I don’t know about last-minute ComicCon 2014 schedulings, but the only surprise presentations that could seriously rock Hall H would be ones for Chris Nolan‘s Interstellar, Zack Snyder‘s Batman vs. Superman and J.J. Abrams‘ Star Wars: Episode VII. The only guaranteed hot ticket will be for George Miller‘s Mad Max: Fury Road. Can you imagine anyone actually cheering Lana and Andy Wachowski‘s Jupiter Ascending? “Whoo-hoo!…delayed until February!”
ComicCon 2014 will run from tomorrow through Sunday (7.24 thru 7.27). I for one am serenely uninterested in driving down to San Diego today. I’ll probably never attend that convention ever again, and for good reason. Last year at this time I wrote that ComicCon-ers “are the aesthetic locusts of our time…the dustbowl drought of the early 1930s visited upon cinema.” No less true today, and probably more so.
Anyway, with nothing new to say at this stage here are HE’s Greatest ComicCon Hits:
“I’m not going to dignify Battleship with a review. I could call it stunningly idiotic alien-invader CG sludge for gamers but what’s the point? What it is, boiled down, is yet another metaphor for the decline of civilization as it was once known and nourished by the likes of Norman Mailer, Anne Bancroft, Ernst Lubitsch, Jean Seberg, Gunter Grass, Bernardo Bertolucci, Jean Genet, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, William S. Burroughs, Francis Coppola, Sting, Gary Cooper and Jerry Lewis, et. al. Damn the ComicCon-ers for movies like this. Damn them all to hell.” — “Alien Flotsam,” 5.8.12.
“Over the last dozen or so years I’ve gone from being disinterested in ComicCon to being somewhat intrigued to being an occasionally pleased and amused observer and a Hall H marathon seat-holder to being disdainful and then really disdainful and finally to where and what I am today — an outright hater. The tastes and appetites of the ComicCon faithful have always been valid in and of themselves, and I love guys like Ed Douglas, Devin Faraci and Peter Sciretta, etc. Plus I’ve repeatedly recognized and stated that when any kind of mythical-fantasy film works, it pays off in ways that reality-driven films can’t spiritually touch. But as a voting bloc or commercial force ComicConers have encouraged if not directly brought about the ‘ooh wow cool!’ dumbing-down of mainstream megaplex cinema and have turned a once-majestic art form into a form of low-rent amusement park swill.” — “The Herd,” 7.19.13.
“Their tastes and enthusiasms have encouraged the proliferation of mythical and superhero comic-book storylines and plotlines to the point of nausea, and in so doing have almost completely devalued and erased real-world plausibility and authenticity in adventure and action thrillers by celebrating Joseph Campbell myths, empowerment fables and CG-fantastique dreams above all.
“If I was a wrathful Zeus I would bring a 750-foot-tall tidal wave to San Diego in the pre-dawn hours, the likes of which not even Jim Cameron or Roland Emmerich have imagined. Not as some quick-fix solution to the disease of CG-driven comic-book megaplexa, but as a judgment upon civilization in the same way that the Great Ancient Flood that Darren Aronofsky‘s Noah protected himself and his flock against was a judgment. If God was ‘God’ and he gave a shit about movies and art and earthly transcendence and if He could ‘speak’ He would surely smite them all — not to erase or eradicate but as a kind of critique.” — “The Herd,” ibid.
“Epic, escapist, large-scaled cinema has been engulfed and poisoned by the ComicCon virus (video-game and comic-book mythology, physics-defying fantasies), and submentals the world over are submitting to the historical visions of pulp-loving low-lifes like Zack Snyder (whose 300 I hated) and Steven DeKnight (the Spartacus series) and Pompeii‘s Paul W.S. Anderson (the poor man’s Snyder). Some of the ‘fans’ (i.e., the ones who watch this crap ironically) obviously know that the video-game vistas and blatantly fake-looking CG compositions are unfit to watch and that the cliched, braindead dialogue is unfit to listen to, and yet everyone is nodding out and munching away in the multiplexes as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We all know things are bad — worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy.” — “Paid $14 (Plus Parking and Popcorn) To See Pompeii.”
“21st Century moviegoers are completely accepting of action feats that no one outside of cyborgs would be able to do in any realm governed by the laws of physics. Even people in the best of shape (i.e., X-treme sports champs) get tired and bruised and can only handle so much. They’re capable of this and that but they’re made of flesh, blood and bone. And yet vulnerability is something you rarely see in films these days. That, again, is due to the ComicCon influence, and that is why someday you will see certain producers and directors facing charges in the cinematic equivalent of the Nuremberg War Crimes trials. I can’t wait to prosecute. — “Physical Verisimilitude,” 7.6.14,
“On 8.4 Scott Brown‘s Vulture interview with screenwriter Damon Lindelof appeared. The gist was obvious — robot-zombie Hollywood is bingeing on destruction porn, and in so doing is eating its own tail. I read Brown’s article and went “yeah…so?” I’ve been saying this for years. Strafe the ComicCon faithful in an F4 Phantom jet. The more CG apes and comic-book geeks you can eliminate, the better. The 80-minute finale of Man of Steel was, I suspect, the straw that broke the camel’s back for many of us. It’s gone too far. It’s moderately interesting to hear Lindelof, one of the leading whore-architects of this trend, admit that self-destruction is inevitable but…aahh, I wasn’t excited enough to link to it. But I came back to it today and decided that Lindelof’s quotes are so well-phrased that they deserve a re-reading.
“Hollywood has to be allowed to eat itself whole and thereby kill the Golden Goose. Only then, only when audiences are so exhausted and numb from all the violent CG destructo-crap that the Spielberg-Lucas prediction comes true…only then will Hollywood step back and go, ‘Wow, we can’t just keep piling on the CG bullshit and destruction porn — we actually have to make real movies again.'” — “Death Wish,” 8.11.13
“Look at Comic-Con and then tell me if you think Hollywood is going to cut back on its comic-book dependency. Look at how that event was covered by the critical establishment and you’ll see how everything still validates the conglomerates’ bottom line. By and large, people are not looking for intelligent, edgy, mid-range movies. They’re looking for superheroes and special effects. They’re looking for amusement rides. They’re like the kids in Pinocchio who still want to go to Pleasure Island. They’re voting to be donkeys.” — Variety‘s Steven Gaydos quoted in “ComicCon Seppuku,” 7.28.13.
“Scratch a ComicCon geek and nine times out of ten you won’t find a shrewd analyzer of popular art or culture or aesthetic expertise. Not necessarily, I mean. What you’ll almost certainly find, I suspect, is someone who’s thisclose to weeping when something gets to him/her emotionally. You’ll find, in short, a girly girl who’s looking to wet her panties and then cry about it.
“Remember all that fluttery geek ecstasy that greeted The Avengers? All those falsetto hossannahs? Remember how Harry Knowles wept when he saw Armageddon? In their heart of hearts geeks are fair young maidens singing ‘some day my prince will come,’ except their ‘prince’ is that one super-special, unbelievably cool CG comic-book superflick that will make them really damp and squishy.” — “Some Geeks Are Girls,” 7.7.12.