Monday, April 19, 2010


Regular Panderdome reader (actual photo)

Having read Panderdome for some time now (certainly longer than I care to remember) I've come to the conclusion that, as ignorant and distasteful as Amanda Pander's politics are, her taste in movies is far, far worse.

Witness this glowing review of Kick-Ass, a comic book movie so blatantly contemptuous of it's target audience it doesn't even bother to hide it:

There were two things I knew coming out of the movie “Kick-Ass”: that I loved it, and that it was going to be one of those movies that really divides people.

Uh, well, not really. Popular consensus seems to have met oh-so-controversial Kick-Ass with a gigantic yawn. More people went to How To Train Your Dragon and that piece of CGI fluff has been in the theaters for four fucking weeks.

The plain fact is that Kick-Ass is simply another comic book movie that wears it's contempt for it's audience on it's sleeve. That it features some kiddie gore-porn in the form of Chloë Moretz as a violent 11 year old "superhero" just shows how far western comic books are behind Japanese anime. (And, yes, they're comic books. The term "graphic novel" was invented by marketing firms to give a thin veneer of legitimacy to six issue compilation comics that their target fanboy demographic might otherwise balk at wasting money on.)

Reading Amanda Pander's blitherings about the film reveals her basic ignorance of the fact that male adolescent revenge fantasy (with generous amounts of homoerotic undertone) has formed the basis of superhero comic books since their invention. The pimply teenage boys who are comic book movie's target audience don't go to them because they appreciate complexity of visual storytelling or the nuances of cinema. They go so they can grope themselves beneath their popcorn boxes while watching muscular spandex-clad men commit horrendous acts of violence. The reason Kick-Ass did so poorly amongst it's target demographic has more to do with the fact that it did not feature the above mentioned muscular spandex-clad men, but rather a spandex-clad little girl - and your average fanboy is already sexually confused as it is. No way are they going to know what to make of that.

However, I predict that Kick-Ass will do boffo box office amongst Japanese business men.


  1. Dude, it's not that I love Pander or that I have any interest in seeing this movie, but I (fondly) remember your exhaustive treatises on Chix-In-Chains Flix and that movie where Pat Boone made eyes at a scantily-clad Eric Estrada and all that other stuff. You are in deep, deep denial about your own nerdiness here. You need to stop lying to yourself!

  2. Astutely observed as always, Ms. X. However, I would point out that there is a vast difference between the genuine appreciation of really really gawdawful movies (moi) and popularity pimping the latest Hollywood product (Panderdome.)

    That being said, the homoerotic Boone/Estrada confrontation scene in The Cross and The Switchblade truly is a cinematic highpoint. I don't know why they didn't include it in "That's Entertainment."

  3. Granted, I haven't actually seen the movie in question, but if you ask me, V For Vendetta is the only comic-book movie that matters, with American Splendor a distant second.

  4. Hey, watchit, Smithee. I first learned how to draw human anatomy properly -- and ultimately made my career decision -- based on repeated readings of X-Men, Fantastic Four, The Mighty Thor and the most awesome of all, Silver Surfer.

    Never cared for DC much as it was too old-skool, but Marvel fucking rocked when I was a kid.

  5. Hey, all I'm sayin' is let Manga be Manga.

  6. My brother was a big Marvel fan. I always went for DC. Sgt Rock could beat Sgt Fury to a bloody pulp without spilling his beer, and then use that fancypants Brit he hung around with to mop up the mess.

    You don't know what good crap cinema is until you've seen Girl Boss Guerrilla.

  7. While it's true that, for the most part, Girl Boss Guerrilla is utter exploitation garbage, it's cinematography is too good for it to qualify for real Troll 2-style crap cinema. Girl Boss is however, a highlight of early '70s Japanese "Pink" flicks and about 10X more kick-ass than, well, Kick-Ass.

  8. Mike F. is right. American Splendor is fabulous. Ironically, I like it as a film better than I like the comics it's based on.