Ever since I was a child, movies have been a large part of my life. Granted, when I was a kid, I only wanted pure entertainment. I still do, sometimes. When I hit high school, however, I started to appreciate film more as an art form rather than two hour things that existed just for fun. Since then, I've also realized how I've started to turn away from the blockbusters I used to frequent and lean towards the indies.
Blockbusters are movies with large budgets that often star well known actors, and are released by big-name studios (Warner Brothers, Marvel, Fox, etc.). The term usually refers to superhero movies, the Star Wars franchise, the James Bond movies, and the like. They're the big budget action movies. Independent films are low-budget, independently financed, usually star lesser known actors--although this isn't always the case--and they typically have a very particular audience.
Don't get me wrong, blockbusters are just as enjoyable as the indies, but in recent years, I have come to view them, once more, as movies I watch because they'll be entertaining, but I don't really expect much out of them. It doesn't stem from any dislike of particular filmmakers, but especially with the new slew of live action remakes and other remakes, reboots, and sequels (which is not a new thing, by the way), blockbusters have just become a money-making scheme for Hollywood, albeit an incredibly successful scheme.
What I do appreciate about blockbusters, though, are how, even though they lack originality story-wise, the technical aspects--and the score--require hours upon hours of tedious work in the editing and VFX room. I think the work put into blockbusters overall is commendable. If I don't like the movie, the film composer often offers a redeemable quality. In the recent, disastrous "Fantastic Four," the only aspect I liked was the score.
Another nice quality about blockbusters is that rarely will they be unsuitable for children (reasonably aged children. Don't take your 3-year-old to see "Justice League"). While most hold a PG-13 rating, they offer just enough to be appropriate and fun for kids, but also to appeal to the parents who have to take their kids.
Even with the pros of blockbuster movies, for me, the indies are much more satisfying to watch. When I go see a movie, I want to watch something different, not the same exhaustive plot line about the impossible, yet completely possible, missions Tom Cruise accepts (but I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol"). Indies offer that unique touch.
Along the originality independent filmmakers are able to offer, several of them do so in a way that's so compelling, I keep re-watching or seeking out more indies because I know for most, I won't be disappointed (I've seen some pretty shoddy indies. They aren't all good). When I'm watching an indie film, it's easier to see the time dedicated to making the film what it is. They tend to be slower paced than their blockbuster counterparts, but I enjoy the lack of action. I don't feel overwhelmed with explosions and a flurry of characters. I don't feel like I'm watching the tale as old as time play out scene by scene again.
Blockbusters appeal to the masses and continue to keep studios afloat, but the indies remind audiences that the film industry hasn't completely lost it's creativity. Despite the occasional indies that have repetitive stories or fall flat, they restore my faith in the industry going forward. I hope that the same writers and directors making the blockbusters continue to do what they love, but do so in a way that might not appeal to every person in the world, and remind movie goers that they, too, still hold on to their originality and creativity.