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Archive for January, 2009

2008 – The Year In Geekdom (Part 2)



Posted by Steve

April was a weird month for Geeks.  In comics, the big two began their big crossover events.  Marvel was asking “Who Do You Trust?” while DC was preparing everyone for the day evil won, Barry Allen returned, and The Martian Manhunter died.

In my opinion, DC began to take a backseat to Marvel in terms of crossover quality.  While Marvel had a huge crossover event going, you could read the main title of the event and never need to read another title to know what was going on, you couldn’t read any of most of Marvel’s other titles and have a clue what was going on in them.

However, if you read Final Crisis…well, you just didn’t have a clue what was going on period.  Of course, DC promised that in the end all would be made clear.  While I have a plethora of problems with that philosophy, the truth is that Grant Morrison’s epic event storyline has been met with both disdain and great applause.  So, I may not know what I’m talking about.  I do know that it became apparent to me early on that one needed a PhD in the DC Universe to understand what was happening.  That is something I do not have, therefore I was lost quickly and threw my hands up and decided I would just wait for the outcome and go have fun in the Marvel Universe that I grew up loving and seemed to be back on some level.

On television the series that had started in January or (as Smallville did) worked something out after the writer’s strike were racing towards season finales.   On the big screen, studios were putting out comedies and a horror film here or there.  It seemed as though everything was pointing toward one thing…SUMMER 08.  The Summer of the year of the geek.

The day was Friday, May 2nd.  Footage had been shown.  Trailers had been released.  Spies had filmed things from the set.  Now, geeks rejoiced, girlfriends got dragged kicking and screaming with threats of the Sex in the City movie muttered under their breath, and the cheers were heard online, on tv, and around the world as Iron Man debuted and was hailed as the greatest super hero movie ever made.

The billionaire in metal was followed to the big screen by the whip wielding archeologist.  Indiana Jones returned to the screen and the reaction was mixed at best.  While I loved the movie and had a great time, audiences were hoping for the second coming of Raiders rather than the imaginations of Lucas, Spielberg, and others spilling out in a completely different way than we had seen with Indy before.

The amazing thing is that in between the release of Iron Man and Indiana Jones, Speed Racer was released followed the next week by The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.  Two geeky franchise-type movies in their own right.  I didn’t get to see Speed Racer, though it looked to be one of the most visually stunning movies released this year.  Prince Caspian, however, completely captured my imagination and I really enjoyed it.

Then June came along.  June gave us a Friday the 13th that was neither unlucky nor scary for me.  In fact, as I left work that afternoon.  (I am only in the office til noon on Fridays.) I made my way to Douglas, GA to catch the first showing of the day of THE INCREDIBLE HULK.    Apparently, a lot of people watched the Hulk smash that weekend.

June also brought the masses The Happening.  I actually watched this movie in a grainy bootleg version of a bootleg DVD that a friend had.  Quite frankly, that’s what Shyamalan should have gone for.  A stylized, grainy-shot, film that evoked the Grindhouse-esque feel that Tarantino and company brought with their double feature last year.  I think the movie would have been much more well received than it was.  As it stands though…I wasn’t impressed.

The Summer was too good to focus in on the “not-so-good’s”though, because we had already had Iron Man, Hulk, Indy, and others make the weeks go by.  At the end of June though, a little robot took the animation world by storm as Wall-E cleaned his way into our hearts.  I can’t get over how much of a homerun Pixar hit with Wall-E.  The movie is at once a kids movie while simultaneously being a scathing commentary on the state of and the direction humanity may be taking…at least as far as we in the states are concerned.   I’m still waiting for that first huge mistake to come out Pixar, but we haven’t seen it, and I’m not sure we will for a while.

Then came July.

Ah, July, fireworks, bar-b-ques, and a little film the world now knows as THE DARK KNIGHT.

Before Batman and the Joker faced off though, we were…treated (?) to Will Smith stepping into the realm of the super hero in Hancock.  A movie also known as “Let’s forget about a plot about midway through the movie.”   After Hancock there was Hellboy 2.  I didn’t see it, but I’ve heard only good things from fans.

Then…the main event.  The true climax of everything Summer 08 had been leading up to.  The Dark Knight.  I don’t know if anyone expected Chris Nolan and his team to do the business they did at the box office.  What I DO know is that The Dark Knight set a new standard for comic book adaptations and even crime dramas.    The world went crazy for Batman.  Cries for Oscar nominations went out, and people saw the movie again and again and again.

If the The Dark Knight was the climax of the summer there was still some pretty good falling action.

Mulder and Scully teamed up again to a rather dismal reaction, Smallville’s creators brought the Mummy franchise back to the screen, Seth Rogen and the Green Goblin’s son got high, Robert Downy Jr. showed up in hit number two of the summer for him, and a little franchise known as Star Wars made it’s return to the big screen in the form of THE CLONE WARS.  For me, the Summer ended nicely.

Now, all eyes were turned to the small screen again as the cinema had gotten us through the lack of  new tv over the Summer.  Now…it was time to gear up for all of our favorites, as The Year of the Geek continued.