Thursday, February 28, 2013

Why bitchy 'fanboys' are the film fan equivalent of Bill Kristol.

I'm not going to get into the misogynistic aspect of the trolling centered around a few on-set photos of Shailene Woodley from The Amazing Spider-Man 2.  To those saying that she's not 'pretty enough' to be Mary Jane Watson, I'll simply extend a hearty 'f*ck you' and merely offer to be, wedding vows and relative current marital bliss aside, the next guy in line at the bar after you turn down her advances. But while others will justifiably focus on the offense at the trolling of a young actress having the gall to walk around without make up, I'd like to offer a bit of silver lining to this whole affair.  Now thanks to the Internet trolling, I can absolutely guarantee that not only will Shailene Woodley be insanely attractive as Mary Jane Watson in The Amazing Spider-Man, but she will also be a terrific character, in terms of acting and all of that 'less-important' stuff too.  Why do I know this?  Because the trolling fans have told me otherwise.  Trolling fans have been around for as long as I can remember.  And they have become the Bill Kristol of film fans.  They make noise, they attract attention and 'serious discussion', and they are always always wrong.

They were wrong about Michael Keaton being the wrong choice to play Bruce Wayne back in 1988 and wrong in their assertion that Tim Burton's Batman would be a big screen variation on the campy television series.  They were wrong about Hugh Jackman being too tall and too much of a song-and-dance man to play Wolverine in X-Men.  They were wrong about Tobey McGuire being not enough of a leading man to play Peter Parker in Spider-Man.  And remember the outrage over the organic web-shooters?  Oh yeah, that killed the whole trilogy dead in its tracks.  And don't forget their unholy outrage over a blonde-haired brute being hired to play James Bond back in 2005.  Yeah, Daniel Craig sure turned out to be a George Lazenby, didn't he?  He totally shit on the bed on the 007 franchise, right? And let's not forgot the horror at Heath Ledger being cast in The Dark Knight.  The cries of Brokeback Batman (whatever the hell that meant) were completely accurate and Ledger's turn as The Joker completely wrecked the movie from the word 'Go'.

And speaking of Nolan's Batman pictures, you raving idiots were completely dead-on about Anne Hathaway not being 'sensual' or 'sexy' enough to play Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises.  Again, I humbly offer to be the guy behind you in the bar when Hathaway hits on you and you say "No thank you, you're pretty, but not sensual enough for me.".  My wife would be totally okay with that, especially if Ms. Kyle happened to have Dr. Crane on her speed dial. As for as their positive predictions, let's take a look, shall we?  They also were sure that replacing Megan Fox in the Transformers franchise with a no-name super model would improve the franchise. They swore that Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides would be better than the sequels by axing Knightly and Bloom.  They swore up and down that Prometheus would be the greatest science fiction film ever made.  They also were sure that adding Venom to Spider-Man 3 was a great idea.  Hell, I'd argue that it was an attempt to pander to this specific fanbase that caused Sony to force Raimi to stick Venom in Spider-Man 3 in the first place!

So fear not True Believers!  The idiot class has spoken and they find fault in the looks and casting appropriateness of Shailene Woodley as Mary Jane Watson in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (note - I do hope they change that title to something like The Superior Spider-Man).  Okay, let's be honest, the entire argument revolves around her alleged 'fuckability', but again, that's for another day.  But the good news is that the chattering class that is always wrong, every single friggin time, has proclaimed that Woodley is going to be a terrible Mary Jane Watson.  That can only mean that she will be a fantastic Mary Jane Watson, which in turn vastly increases the chances of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 being at least a token improvement on its frankly terrible predecessor (especially if Emma Stone gets more to do than just be 'the girl' this time around).  Because while the trolling fanboy crowd may be reactionary, sexist, and periodically racist (see - Elba, Idris), they also are usually 100% dead-wrong.  Maybe they should get guest slots on the Sunday morning talk shows.  After all, these are very serious people...

Scott Mendelson  


Matt from Phoenix said...

Add one more to the list: those who wanted the relaunched Battlestar Galactica to be just like the original tv series and who swore that the new incarnation would be no good.

Hector said...

