Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Gratuitous Violence

I like gratuitous violence. Not in real life. Just in the movies. I love a good action flick chocked full of shoot outs and crime and bad guys wreaking havoc on innocent victims, only to be brought to justice with even more excessive violence. I like it all. If my body is not clenched and tense for the duration of the movie, it's just not entertaining to me. Just so we're on the same page, violence does not mean horror or torture. I hate anything purposefully scary. I like realistic scary, like when disgruntled customer service reps turn into rogue bank robbers that kill to get ahead. THAT could happen in real life, and I want to watch it all go down on the big screen so I can be prepared. Just in case. 

This works out pretty well for my husband. Like most men, he likes action movies. We rarely argue about what to see at the theatre and our Netflix queue has the perfect balance of violence and documentaries, our second favorite genre. Occasionally, there is a romantic comedy thrown in the mix. JD is a sucker for Reese Witherspoon and girls with bouncy hair and wedding dress dilemmas. He's my sensitive man.

I minored in Film Studies in college. It was the best minor to have because I spent 4 years watching movies in class. I watched movies for homework. I watched movies for tests. Of course there was more to it than just watching movies. We had to analyze plot structure and character depth. There were genre studies that taught us the different indicators to each film type. We studied style, editing, and theory and while all of this was very interesting and super fun, it ruined me from just escaping into another world for an hour and 45 minutes like my collegiate counterparts studying less awesome minors. I couldn't watch a film for entertainment because I was dissecting it analytically the entire time. This has caused me to lose a lot of movie-going friends. No one likes going to the movies with a wannabe know-it-all who tries to explain the economic implications the course of the plot has taken. It's like changing a light bulb with an electrician. You don't want to hear about wattage and energy usage, you just want light. Same thing with watching a movie with me. I annoy myself, really. Plus all of my friends like romantic comedies and I would rather gargle dirty dish water than endure one of those. Sorry friends. 

Gratuitous violence has cured me of intellectually watching a movie. I can get lost in those action packed films and not once think about character development or the director's purpose for using camera angles a certain way. Who cares about that when the bad guys are karate chopping their way through your front door ready to pillage your things and break your face? Not me. So thank you, action films, for being the cure to my movie watching dilemma. You never let me down and you always inspire me to kick more caboose and fight more crime. You know, when those bad guys are coming. I'm doing the world a service, really. One action movie at a time.


  1. Ha! My husband likes those because I find myself gripping his hand ... and he gets to be brave :)

  2. Love action movies and I also agree about scary movies not being so fun!