Stop Blowing My Mind!

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Falseprophet:
There's probably something to be said for "mainstream pandering, but ultimately positive portrayal" vs. "well-written, realistic and fair but with fringe appeal".

So I'll concede the point. Keep up the good work, Bob!

Nah, I dunno that there's any need to "concede" anything. It's a complicated dynamic.

The original creators of "Xena" said that they dropped broad implications of 'gay' subtext into the show because it was just 'what you do' in self-aware, just-for-fun fantasy/action material involving amazonian heroines. When it got back to them later that the show had developed a HUGE lesbian following who'd adopted the characters as non-ironic icons, they opted to start pushing the envelope with it. "For the boys" exploitation turns "for the greater good" character development - happens more often with more causes than anyone wants to admit. How many men, in the 1960s, became suddenly "cool" with Feminism because Feminist women seemed more 'fun' and sexually/personally outgoing?

Sicamat:

The Stonker:

Sicamat:
Isn't The Expendables as much as a geek movie as Scott Pilgrim VS. The World?

Sorry I need to defend this movie and say.
Fuck you.
The expendables is a cliché action movie with B rated actors, even the explosions aren't that nice.
While Scott Pilgrim is creative and actually focuses on something except for explosions.
Really don't put Scott Pilgrim and The expendables in the same room, why? Because the expendables is a movie for the masses, while Scott can be enjoyed by everyone and the geek will understand more of the jokes.
But you get the point.

Did I said that the Expendables was as good or better than Scott Pilgrim? I believe I didn't.

No you didn't!
But I defend everything that is geeky and nothing that terrible can go into geekdom.
THE MIGHTY DUCK HAS SPOKEN!

You know who else thinks that Life is Conflict and the basis for all civilization: Fascists. I hate to invoke Godwin's Law, but the plain and simple truth is that Mussolini and Hitler lived by that mantra, and since it's not healthy for entire societies, it shouldn't work for individuals. That's a terribly damaged standard by which to interact with others.

Anyways, I can't be the only one who's not particularly fussed about geek culture. I'm into video-games and I like the occasional superhero, but it has never really endeared itself to me as a whole. And since most of Geek culture involves explosions, hot chicks, and mangled science, wouldn't the vast majority of blockbuster cinema already appeal strongly to geeks? Can someone explain this to me?

RebelRising:
And since most of Geek culture involves explosions, hot chicks, and mangled science, wouldn't the vast majority of blockbuster cinema already appeal strongly to geeks? Can someone explain this to me?

by geek cinema he means movies that are directly derived from things that influence geek culture; comic books, video games, etc.

and yeah there's plenty of them, but that's because, like he said, the geek cinema trend is still on going but could be coming to an end this decade.

As bothered as you might be, it's just a cinema phase like all others before it. I hope we get a good string of movies next though, not just a rebirth of the macho/buddy cop action movie niche.

Doctor Strange movie?

Pardon me while I spend the next few hours drooling over the mere idea.

Napoleon Dynamite, Scott Pilgrim, these are useless, trivial, meaningless emulsions that venerate the banality of adolescent geek culture, defanging otherwise intelligent people who ought to be criticizing the viciously anti-democratic, classist, rapacious society we all share. Instead you sit around and talk about Batman or whatever the fuck.

SteelStallion:

RebelRising:
And since most of Geek culture involves explosions, hot chicks, and mangled science, wouldn't the vast majority of blockbuster cinema already appeal strongly to geeks? Can someone explain this to me?

by geek cinema he means movies that are directly derived from things that influence geek culture; comic books, video games, etc.

and yeah there's plenty of them, but that's because, like he said, the geek cinema trend is still on going but could be coming to an end this decade.

As bothered as you might be, it's just a cinema phase like all others before it. I hope we get a good string of movies next though, not just a rebirth of the macho/buddy cop action movie niche.

But those influences of geek culture is chock full of explosions, hot chicks, and mangled science. The entire marvel or DC comics line is full of that; star wars type of space epics or even BSG is practically all that.

how is this type of geek influence any different from the mass market appeal of explosion, boobs and nonsense movie/tv science?

