Monday, July 28, 2014

comic book movies forever

You ever wonder if the fact that so many adults in their 30s and 40s still look to comic book content as their primary source of entertainment is going result in an ever lowering bar of entertainment fare?

Adults who never seem to tire of comic book and star wars/star trek reboots makes me wonder if the tastes of current and future generations are going to keep growing more and more juvenile. And then there's the cosplay crowd. Adults with a reverence for content that used to be the purview of ten year olds.
Are most American no longer outgrowing this sort of thing? Avatar being a perfect example of the fatuous. Unobtanium. Un. Fucking. Ob. Tanium. Spell it out a bit slower, and in bolder, harder to miss letters, Mr. Cameron. Please. No, really. Any high school writer worth his or her salt can do better than that. The Dark Knight is like 1 in 1,00 for being a pop culture comic book movie that attempted and accomplished more than that. 

Would the tastes of most of today's audience even allow for a movie like Citizen Kane, Easy Rider, The Last Picture Show, Casablanca, etc. to be made? These were not sideshow art films, but major cinematic events in this country. Sure, there's non-American Christopher Nolan (the Alfred Hitchcock of our time?) who asks more of himself and of viewers.  There used to be Joss Whedon, though he seems reluctant to move beyond his "oh, so clever and meta self aware" schtick, that's played out and now a stylistic straightjacket (can any adult sit through a full episode of Agents of Shield without grimacing?). But then there's freaking JJ Abrams, and all his variant, who embraces brainlessness like a second skin.
Ugh. Grow the hell up, America.
(I feel like freaking Ignatius J. Reilly.)



Anonymous said...

It goes in cycles I think. Just as when cinema first began, we had the cinema of attractions - the lumiere brothers fly a rocket ship into the moon... a man points a gun at the screen and fires ... a train drives straight at the camera... then we entered the period of high art for film ... and now, with the competition from video games and the Internet ... we are back to cinema of attractions... that's the only thing that can draw the crowds. yes a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. there will always be art movies... the golden age of movies, in my opinion, is over perhaps though, and may never return. too much low cost competition. why would kids watch movies when they can play video games now? perhaps there will be a rebirth at some point... a revival in the popularity of film, as there has been to some degree for vinyl records. Nonetheless I am inclined to agree that we are heading back to a new dark age... so find a castle and pull up the drawbridge. it's going to be a long cold cultural winter.

Anonymous said...

And really ... Easy Rider?! I'm surprised you choose that as a classic film. That is as much a piece of propaganda as Triumph of the Will, albeit from the other end of the political spectrum. In order to get the "hicks" in the restaurant to talk trash about the hippies, Dennis Hopper told them that in the previous scene, they had raped an underage girl in the next town over... what a manipulative bastard! I will admit I still enjoy watching the movie. It is hipster psychic eye candy, but nonetheless, just for that manipulation I cannot call it a great film. It is more propaganda than art.

Anonymous said...

Admittedly, I will say that Triumph of the Will is a classic film. In fact I watched it in my Sources of the Modern Cinema class. Nonetheless, the instructor was careful to inform us that it is "a film of death" in that most of the people shown were killed not some few years later. Similarly I would say Easy Rider is a sort of "psychic death film" about the disintegration of society. Sure. So I guess I can't hold it against you that you choose Easy Rider. I said I like it, at least it is enjoyable to watch. Still. I would not put it in the same realm as Citizen Kane or Casablanca. It has no great moral vision, in the same way that Triumph of the Will lacks moral vision.