Digital Polyphony

film, games, memories & random thoughts


Burnouts and Overrating

Posted on April 30, 2014 at 6:35 AM

Burning out Superhero Movies

I loved Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I mean, it’s a damn good movie. Great thriller, spectacular action, solid performances. Superhero movie or not, it’s a damn good action movie at the end of the day and arguably the best movie Marvel has produced. I would argue that, but whatever, that’s not the point here.

The point is…man…there sure are a lot of Superhero movies huh?

Like...a lot. Five or six a year. Remember when we were lucky to just get one? It's pretty nuts.

I can handle it...but can casual mass audiences handle it? Is it sustainable?

On Marvel alone, it’s saturated the entire market, especially the entire market for action movies. These days if your action movie isn’t based off a comic book or graphic novel, does it have a chance to get made much less find an audience? As much as people want to criticize remakes, reboots and long-running franchises as doing a disservice towards originality in the action genre, I have a concern about the superhero movie doing the same thing.

Maybe not right now, not with Cap 2 being awesome, but by Marvel Phase 3? I kind of wonder…

...these guys can't do this forever...and I wonder if Marvel even wants to.

I’m in the ballpark where I love how its working now but can see a shrinking in-field. As though the guy only batting .030 is about to step to the plate and blow it all (High Warners).  But even mediocre superhero movies still have a ton of energy and effort put in to them, even though it sometimes comes at the cost of bad writing (seeing Amazing Spider-Man…or really don’t see it…whatever). 

A lot of times superhero movies thrive on the spectacle, little on the substance, and though there are certainly advances like those found in The Winter Solider or the often maligned-by-comic-fanboys Iron Man 3 or The Wolverine, if we’re going by the cyclical nature of the movie industry, they’re reaching their peak and in about two years we’re going to start seeing diminishing returns.

How much can they milk out of Loki before it tires itself out? Wait a minute...

You know how the movie industry is. Hell I’ve written about their business model on this blog: one movie will work, then everyone wants to make every single thing they can in the shortest about of time before people’s interest is lost on it. Vampires were big a few years back, but they’ve dwindled. Zombie interest is already waning. The young adult stuff is starting to slow, and I think after The Hunger Games will be dead entirely. Superheroes are going to go that same route. They’re their own genre and style and there’s only so many times somebody wants to sit and watch it all.

But let’s look at the other side…

There's another side...yes, skippy. Most things have numerous perspectives, get off your pedestal.

I’m putting on that other hat now. Sure, everything is cyclical in the movie biz and studios oversaturate everything they possibly can, but superhero movies have a fallback: their origins. If there’s anything that has sustained the test of time, other than twinkles and the fact that British rock is always superior, it’s the fact that comic books have always been constant. They have a structure built into their own existence to reboot, reshape, redo, change, alter and take risks.

While I think the cycle of this wave of movies is reaching its height, it’s only this wave…there’s going to be another wave, maybe not for years after this one is done (and that in probably three to four more years) but it’ll happen when new people in power and new actors and so on join the fray. Just like they rebooted X-Men, rebooted Spider-Man, Superman, Batman…they’re going to do it fast. And they’ll do it all for probably years to come because the audience is already accepting of that change thanks to the world of comic books and their built-in expectations of change.

Now the question is, is the high-bar already set and would it even be needed?


Please Stop Calling Things “Overrated.”

A while ago, I wrote this here blog.

So I’m not going to go in and discuss why the empty term is empty and means absolutely nothing.

But I am going to talk about click bait. What is click bait? Well that’s when you use words like “Overrated” to get hits, such as an article I read recently about the “10 Most Overrated Movies.”

Lists...Ungh....lists...wait I write lists too...

I’m not going to link to that article nor am I going to tell you what the movies were because it doesn’t matter. But here we had a guy who fancies himself a film-buff, someone who writes about movies at a fairly reputable site, and he just tosses this out there. He doesn’t say what the cretira is on something being “overrated” or his thought process, he just made a list and said why he didn’t like the movie as much as some people.

Not liking the movie as much as some people…think about that. Reviewing and opinion on film is already subjective, but boy, that is aggressively subjective. You’re basically saying “I hear this a lot from people I know, and I disagree.”

But you know what...I have fun with it and explain my lists. Most times, the order is inconsequential, and it's never goddamn clickbait.  And I'm not desperate. Those that throw that stuff out...just reeks of desperation.

Whooptie-shit. You disagree. How about instead of just calling it “overrated” you back up the perspective. What’s worse, though, is that every movie on the list was still a good movie. It’s not as though he said “Errrm, this movie isn’t good. It’s actually bad.” No, it’s still good. He even points that out…so what’s the point of the friggin article. Then again, what’s the point of claiming something is “overrated” outside of cheaply and lazily trying to make a comment on it?

Then again, why sit around and watch movies that are good, you know are good, but don’t feel they’re as “good” as others do. Huh? See?

Basically - if you call something "overrated" that's telling me "I can't critique it or explain intelligently so I'll just call it overrated just because it makes me sound like I know what I'm talking about. Otherwise you're just desperate to get noticed."



Is that It?

Yeah, it's been kind of slow and I haven't had time to really write anything in-depth lately. Maybe next week we'll see what happens. In the meantime, here's a lightening round:


- Star Wars casting…looking good. I mean, they’ve got some darn good actors in there. I understand the lack of women element, there needs to be a Leia-type, but overall I’m a fan of everything happening here.


- Justice Leauge, huh? Let’s see how the next movie works out before we get excited, ok folks? Remember, The Green Lantern was supposed to kick off all this stuff and now that thing never happened. Warners really seem to be forcing the issue just to catch up to Marvel rather than grow it all organically.


- Hannibal better get picked up for a third season. It’s the most engrossing show on TV. Also, CBS needs to learn the word “consistent” when it comes to scheduling. Person of Interest and Elementary are two of the most consistent shows in terms of production and writing, yet scheduling? CBS can’t keep it in line.


- Stephen Colbert is a great choice for a late night host, though my only issue is that we’re going to lose the Colbert character. There’s nothing else quite like that character and that show, as in there is nothing like that character or that show. Great satire is going to take a hit, and now The Daily Show has to pull double-duty to keep news channels in check.


- Another hit that is being taken is Craig Ferguson leaving. I haven’t watched Craig consistently, to be honest, but I always liked his style. God help us if Chelsea Handler, who somehow passes herself off as a “comedian,” gets the slot.


- Saints Row IV is the most frustratingly annoying and obnoxious game I can’t stop playing.

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