I don't think it's exactly fair to lump in "people who were excited for Prometheus" with misogynists and racists. There's a pretty freaking wide moral gap between those things.

POIFanatic said...

Objectifying women is something I've been against since forever, But seriously, who cares what a bunch of idiots think about a woman's hotness on the internet!

David said...

I completely agree, Scott. Fanboys are stupid and hypocrite, they judge, but when the movie comes out, they praise the actors who hated before. About Emma Stone, Gwen Stacy did much more in a movie than the other Mary Jane in three movies (and the same with the other Gwen Stacy)

PB210 said...

"They were wrong about Michael Keaton being the wrong choice to play Bruce Wayne back in 1988 and wrong in their assertion that Tim Burton's Batman would be a big screen variation on the campy television series".

Bob Kane later named Val Kilmer as his favorite portrayor of the role. Also, Tim Burton did reference the 1966 TV series and his film had much the same absurdities, with Frank Miller in an interview in a book by Robert Pearson noting that he felt Burton's films played as just a trying to make it spookier version of the Adam West show. Where did the idea for the Penguin running for mayor come from for the sequel? Why, from the episode "His Honor the Penguin" with Burgess Meredith.

Scott Mendelson said...

Oh I would agree... Most of the would-be blown calls (preemptively dissing Keaton and Craig for example) don't justify moral fouls.

Scott Mendelson said...

I frankly don't agree with that link, or at least not the assertions in question. And, all due respect, quoting Frank Miller is not a way to get me on your side in an argument. ;-)

Val Kilmer is fine in Batman Forever, and that film is a mostly fine distillation of the 1970s Caped Crusader era and a touch of 1950s kid-friendly 'camp' (heck, I'd argue that George Clooney makes a great Bruce Wayne even if he doesn't fit in the Batman suit). The first Batman is basically a variation on the 1939-1942 era of Batman comics. The characters are broadly sketched, the film looks and feels like it takes place in the 1940s, and it's wantonly violent with little regard for its somewhat obscene body count.

Batman Returns plays out like the late 80s/early 90s Batman comics, with a smaller body count but far harsher and more personal violence, an emphasis on the psychosis of its freaks, and a certain ghoulishness (think the Alan Grant/Norm Breyfogle era). I agree that the whole Penguin runs for mayor bit came from the TV show, but it works as a brilliant and ahead-of-its-time satire of personality politics, where the personal narrative trumps political ideas.

I think the 1960s Batman series is brilliant in its own way, a faithful adaptation of the comics at that time and something that basically saved the character of Batman from irrelevance at a time when the books weren't selling. But just because Burton's Batman films have humor and even some morbidly camp aspects doesn't make them a rehash of the television show.

Chris Hallum said...

THIS young woman cannot play Mary Jane Watson? Right.

The only thing that will disappoint me is if the first thing she says to Peter Parker isn't "Face it, Tiger, you just hit the jackpot!"

PB210 said...

Well, regarding the Adam West show:

Count Karnstein, Yuku poster, pointed out:

Like I said before, Batman 1966 is the single most accurate comic book movie ever made. If you look at all the changes other movies made to the characters’ origins, powers, costumes, etc, only the 1966 Batman comes close to a literal translation on screen. Every other movie is merely derivative.

When Count Karnstein made this view clear, he received a startled response. However, he persisted:

“To be totally clear, the last truly great, truly faithful superhero movie was Batman (1966)”.

More from Count Karnstein: It [the 1966 film and TV series] unashamedly, unapologetically put the real Batman on the big screen and said “This is Batman as he is in the comics. If you don’t like it, tough [expletive].”

Batman 1966 did not:

Change the characters’ names to “avoid alliteration”
Change the characters’ costumes to be more “realistic”
Change the characters’ origins to be more “sophisticated”
Change the characters’ powers to be more “realistic”
Change the characters’ natures in order to fit some [slur] director’s “vision”

So yeah, there can be no denying it. Batman 1966 was by far the most faithful and most literal comic book adaptation ever put on film.

It amazes me when people make that claim while the proof is undeniable and un-contestable. Batman the movie and the tv show was totally faithful to the comics of the day and to the comics as they were for a decade before and after. That’s historical fact that only a pathological denier could refuse to believe. Compare the dates on the comics with the tv show. It is beyond question that I am right on that. [The TV show adapted stories published in 1965, the year before.]

