That’s the thing about geckaphiles (die-hard fans of all things geek…it’s actually Old English/Germanic). We love a spirited debate, right?
Imagine the many things you have arm wrestled so strenuously that an elbow pops out of socket with your friends over a challenging game of Magic, binging on a Netflix series, or even plastering a diatribe so furiously on DM that you begin to experience early-onset carpal tunnel syndrome.
Now, I’m not talking to the trolls out there. They suck out loud and will do anything to make you twist into a nerd pretzel just because you liked Captain Marvel and think Brie Larson did a good job. (Yeah, you know who you are, douchenozzles.)
This is about the debates that while they are now so toxic they make coronavirus seem tame, they began as healthy group-think. What would happen if? Why should we believe it? What is the difference between this and that?
Those are the questions that begin a trek down the geeky rabbit hole and eventually get out of hand, hashtags are muted and people are ignored into perpetuity.
These are the top 10 nerd arguments that need to die, like yesterday.
10. Is Disney Too Powerful?
For many, this is an absolute “yes!” They own theme parks, movies, timeless characters and songs, animation, toys, and even a word. Their brand is “magic,” so much so that David Copperfield should have pay for rights to use it in Vegas. Yet, the cornerstones of Walt Disney’s empire weren’t enough — they were just the beginning.
Today, Disney owns ABC, ESPN, Pixar, Lucasfilm, National Geographic, (most of) Hulu, a large helping of 21st Century Fox, and Marvel. Is that too much for one business to have? Ethically, it’s broaching a monopoly and should be investigated by the FTC. Legally, it’s free capitalism. There is absolutely nothing we can do about the mouse hoarding every little bit of cheese he can gather.
Sure, you can be a pillar of strength and boycott Disney, but like your personal picket is going to hurt Mickey’s pocketbooks. Stop whining. Enjoy their properties. And cut them a check monthly. You know? Like the rest of us.
9. To Reboot or Not to Reboot?
Unfortunately, that is the damn question and it’s asked almost weekly by Hollywood. There have been several films that demand sequels or prequels. There are others that need a reboot, remaster, or remake. Given what a modern Hollywood can do to some film considered a “classic,” all of that perceived lack of originality could do some good.
Be honest: It’s about a cash grab. (And, no, Disney isn’t the only one guilty of this.)
Some producer may not have an original thought in his pea-brain skull to create a movie, but dude probably believes the cash registers would create a symphonic sound at his bank to recreate a monster movie. How did that work out again, Universal? Regardless, some movies should never be touched. Can you imagine a remake on GoodFellas?! Others should repel the thought. (Remember when Jason Momoa was the new Conan the Barbarian?)
It’s a sinister part of the world we live in. Quick cash is what we want. This is a terrible way to get it. If you don’t like the “re-whatever,” don’t see it, but it sucks if you hate on those who do.
8. CBMs vs. Cinema
Remember the good ol’ days of Hollywood? If you forgot, Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola were around to remind you in 2019 during the Oscars. These esteemed gentlemen sullied their legend in the eyes of nerds when they became cantankerous old farts in front of our eyes as they claimed that “comic book movies were not real cinema.”
Sure, they were butthurt because Todd Phillips‘ opus Joker was getting all the Oscar love, snuffing out three icons of the industry in Scorsese’s magnificent The Irishman, but to call CBMs “not cinema” was just inaccurate and untrue. If you don’t like comic book movies, fine. I’m sure there’s a sweet romcom that would tickle your fancy out there, but there is a legion of nerds who love them.
What’s the most profitable movie in history again? That would be Avengers: Endgame. Admittedly, “profitable” doesn’t mean “best.” That superlative is way too subjective, but ask a geek and that Marvel “non-cinema” film will be at the top of most lists.
The moral of the lesson is this: Just because something isn’t your cup of tea doesn’t mean it will not hydrate someone else, Pops.
7. Are DC Films Too Dark?
From The Dark Knight trilogy to Zack Snyder’s all-too-briefly experienced DCEU, the worry has always been the same: “Why are these DC Comic movies so dark?” That one sentiment seemed to echo on timelines worldwide. Even Deadpool smacked DC around…
Few people discussed the genius of storytelling or the depth of filmmaking in the DC/WB tandem productions. It was about the destruction and eternal somber feeling the viewing left you with as you clutched your box of Milk Duds.
