Movies

Kick-Ass: Finally, A Movie That Lives Up To Its Name

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Opening a can of…? Wait. No, that's not right.

Kick-Ass is a movie that takes names and lives up to its own: Part ultraviolent superhero deconstruction, part giddy, amoral thrill-ride, it's the sort of production that, like Rowdy Roddy Piper in They Live, ought to begin with an announcement that it, too, is all out of bubble gum

Closely based on the frequently outrageous cult comic by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr., the movie follows the story of Dave Lizewski, a dweeby, comics-obsessed teenager who decides to don a lime-green mask and scuba suit in order to become the world's first costumed superhero. He stalks the streets for weeks before finally encountering a petty crime—and then proceeds to get beaten, stabbed, and run over by a car.

Don't worry, though; what follows is hardly an exercise in cautionary superhero realism. In the hospital, Lizewski is repaired with a bevy of metal plates, making him extra durable and impervious to pain, and before long, he's back on patrol, taking his name from his intended method: Kick-Ass. As in the comic, the meta-wink of an opening is just clever cover for a thoroughly traditional superhero origin story.

Indeed, despite the occasional nods to both the contemporary media scene and gritty reality—Kick-Ass becomes a YouTube star, and no one in the film is explicitly blessed with actual superpowers—the movie's most frequent M.O. is to deploy standard superhero tropes in a manner that's more deranged, more bizarre, more ludicrously over-the-top. There's plenty of satire here, but it stems less from the film's realist trappings and more from its genre excesses. And sure enough, as comic-book adaptations go, it's got a bit of everything: gonzo action; a playful feel for the absurd; an angry ex-cop on a quest for justice; and a gun-toting, sword-wielding, pre-teen vigilante who introduces herself by hacking apart a room full of thugs and dropping the C-word.

That would be Hit Girl, the comic's most inspired invention, and the movie's most surefire generator of controversy. Raised by her doting, deranged father (Nic Cage as the aforementioned angry ex-cop) to be a pint-sized costumed fury, she's a perfect parody of the superhero genre's "perfect killer." She never misses, never blinks, and is always ready with a clever quip. And not only does she spout endless factoids about high-end weaponry, she also lives in an apartment whose walls are completely covered in them—as if to test Chekhov's dramatic rule that, "If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired."

Just as Hit Girl splits dozens of well-armed baddies, the movie's likely to do the same for audiences and critics. Roger Ebert has already labeled the film "morally reprehensible," mostly for how it treats the potty-mouthed 11-year-old badass. My read is that the film's slippery moral universe is slyly (and uncomfortably) divided between icky realism and superhero surrealism, and it's that divide that elevates it from the realm of pure pulp. Yes, Kick-Ass tries to have it both ways, freely mixing cheap cartoon thrills with unpleasant realist shocks. Yet that's exactly the point: You can't have one without the other. Vaughn and Millar seem content to let readers and viewers have their thrills, but not without a reminder that, well, you can't kick ass without somebody getting hurt. 

Call for ideas: I'm planning on making pop-culture posts—mostly about movies, but occasionally video games, or comic books, or TV drama—a semi-regular Friday feature. But a regular feature needs a name, and that's why I need you, Reason readers: If you think you've got a good one, post it below.

NEXT: It's Like Our Own Little Soap Opera

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  1. I’m actually pretty surprised by Ebert’s review. I can’t say I read him religiously, but I check out his reviews fairly often and rarely does he get on his moral high horse.

    1. His one star review of Blue Velvet was pretty notorious.

      1. I actually admire that review. It wasn’t so much him getting on his moral high horse as it was him saying, “Look, I know it’s Lynch and we’re all supposed to like him but this isn’t a good movie.” I’m agnostic when it comes to Blue Velvet, but I’d rather have somebody come out and say it sucks if that’s what they think (much like how I feel about the Sex Pistols) than take the easy way out and critically fellate the movie the way rock critics do with every new Dylan album.

        1. I read it and thought “you are a middlebrow idiot.” It’s easily one of the best films ever made, by probably the greatest artist of late period cinema. I can’t take a critic seriously who fails to appreciate it.

