That Movie Does Need to be Made

64fdee4a039c20870dfeaf0612bc1c8c_20fc76867f32827c21b7c32d81b8090f When filmmakers announce a new movie online, especially if it is an adaptation, sequel, or remake, it is a safe bet that among the first comments will be the statement, “Why are they making this? It does not need to be a movie.” I am here to tell you that those comments are incorrect and what the people actually mean is, “This does not interest me in the least and I don’t know why anyone finds it interesting.” That is a perfectly acceptable response. Not every film is for you, and that is ok, but just because you’re not interested, doesn’t mean the film should not exist.

Movies have been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was little my mom worked days and my dad worked nights, meaning we only had family time on the weekends. Weekends mostly involved four things: doing yardwork and laundry, and watching football and movies. My parents were not big fans of either board or video games, so our family activity for my entire life (until the death of my father) was to watch movies together. For those of you old enough to not only remember Blockbuster, but also remember when they first rolled out their rewards program in 1999, normally you had to pay yearly price for it, much like the Nerdpocalypse premium feed. When the program began, they told us that we’d earned a lifetime membership into the rewards program at the gold level because the previous year we rented the fifth most movies from their store. We averaged renting a movie and a half every day that year, usually two or three a night in the summer because I could stay up later. That may sound crazy, but you’d be surprised to know that Blockbuster was only one of three places we rented movies. At that point, the demise of video stores had yet to begin. The following is an obvious statement, but it must be made: Not all of the 600 or so movies we saw that year were very good. My mom would watch anything and I was much closer to her than my dad who had no problem calling it a night when some horrible movie was on. Now, like most people who lose a parent, I would give anything just to watch and discuss a movie with my Dad again, the way we used to.

Maybe every movie is not a masterpiece and worth recommending, but many movies can inspire someone or bring a family together for 90+ minutes. If movies were required to have an A+ screenwriter, actors, director and cinematographer (oh and don’t forget--a strong message or tale that needs to be told and hasn’t been), a great year would see maybe five movies being released. There are billions of dollars to be made in movies, so I doubt the number of films made each year will ever change much, since you are never going to convince people to give up their livelihood. On the contrary, with cheaper avenues to cash, like direct to video on demand, we may see the number of films actually increase to what it was in the past when the studio plan was not so feast or famine with their budgets.

The easiest thing to rail against is the current remake culture that is taking Hollywood by storm. There have always been and always will be remakes, but they do seem to be more prevalent than ever before. Maybe it has something to do with the attention span of our country.  As the average attention span decreases, people may be less likely to go back and watch old films. Maybe that old film is a true classic and should be seen by everyone. When it comes to remakes, I believe it is fair to be disinterested in an original film’s style of filmmaking that died out before you were born, or preferring to have a movie populated by actors you recognize. One has to be careful when approaching a remake, because there are times when the remake is the classic, or just as much of a classic as the original, such as the following examples:

The Thing From Another World vs. The Thing

Infernal Affairs vs. The Departed

The Fly (1958) vs. The Fly (1986)

Scarface (1932) vs. Scarface (1983)

Ocean’s 11 (1960) vs. Ocean’s 11 (2001)

Judge Dredd vs. Dredd

Seven Samurai vs. The Magnificent Seven (1960) vs. The Magnificent Seven (2016)

Remakes and adaptations (of which there are more than a dozen left to be released before the end of this year) are like everything else: do not judge them too quickly or you may miss out on something special. Instead of rushing to say, “This movie is a waste of time and money,” I suggest being hopeful that the target audience loves it and keeping your mind open. If the trailer looks good, or all the reviews are positive, consider giving it a chance. If you think a movie is a bad idea, and it turns out to be a big flop, it is perfectly acceptable to offer a hearty, “I told you so,” to the people who were excited for it. Some movies are great, some are horrible, and most are somewhere in the middle, but all deserve and need to be made. All movies (independent of quality) generate numerous jobs (covering everything from craft services to actors to spending an average of 40+ million on advertising per studio movie), countless memories and just might inspire the next generation of great filmmakers.

Knowledge of the Hidden: The Occult and Superheroes

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In my town there is a small shop right at the end of Main Street called The Crystal Fox, whose contents really fit its charmingly ethereal name. In “The Fox” you can find all sorts of gems and stones meant for attuning different aspects of your personality, a full guide to chakras and meditation, incense for protection against vampires, books containing accounts of communing with spirits and the gods of old. I even once spied a man consulting his invisible fairy friends as to which type of channeling stone would be best for him! What is it that drives people to places like this? What does the theme of the occult offer to those that seek it out? What compels someone to be so in touch with their imagination, that realms not meant for us become accessible, even familiar?

