1. Audie says:

    I see this sudden plethora of posts trying to fix something, and I’m looking at the same thing and thinking “It’s not even broke.”

  2. Audie says:

    When I look at the super hero movies for the past several years, I don’t see a lack of consequences in them.

    In the Marvel movies, for example, what Stark sees in his brief look through the wormhole leads to him trying to protect the world on his own, thus creating Ultron, a being that, among other things, basically wipes out a city killing many people. This leads to someone manipulating the Avengers, in the process killing T’challa’s father, and causing a severe split between Stark and Cap because of the death of Stark’s parents years ago. Along the way, Shield gets disbanded, Quicksilver dies, Rhodey gets serious injured, and two of the strongest Avengers have gone missing. Thor and Loki’s mother is killed, and it’s still unclear what’s happened to Odin.

    This also is something against the formulaic storytelling charge. Few movies have a less formulaic ending than Civil War, where the heroes are close to killing each other in the big final fight, and don’t make up at the end. And looked at overall, the story is hardly all bunnies and kittens. Friends have become enemies, organizations that were designed to defend and protect were used to destroy and so had to be disbanded, and the world’s trust in super heroes has been severely damaged because of destructive Hulk rampages and other examples of severe damages.

    There have been some iffy decisions with villains, like making The Mandarin a kind of social media joke. But the Avengers movies (counting Civil War as more an Avengers than a Cap movie) have shown a nice diversity in their villains.

    One of the strengths of Batman vs Superman, in my mind, was the unclear nature about where many characters stood for much of the movie. I thought this was most strongly shown with the Congresswoman. On the one hand, she wants Superman to answer for some of his actions, and be held accountable. On the other hand, she wants no part of Luthor’s plan to create a weapon to kill Superman. And for much of the movie, it could be said the Batman was more on the bad guys’ side than the good guys’.

    • Agreed that these significant developments can be overlooked.

      However, for my part, I’d say the challenges arise from the recent Marvel films, the phase 3 ones. Even Captain America: Civil War shares some of these difficulties, by emphasizing quips over significance and “family drama” over other meta-themes (while Captain America: The Winter Soldier expertly blended them both together).

      It’s not that the recent films are ignoring the deeper, significant stuff (or that they’re ignoring Character Deaths). It’s that they seem to want to play to the “jokey” side of things while still upholding plot dignity, and the tones clash.

      I did appreciate the truly surprising turn in Thor: The Dark World, and in fact appreciate a lot about those now “older” Marvel films, including the first Thor and The Incredible Hulk, that most audiences have apparently rejected. Unfortunately this means we could be getting a soft-reboot of Thor that goes full-on Guardians of the Galaxy mode (color splashes, ’80s logo, classic rock) in Thor: Ragnarok. But I hope not.

  3. Tony Breeden says:

    I’m starting to think that the writing staff at SpeculativeFaith.com has become a bit too pretentious. You’re certainly overthinking things, and this trend of emphasizing science over art in storytelling does not bode well for Realm Makers. I have no intention of attending this year, a choice I made in part because of my growing dissatisfaction with the content on this site.

    You seem to think that if you wouldn’t have written things the way they’re portrayed on film, they must be wrong. You decry formula while you chastise superhero films for not following a formula you have in mind instead. I’d rather appreciate and learn from their strengths and weaknesses.

    NOTHING like the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been attempted. It breaks formula for existing at all. I’m actually surprised at the breadth of villains and heroes (with their characters developed and intact) and story lines they’ve managed to pull together – and pull together fairly well at that! – with pretty much nothing to guide them. Critics have complained that this movie (pick one) concentrated too much on setting up some future movie and then offered formulaic complaints about middle child movies in a series as if that fully addressed the enormity of the task at hand; however, do they consider that the architects of the MCU usually has to set up and complement plot points not only in the next sequential film but several off to the side and away, as it were? This is very much trial and error.

    You might be bored or dissatisfied with what the genre’s doing right now, but painting these elements as actual problems (fist bump to Audie Thacker) just comes off as pretentious commentary.

    And on a personal note, Zachary Totah, where do you get off claiming to adore the Dark Knight trilogy when you can’t even be bothered to spell “BANE” right? I could also add that in expecting Selena Kyle to feel guilt or gravitas over shooting BANE, you really didn’t comprehend her character in that movie. Her quip afterward, “The whole no-guns thing? I don’t feel as strongly about it as you do”, is a perfect callback to a scene where Batman insists, “No guns. No killing,” and she answers, “Where’s the fun in that?” It’s definitely in character for this portrayal of Catwoman (technically, The Cat in this film). Plus, it’s meant to underscore the fact that she just saved his life despite his ideological objection to her methods.

What do you think?