While the term “fanboy” is typically associated with comic books and tentpole movies, I believe it can apply to anyone who supports a particular piece of pop culture – as long as they do so rabidly. The Internet has made all of us fanboys, particularly about film, and thus many movies that have extremely devoted followings are not always inherently geeky. For example, I would happily self-identify as a There Will Be Blood fanboy, as I can quote just about every line from that thing verbatim.
Time will tell which initially acclaimed movies eventually fall into disfavor and vice versa. It seems like this has been happening faster and faster in the past five years; Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, Iron Man 2, and most recently Prometheus have inexplicably positive overall reviews from critics despite being almost universally regarded as awful. For better or worse, critical reception has little bearing on what movies become instant sensations or cult classics. Many critics savaged Fight Club when it was originally released, and now it’s considered an unimpeachable masterpiece. On the flip side, any movie with Twilight or Transformers in the title can receive all negative reviews and become a focus of constant Internet derision, and yet it will still blow up the box office.
This list will contain a mixture of conventional fanboy favorites and a few picks that might feel out of left field. For the most part, I tried to avoid “fish in a barrel” picks like the aforementioned Twilight and Transformers franchises or the Star Wars prequels. There will most likely be at least one movie on here that you absolutely love. On to the list!
Like many of the movies on this list, this is a flick I saw with a large group of friends who all loved it and booed me when I disagreed. I’m no Zack Snyder hater – the Dawn of the Dead remake was solid and Watchmen had its moments (although, wow, Sucker Punch is staggeringly wretched) – but from the get-go I never understood the adoration this movie received. I don’t knock it for its homoeroticism or its aggressive cheesiness, but rather because it’s flat-out boring. The action doesn’t come until 45 minutes in, and when it does, it’s unimaginative and repetitive. Is slow motion really that mind-blowing, people?
300 gets praised primarily for its stylish visuals, but glossy, obviously green-screened action sequences do not a movie make. Clearly audiences still have a taste for this sort of thing – Immortals cleaned up a few years ago despite being similarly one-dimensional, and there’s a sequel due this year that’s bound to put plenty of asses in seats – but that doesn’t make it anything more than brainless, empty spectacle.
This article was first posted on May 30, 2013