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Watching Movies

Popularity 7Viewed 8882 times 2016-7-5 08:47 |Personal category:Movie|System category:Life| Movies

This is an article partly based on the discussion with my student---Krystal. Some opinions are entirely subjective.


The latest movie I watched is X-Men: Apocalypse. I liked the beginning, with the high-definition scenes and mysterious ambiance. However, I grew increasingly disappointed with the plot developing. This probably has something to do with me not seeing the previous X-mens or with me disliking fantasy. Anyway, the moment I walked out of the movie theater, I could barely remember vaguely about those heroes with incredible superpower. There is no story regarding this movie for me to tell.


I was never a movie person. As a person annoyingly particular about details, I was far more interested in watching TV series as movies have too limited time to tell a good story. I only started going to movies about 2 years ago. I remember the sci-fiction I watched then---Interstellar. I enjoyed it even though I had no idea in regard to the professional knowledge involved in the movie. Since then, I have been visiting cinema once or twice a month.


So far, there are quite a few movies I particularly liked: Fast & Furious 7; Big Hero; Go Away, Mr. Tumor; Monkey King: Hero is back Zootopia. I like these movies either because they are tear-jerking or because they are exhilarating or exciting. In fact, I watched many sci-fiction movies in between the aforementioned ones such as Star Wars: The force Awakens, Avenger, Divergent etc. Except for Interstellar, I was fond of none of these movies bombarding viewers with dazzling special effects.


For this part, Krystal agreed with me. She goes to movies almost every week. So she always has a lot to share with me with respect to the recent movies. One time, she confessed that during the time watching Avengers: Age of Ultron, the boredom of it put her to sleep in the screening room. We both reckon the plot of many popular sci-fiction movies invariably come with weak plots even though they have enormous box-office. A great example to back up this is the movie: Jupiter Ascending. Before deciding to watch it, I actually posted a question “Whether the movie is worth watching?” online in my circle my friends. Many a friend recommended it even though some online comments were negative. When I asked a friend what the movie was about (I shouldn’t have asked this question since it would spoil the fun of movie-watching.), he replied that special effects were so fantastic that he paid almost no attention to the story. Therefore, he failed to remember the story in that movie.


The question: Why many Chinese movie goers don’t like quality movies? has been raised many times. I discussed this with Krystal in one class. We believe this is mainly because the majority of Chinese movie viewers regard movie-watching as a pure means of entertainment. The prevailing methods of entertainment for most Chinese young people are dining in a restaurant, watching a movie, singing in a karaoke bar (The popularity of this has been weaning.)


Unlike our western counterparts, most of whom have strong interests in various forms of sports. Even though more and more Chinese realize the importance of doing sports, this is still not enough to turn them into enthusiastic sports people. Therefore, among the few choices for recreation, watching movies becomes a source solely for entertainment. This can explain why comedy animation and movies with special effects always are able to gain wide popularity since people can be fully relaxed or can stop thinking about trivialities in reality while watching these movies.


We even tried to explain this from an educational perspective. To a certain degree, we believe Chinese authority-oriented education should be held partly accountable in regard to this. Chinese students are raised to strictly conform to rules made by authority. The teacher is an exceptionally significant authority in a student's early stage of life. We have been told or warned to not to question any authority even since we were little. (This is perfectly exemplified in the documentary about Chinese teachers teaching students in a British public school in a typical Chinese style.) This highly restricts Chinese people's ability of questioning as well as independent thinking. Consequently, no wonder there are people who claim most Chinese university students are products rolled off the assembly line in factories. Without the ability of thinking independently, movie-goers are mainly passive recipients of what is shown on the big screen.  Therefore, we assume it appears understandable that why these not-so-great movies are incredibly popular in Chinese market. 


Of course, this can also be attributed to the fact that mainland of China is a relatively new market in the field of movie. At least, I seldom went to movies a few years ago. At present, the quality of the movies shown in the market indeed isn't quite satisfactory in the professional perspective. But we believe the standards of movie will be raised. And it is very likely for Chinese to choose from various forms of movies provided on the market. 


Krystal and I spent a very long time on discussing the movie---Song of the Phoenix. This movie made headline because of the sensation caused by its producer who kneeled down in front of the public to beg for more showtime in movie theaters. Krystal watched the movie and was deeply touched. She believes it is a great movie, one of the best she has watched this year. 


