Monday, June 24, 2013

The Geek Concerns

Just enjoy it, stop being critical. Let go and suspend your disbelief.

Every time a geek property is adapted, from the Harry Potter books to the latest Superman film, Man of Steel, there are millions of fans who will analyze and dissect the minutiae. They take laser scalpels and carve out fine, fine points to examine to death then argue that the adaptation isn't as perfect as it should have been. To the point where they can't find any enjoyment in what's been done for them.

News flash, geeks: nothing is perfect. Not even the comics or the original books or series the films are based on. Get over it.

And another news flash: you still have the original property the film was adapted from. You may remember that Alan Moore refuses to have his name on any filmed adaptation of any of his works, right? Did you know that he's not taking the Hollywood money, too?

This goes along with the notion that fans own their favorite characters more than the creators. Yes, fans are terribly important to the success or failure of any given story. I don't deny that. However, it's so popular to run down anything that isn't just so according to some mysterious rubric generated by the faceless, anonymous Geek Authority on Perfection.

This GAP anoints a studio's choice of director, scriptwriter, stars and even composer on the Internet. If the GAP loves a choice, the film usually has a great shot at success. They have decided that the studio's choice is either the best choice or the worst. The GAP will be the loudest proclaimer of "See? We were right!" when the film is still two weeks from release. The GAP will be minded.

However, the GAP is not representative of all geeks in the same way that not all critics represent all moviegoers. Some of those critics are saying that Man Of Steel isn't what they want a Superman film to be. There's no Lex Luthor, he doesn't save any kittens, blah blah blah.

Get over it already.

Remember, you still have your comics. I don't remember a lot of people complaining that Dan Turpin was redesigned in Superman: The Animated Series to look more like Jack Kirby. That was a significant change but because it was obviously (to the GAP) done with love for Kirby it was okay. That series, by the way, is the closest we Superman fans had to an improvement on the Christopher Reeve/Richard Donner films for a long, long time.

You may be surprised to learn that I didn't watch even one entire episode of Smallville. Not one. It wasn't because the show was bad (obviously not, it went on for what, nine or ten seasons?) but because it wasn't the Superman I wanted. I've heard its praises sung, I kept up with how it linked a whole bunch of characters from the DCU but my experience with superhero TV hasn't been good. I've always preferred animation.

But I didn't gripe about it. I didn't tear down the creators or actors and anyone who worked on the show because it wasn't what I wanted. I just didn't watch. Thus, I lose some Geek cred and keep myself removed from the GAP.

Nitpicking is boring, gang. Buy some popcorn, sit back and take in your favorite geek film and enjoy it for what the creators have done. So what if they didn't make it the way you would have? In this day and age you have the ability to make the film you want, all you need is a camera and an Internet connection. Really.

If you don't want to do that, then you'll have to respect the efforts of the filmmakers and creators. If you don't like it, don't go. And don't ruin it for the rest of us. You don't own Superman and neither do I. You don't own the Marvel properties, either. Let it go and enjoy what's been done.

Take Alan Moore's example and disassociate yourself. Then make your own stories and see how it feels to be nitpicked into the Phantom Zone.

Mind the GAP.