When one peals back the layers of narratives we have surrounded ourselves with regarding death, god, the afterlife, the motive becomes clear: the appeal of occultism lies in its mystery, in its broaching of the impossible, in its journey to places we can never go. The word “occult” is Latin for “knowledge of the hidden”, and this is exactly what people seek when they delve into the occult. This desire for discovery, for fright, for strangeness is best served in the realm of comics, where anything that can be drawn on paper (or filmed for the screen) becomes possible. In a world where anything is possible, the occult pushes the limits of not only the physical, but of the spiritual, where true discomfort lies.

And it is by facing this discomfort that we gain some sense of control over it, the more fleshed out the narrative the more able we are to “understand” it. Death becomes heaven and hell, suffering becomes a hex or curse, even the weather becomes a portent of things to come. This sense of control is seductive and motivates the reader/watcher to place themselves deeper into the representations provided; this is why intellectual properties based around occult themes can have such rabid fan bases.

This becomes clear throughout the history of the occult in pop culture, from an exploitative thematic used to pump up the controversial nature of pulp fiction publishings to its highly commodified nature today. Even in the mid-1900s there was a burgeoning interest in the work of occultist luminaries such as Aleister Crowley or masters of occult fiction such as H.P. Lovecraft, both of whose works are responsible for greater ripples throughout popular culture that we see today, in a sense they even developed into full blown subcultures. These men provided answers (both in a fiction and nonfiction context) to some of the deep, troubling questions that are inherent to humanity; and their work as well as work like it set the stage for a modern obsession with magic, darkness, the afterlife, what have you.

However, as serious as those two representatives of the genre are, like with most developing thematics in the modern day the genre became much friendlier, much more approachable, in a sense: commodified. Horror became the go-to genre for a cheap thrill. Serious exultations on the nature of the afterlife became second in importance over time to the joy that the aping of such seriousness provided via films like Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice. Lydia Deetz is no less an explorer of that other realm than a narrator out of a Lovecraftian story, however, the tonality had completely changed, it had become approachable, and the necessity for something more shocking took form not in the mystery of the unknown, but in the form of increasing gore. Commodification was not just thematic (the lightening of the genre simply allowed for such): the real result can be seen in Halloween stores and Hot Topics across America. This has reached a fevered pitch in recent history too, simply look at the entertainment juggernaut that is the Harry Potter series: not only in the form of seven books and eight movies, but by the fact that you can purchase in real life almost anything witnessed in the story, not to mention visit a physical representation of it in the form of a theme park!

These results make it clear that occultism has reached a peak level of cultural relevance, notably in recent pop culture, however, how has this manifested in the world of super heroes? A myriad of interesting ways actually, most notably with the induction of DCs (now passé) “New 52” reboot of their comic universe. One of my favorite properties (which I will discuss more roundly soon), Justice League Dark, appealed enough to readers for its first issue to be one of the top 100 best-selling comic books of 2011. For a completely new title (one that was designed to launch with “The New 52”) this is fantastic, and shows a clear interest in the subgenre in the medium of comic books. Even the big bad from the first storyline, Enchantress (a large figure of the occult in comics herself), gets a role in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie.

This trending towards that topic can be seen even more recently with their relaunch of the Doctor Fate book in 2015, also, the character’s extensive inclusion in animated properties, specifically Young Justice. This representation of the character truly touches on some of the darker thematics associated with him: a concentration on the possessive nature of the character, the embodiment of the unknown and unknowable in human form, even the sacrifice on most make while facing the dark energies of the occult. This is not some cookie cutter magician being portrayed; this is a genuine explorer of the dark and vast adventures outside of human experience.

This isn’t limited to static pages, however, as we will see our first big occult-based hero blockbuster later this year with Doctor Strange. Truly, a film showing the epic nature of occult powers hasn’t been properly do-able until recently with the technology and computer graphics afforded by modern filmmaking. Maybe we can see for the first time, the closest we can in pure physical reality at least, the grand nature of the world-bending (literally, in the case of the trailer) powers suggested by the subgenre! The focus of such a film will need to be wide-ranging, and it will be interesting to see how director Scott Derrickson handles that.

