At Nerdbloggers, we offer many services to the nerd community. One of our most popular and most needed is our Nerd Therapy service which we use to address the many, many psychological problems seen throughout the nerd community. If you have a problem you would like out help with, please don't hesitate to write.
Dear Nerdbloggers, How can I recover from having my childhood memories raped by an out-of-control film director? --John in Burbank
John, as a nerd therapist, this is one of the most common issues brought before me. Since your letter doesn’t go into specifics, I’ll have to make some assumptions based on past experience. Common sources of Childhood Memory Rape Related Anxiety (CMRRA) include the Star Wars prequels, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (George Lucas, serial childhood-memory rapist), and The Transformers movies. I'll assume that you aren’t one of the men and women who grew to adulthood between the release of The Matrix and The Matrix Revolutions as those poor bastards never even had a childhood to speak of.
The temptation in cases of CMRRA is to go with GOI (or “Get Over It”) Therapy. This is where the therapist screams “Get Over It!” at the patient as loudly as possible while hitting them repeatedly with a plastic lightsaber. (A variation for those traumatized by the J.J. Abrahms re-launch of Star Trek is to poke the patient with a plastic Bat'leth while screaming "tlhap Dung 'oH!" at them in Klingon). Though satisfying and fun for the therapist, I've seen little evidence that GOI actually works. Instead, I'd like to suggest a therapy I've had good luck with in the past.
The problem with recent sequels, re-makes, and re-launches isn't necessarily that they are bad films. The problem is you are not seeing them with the same naive and wide-open eyes that you watched the original films with. When we are young, everything seems new and fresh. We don't realize that this awesome new film is a regurgitation of centuries old archetypes, themes and motifs. We are so willing to suspend our disbelief that we ignore glaring plot holes, sub-par acting, and unrealistic dialog in exchange for neat gadgets, cool special effects, and daring adventurers--especially if some of the adventurers are chicks in metal bikinis. Heck, I remember coming back from seeing Star Crash as a child and telling my parents it was the best movie ever made. It wasn't. Wasn't even close, but to my young eyes it was fresh, exciting and funny, and Caroline Munro was the hottest woman in the world (not sure that last part wasn't true--see photo evidence below)
So, try re-visiting whatever film(s) that caused your trauma with a young, innocent person by your side (a brother, sister, cousin, etc. I'm not recommending kidnapping a small child and making them sit through G.I. Joe). You just may find that the experience allows you to see the movie in a different light. That you can begin to appreciate that it isn't bad, just different and that, just maybe, you are no longer the audience the film was intended for. If that happens, move on. Avoid re-makes and sequels and seek out fresh, new franchises not built on the brittle skeletons of past successes. Or, just maybe, you will still think the film sucks and it will drive you deeper into your depression. If that happens, write us back, maybe we can write you a prescription for some Soma.