Then, the ballyhoo of Snyder’s personal tragedy was the first domino causing a colossal fart-and-fall-down moment for the entire DCEU. Sure, WB spoke up, disbanded the dark brotherhood, and brought us Aquaman. Yes, it became WB’s powerhouse. They thought they had a formula, so next came the fan- (and family-) friendly Shazam! But, they just couldn’t help themselves, and we got the most morose and bleak depiction of a comic character yet (and probably, ever) with Joker.
So, why are these movies so dark with WB and DC? They work. It’s Hollywood. You will get some and miss some, but they have a formula they like and one that sets them apart from the competition. Not every movie will be a visionary trek into the abyss, but more will come. Accept it, buy your ticket, and enjoy the ride.
6. Is Race-Switch Casting a Good Thing?
It seems ever since Michael B. Jordan was paid to play Johnny Storm in that beleaguered remake of Fantastic Four, “race-switch casting” has been a regular open scab for the CBM world. Does it work? Should it happen? Is it even necessary?
On one side of the casting fence, we have “Well, it’s not Marvel’s or DC’s fault the characters were chosen as they were.” Actually, Captain Politically Correct, it is. You see, comics have been around since the 1930s. In case you’re not up-to-date on American history, if you weren’t white, you may have been frowned upon. So, the comics have tried to retroactively correct the heinous ills of the past and usually cast someone “different” for the same comics.
Take Zazie Beetz in Deadpool 2. She was great as ‘Domino.’ It worked, but canon shows that woman was slightly paler. The same happened with ‘Baron Mordo’ in Doctor Strange or ‘Valkryie’ in anything Thor. Did those actors present an appealing character? Definitely. (Well, maybe not for Jamie Foxx as ‘Electro’.) However, canon-committed nerds were ready to petition. Which leads to the other side of the fence: “Comics need to wake up and smell the 21st century.”
Yes, they do, but is it a risk? Did you know ‘The Ancient One’ from Doctor Strange wasn’t really a bald British lady? Before you get uppity, did it matter? Really?
That was Tilda Swinton and she crushed that role. What about Heimdall? No, he didn’t look like Idris Elba originally (dude was Scandinavian, remember), but did you really even notice?! Of course not, so shut up.
Now before you try to make your narrow-minded point and throw shade on Halle Berry as ‘Selina Kyle,’ that did not happen because she wasn’t white… it was because that movie was sucked out loud, which happens sometimes with CBMs regardless of sex, color, gender, or overall acting ability.
5. Should Marvel Own All Its Properties?
When Marvel purchased 21st Century Fox, the regalia was loud, wide, and joyous! Finally, the X-Men would come home where they belong. Of course, that implies recasting and getting rid of the magnificent portrayals from people like Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, and Sir Patrick Stewart, but they’re back with Marvel.
(Not for nothing, but no one is replacing Wolverine, Dr. X, and young Magneto in my mind.)
However, Marvel doesn’t own everything they created. Back in the 1990s when they were going broke (imagine that: Marvel was going bankrupt at one time), they sold properties they still don’t have back. For example, Sony still owns Spider-Man. Sure, they aren’t pissing in Marvel’s sandbox and being nice, but still. Other characters are Namor (and you want him in Black Panther 2), Hulk (yes, he deserves a lasting solo film….still) and the baddies for Spidey that makes up the Sinister Six.
The X-Men have been widely successful, thanks to Sony and Marvel playing together. This can happen again, so should Marvel own everything they created? Absolutely, but finders keepers. That’s life.
4. Should Batman Kill?
Ah, yes. Denting the bullet-proof armor of the Caped Crusader. Should he kill and go against his ethos because his parents were killed? The guy has no powers, except as Batfleck said brilliantly…
He’s a genius tactician and is one of the world’s best-ever detectives, but his ability to squash the bad guys are not just mental. He’s a supreme martial artist (like up there with Shang-Chi, Iron Fist, Daredevil, and Lady Shiva). If a nerve-lock or a flying crescent kick goes wrong, yeah, bad guy is toast. However, as canon enthusiasts will tell you, this is not about his self-control; it’s about Bruce Wayne not wanting to become like the element he is ridding from Gotham.
However, those guys shoot to kill. If they catch Batman, he will die. His moral code is among the strongest aspects in comic lore, but, if the villains are using nuclear bombs to smoke him (and another continent), he may spray some lead. That means, bad guys may die. I don’t think the CBM fan will lose much sleep over that.
And before you talk smack about Batfleck and that fantastic warehouse scene, Michael Keaton killed folks (he tied one dude to a bomb), Christian Bale killed (his trek to the League of Shadows, anyone), and even the drawn version of Batman killed in the comics (e.g., Reverse Flash, KGBeast, Joker, and even Green Arrow)
Now, can we move on from this debate and get to another Bat-related question: “Why can’t D.C. keep a Batman for more than three effin’ movies?!”