That would not be the first foray of film into the world of the comic book occult, however, lest we forget 2005’s Constantine, an uneven if enjoyable foray of this subgenre into moving pictures. The same character, however, might be having a much more pronounced impact recently thanks to what was considered a fantastic representation in the recently cancelled TV series Constantine. Matt Ryan’s portrayal of the character was much, much closer than Keanu Reeves’ in the film version and good enough that it has bagged him a spot as the voice of John Constantine in the upcoming DC animated feature Justice League Dark.

As much as Doctor Strange will be the big reveal of the occult to the larger audience of the world, the Justice League Dark animated feature serves as a sort of culmination of these occult themes for fans of the genre. The comic book itself set the stakes for how a comic book can be “dark” (just look in issue #1 of the comic, when to show signs of the world going mad, a reference to “cows giving birth to meat slicers” is made). This property is meant to appeal to adults, clearly, however it also is looking for the visceral horror of the mystery and shadowed darkness of humanity that occult themes offer. The Justice League Dark property even has enough thematic sway and darkness to lure in the interest of one of today’s best horror directors, Guillermo Del Toro, and while the rumors of him directing a DCEU movie for the supernatural squad seem to have fallen through, just the fact that a face of horror such as Del Toro is looking at this shows how thematically ripe it is.

While animated features don’t retain the following of much larger live action features, the world of Justice League Dark is one that deserves to be explored. Also, its production heralds a sort of concentration on the subgenre of the occult that fits so well into the world of comic books and superhero movies. The Walking Dead has been the best-selling comic for a while now, I think in no small part due to its approach to the darkness and mystery described above. However, this is not just a genre for realist dramas; the nature of superhuman interaction itself seems to be destined to brush with the supernatural, something that has already been accomplished successfully in the medium and, I hope, will be fleshed out with the varied occult titles to be released. In the end, what is more appealing to the base desires of humanity than the ideas of the unknown, the enigmatic, the shadowy, the strange? How deep can super heroes now delve into not only the nature of what it is to be human, but what it is to be superhuman or even supernatural? It remains to be seen, but to be sure, this is a theme that deserves exploration, and if the creators of these worlds want to breach the realm of the truly unexplainable and mesmerizing, this is where they have to begin. Maybe, in the end, they can find some of that knowledge of the hidden.

How To Bring Deadpool to the Movies

deadpoolscoop Fox Studios has finally given Deadpool an official release date. After years of speculation, talks of an amazing script, and faux progress reports from principle actors and writers this movie is upon us. February 12, 2016 will bring with it either one of the most unique comic book experiences from Fox or possibly its worst. The character of Deadpool is by all means a thing that works extremely well on the pages of a comic book. He has a unique set of circumstances that won't be easy to overcome in a live action movie, but with a bit of light tweaking he has the chance to be a break out hit.

To quickly get an understanding of the nature of the character, lets take a look at the "leaked" (never believed this wasn't anything more than a marketing tactic) test footage. This is pretty spot on Deadpool in just about every way. It even features Ryan Reynolds mo-capping and voicing the character:

The one thing with Deadpool is he, above the average comic book character, changes so drastically depending who is writing him. Deadpool has always been a goofy character, often spending time jumping back and forth from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective to general ninja bad ass. He is extremely comedic and sometimes it can be a bit much. Can audiences stand 1.5 hours of pancakes and chimichanga jokes? While classic fans of the character would likely love it, this is not ideal for a movie for the average movie goer.

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Another issue with Deadpool is that he is completely self-aware. He often breaks the fourth wall (speaks directly to the comic reader or audience). He knows that he is in a comic book and addresses things that happen in the real world from time to time. Its one of the core things about the character that is so vastly different from every other comic book character we've seen on the big screen so far. Some have complained that having that be a factor would ruin the comic book movie universe that Fox has built. I don't think that would be the case. He is largely seen as being insane by mostly everyone he interacts with, so I would play to that aspect in the movie. I am personally a sucker for fourth wall breaking in movies. It just adds a dimension to a run of the mill story that can't be matched. Deadpool lives in that space of uniqueness, this aspect of his personality is a must.

So when I mentioned earlier about the hyper comedic ways that Deadpool is often portrayed I cringe at the thought of having to read his books when he is written that way. It likes too much sugar in your Kool-Aid. Sounds great at first but then you get that weird stomach ache. So how do you address this? Well you can go one of two ways, both with their pros and cons. First you can make Deadpool not a goofy character but rather have him crack just a few jokes and focus on the action. Similar to what Sam Raimi did with Spider-man. In that trilogy Tobey McGuire never really cracked wise while fighting. He had a couple of cheesy quips but all and all he just focused on winning the fight. It seemed to go over well with many non-comic readers, but more hardcore fans missed the Spider-man they know. Another way to address the goofiness is the sanitize Deadpool with a more serious partner. Obviously, that position would be ideal for his old parter Cable; think Lethal Weapon. Deadpool is Riggs and Cable is undoubtedly Murtaugh. The issue here would be a diluting of Deadpool in his own movie. While a buddy cop comic book movie is inevitable and frankly overdue, I don't think for Deadpool's first real outing this makes sense.

