Search This Blog

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sorry Mr. Spielberg, Your Moneys No Good Here.

Okay, first things first.  Last night at the plant Elijah got off work, and paid me his normal pre-return home visit as I started my shift, as it's the only time a day we actually get to talk.  Conversations range, but this time out we talked about a mutually fascinating subject, Movies.  One thing I have to say about this boy is he has an impressive ability to retain an ENORMOUS amount of information about the film industry, and not just in his preferred genre's.  Seriously, I'm not just a boasting father!  He can not only regale you with an impressive knowledge of not only ALL the current actors/actresses working on both the big screen and small, but directors, producers, name it!  Not to mention the majority of the projects they have worked on throughout their careers! I have NO idea how he does it, save a lot of time spent online on a variety of film sites.  So, it is he who I go to (whether I want to or not) to find the latest info.  Once lighted upon a tid bit of info that peaks my fancy, I delve deeper into it, as with most folks his age, they tend only to read the headlines, teasers or highlights.  One such eye opener he alluded to was that Nathan Fillion (FIREFLY and Castle) was to be in the next installment of "Guardians of the Galaxy"!?!  Well, not a huge shocker, as he was in the first one.  Oh, if you didn't catch his cameo in that one, don't knock yourself out, I missed it until I watched the credits.  His pass through this Universe was as a voice over for the Big Blue Alien in the Prison the hero's were sent too, you know, the one that had his eyes set on Quill as a "Bunk Mate" only to have his nasal passages cleared out by Groot.  The sad part, was his voice was so heavily modified to appear much, much deeper, you couldn't even recognize it was him(?)
Photo's released clandestinely by a fan on the Internet, who was staking out the set in Cartersville, Georgia, shows a movie theatre featuring a film festival dedicated to Simon Williams, portrayed in movie posters, by Nathan Fillion. Now, for those "not in the know", Simon Williams is the secret identity of "Wonder Man"!  Wonder Man was a former Nemesis of the Avengers, as a member of the "Masters of Evil" and brother to the Grim Reaper.  Later, he rejects his evil ways and eventually joins the Avengers, even so far as to eventually spearhead the formation of the "West Coast Avengers".  As he is one of Comicdoms few true pacifists, he eventually gives up super heroing and becomes an actor! Now, as the scene is meant as a backdrop for what speculation and gossip has predicted is Star Lords return to Earth, the Movie Posters may be nothing more then another "tip of the hat" Easter Eggs for fans...
With the upcoming two part film "Avengers: Infinity War" (yea, we will finally see the culmination of all the machinations of Thanos from the previous films) reportedly featuring 67 Marvel Super Hero's, is it a long shot that Nathan may come to Earths aid and don the tights?  Who knows, but I for one SOOOOOO hope it happens!
That's a LONG segue into my (mini) rant.  I call it Mini, because the person I'm going up against, is none other then the great Steven Spielberg!
When I had finished the article on Nathan, there were a few links to related articles and one, in particular, caught my eye.  Apparently in an interview, Mr. Spielberg cast his opinion that "Super Hero Movies were a "passing fad".
I just HAVE to disagree.  And although my opinion may seem somewhat jaded due to my love of not only the film genre, but the printed one too, there are a few more obvious reasons I don't think Mr. Spielberg gave much thought to.  And here's why.
He goes on to compare the current trend of Super Hero epics to that of the success enjoyed by the Western films from their heyday of the 30's-60's.  Now, while it is true, certain genres tend to dominate the spotlight in the fickle cinema, and who knows what the next decade or so will bring to the forefront, but there is reason to doubt the waning of this particular brand of eye candy.  First, superhero's have been an almost constant mainstay on both the large and small screen for almost a hundred years.  Yes...I said a hundred.  I'll explain, to get totally technical, the few noticeable marks of a "Super Hero" are; he defends the defenseless against all the ails of Evil, utilizing a set of skills or powers that exceed that of normal man, and as cheeky as it sounds, has an easily recognizable symbol to not only give hope to the hopeless but fear to the oppressors (boy...does THAT sound corny!)  SO, ipso fatso, Douglas Fairbanks portrayal of Zorro in the 20's fits the bill!  Not only that, but his character traits, the mask, the cape, the alter ego and the stylized "Z" slashed upon his conquests were all inspirations for the creation of "Superman".  Not to mention such other Stalwarts of not only film, but Radio...Buck Rogers, Mandrake the Magician, The Shadow...see my point?  Then, you have Batman and Captain America in the serials of the Forties, George Reeves Superman of the 50's, Adam West (yea...can't NOT mention that) in the 60's Batman (with the Green Hornet riding his coat tails), The seventies having seen Spiderman, Captain America, Dr. Strange and the Incredible Hulk, into the eighties and beyond with a slew of others ( ain't a complete list...but you get my point) all enjoying a modicum of success (ok, maybe not Dr. Strange...with a "pornstache"?  Don't believe me...You tube it) There has always been a market for the medium, with each generations fans (if I am to be an example) slathering at the bit for the chance to see our print hero's "leap upon the big screen".  The ONLY reason the genre never was able to get a real foot hold, well, is a two parter.  FIRST, most folks in the film industry just never really took the subject matter seriously.  You can't produce what the fans really want to see if your not going to give it the respect it deserves.  It took them a LONG time to finally get that, and even to this day, SOME still don't get it (I refer you to the travesty that was Shumachers use of dead pan one liners akin to Adam West, not to mention day glow colors and "Over the Top" overacting by Batman's adversaries!) and most recently, the Fiasco of "Batman V Superman" (yea...not getting over THAT one any time soon!).  But, comic books were MADE to be movies!  I refer you to the comments made in the handbook "How to draw the MARVEL way" by Stan Lee, and I'm paraphrasing "Comics are merely an arranged set of movie still's, with the action and dialogue moving the story".  Another PRIME example of this (well two) is  Frank Millers "Sin City" which was a stylized film reproduction of the graphic novel, and the much lamented, but BEAUTIFUL (and with all due respect to the gruesomeness of the subject matter) "Watchmen".  If you get the chance, read the original Graphic Novel, paying close attention to the panels, then watch the film, and you will see the director shot the film angle for angle to the depictions in the book!  Phenominal! 
In my opinion, the first time the medium was treated with TRUE respect, and showed that; "yes, you can take a "funny book" and make a serious attempt at reproducing the concept without resorting to camp or overdone, pandering theatrics" was "Blade" in 1998. 
Ok, wait, I do have to give a nod to Brandon Lee's portrayal of Eric Draven in "The Crow" in 1994.  They did an incredible job of relaying the dark and brooding subject matter, but yet again, the bad guys were just a little to over the top.
Wesley Snipes really brought this little known "B" character into the limelight, with heart and gusto, and as the second film sported the opening "Marvel Flip" in my mind started the renaissance of the films.
The second reason is very simple.  All the throngs of fans were merely waiting for the film industry to develop the technology to depict the action necessary to propel stories of Gods and Hero's!  Seriously, how much can be offered with cheesy blue screens, wires, fades, stop motion, miniatures and "Old Web Head" swinging around on a nylon rope? 