SatansBestBuddy:

MovieBob:
anthropomorphized computer programs locked an ideological conflict with videogames as gladiatorial combat in the quasi-feudal society within cyberspace-

And now I feel like watching ReBoot again...

... and if your feeling geeky enough... there is an official comic based off the series... http://www.reboot.com/index/launch/content/paradigms-lost

Well now I'm all sad now... I STILL need to see the first Tron, though.

People warmed up to the Dark Knight because it was intelligently acted, written and directed that respected the source material without coming off as goofy or treating the audience like they were drooling numbskulls.

You know, all the reasons that they didn't like Watchmen for.

There is so much wrong with this article I don't even know where to begin, and I'm not sure if I should begin at all as it appears as though everyone either agrees with me or is ignoring the issue entirely.

I'll just try to make it quick.

Just because a movie is geeky doesn't mean it's intelligent or mind-blowing, and not liking a geeky movie may have far more to do with personal tastes than it does with intellectual capabilities.

Watchmen isn't better than Dark Knight just because the heroes wore primary colors, and while a Batman reboot would be fine with having the traditional gray/blue with bat symbol costume, the current series of movies would suffer heavily for it.

The fact that bad movies from the geek genre failed isn't a sign that the genre as a whole is losing popularity.

And you're not better than other people because you have an interest in super heroes and Megaman.

EDIT: Almost forgot, Al Gore is not a science nerd. He either doesn't understand or intentionally exaggerates the evidence supporting his side of the argument to pretend that we fully understand the climate and there's no room for debate, even though we don't and there is.

MovieBob:

Falseprophet:
I know that part rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, but this article gives it some perspective (it did for me, anyway). In short: it's not that being gay is "perverted stuff", it's using shameless lipstick lesbian exploitation to pander to horny old farts that is.

I get that he was probably taken out of context, but the fact that it's on his off-the-cuff "list" AT ALL doesn't say nice things about where his head is at in regards to the subject either way. If nothing else, it implies that his "default reaction" to lesbianism is to regard it as a fetish for straight men rather than as a legitimate lifestyle for millions of actual women.

Yes, fine, even the most well-intentioned stories about gay women in comics are either created or executed with at least ONE eye on a straight male audience that wants to see such-and-such hot heroines "with eachother;" but I don't see how that necessarily devalues it automatically as a concept. Hell, not for nothing but SURELY there are gay women reading comics who appreciate such things on much the same level, no? When deny them the chance to see such stories, and writers to write them, because it's also going to be enjoyed by pervy dweebs?

I read this post, starting fuming with indignance (Who is this idiot, they admit it's out of context but that doesn't affect their opinion, did they bother to watch the youtube video which gives all the context you need, etc. etc.) and then I noticed it was Bob *sigh* moving on...

*mumble*Seriously, why do I even read this stuff, it's the most "hit or miss" content to the Escapist...*mumble*

Edit: Interesting trivia with that Xena thing, but that is still not directly applicable to the Darwyn quote.

Onyx Oblivion:
Doctor Strange movie?

Pardon me while I spend the next few hours drooling over the mere idea.

Well can you do it over there in the corner, your hypnotoad's gonna start a chain reaction and before you know it we'll be swimming in it.

Ehh... I believe you're forgetting to take into account this economic depression the world is in now. Sure, we're recovering, but people are still skittish about what to spend their money on.

For me, I'd rather believe the Geek era has just begun. Geek numbers are rising, and irrelevant of how much the conservative fight against us, they'll eventually (hopefully) die off and leave us be.

I have to say I've actually enjoyed more NEW films in the last 2 years than in the entirety of my life before that. I mean, more NEW films, when they were new. I've enjoyed tons of 80s and 90s films, sure, but I watched them with at least a five-year gap between when they came out and when I saw them.

But recently I've been watching films in theaters or just out of theaters and really enjoying them. And many others I've really wished I had the money or time to see in theaters. Usually I look at every new release and sigh a sigh of complete weariness, sad that nothing coming out has anything to do with any of my interests.

