Even with my admiration of Captain America: Winter Soldier, I still loathe and despise fanboy movies. I just don’t see what’s to be gained by smiling and winking at them and going, “Ahh, well, at least they’re selling popcorn.” Fanboy flicks are a profitable malignancy. They are well on the way to kicking real, adult-level movies out of mainstream cinemas and into VOD, streaming and other home viewing options altogether. Super-amped fanboy flicks are the latest manifestation of the corporate influences which Pauline Kael noticed in 1980 and wrote about in her famous “Why Are Movies So Bad? Or, The Numbers” piece in The New Yorker. They are flagships of a trend that are coming closer and closer to suffocating a mainstream movie culture that used to at least occasionally be about mirroring or capturing who we were (our values, needs, hopes) and how we lived. Theatres used to be the equivalent of community churches (i.e, places for inner communion and contemplation), but fanboy flicks are turning them into the spiritual equivalent of roller rinks and amusement parks. Fanboy flicks are a metaphor for the overall devolution of art and culture, not just in this country but all across Europe and Asia. They are injections of corporate heroin and Hollywood is the dealer. They are not pathways into our common histories and values and deep-down places. They are things we shoot into our minds and souls, but they are obviously inorganic. They’re not herbal tea or pot or peyote. They aren’t even Valium or Xanax. They’re Demerol.