yea...pretty pathetic.
No sooner had the technology caught up, did we see the fans flocking to the theatres and dropping down ODDLES of cash to make thirteen of the top twenty five "all time highest grossing films" super hero movies!  Think about it...those numbers were in just the last sixteen years.  How long have films been around? 
Not only that, but, do you know what the MOST recognizable universal symbol in the world is?
And if you guessed the Cross...nope.  It's this....

Nope.  Not kidding.  Google it.
And now, with the characters we love so pervasive in our daily lives from movies, to merchandising and a plethora of interactive video games, each new generation will loving embrace this symbol along with many others.
SO, Mr. Spielberg, no, I'm sorry.  A century of a recognizable, and agreeable concepts such as the defense of freedom, the value of life, self sacrifice infused with the combination of heroics, drama, comedy, romance, horror, action, science fiction, etc, etc are ideals ingrained into our social and worldly conscience.  Ones we aspire to attain or if falling short at least give us the hope, that others share in that desire.  And as long as the helm of that story telling is given to people who not only want to produce a good yarn but one that gives the subject matter ALL the due respect that it deserves, I don't foresee there ever be a failing in it's popularity. 
And as a side note: The latest installment of the Captain America series "Civil War"  received 100% on the "Rotten Tomatoes" scale and is creating a LOT of buzz and a LOT of speculation.  Well here's mine...look for this one to give Avengers a run for it's money in the "Cash Cow" race!
S'okay, on to work!
Put up one newbie, then had a gent come in, newly returning to the Veloist life style (at the urgings of his well meaning lady) and snag up the Pacific I put out on Sunday, bringing in a trade of an old school, "Pre-Walmart" Mongoose MTB hybrid.  The poor thing had sat, unused, for quite some time so needed quite a bit of TLC (and tires) but in a record breaking hour, she was out on the line "shiny and come aboard.....we're EXPECTING you!"  (a big NO-PRIZE for any of the over forty crowd that gets THAT musical reference!) and ready to roll!
Other then that, though, a quiet day.
Today, we have a full up refurb to do, and pandering to my own self interest, IE; the LONG blog rant, I think I'll have just enough time to do that...and not much else!
SO, see y'all soon!
ONLY $65.00!!!
ONLY $90.00!!

No comments:

Post a Comment