What’s the best thing about movies? Be honest. You may want to say watching them or, if you have the skills, making them. Reading about them is cool, and writing about them is fun, too. But do you know what the the best thing is about them? The very bestest of the best things?Social media (specifically Twitter, in my case) has made it possible for viewers to share our ideas and views with millions of people from all over the world. My Twitter life is spent talking about movies 90% of the time (the other 10% being centered around discussions on Kevin Smith’s giant jorts), and I’m talking to people with whom I have no business interacting with. Two people I spend most of my time talking to, Ryan MacLean and Diego Crespo, are ten years my junior and live in Canada and America, respectively, while I’m writing this from Australia. Without Audiences Everywhere and Twitter, our paths would never have crossed, and yet I will talk to both of them every day about movies, TV, and comics. And for me, having moved to Australia less than a year ago, to have people to talk to (and there’s more than just Crespo and Ryan) about my geeky passions means a lot to me. So, obviously, people are trying to fuck it up.
Being a geeky male of a certain age is amazing at the moment. We live in a golden age for people like me (and us). Almost every big movie is based on a comic book or a sequel to a movie that was big during my youth, thus hitting me right in my gooey nostalgia-flavored caramel centre. This is a time when I should be able to go on Twitter and espouse my love or hate of a movie and discuss it with like-minded people like a grown up. Or, if you believe the louder portion of Twitter, if I like The Avengers then I’m a, “blind sheep who worships Whedon”. Or if I like The Dark Knight then I’m, “Nolan’s bitch”. At some point, we decided that there is a war being waged between Marvel and DC. If you like one you must hate the other. If you don’t like Iron Man 3, it must be because you only like DC movies; if you don’t like (or passionately hate) Man of Steel, it is not because it is a bad movie; it’s because you drank the Marvel Kool-Aid. After the SDCC trailers for Batman v Superman came out, I saw a tweet that read, “This movie looks amazing. RIP Marvel”. What kind of mindset allows one to watch a trailer for a movie and have one’s first thought be a joyful declaration that the advertised movie will be so good that it will shut down a company that makes the same type of movie that they purportedly enjoy? This not only ignores the fact that it’s a trailer and, by definition, will only show the most appealing parts of the movie in question, and accordingly is not always an indication of the quality of the finished product (see Prometheus, Man of Steel, or Phantom Menace), but there’s also a certain level of aimless bitterness that is required to get to that embittered battle station so quickly. And that wasn’t the only tweet of this nature that I saw (I wouldn’t write a full pleading article for just one misguided tweet).
Mark my word: If this rivalry fixation continues, our bubble will burst. In a few years, we’ll be looking at a diminishing viewership for superhero movies. If the rational, celebratory conversation dies (and it will) then new fans won’t come in. There won’t be an incentive for joining a culture of conversation if the front line showcases a barrage of abuse and unnecessarily defensive logic. And then, subsequently, there will be no joy in going to movies that we can’t rationally discuss. And then fans will stop going. And then studios will stop making money. And then they will stop making these movies.
There is no benefit in aligning with one company over another. If you like comic book movies, then just like them. Don’t fall prey to the Marvel vs DC mentality. There’s no feeling of superiority because DC makes darker movies or Marvel makes more money. The only person missing out is you. For now, geeky comic book fans are getting movies they could only dream about being made (there’s a smash hit Guardians of the Galaxy movie, guys), and maybe we’ve become complacent, or maybe, just maybe, some people are just dicks, and they will be dicks no matter what, and I’m reading too much into it. Anyway, I’m off to go on Twitter and look at jorts pics (they usually calm me down).
Featured Images: Warner Bros. Pictures/Walt Disney Pictures