jmatonak: (Default)
New Trek movie good, go see. Possibly more articulate review later.
jmatonak: (Default)
There's a new Spider-Man movie coming out. There's a new Fantastic Four movie coming out, and this one looks like an actual FF story with the trippy and everything. Further out on the horizon are a new Batman movie and gosh-only-knows what else.

Why am I so thoroughly uninterested in all of these, even though I still read the appropriate comics? Seriously, this isn't a rhetorical setup for an opinion piece. I don't understand why I don't care more. It's not just me being mopey. I'm looking forward to the new Buffy series.

What is it about superhero movies that I just cannot be bothered?
jmatonak: (Default)
Thank you, anonymous person who gave me some more paid LJ time. I think that gift entitles you to some intelligent and entertaining content, which I (sadly) will not be able to provide. Instead, you get this junk.

I am a heterosexual male. I mention this because I am about to tell you that I like romantic comedies, and some people in the past have derived a contradiction between these two facts.

I do believe that I will sit down for a mediocre story of "boy and girl meet cute" before I will knowingly watch a mediocre movie with flashy colors and explosions. Partially, actually, comics are to blame. Remember Superman? The character? An entire planet full of slightly stiff but well-meaning people blows up before the Superman story even gets started. There's an old Legion of Super-Heroes monster called the Sun-Eater, which is a giant cloud that does exactly what the name suggests. If you want sheer destructive spectacle, comics are hard to top. Movies today are coming close, which is one reason we're seeing so many comic-book movies, but they can't really rival the comics yet.

On the other hand, if you have a story centered on people, the edge goes the other way. It tilts even further the other way when you want to tell a story of people being intimate, because a still picture cannot capture the nuances of tone of voice or the subtle clues of movement. It can suggest those things, it can show us body language, and there have been some wonderful romantic stories in the comics- but the edge here goes to the recording of living, moving people.

I emphasize "romantic comedy" because this is the Hollywood shorthand for a happy ending to the romantic story. I can actually live without a happy ending. In the right mood, I can tolerate a story where everything doesn't work out in the end. What I despise is the ending where one of the partners dies. Love Story is the paradigm of this...

(How much do I love Lisa Simpson? "She's wooden and unpleasant, and no matter what he does, he's still Ryan O'Neal!")

... and good Christ. I mean, if you're going to throw everything out the window and go for the hacky ending, I'll skip the downer part, please. If you're going to depress me, show me something that's worth it.

The absolute best movie, for me, is one where there are human, intimate moments- which can be about hate or revenge just as well as romance- interspersed with violence, and with the intimacy and the violence all springing from a recognizable human situation. Like Kill Bill, only good. This is why Casino Royale (2006) may be one of the best movies ever made. Yeah, I said it.

That intimacy plus violence formula makes for some good comics, too, now that I think of it.

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jmatonak

January 2012

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