Sunday, July 21, 2013

Summertime Comicbook Movies - What's Good vs. What I Like

I don't go out to see as many movies as I should, much to my husband's chagrin. I prefer to listen to movies and television at home while working on sewing. Movie theaters are too dark for that and bringing a portable light would be frowned upon. But I've seen two whole movies in the last two weeks. I should get some kind of gold star...

Last week, husband guy and I went to see Man of Steel. Look, I'm going to be honest here. I don't gave two craps about Superman, and I never have. I've just never found him interesting. I didn't even read DC comics until I met my husband, and I have to say that I'm more of a Green Lantern kind of gal. Or, really, a Red Lantern kind of gal. Okay... I really like Dex Starr. But Superman... meh. I've never cared for him or his creepy mom fixation or creepy horse with a human brain who's in love with Supergirl. I like Lex Luthor though. I would read a Lex Luthor comic book.

I went into Man of Steel feeling indifferent, I watched it indifferently, and I left the movie mostly indifferent and mildly annoyed. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Indifference is the kiss of death. I have more respect for movies/books/music I hate. As a writer, I would rather make people hate my work than not care about it. The fact that I don't care about Superman isn't the movie's fault. But a good movie would have made the average person care. This article by Film Critic Hulk (sent to me by a comic book savvy library patron) is really long, but worth reading. Film Critic Hulk says the above way better than I just did. Man of Steel was ultimately a pretty forgettable movie, no matter how hot Henry Caville is. Not even Detective Stabler could make me care.

I'll take a ticket to the gun show, please.
A good part of my Man of Steel issue is this constant rebooting, redoing, revamping, re-, re-, re-. There's no point in caring about Man of Steel because it's going to get redone down the line. I went to see the 2006 Superman move and felt like Man of Steel was a slap in the face. Why bother caring if the same story is just going to be told over and over again, simply because someone thought the previous telling wasn't good enough? I'm tired of shelling out money for what I consider fanfiction with a budget. I get frustrated with comics retcons for the same reason. I like a solid narrative. If I want retconning and rebooting, I can get that for free on the internet. On the plus side though, Man of Steel was really pretty.

The movie I saw this weekend was R.I.P.D. It looked like stupid fun and I wasn't going into the movie expecting anything else. R.I.P.D. didn't deliver any surprises, but I sure had a good time watching it. Again, I had some prejudices going into the movie, one of them being the fact that I will watch just about anything Jeff Bridges is in. Maybe The Dude should have played Superman...

The plot wasn't anything special, but Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds had good chemistry and the dialogue made up for predictability. Mary Louise Parker was also pretty awesome. I can definitively say that this movie was not a work of genius, but I loved every second of it. R.I.P.D. isn't going to win any awards and it's been getting some bad reviews, but I had so much fun watching it, and it's made me wonder what was wrong with Man of Steel, or even what's wrong with my entertainment tastes. Sometimes, there's no explaining what I like. There are a handful of stupid movies that I just love. The same goes for books or television shows. I'd go crazy if every movie was like There Will Be Blood.

I can't say that either of these movies is better or worse than the other. But the juxtaposition of my viewing experiences with each is forcing me to revisit the idea of what is good as opposed to what we like, and accept the fact that they aren't always the same. I'm okay with that and I embrace my sometimes crappy taste. But what do you think? What do you like that you have no explanation for? What do you like that you feel like you shouldn't? And, is there anything that you don't like that has been critically acclaimed?


  1. Me and Mar argue over the whole what is good and what we as individual people as in everyone likes individually. I say you can't have greatness without anyone liking it. It's not great. Art can't exist in a void of no one caring so my opinion is good can only be judged on a individual bases and also that individual basis can form a larger and larger group bases but its still individual views. You can talk technical in every art form but that's not necessary in my opinion to have anything to do with good and tends to be yes that's a wall, a good wall, built good, all the right stuff in it but its sitting in the middle of a rain forest and no one gives a shit.

    Sorry, for the little ramble. Having a frustrating writing night :)

    1. I get what you're saying. I used There Will Be Blood as an example up there. It was a really well made movie, but I didn't particularly enjoy it and I have no desire to see it again. I appreciate when other people can make that distinction - that not liking a movie doesn't mean it's a bad movie.

    2. I agree. I can look at something like realistic YA book or anything Walking Dead and understand why people like it but still not like it myself.

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