So how do we overcome this seemingly massive hurdle of comedy overload? The answer has already been given to us in the form of Rick Remender and Jerome Opeña's Uncanny X-Force run. Mixing together the rather hyper violent and comedic elements of Deadpool, Remender was able to write him in a 'twisted view of the world' sort of way. Never fully going into the routine that of a clown, rather Deadpool danced on that line. Take the image below for example. In this scene Archangel is dying, and Deadpool revives him with some "food."

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Here subtly (this IS subtle for Deadpool) is the key to his twisted humor. I don't recommend that approach for the entire film, but moments like this are what will keep people from getting annoyed and stay true to the character's outlook on life.

The extreme light hearted nature of the character is equally balanced with his propensity for unbelievable violence. In order to make this work the film would seemingly need an R rating. However, rumor has it Fox isn't going to do that, but rather shoot solidly for PG-13. I don't think a PG-13 rating is the end of the world, but it does handicap the project somewhat. With the PG-13 rating we can expect bloodless shootings, fast cutting sword work, and one or two F-bombs. The violence plays as such a key component to his comedic ways that the writing for this will need to be top notch. For the record, the script was written by the guys behind Zombieland (Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese).

Hyper comedy, hyper violence, and a need to speak to the screen makes Deadpool a very risky move for Fox Studios. However, in that risk lies a possibility to adapt a character with a tremendous fan base. The risks are very high, but the reward for a new property in the X-Men universe is very seductive. Come February 12, 2016 will shall see just which way Fox decided to go.

How would you address the issues with translating Deadpool to the big screen? Let us know in the comments!

Nerd Culture Critique: Nostalgia. Minds Blown!

Jackie Chan Minds Blown Seeing a movie for the first time can be a magical experience. We've all had a moment as a kid that seems like it can never be duplicated. To a large degree it can't be. Anticipation, information, and the sheer newness of an experience can render it unmatched by similar moments in the future. This isn't particularly debatable and if we aren't aware of this, we should be. The quote "cocaine is a hell of a drug" can be easily replaced with "nostalgia is a hell of a drug." We cling to nostalgia for a number of reasons, but the safety is the utmost one. Jumping out there with no life vest is scary. Why do I need to like new things, I have these old things that work just fine! Well sometimes the old stuff is better, and sometimes New Coke is better (in reality New Coke sucks). However, the larger point remains nostalgia can sometimes be a hindrance in how we view new properties, and more importantly, how we see our classics.

In the past few weeks I've seen many comments about the latest Spider-Man movie series, which I happen to enjoy and the budding Man of Steel series that Warner Bros is nursing into something great (so they hope). Statements like "the originals were way better" and "they can NEVER top what the previous ones did" are common battle cries in the war of superiority. Well some would say that's just people talking but I think it really pushes to the heart of the matter. If you make declarations like this early on than aren't you setting yourself up to already like the new property less? If a movie can never be topped in your opinion, can you really even bother giving another a fair chance? We touched on the pre-mature hate concept in a previous Nerd Culture Critique, here. However, this article focuses on one of the root causes, nostalgia.

Merriam-Webster defines nostalgia as 'pleasure and sadness that is caused by remembering something from the past and wishing that you could experience it again.' Sounds like every moronic debate I've seen about new movies series versus the old ones. Let's take the new Spider-Man movie series as the pitch perfect example. Some love it and some hate it. For obvious reasons many do comparisons between the Marc Webb and Sam Raimi versions. Many love the Raimi films that began in 2002 and bemoan the new Marc Webb versions as 'soulless','too gritty', and/or 'emo' comparative to the originals. My issue here is not about liking one version over the other. Its rather the rose colored glasses by which you see the originals. If you can't see them for what they truly are is there no wonder you see the new movies negatively?