          I often agree with his reviews of genre pics though.

          1. I’m sure it’s difficult to take anyone seriously when you’re the smartest person in the world.

            1. Whatever dude. Recognising something obviously great doesn’t make you a pretentious asshole. Having unadventurous, middle-brow taste does make you a limited critic.

              As I said, I often agree with his reviews of genre pics. I think he gave To Live and Die in L.A. four out of four for example.

              1. You liked TLADIL, db? And to think I used to think you were cool.

                1. Dude, watched the blu-ray release the other night. Robbie Muller cinematography, arrogant cops, buddy cliches, Dafoe as the villain, great stunts, and that awesome counterfeiting sequence (was that some kind of electro discharge process?).

                  It’s worth another look. 🙂

                  1. Maybe…maybe.

                    1. William Petersen is a seriously under rated actor. That movie is worth watching for him alone.

                    2. “It’s just you and me now, sport!”

                    3. +1 on Billy Petersen, though I’ll admit my admiration is based solely on my love of Manhunter (which I would argue is superior to Silence of the Lambs).

                    4. +1 on Manhunter > Silence of the Lambs. Have seen it at least 8 times. Blu-ray is worth getting.

                    5. I was walking through the plaza where they filmed the “flaming wheelchair” scene in Manhunter the other week and smiled.

                    6. In 2000, I went to Atlanta on business and took a day to go to the High Art Museum. I am walking up the spiral ramps in it with this weird sense of deja vu. And then it hit me “this was the mental hospital in Manhunter”. The woman I was with totally didn’t get why I was so excited by the fact.

                    7. Dante Spinotti cinematography, dude. It doesn’t get much better than that. Mann’s use of Spinotti alone shows that he knows his shit.

                    8. Fuck yeah. Hope he keeps using him again.

                    9. One day I was watching CSI when they did a commercial for Red Dragon. I thought it ironic to advertise a movie remake on a show starring the actor who originated the role of Will Graham.

                  2. And any movie with Wang Chung doing the entire soundtrack has to be awesomely good.

                    1. Annoying my lab mate with it right now buddy.

              2. Thinking “you are middlebrow idiot” about someone who wrote a review you disagree with goes a long way to proving you a “pretentious asshole”.

                1. Congratulations, you have completely missed my argument and are easily the most stupid person in this thread. Go and build a totem to your stupidity in the back yard. It is well deserved.

          2. ” It’s easily one of the best films ever made, by probably the greatest artist of late period cinema.”

            +1

            1. I like Blue Velvet and all, but for some reason it’s not my favorite Lynch film. It is great, though. Ebert’s pretty good, but I do disagree with him (right off the top of my head)about Blue Velvet, Donnie Darko and Napoleon Dynamite. I personally admire all those films.

              1. I just liked it because I have a huge thing for Isabella Rosilinni.

                1. Isabella Rosselini’s the best. She was also great in The saddest Music in the World and Green Porno. And Wild at Heart, come to think of it.

                  1. My father inlaw recently got a guide dog from this organization in Long Island. He had to go there to train for six weeks. So, he graduates from the class. I don’t go to the graduation and let my wife go.

                    She goes and all of the people are there who foster the dogs when they are puppies. And who is sitting across the table from her and is one of the fosters for the dogs, Isabella Rossilini. She had lunch with her. Said she was very nice. I could have chatted her up over lunch and I missed it. I am not sure I am ever going to get over it.

                    1. That’s pretty cool. Just the other day, my brother and his fiancee actually ran into Dave Chapelle out near his Ohio farm. I always miss this stuff, too.

                2. As do I.

                3. Stay away from my daughter!!!!!

    2. My experience has been that if Ebert said a movie is good, then it is probably either good or not. Similarly re his negative reviews. He’s a douche.

    3. The last time I saw Ebert so repulsed by a film, it was “I Spit on Your Grave.”

      1. Gotta be said I don’t know much about who this Ebert guy is but he seems like a confused bloke, like last week on H&R there’s a link to a story about him and Russ Meyer making a film about the sex pistols featuring incest and drug abuse then he goes all conservative. Odd fucker in my book.

        1. Fairly easy to figure out. It’s violence against criminals that hurts Ebert’s vagina.

  2. I know Ebert is sick and all, but sometimes he really annoys me.

    This is a reviewer who once stated that he laughed all through the South Park movie, but since he was ashamed of himself for laughing he subtracted stars and gave the film a negative review.

    He was probably just ashamed of something again here so he decided to be a dick.

    1. He is just being a dick. Contrast this review with his review of Kids. He gave that movie, which shows young teenagers doing a lot worse than this. Yet he gave that movie four stars.

      http://rogerebert.suntimes.com…..80301/1023

    2. “He was probably just ashamed of something again here so he decided to be a dick.”

      Except at the same time, he admitted that he wasn’t proud of himself for laughing all the way through “Death at a Funeral”, but none the less he did; and gave it 3 and a half stars.

      I don’t really understand what set him off about “Kick-Ass”, but at least his review gives you some idea of why *he* reacted that way, and enough information so you can judge for yourself.

      1. I think Ebert “gets movies” more than any other critic.

        But he sure missed the mark on Blue Velvet. And now on this one.

        Who reads super-hero comics? 11-year olds. Some wind up being morally reprehensible police and government busy-bodies, aka “super-heroes”. They deserve to have the violence they lovingly fetishize visited upon them.

        1. “Who reads super-hero comics? 11-year olds.”

          Hey, nice ignorant generalization there asshole.

          1. Yeah, really…you can’t dismiss the artistic merit of superhero comics strictly due to genre.

        2. A quick Google-scan indicates that the average comic reader these days is in his late 20s. I don’t know that any data on this is really authoritative, but it certainly makes sense: The newsstand market all but collapsed in the 90s, leaving the specialty/direct market – which caters to adult collectors – as pretty much the sole outlet. At the same time, even the big publishers dropped the comics code and started aiming their books, even flagship titles, at a more mature market. When a guy like Grant Morrison is writing top series like JLA, Batman, and X-Men, I think it’s safe to say that the market is hardly kid-focused anymore.

          1. I was not trying to offend anyone other than Ebert.

            I think it’s safe to say that in the context of the movie – 11-year old superhero comic book readers – my comment is valid.

            But let me rephrase it:

            If one wants to call the film morally reprehensible, one must also consider the moral reprehensibility of superhero comics themselves. The blatant disregard for life and law displayed by superheroes is going to manifest itself in the minds of impressionable readers. Those impressionable readers wind up as public servants.

          2. Are comics the one area of print publishing not failing dramatically right now? I haven’t been following that market.

    3. Roger Ebert is against non-sex fun.

  3. F^?& Chekhov! That man has ruined more movie theater experiences than anyone that has ever existed. Now, whenever something is added all the chatty kathies in the theater feel required to postulate what part it will play in the end.

    1. So you don’t take solace in Sheppard Book’s words, that said chatty kathies get to share Hell with child molesters?

      1. its actually a “special” hell located downhill from the lawyers

  4. Ebert is all over the place when it comes to this stuff. He tends to oscillate wildly, and though it’s completely inconsistent, it tends to make him more interesting because you just don’t know where he’s going to land.

    One reason I miss Gene is that Gene would hammer him for the inconsistency, and kept him kind of honest. Without Gene, he just does whatever he wants and no one calls him on it.

    Ebert aside, I immediately was intrigued by the movie because I saw the kid using a shotgun in the trailer. How often do you see that?

    1. I assume you’ve seen this before?

      1. Oh my god! What a couple of queens!

      2. One of my favorites.

      3. That is awesome!

      4. “Siskel. And Ebert. And the Movies. And the Asshole (that’s you, Roger!)”

    2. Ebert’s review of North was classic.

      “I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it.”

      1. +1
        “VikingMoose likes this”

      2. That “North” review is the ultimate dressing down of a movie to which all the rest merely aspire.

    3. Ebert gave The Big Lebowski only three stars when it came out. If you are a long time reader of Ebert you know how many much inferior movies he’s given three stars too.

      Then he turned around the other day and included it in is Great Movies selections. I don’t know what the f*ck that guy is doing half the time.

      But some of his reviews are nearly art in themselves.

      1. Ebert is all over the place when it comes to this stuff. He tends to oscillate wildly, and though it’s completely inconsistent, it tends to make him more interesting because you just don’t know where he’s going to land.

        I agree completely.

      2. Everyone I know, either didn’t like The Big Lewboski the first time they saw it, or just thought it was an okay film. It’s one of those films that grows on you the more you watch it. You begin to pick up on things you missed the first time & realize how brilliant it is.

      3. Reading Ebert’s original review and his “Great Movie” writeup, I don’t think he’s changed his opinion of the movie as much as acknowledging its cult status.

        Plus at this point he’s probably running out of truly Great Movies to write about yet has medical bills to pay and doesn’t have much else to do. I’d probably be doing the same thing if I were in his shoes.

    4. I mostly defer to Epi, but I find Ebert’s oscillations to be generally predictable. His occasional flairs of moralism are generally inspired by offenses to his liberal mindset. He called Dirty Harry fascist, Blue Velvet sexist, and didn’t like Team America because it took a tone of silliness over foreign wars when the only tolerable tone to Ebert is that of finger-wagging liberal disapproval. His opposition to Kickass seems to be the mixture of children and over-the-top violence. I imagine Ebert was the type of parent that wouldn’t let his kids play with toy guns and instead only gave them constructive toys to play with inbetween lectures over the haves and the have-nots.

      1. If you want to puke, watch him and Roeper review An Inconvenient Truth. Unfortunately, I can’t find it on You Tube.

        1. The funny part is, after more inconvenient truths have surfaced since the film, it is actually Al Gore that is morally reprehensible.

          I guess Ebert’s use of the phrase “morally reprehensible” really bothers me when one considers a film like “Waco: The Rules Of Engagement” and see actual morally reprehensible behavior defended to the hilt. The exact same behavior is ridiculed in Team America. Satire is often misinterpreted, to the point where satirical ridicule of morally reprehensible behavior is sometimes seen as support of it. But that is more the fault of the viewer than the filmmaker.

      2. I don’t think he had kids.

      3. I should also say that I generally love the guy’s writing, but that I have to stop reading his reviews when I detect a wave of moralism.

        I do have to give him props though for hating on the Motorcycle Diaries while the rest of the film critic world slobbered over the presentation of a young, beautiful, and innocent Che Geuvara.

        After reading that thing about the failed Sex Pistols movie a couple of days ago, I kind of think he should have abandoned reviews way back and really focused on screenplays.

      4. This is right on.

        His problem here is with the violence towards criminals. As a true-believer Liberal, his credo is that criminals should be coddled, not killed.

  5. Hit Girl may be one of my top 5 favorite movie characters ever. And I’ve heard from a lot of moralists ho are just stunned they’d let a 11-year-old actress do that stuff. She plays it well, though.

    (note: above from trailers, including the amazing red band trailer that focused on Hit Girl, and the reviews of others. Will be seeing it myself this weekend)

    1. It is at least funny. And at least they don’t sexualize her. The Professional sexualized the hell out of a then 12 year old Natalie Portman, and the movie got great reviews. With is worse, showing an 11 year old with a shotgun or showing her as a sex object?

      1. Luc Besson is a really good director, John, and Jean Reno’s weird, quasi-sexual attraction for Portman in that was part of the point. I’m neither agreeing nor disagreeing with it; but it was interesting.

        1. It would have been interesting to see him rape her to. I am not saying The Professional isn’t an interesting movie. I am just saying that if you are going to object to an 11 year old shooting people, you ought to also object to a movie that makes her a sex object.

          1. You Lie!

      2. Sex object, definitely.

        1. “Worse” meaning good, right?

      3. I also seem to remember her being weirdly sexualized when she was 13 in Beautiful Girls. Of course, it’s possible that I just thought so since I was 13 when I saw it. Regardless, any movie that has The Afghan Whigs in it is awesome.

        1. Portman is one of those Hollywood beauties like Natalie Wood or Elizabeth Taylor who just never had a gawky teenager stage. She went straight from little girl to woman. She never really looked like a teenager.

        2. +1 for the Afghan Whigs love.

        3. I think it had more to do with her being a bit sexualized in Beautiful Girls than you being 13.

      4. Worst would be having her smoke and enjoy the post-coital cigarette.

        (Seriously, I’d like to see filmmakers test the limits of free speech that way, rather than with sex and foul language.)

        1. I agree. Make her into a role model who smokes and drops the c word and the N word.

      5. So killing people is good, procreation is bad? Back in the day, 12 year olds used to get married.

        1. Thanks for making me revisit those uncomfortable thoughts about young Natalie Portman, assholes.

      6. Um, you have to remember that progressives defended the director who drugged and anally raped a 13 year old.

  6. Ebert on “Pretty Baby” (12-year-old girl auctioned to and deflowered by a bordello customer): 3 stars.

    http://rogerebert.suntimes.com…..12001/1023

    1. Back when Sarandon had great tits.

      1. Yeah, I pine for those days too…

  7. Violence and guns are icky, pedophilia not so much. Interesting moral compass old Roger has.

    1. He has a lot of company in his circle of friends.

    2. He isn’t alone; it is fairly standard for hollywood.

    3. If you’re a pedo, it’s probably no surprise that you’re worried about guns and violence (especially, say, ad hoc vigilante violence against your kidfucking self).

    4. I don’t know about pedophilia, but if you change “sexuality” for “pedophilia” in that sentence, you’ve just described much of Canadian TV and film pretty well.

  8. Roger Ebert has already labeled the film “morally reprehensible,”

    Well, in that case, this could be the first movie I actually see in a theater in at least two years.

  9. I’m shocked at Ebert’s positive reviews of Pretty Baby and Kids, too. Those are good movies.

  10. From Roger Ebert’s one-star review of Team America: World Police

    I wasn’t offended by the movie’s content so much as by its nihilism. At a time when the world is in crisis and the country faces an important election, the response of Parker, Stone and company is to sneer at both sides — indeed, at anyone who takes the current world situation seriously. They may be right that some of us are puppets, but they’re wrong that all of us are fools, and dead wrong that it doesn’t matter.

    Yep, he’s a dick.

    1. Roger is just wonewy, so wonewy.

    2. I don’t think he’s wrong about that, and I don’t think he’s wrong for saying it. But you can still believe in something and enjoy the movie.

    3. Team America teaches us that there are three kinds of people in the world.

      I therefore claim that he is not a dick.

      1. That was the best ranting monologue extended analogy I’ve ever heard. I wish the writers had recorded the script discussion that lead to that masterpiece.

        1. That’s another review I disagreed with Ebert on. Again, I defer to Episiarch’s analysis.

      2. I almost jumped to the movie ceiling when I heard that.

        A better analysis of geo-politics than any I have ever heard from college professors.

  11. I wasn’t offended by the movie’s content so much as by its nihilism. At a time when the world is in crisis blah blahbitty blah, gurgle gurgle.

    This is why I NEVER read movie reviews.

  12. Ah, so it satirizes the tropes lovingly at the same time as it employs them in over-the-top manner? Vaguely reminds me of Galaxy Quest, then.

    1. Thacker: Not a bad comparison. I might also compare it to Last Action Hero or Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang.

    2. Another winner of a movie. I laugh every time I see Sam Rockwell spouting about how he’s gonna get killed because he’s a red shirt.

      1. But he’s the plucky comic relief.

  13. In the hospital, Lizewski is repaired with a bevy of metal plates, making him extra durable and impervious to pain…

    Does he then try to assassinate President Grant?

  14. Oh, and Pete, if you want a name for a column on Pop Culture from a libertarian perspective, my suggestion is something referencing Andy Warhol.

      1. Culture Factory by Peter Suderman…

        1. or simply “The Factory”

        2. What’s that you say?

          Culture Club by Peter Suderman?

  15. Politics and Prog

  16. My suggestion for a name to use for the column is “Freeze-Dried Instant Culture…Just Add Water.” It’s probably to long, but you can edit it down if need be.

    1. FDIC JAW? That’s a weird acronym, man.

      1. FDIC JAW

        I wish I would’ve had one of those. *sob*

        1. At least you’re still breathing. Asshole.

  17. +1 for a reference to They Live. My wife just doesn’t get why I find that movie so entertaining.

    1. TAKE A LOOK!!!!!!

  18. On the subject of Hit Girl, another sign that critics are douches is Manohla Dargis’ review in the Times.

    In it, she asserts that Hit Girl can’t possibly be a real icon of female empowerment, because she uses the word “cunt”.

    Get it? She steals the movie, and cuts through armies of gangsters like buttah, but she’s not empowered because she speaks a forbidden word.

    And then they come around here wondering why we laugh at feminists.

    1. Dargis must never have been to London. Why it just the other day that a lovely young lady from the council estate yelled “Oi you, you fucking cunnnnnnnnt!” at me from the other side of the road as I was walking to the pub.

      1. “Cunt” does seem to have a less specific and less offensive meaning over there.

        1. You Brits are so subtle with your humor, db. Or did that really happen?

          1. Actually it really did. Just another day in London. 🙂

            1. I always thought Guy Ritchie was exaggerating. Now I know better.

            2. “Oi you, you fucking cunnnnnnnnt!”

              I’m not all that familiar with English customs, so was she insulting you or hitting on you? Or was she just pissed out of her mind and had no idea what she was saying?

              1. Dunno mate, she wasn’t too pretty so I didn’t hang around to find out.

    2. Epi, I sadly know some liberals like that…They live in a big shiny bubble of douchery…

    3. Feminism, like so many other movements like it, is about ‘authenticity’.

    4. “And then they come around here wondering why we laugh at feminists.”

      Because they are absurd.

      1. Best date question: would you consider yourself a feminist?

    5. That’s what Peter should call his Friday Feature — Cunt.

    6. Manohla Dargis = retarded cunt fetus

  19. Borrowing lyrics from 3rd Bass, call it “The Weasel Goes Pop”

  20. It’s worth remembering that Ebert slammed Night of the Living Dead, an error he’s often attempted to live down since it’s now universally regarded as a masterpiece.

    Perhaps in ten years he’ll come around.

    1. Ebert & Siskel used to have a feature on their old show back in the 80’s called something like “where we went wrong”. It was a fascinating mea culpa by the reviewers where they attempted to figure out why movies they panned were so popular, or movies they gushed over tanked.

      1. They do a similar bit on “Sound Opinions” (a rock critic radio show) and it’s great. Nothing like listening to a professional critic try to rationalize why he once proclaimed that Jesus Jones was going to usher in a golden age of rock.

        1. LOL. Every December or so I look up the critics “ten best albums of the year” lists. And there are almost never more than one or two records I have ever heard of. And you almost never hear again of any of the bands that make those lists.

          Music critics are really the worst. They are totally blind to what is going on around them. It is like they view it as a badge of dishonor to like anything that more than ten people buy.

          1. Jesus Jones! Now there was a band. Yippers, back in the summer of ’91. We all thought they was going to be the future of rock and roll.

            1. Tracy Chapman was going to be the next Dylan. And the Las were the next Beatles.

              1. I thought that was Oasis.

                1. You know, I didnt quote anything and it didnt thread properly so pick whatever post you think that applies to. It still works.

            2. So much for “Right Here, Right Now”.

          2. Want to know why music critics all love Elvis Costello so much? Because they all look like him.

            1. Fuck you!

            2. Fuck you!

            3. There’s a classic Onion article about how the history of rock has been written by the losers.

          3. Music critics are people who desperately wanted to be musicians, but lacked the requisite talent.

            1. ^ THIS

  21. Titling in reference to this post…

    “All Out of Bubblegum”

      1. “Your ass is grass and I’m a weed wacker.”

    1. I could live with that as an alternative to CUNT.

  22. Isn’t another movie based on a Millar comic coming out soon?

  23. Friday feature:

    The Pop Culture Rubaiyat of Peter Suderman.

    1. Hmmmm…it has potential.

  24. Peter Suderman’s Tower of Crunk

    or,

    The Peter Suderman Titties ‘n’ Beer Quarterly

    1. I must admit that I am positively enchanted by these two options.

      1. Suderman presents: The Emphemeral Cult of the Iconic.

    2. Peter Suderman’s Escape from the Hell That Is My Reality

  25. No doubt Christian Fundies will complain about this movie, but its okay for their children to watch Mel Gibson’s snuff film about Jesus.

    1. Huh, it seems primarily leftists complaining so far.

        1. Oh snap, they rail about the plaid skirt.

          I predict legions of Catholic-educated fans clamoring for the sequel – Hitgirl for the Vatican.

  26. Regarding your idea for pop-culture posts…

    I am of the notion that the role played by literature and poetry in the 19th century is today filled by film, television, and music. I am not saying they are of equal merit, just making an observation.

    Because of this key social position, I believe that pop-culture needs to be rationally scrutinised, discussed, and the messages laid bare. In other words, let go back to having critics instead of reviewers.

    For example, one aspect of Kick-ass that really stood out for me is the the desire to step-out of life of quiet desperation and have to courage to take action. Definitely a message for those just accept the world’s evils and worthy of exploration.

  27. Soylent Greenscreen, a review of pop culture and politics from the libertarian perch.

    1. Nice.

      1. We might…might have a winner.

    2. You could do another one on financial news and call it Soylent Greenspan.

      1. You’re closer to the the truth than you think!

    3. Yowza. Good one. Fuck my lame-ass suggestion; fuck it in the NECK.

    4. No. Soylent Greenspan.

  28. get a fuckin job. who watches cartoon shit anyways. fuckin nerds!

    1. Live Raw Sewage?

  29. “Suderman’s Sausage Fest”

    1. No, that’s his Saturday gig.

  30. Suderman’s super sexy septdaily soliloquies sensationalizing supposedly superfluous social subjects

  31. Suderman’s super sexy septdaily soliloquies sensationalizing supposedly superfluous socially shunned shit

    FUCK YOUR SHITTY ASS SPAM FILTER WITH A CHAINSAW.

  32. Ebert panned Fight Club, and generally damned the Coen Brothers with faint praise. He gave thumbs down (iirc) to both Raising Arizona and Millers Crossing.

    Fuck that guy.

    Siskel, on the other hand, knew how to get off of his high horse and just enjoy a movie. Their argument over “Benji, the Hunted” was pretty funny on this point.

  33. Given his predilection for the Friday nut-kick, how about:

    “Hey, at least it’s not a Balko post.”

  34. “Friday Freak Fest”, or “Funzo Friday” – why not riff from the Simpsons?

  35. “Dung Heap of Civilization.”

  36. If it’s a review of action movies, comics, etc., then how about ‘Culture and Revolvers’ – for those who think you should be able to have both!

    ‘Scrotum Brow’ – for those who think lowbrow is too high-culture.

    If you’re going to mainly criticize the works you review, how about ‘Again Ream Zones,’ which happens to be an anagram of ‘Reason Magazine.’

    Or ‘Mania Rages Zone,’ another anagram which seems an apt description of rants about pop culture.

  37. ‘Kickin’ It Down at Plato’s Cave’ (get it – moving shadows on walls which people mistake for reality, just like movies! What an original conceit!)

    1. Makes one think about an exploration of epistemological contrast between Plato’s Cave and Plato’s Retreat.

  38. I didn’t think of it earlier, but you could always rip off the non-U.S. title of Nick Lowe’s debut album. Other than that, how about “The Button-Down Mind of Peter Suderman”?

  39. The Kulture Kolumn.

  40. RE: column title –

    How about “Reason Escapes”?

  41. How about “The Pursuit of Happiness” as a name for your column? I mean lets face it “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is just about the most libertarian ideas concerning the rights of man you can find. And we all know that pop culture is all about the happiness part of that little phrase, so run with it…be happy.

  42. My suggestions:

    Cult Following
    Rhyme/Reason
    Sights and Sounds
    Meme over Matter

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