Thursday, January 24, 2013

Star Trek Wars, Jenny Olsen, and so much I missed while I was on hiatus

A lot happened while I was out.  Presidential Inaugurations.  The Sixth Gun got optioned for a TV show.  I watched a handful of pretty good movies programmed by Eddie Muller on TCM.

Anyway, while I was out I guess people online put together than Jimmy Olsen will not be Jimmy Olsen, but Jenny Olsen in the movie, Man of Steel.  I am sure five years ago that would have launched a 3000 word column from me on why it would be better if WB would respect the history and we'd all be snarky and sneer knowingly at the studio people for making some bad decisions.  But...

Yeah, I guess I don't really have the energy to get worked up about it anymore.  The studio is going to do what the studio is going to do, and it's not like they won't get my ticket on opening day.  Or that the prior five Superman movies really did anything with Jimmy as a character.  In fact, he got more to do in Supergirl than in pretty much any other film.

Not without precedent

I will always like the Silver and Bronze Age Superman comics, I think Jack Larson was great, but I think I'm kind of past thinking Superman is any one, particular thing.  I have my opinions of what works and what doesn't, but the past decade around Superman has really been about DC and WB wrestlimg with what they think Superman is or can be.

That man just could not stay out of a skirt and pumps.

Since I started blogging, Superman has been hard re-booted once in the comics, had a few soft reboots, has seen something like half a dozen writers in the space of the 17 months of the New 52.  The character has been on a great cartoon in Justice League Unlimited, been on a terrible CW show in Smallville, was resurrected as a film under Bryan Singer (and only I liked that movie) which tanked, and is now coming back in an entirely new franchise 7 years on - from a bit of a dope of a director.

So Jimmy Olsen is a girl?  Well, Jimmy Olsen has had a lot of amazing transformations over the years.

We love you Jimmy, and if this is who you are, we at The Signal Watch accept you!

What else?


And, yes, JJ what's-his-name may or may not be directing Star Wars.

It could be worse.  It could be better.  Mostly, I think it says something about how shallow the bench is in Hollywood these days that all they could think of was the Star Trek re-vamp fellow.  Keep in mind, when Paramount relaunched Star Trek as a film franchise, they hired Robert Wise for what he did with his high-falutin' sci-fi films.  But these days, I'd guess all we've got is JJ, Zack Snyder and one or two other guys to manhandle big franchises (see: Michael Bay).

And, since I more or less haven't seen a good Star Wars anything since 1983*, I'm not really all that invested.  I'll probably see the movies if they come out in the summer, and I can't imagine they won't.

I'm sure Paramount is having a bad day today trying to figure out if, seriously, the only other option is going to be McG for Star Trek 3.

Anyway, I bring this stuff up to illustrate - something.  Maybe that ten years is a long time to be talking about the stuff you liked when you were twelve.

I also stepped away from Facebook a bit, Twitter and Tumblr.

Frankly, I was tired of being a part of the sea of angry people.  And, make no mistake, I was participating in my own way.

But it's also kind of crazy to actually buy your own BS enough to become a crazy street preacher of the internet, and sometimes I think that's what we are, whether you're talking about gun control or Superman's red trunks.

The hiatus was nice.  I'm glad I stuck with it, mostly.  I'm glad the Movies 2012 things is wrapped, but it also leaves a pretty big gap in what to write on.

I'm not sure that's exactly a problem.

Hope y'all had a good week.

*I will always defend the Genndy Tartakovsky Clone Wars cartoons, though.


picky said...

That's a whole lot of "Jenny" Olson going on in these strips. Thanks, it was fun to read.

Though I'm not a Superman aficionado, many had a similar reaction to a female Watson in Elementary (Lucy Liu). At first, I was annoyed, but the show is so far from Doyle's Sherlock that I don't even think of it in that way, and I'm much less irritated. At some point, the evolutions themselves turn into a separate entity, and like it or not, you have to appreciate that on its own merit.

J.S. said...

I was telling Amy this morning that I don't understand why Abrams would want to go near that Star Wars project. He's already an incredibly wealthy, relatively well respected director. If the thing goes well, at best, people are going to say it's not quite as good as the originals. If it fails it has the capacity to significantly tarnish a fairly successful career. I dunno.

The League said...

I would point out that, yes, Jimmy DID dress up a woman A LOT. He also became a werewolf A LOT, grew spines like a porcupine, became Elastic Lad with stretchy powers, and had a lot of other transformations just about as regularly as the editors recycled ideas. That's not including the transformations that only showed up once or twice, like Turtle Boy.

I don't think you need to shy away from the social subtext of Jimmy's cross dressing, but it's also part of a continuum and not just a single thing he did over and over that somehow nobody clued into because people in the 60's weren't as sophisticated as us in the 2010's.

Part of why Jimmy is totally fascinating.

The League said...

Abrams strikes me as a guy with a B level of talent who can deliver a great pitch that sounds right to frightened producers. And he's not wrong. He knows how to make sci-fi ideas appeal to a mass audience.

We don't need another George Lucas to "break the mold". Star Wars is almost 40 and highly established. Disney needs someone who can make a half billion dollars on a Star Wars film in the first 3 months, and he's probably the guy to do it.

What we do need is another George Lucas to somehow make an appearance in the studio system and come up with something fresh that, even if it lifts from as many places as Star Wars did, at least seems fairly new. I'm not concerned about Star Wars, I'm concerned that the studios would have smothered Star Wars in the cradle if it were happening today.