Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Damn Boys Just Wanting to Relive the Days of Glory

"I think the key to it is that we're slipping into a sort of tyranny of the people who will complain.  They won't play Gary Glitter's music on the radio because some people will complain - and there are people sitting out there, a tiny minority of bitter people who are just looking for things to complain about so that the wider society are allowed to do fewer things.  Why is it that the fact that someone is offended or is claiming to have been offended, why does that give them more rights than any other human?  Something obviously, logically, is offensive if one person has been offended, but that's not actually a very useful definition."

David Mitchell, Heresy, Ep. 604

Holy jeez.  A year before the fucking movie comes out and already the fan boys are bitching about the light sabre and the black stormtrooper and that nothing has changed in decades of fictional time - not the rebellion, not the X-wings, not the M.F., blah, blah, blah.

I can't figure it out myself.  It's not like the film actually needs promotion - the fan boys are going to see it at least 3 times just so they know what parts they'll eventually want to go over frame-by-frame when the DVD comes out.  Can't we just keep completely silent about the film until, Surprise!  It opens three days from now!

Fuck, that would be hilarious.  We could get the same guys to keep it secret that set explosive charges all around the World Trade Centre in time for 9/11.

No, I suppose this is better.  The trailer has been released.  Let the bitching commence.

Let's be absolutely, positively sure that no one, ever, will be able to watch this movie or judge this movie based on its own merits.  Let's be sure that EVERYONE interested in seeing the film enters the theatre a year from now with every whining, smug, flame-starting comment brightly burning in their heads, stoked and tended for 12 fetid months.  Then let's all be amazed when the film does very well at the box office in terms of coin but is considered to universally suck according to the fan boys.

How convenient that just as I'm writing about the inability to view a movie by virtue of its content rather than it's audience's ignorance, this example flares up.  And what an example.  The 7th movie in a series where the previous four are acknowledged by the fan boys as being altogether second-rate. Sorry, yes, I am including the film that introduced the bikini.  Which is, I'm afraid, all it was.  A red bikini with gold trim.  A somewhat chilly but nevertheless G-rated Halloween costume.  The only real part of that film that anyone seems to feel wasn't . . . disappointing.

34 years later we are still gassing along on the fumes of a evil father (played by a stand-in actor rather than the black man whose voice was used) revealing his identity to a rather sappy infant (played by a very bad actor) in a film that still used painted glass for special effects.  34 years of merchandising and fan-service fiction and four bad movies that seem to take forever and ever to get off the ground.  Say what you want about James Bond - there have at least been 12 films released in that series since 1980.  But here we are - nine years since the last truly shitty film and we're ready to start the nit-pick festival a year before the next shitty film hits the theatre.

I know, I know, I know.  You guys really loved that last dumb scene where Luke fell.

Well, everyone has a right to complain.  No one's complaints should stop this film from being released or any of you from hating it, loving it or loving it because you hate it.  I am going to say, however, that I hope Abrams isn't sweating the value of this pic - though he probably is.  It will make money and it's actual value won't be based on whether or not the film is or was or could ever be any good.

It's value is going to be based on how many billions of words are written on the net before and after the film's release.  Because this is the marketing scheme.  Hate the fucked up light sabre all you want - there will be millions of that light sabre sold and waved around come Halloween.  Hate the black stormtrooper all you want - there will be tens of thousands of black boys calling themselves by the character's name, only to discover when they turn 7 that there's no such thing as a 'stormtrooper academy,' which they hoped to enter.  Hate every part of the film you can think of, that part of the film is still going to make it into all the posters and products and chatter and endless bullshit that floats through the sewers of facebook and twitter over the next decade.  Hate, hate, hate.

For there are going to be plenty of targets.


JB said...

I play Gary Glitter's "Rock n Roll Part 2" all the time (I use it to sooth my baby to sleep). I don't know why they won't play it on the radio...always enjoyed it at hockey games.

(she also likes to groove on Kernkraft 400's "Zombie Nation" and Sammy Hagar's "Heavy Metal")

Alexis Smolensk said...