Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sick of Die-Hard Fanboys

Lately, I've really been having it up to my saggital suture, with the nerdiest of the sci-fi nerds. Namely, the guys and gals who are so entrenched in their personal interpretations of their favourite movies/TV shows/sub-genres, that anyone coming in with a different view can meet the business end of the Martian Death Ray. To a certain extent, I saw a lot of this when Pacific Rim came out (shortly before it became obvious that only ten people in the US saw it). Not only did I see the fanboys pile on anyone who said they simply weren't blown away by it, even when said reviewers said beforehand that giant robot movies aren't their thing... but when I simply said that I disliked the filmmakers, on an article about their premium ticket packages, I was accused of calling Guillermo Del Toro a sell-out just for making a big robot movie in the first place.

At which point I firmly explained to this person, that if he had any grasp whatsoever of English, he would have been able to tell that I was referring to Del Toro continuing the trend of charging people $60 just to go to a freaking movie theatre. Because that was the entire focus of the article being commented on.

More recently, the build-up to the upcoming Star Wars sequel trilogy has attracted no shortage of JJ Abrams bashers. You know, the guy who has produced and written some of the hottest TV series in recent memory? The guy who actually made Star Trek successful again, cool, and maybe more popular than ever? (more on that, in a minute) Yeah, for some reason, this guy is getting more fan hate, than the borderline sell-out of a creator who has made nothing but boring and ugly schlock for the last decade and a half (some would say more), and has personally insulted the very fans who gave him the freedom to do this, for not wanting him to constantly tamper with the few good movies he's been associated with.

Just to be clear, even though I don't have a clue why anyone would find the prequel trilogies awesome across the board, I'm not trying to attack them for having these views. To be fair, I can find the prequels tolerable... when I'm watching at home and can hit the mute button. And skip the scenes that just look like a cheap video game. More to the point, I find the prequels to be more a source of unintended humour, than truly awful films. If you think they are the best things since sliced bread, I reserve the right to ask you why this is (I'll do my best to be tactful about it), but I certainly will not call for a Butlerian Jihad.

To get back on topic, seemingly just because Abrams is directing these new movies -- with scripts written by established and very accomplished other writers, I might add -- the die-hards are just being vicious towards him about any rumours whatsoever associated with the film. Big names in the cast, the return of certain characters, the return to physical effects as much as possible, you name it. I mean, heaven forbid that Abrams actually try to make a movie THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE WILL WANT TO SEE!

Unfortunately, I'm not sure if my earlier courtesy applies to the current branch of die-hard Star Trek fans. To the confusion and embarrassment of many, a poll at a big Trek convention in Las Vegas last week, revealed that the currently decided Worst Trek Movie Ever is this year's Star Trek: Into Darkness. That's right, worse than The Motion Picture, worse than The Final Frontier, worse than Insurrection, and worse than... Galaxy Quest?? (seriously how did that even get on the list?)

Clearly I've been aiming this article at nerdy people, but for once I'll try to explain this to the uninitiated. The Motion Picture was as slow as continental drift, and ultimately didn't go anywhere. The Final Frontier was a visually hideous egotrip that made very little sense.Insurrection was a morally questionable lark that tried to make people care more about 600 lazy cowards, than about billions of people dying in a major war that is conveniently left off-screen. I don't pretend for a second that Into Darkness was a masterpiece, but the worst that I can say about it off the top of my head was that it was overly repetitive of The Wrath of Khan, they wasted some serious opportunities with the villain, and that the so-called stumbling blocks for Kirk got undone in about five minutes.

Yet to hear the die-hard Trekkies bitch and whine about it, you'd think that JJ Abrams had turned the thing into Hostel-like torture porn. I'm dead serious, they are THAT mad about it. To date, when I've confronted them about it, the fans have never explained what he did that was so horrible. The most coherent explanation I can get is something about action over ideas. Okay, fair enough, there is more that can be done with Trek than simply being a shoot-em-up. But first of all, there were ideas in Into Darkness -- much of it was very obvious commentary on the War on Terror, specifically the trend towards drone warfare. Second of all, the TOP RATED movies on this list -- The Wrath of Khan and First Contact -- were very much action films, themselves. First Contact in particular, barely bothered with ideas at all, and spent much of the time being a knock off of Aliens. There is simply no logical reason why mindless action should be praised in one movie, and eviscerated in another.

If you're going to get on an ideological high-horse, at least be consistent about your principles, or you stop being a fan, and become a fanatic. And then no one will want to see those movies you love so much, and no more will ever be made. Much like Anakin Skywalker, you will turn into your own worst enemy.

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