Sunday, 28 February 2016

Taking it up the R's

Well this is the inaugural blog to Four Colour Celluloid and I'd like to launch it off the back of the most recent squirting from Fox, Deadpool.

Is it good? Yes, there, review over. Will it effect the output of Fox and other movie studios determined to push their comic properties into three dimensions? It already has with WB threatening us with an R rated Bluray edition of Batfleck v Space Jesus: Dawn of Franchise, then there's Wolverine 3 and X-Force receiving R rated treatment for the big screen. Those latter two actually lend themselves to the mature content crowd, but bvsdoj just doesn't, even on Bluray. It's Batman and Superman for fucks sake, yes there have been mature comic stories told using these characters, but they've been few and far between and rarely approach the level of violence and horror on display in films like Deadpool. 

   James Gunn put the dangers of R rated success far better than I can, that with inappropriate use it could potentially kill a film but for me the fact that WB and Fox are so intent on pleasing an existing audience, who will see their films regardless, they are ignoring the next generation of geeks that will help maintain their studios in the future. Man of Steel was two "fucks" and a stab wound away from an R rating and that was thematically awful, pushing it further presents a very big problem; kids will completely lose out on the two biggest superheroes in history.

   Batman and Superman are at their core, power fantasies for young folk, yes they can both be stretched around many frameworks to produce interesting stories for all ages but making a cape from a towel and pretending to fly was a highlight of my childhood and while today's kids will do the same thing on a game console they will be less inclined to buy a game based on a film they can't see, same with the toys. I doubt parents will be inclined to buy the toys for them either.

    Not that the merchandising is the soul goal of the game but in a child's eyes it's all a part of the fun we adults have long forgotten and contributes to the momentum needed to get a new generation of readers into comics. WB seem to look on past successes, which are all the "grim n' gritty" bat flicks and think that's all there is to it. Man of Steel doesn't tickle the right balls and divides audiences so WB panic and rather than fix the mistakes made in a sequel, stick Batman in it, and Wonder Woman and EVERYONE and make an uber dark, violent, grim and...probably un-watchable piece of drek, I dread finding out.

   Yes, before the whining starts I am fully aware that not every superhero is a PG-13, Blade, The Crow, Kick-Ass...Kick-Ass 2 and probably so on have all been successes, but their source material is appropriate to an eighteen rating, Superman and Batman should be accessible to everyone, not just the numpties who think swearing and punching justifies their continued enjoyment of their adolescent heroes.

   So now movie studios...well WB will look at Batman's positive responses from the test screening of bvsdoj and the success of Deadpool, add two and two and come up with fifteen, completely missing the point that the films are an entry level into the wider world of geekery, and merchandise and moola of course, but more importantly giving children the idea that a man can fly. 

   The bigger irony being the 14 year olds who enjoy spoiling shit for people on facebook won't actually be able to get to see the films they wish were R rated.