Opinions. We all have them. Geek Culture is all about having strong feelings about things, after all.

But y’know, it’s a funny thing. If you’re here for long enough, eventually you end up hearing some opinions way, way too often. Eventually you’d think certain things would just get settled if for no other reason than the whole subject has by now been argued to death. But, no … instead we watch month after month, year after year, as the same fights break out either for or against the same tired declarations.

So I thought it might be time to make a list. Not a list of the arguments themselves, or even necessarily my own feelings on the matter. But a very, very specific list of the “subjective truisms” that I’m the most utterly sick of seeing bandied about endlessly after all this time – yes, even when I’m the one offering the opinions. In fact, I made special care to include as many boring opinions that I actually agree with as possible.

And so, here we go. Numbers 50 through 25 of the most eye-rolling, “Here we go again” declarative sentences still clogging up the web, the convention circuit and even your local comic book store. The opinions so boring, they almost make you want to change your mind just so you might sound more interesting.

50. Dragon Ball Z is overrated by American audiences.

Really? People became very attached to the first anime series they ever really got into and as such tend to favor it over whichever “better” series you think deserves some of that attention?

How about that.

49. Johnny Depp is overexposed.

Why, yes. Yes he is. Tremendously so. Y’know how overexposed Johnny Depp is right now? So overexposed that continuously pointing this out is staggeringly redundant. Everyone knows. His fans know. He knows.

They just don’t care.

48. Pre-1990s Disney Princesses were lacking in agency.

A group of female characters created primarily before the mid-1960s don’t live up to present-day standards of progressive/empowered womanhood? Nice find there, Holmes.

Also, this is one of those moments where I think some context is in order. Yes, the likes of Snow White and Cinderella aren’t exactly Hillary Clinton, but it’s worth noting that the mere presence of a female protagonist as the audience-perspective character wasn’t exactly typical of those eras. Cinderella has five main human characters, four of whom are women including the heroine and main villain, and the whole story plays out in their world based around their power dynamics. Prince Charming, the only male, is a plot device.

This film was released in 1950.

47. Putting nipples on the bat-suit ruined the Batman movies.

No they didn’t.

46. Joel Schumacher ruined Batman.

No he didn’t.

45. The Hobbit is too short of a book to be three movies.

Possibly, but, we all recognize that there isn’t an exact mathematical equation for adaptation, yes? I mean, World War II can be handily summarized in six words: “The Allies Won. The Axis Lost.” And yet most movies made on the subject tend to run rather long.

44. You only think [movie/show/game] is good because you saw it when you were a kid.

9 times out of 10 when this is said, it’s true. That’s why it’s boring – because everyone who hears it knows it, even if they tell themselves otherwise.

43. Mass Effect 3‘s ending was bad.

Seriously, folks, at some point we’re going to have to accept that every possible variation on this point has been made. Many times. There’s no meat left on the bones.

42. Mass Effect 3‘s ending was good.

See above.

41. Cutscenes ruin videogames and are unnecessary.

No, bad cutscenes do that. Used properly, cutscenes can be a nice reward, a good way to expand a story or (at worst) a harmless auteur indulgence. It’s been argued that cutscenes make games “impure” by injecting a passive art form (movies) into an interactive one. I wonder if people who think so also object to movies being made impure by the occasional inclusion of songs.

40. Link/Mario/etc. should not speak full sentences (or at all).

I may or may not agree with this sentiment overall, but the reason it’s boring is because it usually boils down to “Because they haven’t before.”

Tradition for the sake of tradition? Snooze.


39. M. Night Shyamalan is an egomaniac who sabotages his own movies.

Yes, we know. Do we really need to rehash this every time the guy releases another terrible movie (apparently yes, because I already expect to end up doing it when After Earth comes out)?

38. Hollywood has run out of original ideas.

The audience, meanwhile, has run out of original complaints.

37. Comic book continuity is too dense.

Yup. And it has been since about the early 60s. Even Andy Rooney let his irritation-filled grudges go after awhile.

36. The actors in the new Star Trek reboot are too young and pretty.

The actors on the original Star Trek were largely “TV attractive” for their era – it just meant something different then.

