Do superhero movies really suck?

Posted by Sanjeev 
So, I've been watching the Iron Man and Wolverine animes. The Iron Man one has an interesting premise, and Tony is imminently more likable than in the live action films. The Wolverine one is so atrocious it's difficult to put into words. That should have been the easiest to produce. Just send Wolverine to kill ninjas. Easy. But they worked up some awful, convoluted story about a fucking wedding and made sure to include the worst possible dialog and voice acting to accompany it. Nothing about the formula works. At all.

I was amazed anyone could make a piece of work worse than X-Men Origins: Wolverain't. Yet they did. Wow.

Superhero movies AND cartoons suck ass. Except for Batman: The Brave and the bold. That shit is gold.
Sanjeev (Admin)
I miss Pryde of the X-Men.
Sanjeev Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I miss Pryde of the X-Men.

Animation = stellar.

Pryde as a character = asshat
Wolverine as an Aussie buffoon = reedunkulous
Story = lame
Sanjeev (Admin)
gingaio Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sanjeev Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I miss Pryde of the X-Men.
>
> Animation = stellar.

And that's all I gave a shit about as a kid! ;)

(But you're 100% right about all the other stuff!)
[www.youtube.com]

well i guess we know who is going to steal the show

again
wait a second

WHERE IS DON CHEADLE :[
I am erect.

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
<<Just send Wolverine to kill ninjas. Easy. But they worked up some awful, convoluted story about a fucking wedding...>>

The wedding was actually in the original comic series this is based on. The convoluted part is the whole Madripoor thing. This series would have been a lot better had they stuck closer to the comics

---------------------------------
[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
cae
Finally saw "X-Men: First Class" last night.


Why did I do that? Why?!?

---------------------------------
hassenpfeffer
cae Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Finally saw "X-Men: First Class" last night.
>
>
> Why did I do that? Why?!?


Really? What did you not like? I thought it was excellent...

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
cae
Parts of it were fine but, overall? Weak. Silly. Had a hard time sticking it out.

I enjoyed the first two films but have yet to see a superhero film, since, that I could enjoy.

Well, that's not entirely true - "Kick Ass" was fun.

---------------------------------
hassenpfeffer
cae Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Parts of it were fine but, overall? Weak. Silly.
> Had a hard time sticking it out.
>
> I enjoyed the first two films but have yet to see
> a superhero film, since, that I could enjoy.
>
> Well, that's not entirely true - "Kick Ass" was
> fun.


Really Corey? Not a fan of "The Dark Knight"?

Anyhoo... I think once you embrace the weird retro silliness of X-men First Class - it worked quite well. But not the best of this past summer's hero flicks (not as good as Thor and Cap but better than Green Lantern).
OK, confession time here, I guess... I liked X1, X2, AND X3.

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
cae
forgot about "Dark Knight" - yes, liked it quite a lot, even if it does seem overlong on repeated viewings.

I also liked "Watchmen" an awful lot - I know that gets me in hot water with a number of folks.

X1, X2, and X3 reminded me of drinking a tall, delicious beer. Bubbly, refreshing. Then you get near that bottom third and it starts to taste a little ... funky. You look down into the glass and see a dead mouse.

---------------------------------
hassenpfeffer
Stop drinking Canadian beer. Even if left in your house by a Canadian. Especially, rather.

---------------------------------
[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
cae
Chokanee (sorry Jimbo)

---------------------------------
hassenpfeffer
hillsy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The wedding was actually in the original comic
> series this is based on.

That's probably why I avoid comics for the most part. The concept itself is a lame MacGuffin that puts forth some pretty childish views about relationships that, regardless of the medium, could not end well. "I have to stop that asshole from marrying my girlfriend! Die, ninjas! Also, Japan!" Logan manages to deftly objectify women while claiming to defend their rights; he's fighting to keep his girlfriend from getting married because she "doesn't really want to", despite the fact that she goes along with the wedding plans at every single turn. There's about a half-dozen mixed signals about relationships at work in that idea, and none of them will lead to anything good.

