Sunday, June 08, 2008

EW Writer and Hating Super Hero Movies


In this week's Entertainment Weekly, writer Chris Nashawaty has an editorial piece about how much he hates super hero movies. What is extremely interesting about this isn't how he lumps all the movies together but that he admits upfront that he is in the minority of moviegoers, including several of his coworkers.

Nashawaty pinpoints the date of his disenchantment as the opening of the first Spider-Man movie. His point isn't so much that the genre sucks so much as he hates the fact that super hero flicks have replaced the old school Bruce Willis/Arnold type action flicks. He misses the days when a person could go to a show and see something original, that wasn't already franchized.

In considering his point, I can concede that this year it appears more and more that big time studios are relying on super hero movies to draw viewers. In doing this, they walk the fine line between pleasing those of us who enjoy the windfall of fanboy entitlement and appealing to the mainstream movie audience.

The best example of using super powers to draw in viewers is the movie Hancock, starring Will Smith. In the past, Smith has refused to be involved with movies that focuses on comic book heroes because he didn't want to be pigeon holed. The fact that the man has conceded and is donning a leather suit shows that the studios and the viewers have won.

A good question to ask is this: where are the Terminator films of yesteryear? What happened to a tough guy, hard drinker, smart-ass type dude winning the day? Did we drink the wrong color bottle and end up back in our pods, unlike Neo from The Matrix? Most importantly, can super hero movies and the classic action hero flick co-exist peacefully? Hmmmm...

Because I am a longtime comic book fan, I pretty much go to all the movies that come out. As we have discussed in the last week or so, we all have favorites that have worked, but there is an acknowledgement that there have been some stinkers as well. Nashawaty point to Elektra, and I say "duh". That is way too easy a target, Bro.

For the record, not every comic book movie is a must see just because a person reads comic books. I am not exactly thrilled at the prospect of seeing another Hulk movie, though I do concede that I am eager to view Batman: The Dark Knight, which is chock-full of great actors and has rejuvenated a campy crippled classic. Hellboy 2 looks interesting, but I won't bumrush the theater on opening weekend. The Spirit preview, on the other hand, filled me with glee. It is all about individual interests.

We have to remember that many of the people paying to see super hero movies are NOT comic book readers. That has been proven over and over. What is it that draws them like a moth to a flame? I think it is the fact that moviegoers can go as a family and enjoy two hours together cohesively in a world that doesn't always offer family entertainment. I also think that it is a great date movie for couples looking to find a neutral film. It isn't just us "nerds" that populate the theaters clamoring for more, is it?

Have any of the rest of you read his article? What did you think about it? I am choosing to bypass irritation and go right to one touch of agreement. I do miss the old school action flick as well. That is why I go see Crank or Street Kings. While I will always love to see my favorite super heroes up on the big screen, I still like to root for the everyday guy kicking a little ass. I think that is what Nashawaty is trying to say.

8 comments:

RAB said...

By the time we get to the line about "Ritalin-starved 14-year-old boys" it's clear this guy is just trolling for outraged responses. Why should we be impressed? Wow, he's sticking it to the all-powerful comics fan lobby! This guy is so fearless he doesn't care WHO he offends!

Carl said...

I blame Hollywood and wimpy liberals on the 'death' of the action/adventure movie. I can't remember how many reviews of the Arnolds/Bruce Willis and other movies saying they were a waste of time and only "Joe 6-pack" and other cavemen went to see these movies. Yet, they made billions of dollars until they suddenly during a time of craven, cowardly people who hated heroes of any kind (the Clinton Era, natch) became unfashionable. The metrosexual was going to be the new archtype. Yet, somehow that stalled and failed. Thank God. But, now, if you notice, apparently those guys of the past are coming to save the future. Rocky, Rambo, John McClain, Indiana Jones, reboots of Star Trek, a new Terminator movie series and so on. And if anything, this person misses that Hollywood will go to anything length to be lazy and mine other intellectual properties so they won't have to think, write or be creative. Why not, we've got, original movie remakes, prequels, sequels out the butt, TV show classics, comic books, original novels, cable shows, soap operas, even comic strips, anime, manga and stupid reality shows we can put on the big screen. Comic book movies are just a small part of being lazy non-creative dinks and this guy notices this out of all that? Methinks thee complainth too much...

RedheadFangirl said...

I heard they were doing this article in EW, haven't read it yet. To save a little money, I stopped subscribing to EW after like 10 years. I told myself I'd read it at work, but haven't kept up...

At Wizard Philly, there were so many comics/GN movies in production or planned the session was chock full. Most I can get excited about (yet I'm very cool on Hancock unlike the rest of the crowd)

Swinebread said...

He hates comic book movies because they replaced action movies...?

Action movies are boring... that's why they died off

they'll come back for awhile until everybody remembers how deadly dull they were...

Heidi Meeley said...

RAB, I had to laugh at that comment. That is ultimately why I think I wasn't outraged. It was ridiculous.

I do admit to always being on the lookout for a good action movie, whether it be comic book related or otherwise plotted. :-)

Heidi Meeley said...

Carl, you are the man. :-)

Heidi Meeley said...

Redhead fangirl, I was surprised at this writer' venom, but not offended. He was over the top, as RAB stated.

I am very interested to see how the comic book movies this summer turn out, and I am happy to see that you heard about several of them at Wizard World. Nice coverage of that, BTW!!

Heidi Meeley said...

Swinebread, well said.