My inner 12 year old says Hell Yeah!

Something has been bugging me for a really long time, and I need to get it off my chest.

Lately there has been a lot of talk about movies and comic books.  One of the big topics has been the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII.  There has been a lot of debate on who the director should be for the new movie.  I’ve heard of lots of name being batted around.  Matthew Vaughan and Steven Spielberg are just two of the names that stick out to me.

Filmmaker George Lucas meets "Star Wars"-inspired Disney characters at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida

Recently a host on an entertainment television program said that Quentin Tarantino should be the next director for Star Wars VII.  My jaw dropped when I heard that.  It is possibly the worst idea ever… ever for Star Wars.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I like Tarantino.  I love Pulp Fiction, Death Proof, Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill.  But Tarantino is not the right fit for Star Wars.

I can see why the TV host would want Tarantino as the director.  He wants the franchise to be updated for the more sophisticated audience.  And that’s where I have a problem with the whole situation.  It should be made for kids.  We were kids when we fell in love with the series.  It should be made for kids now.  Why change what it is?

It’s also becoming a trend with comic book movies too.  More and more we are hearing that fans want comic book or Super Hero movies to be more serious.  They want the movies to be dark and gritty, and filled with realism.  Comic book and Super Hero movies are supposed to be fun.  It seems that everyone’s solution for a hit movie is to have Christopher Nolan attached to it somehow.  Look at the upcoming Superman Man of Steel.  Nolan has his fingers in that too.

Batman Begins rebooted the Batman franchise perfectly.  It had everything we needed for an origin story for Batman.  My kids won’t watch the movie, because it takes too long for Batman to show up on screen.  They get bored and move onto something else.  It’s the same with The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.  It’s not made for kids.  It is too dark and it is too serious.  Yes, it is great for the adult viewer, but what about the fan who wants to see a light-hearted Batman movie?

Superman II

If you are like me, a kid who grew up in the 80’s, which movie did you prefer?  Superman or Superman II.  I am willing to bet that most of you said Superman II.  And why do I think that?  Because it was fun.

The original Superman movie was boring.  On the whole it was good.  But it took forever before Superman showed up on screen.  Superman II started right off with action.  On top of that, the climax of the movie had Superman fighting Zod and his crew in the streets of Metropolis.  What kid doesn’t love to see that?

Writing this column on a weekly basis can become daunting at times.  It is real easy to become quickly jaded and think everything is crap.  That’s why I try to have my inner 12 year old take over at look at things with an open mind.  It especially helps when watching movies.  Take Ghost Rider 2 for example.  Yes it was a horrible movie.  The acting was pitiful, except for Idris Elba: he was great.  The plot was weak.  But when you watched that movie, could you hear your inner 12 year old yell “Hell Yeah!” when Ghost Rider transformed the excavator into a Tonka Toy From Hell?  Did your inner 12 year old laugh when Ghost Rider peed fire?  Mine did.

I just want the movie industry to stop taking itself so seriously.  I want comic book and Super Hero movies made accessible to everybody.  If I want to see it by myself it needs to be entertaining.  But I also want to be able to take my family to see the movie too.  It may be too much to ask, but I think it is possible.  The Avengers did it, why can’t other movies?

Ed Campbell
Ed Campbell

Ed Campbell is a collector of comics and action figures, primarily G.I. Joe. He is also a Cosplayer with Thor and Captain America as just a few of the characters in his arsenal. When not fulfilling his Comic Book Daily duties, he's "working for a living", volunteering his time for his local Fall Fair, and spending as much time with his family as possible. Use the links below to get in contact with him.

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Leigh Hart
11 years ago

“I just want the movie industry to stop taking itself so seriously” no, I just want the fans to stop taking movies so seriously. As an adult, it sucks when they change continuity, or make it less serious for kids but they have to shorten down a movie to 2hrs (ish) and they are made for kids. So, I agree with you Ed, just let your inner 12 year old enjoy the fact that they made a movie about your favorite character

11 years ago

Ed and Leigh,
I partially agree to you both. I think certain comic characters are supposed to be light hearted while others are rooted in realism and seriousness. Batman originally was a pulp, and dark character and Nolan doing those movies brought back the seriousness and legitmacy of a great character that was removed by the Shaumacher ones. Superman on teh other hand, is supposed to be fun, uplifting and action packed (like a Speilberg film of the 80’s…ET comes to mind), that’s the only way the character IMO is truly alive and portrayed ideally. So what I’m trying to say is, a character has to have the right director to reveal the essence of the character. Kids can have fun with Superman and wait to grow older to have fun with Batman. At the end, we will always have cartoons geared to kids that have toned down the darker characters. I think thats a good trade off…

11 years ago

This is a nice write up Ed. Topical with many sides to it. Personally, I have no issue with “serious”, but by “serious” I take it you mean “dark”. “Dark” in itself not a bad direction either but there’s just so much of it! It seems to be the default solution to making a character more intense and gritty. While it may work for Batman, it shouldn’t be applied carte blanche everywhere. I can go on but “dark, light or serious”… I’d be happy to settle for just “good”.

Considering that 95% of movies are remakes or sequels… Hollywood is dry on ideas. It’s clear to me that Hollywood and publishers simply don’t know how to respond to the slew activities out there. From video games, Facebook, iPad… the demand for our attention is greater than ever. The result is a media landscape that tries to shock, accelerate and intensify. How can anyone tell a meaningful story under this criteria? The result is 2 hours of CG assisted explosions that barely support an already thin plot in an attempt to create entertainment that’s easy to absorb. If Bruce Banner can suddenly change into the Hulk at will at the end of the Avengers movies because the story calls for it, let it be even though it makes no sense at all… but hey, look at all those explosions.

The end result feels like a cheap one night stand. Sure it was fun while it was happening… but somehow it’s not as satisfying as a more meaningful relationship.