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Creation Date: March 1st, 2010 06:15 PM
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Musings of a Knight of the Imperium.
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In Moot Member Blogs Today's superher films Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #584 New July 17th, 2019 06:40 PM
I've only seen three or so, and I really can't take them. Way back in the 70s and 80s comic books, specifically superhero comic books, went from being children's fare to something far more adult with adult oriented art. I don't mean sexually oriented (though there was an element of that), but just on the whole something that had more shadows and more realized in terms of artistic style. I recall an issue of Brave and the Bold by DC Comics where Swamp Thing and Batman were teamed up, and the cover art is really compelling. And when you open the pages the art is really something many cuts far removed and above the drawings from the 1950s. I remember some drawings from a late 1960s or early 1970s Superman comic, where he swoops down to kiss Lois Lane. It was something from the cover of a romance novel, and not really the child friendly Superman of the early 60s and 1950s and before. Ditto with an issue of the Legion of Superheroes, where the full bodied costumes for the females were replaced with costumes that were far more revealing. In more than one issue they take off their clothes, though you only ever see it in shadows and from a distance.

As a boy I wondered why there weren't more adult or mature oriented superhero TV or film offerings, as opposed to something like the really awful high camp Batman TV series or the feature film using the same TV cast. Hollywood either didn't get comic books back then, or possibly felt the public wasn't ready for a serious superhero film. Then comes Superman with Christopher Reeve. Truly a well shot and well scripted film that really captured America and the spirit of the comic, the Krypton sequence not withstanding. I mean that was the level of artistry one gleamed from DV comics at the time, in spite of all of the tweaks done to the basic Superman story. Again, it wasn't chill's fare, though children could watch it.

But, in spite of all that, you get6 really silly stuff that is ostensibly insulting to the audience on the screens today. I saw the Green Lantern movie some years back, and thought it was just really awful. The first Spiderman feature film in the early 2000s was okay, but the followups were too high camp for my eyes and mind. And the rest just keep amping up the production values without offering much on substance other than going after the megalomaniacal psychopath. Again, it ain't classic Star Trek. Far fr4om it. These films are very one dimensional. And I think that's being generous.

Guardians of the Galaxy was one of the worst movies I had ever seen. The previews were a cavalcade of juvenile previews with ear shattering loud sound effects and pre-teen put downs in the dialogue. Just really immature stuff on a variety of levels, mostly pre-teen grade. Again, not classic Star Trek where the crew have their issues, but when they're not adventuring, treat one another like adults.

So. if I come across as a Star Trek snob, and by that I mean classic 1960's era Trek, and just TV in general, it's because media in the 60s was really daring compared to the corporate offerings created today.

I have not seen any of the Avengers' films. I don't intend to, but the exposition there is purely pre-teen fare even though, regrettably, tons of adults drag their families to see them. Seeing the likes of Downy Junior sound-bite against the bad-guy with his "We have a Hulk" comment, really churns my stomach, because this film isn't made in the tradition of Donner's Superman, but has more in common with the first Batman film with Adam West and Caesar Romero. The only difference is the CGI, but dazzling CGI doesn't carry a film. Like Lucas said in "From Star Wars to Jedi, the Making of a Saga", "A special effect without a story is a pretty boring thing."

When I saw Thor via Amazon's Stream, I shrugged my shoulders at it. It bared little resemblance to the original Thor comic on any aspect, other than the God of Thunder from Norse myth had the costume from the comic book. Otherwise it was all teenage cliché stuff. Compare that to something from the 1950's, like War of the Worlds, where the film was made for everyone, adults included. It didn't have attention centric over the top moments. It was about a struggle for survival, and didn't dumb down the story by putting in a lot of teenage nor pre-teen put downs as per today's superhero films. There wasn't any over the top music, no rapid editing, no other bullshit aspects that really insult and dull the senses.

Again, it's why I'm a Star Trek snob. Original Star Trek was made for everyone. It wasn't made specifically for teenage and college age males, though that was primarily the chief audience. It was made so that anyone could get interested and watch it. Oh sure, the 1960's version of a high tech setting attracted a certain regular following, but it wasn't market tailored to those people as such. Ditto with Richard Donner's Superman film. It was made to inspire and dazzle everyone with a gee-whiz kind of character who had an adult side to him that helped mankind.

I get today's superhero films, but like most movies today, I just think they're stupid and vapid beyond belief. It's more or less the marketing psychology with a lot of data backing up the research that dictates how today's media is formulated, verse a smattering of the same process from yesteryear, but with an emphasis on the artistic comportment of the material, and no placation to the audience by making the adult characters act as immature as the preteens for whom the media was made. THAT'S THE DIFFERENCE.

So yeah, I'm a Star Trek and a Star Trek fan. It's not a perfect show, has its issues, but compared to the bullshit that is Guardians of the Galaxy, it is, again by comparison, Shakespeare quality television, minus Ye Oldde English.

