The oughts have been a great time to be alive. The dearth of creativity in fashion and music for the last ten to fifteen years have led the arbiters of taste to simply dig up and warm over the corpses of all the hip kids of the past. As such, this past decade could best be described as the Zombie Apocalypse of cool – the streets are filled with lurching mindless bodies, swathed in the clothes of the time they were buried in. Here, some leather jackets, there some skinny jeans with bell bottoms, and a pair of giant, bug-eyed 1970’s sunglasses are gnashing at your neck.
I mean, swing dancing even came back for God’s sake. Swing dancing.
The bright side of any zombie apocalypse, metaphorical or otherwise, is impunity. In this case, rather than laying about with your sawed-off (not that anyone is stopping you), it means that one shambling corpse is as good or bad as another. That is, nothing in our culture specifically stands out anymore. That is, since nothing is cool, everything is cool.
That attitude has permeated our pastimes as well. Video gaming is as casual a phenomenon as answering the phone you play them on. (Remember when an 8-bit Nintendo was over $100? You had to commit to being a dork.) The tech-savvy phenoms who belabored a Telnet connection to discuss events and share photos have now been joined by grandmothers and soccer moms who are also eager to excise that last human tether of actually talking to each other.
Most interestingly, the Hollywood machine that grinds up taste in order to spit out money has begun drawing its raw materials from the epitome of not-cool – comic books.
What used to be as good as an archery target for picking out kids that won’t fight back is now the source of multi-million-dollar investments with record-breaking returns. What used to be the crumpled golden ticket to perpetual virginity has become the vehicle for those who are regarded as arguably the most important people in our culture – acting’s A-list, Clooney, Jolie, Bale, L. Jackson, Reeves, Cage, rich, beautiful (except for Cage) and cool.
It probably never even occurred to you to be embarrassed to go see Iron Man 2. That’s the culture we live in now.
This is fortuitous. The first Iron Man was one of the better movies in any genre, fun, smart, hilarious, and thin enough on the action that your girlfriend could sit through it. That provenance has movie insiders projecting (see what I did there?) that Iron Man 2 will break the opening weekend box office records previously held by The Dark Knight. Which is also a comic-book movie. Read into it what you will.
Does Iron Man 2 have what it takes to shatter opening weekend records? Why in God's name would you care? But you should go see it. Next, an article that very slightly breaks the surface of the film while hopefully preserving your ability to enjoy it. But if you don't trust me, stop right here and read the next article after you get back.
Carmike Northgate: 1145, 1230 115, 320, 410, 435, 700, 725, 815, 1015, 11105, 1150
Carmike Majestic downtown: 1145, 1230, 115, 410, 525, 610, 900, 950, 1010, 1200, 1201
Carmike Wynnsong: 1230, 115, 320, 700, 900, 950
Rave East Ridge: 1100, 1130, 1200, 200, 245, 315, 515, 545, 615, 830, 915, 945, 1100, 1130
Carmike Battlefield (2A): 1145, 1230, 115, 410, 525, 610, 900, 950, 1105
Iron Man 2, starring a lush Robert Downey Jr., disapproving Gwenyth Paltrow, impassive Don Cheadle, menacing Mickey Rourke, goofy Sam Rockwell, and Scarlett Johannson's butt. In theaters today.