I suppose I should start this off by saying that I am not a fan of the Resident Evil series. Come to think of it I don’t think I’ve seen even one of these movies. So maybe I’m not the best person to talk about this panel discussion, but I went into this thing with an open mind. I wasn’t expecting to be blown away. All I was hoping for was a little mild entertainment, at the least nothing too annoying.
It really shouldn’t have been that hard. After 7 1/2 hours waiting in line under the hot sun, I couldn’t really care less what movie we were watching. All I cared about was the chance to sit down in a real chair and feel the air-conditioning on my neck. How bad could this thing really be? Pretty bad, it seems, and unfortunately movie snobbery is not the sort of thing you can turn on and off. So yes, I spent most of the time with my nose pointed proudly in the air. It’s not even that the preview was all that bad (let’s be honest, reviewing crappy movies is kind of my job). What bothered me was the roundtable discussion that followed. It was everything I hate about these panels: the scripted responses, the underhanded compliments back and forth, and a general avoidance of the questions being asked. It was just idle chatter.
The panel members came across as phony and unintelligent, perhaps even intentionally. Is this what people want, or just what they’ve come to expect from a panel discussion? I couldn’t help but compare this to the DreamWorks Animation panel yesterday, comprised entirely of behind-the-scenes people and infinitely more interesting. Those panel members answered questions directly and were respectful of each other, and the interview was better for it. I came away from that with so much more simply because they stayed on topic!
I get that this sort of thing isn’t for everybody, least of them an uppity film critic. But the success of these films shows that there is a huge audience out there. Many of them were here today, and waited hours in line to be there. I just wish that with all those fans present, the members of the panel had made a bit more of an effort.
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