But yeah, that bubble will burst. I wish we could get a proper Garth Ennis Punisher MAX or Preacher movie out of it. Transmetropolitan might be an interesting film experiment if presented in the style of hard-hitting film journalism.

Good grief, Scott Pilgrim is not some inspired, creative force. It, alongside Juno and that Nick & Norah tripe, is a triumph of marketing and demographic pandering, nothing more than the result of a group of hired think-tanks trying to zero in on one of the most obnoxiously self-aware cultures ever in modern society. (I of course realise it's based on a comic!)

I love your eloquent musings Bob and I know you're not one of the pretentious twats to be found in said movies so the only conclusion I can come up with as to why you don't immediately scorn these films is that you simply aren't as exposed to the levels of 'indie' idiocy that I have been.

Where I am from, Ireland, all the 'hip' clothing shops are sellings vintage tees with comic book characters emblazoned on the front. Of course not 5 years ago people wouldn't be seen dead in such attire but now every trendy idiot brandishes this apparel in a bid to attain 'geek' cred. Surely this must get to you? Maybe it doesn't...

It's similar to that piece on racism you did regarding Resident Evil 5. While some people saw Whitey with a badge shooting at Black people and instantly thought "RACIST!!", others, like myself who grew up in a relatively racism free world just said "No, not necessarily, relax!"

Perhaps you look at a film like Scott Pilgrim and, being somewhat less accustomed to the insidious world of 'indie', merely judge it based on its merits as a film (which I suppose is exactly what you are required to do).
Unfortunately when I look at this film, all I see is the calculated aesthetic, the typical soundtrack, even the premeditated 'indie' fonts used in the opening credits and say to myself "Well, this will go down great with the 14-25yr old, suburban dwelling, caucasian market."

Gah, I can never take these seriously when the examples of "good movies" are terrible. Tarentino's Death Proof? that movie was so terrible it jumped over the so bad it's good that he was going for and circled round back to just plain bad. And Watchmen? Really? You can't figure out why people didn't go for it? That movie probably would have been a hit back when the comic was, in an era where the story was even vaguely applicable to the masses. These days the story of Watchmen is so dated that to someone who doesn't appreciate it from within the context of the time it was written, will find it a wordy pretentious piece of crap. So yeah, of course Watchmen bombed, they stuck hard to the comic, and that was written for an audience that hasn't been the norm for 25 years.

Since when is Jon Stewart nerdy? He makes fun of his own technical ineptitude on the show all the time, he's funny but I don't get why you used him as an example of a nerd comedian. Besides, Conan's getting a new show anyway.

Well, I think there might be other reasons why geek films aren't doing so hot:

image

Well lets hope tron gets a boost via it's obvious appeal to *ahem* descerning males

I hate this attituse that MovieBob is developing, this whole "people don't get these awesome films, most moviegoers are idiots". I loved Scott Pilgrim, thought it was the bees knees but I can understand that for alot of people you don't want to see it due to it being not your thing. I didn't see superman returns due to the fact that I never liked superman. Does that make me idiotic? No it just means my subjective tastes differ from others. Likewise I knew people who hated Iron Man and viewed it just as fast food cinema going and that's fine.

If we are entering a new era though, part of me thinks that's good. If we stop this whole subserviance to geek culture thing and a whole newe genre appears then good.

Where I am from, Ireland, all the 'hip' clothing shops are sellings vintage tees with comic book characters emblazoned on the front. Of course not 5 years ago people wouldn't be seen dead in such attire but now every trendy idiot brandishes this apparel in a bid to attain 'geek' cred. Surely this must get to you? Maybe it doesn't...

Where the hell do you live? (Would Dublin be a good guess?) I wear superhero shirts and I stand out for it.

SpiderJerusalem:
People warmed up to the Dark Knight because it was intelligently acted, written and directed that respected the source material without coming off as goofy or treating the audience like they were drooling numbskulls.

You know, all the reasons that they didn't like Watchmen for.

