Tuesday, May 29, 2007

My First Post: A Hurtful Message to Sam Raimi

First of all, thanks to Terry, Thad and Joey for letting me add additional creative to their blog's content. I've known these three men for quite a while, and they're good men all. In return for their generosity, I'm going to contribute to this blog on occasion (at least until they angrily kick me off) about comics related items.

Who am I? Who is "F. Fredrick Skitty"? Some of you who are on the "I'm Dropping this Stinking Book" newsgroup know me as the angry guy who's John's brother and who doesn't like very many comics. Others of you who've never heard of me before can expect to be routinely shocked and appalled by my combative declamations against various artists and writers who have upset me by their piss-poor attempts at comics.

(Originally Joey, Terry and Thad wanted me to have the user handle "The I Hate Comics Guy", but I felt that "F. Fredrick Skitty" had more dignity.)

But don't go thinking you can pigeonhole me as the guy who doesn't like any comics at all. Oh no no, that's not me. I do like comics, very much. I've written several myself and if I'm bored I may post a couple of pictures from them to prove it.

Infrequently, however, my senses are assaulted by certain terrible comics and comics related material (television and movies) and it makes me so angry that I have to punch a wall. Then I angrily punch the computer keyboard, imagining that it's the head of the terrible writer or artist who has offended me, and this is the result.

My first post will be something I wrote back on May 10th, right after I'd seen Spiderman 3 for the first time. I suppose it's kind of moot, now, since the movie's been seen by everyone in existence, but don't let you stop that from reading this delightful review.

And now, here is my review:

I saw Spiderman 3 on Monday and I'll tell you to save your money. Save your money and your time because you'll never get it back and you'll regret it.

Most of all, that movie was a thuggish betrayal. It's hard to think a movie could be worse than the first Batman, but Raimi and his five or six brothers who worked on the production crew (and fluffer duties) managed to pull it off. What my brain still refuses to accept is that the movie was green-lighted, written, directed and produced by full grown men.

Pay no attention to the much flaunted advertising phrase "140 million dollars opening weekend." Columbia Pictures is throwing that phrase around to make you think you're missing out on something. All that phrase means is that they've duped 1.4 million people into seeing a worthless piece of crap.

The movie's main intent was to entertain seven year olds. Dumb seven year olds, actually; the ones who even at that lively age still don't seem to "get it". These are the seven year olds who remain shocked into amazed silence at video tapes featuring earthmoving equipment and heavy machinery. Sam Raimi was once one of those doughy seven year olds, and he has somehow retained his dull childlike sense of "awesome" well into his sixties. Much good may it do him.

The secondary intent of the movie was to demonstrate Raimi's withering contempt for his audience, and in this he succeeded. Raimi resents, no doubt, his continued inability to understand even the simplest concepts conveyed in the original Ditko comics. Jealous at the ability and talent of others, his spite for all of their accomplishments is evident in each frame.

Walking home after seeing that tripe, I thought to myself "That movie is Scrappy Doo." But that thought didn't convey the unpleasant averageness and the sick-making mediocrity of that film. I tried again with "That movie is Uni the Unicorn from the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon." Closer, but not quite there.

Finally, I hit on this phrase: "That movie is Rodney King, high on crack and driving his car 90 miles an hour through a school zone."

I hope you have enjoyed my movie review. Don't see that film.


Heinsby said...

Well, despite Skitty's warning, I went to see this and he was right on one account - my seven year old loved it as did his eight year old friend. Should I view this as a sign of waning intelligence and start preparing my kid for trade school? Who knows. I mean, I did see a heck of a lot of mouth breathing during the battle scenes.

Perhaps each film is a Spiderman of a particular decade. The first film was they Spider-Man of the 60s, the mythic era that you missed out. The second film was the Spiderman of the 70s, more self conscious, able to draw from a long history of themes and conflicts. This film is the Spiderman of the 80s, with those kinetic panel layouts that made your younger brother proclaim that Liefeld or McFarland are gods while you wonder when comic artists got to lazy to draw backgrounds.

