I had a conversation with some fellow film critics/bloggers/snobs in the Seattle area today. We were bantering about the upcoming screening for Deadpool, the new non-Disney Marvel movie about the Merc with a Mouth starring Ryan Reynolds.
I hate Ryan Reynolds.
Not as a person hate. Don’t know the man or anything about how he is as a friend, husband or anything of that stuff. I movie hate him. It’s the equivalent of how people hate athletes for no reason other than a gesture made mid-game, an interview or for simply beating his or her favorite team. The way most feel about Alex Rodriguez, that’s how I am for Mr. Reynolds, an actor whose been given a dozen chances at breaking out or even being decent as a lead, only to fall flat the vast majority of the time.
This fact, alongside the abysmal nature of the advertisements for the film, made me state my dread for the screening. The topic of bias and pre-judging was then brought up. It takes some ego to say you don’t go in with expectations, but I think the majority of critics I know let the film come to them once it actually begins. Personally, I have no desire to hate-watch a movie; seems a major waste of time to me. Sure there are countless times expectations are sitting in the basement. That is a different beast. In recent years, I went in with my guard up and thinking I’d dislike or straight-up loathe Steve Jobs, The Heat, The Lego Movie, Fast Five and Rush. I skipped Moulin Rouge! in theatres, convinced that it had to be garbage. Now, it’s an all-timer.
So, a plan was put into place, and it just so happens to align with today’s Deadpool talk tied into it. The expectations versus reality of a film year has been something I’ve wanted to document since my seeming gimmick of a “Contrarian” began to become a label. So, in 2016, I am charting every new release. Every review won’t be joined by an expectations meter, but at the closing of each month, I will look back and see how things tracked. What will come it, could be interesting, show deep biases or end up just another bit of silliness.
Either way, the Expectations vs. Reality project is about to begin.