The Summer Of Not So Super Cinema Sausages

Sorry this post is going to a downer.  I much prefer to write about things that brought me joy but sometimes one gets buried under a deluge of depressing dross and the occasional venting is needed to clear the palette.

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Seen any of this summer’s big blockbusters? Feel like if you seen one – you’ve seen them all? Remember any of them? Feel compelled to see any of them again?

Welcome to my world.

Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness, Man of Steel, The Lone Ranger, etc.  All feature scenes of mass destruction.  Most deal with an atagonist that turns out to be the front for a bigger one hiding in the shadows. All of them feel interchangeable. Like interconnected sausage links.

Movie studios have fully embraced comic book summer tent pole movies and the feeling of someone cranking a handle and churning out indistinguishable product has never been stronger than it has this summer. The products look great and sound great. Its all cinema sound and fury that assaults the senses for two hours only to drain away and leave no lasting impressions like an unexpected summer storm that wets the streets for a brief time. Only to be evaporated away under the light of an indifferent sun.

Most egregrious is the latest Superman reboot – Man of Steel.  When it was announced that this would be the most realistic Superman ever, a warning bell went off in my mind.  Most realistic how? In terms of characterization?  In terms of how Clark Kent would fit in to a world where nearly every big event moment is captured on video; how the artifice of simply putting on a pair of glasses is no longer a sufficient cover? Or would it be to use current SFX to showcase Superman’s powers?

The warning bell was for the third point – because it was a given that showing Superman’s powers with the latest SFX toolset was a no brainer – and that such depiction would overpower the other ones.  Which is exactly what happened with MOS. What was most disturbing about MOS is by the time the movie ended, the depiction of Superman’s powers came across as pornography given the mass destruction and collateral damage.

Another Summer Movie Sausage Of Mass Destruction

I’ve never been beholden to the Christopher Reeves movies because they played like cousins of the Adam West Batman TV series.  Both far too goofy for my tastes.  Both did create memorable music with John William’s superb Superman score the de facto Superman soundtrack.

I could go on with the myriad problems with the MOS but I’ll leave this link to an excellent article by Hulk Film Crit that applies not just to MOS but to movie – and story – analysis across the board:

Hulk Film Crit –

THE IMPORTANCE OF DRAMATIZING CHARACTER

I ‘ll add a few of my personal issues with the movie to what the article points out:

1)  MOS preaches actions has consequences through out the movie and then at the end of the climax with the biggest actions, there are no consequences whatsover.

2) This movie shows the world is a better place without Superman. His actions result in the crisis that the world has to face. In this movie if there is no Superman there is no crisis and the world continues on its own merry way quite nicely.  Thank you very much.

3) The other thing that saddens me about Man of Steel is that it brings Superman down to our level as opposed to the other movies which inspire us to try and reach his level.

I’m ready for the next reboot of Superman already.

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With that out of my system, I promise to return to writing about things that brought me joy in my next post.  And there are many such things!

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