The Devin’s Advocate has been the one of the most regular, longest running CHUD Editorial features… and yet it still doesn’t have a little box on the right hand side of the page! Oh well, the reward doesn’t come from recognition, it comes from a job well done.
Has the job been well done? Looking back at the 2008 Advocates I think there’s some good and some bad. The nature of the feature has me getting fired up about something and then dashing off an editorial. Sometimes what I come up with is great, sometimes it makes me cringe when I look back. There are a couple that shame me immensely. And more than once I’ve been guilty of chasing controversy rather than making a reasoned point.
Here are some of the best Advocates, some of the most controversial Advocates and a couple of historical ones too. Here’s hoping that 2009 will see fewer really bad ones. And a Devin’s Advocate box on the side of the page.
I Am Not A Fanboy – Over the years I’ve been accused of being a self-loathing nerd. The self-loathing part may not be wildly offbase, but not because I’m a nerd. I’m a pretty proud nerd. I just happen to hate fanboys, who are like the Morlocks to the nerd’s Eloi. This one remains pretty controversial, but I like the basic points I’m making.
V Is My Own Scarlet Letter – Sort of a sequel to that last one, wherein I reveal my own lifelong obsession with that lamest of scifi franchises, V.
Confessions Of A Trekkie – The third in my nerd trifecta. This editorial was a big step in me coming to my latest major project, a massive series where I watch and review every single episode of the original Star Trek. It just started – you can still get on board now!
Your Superhero Is Broken – Over the last few years I’ve gone from cutting down on superhero comics to quitting them to being mostly horrified by the genre in general. I find myself stopping in to my local comic store, hoping that something will catch my eye – I love the medium and miss the joy of superhero stories – but if I buy anything it is most certainly not a cape and tights book. The truth is that I think superhero comics should go the way of western comics and romance comics and become just one minor subset of the comic book world. Time to put these toys away.
Is Alan Moore A Hypocrite? – I’ve gotten lots of feedback on this one, and while I think a good argument can be made against me, this editorial features lots of excellent points. Man I’m smart.
Is WALL*E Environmental or Hypocritical? – I think I was the first person to come out on this subject. A couple of other critics and editorialists picked up on the grotesque hypocrisy behind the film’s marketing. I think I was the only person, though, to come up with:
WALL*E’s Unlikely Love Story – Holy shit did this make people upset. I went on the Slashfilmcast and vainly tried to explain the idea of literary analysis to some of my fellow guests. A lot of people in the movie nerd world don’t like reading into text.
Thirty Years After Harvey Milk – I was pretty proud of this one. I was less proud of my new home state after we passed Prop 8 a couple of weeks later. A true tragedy. I wonder if a release of this movie before Election Day could have helped not only the Prop 8 cause but the movie’s box office and awards seasons chances.
Why John Landis Is In Director Jail – I wrote this long before I found out that John Landis helped a friend of mine land a directing gig, but I’m even happier about it now as a result. The tragedy on The Twilight Zone set rightfully hangs like a cloud over Landis’ career, but I hate the revisionism that has that film as some sort of terminal point for the director. He went on to make some good, successful movies after that.
Spoilerphobia – One of the earliest editorials I ever wrote for CHUD (lost in the mists of time and server changes) was called A Life In Spoilers, and it talked about my earliest experience with spoilers (The Empire Strikes Back!). When I first started writing for this site, spoilers were the rule of the internet. Since then things have changed in big ways – the good writers for most of the major sites know HUGE spoilers for many of next year’s big movies, and they rightfully keep them to themselves.
Movies That Never Were – Something I wrote just because it interested me, this editorial got a great reaction from people. It’ll be coming back soon, probably under its own heading. Here’s a hint: there will be a Marx Brothers film in the next edition.
Anhedoniac – A precursor to the above editorial, this Advocate examined the cut of Woody Allen’s Annie Hall that we’ll never see. It’s a longer, weirder, looser, very different movie.
Holy Hyperbole, Batman – A moment in time. When I die my obituary will likely read ‘He gave Fantastic Four a better score than Batman Begins,’ and my lack of enthusiasm for that film has turned me into Batfan Enemy #1. People got pissed off when I received viral marketing elements for The Dark Knight, as if I didn’t deserve a Joker cake. When The Dark Knight approached I was a one man chorus that preached against hype. When the film finally screened, I was astounded by the number of people naming it one of the greatest films ever made. I shouldn’t have been. By the way, my warning of a backlash in this editorial – I was off by a few months. The DVD/Blu-Ray release has begun the backlash. I see people all over the place slowly downgrading their opinions.
Batman Is The World’s Laziest Superhero – My general dislike for Batman led to lots of people not quite getting this one. It’s tongue in cheek, people.
Making the Case for the Boy Wonder – And my general dislike for Batman made it hard for some people to take this one seriously. But I totally meant everything I wrote there – I think Robin is needed in the third Batman movie. And after reading this I bet you find yourself nodding your head in agreement. If I could change one thing it would be to go in and recommend that Robin simply be called Nightwing, to avoid all other associations and so that Christian Bale won’t have to go against his pledge to never be in a movie with Robin.