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Monday, July 21, 2008

No More Superheroes

posted by on July 21 at 12:25 PM

I wanted to watch a movie this weekend. I wanted the movie to be easy on the imagination. I wanted a crime, a criminal, a detective, a city. I wanted clues, a fatal woman, a doomed lover, and a plot that thickens. But all I found in the movie market are films with people wearing tights, capes, and smeared makeup. What has happened to adults in Hollywood cinema? Where did they go? Wanted is for teenagers; Meet Dave is for horses and other animals that like to “hee, hee, hee.” Only the French offered a thriller with a real man,Tell No One, which I had already seen and did not like. For this Hollywood season, only women were offered something barely interesting—Sex in the City. As for grown men—zip. I now regret not praising Micheal Clayton when it was released last year; I had no idea it was part of a dying species.

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its all the goddamn seasonal marketing

Posted by vooodooo84 | July 21, 2008 12:58 PM

It's summer - you should have caught Majestik Diabolik at the Bond series at SIFF cinema ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 21, 2008 1:02 PM

And, of course, anything geared towards women isn't 'adult', right Charles?

Posted by Abby | July 21, 2008 1:04 PM

this time last year there was one superhero film in the top 20: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

abby, do not twist my meaning.

Posted by charles mudede | July 21, 2008 1:08 PM

I loved Michael Clayton, but it had nothing to do with Michael Clayton. Actually I didn't love it. I thought it was stupid, but I loved a character. I didn't like Clayton, the movie didn't like Clayton, there's really never a moment where you're supposed to like Clayton, or anyone else. There is only one person you should like: Karen Crowder. Tilda's character--the character you're supposed to hate--is the only interesting and respectable character. I wanted her to get away with it. A wave of relief washed over me when they were taking care of Arthur. I wanted George to quickly get back in that car (Horses? He stopped his car, got out, and ran towards four horses, to look at them? That was all they could come up with to get him out of the car before it 'splodes? Really?). I don't even remember where I was going with any of this. Oh yeah, it was only good because of Karen. That, with the ending, is the reason it wasn't a good film.

Posted by Mr. Poe | July 21, 2008 1:10 PM

Saw Definitely, Maybe on DVD this weekend. May just be pining for NYC, but that chick flick got to me. How about posting some pics of Isla Fisher Chuckles?

Posted by mike in the morning | July 21, 2008 1:12 PM

The problem is this; when Hollywood made these so called "Adult" cinema, the vast majority didn't see them, critics jeered them, and the studios lost a lot of money making them.

Now that it's gone you complain.

Shut up, and either make your own movie, or get a netflix account.

Posted by sir jorge | July 21, 2008 1:12 PM

@Sir Jorge Don't tempt him! the last thing we need is another documentary that leaves one more confused about a subject then when they started watching it.

Posted by Little Red Ryan Hood | July 21, 2008 1:20 PM

Charles is right. Hollywood doesn't make movies for grownups (male or female) anymore. I think it's because there aren't any grownups there. No, Sex and the City is not for grownups.

Posted by Fnarf | July 21, 2008 1:26 PM

Why you're looking to Hollywood for artistic depth is beyond me. You are aware that there are films that come from elsewhere, right?

Posted by shub-negrorath | July 21, 2008 1:36 PM

Charles, as usual, you're words are frighteningly astute and depressingly true.

Posted by Fuck PG-13 | July 21, 2008 1:47 PM

@ #3: lame.

@Charles Mudede
it's the summer! action, explosions, capes, tights ahoy! and that should be the only expectation. all things considered, dark knight is the closest and best example of a comic book movie reaching the dramatic, "adult", and cinematic auteurism that is standard in good film, especially for a summer film.

plus michael clayton was a geared up for dramatic oscar season winter film (October 5, 2007).

Posted by hahnsolo | July 21, 2008 1:47 PM

Did you seriously just say Sex and the City was interesting? The only thing I find interesting about that shit is that so many people love watching boring 40-somethings (2 of which look more like 50-somethings) talk about sex the way that *nobody* does.

Posted by T | July 21, 2008 1:52 PM

Poe, the horses were a reference to the alley scene where Arthur asks Michael "do you have the horses for that?" They're also in the book his son was reading.

Posted by w7ngman | July 21, 2008 2:05 PM

1)Fanboys have destroyed adult filmmaking.

2)Hollywood is a fat, bloated, old whore pimped out by sycophantic accountants.

3)You're a filmmaker, Charles. Go make some films.

Posted by michael strangeways | July 21, 2008 2:06 PM

As superhero movies go, I'd have to say that I definitely learned more about the Rico Act from The Dark Knight than I did from Spiderman 2. It's like The Wire of Batman movies.