I agree and disagree here. Watchmen did have great acting and writing and was intelligent, but the end effect was that it still is not as strong as Dark Knight. Watchmen was one of those movies where, for at least my group of friends, was "as good as it could be, but just an okay movie". Dark Knight, on the other hand, had barely a thing wrong with it. I think the comparison between the two as "dark, thought provoking films" is a little unfair.

Blind Side 2: Blind Sider

Frankly, I have not been enjoying this geek movie boom as much as most.

I disliked Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Batman Begins and Dark Knight. I am not certain exactly why, but in the case of the batman movies, it's because they are ashamed to be super hero movies. It's been awhile since I saw the Spider-Man movies, so I'm not sure where they went wrong except for maybe the special effect were more unconvincing than in the George Reeves Superman TV show.

But maybe I'm just bitter. It used to be there would be one, maybe two geeky movies a year, at least that got mainstream promotion, so it was easy to catch all of them. Now there's a bumper crop and I'm not spending my entire paycheck to go to the movies.

Hey, that could be it. Having all these movies come out is just the 1983 video game crash again. They've flooded the market and now everyone gets a much smaller piece of a very big pie. Which is does not mean that the market for these movies isn't growing. Just that the filmmakers are trying to exploit that market far beyond what it's able to handle, so it looks like these movies are bombs.

This could lead to a geek movie "crash' which just means that studios won't be making them anymore or will simply be making fewer of them, which might not be a bad idea. And making some good ones for a change wouldn't be bad, either.

Scrumpmonkey:
Well lets hope tron gets a boost via it's obvious appeal to *ahem* descerning males

I am reasonably certain I have seen sports team mascots with more sex appeal.

370999:
I hate this attituse that MovieBob is developing, this whole "people don't get these awesome films, most moviegoers are idiots".

In fairness, most moviegoers are profoundly stupid.

370999:

I didn't see superman returns due to the fact that I never liked superman. Does that make me idiotic? No it just means my subjective tastes differ from others.

Indeed, Superman is a terrible character. Though that doesn't necessarily mean the movie was badly made.

370999:

Likewise I knew people who hated Iron Man and viewed it just as fast food cinema going and that's fine.

Those people are pretentious morons. They were under the impression that claiming to dislike something everyone else liked would make them look clever or in possession of some esoteric film based knowledge. Iron Man is a great movie, whether someone likes it or not. End of discussion.

370999:

Where the hell do you live? (Would Dublin be a good guess?) I wear superhero shirts and I stand out for it.

Aye, Dublin indeed. I only mentioned I live in Europe as American and European society are completely different. We don't have any jocks here, our schools are not segregated into different factions like 'nerds' or 'preps' or anything like that. I suppose it would be accurate to say that over here we'd have people into dance/rap music(scumbags), indie music (indieheads) and metal(goths & Metalheads). And I hate them all!

Anyway, years ago I would be ridiculed for having the audacity to wear a Sonic the Hedgehog T-shirt but now, like I said, these 'indieheads' have in a way taken gaming away from me. I wore my Sonic t-shirt to show my love of Sonic and, by extension, gaming. Nowadays they'll wear the same t-shirt out of some ironic gesture or something. Because they're just so cool, too much so for school in fact!

In fairness, most moviegoers are profoundly stupid.

We differ here as most movie goers are IMHO of average intelligence. If you have some intelligence test that contradicts that I will revise my opinion.

Those people are pretentious morons. They were under the impression that claiming to dislike something everyone else liked would make them look clever or in possession of some esoteric film based knowledge. Iron Man is a great movie, whether someone likes it or not. End of discussion.

Not sure about that, the film possibly just didn' appeal to them kinda like how the Expendable didn't appeal to others. Seeing as we lack any mathmatical formula to determine a great movie we are stuck with using the consensus position which is not always optinium.

Aye, Dublin indeed. I only mentioned I live in Europe as American and European society are completely different. We don't have any jocks here, our schools are not segregated into different factions like 'nerds' or 'preps' or anything like that. I suppose it would be accurate to say that over here we'd have people into dance/rap music(scumbags), indie music (indieheads) and metal(goths & Metalheads). And I hate them all!

