Ask Dayton 109 – The Geek Movie Query Derailment
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 in 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 movies. 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 on which Hollywood studios tend to hitch their wagons. I enjoyed 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 a shit-ton 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 some 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 comic 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 so much the better. Bring all that shit on. The sooner, the better.
But, wait. There’s more.
He is the co-owner of Busy Little Beaver Productions and is the producer and co-host for G & T Show and Gates of Sto’vo’kor. He’s directed voice actors, and produced and edited audio podcasts and dramas because he doesn’t have the face for video. He plays well with others and is always on the look out for the next project, the next thing, the next next. If he wasn’t working on something with a half dozen other projects waiting in the wings, somebody please check to make sure he’s still breathing.
During the day, he’s a mild-mannered computer repair man who dabbles in web design in his small, rural, Central California community. He lives with his lovingly dysfunctional family and loyal canine companion and spends most of his time in the closet concocting some hair-brained scheme or another. He’s got an unhealthy obsession with Lego video games, Klingons, and Star Trek Online that borders on the neurotic.
Despite all this, he still finds the time to write the words. Find out what he's doing here.