You might have already seen it, but there’s a video making the rounds of this adorable little 1 year old dude watching the scene from Man of Steel where Superman flies for the first time. If you haven’t watched it, here it is:
As I watched that video, I got so excited for that little kid. Seeing him so happy about such an iconic moment for, arguably, comics greatest superhero made me smile so big. But then, almost as quickly as I got excited, I got angry Not at the kid mind you. I’m not a monster. I started getting mad at all the nerd-elitists who ravage every superhero movie, and really any piece of entertainment-art that’s presented to the public. I got mad at a culture that spits at something it considers inferior to it’s perception. I’m not saying it isn’t OK to be disappointed with something. I’m just saying you don’t have to be such an a–hole about it.
I get it. You don’t like Zack Snyder, or his style of film-making. In your “opinion” it doesn’t have enough depth or maturity. I don’t really f—ing care and neither does Zack “multimillionaire” Snyder. That’s MY opinion. Oh Superman would never kill and that’s unrealistic for the character and what he represents? Guess what? HE’S NOT F—ING REAL. He’s the most unreal thing ever. Aliens are not coming to Earth to have a massive battle in a city that ALSO does not exist, which would cause an astronomically high amount of hypothetical destruction. “The character has a lot of history and sentimental value for us. You can’t just be OK with them changing him like that.” I am. I’m not immune to being bummed by the changing of a character, but here, I really don’t see enough change to make a big deal. The essentials of who Superman is are still in place. “How would you explain to your kid that Superman killed someone?” Like this, “Son, Zod wanted to destroy Earth. He wanted to completely annihilate all life as we know. Clark, Superman, didn’t want that to happen and in the heat of the moment he made the very hard decision to kill Zod. Also, none of this is real.”
Pictured: An Alien-man not actually flying.
Man of Steel is obviously the topical film here because of the video, but this is constantly happening. Green Lantern for example. Was it flawless? No. IN MY OPINION, the film probably could have benefited from a different director who was a little more familiar with the source material. But Ryan Reynolds was great, and really held the movie together. It was so cool getting to see THE GREEN F—ING LANTERN use his ring and create stuff and fight The Paralax. I mean, we got to see that! In (mostly) real life! Or how much s–t the Ghost Rider movies get. You all know what to expect from Nick Cage at this point. If you go into one of his flicks thinking that it’s going to scale back the lunacy, then you’re greatly kidding yourself and you should just stop watching movies all together. The second one, Spirit of Vengeance, is so balls-out ridiculous that if you took it seriously for one second and complained then you’re oblivous and you missed the point. It was supposed to be excessive and insane.
Not trying to win any Academy Awards here…
One of the all-time worst is when “celebrity” nerds annihilate something. I follow lots of comic book creators and comedians on Twitter and when one of them trashes a movie, or comic, or TV show it just bums me out so much. I feel like, you’re a creator. You make something from where once there was nothing, just like those people did, and yet completely forgetting how exhaustive and draining the creative process is, you just cruelly disassemble their art. Because, for whatever reason, you don’t deem it worthy enough. I don’t comprehend that. Knowing how much of yourself you give to and put into a project, how can you possibly justify criticizing someone else who’s doing the same thing? Simply being a fan, I feel like there’s something I missing, or ignorant to, that allows that behavior to be tolerated. Maybe it’s just a vicious cycle. Like, maybe one guy did it once and ever since celebrities just think it’s OK to criticize one another because they’re all in the same business. I still have a hard time understanding it though.
I recent heard Will Smith say that he tells his kids, “Your art is a gift to people to help their lives be better and be brighter.” I think that’s a great quote. But It’s also kind of sad. Knowing how cruel “fans” and audiences can be, it’s sad that artists are trying to do something to make our lives better, and in return they get ridiculed for not presenting something “better”. “Oh yeah, well, they also get millions of dollars”. Oh so, status merits condemnation? They have more money so they’re better equipped to handle mockery? You realize how ridiculous that sounds, right? Flip that around, and have a millionaire artist criticizing a starving artist, and you’d crucify that person for their arrogance and egotism.
There’s a line of thought out there that says criticism forces the best from a person. I call bulls–t on that. It’s not your goddamn job to be Mr Miyagi to the entire entertainment world. All you’re doing is making people afraid to create art. “Well if they’re not fearless then they won’t make good art.” That’s exactly what a bully would say. Oh I’m sorry, you’re wondering how you’re a bully. Well, you criticize with your words in the hope that you’ll sway the creative process in the direction that you want it to go. You’re trying to force what you want out of people. Sounds like a f–king bully to me.
“Why don’t you make like Back to the Future 2 and be better than Back to the Future 3.”