However little potential the comic's plot device had, the anime takes great pains to kill it. Slowly. And with the worst jumble of poor dialog and acting conceivable. It's an inglorious wreck.
Gcrush Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> hillsy Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > The wedding was actually in the original comic
> > series this is based on.
>
> That's probably why I avoid comics for the most
> part. The concept itself is a lame MacGuffin that
> puts forth some pretty childish views about
> relationships that, regardless of the medium,
> could not end well. "I have to stop that asshole
> from marrying my girlfriend! Die, ninjas! Also,
> Japan!" Logan manages to deftly objectify women
> while claiming to defend their rights; he's
> fighting to keep his girlfriend from getting
> married because she "doesn't really want to",
> despite the fact that she goes along with the
> wedding plans at every single turn. There's about
> a half-dozen mixed signals about relationships at
> work in that idea, and none of them will lead to
> anything good.
>
There's a remarkable amount of people in real life who have equally childish views about relationships, i.e. they somehow cannot accept their significant other had a relationship with another person or might be attracted to someone else than them. Even if that happened WAY before they met their current significant other.

One story that made me go WTF 2 weeks ago or so is the story of a guy who during his studies went to a whorehouse...to interview prostitutes, not to get some (no hidden innuendo there).
He used to tell that story as a joke, but his current girlfriend totally freaked out over it...and then forced him to go to a strip show with some male strippers (for her enjoyment - dick move if you ask me). Nevermind it happened about 10 years before he met her.

Some leniency in such matters seems to lead to healthier relationships, and also shows some capability at humor...

--
SilhouetteFormula.Net
Gcrush Wrote:
>
> Logan manages to deftly objectify women
> while claiming to defend their rights; he's
> fighting to keep his girlfriend from getting
> married because she "doesn't really want to",
> despite the fact that she goes along with the
> wedding plans at every single turn.

I don't know, depending on how you read it, it could be seen as supportive of Mariko's rights, and just horribly stereotypical and insulting towards Japanese culture.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
One of my students (our class is reading/watching Kick-Ass) sent me this link today: [news.yahoo.com]

I had no idea this stuff was actually happening. Wow.
cae
it really was only a matter of time

---------------------------------
hassenpfeffer
The thing that's striking to me about this is that it really highlights the supposed core missions of the Kick-Ass comics and movie. The comics are very dark, practically nihilistic, whereas the movie is all bubblegum pop--saturated colors and gamely violent superheroics to the swell of a John Williams-inspired soundtrack.

It's very telling that Matthew Vaughn said that Mark Millar's characters are "quite horrible," which I took to include both the moralistic and aesthetic dimensions of the word. That he subsequently took Millar's story, which contained quite a bit more self-directed fanboy parody/satire and cleaned it up into something accessible and witty and charming seems to encourage the exact sort of thing (e.g., this dumbass Phoenix Jackson's mentally deranged troupe) that both Vaughn and Millar have gone on record as saying that they were opposed to. There's enough dumbassery here--as far as artistic intent, execution, and undersatnding--involving everyone from Jones to Vaughn to fill an ocean.
asterphage Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I don't know, depending on how you read it...


Here's how I read it.

====

Logan [to Mariko]: "Hey, baby, I am going to defend your right to decide things for yourself since you decided not to defend your right to decide things for yourself. Probably because you can't. 'Cause you're a girl."

Logan [to Hideki]: "Hey, asshole, I decided for Mariko that she doesn't want to marry you. Now I'm going to kill you since you tried to steal my girl."

===

Now just imagine Logan's tone of voice as sounding like that guy who always orders his date's meals at a restaurant. Perfect.
cae
I can't compare it to the comic books, outside of what is shown in the mini-doc on the dvd, but your characterization of the "Kick-Ass" film as nothing but "bubblegum pop--saturated colors and gamely violent superheroics to the swell of a John Williams-inspired soundtrack" is so wonderfully simple and it makes it sound as if you have only seen - or retained - the trailer.

Yes it was meant to be a popular film and, as so, was designed to work with the brain dead mass of idiots known as the "Hollywood audience." I have no doubt that many of the more wonderfully (or wretched, depending on your view) rough edges were sanded off so Mr. and Mrs. Popcorn wouldn't run screaming from the theatre (or the film wouldn't get lambasted as being exploitative gore like "Watchmen" was - by a number of hipster-doofus busibodies here, I might add) but it still retained a darker, cautionary, edgier story-line than the bulk of the superhero dreck that comes out of that flaming pit of creative hell on the west coast.

