It has long been my opinion that if we lived in ancient Sparta, many (if not most) of the folks who are fans of comics, sci-fi, (and yes, the Grateful Dead) would have been the ones left out on the mountainside. Every day, as I continue to ply what I laughingly call my trade in the field of comics I am further convinced of the brutal and honest truth of this observation.
Lately it is the release of both Wolverine: X-Men Origins, and J.J. Abram’s re-imagined vision of Star Trek that convince me that I’ve been right about this all along in this observation. The reasoning for this is all of they whiny fanboy crap that has surrounded the release of these two iconic franchises. You wouldn’t believe the myopic faux ownership silliness that has spewed forth over the fanboy blogosphere. So many of these hosejobs feel that because what was up on the screen wasn’t what they wanted up there, that it is somehow crap, should be shunned, and the people who produced it should be keelhauled and/or tarred and feathered (after being burned in effigy).
Personally, I have to laugh at them, as they all remind me of the fellow that I know some years back who would go see the Grateful Dead in concert and when he came back from the show I’d ask him how the show was, and he’d tell me how much it sucked. This would always surprise me, as (on a number of occasions) attended the same shows and found them to be quite entertaining. Eventually it occurred to me that this fellow (and actually, quite a few others that I knew who exhibited the same sentiments) would go to the Dead show with a set list in their head, and when the Dead didn’t play the songs that they wanted the Dead to play (in the order that they wanted them played), they would determine the show a colossal fail. While I, on the other hand, would go to the show with the intention of simply enjoying whatever the band chose to play.
On some level, this is what is going on with these films, is essentially the same thing. What is up on the screen is not what the viewer wants to see, so the film sucks. In some regard, this is the ultimate form of hubris. For, inexplicably, in the mind’s eye of the viewer, the only (true) vision of the character (or franchise) in question is the one that is perceived by the viewer. Therefore any other interpretation is nothing short of heresy. Of course, this is simply pure nonsense. As in both cases cited the characters in question have been washed through the vision of numerous writers (and artists) and yet the characters have all stood the test of time.
In the past couple of years, there have been the re-launch of quite a number of iconic characters James Bond, Batman, Superman, Star Trek, and (except in the case of Superman) these re-launches have been extremely successful. I wondered about that, and the other day it occurred to me why. Because all of them were faithful to the spirit of the source material (in Superman Returns it was obvious that while the director had reverence for the source material, he forgot to bring the story). That is so not the case with Star Trek. There is plenty of story in Trek. Someone went so far as to say that if Gene Roddenberry had envisioned Trek in 2009 instead of 1966, his future would have looked more like what J.J. Abrams saw.
There is action, adventure, and a helluva good story happening in Trek. In it we get to see those iconic characters we all know and love, acting in a way that we all recognize, doing the sorts of things that we expect them to do. Do I care that in some obscure episode 2/3 of my life ago in a episode that I probably never saw when it originally aired (but probably did 100 times since) Scotty did or said something that was invalidated by something in this new vision?
At the risk of becoming the heretic that I probably already am — no. Not at all.
I’m calling this the Samuel Clemens Paradigm. “Never let blind adherence to absolute continuity prevent you from telling a good story.”
Seriously. This was a good movie (and so was Wolverine), and if you want to let your love of something that happened 100 years ago prevent you from checking your baggage at the door and having a good time, then that, ol’ son, is your problem, not mine. Hey, I hate what Marvel has done to Spider-Man in Brand New Day (and have been very vocal about it; including directly to Spider-Editor Stephen Wacker) but that hasn’t stopped me from reading the comics, and continuing to enjoy the character I’ve been reading and enjoying since I was seven years old.
Hey, if Nimoy can embrace the film, who are you to hate it?
From where I sit, most of these tard-jobs who want to bash the crap out of films, comics, and TV shows and have nothing positive to say about anything have not produced a thimbleful of anything creative in their entire miserable lives, and yet they feel comfortable flaming everything that these other creators with a metric ton of published work produced over a number of years have done. I don’t get it. I love comics, I love the movies. I love TV. I have chosen to enjoy the things that I love, and revel in the relative merits of each. So to all of these naysayers I want to unequivocally state, that if you want to rain on my parade you should just stop buying comics, going to movies and, well, talking to me, because you are just bumming my vibe. I’m here to have a good time, and your bad mojo is just bringing me down.
Me. I like comics, and movies, and while I’m not going to love everything that I see, I have to say that if every comic you read is bringing you down, then you seriously need to find a new pastime.