Archives For Batman Begins

A bit of a weird week for me. I didn’t blog as much as I should have, and some weird and stupid things happened. I did manage to watch some movies, though, and I’ve been getting excited about a certain movie. As the date approaches, I’m becoming slightly obsessed with The Dark Knight Rises. I can’t help myself. I love Nolan. I love his two Batman films. I can’t wait for that midnight IMAX screening.

This is also a rare week where almost all the movies I saw, I saw with other people. I will often watch something at home on my own, or by myself at the cinema, but this week I only watched one movie in solitude. I’ve got to say, watching movies with friends and family was kind of nice. I should probably try to do it more often. Anyway, enough of my babbling, here’s what I watched this week: Click to read more.

Matt Zoller Seitz and Simon Abrams had a great chat over at Indiewire’s Press Play about the problems with the superhero genre on film. What the piece comes down to is Matt making the claim that superhero films are rote, boring and rarely inventive within the genre. Simon, however, argues that while this is mostly true, there are still examples of filmmakers bringing creativity to the form, and that looking to the future there is still hope for better superhero films.

The major comparison Matt makes is to the Western. That all-American genre of cowboys and duels was similarly plagued by the trappings of genre, yet classics were still produced. Where are the superhero classics? I guess the first thing to point out is that Matt doesn’t really care for Batman Begins or The Dark Knight. That’s perfectly fine, but I’d say that at the very least The Dark Knight is a tested modern classic of the genre, both in terms of critical response and commercial appeal. Matt saying he doesn’t care for The Dark Knight is not unlike somebody saying they don’t really enjoy Stagecoach or The Searchers. I’ve spoken to people who don’t like either of those classic Westerns, but they’re still classics of the genre and of the wider world of American film.

There have been other great superhero films, but it’s true that they’re a rarity. This will not change. As much as I may defend the certain films in the genre against Matt’s attacks, I do think he’s right, though his premise is a little too narrow. Dismissing The Dark Knight and raising up The Incredibles does nothing more than illustrate the way superhero films don’t work for him personally. The argument becomes a matter of taste. In truth, the problems with the genre are much more core and because of this, superhero movies will never be, and can never be, the next great American genre. Click to read more.