During the recording of this week’s Major Spoilers Podcast, a debate erupted between myself and Stephen, which he then coerced the third and fourth members of team into, which basically concluded with the three of ’em ganging up on me.  (I’m just sayin’, Young Zack knows which side his bread is buttered on, is all.)  Our discussion started with our news story, wherein we discussed a possible Benecio Guilllermo Del Toro-helmed adaptation of ‘Justice League Dark,’ leading to my rather controversial thoughts on the role of the director in the modern, ‘every-movie-is-painstakingly-designed-to-look-alike’ digital era.  That discussion led to a challenge, which led us to our standard slap-fight (including at least one “My name’s Stephen and this is how I taaalk!”) which in turn has led us to this…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) is tryin’, Ringo…  It’s tryin’ real hard to be the shepherd, asking: Have you ever chosen to see a movie based SOLELY on that film’s director?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. Frank
    November 7, 2012 at 11:46 am — Reply

    Yes, Peter Jackson’s King Kong. If he did not direct it, I would have not seen it.

  2. Rob
    November 7, 2012 at 11:48 am — Reply

    All the time! Number 1 thing I look for in a movie!

  3. Joe
    November 7, 2012 at 12:03 pm — Reply

    I always check out Wes Anderson’s stuff simply because it’s Wes Anderson.
    Same thing goes for Danny Boyle. Those two guys have a very distinctive style/aesthetic that shows through all their work. Further, at this point I trust that if either of those guys felt like a particular movie was worth their time, that I will enjoy the movie.

  4. SmarkingOut Adam
    November 7, 2012 at 12:05 pm — Reply

    Never once.

  5. November 7, 2012 at 12:13 pm — Reply

    Once upon a time I went to see a little movie called “The Rock” because it was done by the same guy who did Bad Boys.

  6. Brian
    November 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm — Reply

    Duncan Jones, Mathew Vaughn, and Rian Johnson are directors that I’ll go see their movies regardless of the topic of the film.

  7. Chris
    November 7, 2012 at 12:59 pm — Reply

    Yes. The life Aquatic. I loved Bottle Rocket and The Royal Tenenbaums so much that I had to watch it.

  8. Oldcomicfan
    November 7, 2012 at 1:50 pm — Reply

    Yup! I will watch anything directed by John Ford. Anything by Alfred Broccoli – but especially if it has Shawn Connery in it. Also, I saw The Lovely Bones and the remake of the remake of the remake of the remake of King Kong, neither of which I would have watched if it weren’t done by Peter Jackson. I also watched Sleepy Hollow, which I normally would have given a pass since they had showed the Disney version to us every frikking year in grade school, usually for both Halloween and Thanksgiving both – but since it was a Tim Burton film, I watched it and liked it. There are other directors I like – Del Toro, for one, (even though he has a penchant for putting eyeballs on the fingers of his monsters whether appropriate or not for the story) but I will only watch their films if the subject appeals to me.

  9. November 7, 2012 at 3:59 pm — Reply

    Kind of. There are a few directors I’ve followed within certain genres, but I haven’t really followed anyone blindly through any movie they make. There have also been a few movies where I thought the premise was ridiculous, but I liked something else the director did.

  10. Gordon T
    November 7, 2012 at 4:16 pm — Reply

    There are many directors whose style I like, but the only time I watched a movie based solely on the director was Stanley Kubrick’s movie Barry Lyndon.
    I am more likely to avoid a movie based on who the director is.

  11. LemmyCaution
    November 7, 2012 at 4:20 pm — Reply

    Hell yes! I’m talking Scorsese and Woody Allen in the 80s. Sam Raimi even. Well, not really so much anymore. I saw Scream partly through word of mouth, mostly because of who was directing that particular material. ********

    I assume the question means “go to see a movie in the theater” and not on TV, or my list would be extensive, from Renoir to Wilder. ********

    Movies are a director’s medium. So I’d say “yes” to Matthew’s question, but it must take into account both the director and the project (and their level of development of the material). Directors can have a lot of influence on the entire project, or act as more of a gun for hire. Either approach may be just right for certain material. It really depends on the movie’s content and the director. ********

    Cronenberg. Always willing to see what he’s cooked up. ********

    Robert Altman. ‘Nuff said.

    • LemmyCaution
      November 8, 2012 at 12:42 am — Reply

      Jeez. I cannot forget to mention Preston Sturges. “A Preston Sturges” film is its own breed of movie.

  12. B.V.K.
    November 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm — Reply

    Not only movies TO see because of a director but also movies NOT to see because of a director.
    Anything by Terintino, Del Toro or Burton I will give a shot based on previous work.
    On the flip, I will go out of my way to avoid Wes Anderson and Uwe Boll films.

  13. November 8, 2012 at 2:04 pm — Reply

    I’ll see anything by the Coen Brothers, and of course the prolific and immortal Alan Smithee.

  14. Jon
    November 8, 2012 at 2:06 pm — Reply

    A director can definitely gin up my interest in a film. For instance, even if I’m not a fan of everything he’s done, I always give Spielberg films at least a once over. Same with Tarantino.

    Others mentioned Boyle, and Duncan Jones, and I feel the same. Wes Anderson had me hooked when I first caught Rushmore in theaters, but since Darjeeling I’ve lost interest.

    On the other hand I tend to stay away from Zack Snyder (really liked Dawn though). No Eli Roth for me (as much for content as anything thing else).

  15. Wil
    November 8, 2012 at 3:35 pm — Reply

    I will watch anything that Joss Whedon directs. Conversely, M. Night Shyamalan’s name on the credits would be enough to make me skip at least viewing in the theater. I might eventually watch it on Netflix if its a property that I really wanted to see otherwise.

    Generally speaking, the director is not the only decision point on whether I watch a movie, but it certainly can affect my degree of anticipation.

  16. November 9, 2012 at 5:42 am — Reply


    While I understand your argument that films are a collaborative thing, involving the the voices and opinions of hundreds of people (including suits that will never stop on the film set), there is clearly a style and a substance certain directors bring to their projects. There is a short list of directors who will get into the theater regardless of what the project is or who’s in it. I’ve come to trust them.

    Christopher Nolan. Steven Spielberg. Joss Whedon. Ridley Scott. David Fincher. Ben Affleck. James Cameron. Steven Soderbergh.

    For them, all I need for a trailer is a black screen, the title of the movie, “directed by,” and the date I should go see it.

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