Take Sam Raimi's movies for a spin without those slick rose colored specs on. The 2002 Spider-Man series is a testament to the bizarre view of comic book movies at the time. The sub-genre was just really getting into gear and the people making them happen still thought only kids read comics. Even the film creators lived in the bubble of nostalgia while cranking these movies out. For a movie in 2002, Spider-Man feels very much like 1960s comic book Spider-Man. Practically brimming with Leave it to Beaver style characters who a would rather say darn and goosh! For the average movie goer who was a current comic reader at the time this wasn't the Spider-Man they knew. This was masked by the incredible special effects, and the modernization of some key character designs (The Green Goblin specifically). So it seemed so up to date, but yet it was vastly outdated. I, like many reading this article, was blown away by what I saw. My 22 year old brain was screaming in delight, and I thought it couldn't get any better than that. Of course I was wrong. Spider-Man 2 came out and it was better! Once again, my stupid lizard brain thought 'can't get any better than that' and then Spider-Man 3 came out...and my brain was right. I still look back at that series with a great deal of fondness. It has its ups and downs, but in the end it was a good ride. Like all good rides, things have to end and you have to try something else.

So the Raimi trilogy ends prematurely, and Sony gets back on the horse by rebooting the franchise. Many fans were angry, upset, and bewildered by the possibility that their Spider-Man was no more. Flash forward to the release of The Amazing Spider-Man starring Andrew "he's too emo" Garfield. I put that moniker there not because I believe it but because it was such a idiotic commonality in the arguments from upset fanboys. Garfield's portrayal of Peter Parker was too emotional and just seemed out of place? I'll just leave this here:

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While I didn't think Tobey McGuire's performance was awful, he was hardly the funny/smartass Peter Parker we were use to, but those glasses are magical. Lets take a look at the trailer for Spider-Man 2. This just wreaks of cheesiness. I loved it, but come on. The character interactions and the set pieces are quite pathetic comparative to what we see today. The acting is incredibly wooden and stunted at best.

This isn't to say that the new Spider-Man movies are pure gold, as they have their issues. However, can you really look back on these movies and say it can never be any better than this? Really? These stories don't deserves another interpretation?

Age plays a pretty big part of the drug called nostalgia. When I asked someone recently what age they were when they saw the 2002 Spider-Man he replied that he was 7! I of course responded that the movie must have blown his mind, and he agreed. How could it not. A nerdy kid who loves comics sees Spider-Man come alive in front of his very eyes...seems obvious as to what happens next. So flash forward 10 years and the same person is less impressed with what they see now. The new one must be crap, right? Maybe, or maybe you aren't as enamored as you were upon the first viewing. I hear a lot of people say that The Amazing Spider-Man movie didn't WOW them or show them anything new and exciting compared to the 2002 Spider-Man movie. Well there's that drug again...nostalgia. Can you possibly recapture that shock and awe that you had 10 years ago. Likely your taste were simpler and less critical than they are now. Typical fanboys seeing these movies nowadays are about 25 years old. So when I hear them say the 2002 version is better I laugh. You were 15 then...everything was better. You didn't have bills, real responsibility, or the an actual life. This doesn't mean that you might not genuinely like the 2002 version more. It just means your perspective has changed considerably.

So when you look at these movies be aware of the nostalgia that might be affecting you view of these classics. Lastly, please don't pretend that Marc Webb should be chastised for changing Spider-Man's origin a bit and high five Sam Raimi for making Sandman kill Uncle Ben. That's argument is just completely moronic; be consistent. Both series have their issues, and more will pop up in Webb's as time goes on. Raimi's series and other series in the bubble of nostalgia should be looked at with a critical eye. The next time someone says: There will NEVER be able to top this. Chances are they are completely wrong. Take the glasses off.

Editorial: You Might be too Old to Review These Movies

Old ManMuch like age requirements to enter certain movies exists the notion of reviewing them might also need some regulation. This may sound like age discrimination, but far from it. In this day and age big Hollywood blockbusters have taken to be more about fantasy worlds, comic book settings, and the like. These sub genres are tried and true winners, but seem to lately be suffering under the boot of older reviewers who see them as juvenile and not worthy of respect. What I don't want to imply here is that all these fantasy based, and especially comic book based, movies are all excellent works that deserve no legitimate criticism. Legitimate is the key word here. When critics universally panned The Lone Ranger it was for good reason, or earlier this year we saw the same with After Earth. Both movies just suffered from the standard bad movie issues and critics responded accordingly. However, the star of The Lone Ranger, Armie Hammer had this to say about the state of American film critics:

"If you go back and read the negative reviews, most of them aren't about the content of the movie, but more what's behind it. ... While we were making it we knew people were gunning for it. I think it was the popular thing when the movie hit rocky terrain they jumped on the bandwagon to try and bash it. They tried to do the same thing to World War Z, it didn't work, the movie was successful. Instead they decided to slit the jugular of our movie."

