Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Such Heroic Nonsense: Where's the Joy?

Man of Steel is a tricky movie for me to talk about.  Not only is it polarizing (you either love it or hate it--there's no middle ground), but it seems to be polarizing in a such a way that the two sides literally cannot comprehend where the other is coming from.  Just as it baffles me that anyone could actually enjoy Man of Steel, I know several people that are mystified that I didn't love it.

Like I said, tricky.  Still, I'd like to take some time to explain why I think that Man of Steel is not only the opposite of what a Superman movie should be, but also the antithesis of what superhero movies should be about.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Blood, Sweat and Chairshots: The People's Champions

Professional wrestling is a strange beast.  It's a "fake" sport with predetermined outcomes and storylines that can often make daytime soap operas seem realistic.  Why should I, a self-described lover of good stories, be so fascinated with a storytelling medium as bizarre as professional wrestling?

Well, for one thing, pro wrestling might be the single most interactive form of storytelling this side of improv comedy.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Ten Things: The Wolverine

To round out my discussion of superheroes over the last week or so, I'd like to take a moment to briefly talk about The Wolverine.  And yes, I know that this is a bit late, but I hadn't started this blog when it came out.  So there.

I didn't have high hopes going into this movie, given how bad the X-Men movies had gotten (First Class being the exception).  To my surprise, the film was actually pretty good.  I would rank it as maybe the third best in the franchise, behind X-2 and First Class.  Hugh Jackman still owns the role of Wolverine, and he remains the best thing about the franchise.  His performance here works especially well because the movie isn't trying to be a traditional superhero movie--it honestly feels more like a samurai film.  That difference in tone and structure is a welcome shift, because any experimentation with the formula can only help the genre at this point.

Now here are ten things I didn't like about it.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Such Heroic Nonsense: Sympathy for the Devil

In my previous post I discussed how heroes reflect the cultures that created them, and how their triumphs and mistakes serve to guide and inspire that culture.  Now I'd like to take a moment to discuss villains and why they are at their best when we agree with them.