Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Editorial: Why I Hate CinemaSins

I decided to not post an article yesterday devoted to the new created
Honest Trailer for Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen, simply because not only was everyone else already doing it, but because channels inspired by Screen Junkies (which hosts the Honest Trailers) have, in the last two years, been run on cynical content that just reduces the magic of cinema to quick cynical gags. It's hard to promote something that's helping reduce peoples perception of movies to simply unfunny cynical one-liners. Admittedly, at least the crew behind those Honest Trailers (which more often than not are at least diverting) have some respect for some of the movies they parody, unlike the horrific channel that has endured popularity amongst the internet for bewildering reasons.

The haven for lazy, nitpicky critiques of film is without a doubt the channel dubbed CinemaSins.

Here is a channel that thrives on sucking all fun out of all you love in the snarkiest and annoying way possible by pointing out every inconsistency, every set oddity, every missing lapdance to its irritating zenith. Now, obviously, the internet has been filled with cynical perspectives before CinemaSins started, but at worst, those cynical voices came from anonymous internet commentors, or only were unleashed when a particularly terrible movie (think: The Last Airbender) came out.

In February 2012, Honest Trailers were started as a sporadic affair that grew enough in popularity to be done on a regular basis. They were decent I suppose, being overly negative, but occasionally amusing. 10 months later though, they proved that poking fun at movies worked as a YouTube channel. So why not go the next natural step; tear down all the movies you love just to look arrogantly smart. Thus, great films like The Avengers, Looper, The Dark Knight Rises and Avatar were torn down not by a well written essay, but by pretty much the video equivalent to a Yahoo comment section.

Look, I write negative things all the time (my Z grade for God's Not Dead is legendary!) but even in a really terrible film I try to point out not just positive facts but do it in a semi-respectful manner (unless you racist and cruel like God's Not Dead. In which case, screw you) All the two dudes behind CinemaSins, named Chris Atkinson and Jeremy Scott (who lends his snotty narration to these insufferable videos) do is promote an overly cynical attitude that robs any film of its potency. Every movie in history has flaws and inconsistencies; the great ones though make you forget about them and have you swept up in the universe and characters they're crafting. For CinemaSins and the legions of fans they have, all movies are meant to be torn down like paper-mache swans.

Now I know what you're thinking; c'mon NerdInTheBasement! Why not just stop watching the videos? Actually, I have unsubscribed from the channel on YouTube and have only checked in on rare occasions. Weirdly, I felt their most recent video (Everything Wrong With Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen) had some decent moments. But it isn't just everything this channel stands for, not to mention the channels constant promotion across movie sites I love and respect, that has me furious. Despite what they noted in their own video pointing out Everything Wrong With Cinemasins (which essentially boiled down to "You all need to calm down, stupid nerds.), they are treated as critics by viewers. I know many who quote their perceptions of, say, Pacific Rim, whenever I bring up that delightful film up. The works of Roger Ebert and Nathan Rabin are no longer used as guiding points through the wide and beautiful world of cinema; conversations about film have been reduced to relentless pessimism.

So do me, and all people who actually care about film, film writing, the internet, YouTube and just comedy in general; you don't have to go cold turkey on CinemaSins (even I'll admit that, if they ever did a video over Sucker Punch, I'd be first in line to see it), but at least stop giving it more weight than it's worth. There's an insane amount of tremendous writings and thoughts on the world of film that go beyond a simple *DING* noise one can pore over instead of the work of these two depressing human beings. And you wanna know the worst part about this duo? It is an absolute travesty that people with their knowledge of cinema, not to mention experts at video editing and crafting, aren't doing something beneficial for the art of movies. What a waste.

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