"Superhero Movies Like Avengers Assemble Should Not Be Scorned"

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"Superhero Movies Like Avengers Assemble Should Not Be Scorned"

Post  Apologist Puncher on Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:19 pm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/filmblog/2012/apr/19/avengers-assemble-tom-hiddleston-superhero?newsfeed=true

Superheroes movies like Avengers Assemble should not be scorned
From Superman to Batman, superhero films have much to teach us about faith and humanity – as well as being terrrific visual spectacle, writes Avengers Assemble star Tom Hiddleston

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 19 April 2012 15.33 EDT
Article history

Earlier this year, beneath the wind-whipped tarpaulin of a catering tent in Gloucester, I was working on a film with the actor Malcolm Sinclair. Over scrambled eggs at an ungodly hour, he told me something I had not previously known: when Christopher Reeve was young, barely out of Juilliard, he was roundly mocked by his peers on Broadway for accepting the role of Superman. It was considered an ignoble thing for a classical actor to do.

I grew up watching Superman. As a child, when I first learned to dive into a swimming pool, I wasn't diving, I was flying, like Superman. I used to dream of rescuing a girl I had a crush on (my Lois Lane) from a playground bully (General Zod). Reeve, to my mind, was the first real superhero.

Since then some of the greatest actors have turned superheroes into a serious business: Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson in Batman; Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart; the first venerable knights of the X-Men, who have now passed the baton to Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy. In spite of 20 years of mercurial work in the likes of Chaplin and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, it was his rock-star-charismatic yet somehow humble Tony Stark in Iron Man that helped wider audiences finally embrace the enormous talent of Robert Downey Jr. And Heath Ledger's performance in The Dark Knight quite simply changed the game. He raised the bar not just for actors in superhero films, but young actors everywhere; for me. His performance was dark, anarchic, dizzying, free, and totally, thrillingly, dangerous.

Actors in any capacity, artists of any stripe, are inspired by their curiosity, by their desire to explore all quarters of life, in light and in dark, and reflect what they find in their work. Artists instinctively want to reflect humanity, their own and each other's, in all its intermittent virtue and vitality, frailty and fallibility.

I have never been more inspired than when I watched Harold Pinter speak in a direct address to camera in his Nobel lecture in 2005. "Truth in drama is for ever elusive. You never quite find it but the search for it is compulsive. The search is clearly what drives the endeavour. The search is your task. More often than not you stumble upon the truth in the dark, colliding with it or just glimpsing an image or a shape which seems to correspond with the truth, often without realising that you have done so. But the real truth is that there never is any such thing as one truth to be found in dramatic art. There are many. These truths challenge each other, recoil from each other, reflect each other, ignore each other, tease each other, are blind to each other. Some times you feel you have the truth of a moment in your hand, then it slips through your fingers and is lost"

Big talk for someone in a silly superhero film, I hear you say. But superhero films offer a shared, faithless, modern mythology, through which these truths can be explored. In our increasingly secular society, with so many disparate gods and different faiths, superhero films present a unique canvas upon which our shared hopes, dreams and apocalyptic nightmares can be projected and played out. Ancient societies had anthropomorphic gods: a huge pantheon expanding into centuries of dynastic drama; fathers and sons, martyred heroes, star-crossed lovers, the deaths of kings – stories that taught us of the danger of hubris and the primacy of humility. It's the everyday stuff of every man's life, and we love it. It sounds cliched, but superheroes can be lonely, vain, arrogant and proud. Often they overcome these human frailties for the greater good. The possibility of redemption is right around the corner, but we have to earn it.

The Hulk is the perfect metaphor for our fear of anger; its destructive consequences, its consuming fire. There's not a soul on this earth who hasn't wanted to "Hulk smash" something in their lives. And when the heat of rage cools, all that we are left with is shame and regret. Bruce Banner, the Hulk's humble alter ego, is as appalled by his anger as we are. That other superhero Bruce – Wayne – is the superhero-Hamlet: a brooding soul, misunderstood, alone, for ever condemned to avenge the unjust murder of his parents. Captain America is a poster boy for martial heroism in military combat: the natural leader, the war hero. Spiderman is the eternal adolescent – Peter Parker's arachnid counterpart is an embodiment of his best-kept secret – his independent thought and power.

Superhero movies also represent the pinnacle of cinema as "motion picture". I'd like to think that the Lumière brothers would thrill at the cat-and-mouse chase through the netherworld streets of Gotham in The Dark Knight, with helicopters tripping on high-tensile wires and falling from the sky, and a huge Joker-driven triple-length truck upending 180 degrees like a Russian acrobat. I hope that they would cheer and delight at the rollercoaster ride through the skies of Manhattan at the end of Avengers Assemble. These scenes are the result of a creative engine set in motion when the Lumières shot L'Arrivée d'un Train en Gare de la Ciotat in 1895. The trains just move a lot faster these days. And not just trains; trucks, bikes, bat-mobiles and men in flying, shining iron suits. The spectacle is part of the fun – part of the art, part of our shared joy.

How far I hope we have come since the judgment of Christopher Reeve's peers. Maybe playing superheroes isn't such an ignoble undertaking after all. "I still believe in heroes," says Samuel L Jackson's Nick Fury in Avengers Assemble. So do I, sir. So do I.

• Avengers Assemble is released in the UK on 26 April.

This guy GETS IT.

Loved him in 'THOR', and my respect keeps growing for the guy.

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Re: "Superhero Movies Like Avengers Assemble Should Not Be Scorned"

Post  thecolorsblend on Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:40 am

Interesting. Based upon absolutely nothing, I guess I'd assumed he was another one of those snooty actors who only took on a comic book role either (A) for the exposure he'd get out of it or (B) because, at least in his mind, the material had been altered to suit a snooty actor's sensibilities. Again, this was based on nothing. I'm just used to actors looking down their noses at comic book films one minute and jumping into tights to play Shakespearean roles the next.