Posted by Chris Packham | July 21, 2008 2:12 PM

It was good, really good, but you know... was no "Snakes on a Plane"....

Posted by NapoleonXIV | July 21, 2008 2:13 PM

I liked Tell No One when it played at SIFF 2007. It kind of falls apart in the last quarter, but has enough nice elements to encourage others to see it. I think I even got a bit teary eyed in the final scene.

Posted by stinkbug | July 21, 2008 2:22 PM


I remember the scenes with the kid, but don't remember any of the discussion. The kid needed to be removed from the story, anyway. There was no point, unless that point was to mention/excuse the horses with some symbolic bullshit. "I'm really stressed out right now, I know I'm missing a big piece to this puzzle, things aren't adding up, gonna hand this hit-and-run bitch's ass right to him, get in my car, drive all over stix petal-to-the-metal, gettin' some mad air and browsin' for horsies. Oh, there's some. I'm going to go pant in front of them until my car blows up."

I don't remember Arthur referencing the horses in the alley, I just remember wishing him death. Not one thing in that pamphlet matters when it comes to his over-the-top and insane behavior.

I'm really, really not joking when I say I was on Tilda's side from the interview.

Posted by Mr. Poe | July 21, 2008 2:35 PM

2008 Hollywood gave us (so far)

Red Belt (a pretty cool Mamet film, and for a Brazilian Jiu jitsu devotee, I think a pretty damn good martial arts film.

Smart People

Before the Devil knows youíre dead

The Savages

No country for old men

There will be blood

Martin Scorcesseís doc Shine a light

The Visitor- a wee corny, but adult themed (immigration, xenophobia, bad drumming)

Gonzo- the Hunter Thompson flick

In Bruges (my bad I think this was a brit flick)

Funny Games (yes, itís a remake by an Austrian director, but itís a Hollywood remake, thus a Hollywood film)

Posted by SeMe | July 21, 2008 2:42 PM

SeMe...technically, several films on your list are 2007 releases, (Before the Devil was back in October and NCFOM was a November release; TWBB and Savages were both late 2007, though not released wide until Jan of 2008),which is an example of how "adult" films are all dumped at the end of the year in order to compete for awards. So we have to put up with 8 months of shit to get 4 months where there might be some intelligent films worth watching...

Posted by michael strangeways | July 21, 2008 3:04 PM

Can't be a superhero with a stump for a right leg...

Posted by KELLY O | July 21, 2008 3:17 PM

the movie you described at the beginning of this blog is called The Dark Knight. see it in imax if you can :)

Posted by umm | July 21, 2008 3:19 PM

I thought The Last Mistress was for adults - and it has naked ladies in it, Charles.

Of course, it's french, so your point is still valid.

Posted by max solomon | July 21, 2008 3:38 PM

grown-up films are released in the fall before the awards season. it's american summer. go to the drive in. who cares what plays there.

Posted by john | July 21, 2008 3:38 PM

Not only does Abby have an excellent point (and if you didn't mean it that way, then you need to be more careful with your words), but even the mainstream press has noticed that comics aren't just for kids anymore. Catch up.

Posted by Rebecca | July 21, 2008 6:44 PM

movies are as dead a modern "art form" as novels, comic books, pop music and blogs

Posted by Just Sayin' | July 21, 2008 6:46 PM

I felt very grown up watching The Dark Knight this past weekend, particularly because of all of the screaming children that the horrible parents brought to a (hardly) PG-13 "comic book" film.

Seriously, do people not understand that The Joker is the source of the WORST childhood nightmares?

Posted by Jaymes | July 21, 2008 8:28 PM

@28, really? I grew up on TV Batman and the Joker didn't bother me one whit.

Posted by CP | July 21, 2008 9:11 PM

@29 - yeah, but Catwoman made me feel all funny inside ... um ... well outside ... you know what I mean.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 21, 2008 11:46 PM

Not only is Dark Knight far more "adult" than many of the trashy kids movies that Mudede has pretended to like in his reviews this year (Bratz, Never Back Down, etc.), I imagine it has a lot more to say about the world we currently live in than many of the Oscar season movies will. But because it happens to be incredibly entertaining and has a Batman in it I guess it's edgy and provocative to pretend to be above it.

It rings false though. What I'm trying to say is I saw Mudede at the midnight show at the Cinerama wearing a full hand-made Batman costume. It must've taken him a year to make that thing. He was running around quoting Batman movies and I never once heard him mention Hagel or Marx. The reviews are a put-on. Batmudede is what he's really about.

Posted by BT | July 22, 2008 2:11 AM

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