Hello. Take a seat. Tea? Coffee? You’re probably realising now that this isn’t going to be an article about the Superhero movie bubble and my hope for its destruction.
No, this is an intervention.
Some of you, hopefully most of you, came to this article because you know me either personally or from my writing, or you read Audiences Everywhere on the reg and wanted to see what we had to say vis a vis the superhero movie bubble and its tenacity. You folks feel free to stay. Listen to what I have to say and let me know what you think.
Some of you though… You guys came here for a fight.
About a year ago I wrote something here, a warning that if superhero movie fans couldn’t get along then it would hasten the bursting of the bubble. No one listened. In fact it got worse. In the months since that article was published, I’ve seen death threats passed between two opposing sides of a discussion about a Superman movie, have received unsolicited criticism of an article of mine about a similar topic that went from mildly annoyed to nuclear very quickly, and I’ve seen this wonderful new thing of accusing critics of being bribed.
I think the catalyst for that last one was a two-parter. One, a filmmaker of dubious talents with a famous father and a propensity for saying stupid stuff on Twitter loudly declared that the reason his movies didn’t do well was because critics were being paid to shit-can them. This delightful fellow also, as delightful fellows will, has a quite rabid fan base and that idea took root in their minds. The second thing was the release and subsequent critical savaging of Batman v Superman.
Here’s the thing: That critics getting bribed thing? Not happening. Never happened. Disney is not writing checks to movie critics for them to bad mouth opposing properties. Nope. No. Never. It’s a tempting blanket to wrap one’s self up in. If one likes a movie and the critics en masse dislike it then maybe the temptation is to think it’s not the movie’s fault but the critics trying to line their pockets with dirty cash from rival movie studios.
Using the above as a sincere argument to defend an outside-consensus opinion of a movie makes the defender look silly. It’s tinfoil hat stuff. It’s telling a teacher the dog ate your homework. Of course, it’s only silly while it’s a Twitter thing shared between friends. It stops being silly when critics start getting harassed about their alleged #bias. A majority of sites that hosted negative reviews (i.e. nearly all of them) have seen their critics attacked on Twitter and their comments sections filled with vitriol and accusations.
You’re here, at this intervention, because the conversation, the one I wanted so hard to preserve before, is fucked into a cocked hat. And if you have ever made this accusation, particularly recently in your adult or young adult lives, it’s your fault.
If you’ve ever targeted a critic because they’ve disliked a superhero movie you like or if you’ve threatened someone for not liking the same superhero movie as you, or harassed, trolled, or otherwise abused someone because they had issues with a movie produced by an international conglomerate that couldn’t give less of a fuck about you, then you’re the problem.
You’re the reason we have a War on Fun; you’re the reason why people stay away from Twitter; you’re the reason the bubble eventually bursts. I have said this before and I’m saying it again and, so help me God, I’m sure in a year I’ll be completing the trilogy.
Comic book fans, superhero movie fans, the entire culture needs to be better than this. These movies, in the grand scheme of things, are simply enjoyable distractions. I love superhero movies. I want to keep watching them. I want to keep talking about them.
This is an intervention to say this: Stop ruining a good situation. Take a step back. Have a good time.
Is that too much to ask?
Featured Image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures