The Citizen Kane of Blog Posts

To call a film the Citizen Kane of its genre has become the ultimate (and ultimately absurd) superlative. Orson Welles' 1941 masterpiece represents a watershed moment in filmmaking and is considered by many to be the best film ever made. Therefore, it sounds pretty preposterous/awesome (depending on how drunk you are) to say that Shakes The Clown is "the Citizen Kane of alcoholic clown movies." Anyways, I was curious about this phenomenon, so I did some research. It turns out that some writers are not afraid to call something (egg rolls, for example) the Citizen Kane of anything (food, let's say). Is it funny, or is poor Orson rolling in his grave? Here are some of the results of my research.

Citizen Kanes in Film

'Whore,' "The Citizen Kane Of Streetwalker Movies Starring Megan Fox And Rumer Willis" (Defamer)
This movie stars one young woman who is famous because she's hot and another who is famous because her dad is a big R&B star. Does it warrant a Citizen Kane comparison? Methinks not. I would have been willing to accept "the Touch of Evil of streetwalker movies," however.

'You Got Served' is “the Citizen Kane of break-dancing movies! And yet it still isn't any damned good.” (Mountain Xpress)
"Isn't any damned good"!?! I disagree and respectfully take umbrage. I consider the scene in Served where breakdancer J-Boog segues a coin drop into a boyoing to be equivalent to the famed Kane 'breakfast table' montage where Charles Foster Kane's marriage erodes from idyllic to grueling. And I'm sure we can all agree that The Lil' Saints are the 'Rosebud' of breakdancing crews.

'National Treasure II' is "The Citizen Kane Of American-History-Themed Bruckheimer Thrill Rides" (The Insider)
Nicolas Cage is the opposite of Orson Welles. Welles was a renaissance man who displayed brilliant talent as a director, writer, actor, and producer. Some say he was a genius. Cage, on the other hand, is an untalented actor who has managed to gain box office success using only one facial expression (concerned)*. Most say he is a grade-A dingleberry. Comparing the two is like comparing Twinkies and Filet Mignon. *Also guilty of 'acting' with only the 'concerned' facial expression: Elijah Wood.

'The Room' is "the Citizen Kane of bad movies" (The American Scene)
Now, there's a lot of tough competition for the category of really bad movies (ever see Pay It Forward?). However, The Room is surely one of the most regrettable movies ever committed to film. This drek is a cross between an episode of your least favorite soap opera (I'm looking at you, Days!), your creepiest sexual fantasy, and a horse fart. For those who are unfamiliar, The Room features a nauseating parade of repulsive sex scenes, a delusional (and sinewy) writer/director/star who took this farce very seriously, and a cast of supporting actors more wooden than cigar store Indians. Sheer shit. However, for many viewers, The Room also epitomizes the phrase 'so bad it's good.'

'Superbad' is “the Citizen Kane of dick-joke movies.” (Onion A.V. Club)
God, that movie is funny. Coincidentally, there's an Orson Welles reference in Superbad. Seth complains that when it comes to girls, he's peaked early, and his friend Evan replies, "You're like Orson Welles." (Kane was Welles' hit feature directorial debut, but he faced many obstacles during the rest of his career.) Somehow, I don't imagine that this joke scored big among the legions of chortling McLovins that packed theaters for this one. Still awesome, though.

The Citizen Kane of Kids in the Hall sketches

The Citizen Kane of Comic Book Movies

"Watchmen set to rival Citizen Kane" (UK Metro)

Nerds worldwide recently fogged up their nerd goggles while arguing over what is the Citizen Kane of comic books and the Citizen Kane of superhero movies. To quote the above article: “Okay, so we've established that Watchmen is the Citizen Kane of comic books. But could the upcoming film become the Citizen Kane of movies? Well, no, that title will probably stay with Citizen Kane.” Probably? My whole thing is - how can you be so sure? Now that the nerds agree, I'm certain that the distributors of Watchmen are considering manufacturing their DVD packages with the title Citizen Kane on the cover. Welles' film should thereafter be produced under the title The Film Formerly Known As Citizen Kane. Either that or we should just ditch it.

Citizen Kanes of Stuff

"Charles Saatchi, the Citizen Kane of the art world, is about to transform himself into the Andrew Lloyd Webber of art." (Jonathan Jones, The Guardian)
I consider this to be the Keanu Reeves of sentences.

"Will video games ever have their Citizen Kane?" (CBS News)
The debate over this question has caused an uproar among gamers. One writer has even called on the community to stop the madness about Kane comparisons. How can they take it all so seriously? I guess these are the things you get upset about when you've been awake for seventy-two hours, you're coated in a thick layer of Doritos crumbs and shame, and your avatar has just been slain by a level-five Demonmaster with a Romulan broadsword. My favorite part of this debate comes from a commenter on this article ("Let The Kane Thing Go") who wondered when we'll have a "big daddy kane of video games."

Drummer Mike Jeffers is “the Citizen Kane of Chicago jazz" (Chicago Tribune)
The only thing funny about this is that a reputable newspaper would print such nonsensical hyperbole.

'Stairway To Heaven' is the Citizen Kane of Rock (What I Hear You Saying Is)
Dear God, please make it stop.

In Conclusion

The Real Thing.

After scrutinizing a few dozen Citizen Kane comparisons, I am beginning to understand how Charles Foster Kane must've felt just before he dropped that snow globe and exhaled his final, dying breath. I feel exhausted, disoriented, and ultimately, annoyed. I had hoped to spend tonight studying the mise-en-scène of You Got Served (with feature-length DVD commentary by Lil' Fizz and Mr.Rad!), but instead, I read a bunch of overwrought writing. I know, I know, it's supposed to be snarky and funny, but most of it is just trite and lame. I'm no Hemingway, but I sure feel like one after spending a few hours reading DVD advertising copy and comment threads on video game blogs.

A few other interesting tidbits I came across during my exaustive research efforts (read: three Google searches) include Donald Trump on Citizen Kane (from the brilliant Errol Morris) and Citizen Kane 3D.

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