[Nostalgic Distortion?] The "I guess you had to be there" Thread

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon, Jun 27, 2010.

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  1. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    You know what I'm talking about.

    There's a movie, a TV show, a band, or even a book, that it seems like EVERYONE your age grew up loving - and they continue to tout its greatness to this day. Whatever it is, somehow it managed to slip your radar, and you got through your formative years without experiencing or perhaps even hearing about it. But since everyone talks about how great it is, you finally tracked down a copy to see what all the fuss was about...

    ...and it just wasn't that good. You can see how it might have been fun as a kid, but for people to treat it as an enduring favorite alongside REAL classics like Raiders of the Lost Ark or Back to the Future? That's a little much.

    This is a thread devoted to these puzzling works of art. This is not about senseless bashing; it's about saying, "I don't get it...is there anyone who likes it (and didn't grow up with it) who can explain it to me?"

    To start off with a couple of my own:

    The Goonies
    Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  2. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    The Princess Bride. I just don't get it. It's pleasant enough, but I just couldn't find anything truly remarkable about it. I can see it being great fun when you're a kid, I like its sense of humor, but I don't think it holds up that well, and I don't get its being an all-time classic.
  3. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    This.

    I also actively despise Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

    When I'm asked which member of The Breakfast Club I identify with most, my answer is invariably "Paul Gleason."

    Although I've got a huge amount of appreciation for ET and The Little Mermaid, I can't help but feel that those are two films I would really appreciate more if I saw them when I was a kid.
  4. Celeste_Morne Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2008
    star 1
    I have one - sort of - for video games. Back in the mid 90's, I was a wee lad, only about five, and one of my dad's favorite games to play was the classic Heroes of Might and Magic II - a sort of semi-2d colorful blend of strategy and role-playing where one built buildings in a home castle to produce multiples of various fantastic creatures like dragons and gargoyles, explore the map as a hero on horseback, and then entering a combat screen where monsters duked it out in a turn-based hex strategy field. In any case, it was quite fun and magical and age appropriate for the time. In later years the disc disappeared in the mass of other games we played, but I occasionally found myself longing for the simplicity of the gameplay - in retrospect, It was probably my subconscious longing for the simplicity of early youth. In any case, in the past year I repurchased the game off of Amazon and gave it a whirl. The effects were astounding - of course, I remembered everything, and the music was really what did me in - it was hearing sounds I hadn't heard for over a decade. I still play and enjoy the game to this day - it's not that bad after all as one might expect, and is still quite engaging a strategy experience - but ultimately I think it has taught me more about nostalgia in general and the power of influence on our early days as children. Had I never seen the game before now, I might enjoy it for a moment, but would feel no loyalty, no yearning for it. But since I watched, played and heard it as one of my first memorable experiences, it's veritably burned into my mind. Slightly creepy but quite enlightening when one comes to interacting with other children at that stage in their lives.

    A couple clips of the music - the first 40 seconds or so of the first one really drives me nuts:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0g-qVAZ01Dw
  5. corran2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2006
    star 4
    The Breakfast Club and The Princess Bride. Two movies that I find ok, but not classic like so many other people. However, I have nothing against Ferris Bueller, really love that one actually.
  6. Spider-Fan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2008
    star 4
    The Princess Bride and Batman. I appreciate both to a certain extent but I definitely feel I saw a completely different film from everyone else.
  7. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    For the most part, I'll probably disagree with most suggestions in this thread ;)

    But the one I've mentioned before in the Trek thread is Star Trek: TOS. While there are some legitimately entertaining episodes in that series, the majority of it really has be watched with a certain frame of mind to be watchable today, given the production tropes prevalent on TV at the time. Most of the defenses of such criticisms seem to fall under the "well, it was ground breaking at the time...", "you had to be there", "well, back then...", etc- which would seem to match the purview of this thread ;)


    I really didn't like ET at all as a kid, and didn't know too many other kids who did either. It wasn't until I finally saw it again after some time as an adult for the anniversary rerelease that it blew me away.
  8. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    It's an interesting point, there. Although I never really watched TOS until my late teens and I enjoy the heck out of it.

    I don't think it's so much a "you had to be there" as a "to get the most out of it you have to understand certain things about the context of its creation," something that holds true for MOST works of art, from Twelfth Night to I Love Lucy.

  9. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
  10. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    I guess it's the degree to which that context is required to enjoy it normally. Too much and it just hits me as making excuses to try and justify watching something.
  11. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    I wonder if perhaps there's a distinction worth making between (for example) "understanding that it's a 1960s TV show" and "putting yourself in the mindset of a 1960s TV audience".

    I can deal with TOS's cardboard planets or B5's blocky CG ships, (though as cheap sets and primitive CGI go they're actually not too shabby), because they're actually pretty well-integrated into their shows' designs, and the stories themselves are told well more often than not.

    Sure, TOS has its fair share of just plain bad clunker episodes throughout, but so has every Trek series (except the last five seasons of DS9, natch;)).

    At the end of the day, it's a viewer's prerogative how much they want to take context into account. But if they can't tolerate things like bloodless gunshot wounds and laugh tracks (or to use a music example, mono audio), they're cutting themselves off from a lot of great art.
  12. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    There probably is a distinction to be made there- because I don't hold Trek's sets or B5's CGI against them. I don't expect them to do something that is physically, chronologically and technologically impossible. That's not something they had control over within their budgets.

    However, I can hold against them writing, acting & cinematography styles, etc- as those were all choices made by those making the show. Perhaps they were popular tropes "at the time" is why they chose them, but it was still a choice made whose resulting product will ultimately be judged even when those tropes were no longer popular.
  13. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    I had the experience with ET that Quest did. I saw it as a child and didn't really feel any particular way about it. I saw it again in college and it knocked my socks off.

    I have to confess to Ferris Bueller. It's a movie that has soured like a lot of eighties stuff; watching it on television as a college student, I found Ferris absolutely insufferable. Now, Cameron I was pulling for, but Ferris needed to eat a bullet.
  14. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    I saw some of the original "The Poseidon Adventure" and couldn't believe how cheesy the CGI stuff looked (the rest of it was cheesy on conception)
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