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One Man's Problem with Superhero Movies Hits the Nail on the Head

Posted on Friday, May 9th, 2014 2:33 PM

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Matt Zoller Seitz, the Editor-in-Chief of RogerEbert.com, TV critic for New York Magazine, and author, has a problem with superhero movies that he outlines in a blog post on the aforementioned web site:

I don't hate superhero movies. Repeat: I do not hate superhero movies. They're another genre in a medium that thrives on genre, one that's as ritualized in its story beats as the western, the romantic comedy or the zombie picture. When competently done, superhero pictures can be fun, or at least intermittently diverting.

The problem with the superhero movie as currently practiced by Disney/Marvel (the interlocking "universe" series) and Sony/Marvel ("The Amazing Spider Man" and "The Amazing Spider-Man 2") and DC (whose recent "Man of Steel" aped that Marvel feeling and is busy building its own version of Marvel's feature film universe) has nothing to do with the genre's component parts, and everything to do with execution.

Specifically, the problem is the visual and rhythmic sameness of the films' execution.

Click the Read link below to view the full article. The article is worth the read, as it makes some very good points about the dangers of laziness in making movies.

He really does hit the nail on the head in identifying the sameness among so many superhero movies of late, and many action movies altogether.

This issue came to the forefront for me while watching Spider-Man 3, where I became acutely aware of how boring this action movie was, while I was watching it! How many times can Spider-Man hit an I-beam and it still be interesting or dramatic? Was the Sandman character necessary, or would the movie have been just as good if every scene featuring him was cut?

While the rebooted Spider-Man movie, The Amazing Spider-Man, wasn't bad (it wasn't great either, getting only middling reviews from our readers), I haven't taken the time to see The Amazing Spider-Man 2 yet. Because of how fast new releases are bumped out of the better auditoriums by newer releases, this movie will probably have to wait until its home video release for me to see it.

It's not just the superheros either. I really enjoyed Die Hard, and even the next two installments. Live Free or Die Hard was OK, but hampered by cuts that were made to get it into PG-13 territory. I haven't even seen the latest installment, A Good Day to Die Hard, because I just haven't felt compelled to do so.

Many movies depend on loyalty to a brand to draw audiences. With each mediocre release, they risk losing more and more fans, until they have to kill the series permanently or at least wait a few years and reboot it. I'm sure that there are smart and talented people at the studios, but too many times, the courageous people necessary to step outside the humdrum, seen-that-already approach are too few and far between.

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