What’s that? Two weeks in a row? I sense a pattern forming!
That’s right! If it’s Sunday, that means another episode of the G and T Show. Even with Terry Lynn Shull gallivanting around the Big Apple this week, Nick Minecci and Mike Medeiros held down the fort and kept the conversation going about various happenings in and around the “Star Trek Universe.” When the time comes for one of them to run to the bathroom or go and get a fresh cup of coffee, they halt the show’s more relevant in order to deal with one of their chief distractions, the latest “Ask Dayton” query.
So, what was in the hopper this week?
The new Star Wars trailer dropped and people lost their collective minds. Marvel and DC film schedules were announced that seem to stretch until your girls are grandparents. Your thoughts on all this? Is this truly the Golden Age of Geekdom, or just the start?
My first thought is that I’m probably more excited about new Star Wars and super hero movies than might be considered appropriate or even healthy for a man my age.
Note that I said I was “excited,” rather than “worried,” “concerned,” “betrayed” or “meh.” Given that the legions of mouth-frothing middle-aged fanboys bitching on the internet have seen fit to ensure all those other bases are covered, I thought I’d be different, and actually be happy about something for once. Call me crazy.
Of the films we’re talking about here, I’m probably most interested in the new Star Wars flick. My daughters are big into Star Wars thanks to stuff like the Clone Wars and Rebels cartoons, and we’ve watched the other movies together. I was 9 at the time the first Star Wars film hit theaters, and my oldest daughter will be the same age when we go next year to see Episode VII. I love the symmetry of what we’ll be sharing next Christmas, and I’m not about to let “The Fandom Menace” fuck that up for me, so piss off, haters.
Elsewhere, I was jazzed to hear about the new James Bond movie that was formally announced a couple of days before Nick reads this. I’m even interested in Terminator: Genisys, if for no other reason than I think I need to smoke a giant bowl before I have any hope of understanding what the hell that movie is trying to do.
“But, Dayton,” I can hear someone saying, as they’ve been doing every minute of the nearly two weeks since the Star Wars trailer dropped, “all Hollywood’s doing is rehashing the same old crap. They’ve run out of ideas, blah blah blah.”
There are plenty of movies out there that aren’t sequels, prequels or reboots, but apparently nobody goes to see those. They’re too busy running to the multiplex to catch the latest sequel, prequel, or reboot so they can dash home and slag it on Facebook or Twitter. Between mainstream and art cinema, film festivals, direct to video and direct to streaming services, there are hundreds of films released every year, most of which will come and go all but unnoticed. Meanwhile, our attentions are focused on whether Rise of the Paranormal Expendable Transforming Vampires on the Planet of the Lost Armies 3 will make 150 million dollars in its first five minutes of release because if it doesn’t then it’s a FUCKING FLOP, amirite?
Now, don’t get me wrong: I love loud, fun, action movies of the sort to which Hollywood studios tend to hitch their wagons. I dug the shit out of Guardians of the Galaxy, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but I also enjoyed smaller, quieter, even artsy pictures that never receive the sort of attention lavished on big-budget merchandising gravy trains. Anybody go see The Monuments Men earlier this year? Or Birdman, or Nightcrawler? Gone Girl? John Wick? Anybody going to see Selma or Unbroken when they hit screens? What about Edge of Tomorrow this past summer, which had all the earmarks of a blockbuster but came and went with little fanfare? Hell, it was recently released to home video under a different fucking name, in the hopes people will discover it there.
A lot of people didn’t or won’t, because they were or will be too busy rubbing one out to the latest Transformers while bitching that Hollywood has run out of ideas. Meanwhile, the Transformers flicks are like porn, in that nobody will admit to going to see them even though the last one made over a billion dollars at the box office, and an ass-load more money on home video. This, despite being such a pile of shit that piles of shit are organizing a White House petition in the hopes of getting a new name. One review called it “the best action movie ever,” a statement that defies all empirical evidence, good taste, and common fucking sense, and perhaps even a commandment or two. (“Thou Shall Not Diss Die Hard, Mother Fuckers.”)
The one non-sequel/prequel/reboot movie that everyone seemed to flock to was Interstellar, but opinions are all over the map on that one. Some think it’s the greatest movie ever made while others are still hoping there’ll be a fucking app or Cliff’s Notes or some other damned thing to help figure out what the hell they just saw. Of course, you just know it’s what Christopher Nolan intended. Way to go all Kubrick for the ADD Age, you clever son of a bitch.
And speaking of ADD, I seem to have wandered a bit, and by “a bit” I mean I think I’m off the reservation by a zip code or three. Sorry about that. To address the second part of this week’s question: Is this the Golden Age of Geekdom? Maybe. It’s true that comics and science fiction have entered the mainstream so far as film and games are concerned, but doesn’t this mean that they—or at least those versions of these stories—are no longer “geeky” by definition?
Personally, I’m happy to see these things enjoyed by more people. There’s plenty for everybody, and if it means that quiet, introverted kids with Batman T-shirts don’t get harassed at school, and girls who like to play HALO or read The Walking Dead can do so without having to justify their existence to gatekeeper assholes, then I say bring all that shit on. The sooner, the better.
This question and its answer was read during G&T Show Episode #169 on December 7th, 2014. You can hear Nick read the answers each week by listening live, or check out the replay/download options when the episode is loaded to their website: The G and T Show. Listeners are also encouraged to send in their own questions, one of which will be sent to me each week for a future episode.
And as always, many thanks to Nick, Terry and Mike for continuing to punish me this way.