Viewing With Expectations

Going into a movie with your own expectations can be an uplifting and intensely exciting thing. But when you go into a viewing with the heavy load of other's not-so-positive can get tiring and super discouraging.

I saw The Avengers: Age of Ultron today.

I feel like I'm more of a casual Marvel fan. I'm not super obsessed with the universe as a whole, but that doesn't mean I don't love the characters. Especially when they all interact together. (Seriously, the cast's chemistry is SO top notch.) I've seen all of the Marvel slate so far, with Guardians of the Galaxy being my current favorite. 

I read a lot of film reviews. I have my favorite critics (DrewAtHitFix is my current #1). I love reading the passion and depth to which these reviewers go to so eloquently in their reviews. Plus, there's always the typical Twitter reactions, so it's rare for me to go into a film without generally knowing what the media thinks of the work.

The reaction to Age of Ultron was on another level, though. Part of that due to the fact that Marvel movies tend to increase in hype as the phases go on. The Avengers are reassembled. Age of Ultron's a sequel to The Avengers, a film that even caught me by surprise with how much I loved it. It's actually the installment that sold me on the Marvel universe as a whole.

With all of everyone's hyper critical opinions floating around in my head, I watched Age of Ultron a month after it was released. And I feel as if I watched a different movie than the majority of the world.

I loved seeing my favorite characters not only team up again, but get more screentime, detail more backstory, and ultimately move the universe forward in great ways. I laughed, I (internally) cheered, I cried (I MEAN, CMON I REALLY LIKED THAT CHARACTER!).

I didn't experience the disdain and disappointment that a lot of reviewers did. The jokes didn't fall flat. It wasn't too much. With that said, only with Marvel would some of the storyline makes sense, but isn't that the beauty of Universe that they've created? Limits are endless in such brilliant ways.

Joss Whedon did a brilliant job juggling all of the characters. And even though it nearly broke him, I'm glad he managed to finish his work, because ultimately I enjoyed what I saw onscreen. I can't wait to see more of the Marvel Universe. And isn't that the goal? To make you feel in correspondingly appropriate ways and to want more?

It's damn near impossible to go into a film with no expectations, and that's okay. It's great in fact, especially if you're surprised by how much something touches you. It's our expectations that showcase the uniqueness of our likes and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Next time you walk into a theater with expectations and opinions whirling through your head, sit down, breathe, take a bite of whatever overpriced food you purchased (or if you're smart like me, bring in Panera with you), and give what you're about to see a chance. You never know when you might leave charmed out of your wits.

Talk to me in the comments about your thoughts on film critics, public consensus, or what film you've seen lately that you were surprised about!



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