Thursday, July 19, 2012


The first topic on last week's Pop Culture Happy Hour was the new Spider-Man movie and in a nice little coincidence we saw that over the weekend (as mentioned in Sunday's post). Not that there was an in-depth analysis of the plot during the discussion, but I had a informed opinion on what they did talk about, which is somewhat rare when it comes to current movies (given that even when we do go we do not tend to go opening weekend, when everyone's talking about it; I think this topic was delayed due to the group being out for vacations or something).

We went more because my wife had an interest in the film, but I certainly was open to seeing it; my nerd card is far from up-to-date but I still have it, and after seeing Avengers earlier this year and planning on seeing Dark Knight Rises later, Amazing Spider-Man fills out the superhero trifecta.

Although I did think the leads were good, and actually the entire cast was commendable, and the elements more or less seemed to be there, in the end something proved lacking; certainly it was entertaining and overall a worthwhile viewing, but it was merely good, not great; I'm not sure I could put my finger on what quite was lacking but my wife had the same reaction.

And much as I hate it when people lump all superheromovies together I found myself kinda thinking that after DKR it may be time to give 'em a rest (at least regarding going to the theater—they'll come out on DVD soon enough). I had a similar response to Avengers (unlike most of the world), and now I'm wondering if it's not the movies but it's me. Am I too jaded, or simply too old? (I imagine a 12-year-old Doug would think these movies pretty cool. 44-year-old Doug, merely adequately entertaining.) I was weary of typical hero fare before I was out of my teens, so several decades later it's unlikely I'd swing back around. I liked the charm and wit of the first Iron Man, and even as overwrought as they can be I find the Nolan Batman films the sort where I walk out of the theater thinking That was really good. And if I'm plopping down my money at the box office and possibly struggling with the crowds and the dipshits in the rowbehind us, I want to have that response elicited.

I cannot control what kind of movies get made (not directly, at least), but I can control what movies I choose to go see at the local multiplex. I cannot count on the studios to green light actual quality superhero movies (and with the success they've had, it's more likely we'll get even more mediocre-to-bad ones coming down the pipeline) so I must rely on my discretion to winnow out what's seems apt to not achieve that standard.

It's what I must do to keep myself from hitting a point where I simply want to throw my nerd card away.

1 comment:

  1. I'm on the same page. Too many superhero movies are just too cartoony or extremely violent. Iron Man 1 was fun. Robert Downey's wit and screen presence, plus the good storyline, made it work. Iron Man 2 was too muddled. I haven't seen the Avengers but I loathed Thor and Captain America and the Hulk films.
    Hollywood is just dumbing down the already-flimsy superhero concepts and making them intolerably stupid. We just aren't interested anymore.


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