Archives For Incredibles

The Criticwire Survey this week covered the topic of critics’ most watched movies. This isn’t best movies, or favourite movies, or guilty pleasures, but purely the movies that critics keep going back to over and over. A couple oddball choices are in there, like Certified Copy, but for the most part the choices reflect the ultimate quality for a re-watchable movie: fun. Films like Die Hard and Pulp Fiction show up, as do Ghostbusters and Star Wars.

These movies are all lots of fun. Even when they get serious they’re still a lot of fun to watch. Sure, there are movies I love to re-watch, like No Country for Old Men, that give me pleasure more through theme and character than pure entertainment, but those are rare. It’s far more likely that a movie like Drive comes along, which I find endlessly fun to watch. In fact, Drive is probably one of the most recent films to crack into my “most watched” category, or at least it’s well on its way, as is The Muppets. I just can’t get enough of these movies. Click to read more.

It’s happening again. It happened back when Toy Story 3 was announced, and then when it came out. It happened when Cars 2 was announced, and when that came out, as well. Now that Disney has released the teaser trailer for Pixar’s Monsters University, it’s happening all over again. I’m speaking, of course, about the annoying requests for a sequel to The Incredibles. It pops up in lots of threads about one of these Pixar sequels. It can’t be escaped. The logic is always the same: we want Pixar making original movies, and we don’t want them to become Dreamworks, so no sequels or prequels or unending franchises, oh but wait, make an Incredibles sequel because it’s a superhero movie so it must have one.

I’d rather see “Incredibles University” – Sanford Bell, /Film commenter

Do you know how many times I’ve heard people claim that the end of The Incredibles was a perfect set-up for a sequel? I swear, these people have no concept of humour. The ending of The Incredibles is not some call to arms for an inevitable sequel, but a thematic capper that completes the arc of the Parr family. It’s left open only because that is thematically functional. Plus, the concept of the Underminer is hilariously silly. It’s an ending almost like the joke ending of Back to the Future, only with more emotional and thematic resonance. And sure, that joke at the end of Back to the Future was used as the the set up for sequels, but by using that scene as a jumping-off point for Back to the Future Part II, the film was significantly hampered all the way through. So why would anyone on earth think The Incredibles was setting up a sequel? And more importantly, why on earth would anyone think an Incredibles sequel is necessary? It’s this mentality, quite frankly, that is destroying Hollywood blockbuster entertainment. 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.