Music provided by: Love Under Will, ZZ Pot (ZZZiggurat)
Music provided by: Love Under Will, ZZ Pot (ZZZiggurat)
Before social media, I didn’t have to justify liking movies that weren’t critically acclaimed. In today’s social media driven world, Rotten Tomatoes is king because it’s super easy to share a link with “88% certified fresh!” or “33% rotten LOLZ!”
The aggregate site adds up the number of reviews it decides are positive, and the ones that are negative, and uses that subjective formula to create its “fresh” or “rotten” percentage. That’s it. So if a lot of people kind of liked a movie just a little more than they disliked it, it’s “90% certified fresh!” or whatever, even though it’s considered by most people to just be OK.
You can explain this to people until you’re blue in the face, but it’s like explaining the lottery and the astronomical odds against you ever winning money. People do not get it. They just shrug. They want to be told what’s good and what’s bad. I’ve been saying this for YEARS now. People don’t want to invest the time in actually watching movies. They’ve decided if they like or dislike a movie based on the first couple of images or the trailer released by the studio. Actually shelling out the money and sitting in a theater for two hours is too much to ask from most people.
And that’s fine. Except that people like me who love weird movies, cult movies and bad movies end up finding ourselves trying to defend ourselves against a sea of mockery when we talk about a cool ass movie like Chappie or Batman Vs Superman because some guy named Butt Johnson from the Houston Chronicle said he kind of didn’t like it along with a hundred other professional critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
Anyway, Suicide Squad falls right into the same category. It’s trendy for fanboy types to shit all over DC movies for whatever reason. There has to be a Marvel Vs DC thing and nobody’s going to let that die anytime soon, apparently. It’ll be interesting to see how long this goes on. Warner Bros. ain’t gonna stop making DC movies, so I’m guessing by Wonder Woman or the Aqua Man movie, the nonsense will die off.
So Suicide Squad. If you’re looking for a Marvel comics Iron Man joke-a-second kid’s movie, you’re going to be disappointed. This ain’t Disney and it ain’t for kids. I’ve been a fan of David Ayer since he wrote Training Day. Most people Don’t even know he directed this movie or that he’s the dude that just made Brad Pitt’s Fury last year. He’s a FANTASTIC ensemble cast director and writes excellent dialogue. He knows how to handle bad guys in gritty situations and he did a great job here. I was actually surprised at the scope of this film, since most of his movies are very small and character driven. It was cool to see him handle a movie with so much action and special effects.
The Joker and Harley Quinn are highlights of movie. We get awesome scene after awesome scene between these two and I personally, as a life-long fan of Batman the Animated Series, couldn’t stop smiling at the fact that I was FINALLY seeing one of the coolest dysfunctional relationships in comics come to life in front of me.
But Will Smith’s Deadshot was surprisingly heartfelt, too. I was into all his drama and even though there wasn’t a whole hell of a lot going on, story wise, I was totally into the movie and thought that The Enchantress and her magic was beautiful in IMAX 3D.
All in all, it’s not fucking The Cider House Rules or Driving Miss Daisy. It doesn’t fucking have to be. We don’t have to justify why we like our movies. The percentage of positive reviews from film critics means absolutely nothing to me today, never has before, and never will. I like what I like and I don’t owe an explanation to anyone.
Somewhere along the way, genre fans turned round and began eating their own tails. There is a strong consensus of fanboys out there who have made it their own personal mission to bury Batman Vs Superman before it’s even had a chance to breathe.
They failed. The film grossed nearly half a billion dollars over its opening weekend despite being rated worse than The Fantastic Four 2 on the only review website that apparently matters anymore, Rotten Tomatoes.
That site is the anti-fan fanboy’s favorite weapon of choice to bury a property. Share screenshots of a Rotten Tomatoes score on social media, keep people out of the theater, fail a franchise. That’s the play. They did it with Chappie last year. Killed a great film. Why? Because Short Circuit, apparently.