I only hope Spiderman 4 isn't the clone saga.

Unknown said...

Spiderman 3 was not a thuggish betrayal.

It WAS a movie that made me wonder what they left out?

Will the DVD also have the Spider Buggy with a voice done by Carlos Mencia?

Will it also have Jean DeWolfe played by Joyce DeWitt

Will it have bother Spider Women played by Eva Longoria and Nicole Kidman?

Will it have Malcolm McDowell as that old dude who tells Spiderman that he isn't the first Spiderman and that Glen Danzig is the Animal Spirit Killer here to kill the guys with Spider Powers?

The comics had all that stuff. This movie had almost everything that ever could have happened in the comics.


Except for the Spectacular Emo Cookie Eating Jazz Dancer...

That shit came from no where.


F. Fredrick Skitty said...

To follow up on what I mean by "thuggish betrayal" - That one scene at the end where SpiderFruit and the Green Fig were fighting the SandNancy. SpiderFruit did something "cool" right after we were supposed to think he was dead (yeah, as if that wasn't predictable at all). Following the "cool" action of SpiderFruit, Sam Raimi then cut to two seven year olds watching the fight. One kid very overenthusiastically yelled out "Cool!" and then the other kid rejoined "Wicked awesome!"

Who were these kids? We'd never seen them before in the entire movie - why would we care about them at all, what they were saying, etc.? Why did they appear at that moment? The only reasonable answer is that they were insert characters used by Sam Raimi to tell us, the stupid jamokes in the audience, that now was the time to cheer because something "cool" happened.

Sam Raimi believed that people going to see this movie were actually dumb enough to require this "cue" for applause: two idiot child actors hamming it up for a completely unnecessary role. They may as well have yelled out "I love eating at McDonald's!" for all they contributed to the movie.

And it was then I realized the movie was utterly for children. There was nothing in it, nothing, for grown men to appreciate (except for Kristen Dunst's benippled funbags which got a total of 3 seconds of screentime, not worth it).

What's more, the attitude of everyone involved in the movie (Raimi, Dunst, Sandman's pecker, etc.) was that of course the movie was for children! Comics themselves are for children! Only social rejects and "nerds" would look for any deeper meaning than "it's good to beat up Sandman".

And that was the essential betrayal. That movie's central message is that comics have been, are, and will always be, as dumb as the Batman television show. And as sure as I'm a far right wing republican, I defy that message.

Unknown said...

Aha! and I think this is where I have to disagree on who was betrayed and why. Comic books are not being bought by children and I'm not sure that Sam Raimi cares but no one can make an argument against SPIDERMAN being made for kids.

Not made for morons like that campy Bat-Show, in which even the owners of the character had given up.

The Spiderman movie. It's fine that it was made for kids and it shouldn't have been an issue except that we went in expecting OUR movies, which we were given in S1 and S2.

As soon as Venom was given the go ahead, you should have known something as up. No one likes Venom execpt the guys who would like making references to Kirsten Dunst's "Fun Bags". Think about that for a minute.

Venom is a character that is very popular with...THOSE GUYS...

And you're not one of them.

I mean damn. Raimi gave you Bruce Campbell. Who careas about those kids. They were that guy in Superman the Movie who commented on the coolness of the Supersuit.

Thuggish Betrayal is nipples on a Bat-Suit. This movie is just a bait and switch but it's the bait and switch that tells you that when you make a movie damn near for free, with nothing to lose, bad things can happen. Bad things to us. Not bad things to the target audience of this movie, which was not us.

eirwenes said...

Not to be too flippant, but I actually did get really angry and punch a wall. Unfortunately, I didn't punch dry wall. As in, ow.

I belong on the side of sluggish betrayal. Wrong hero in that movie!

Just FYI, I'm Beth. I got by dj sciz, as in, scissortail fly-catcher, which for some reason is my spirit guide.