Movies are NOT Real Life

Either are video games.

I have noticed this has been a challenge for some progressive reviewers of movies recently. That is too broad of a statement. Let me rephrase.

This is the challenge with progressives as reviewers who can’t divorce make believe from reality. Society seems to already be struggling with facts vs feelings but this is a new interesting lens to view it as – movies as a gateway to behaviour.

I love progressive nature and culture, and believe we are moving in the right (erm, left?) direction when it comes to social issues and awareness. I have been a card carrying liberal most of my life (since University education, anyway, when you start learning about the world, critical thinking, and having your own adult experiences.). WHEN that liberal nature and culture is to unite and work together to build a better society, it’s great. Not when it is used as “cancel” culture because an opinion or mindset isn’t perfectly aligned “RIGHT NOW” with what is deemed the “right” way of thinking. (Which happens to change frequently.)

So many landmines in that sentence, isn’t there?

You weren’t going to change my Grandfather’s view on the world as he neared the end of his life (into his late 80s) But some of his innate beliefs which are as old as he was died along with him. My son’s awareness of social issues far surpasses where mine was at his age, and as a society we will move forward generationally. My take is we have to give time for society to adapt while protecting the vulnerable during that adaptation. We have come so far as a society and where are today is a direct result of the past – our history – as we have made mistakes, learned from them, and became better. That doesn’t happen overnight. It also doesn’t happen by being right all the time.

I have consumed dystopian future novels / movies / media for years. Warnings of the path we are going down as a society. Some of those things are coming true. The odd part about it is that it feels some days that it’s the liberal mobilization and militarization of ideas and “right and wrong”, not the corporations, secret societies or religious right (or aliens!) that are creating those fears. Funny times indeed. I was still hoping it would be the aliens that kickstarted it all, but no. I digress.

It’s movies.

Which leads to my point. This review.

More specifically, this headline.

“The Invisible Man is Already More Toxic Than Todd Phillips’ Joker”

Read the review. It points out toxic masculinity, the needless torture and control of a woman’s psyche, and all sorts of terrible things THAT ARE TERRIBLE. Those things aren’t good. And taken in the context of it really happening, in real life, that is bad.

But the thing is, it’s a horror movie. About someone who is Invisible. It isn’t a biography or a news report. And the Joker is about a fictional villain in a superhero universe.

Neither of those situations are based on truth or possibility. That’s right, you heard it here first – people cannot turn invisible. So the threat that is presented in the review about the movie can’t even happen. Batman is not real either, sorry to burst your bubble.

My favorite line, is the conclusion of the reviewer :

” This is a very dangerous example Hollywood is setting for men who harbor anti-female biases. “

It can be a bad movie. It can have bad acting, a bad plot, terrible cinematography. It can’t be a dangerous example of real world anything when it is not possible. It is not an instructional video for society. There is no danger of someone watching this movie, deciding to turn invisible, and to fake their death and emotionally torture their partner while, uh, invisible. This is a very dangerous example of a reviewer viewing fiction and considering it a warning for society when it has no real world implications. Even if that fiction made them feel uncomfortable.

I know this is ranty, I don’t even care about the movie. (Please, sense some humour in and among the rant. I do not wear tin foil hats, I am not a climate change denier. I am well aware of my privileges in life.) I am nervous of censorship in general and suggesting that Science Fiction works are dangerous – as many have been since the Joker release – is a slippery slope to what else could be considered “dangerous” (and what as a society we should do about those dangers. )

Let’s stop judging the actions and motivations of things that don’t exist.

Editor’s note : I am also acutely aware that this could be a sensitive topic and I did include some sweeping generalities in my text, but this is a short form style blog anyway. Happy to discuss further in comments and clarify, listen, and learn along the way. ALSO – the fact that I am somewhat afraid to publish this for having what maybe considered contrarian thoughts to the “the norm”, also scares me. As long as I don’t run for office, who would ever dig these non-perfect progressive ideals up and use it against me?


8 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Judging by the runaway success of The Joker I don’t think you have much to worry about…

    Also, since I have a) not seen the Movie b) not read/seen/heard any reviews or plot synopses and c) don’t want any spoilers… The Joker can turn invisible now???

    1. HA! No, the review is about the new Invisible Man movie, and how it relates to being even worse than the Joker for society in general. BUT there were many Joker reviews like that too. This one was even more special because it takes two impossible situations and blames them for the future of mankind. (More or less, paraphrasing?) 🙂

  2. I have no issue with movies or tv introducing more progressive ideas. In many cases it helps people accept things, where years before they would have been morally offended. But I do take exception to where that is the entire reasoning for the show. That probably didn’t come out right.

    Let’s look at The Bat Woman. All I read concerning the series were talking points that she was a Lesbian Superhero. And that turned me off even watching because to me it seemed that would be the basis for the whole story arc. I wouldn’t have had an issue if it was Bat Woman, and she was involved with another woman in the show. How they pushed the narrative turned me away before I even watched.

    1. Representation is important, and I get that. I also feel like representation should be in line with actual representation. But I get what you are saying – Making Batwoman lesbian for the sake of ratings or just being lesbian is cheap and unfair to lesbians.

      Making her an AWESOME character / human, who just also happens to be lesbian, is a nicer way to do it. (Haven’t seen the show, so can’t tell you which it is).

  3. Everytime I hear something like this I think of Ms Lovejoy. Wont somebody think of the children.

    Frankly the hysterics of “woke culture” are self defeating. If all you see are problems, then odds are you’re part of it. Much rather focus on the awesome stories and leave the fringes for thos who give 2cents.

  4. Also, The Joker has been deeply problematic for a long time. I haven’t been comfortable with reading or watching him since The Killing Joke. I would generally avoid anything that used him as a major character. I wouldn’t underestimate the attritional effect caused by the degredation of expectations in fiction, particularly genre fiction.

  5. I hear Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit is getting the same treatment. Thank you for pointing this out though. Keep hoping people will get tired of this over judgemental self righteous mentality that big media is pushing.

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