Saturday, 14 July 2012
Spidey v The Batman
I know, I know, it's been a while. So many distractions to keep a man away from his blog.
The new Spiderman film is out there. Fantastic! Brilliant! Astonishing! Oh, I haven't seen it and won't be queueing and paying, the reason is simple.The constant re-invention of comic book titles has now got to the point where I couldn't care less how good it is - I'm bored with the genre. Bored, bored, bored. I hear it's very good. Great. Loads of kids - dads, mums and the odd Grannie - will have a fabulous time enjoying it. But it's going back to the origins again, to reinvent the character again. Fire up the franchise motors, break out the MacDonalds tie-in merchandising, dust off the spidey duvets; ladies and gentlemen it's Spidey time again.
But not for me. No siree.
Last comic book caper I saw was The Avengers. It was good, a bit talky for some but i quite liked that aspect of it. Coming away from the cinema we talked about it as we always do, good, bad or indifferent. Love 'em or hate 'em there always something to discuss. To learn from.
Ask me to describe my favourite scene right now - in fact any scene right now - and...sorry, that was me looking off into the middle distance desperately trying to remember anything that happened. Nope, nothing has stayed with me. Not one moment.
These movies cost as much as the Greek national debt yet have no lasting effect on me at all. They're bubble gum, comic capers, that re-invent themselves with such regularity now that I can't be bothered any more. They've become the new westerns.
The Batman 'triology' is different (it was never meant to be a trilogy, it just happened when the first one and then the second one went stallar). What Christopher Nolan shaped in the first two films is something far more interesting than anything else out there that features men in capes. Even more interesting than the Watchmen movie. But then Nolan's cv is unlike the directors of other comic book films - with the exception of Kenneth Brannagh who helmed Thor. Nolan has been exploring extraordinary stories and structures since he first got to sit in the director's chair.
Momento - a story told backwards about a man who has no long term, medium term memory.
The Prestige, two rival magicians vie for the ultimate illusion, tricking each other and the audience.
Inception, a film so dense and layered no one could possibly follow it - or at least that would be the feeling of most studios. However Inception was so clever, so absorbing, so intriguing that it found a huge audience and made those dumb-ass execs sit up and realise we want more from science fiction than cgi monsters and endless explosions (Michael Bay take note).
2008's The Dark Knight wasn't a comic book film at all, it was a proper drama, wrapped up in a thriller. Yes, it had the added edge of Heath Ledger's penultimate performance but this was an astonishing piece of work. So many scenes stay with me, even though I've only seen it once.
Every movie can't resonate like that. I like fluff and balderdash in amongst the great tales but too many sweets make your teeth fall out and I'm of an age where I'd like to hang on to what I've got. So, I'm choosing my goodie bags carefully. I'll catch Spidey on the box - maybe - but the Batman I'll be out there queueing for.