I am Irish as well ( A longford man) however this division is not what I am familiar with, though that is possibly due to Longford being more Bohemian then where I live. This triablism is not what I am familiar with.

Bob, I know you appreciated Watchmen's effort, and so did I, but let's be honest: it was a bad movie. It was EXACTLY the kind of cerebral story that should have warranted someone the POLAR OPPOSITE of Zack Synder as director. Think about it.

Seriously.

Ask yourself how the fuck he turned WATCHMEN into a Superhero action movie.

The acting was terrible on all fronts but Jackie Earl Haley -- and much like the prequel Star Wars movies, I can't help but notice that a lot of these actors are good in other roles; so, again, the director is to be blamed.

Just imagine how brilliant Watchmen could have been in hands of (sigh, yes, going here) Nolan. Or Robert Rodriguez. Or Tarantino. Imagine Watchmen by SCORCESE; fuckin A! That's what you could have had. That's what you should have EXPECTED.

And now remember what you got: a stilted, bloated, poorly-acted, far-too-visually-dominated crack-fest adaptation of a very slowly-paced graphic novel, whose only saving graces were the intelligent themes and ideas shining through from the source material, and a pitch-perfect script by David Hayter.

I liked 300. You liked 300. We all admit Snyder's got a visual eye--and yes, I'm sure he's one of "us". But Watchmen was terrible, and it's one of the most perfect examples of why you don't let a fanboy get too close to the object of his adoration: because he can't grant himself the objective distance necessary to ensure that what comes out in the end is of good quality.

So let's stop with the self-righteous 'step too far into my realm' melodrama already. It's not the masterpiece-that-didn't-make-it. It's not the Superhero Fight Club. Nobody's going to look back in twenty years and point to Watchmen as a cinematic touchstone. Get over it.

----------------

Also: Scott Pilgrim failed financially because they marketed it like a 'Michael Cera movie'. Without googling it, it was almost impossible to tell about its video-game themes or aesthetic, and WHY oh WHY did they not HAMMER HOME, 'From the director of Shaun of the Dead'?? I know among MY group of friends, I had to drag everyone kicking and screaming (though we all had a blast) and I imagine it'll do well on DVD.

Dammit, Bob. And I was having such a nice morning...

As long as Christopher Nolan continues to make batman films, nerd culture on the silver screen will thrive.

370999:

We differ here as most movie goers are IMHO of average intelligence. If you have some intelligence test that contradicts that I will revise my opinion.

You have great faith in the movie going public I must say! Well, of course many an acute mind visits the cinema from time to time but when you take into account the mass of cretins who also go the average is brought down a fair amount. I certainly can't produce an official tally of their intelligence so my only source would be that I worked in a cinema for a year and I love going to the cinema myself! Sturgeon's law must also come into the equation I'm sure you'll agree.

Not sure about that, the film possibly just didn' appeal to them kinda like how the Expendable didn't appeal to others. Seeing as we lack any mathmatical formula to determine a great movie we are stuck with using the consensus position which is not always optinium.

Apologies, when you mentioned these people referred to Iron Man as 'fast food cinema' I got the impression they thought it was beneath them, which certainly seems pretentious. When a film so universally loved is disliked by an individual they tend to be only saying this to make you think they know something you don't. Of course if they just didn't like it then that's fair enough, albeit a shame. The Expendables was a terribly made movie regardless of who liked it. To use a musical analogy... U2 the band. Suppose I hated them. It matters not, they make good music whether I like it or otherwise!

I am Irish as well ( A longford man) however this division is not what I am familiar with, though that is possibly due to Longford being more Bohemian then where I live.

