Drout's class i would say is unorthodox however because he also teaches a course on fantasy and J.R.R. Tolkien. The literary elite have done their best to keep Tolkien off the Syllabus on the university level because he was a linguist, and a fantacist and not the proper kind of thing to teach. They only wanted realism expressed and did not want to add fantasy. They slowly added Science Fiction and Fantasy and resisted it all the way as literature proper to the student.
Actually, I remember my university had an entire course devoted to Tolkien. I suppose it depends on the university, but it is not at all uncommon to have these sorts of courses at universities as electives. Most universities have several handfuls of fluff classes courses to pad out the course schedule, and give students plenty of things to choose from when filling their elective requirements.
C3PX, I can't believe you hate the Matrix movies that much. I know a lot of people really hate the sequels, but generally liked the first one. I feel bad because I've always seen you as a friend and "one of the good guys" here at ot.com.
Now I must destroy you.
Actually, can you just tell me whether you liked the first Matrix before seeing the sequels? Because, if association has brought your opinion down, I can totally dig that.
The first Matrix movie is the only one I have sat the whole way through. I was subjected to bits and pieces of the second film, and barely survived it with my sanity intact. I haven't seen any more of the third film that a film clips and trailers, but considering the fact that friends of mine who loved the first two films and thought that they were the epitome of intellectual storytelling also felt the third one was disappointing... well, I don't even want to think about how incredible awful that film must be.
So no, the first film wasn't brought down by association for me, I really hated it from the first time I saw it. I felt it was way over rated, incredibly silly, and pretty pointless. I especially love the end where Neo flies up into the screen before the credits roll, really cracks me up. One of the lamest moments in recent sci-fi history.
Critics and university courses have all sorts of silly ideas about films and shouldn't be paid attention to. There's a lot of pretention going on about The Matrix. Another cyberpunk film which gets a lot of pretentious reaction is Bladerunner. The setting is good and Harrison Ford is good, but that's about it. The film doesn't work very well and is terribly disappointing. It's even worse with the director's cut making Deckard a bleedin replicant, which is NOT what Harrison was playing.
Critics and university courses have all sorts of silly ideas about films and shouldn't be paid attention to.
And surely you know better than the experts?
I agree with Vaderisnothayden's comment on university courses, I don't feel that they should be completely ignored, but I don't think they should be given more credit than they deserve, as they often are. These sorts of things are all very subjective, so it is kind of funny to have an "authority" stand up and say this work is far superior to that work, when you will invariably be able to find another "expert" with just as good of creditials in the same field who will say the exact opposite. Though when a work is relevant to its field, you can't really deny it. While many English majors and literature people worship him, I am not all that fond of Shakespeare, but I cannot deny the significance of his work and the importance of studying it.
I hate when people compare The Matrix with Blade Runner. Blade Runner may not be as fantastic as many of us fans make it out to be, but at least it has a clearly defined message. The Matrix on the other hand is one confusing mess, and it is not confusing because it is deep and complex, it is confusing because it is trying to pretend to be deep and complex. Follow the white rabbit! Red pill or the blue pill? I know Kung Fu. Whoa! It reminds me of the kind of "profound" pot smokers generally experience. Pure rubbish. But it sounds deep, and it looks cool, so it must be something truly great.
(ever notice how in "Firefly" there's all these Chinese influences in the culture, but no Asian people at all?)
Strangely, I didn't notice that before. But now that I think about it, I can't remember a single Asian in the background anywhere. Huh.