Does a swank cinephile invite his best girl over to his pad and pull up Fast and Furious 5 or Transformers on Netflix? If so, get thee to the back of the line. You can’t be swank on a diet of fast food entertainment. Seriously. If you’re
going to spend 90 minutes in front of a television or movie screen, don’t you owe it to your brain cells to feed them something requiring at least a modicum of thought engagement?
We’ll make it easy on you. The answer is, yes, yes you do. It’s a pretty safe bet to say that your brain and the brain of your companion deserve better than the flick currently occupying the top of the box office charts on any random week. While there are a few oddities that manage to combine a great, thought-provoking story with mass appeal, those are few and far between.
Consider this. Do you perceive the great majority of dudes to be swank? Going out on a limb here – probably not. That ain’t judgement. That’s cold, hard truth. So if we assume that most dudes wouldn’t know swank if it kicked them in the ‘nads, we should furthermore assume that the latest Hollywood bonanza, if it appeals to too many people, probably shouldn’t appeal to us.
Bottom line. You need to have good taste in movies and other stuff too.
Gone are the days when your theatrical consumption was limited to the local video store or HBO and Showtime. With a hundred different ways to control exactly what you want to watch, only a rube would settle for the latest comic book adaptation from Marvel. Yep, fanboys, we did just say that. Out loud. If you’re into Iron Man II, you’re probably not into story.
What’s so great about story anyway? Why is it better than $150 million dollars spent on computerized special effects? That’s not to say that a special effects onslaught can’t have a good story too, but examples of those are few and far between. Here’s the short version of why story matters. Story – REAL story – helps us make sense of our lives. While Transformers might offer good advice about how to survive a battle between ancient extraterrestrial civilizations that spills onto earth, the chances that you will be able to put that lesson into practice in your own life are remote.
Here’s a crazy idea. Dial up your favorite streaming service and check out Citizen Kane or Casablanca for starters. You’ll be glad you did and infinitely more swank. (Image: Flickr | Raoul Luoar)
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The Jake Swank Team