Needlessly Negative Nerds.
Why are we doing this?
We, the spoiled many. We, the comic book cretins who never ever had any childhood reason to assume that we'd ever see an actual, real-deal Aquaman movie. Full stop.
I don't want your opinion on that movie. At all. Ever. That's the point of this.
The CW Network has given us seasons of multi-hour programming featuring similar "never gonna happens." Marvel has been maintaining an ongoing filmic continuity for over a decade. DC has a Batman-less, 70s-esque solo Joker film coming out this year from Todd "HE'S MAKING A SERIOUS SUPERHERO MOVIE?!" Phillips. Statistically- according to my singular, Twitter-feed research- some of you don't like any of the aforementioned offerings. And either you really don't or you just say you don't, but both seem born out of the endless, digital-space tantrum where saying things are shit is The Shit.
When that Joker teaser dropped this week-
Reminding you and us again that we have lived through a time where teasers weren't a thing and suddenly are because we need everything right now-
When that Joker teaser dropped this week, my research* indicated that a fair amount of internet dwellers didn't like it. One person argued that DC was trying to be super dark and Marvel didn't have to stoop to that game to be successful. Another person said that the Joker as an actualcomedian is as stupid as making Batman a bat enthusiast (or some similarly derivative bullshit). Another person, an honest to God comic book artist working on a re-launch of a once beloved comic book, tweeted that the Joker movie didn't resemble movie X - as everyone was saying - so much as it resembled movie Y, which now properly identified was why it looked like garbage.
ONE, DC already made Aquaman and they just dropped Shazam, so I'm not sure the darkness holds up and just to be contrarian? I think they're slowly shifting towards a bunch of one-off "best story available" movies without ties to any greater universe or continuity and... that's a little bit better than just replicating Marvel? And a marvelously long continuity that is sometimes exhausting and infinitely longer than any of the continuity their content is originally based on? I have seen Batman and Superman rebooted in their various books at least five or six different times in my lifetime if not more. And again- who cares.
TWO, it was a teaser and to infer a greater storyline, in detail, is stupid. To ignore actual, brilliant storylines or comic book takes on the Joker where he does indeed enjoy jokes and rope in the world of standup, even if it is just adjacent to or part of his hideout or crew makes your opinion remarkably suspect. At best.
But again- who cares.
THREE, this comic book artist is ignoring the best part of this whole damn world of escapism to begin with. YOU get to choose what you do or don't accept as your own personal truth or continuity. You in on the Christopher Reeve Superman and nothing else? Good on you. Enjoy. You do you. Do you hate every superhero movie ever and swear by the singular document of capes in their comic book form? Do it! I love it!
We always have the source and that's all that should really matter if something in this era of cinematic superhero bothers us. You don't like the way the new Joker movie looks? Ignore it. Celebrate the writers or directors or actors that got to make their dream careers or projects happen or don't and move on. Forever. No look-backs. Hell- I'll go with you a moment if you want to hate the new Joker teaser- it's a fucking mini trailer!- hate it because you hate the off-camera Joaquin and I will high five you on the way out the door... but don't sit in your high chair and pretend that it is "dogshit" when the little piece they've tossed us looks like an objectively well put together movie and a big step forward for a strange director I've never felt like spending any time with- not because his movies are bad, but because they aren't for me.
I saw a brilliant artist on Twitter whose work I admire say she thought the Joker movie looked great, but that it also looked nothing like anything she wanted to see at this point in her life. Too dark, too heavy, too much sympathy heaped upon an objectively bad person. Perfect take.
I'm using the word objectively a lot because the world and the world of cinema does indeed hold some hard truths. I have seen bad superhero movies. A lot. I have skipped some recent ones. I'm not naming any names because it DOESN'T MATTER.
In a world that is objectivelydarker than the one stowed in the youth of my memory, movies are only ever an escape, and an optional one at that. Even as I peck away at this piece today, I have seen single line dismissals of Shazam and- I can branch out-
Pet Sematary, too. Nothing in the way of tangible, objective proof of bad cinema. Just hard, fast dismissals. "This movie was shit," or "this was the worst superhero movie I've ever seen." That's wrong, even just based on the trailers and it's in the hard, fast language of people dropping a cool, hot take just because. These are the same people who publicly trash Game of Thrones for years only to watch it in private years later-
Who cares if someone likes something you don't? Enjoy your shit, ignore the rest.
I told my wife last night I was stewing on this for a while. I don't know that I really mean to convert anyone and I guess I only really just hope to get out of my head for a minute. It bums me out. As someone who has worked his ass off for well over a decade to get his work read and someday made into something other folks might view, I feel for the creators who have made these "worst superhero movies I have ever seen." I remember the little boy I used to be, who dreamed I'd live in a world where I could see my favorite superheroes fly on film- or more specifically swim.
I've worked as a nanny for well over ten years, too, and one of the longest lasting quotes from my very first kid was, "don't yuck someone else's yum." It runs through my head every day when I jump on Twitter. Have fun out there. Turn it off if you don't like it and tune it to the stuff you do.
Up, up and away.