Monday, March 02, 2009

What Kind of Geek Should I Be?

So, I have a free pass to an opening night show at our local Warren Theatre megaplex. That means no crossing town to catch some obscure foreign flick at the only theater in Wichita that reliably shows the few that come our way. And since Melissa and I watch practically everything on Netflix these days anyway, that means it simply won't do to use this pass for chick flicks or to catch up on all the Oscar contenders we've missed or various and sundry other middlebrow fair; no, this pass is fated to take me to the movies to see some big Geek Event Film, the only sort really made for the the big screen these days. The question is: which one?

1) The Watchmen, opening this Friday?

2) Star Trek, opening May 8th?

3) Or hold out until Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is released (eight freaking months late!) on July 17th?

I'll see all of them, eventually. But which should I be most determined to hang out with my fellow obsessive fans at on opening night? Half-Blood Prince is probably the obvious choice that longtime readers might make; my Harry Potter geekcred is thoroughly established. But my Star Trek fascination is pretty darn healthy too. And as for comic books and their film adaptations...well, let's just recall that Alan Moore's The Watchmen was key to helping me realize where I'd gone wrong in supporting, however tentatively, Bush's invasion of Iraq, and let it go at that.

In truth, this decision is mostly up to Melissa, as I hardly ever go out to films on my own, and the odds for convincing her to go along with me to one of these three films on their respective opening nights are probably: The Watchmen, extremely unlikely; Star Trek, about fifty-fifty; Half-Blood Prince, pretty good. But still, give me your sage advice, my dozen or so faithful readers. If I need to change her mind, I can tell her the Teaming Masses of the Internets told us what to do.

15 comments:

Karen Hall said...

Do Star Trek. The fellow fans will be just as interesting as the show. (Plus, it's J.J. Abrams, so you know it will be good times...)

Rob said...

Gotta be Star Trek. Kim and I are already planning to do the midnight showing.

John Hamer said...

I never goto movies, but I'm actually going to both Watchmen and Star Trek. Anyway, if you only get 1 for 3, it's gotta be Star Trek. Harry Potter shouldn't even be in the running.

Baden Fox said...

Star Trek forsure Russ.

DrJubal said...

Go to Watchmen and leave your wife home.

Jacob T. Levy said...

Watchmen. I think there's plenty of reason to be nervous about both Watchmen and Star Trek, but the worries about Star Trek (which you explained and described very well in that "boldly go" post) are enough to make me watch the trailer (even on the big screen) and say, "eh. This would only be interesting insofar as it was Star Trek, and it just doesn't feel like Star Trek to me."

Whereas with Watchmen, when watching a trailer I have to sit there reminding myself, "It's probably going to suck. Don't get suckered by the trailer. Don't believe what you're seeing. Remember that it's an unfilmable formal experiment in... ah, heck, *that* part looks cool!"

Russell Arben Fox said...

Okay, so far the votes are Star Trek 4 (counting John's vote here), Watchmen 2, Half-Blood Prince 0. Keep the votes coming.

In my e-mails thusfar, Star Trek is also winning, and Watchment making a strong second-pace showing. Perhaps there's some selection bias involved here on the basis of who I'm friends with. Except that I thought I knew a lot of Potterholics like myself. (The argument one friend made--or rather, which this friend's teenage son made--is that Harry Potter isnt geeky anymore; it's totally mainstream. There's a point to that...)

John C. said...

Go with Star Trek. I fully expect the stench of the unwashed comic geek to make the Watchmen movie an experiment in Smellovision. It will likely be better at home. :)

scritic said...

Go for Star Trek. The trailer seemed promising and the trailer for Watchmen was, I thought, a disaster! At least that way you won't feel like you've wasted your free pass for a bad movie.

Ross Bailey said...

In response to John C.'s last comment, I am personally bring 4 teen-age boys (one of whom made the comment about Harry Potter being mainstream) to opening night, thus ensuring the full Smellovision experience for one theatre.

MH said...

I'd go see Half-Blood Prince. I stopped seeing the Star Trek movies after the one where they transport the whale into the future.

Anonymous said...

Star Trek Rebooted and Harry Potter are mainstream, not geeky.

Stick with Watchmen--a hard R, three hour, live-action comic book adaptation that will either be the commercial equivalent of Jackson's Fellowship of the Ring or Lynch's Dune. The fact that there's so much talk of the filmmakers' deep respect for the material (which, sorry, is shallow and silly) seems to make the Dune scenario more likely, no matter how much money they pump into it. But who knows? Maybe if theater owners stop carding, enough 14 year olds will be able to get in to make it a huge success.

Russell Arben Fox said...

John C: as a one-time serious comic book fan who always washed regularly--with dandruff-fighting shampoo to boot!--I take offense at that comment.

Scritic: but, like Jacob Levy, I thought The Watchmen trailer--the first one--totally kicked ass.

Ross: so you are going to opening night of The Watchmen. And yet you encourage me not to. Just trying to keep all the geekcred to yourself, I guess...

MH: tragically, I must confess that I thought the whale ST movie--which was, of course, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home--was one of the better Star Trek movies.

Anonymous: shall I confess how many times--and how much I enjoyed--David Lynch's Dune in the theater as a teen-ager? Ummm...

MH said...

I liked Star Trek IV, I just sort of got bored with the whole thing after that. I also like the Dune movie as a kid. Then I read the books and like about the first three or four. After that, they got wore a bit thin.

Stephen said...

I'd argue for first choice as Harry Potter, second choice as Star Trek, third as Watchmen.

Now, I'm wildly biased, because I'm sufficiently convinced that Watchmen will make a travesty of a book I care deeply about that I have no intention of going. But still, here's the argument:

Given that the Harry Potter film is more or less from the same series as the other HP films, you're more likely to enjoy it (since -- I'm assuming, or you wouldn't be considering going -- you liked the earlier ones). It's the same aesthetic approach to adaptation. Whereas Star Trek is a new idea in an ongoing franchise (to wit, reboot) and Watchmen is... well, who knows. I, thank the fates, don't.

So I vote for Harry Potter... and if you do the instant-run-off voting in case of a tie, my second-place vote to Star Trek.

SF