While I agree with Hammer's sentiment it doesn't resonate so well due to the fact that his movie turned out to actually be terrible, but the point still remains. Do critics go after a movie unnecessarily before its even in the can? Have critics made up their minds before sitting in their theater seats? Does nostalgia cloud the minds of these critics when it comes to reboots, remakes, and decades later sequels? In a word, ABSOLUTELY.

I have been noticing a heavy handed approach to movie criticism rears its ugly head at about the mid point in the summer and keeps pounding along until we are out of the blockbuster season. Once again, please don't confuse valid criticism and what I'm talking about here. When the reviews of Man of Steel began coming out I knew that there was something very odd happening. While far from a perfect film, or even on par with Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight series, Man of Steel did not deserve the gutting that it received by professional movie critics. I read reviews that concentrated on the physique of Henry Cavill compared to Christopher Reeves, or ones that flat out asked the question of "Do we even need another Superman movie?" Nothing completely bias in that movie review title, right? So this begs the question, should any and every movie reviewer be allowed to review all genres of movies when they clearly have built in bias towards them?

Another moment that sticks out at me this year is the brutal reviews of Pacific Rim. While still a positive score on aggregate sites like Rotten Tomatoes the movie saw some very interesting criticism. Here is a quote from David Nusair of Reel Film Reviews:

...a punishing ordeal that just might mark the nadir of the modern big-budget blockbuster...

To me this screams of misunderstanding the very nature of a movie like Pacific Rim, or the summer blockbuster movies in general. They are not designed to challenge you mentally or to invoke feelings of heavy human emotion, sans excitement. Giant robots fighting giant monsters...that's it. If you are into kaiju properties than the movie is for you, but if you think they are silly then why even review the movie at all. If their was a sub genre of movies I hated or thought were a general waste of time you will NEVER see me review them. Its not fair to the movie or the genre at large.

Another part to this insane equation is age; I know that's mean, but its just a fact. Are there 60 year folks who can enjoy watching Deadpool rip it up on the big screen or watch Hit-Girl stab a guy through the chest with a sword? Yes of course. I would like to think that when I hit that ripe age of 60 I can still enjoy some mindless action. However, to pretend that this is true for all movie critics or even the majority is just naive. The more in touch with modern books, comics, etc the movies are the more these particular reviewers bash it. When it came to the new Superman movie I read tons of reviews stating that this wasn't the Superman that they were use to. Well tough titty, the movie depicted the Superman of the 90s to present. A grittier look at the man of tomorrow. However, nostalgia of Christopher Reeves (or even George Reeves) in red underwear cloud their minds from giving an honest review. When you spend 90% of the review comparing it to a movie made in 1978 then you just failed at your job...miserably. The idea of film criticism is to review the movie in a vacuum, not comparing it to things and saying it doesn't live up to X. That's lazy and unfair to the film your reviewing. The only time it makes sense is when the movie is a direct sequel.

So in the end I have a proposal, as a film reviewer you have to prove yourself worthy of reviewing certain film genres. You can't think slasher films are silly or too violent and review Texas Chainsaw Massacre. You should not be able to review Pacific Rim if you don't think Japanese Anime is an art form worthy of critical thought and legit criticism. I don't want to ready your Man of Steel review if you think Superman never killed someone in the comics, or that all comics are juvenile. Having an understanding of basic subject matter when reviewing movies is important. In order to appreciate the nuances of a movies like Shame, Lincoln, or The Way Way Back one should have an understanding of what human emotion looks like. You would not want an emotionless robot reviewing it and missing the all the highly important nuance. In the same way I don't want movies like Kick-Ass 2 dragged through the mud by people who simple see it as too violent while missing the overarching story and getting caught up in the blood and guts. Or to a larger extent, thinking that because of all the blood and guts the movie is just gruesome and deserves to be dismissed. This year Hollywood critics are guilty of one major sin: They got tired. They tired of all the big robots, metal claws, and flying robot suit centric movies. As a reviewer your job is to not get tired. If you are tired of reviewing these type of movies then retire. I never see critics tire of the multitude of relationship dramas or historical biopics that clogged the movie release calendar for 10 months a year. So buck up Hollywood critics, put your big boy pants back on and start reviewing movies with a sense of purpose, not with a sense of destruction. If you can't do that then you might be too old to review these movies.