My good friend, and fellow 4LN writer, Cam Clark and I have spoken about this issue at great length, and I’d like to share some of his thoughts, which are FAR less aggressive than that of my own…
“Nerd culture is becoming more and more synonymous with Popular culture. We have seen evidence of this with the ever-increasing popularity of movies that find their origins in the pages of comics, and the breakout success of TV shows based on Fantasy novels and graphic novels. Unfortunately this has also heralded the coming of something much more malevolent – NERD RAGE.
As nerds, we are fortunate to live in a time in which several niches of the nerd realm are being actively brought to the forefront of mainstream entertainment, and that is pretty damn exciting to me.
Our favorite heroes are shown in movie theaters worldwide several times a year and the production values are astonishing. Does this mean that every superhero movie that comes out is amazing?
Not at all.
There have been some pretty mediocre nerd movies in the history of motion pictures, BUT I do think that the hate that is shown over decisions made for movies that are still over two years away is getting a little out of hand.
There is a pretty common notion floating around that since superhero movies are so prevalent now then we DEMAND that they meet every single one of are expectations. Whose expectations you ask? Who knows! That’s the problem. How many fans have how many ideas about how these characters should be brought to life? We won’t all get what we want, even if they make the best movie in the history of mankind.
That’s why I suggest we try to have what I call the “I’m just happy to be here” mentality.
I didn’t get a chance to see Man of Steel when it first came out (having an infant will do that), and before I finally got to see it I read so many reviews saying it was awful, that it didn’t live up to the character. When I finally got a chance to see it, I’ll admit I was a little nervous, but as I watched Superman take flight I loved it. I was just really happy to be seeing one of my favorite icons come to life.
This isn’t to say that these movies were up there with the top films of all time, but there is still something neat about seeing a character in a different medium.
“So what you are saying is I shouldn’t have any standards?”
Not really, I am just saying maybe try just enjoying yourself instead of railing against the cruel fate that made Superman kill Zod instead of… uh… wait, what were the other available options in that scenario?
I think it’s important to realize that there will never be a movie that meets every single on of your individual expectations and for the myriad of nerds out there that demand a movie that does, they are doomed to be perennially disappointed. Millions of dollars have been invested into these comic book characters, and recently they are actually attracting some of best talent Hollywood has to offer to portray them. Superheroes, who used to be relegated to straight-to-TV movies, are now Summer Blockbusters, and I am so excited about it.”
Pictured: Cam being my hero.
Now, for some brief humility. I’m far from innocent of this pompous attitude. I’ve even written articles on this very website where I shredded movies for no real reason. Just because I wanted to, and because I thought it was funny (I present to previous Back to the Future caption as exhibit A). I used my opinion to criticize and degrade someone’s art. And I’m ashamed of that. Being able to see the joy on my son’s face when he sees Superman fly, or when he sees Wolverine go berserk, and seeing how emotional he was while watching Thor 2, reminds me of the child-like wonder that we lose when we become adults. We act like the $10 and 2 hours we spent on a movie somehow merits a bitter attack on it. And most of the time, we don’t even spend that much. If you watch a movie for free, or steal it, then piss and moan about it, f— you. If you illegally downloaded it, you’re not only a dick, you’re a thief too. (However if you illegally download a movie and aren’t a jerk about it, then we’re cool. I know, I’m kind of a hypocrite too. Aren’t the 3 of you who actually read this glad you did?)
I know, it’s ironic that I call you a bully but then I seemingly bully you in return. Fighting fire with fire, so to speak. I consider myself less of a bully, and more of a Robin Hood. I’m trying to address an injustice that I’m witnessing, and doing what’s within my ability to right it. But then again, I already admitted to being a hypocrite, so maybe I am just a bully. All I know for sure is, I never want my kids to treat anything with disrespect. That includes “stupid” superhero movies and comics. I refuse to let my children feel entitled to anything. None of us deserve to feel entitled. I want them to feel joy and wonder when they see Superman take flight, or Thor hammering a Frost Giant, or Iron Man suiting up. But I want to retain that too. I want to watch movies and TV shows, and read comics, with the same appreciation and wonder that I did when I was a kid. Because imagination is what propels us. Not cruelty. That’s why that little boy makes your, and my, opinion irrelevant. All he sees is the amazing feat of Superman taking flight. To him that’s the most incredible thing he’s ever seen. The older we get the less we see flight. All we see is CGI, because we’ve lost our imagination. We experience life through a cynical filter, and it only breeds more cynicism in the world.
Ultimately, we all have the right to say what we want, and that includes criticism, so it’s not like I expect this to change anything. We need to understand how lucky we are to live in a society and culture where we can freely read and watch what we want without persecution. We shouldn’t take that for granted by treating art like garbage. We should learn to just be happy to be here.
“Worst. Blog Article. Ever. Also, you already used this caption joke in a previous article. Way to be original…”