Next you'll say "the book was better" and be delighted when we clap our tiny pink hands to our faces in mortal shock at the notion.

Well, duh!

---------------------------------
hassenpfeffer
cae Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> makes it sound as if you have only
> seen - or retained - the trailer.


I've only seen the movie. I don't think it worked well because it starts out with a critique of superheroes and ends by gloriously giving in to the same tropes. "Remember: vigilanteism is dangerous lunacy and always use your Gatling-gun-jet-pack in a responsible manner."

I think there's a parallel here to Fight Club. The production gloss in both outshined the satire underneath. But FC was more deranged and less feel-good throughout, in part because there was no traditional "Protagonist vs. Villain" setup and Tyler Durden clearly berates his followers both psychologically and physically. KA, in contrast, makes it pretty clear that we should root for Kick Ass no matter how insane he becomes because it's cool to be a good guy - hell, you get to fly around in a Gatling-gun-jet-pack, kill bad guys with a rocket launcher, and still get the girl without ever facing any real consequences aside from "getting more powerful".

In other words, I'm not sure where the "substance" in KA - The Film was supposed to come from. Was there any seriousness?
cae
I thought it was pretty clear the "Kick Ass" was never meant to be taken seriously (unlike all the other superhero films ... waitaminute) but was, rather, a typical "you can be the superhero" film with all the "aint it neato to be a boy" thrills and superficial cautionary notes throughout.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think it was a great film, by no means, and it definitely could have been better but it was fun in that "action flick" fun way with a reasonable amount of atypical dark insanity tugging at it's edges.

Yes, it wasn't the "Dark Knight" but I never knew it was supposed to be (again: I've not read the comic) . Nor do I think the ratings board would have allowed it to be released if it were - there was furor enough over the foul-mouthed, violent little girl.

---------------------------------
hassenpfeffer



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/14/2011 11:11AM by cae.
cae Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I thought it was pretty clear the "Kick Ass" was
> never meant to be taken seriously (unlike all the
> other superhero films ... waitaminute) but was,
> rather, a typical "you can be the superhero" film
> with all the "aint it neato to be a boy" thrills
> and superficial cautionary notes throughout.

But isn't that what makes it bubblegum pop?
Sanjeev (Admin)
Not to interject here, but I'm trying to remember all the arguments around Watchmen...I know Frank hated the ever-living shit outta that movie...and I kinda can't blame him. I mean, I enjoyed the experience of seeing the movie well enough...but only really because I went with buddies--plus all of the "bubblegum pop" aspects of the film. But I have no desire to see the movie ever again.

Having read the books just before seeing it, I'm forced to agree with Frank's assessment that they took a really brilliant critique of superhero comics and warped it into sort of a glorification of them. Thanks, Hollywood!
cae
> "bubblegum pop?"

I'm not denying it had elements of bubblegum pop, obviously, I'm just saying it was far darker than that in a lot of ways.

Clearly you're not seeing this and never will so I'll just close with "yes, you're right" and you can move on to the back-patting party.

---------------------------------
hassenpfeffer



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/14/2011 12:37PM by cae.
cae Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm not denying it had elements of bubblegum pop,
> obviously, I'm just saying it was far darker than
> that in a lot of ways.
>
> Clearly you're TeaPartying this so I'll just close
> with "yes, you're right" and you can move on to
> the back-patting party.

I have no idea what you mean by TeaPartying. But I think I failed to get my point across. Here's another shot.

The violence and darkness in KA are part of the bubblegum pop.

Example: The girl's dad gets tortured to death on the internet; the reprisal for that callous horror comes from a Gatling-gun-jet-pack.
Sanjeev Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Having read the books just before seeing it, I'm
> forced to agree with Frank's assessment that they
> took a really brilliant critique of superhero
> comics and warped it into sort of a glorification
> of them. Thanks, Hollywood!

Overall, I liked WM. It gets bogged down in some of the action sequences and it didn't quite accomplish the critique it could have. Aryan Super Genius' monolog at the end was more of a cheap twist than a deep exploration of any themes.