Did Dozier just hate the Batman character and have a vendetta against him? What, he loved the Green Hornet, so he created a serious show for him, while he had nothing but contempt for Batman, so it was “ridicule city” in that matter? Please! Dozier was bringing the characters to the screen in the manner in which they had been portrayed in the comics. Was there ever a silly, absurd, ridiculous Green Hornet comic book? [Did the Green Hornet dress up a boy with shaved legs in pixie boots?] If so, it’s escaped my attention for the better part of 40 years. Did we ever see a Caveman Green Hornet or a Green Hornet in a rainbox/zebra/dayglo red suit? Did we ever see Green Hornet being drowned in a giant gravy boat or being chased by aliens and dinosaurs? Was there ever an Ace the Green Hornet Dog? How about a Hornet-Mite?

No? I didn’t think so. There’s your answer. It’s literally that simple. Dozier was taking characters and putting them on the screen. Green Hornet was always played straight and serious in the comics/strips/radio, so he was done that way for tv. Batman was as absurd, silly, goofy, and ridiculous as anything else that has ever appeared in comics, and so that’s how he appeared on-screen.

People are just so hung up on their “adult-friendly”, sociopathic, paranoid, mentally ill “Dark Knight” version of Batman that they can have nothing but contempt for the true portrayal on film of the way the character was for the longest time.

“There was a reason why that TV show was played for laughs and that is when you put actual human beings in those costumes and act out those stories, it looks stupid”, per Max Allan Collins.

Jed Pressgrove said...

Actually, Sin City is probably the most accurate comic book movie ever made. There are others that follow their source material closely as well. So your statement about every other comic book movie being "merely derivative" is inaccurate, at least in the manner that you use it.

Aside from that, who cares if the 1966 Batman was more "faithful" to the comic books? Fanboys!

PB210 said...

Parents who would prefer not to worry about mentally disturbed individuals choosing a chic film at which to stage a spree murder.

Incidentally, you misread my message. I just presented Count Karnstein's position.

Jed Pressgrove said...

What a ridiculous comment. You might have a point about The Dark Knight being morally questionable, but current Batman comic books are just as dark. Have you tried reading any of them?

I didn't misread your message. You obviously agree with Karnstein - just too lazy to paraphrase.

PB210 said...

The writer Max Allan Collins found this approach an overreaction.

In Amazing Heroes#119 in 1987 (two years before the Michael Keaton film), writer MAC (Max Allan Collins) had an interview. He said the following:

“I’m afraid what I’m running smack up into is the old Batman TV show controversy: the old business about, Gee that was a TV show that made fun of Batman and made fun of comic books, so we have to show people that Batman and comic books are serious and they’re adult and accordingly all the fun goes out of it. There was a reason why that TV show was played for laughs and that is when you put actual human beings in those costumes and act out those stories, it looks stupid. They betray their juvenile roots. It can’t be done straight. I defy them to do the movie straight”.

[The Adam West TV show did indeed adapt many tales from the original comic books. The Robin costume with pixie shoes, shaved legs, skimpy shorts, golden cape, etc. came from the source.]

Collins then said “I predict it [the then upcoming Batman film] will be an embarrassment if they try to do it without a sense of humor”.

Collins made the same prediction in the book The Best of Crime and Detective TV, which he co-wrote with John Javna.

Collins later says “I think that Miller’s Batman is the ultimate extension of the backlash against Adam West. The ultimate expression of We write comics, but we’re Serious, Thoughtful people “.

More from Amazing Heroes#119:
"But this astounds me. I do not understand why comics fans are ashamed of the fact that this branch of the art form, super-heroes, does have its basis in juvenile and adolescent fiction. There's nothing wrong with it unless you're trying to pretend it's which case you have a serious problem".

Scopedog said...

Or how about Idris Elba as Hemdall in THOR? Not only were some fanboys losing their shpadoinkle over that, some of their comments sounded like minutes from a Klan meeting.

Of course, once the film came out, all hatred forgotten, and cue the praise.


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