To me Guardians of the Galaxy is the epitome of bad Superhero movies. We are living in a kind of "golden age" of superhero films, but boy are they just atrociously bad. I don't care how much CGI you put into the thing, or other technical wizardry, people or characters acting like pre-teen ass-holes up on the screen, even if they are "fighting bad guys", is just stuff would have never been had this film been made back in the early 80s or before. And I'm sorry today's adult and young adult audience is exposed to crap. Really and truly I am, because it means a dumber "next generation": when it comes to appreciating artistic media.

When I saw the Green Lantern movie I noted that the film hit all the emotional marks for the green lantern fan, but it was as juvenile, of not moreso, than Guardians of the Galazy.

The truth is as that as the audience ages media with those same characters and settings will be made for them in the coming years, but it'll be like the Battlestar Galactica remake; all full of adult angst and style, but again, no real substance in terms of what is truly important.

Original Star Trek was cut from the Cold War societal cloth in which it was made, as well as the post world war two era from which a good portion of the globes human society was still recovering. It was a given fact that danger and peril were around, and so you relied on things like navies and local beat cops to help address those things, as well as the occasional secret agent. And again, that's part of why shows in the 60s tended to be more daring in terms of the story material produced, and more adult at the same time. If you compare something made by Ray Harryhausen to a film like Guardians of the Galaxy, you'll note that there is a kind of G-rated quality that allows everyone to watch and enjoy the film, but Harryhausen's films are NOT laced with characters mouthing off and putting down one another, nor just trying to act more clever than they actually are for the sake of connecting with the pre-teen males in the audience. they are films, that for all their perhaps child oriented adventure, have a high degree of adult or mature presentation to them than anything like Guardians of the Galaxy could ever have.

As you might guess I'm not an easy man to please nor get along with. A lot of that comes from my father's and family legacy. The other part is that I've watched American society devolve into a preteen malaise that no one prior to the 20th century would ever consider. If you were to act like a preteen punk in say Dodge City during the 19th century to the wrong man, you'd get shot. I suppose the same could be said today with gangland and school shootings, but today's violence is more in tune with a trend in emotional venting or purely for making money through illicit trade. Preteens and teenagers have always been preteens and teenagers, since Romeo or d'Artangian were fighting sword armed gangs in the streets and in the centuries before. But one of the things that evolved out of the culture was a kind of respect lest you be on the business end of a weapon. I think society as a whole has lost a lot of that, and it's expressed in junk fare like Superhero films. And the worst offender is Disney with its Marvel license.

When Kirk and Spock let loose, they did so because something had compelled them to break character. Neither of them nor the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise as a whole, would suddenly start quipping off putdown speak to other crew, much less an unknown alien--even if it was hostile. And yet that's all of what today's scifi and superhero crap are all about.

Richard Donner's Superman film was about "a second coming" so to speak, and how the common man, immigrant included, could help grant society with some of your own version of divines by "fighting the forces of evil". Star Trek was about applying science and character against malefactors who were smart and had lots of resources, even though their thinking was far afield from what you and I conserved normal. Space 1999 was about dealing with personal demons, but keeping a sense of dignity. The Logan's Run TV series was about confronting malicious situations born out of societal misfunctions (also much of what Star Trek was all about). Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was about confronting the Soviets without specifically saying that it was about confronting the Soviets and all that allied with the Soviets. Even Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, for all of its campiness, didn't have Crane and Nelson playing what African American culture calls "the dozens", a put down game played by pre-teen blacks to see who could insult and hurt the most with put downs.

Asa middle aged adult I can appreciate the artistry in Lucas's first Star Wars' film. I can't appreciate anything in Guardians of the Galaxy. Media as a whole has put the American male into a state of perpetual juvenileness. At one time the science fiction genre was put down or eschewed because it was for "nerds" or brainy people who didn't have much in the way of physical prowess. Now, to me at least, the genre is pure bullshit because it is essentially a giant immature cesspool with few redeeming values. From Warner's Batman and more recent Supergirl TV series, to Disney's Marvel Universe trash. It's one giant dung hill. of near valueless garbage. Yes, classic Trek's SRFX were really poor at times, but the crew behaved as a crew, and not school yard punks.

Again, thank goodness for games and books. Maybe today's trend will change, but I really doubt it. I can't stand Guardians of the Galazy, I can't stand Marvelverse Disney fare, I can't stand Disney's trashing of Lucas's creation, and, on the whole, a real lack of traditional historical human honor, or, more appropriately, a male or masculine adult sense of honor that got pushed out for the sake of making bullshit for the big screen that preteen boys would enjoy.

Like I say, it's only going to get worse. Immaturity has always been around. Franklin himself wrote a tongue in cheek piece called "Fart Proudly", and apparently Jefferson couldn't control his loins when it came to his slaves. But the garbage that's created today, consumed by adults, is beyond belief to my mind. It's why I don't go to too many movies anymore. It's why I b_tch on the blog, and as a whole love Traveller and other stuff like it.

"Let's get the hell out of here!" Prepare to jump.
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