So what is an anti-fanboy? If a fanboy is a grown man who refuses to grow up and instead spends all of his time obsessing over and consuming dangerous amounts of comics, video games and genre movies as an escape from the responsibilities of adult life, then the anti-fanboy would be a well adjusted, successful adult, right?
Not on this blog, bub. The fanboy is a relatively harmless creature, typically found dwelling in his mother’s or grandmother’s basement, eating and drinking himself into type 2 diabetes while quietly consuming pop culture. The anti-fan boy, much like the Reverse Flash is exactly that. Only evil. The anti-fanboy is a loathsome individual most closely resembling Gollum from Lord of the Rings only fat because if the anti-fanboy is one thing, it’s glutenous. Not just with food. Anti-fanboys consume just as much pop culture as the regular harmless fanboy, if not more. And that’s the problem.
The anti-fanboy truly and completely believes that he does not have to see a movie to KNOW from stills, trailers, posters and a scant few reviews from his echo chamber safe space of like-minded nerd-villains on the internet, that a movie is bad. Not ONLY that a movie is bad, but so bad that it compels him to spread bad word of mouth all over the internet about how awful a movie like Batman Vs Superman is. Indeed, worse than Fantastic Four 2. Worse than the Justin Bieber movie.
Without ever having seen the film.
Think about that. Why would a grown man be so angry about a MOVIE that he would try to cause it financial harm EVER, let alone be so ate up with it that he tries to do so without even giving the thing an objective chance himself, with his own two eyes and ears?
Because anti-fanboys are miserable human beings. They wallow in it in their daily lives and have to project it somewhere. Women have became too strong, too independent and too willing to put the mouth-breathing basement dwellers on blast when they direct their narcissistic, suicidal rage against the opposite sex. So they’ve learned to direct their anger at the very escapism that once dulled their sorrows, and lessened the sting of their failed lives.
Movies can’t fight back. There’s no threat of a movie shaming them on social media. And usually it works. Movies like Chappie, Jupiter Ascending, Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four, Seventh Son. These were films of fair to middling quality (with Chappie being the excellent exception) that were willfully and systematically buried by a fanbase with malicious intentions. Indeed anti-fanboys took a special kind of joy in announcing to anyone who would listen that these movies were unmitigated disasters. Films as bad as any Ed Wood film. Laughable stinkers. And they didn’t watch a single on of them.
If you look at that list plucked from 2015, you have the science fiction, super hero, urban fantasy and sword and sorcery genres represented. These films are the playgrounds of fanboys. This is our stuff. These films were made with us in mind. And yet, anti-fanboys set them all ablaze and then danced on their graves.
As Michael Caine’s Alfred so eloquently put it in The Dark Knight: Some people just want to watch the world burn.
Snakes eating their own tails. A group of mentally damaged but highly vocal individuals who will not be happy until the rest of us are as miserable as they are. Until the era of blockbuster fanboy films is dead and buried and we have nothing left to look forward to in the cinema.
But, like the legendary caped crusader he is, Batman refused to lay down and die. Batman Vs Superman broke records IN SPITE of the anti-fanboy campaign to assassinate him. Biggest March opening ever. Biggest Easter Weekend ever. Biggest single opening day in March.
A week ago the snark from the anti-fanboys was so thick, they squealed with delight about the announcement from Warner Brothers that Batman Vs Superman would have to make a billion dollars to be considered a financial success. “Impossible!” They shouted. “It will flop!” They growled, rubbing their sweaty, pudgy palms together.
It’s already halfway to a billion. And only one film in history has ever opened north of 160 million dollars domestically and not crossed the billion dollar mark. Batman is a big enough property to rise above and succeed in spite of the anti-fanboy campaign against it. But not all, indeed not most genre films are capable of doing that. So it’s up to us, the REAL fanboys to shout down our evil doppelgangers.
Don’t fall for the hit campaigns. Ignore the silly Rotten Tomatoes scores. See the genre films. All of them. Even the bad ones. Especially the bad ones. This is our era. Cinema belongs to us right now. It is truly the best time to be a fanboy.