It’s really hard to write a column called “In Case You Missed It” during the week of the Super Bowl. All news outlets and events contextualize themselves around it. To not cover the Super Bowl in any capacity would bore the reader, forcing them to ask themselves “What does this have to do with American Christmas? This in no way tells me how to judge the advertisements I am going to watch tomorrow.” All this spectacle is enough to drive a writer mad.
Even I’m a bit brainwashed. I had to go through my RSS backlog to re-anger myself about DC Comics announcing Watchmen prequels and the (since refuted) rumors of a Queen reunion with Adam Lambert replacing Freddie Mercury. Both of these made me furious for a day, but maybe all this fan abuse is good for us. It sounds masochistic, but both projects are gunning for the impossible goal of resurrecting the original spirit of their respective products when they are doomed to be handled by mortals. We’re left watching our daughters go on dates with weird but safe guys from their school. Partly scary, but both projects are in decent hands once you get over the Original Outrage.
By Original Outrage, I mean Star Wars: Episode I (in 3D). For a culture that’s so self-aware, we are having daddy issues over what I’d argue is the first real assault on pop-culture’s sacred writ. If remembering the original trilogy is like thinking of all the great things technology can do, Episode I (in 3D) is the first time you saw footage of the A-bomb and thought “My God, how can something that can give us robots and vibrators bring so much evil?” It’s the same assault we saw with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but yet we tell ourselves that it’s not real. It’s all spectacle. None of this matters.
If any band, show, or movie you love is worth loving, you’re going to see it revived as long as there is a way to make money from it. Even Zach Snyder didn’t start really wanting to direct Watchmen. DC was going to film it no matter what, and what if the next person they asked after Snyder was Brett “Rush Hour” Ratner? Zach Snyder took one for the team. The prequel artists are doing the same, and Adam Lambert would have done the same. Jason Segel assumed the same responsibilities when he took over The Muppets, and the most we can do is hope that someone’s Dracula musical is a good-enough indication of talent.
Conversely, did you see the Battleship trailer?
There are going to be even more terrible remakes and franchise movies every year. Some intellectual property is going to be exhumed and made to dance in a grotesque show of memories and extortion. As long as the people making it happen are earnest, we have less to worry about it. For everything else, repeat after me: This too shall suck.