They really do look too young, though. I’ve seen 18 year olds come back from basic training who look like they’ve lived more of life than supposed Starfleet Captain Chris Pine. There, y’see that? That’s me being boring.

35. Movies/games/comics, etc. do not cause violence.

We know, and so does everyone else. Very few of the people pushing for censorship laws are claiming direct causality any more, and no one is helped by focusing the backlash on cartoon characters like Jack Thompson.

34. The computer virus in Independence Day made no sense.

This is not even the most unlikely thing that happens in that movie, let alone the alien invasion genre. I feel like this one is so persistent because it was the first “Hey, wait a minute” movie moment that people of a certain age figured out on their own and are protective of it (also, there’s a deleted scene explaining that the virus worked because our computers had been reverse-engineered from the Area 51 spacecraft).

33. Mobile gaming isn’t real gaming because it doesn’t have buttons.

Y’know what? I’m on the “I like buttons” side, but mainly because the kinds of games I generally prefer require them. It’s been many years since the Nintendo Wii and even longer since mobile gaming broke out, so whether or not “control schemes I’m not comfortable with” equals “not a real game” is at this point irrelevant next to how boring the argument itself is.

32. Starship Troopers was better than the book.

I agree. So do a lot of people. So many that saying so just isn’t the instant act of sci-fi lit rebellion many still act like it is.

31. There are no good videogame movies because _____.

The definition of the talked-to-death topic. Until someone makes the good videogame movie, no one needs to hash this out again. Seriously, find something else to theorize about.

30. Pulp Fiction should’ve won the Oscar in 1994, not Forrest Gump.

In 1994, “Pulp vs. Gump” was the symbolic slapfight of movie fandom – the Gen X indie firebrand versus the Baby Boomer revisionist nostalgia trip. I was, and remain, Team Pulp, but I’ve got to be honest … if they held that year’s Best Picture Oscar voting this year, they’d both get passed over for The Shawshank Redemption (which was nominated, but was still a mostly overlooked box office failure at the time).

29. The Adam West Batman made everyone stop taking comics seriously.

This one has been kicking around since the mid-80s boom in “mature” comics, wherein the Adam West series became a straw man for everything the medium was supposed to be moving beyond … and it continues to be so, even though the medium has cycled through four or five aesthetically-separate “ages” since then.

At this point, the only fanboy chestnut as worn out as this one is the backlash against it.

28. Fast zombies aren’t “real” zombies.

I don’t care for fast zombies, but the “real” ones people talk about usually means George Romero’s zombies, which of course bear little to no resemblance to the actual cultural traditions from whence the term “zombie” originated.

I’d elaborate on that, but just pointing that out again has officially qualified me for this list.

27. The Transformers movies are bad because they changed the design/mythos.

Just going off about the Transformers movies being bad is, at this point, up there with talking about the respective hues of grass and sky in the “everybody knows, nobody cares anymore” department. But laying the blame on details beyond the basics (bad script, bad filmmaking, cynically produced with no affection for the material or its prospective audience) is at this point a poor use of your time.

26. “Speed-ramping” has ruined action movies.

“Speed-ramping” is the cinematography/editing trick whereby normal or fast-moving footage is suddenly slowed down to almost a still frame, briefly (usually stopping on a particularly cool/iconic shot), before returning to regular speed. If you didn’t know that it had a name, I envy you – because it means you don’t have to spend nearly as much time amid tiresome “____ is the death of good movies!” arguments where this one currently reigns supreme – as I do.

25. The Simpsons hasn’t been good since Season ___.

The Simpsons has been on the air for about a quarter of a century now, and people have been shouting from the rooftops that the show has been “over” since at least the tenth year that it was on. Y’know when The Simpsons stopped being good? Whenever you lost interest. Y’know when arguments about when The Simpsons stopped being in any way interesting?

About twelve hours after the first airing of The Principal & The Pauper. Move on.

NEXT WEEK: We conclude with Boring Opinions #24 – 1.

Bob Chipman is a film critic and independent filmmaker. If you’ve heard of him before, you have officially been spending way too much time on the internet.


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