Zack & Nick's Culture Cast

Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!

I’m Burned Out

I’m about through with pop culture in general. I’m sick of shitty memes clogging up my Facebook wall and the good majority of the Internet in general. It has gotten to the point where I’d completely delete Facebook if only it didn’t allow easy access to contacts I don’t get to see that often in real life (example: Nick!). It seems like everyday I am subjected to people re-posting image macros of inane superhero and/or Disney bullshit that I roll my eyes at whenever I see it. I have, in the past, been somewhat guilty of this as well, but I have more recently drawn a line in the sand that I shall no longer cross. I will partake no more in this kind of behavior, and neither will I condone it. I will hide people who post it from my wall so as not to subject myself to it. I will be more conscious of what websites I visit (The AV Club and IGN are both really trending downwards) and how often I give them my page views. In addition, I will only be going to see one superhero movie in theaters this entire year. I’m just through with it.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is the only comic book to film adaptation I plan to see in 2014.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is the only comic book to film adaptation I plan to see in 2014.

That is the one of the aspects of pop culture that has completely drawn my ire over the last few years. The continued film adaptation of comic books has done nothing but completely irritate me. The last few years have seen an absolute glut of comic book adaptations, with films like The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers, and Iron Man 3 each grossing over 400 million dollars in domestic box office, and over one billion in terms of worldwide grosses. Last year alone, Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, Kick-Ass 2, Thor: The Dark World, and The Wolverine hit theaters. This year we are at the very least slated to see Captain America 2, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and The Guardians of the Galaxy. Not long after, we’ll be treated to the likes of The Amazing Spider-Man 3, Batman vs. Superman (aka Man of Steel 2), Avengers 2, Ant Man, Sand Man (the Neil Gaiman one, not the Spider-Man villain), and perhaps a few more “phase 2” or by that point “phase 3” Marvel films.

TASM 2 has had one of the most insufferable marketing campaigns in recent memory.

TASM 2 has had one of the most insufferable marketing campaigns in recent memory.

It’s all too much. Furthermore, these films rarely take real risks, serving as nothing other than creatively bankrupt cash cows for multi-billion dollar film corporations. They are designed by committee to appeal to absolutely everybody, which kinda makes them honestly feel like they are really for nobody at all. It is for that reason that I have resigned myself to see only one superhero movie in theaters this year. I’ve chosen to see X-Men: Days of Future Past. Not only is it a franchise I’ve actively sought out at the theaters since 2000, it’s also a comic book franchise that I identify with my childhood years the most. The nostalgia I have for the X-Men goes back to the fourth grade, and it is probably the one comic book I purchased the most of in the 90s. I’ve seen every X-Men-related film in theaters, and have found something to enjoy about each one – even the terrible ones. This means no Disney/Marvel “phase 2” horseshit, which I’m sick of anyway. It also means no more pimping out of Spider-Man on Sony’s behalf (the projected sequels to this film make my head hurt and the marketing for TASM 2 has been insufferable). There aren’t any DC movies coming to theaters this year, so I don’t have to worry about that, thankfully.

Speaking of DC, the recent film “rivalry” between DC and Marvel has been another load of bullshit I just can’t take anymore. First, who cares which company has the most successful comic book movies (really, in the end is there a difference between one grossing 300 million and another grossing 250 million? It’s not like any of you are seeing that money). We get nothing out of it except for maybe two hours worth of disposable entertainment once or twice a year. Secondly, should we not be rooting for them both to succeed? Do people actively want bad Batman or awful Thor movies? I can’t figure out why we seem to live in a world where two things must be pitted against each other at all times. It’s like I’m living in 1993 again and having to hear which is the superior console, the SNES or the Genesis. It also doesn’t make sense to just lump Marvel together completely anyway, because Fox and Sony pump out Marvel movies as much as Disney does due to character licensing (which we’re not going to get into here – Sony owns the film rights to Spider-Man and Fox owns the film rights to X-Men and Fantastic Four, get the fuck over it and grow up).

Getting back to the Internet, I recently saw a completely insufferable image macro (an oxymoron, I

Guardians of the Galaxy is considered a risk -- but is it really?

Guardians of the Galaxy is considered a risk — but is it really?

know) about how DC is somehow “afraid” to make a Wonder Woman movie, but Marvel is “brave” enough to make a movie about a CGI space raccoon. Not only was this dumb, even for the Internet, but its also completely false. DC has already cast a wonder woman, who will be played by Gal Godot, of Fast and Furious fame. We know that Godot will portray Wonder Woman in some aspect of the Man of Steel sequel, and we know we’ll probably get a standalone Wonder Woman film at some point in the next few years. Meanwhile, Guardians of the Galaxy is hardly a film about a CGI space raccoon. The CGI space raccoon is a supporting player in an ensemble film with an extremely bankable actor giving him his voice. We have heard the argument for years now that Marvel has “more effectively” built their film empire while DC has somehow “languished” behind (the receipts from the Nolan Batman movies should declaw this argument, but they don’t). Shouldn’t this popular perception then help explain exactly why Disney took a chance on Guardians of the Galaxy? You can’t have it both ways, people.

Disney, DC, Marvel, Fox, Sony, Warner Bros. – I need to shield myself from any and all of these for the next couple of years. I’m allowing myself a visit to the theaters to see X-Men: Days of Future Past (mostly based at this point on the twenty+ years of nostalgia I have for the property) and that is that. I refuse to partake in the nonsense that is the DC/Marvel fanwank war. I refuse to post inane image macros of insufferably stupid horseshit. And I refuse to be a part of any of the nonsense that permeates what we call fan culture at this point in time. Nick recently pontificated about when the comic book film adaptation bubble would burst. With a slated 10+ films to release in just the next two years alone, I have to imagine it’s going to be soon, and I don’t think I’m going to miss it all that much.

-Z-

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3 responses to “I’m Burned Out

  1. storiesbywilliams March 3, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    I know the feeling. Wherever trends and popular things are involved, the bullshit starts to piles up. And these days, you’d need wings to stay above it all!

  2. Nick! March 3, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Pontificated…you make me sound important.

    Seriously though, I can’t argue with anything you’ve said here as you are 100% correct. While I don’t have the animosity for these superhero films that you seem to have, I truly hate the subculture that developed from it. It actively puts me off of the very thing I want to enjoy.

  3. Pingback: What I Want to See This Summer | The Culture Cast with Zack and Nick

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