3. Book or Movie?
When was the first moment you realized you may be a geek?
Was it playing Dungeons & Dragons and getting pissed because you weren’t named ‘Dungeonmaster’? Was it when you read a brilliant science fiction book and rushed to the movie, then shouted, “There’s no damn way Michael Crichton would have been happy with those Jurassic Park characters!” Or, was it that moment when the hero makes his triumphant return in the movie and you shed a nerd tear? (Yes, that’s the path for many CBMs.)
Regardless, you’re a geek. Embrace it. Share it. Debate it.
Among those lively water-cooler chats have been the analysis of a book outperforming the movie adaptation. Regardless of the genre, this is an argument that is bound to rise to screaming. (Stephen King fans out there?)
In my years of nerddom, I have learn at least one irrefutable truth: The book is rarely better than the movie.
However, when it is, it is instant fodder for anyone to take to social media and brag about their movie watching experience. Back to the Jurassic Park example: the film was amazing and revolutionized filmmaking with beasts; however, if you cherished Crichton’s books, you knew the characters fell short and some even had a frontal labotomy. Also, the action in the book was the making of an R-rated gorefest.
Books are written for imagination. Movies are made for entertainment. These are not necessarily the same. Just ask Crichton or King…and their fans.
You knew it was coming, admit it. The only question was where. Well, we found it. Among all the CBM and geckaphile arguments, this silo has become more like a cesspool with its stagnant water, flies, and the rest of stink that comes from many of these trolls.
Let’s get three things perfectly clear about this argument:
- It has validation — The screenshots, the discussions, the conspiracy theorists, and all those damn Zack Snyder bombs fueling this thing. (They’re so great, BTW.) There is a ton of material that was swept up on the cutting room floor. That part is clear. And given the unceremonious and shameful way Warner Bros showed Zack the door following one of the darkest periods in his life…well, there is certain credibility the material exists to create the mythical #SnyderCut.
- It won’t happen — There are plenty of pictures to see and celebrities to hear about the need for this director’s cut, but it will have to be bankrolled privately. That means creating, producing, distributing, marketing, and selling. Because even though it would make a King’s Ransom in ticket sales, Warner Bros is not going on a diet to eat that much crow. The profit would be so nice because we would reward it in droves, but even they know how trolling works. You folks won’t shut up about it, which is why they won’t take that chance. If only you folks could play nicer.
- It would be awesome – Everyone would finally get to see Zack’s vision of the mother boxes, what Cyborg could really do, possibly the two missing members of the foundation (i.e., Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter), and of course, we would meet Darkseid and stop focusing at that CGI abortion called Steppenwolf. Nonetheless, it would be awesome. Sigh.
There are few movies I would want to see more, but it will never happen for many reasons. And appeasing the many pickets, petitions, and guerrilla marketing tactics is far from WB’s list of “essentials” right now. Just move on.
1. “This” Versus “That”
Yes, these age-old arguments are fun to have, if that’s what they remain — fun. Unfortunately for nerds, we don’t get grown-up things anymore because some of you people can’t handle that kind of adult responsibility. The entitlement some nerds have is borderline insane.
Simple debates like “Star Trek vs. Star Wars: Who ya’ got?” have ended up in fisticuffs because the pressure is too great. Be passionate about your brand of comics. Boast on their accomplishments. Brag about the minutia you know during a trivia contest. But please, just because you favor Marvel over DC, doesn’t mean the guy or gal who loves Justice League is wrong and you may troll them now.
You’re the fool. Not them.
Just leave people alone. Let them love…wait, here’s a novel concept…both brands. Do you think there is a world where that can happen? Reason with your Twitter colleagues. Appeal to their senses. If you don’t agree…who the hell cares?! This is nerd stuff. We are not curing cancer.
I can like both comics. I can even appreciate both space sagas. I can see the worth in Joel and Mike from MST3K. I can love LOTR but think The Hobbit trilogy was woefully inept. I can find good parts in both the prequels and sequels of Star Wars. I can breathe easy if I believe Batfleck was more convincing than BaleMan (and that Michael Keaton put them both to shame).
Regardless of what I think, I’m happy to discuss your opinions. You may sway me. You may not. But this is geek stuff. You need to take that fake pink slip of “ownership” out back with the rest of the debates, shoot it in the head, and make glue out of it. Just learn to appreciate what we are given in entertainment, then maybe you can get along with everyone else who already does.