In her personal opinion, a good movie is one that can have some influence on us. It either reminds us the issues in different fields or shapes or even changes what we think or how we think. 


Interestingly, when I brought up this topic in a reunion with my students. One of the very chic girls aged 16 frowned upon the positive comments from Krystal that I shared with them. She confessed that she went to watch it after seeing the public stunt of the producer. Apparently, she decided to watch the movie in order to show her support. But she was utterly disappointed because what she thought was totally the opposite from what Krystal believed in terms of this movie. 


Hopefully, we will be able to watch more and more high-quality movies in Chinese movie market. 


(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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Comment Comment (14 comments)

Reply Report Dracarys 2016-7-5 18:01
sometimes a movie can't tell you exactly how a story goes while TV is not and I suppose that's why you prefer TV ..
Reply Report YZseeing 2016-7-5 22:57
Culture loss
Reply Report jaseminsibo 2016-7-6 06:21
I think we will soon see alot more made in China movies in collaboration with foreign experts like US and UK :)
Reply Report Min1989 2016-7-6 16:32
Dracarys: sometimes a movie can't tell you exactly how a story goes while TV is not and I suppose that's why you prefer TV ..
Thank you for your comment! I think you have described what I usually think when I am watching movies. I always feel like some things in movies just come out of no reason. And it doesn't make sense at all.
Reply Report Min1989 2016-7-6 16:36
YZseeing: Culture loss
Thank you for providing this new perspective. This can be the reason as well. I suppose many Americans all have this big superman dream and many of them grow up with that kind of dream. To me who had never been exposed to that kind of thing in my whole childhood, it seems to be very difficult to grow into liking this type of movie. Likewise, for those westerners who didn't grow up knowing the story from the classic "Journey to the West" they find it hard to be as enthusiastic about the movie - Monkey King:Hero is Back as their Chinese counterparts.
Reply Report Min1989 2016-7-6 16:38
jaseminsibo: I think we will soon see alot more made in China movies in collaboration with foreign experts like US and UK :)
Yeah, I think as Chinese movie market grows increasingly big. More and more producers and directors will value it. It's very likely for them to collaborate with Chinese people in this industry to produce more movies to interest Chinese movie-viewers. Actually, many movies are already adding more Chinese elements in their movies in order to attract more Chinese people to watch their movies.
Reply Report jaseminsibo 2016-7-7 09:38
Min1989: Yeah, I think as Chinese movie market grows increasingly big. More and more producers and directors will value it. It's very likely for them to collab ...
So true. China is the world's 2nd largest if not the largest movie-goers market in the world now.
Reply Report AndrewCraven 2016-7-7 11:26
Gong Fu Panda 3 was a loser in plot but a winner in box office.
Reply Report Min1989 2016-7-8 10:48
AndrewCraven: Gong Fu Panda 3 was a loser in plot but a winner in box office.
Thank you for your comment. I didn't get to watch this movie. I only watched Gong Fu Panda 1 years ago. At that time, I thought it was fun. But it seems that it is very difficult for sequels to meet the requirements of viewers. I don't know whether it is only because audiences raise their standards too high for sequels.
Reply Report voice_cd 2016-7-8 16:48
Thanks for sharing your story here, we have highlighted it.
Reply Report Min1989 2016-7-9 10:46
voice_cd: Thanks for sharing your story here, we have highlighted it.
Thank you for that~   Have a nice day!
Reply Report teamkrejados 2016-7-9 11:34
Many movies coming out of Hollywood these days are heavy in special effects and fight scenes, but light on story/plot. If that bothers you as much as me, you can try to watch Indie movies (made from independent movie studios) or movies from other countries.
I find that Chinese movies have more substance to them, most recently, Monster Hunt. Have you seen it?
Reply Report Min1989 2016-7-10 18:12
teamkrejados: Many movies coming out of Hollywood these days are heavy in special effects and fight scenes, but light on story/plot. If that bothers you as much as  ...
Thank you for your advice. Yes, I do value the plot the most when it comes to watching a movie. I will give independent movie a try. And I did watch Monster Hunt last year. I enjoyed it~
Reply Report mixamixa 2016-7-12 21:18
Why did you go see X-Men if you have no idea about the franchise story line? History of Magneto, Charles Xavier or Wolverine?

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