One of the greatest things about growing up without the Internet was that studios were able to dictate exactly how much information they wanted us to know about a film before it hit theaters. I remember watching teasers for big summer movies during the Superbowl and then patiently waiting for months until those films came out, chatting up my buddies every other day – all of us high on anticipation. What would it be like? What it’s about? What sort of surprises lay ahead?
These days a buzzed-about film can barely make it to production before someone ruins the whole thing by either leaking a script or concept art online, forcing studios to police the online world like big, burly guards patrolling the halls of a maximum security prison. It’s not that your average moviegoer wants to know all about a film a year before it’s set to arrive in theaters – in most cases, people hate spoilers and become real angry when they accidentally stumble upon one.
So why, then, would movie bloggers and journalists go out of their way to ruin the mystery of a film when readers don’t necessarily want it ruined? That’s the million-dollar question folks, and I believe it has more to do with writers competing against other writers in a sort of weird, pathetic game of shotgun than it does providing their readership with quality product.
That’s not to say there aren’t people out there who want you to feed them information about a movie even though it may spoil their overall experience of seeing that film when it eventually comes out. I’m sure there are tons of people like that, and I guess this sort of jump-the-gun style of reporting suits them just fine.
But it doesn’t suit me.
And I’m sick of these critters littering the internet with their spoiler-heavy script reviews and their heard-it-from-a-guy-who-heard-it-from-a-guy plot details because it’s dirty and nasty and spreads like a virus. These sites copycat one another faster than it takes a third-grader to pick his nose and eat it, and soon an entire collection of movie-related web sites are stumbling over each other to vomit out spoilers because…I don’t know.
Maybe they want to make sure they’re a part of a larger movement, or maybe they think their readers will want to know the entire plot for a highly-anticipated film a year before it hits theaters – regardless, it’s a trend that needs to stop, like, yesterday. And the only people who can make it stop are the readers who demand it stop.
Sure, they’ll say you have a choice to either read the story or not. Great, thanks for my choice – I choose not. Don’t read it. Let them trip over each other to snag the character names for a movie while you simply move onto something else – something that’s actually worth reading…like this column.