with a frighteningly small number of exceptions
okbjgm (Javi Grillo-Marxuach):
most hollywood tentpole/blockbuster films display the same narrative sins for which we fanboys vilified george lucas a decade and a half ago. he showed us the future of mainstream filmmaking twice in thirty years and we never stopped buying what he was selling.
I’d love to hear more specifically what Javi means by this, but it rings true for me. Most big-budget films I’ve seen over the last decade fail on a basic level; like with Episodes 1-3, I just can’t care about what’s going on. Some fail as early as the trailer – I’m lookin’ at you, Transformers – and some work up a good origin story before descending into CG-encrusted nonsense, but very few succeed.
Iron Man and Captain America both lost my interest as soon as the character’s super-ness was established. I can’t bring myself to watch The Avengers, because every trailer and plot summary indicates it’ll focus on the worst aspects of both. I was starting to wonder if I don’t like super-hero movies anymore, but then I watched the 1978 Superman with the geeklet and got sucked into the story.
Just to be clear, I’m not comparing these films to Casablanca or Primer. Big budgets can be great; I loved Inception so much I bought the illustrated screenplay. CG isn’t to blame; The Incredibles engaged me from start to finish. My favorite big-screen films from the past decade include Serenity and Lord of the Rings. Heck, I’d watch Cats In Space if it was a franchise.
So what do they have that Captain America lacked? What puts me off The Avengers while I’m still excited about The Hobbit? I don’t know. If Javi’s point about George Lucas-style filmmaking is a clue, I’d venture that even the animated 3D characters beat the wooden cardboard cutouts at having a history and a point of view and (sometimes) an arc. Lucas ditches his characters when the fireworks start, while Peter Jackson takes time away from the battle to focus on fearful people comforting each other.
Javi’s last point missed the mark, though, at least for me: I did stop buying what Lucas was selling. I watched Episode 1 in the theater 3 times out of sheer fanboy enthusiasm. (I watch the original trilogy at least once a year.) I saw 2 and 3 once, and I haven’t watched them again since. I won’t spend money on Iron Man 2 or The Avengers, even the pittance they’d make from a Netflix viewing. There are so many good options out there, I just don’t see the need.
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