Thursday, 26 February 2015

"But That Dude From The Crow Was ESSENTIAL To The Franchise!"

Who will save our Godawful alien-human hybrid button-nosed monkeys
A few initial thoughts on the new Alien film, and people's reactions to it:

1) As always, I refuse to state whether or not the film will be any good before seeing the film.

2) I'm perfectly happy with the decision to ignore Alien3 and Alien Resurrection, but I understand why anyone who rates those films (and neither is as bad as they are sometimes painted) would be annoyed.

3) That said, it's by no means clear to me where we get the idea that retcons are obvious fan service, and insisting on adherence to established c.anon is somehow a pure motive which bravely ignores what other people want. There's something hilariously ironic in listening to fans of the series complaining that they aren't getting the film they want because the director is too fixated on giving fans of the series the film they want.

4) We're talking about an obvious milking of a cash cow. I'm perfectly fine with that, and it's demonstrably true that riding on the back of previous success can lead to awesome art. But let's not pretend a major motivation here is anything other than making money via persuading fans to part with their cash. Anyone who doesn't like that approach as a business model/motivation for creativity, fair play. But it's baked into the cake here, and was from the moment the words "new Alien film announced" floated into the interwebs.

5) For those snorting in disgust about the budget of the film: films that are liable to make money get big budgets these days. That's a given.  If you want to complain that this amount of money is an obscene amount to spend on generating entertainment when so many people in the world are homeless and/or sick and/or starving, then right on. Fight the power. But if you only start complaining about mega-budgets when people announce films you have a problem with (again, excepting genuinely offensive and problematic film concepts), you imply the massive amount of cash thrown at studios to create moving pictures to numb our brains for a few hours becomes a problem when you don't like their creative choices, rather than when you consider how many people's lives could be materially improved by spending that money elsewhere.

To say this is an ugly look would be colossal understatement.

6) Can I just point out once again how desperately fucking tired I am of geeks telling other geeks the things they want to see are bad? I mean, if they're bad because their bigoted or exploitative (and no, exploiting geeks by making them want stuff does NOT count), then obviously kill that stuff with rocks. But the WHOLE FUCKING POINT of being a geek is that we know damn well that there is stuff out there the general public looks down their nose at that is actually wonderful and affirming and gloriously strange. We're supposed to be all about realising that what's not remotely our cup of tea can be indescribably wonderful to someone else.  This kind of fan vs fanboy internal sniping is exactly what we're supposed to be desperately trying to avoid.

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