somebody is reacting completely opposite of how the tone of the scene is. There's laughing in the serious moments, and people just stare and blink blankly when a character makes an actual witty comment, all because there's no laugh track to tell them, "Hey, this is supposed to be funny!"
What's going on? Who's that guy?
Have you ever heard either of these questions while watching a movie? I know I have, and it's not always just the person beside you not paying attention, sometimes, it's the minority few of the people in the theater who ARE paying attention. This works as follows, either the movie makes sense and people just aren't paying enough attention to know what's going on, or the movie makes no sense at all and only a few people are paying enough attention to pick up on why it's flawed. I remember walking out of Man of Steel thinking, "Well that was a mess. Why didn't the Kryptonian gravity crush Lois on the ship? Why did they need to read her mind if they did the same to Clark? Why is the military bringing her on so many dangerous missions?" and ton more questions, enough to write a whole article about as a matter of fact.
I remember leaving Iron Man 3 going, "Why did Killians powers change all the time? Why wouldn't any of the other Avengers help save the PRESIDENT?" and yet at least three quarters of the posts I've read about these movies talk only about how flawless they both were. I don't see how it's possible to pay so little attention to a movie and still like it, or to pay so much and deny the flaws, I just don't.
This is all what leads me to believe that being able to view, absorb, and appreciate a movie is a skill only native to some. But yet, skills can be trained, I also firmly believe that you can learn to analyse a film to find out what really makes it great, personally, I learned a ton from Red Letter Media, check it out below.