So, I have this Megazord pin I keep on my jacket. It’s silly and cute, and since I have to dress professionally at work, I like to find ways to liven my outfit up a tad. The thing is, though I have fond childhood memories of the franchise, the pin prompted weeks of the question, “Are you going to see the movie?” To which my response was and still is –
How easy a lay do you think I am?
I’ve mentioned this more than once on this blog, usually in discussing my standards for comic book movies (i.e. the fact that I have them). But I do have specific issues with corporate mandated reboots created solely because a property still has market value. They go through the tried-and-true motions, sometimes pandering directly to nostalgia, always applying Instagram filters to familiar visuals that give the franchise a fresh new flavor. By the film’s end, you’re covered in bruises from having so many producers elbow you and whisper “Remember that? See what we did there? You remember Tommy and Lord Zedd, right?” It’s embarrassing.
And I speak as though the source material here was pure. Most of my memories of the Power Rangers have nothing to do with my love of the show. I did love it, but it never taught me the kind of lessons that made other shows memorable: never giving up, standing up for the truth, or that with great power comes great responsibility. Instead I learned that fighting monsters is cool, and fighting them with a giant robot is even cooler. And so, when I think of the show now, I mostly think of the toys, and not in a positive sense. They were expensive and hard to find, and although we all wanted them, getting them was a letdown; they were clunky and just… odd. My memories of the actual stories and characters would hardly fill one episode. But I’m sure that whatever remains will appear in the new movie, part of one never-ending commercial.
I’m not sure what it is that makes people throw themselves at content based on nerd properties, no matter the quality. At this point, we’re lucky enough to have more out there just for us than we could ever get through in a lifetime. Why waste time on anything less than solid? I understand that people can disagree on what art is and how quality is determined, but for me personally, neither one is about finding something universal for a pre-disposed audience and milking it for every cent. Making good art is about revealing your truth to your audience and revealing theirs to them in turn. Telling a story about what’s important to you that shows someone else what’s important to them. And when a world that I fell in love with, that means something to me, is used to nickle and dime me, I resent it.
Am I too cynical? We have seen very recently how commercialized art can make a huge difference for some people. And their reactions are no less valid, which clouds the issue. I can’t fault people for having such genuine responses to a Power Rangers movie, or less recently, a Ghostbusters movie aimed at someone more like you. I get wanting to relive and experience or to feel more connected to it than ever.
But to me, it rings hollow and untrue.
Though, hell, I am wearing the pin which was clearly made to promote the movie I’m getting so indignant about… if I’d willingly subject myself to that, maybe it does mean more to me than I admit.