Of course I was spoiled growing up. We didn’t just have The Muppet Show (and Fraggle Rock!) on TV- we knew the name of the man who brought the Muppets to life; Jim Henson. We even knew that the man who voiced “Miss Piggy”, Frank Oz, guest-starred in one of the biggest sequels of all time, as a little green alien called “Yoda”.
Oh, and that sequel? We all knew whose baby it was. George Lucas. His film-school buddy Steven Spielberg was the mastermind behind E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws, and the classic-styled anthology show Amazing Stories. (Just to name a few.)
What is a cartoonist?
So. As an adult, you have a problem with a movie that you loved as a child. I see on social media that this is a common grievance. I don’t need to name a film. There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of motion pictures that don’t stand up to the intense scrutiny and overthinking of 2017.
It’s not them. It’s you. You are the problem.
I’ll begin with a contemporary example: any current superhero movie. Marvel, DC, independent degeneracy like Deadpool and Kick-Ass; it’s all the same. Permit me to make another assumption- you got all worked-up over seeing the latest hero flick, and you left the theater three hours later feeling empty and disappointed, without knowing why.
I vaguely promised you, that if I continued to rage upon what J.J. Abrams and Disney have done to the Star Wars saga, I would at least try to make it funny. Well, voilà, space jerks.
I’m making a funny game of it.
Why is Walt Disney’s signature on Star Wars?
Look, kids! Vague, controllable versions of things you love! Signed by a corpse who had no part in any of it! BUY BUY BUY!!!
Not just his name; his signature. As though he was the architect of its design. Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, right? Tinkerbell, sparkly glitter, and magic castles. Horrible TV-movies every Sunday. That’s Walt Disney. Around 1980, I was into Star Wars to get away from all that corny shit.
Now you’re telling me it’s Walt Disney’s property?
For your benefit, I will begin this article with a warning: 18 seconds of this movie consist of Shia LeBeouf swinging from vines with CGI monkeys. I know 18 seconds doesn’t seem like a long time, but apparently it’s an eternity for some people. It all depends on your perspective, or lack thereof.
The sequence is so brief, it was hard to screencap.
In 2008, Harrison Ford returned to the screen as globe-trotting archaeologist Henry “Indiana” Jones, Junior after a 19-year absence. I myself have been (to be kind) fanatical about Indy since Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981, so before I saw Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I knew several things.
30 years ago, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off came out. If you build a time machine and go back to 1986, you might just enjoy that movie.
As the venerable Star Wars imprint slowly transforms into an empowerment series for little girls who wear costumes and bitter old fanboys, one of my favorite aspects is being scrubbed from the narrative:
Weird, stupid aliens.
He attempts to eat that dead Woodring monster.
I’ll never comprehend the segregationist nature of the “Star Wars fan”. Watching the fandom dismiss George Lucas, the creator of everything they care about, has been like observing a schism of zealots. Since general audiences weren’t born in the 80s, when ripoffs of Star Wars abounded, they gladly accepted a ripoff from J.J. Abrams. Continue reading
I have a confession to make. Though I consider myself quite the erudite film scholar, in many ways I have no cause to place myself above the average lumpen moviegoer.
- I confuse the name ZaSu Pitts with Zuzu Petals, a minor character from the execrable Andrew Dice Clay comedy The Adventures of Ford Fairlane.
- I am inexplicably incensed at the sight of the cover of the film Metropia, and Audrey Tautou’s picture on the front of Amélie. To date, I have not seen Amélie, even though it’s from a director I like, thanks to its coy, nauseatingly precious cover shot.
- I haven’t seen Precious, except on YouTube, because apparently I laugh at the wrong things.
- I can’t stand whispering in movies any more than I can in the theater. A notable exception would be 1982’s Poltergeist. M. Night Shyamalan has abused whispering so much his actors should be forced to use air horns.
- I’ve never seen Avatar. Any movie that uses a default computer font for its title isn’t worth a billion dollar budget, let alone my attention.