I guess it varies from school to school and town to town. Such labels were once based on individual groups. The existence of these labels led to people augmenting their appearance, musical taste, personalities and even cigarette brands to better suit the 'requirements' of the group they wish to assimilate into. Metalheads will grow their hair to become 'more metal'. Emos will all of a sudden start reading Twilight novels and collecting Tim Burton crap all in the hopes of appearing 'more emo'. Accordingly self-proclaimed 'indieheads' will wear vintage tees, skinny fit jeans, all of a sudden turn vegan and watch 'quirky' films. That is why Juno was 'so cool' and had a Kimya Dawson soundtrack. That is why Nick & Norah was soaked in Indie essence. It's also why the indie comic Scott Pilgrim was chosen to be made into a movie. It was marketed deftly to these cretins. The industry thrives on these credulous slaves.

This triablism is not what I am familiar with.

I envy you!

There was also a time when zombie movies were all the rage, and teen oriented slashers were hits.

We called them the 80s.

The geek age may be over, but it'll come round again after it has returned to Valhalla to sleep for a few decades.

This may sound harsh, but it really doesn't matter to me if the geek trend continues. What I want to see from the film industry is thought-provoking, sincerely-told stories with artistic merit and high entertainment value.
But I know that instances of any of these things are few and far between, and that's not likely to change anytime soon because Hollywood does not work that way. Like all the other people who've had their hearts broken by mass media, the geeks are just going to have to take what they can get.

You know, I'm a little shocked that you didn't pick up on this Bob.

President Obama = sports geek

Abanic:

Anyone have any ideas?

Even though I'm one of those who agree with you I'm going to take a stab at it.
While both movies follow the The path to Hell is paved with Good Intentions shtick, the way that they approach them is entirely different.
With Batman, his previous choice to spare his love interest the possibility of becoming a retaliatory target has pushed her into the arms of another man, thus making her a target and leading to her death anyway. Also, despite the fact that at the end of the film he becomes the scape goat to save the name of another, it was a conscious decision. Said decision also leads to batman becoming hunted and kills his name for the general public. However as Bruce Wayne he suffers none of the associated backlash with his actions.

Now for Watchmen, you have a super hero who's actual identity is known to the world and has been used to make him very wealthy. Prior to the movie he had embarked down a path that would lead to the deaths of millions of innocent people in a bid to create world peace. During the movie he ends up murdering a fellow hero, who also had ties to the CIA and was rather morbid in his own past. Led to himself being hunted by a sociopathic hero (the movie really did not do Rorschach justice as a character.) that when it has become apparent, gives all of his known information to a right winged political publication......you know what for this I'm just going to say that it's the complexity of the characters and the implication that instead of saving the world from itself, Ozymandias simply set in motion the final pieces for nuclear Armageddon, even if most of the implications from this angle of the comic were removed from the movie itself.

Al Gore has nothing to offer the nerd community, nor is he anywhere the most influential non-elected political force. That's about as much of a joke as his "global warming" farce is.

I think you are wrong on this one, Bob. Scott Pilgrim, Watchmen, and Kickass are all very, very geek-centric, but there is still dissent about whether they are any good. I for one consider Scott Pilgrim to be drivel, and when I heard the movie was coming out the only thing I felt was a resounding "meh". I'd never, ever heard of Kickass before the movie, and Watchmen, while good, was poorly translated between media forms. To me, these don't appeal at all to the mass market, not just to "the average movie-goer", but to the nerd community in general. These aren't "classics." They sure aren't Batman, or Iron Man. You can attribute Iron Man's success to Robert Downey Jr. if you want, and I have no doubts that he was a major player in that respect, but you also have to remember that this was one of his break-out films. While he was a great actor before Iron Man, he was by no means a household name. I consider myself somewhat movie-literate, and the only thing I recognized him from was U.S. Marshals, and Shaggy Dog, both of which he did very well in. Now, look at him: He's been Iron Man, he's been Sherlock Holmes, he's scheduled to played Edgar. Mother-Loving. Poe. Iron Man re-launched his career.

Geek Movies are not dying, friend. They are just beginning. On a sidenote to all of you, not just Bob: Can we stop with the Blind-Side jokes? It was a decent movie, despite what you want to think about the message. Get over it already, it is in no way responsible for any perceived wrongs in the movie industry. Sheesh.

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