But I really, really liked Dr. Manhattan. That character took everything awesome from the special effects in Scanners and distilled into down into a science. I could watch that blue goof turn bad guys into wallpaper all day long.
cae
I changed that "TeaPartying" comment because, in immediate hindsight, I found it incomprehensible and reprehensible.

I'm a little stressed this morning with unrelated personal issues and find I am taking it out in this discussion, which is silly and inexcusable. I apologize for getting heated and, as usual, regret getting involved in any discussion here that does not involve me giving an enthusiastic "+1"

You guys put a lot more thought and time into dissecting the movies you watch than I ever would care to. Probably as good an indication as any why I no longer enjoy interacting here that often. You're all so marvelously serious and intellectual about why you do or don't like the comic books you read and the super hero movies you watch. It sucks all the goddamn fun out of everything. But that's just me whining and I admit it. A backhanded compliment, if any at all. A pathetic attempt at a dig by a man coming to grips with his own intellectual shortcomings.

I have to face it: I'm just not smart nor interested enough to explain in depth, with footnotes, why I feel "X Men 3" sucked but I liked "Watchmen." I'm not an intellectual, I just play one on the internet - and not all that well.

You're right about "Kick Ass" because your argument is more eloquent, more incisive; you have really put some though into this. I am wrong because I have not and, even if I had, a person of my lower intellectual stature could never effectively battle your well constructed arguments. I am not in your class. "Kick Ass" is bubblegum pop and so was my argument against it. The only dark was in the theater and the center of my skull where a brain ought to be. I hate myself and I want to diet.

Carry on.

---------------------------------
hassenpfeffer



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/14/2011 02:04PM by cae.
cae Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You're right about [whatever random topic] because your
> argument is more eloquent, more incisive; you have
> really put some though into this. I am wrong
> because I have not and, even if I had, a person of
> my lower intellectual stature could never
> effectively battle your well constructed
> arguments. I am not in your class. [whatever random example] is
> bubblegum pop and so was my argument against it.
> The only dark was in the theater and the center of
> my skull where a brain ought to be. I hate myself
> and I want to diet.
>
> Carry on.

+1

Yeah thats toysnarkdx in a nutshell. This place makes me feel dumb and yet I love it and continue coming back for more because sometimes I learn things.

--------------------------
I want YOU for Moé Sucks Army
Gcrush Wrote:
>
> Here's how I read it.

> Now just imagine Logan's tone of voice as sounding
> like that guy who always orders his date's meals
> at a restaurant. Perfect.

Well, yes, Logan is a total asshole (and people seem to forget that even when he's not doing bad stuff, he's not really a likeable guy) but also this exists in a world where, as I remember, literally every Japanese character in the context of the X-Men books is a member of a yakuza family, and any Japanese character older than the ones who are sidekicks to the heroes is some kind of evil mastermind who's manipulating them. In the context, Mariko CAN'T make decisions, because she's Japanese and her (evil, criminal) family decides things for her. I think it's a toss-up whether the story's cultural bias or Logan's misogyny takes primacy.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
Scopedog Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> cae Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > You're right about because your
> > argument is more eloquent, more incisive; you
> have
> > really put some though into this. I am wrong
> > because I have not and, even if I had, a person
> of
> > my lower intellectual stature could never
> > effectively battle your well constructed
> > arguments. I am not in your class. is
> > bubblegum pop and so was my argument against
> it.
> > The only dark was in the theater and the center
> of
> > my skull where a brain ought to be. I hate
> myself
> > and I want to diet.
> >
> > Carry on.
>
> +1
>
> Yeah thats toysnarkdx in a nutshell. This place
> makes me feel dumb and yet I love it and continue
> coming back for more because sometimes I learn
> things.

Christ, I write a brief two-paragraph post mentioning how I thought Kick-Ass was kind of dumb (though I actually enjoyed the movie for that very reason), and it escalates into this kind of childish, "So you guys think you're smarter than us" bullshit?

I'm not sure how one post on Kick-Ass gets interpreted as a personal attack on Corey's intellect, but whatever. Should I also mention how one of the coolest discoveries I've gotten from this site was Scopedog's post about the Red Letter Media guy? That I've subsequently introduced one of RLM's reviews in class as an example of thoughtful, purposeful analysis? Or should I mention that Ginrai's link to the Atlantic article in the Nasty Otaku thread was a good read? Or how about the multiple posts in the music thread through which I actually discovered some good bands?

