12 February 2010
(Won't Be) Trends: Wolfmen...awooooo
I'm a pretty big wolfman fan. You could say I'm more of a dog person than an undead person. Today we see the premiere of Benicio del Toro in his most authentic Englishman role, The Wolfman (2010). This movie, I predict, will fail on all regards, critically, commercially and culturally. Here we go:
There's Too Much Shit Going On:
The Wolfman, I figure is attempting to peak itself on the resurgence of comparable horror icons. Most notably in the past year we have seen the rampant dominance of trashy vampires and nutzoid zombies at the box office. I talk mainly of last fall's epic duo of New Moon (2009) (half-wolvie, I'll admit) and Zombieland (2009). While these films came out without much other media to take the attention, there's way to much other parts of pop culture right now to distract filmgoers from really getting into the Dog-Man. We're still reeling on New Orleans' Super Bowl win, we got the Vancouver Olympics coming up and there's Pepsi Throwback Soda to drink. I mean, c'mon. Our current zeitgeist this weekend is so chock full of events, it's Lincoln and Darwin's birthday today, they're both 201, it's way too crowded for a silly Wolfman movie to find any room in our culture.
It's-a no Sexy!
The major reason for the current Vampire and Twilight surge is sex. In particular Twilight breaks single-day box office records on selling fake sex to preteens. It's true. Werewolves generally aren't about sex as much as they revolve around granting primal animalistic urges as well as the unwilling monster trope. More broadly however, a series like Twilight appeals to the current youthful culture of post-modern teen angst and Vh1-style drama. Likewise, Zombieland appeals to many ironic or genre-spinning ideals, all of which tailor-made to a generation with an incredible amount of disposable income. None of this applies to The Wolfman. Its previews appear neither innovative, sexy nor post-modern. In fact it appears rather dated, serious and contemplative. Nothing that even really seems like a very fun time at the movie theater when it is also possible to watch from a home download. The key to recent box office mega-successes is the selling point that the film can offer an experience in the theater that cannot be replicated at a private home. This is the foundation for the unparalleled success of AVABAR (2009), as well as recent hits like Transformers: Revenge of the Swollen (2009), even The Dark Knight (2008). The Wolfman appears to offer none of this. Although Emily Blunt is still in my current All Time Top 5 Hotties (See also), she doesn't have any up-skirt motorcycle scenes, so it doesn't even seem worth it.
Well, What Else?
Advance reviews indicate the movie kind of sucks. When all other comparisons fail, there's always the possibility of important cultural and commercial success if the film is actually good. A good recent trend in this fashion is Sherlock Holmes (2009), which takes place in a similar time period with a similar style. Sherlock was a box office success (althought non one fucking noticed because of AVABAR) because it's a fundamentally good movie. The Wolfman, apparently, is shit. The one way it could overcome its crowded cultural zeitgeist and lack of pizazz could have been its sheer quality but it sucks. Thus, Wolfmen will NOT become a trend of 2010.
Prove me wrong, Benicio. Prove me wrong...