So why is it that when that RLM guy goes on a rant about stuff he likes or hates, we all think he's awesome, but if Crush and I use similar analysis to offer opinions about other things, suddenly we're teabagging each other and everything we have to say is an indictment of Corey's or Scope's lack of education? (And even when I do disagree with Gcrush or Sanjeev or Asterphage, the last thing I would ever do is make it personal.)

Yeah, as Scopedog says, you can actually learn a lot here, but for that to happen, people need to shed their egos, their narcissistic self-absorption, and not assume the worst out of the other person. But then, that wouldn't be teh Internet.

This may come as a shock, Corey, but in making that post about Kick-Ass, I did not have you in mind, and if you disagree and I respond, I still don't venture into the, "Is this Corey guy stupid" territory. Your level of intellect or educational background really isn't all that important to me. I honestly don't care enough about that to give a shit. I just stick with the words and opinions on the screen. Anything else I have no idea about.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/14/2011 04:53PM by gingaio.
gingaio Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If Crush and I use similar analysis
> to offer opinions about other things, suddenly
> we're teabagging each other.

I think... I blame Mason for this? He's the first one to figure out that we're actually the same indomitable personality inhabiting two distinct, but equally handsome, bodies whose bags are literally bursting with tea. And not in a "gay" way, but in a way that's all like, "I totally give it to the ladies because no man could possibly handle juices this masculine without shriveling up and imploding in a wet burst of sour meat from terminal feelings of inadequacy."
asterphage Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I think it's a toss-up
> whether the story's cultural bias or Logan's
> misogyny takes primacy.

Your point is pretty damn insightful and I didn't mean to gloss over it. The Yellow Peril/Fever dynamic is definitely palpable. It speaks to the critical successes of the series that it can be simultaneously racist and misogynistic with so little effort.
cae
dearest gingy -

my comments, while bitter, were not sarcastic nor meant as a backwards attack on your supposed intellect - you and many others here *are* obviously better educated and more intellectual than me. I *do* think you're right about "Kick Ass" being pop tripe. My argument was based on more of a gut-level enjoyment of the film and a bad day of the week than any real argument of merit and, when I figured it out, I capitulated.

But I did it in a left hand kind of way (nothing against you south paws) because I do find the over-intellectualization on these threads annoying and nauseating. The place often seems like a bully-pulpit for every mouth-breathing, comic book junky that ever went to finishing school and I hate it.

Why I keep coming here I honestly don't know. I don't buy toys, don't like robots (much), and can't relate to most of the people who are active on here any more.

But here's another point: if that's the case, why did I even try? Why get embroiled in something that's over my head and, honestly, a pretty stupid waste of time, in my humble opinion?

Guess I just wanted a distraction from my shitty day and accidentally wandered, out of habit, back to a place I used to be able to count on having some fun and camaraderie at. My mistake.

No, really: it is my fault. You guys did nothing more than what you ever do, and happily so. I'm the guy who doesn't like it. I'm the guy who took it personal. I just shouldn't come here anymore. I don't fit in, can't relate, don't feel welcome ... and I guess I wont.

The irony is, back when this was my playground, I know I was part of a snarky crowd who made others to feel this way. Comeuppance is a bitch but, you know what, I hope the people I sidelined and made to feel like shit get to see this post and get a little of that warm spark in their bellies - at least then it won't all be wasted.

Now don't get me wrong - me not fitting in is *my* fault, not yours, nor anyone else's.

But you can go eat a bag of dicks, anyway: I'm out.

---------------------------------
hassenpfeffer
Aren't these the same guys that support your calendars and photography and stuff?

--------------------------
I want YOU for Moé Sucks Army
cae
Hah!

Let's see, last year I sold 3 calendars - none of the buyers are in this thread or very active on these forums.

Besides - the bag of dicks comment was for Gingy, unnecessary as it was. Phew. In a bad place today. Yikes

Yes - this is the typical childish reaction of the angry, little boy saying "I don't want to play with you any more - I'm taking my crayons and going home"

---------------------------------
hassenpfeffer



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 10/14/2011 08:20PM by cae.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

footer