But as you say, this guy gets it. My fondest wish would be that his attitude becomes more prevalent in Hollywood.
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Re: "Superhero Movies Like Avengers Assemble Should Not Be Scorned"

Post  Apologist Puncher on Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:09 pm

thecolorsblend wrote:Interesting. Based upon absolutely nothing, I guess I'd assumed he was another one of those snooty actors who only took on a comic book role either (A) for the exposure he'd get out of it or (B) because, at least in his mind, the material had been altered to suit a snooty actor's sensibilities. Again, this was based on nothing. I'm just used to actors looking down their noses at comic book films one minute and jumping into tights to play Shakespearean roles the next.

Nah, you can tell Hiddleston had a BALL playing Loki, and really gave the character his all. He could have went over-the-top cartoony with Loki *cough*Spacey*cough*, but he instead chose to BECOME the character, and make him someone you could almost feel sorry for.

Can't ask for anything more than that.

But as you say, this guy gets it. My fondest wish would be that his attitude becomes more prevalent in Hollywood.

Until WB puts more passionate directors behind the lens' of their projects, expect this to be the norm for Marvel Studios ONLY.

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Re: "Superhero Movies Like Avengers Assemble Should Not Be Scorned"

Post  webhead2006 on Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:09 pm

That is a very nice article from the actor. He does indeed have the right stuff. And knows what cbbm are.. like you asaid ap, he is good guy.
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Re: "Superhero Movies Like Avengers Assemble Should Not Be Scorned"

Post  non_amos on Sun May 06, 2012 1:58 am

I thought about starting a new thread for this topic but I think it might fit here. After visiting duh Homopage, I've found very little about THE AVENGERS, almost nothing! Unless I'm missing something? But I did find this from duh apologist extraordinaire that calls himself Hypoxic. It's on their message boards. I won't post all of the comments (which are few) but I will post those of who started the thread, Toxic....er, I mean, 'Hypoxic':

http://www.supermanhomepage.com/forum/viewthread.php?thread_id=9748

Support Jack! (Avengers film)

Posted on May 3, 2012 6:07am
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"In response to ethical concerns raised about Marvel's much anticipated The Avengers film, which is based on characters co-created by Jack Kirby and other comic book professionals who (or whose estates) will not benefit financially from the hugely popular motion picture, cartoonist Jon Morris offered a thoughtful proposal for conflicted fans who are mindful of the situation but do not wish to boycott the film: donating the price of a movie ticket to The Hero Initiative, the comics industry not-for-profit corporation dedicated to helping comics creators in need of financial aid."

http://www.comics...on-morris/

And Toxic's response to this:



I personally haven't much liked any of Marvel's recent films - I think they're pretentious and/or derivative and ridiculously overrated (the fact that the entire superhero movie genre annoys me has much to do with that, I do admit) - and much of my beef with them is the fact that Marvel still hasn't given Jack Kirby his due (don't get me started on the over-credited Stan Lee). I continually give kudos to DC every month for maintaining right in the credits of Demon Knights that Etrigan was created by the great Kirby.

Anyhow, give this all some thought, if you may.

Jack Kirby's Superman

www.myfreewallpapers.net/comics/wallpapers/superman-by-jack-kirby.jpg

"Easy, miss. I've got you."

So this 'Mod' doesn't much like Marvel's films? And as per the usual apologist mantra, his heart goes out to 'duh heirs of the Kirby estate who ain't gonna benefit from this film financially'. Gee, where have I heard that before?! Wink

Cry me a river. Notice how the guy that Toxic, er, I mean, Hypoxic quoted wants fans to 'have an alternative to boycotting the Avengers'. In so many words. Why? Because Stan Lee screwed Jack Kirby? Just like the situation with duh Siegel parasites? Why, oh why, can't these morons just enjoy a good comics film without always trying to dissect it or politicize it? And FYI, this dude uses DARKSEID as his avatar.

That 1st link doesn't seem to work but the 2nd one has a pretty cool Superman image.
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Re: "Superhero Movies Like Avengers Assemble Should Not Be Scorned"

Post  thecolorsblend on Sun May 06, 2012 2:47 am

non_amos wrote:I thought about starting a new thread for this topic but I think it might fit here. After visiting duh Homopage, I've found very little about THE AVENGERS, almost nothing!
The reason why may become clear momentarily.

non_amos wrote:Unless I'm missing something?
Admittedly, it's possible. I can't speak for anybody else but there's only so much Eunuch page bullshit I can ever tolerate. I can't really hold it against you if you get fed up with stupidity and exited out before you could find anything.

Apologist douchebag wrote:I personally haven't much liked any of Marvel's recent films - I think they're pretentious and/or derivative and ridiculously overrated (the fact that the entire superhero movie genre annoys me has much to do with that, I do admit) - and much of my beef with them is the fact that Marvel still hasn't given Jack Kirby his due (don't get me started on the over-credited Stan Lee).
There's a reason for that. Kirby sued in the 70's to reclaim his original artwork. When Jim Shooter initially took over as Marvel EIC, he was perfectly willing to return the artwork. The problem was that as Kirby had filed suit, everything was admissible. If after Kirby filed his suit Marvel returned the artwork, that could be construed by a judge as Marvel recognizing the artwork as Jack's property. That could set a nasty legal precedent. So Marvel all at once had a legal stake in not returning jackshit until/unless a judge ordered them to do so. Thus Shooter was forbidden to return so much as a cup of coffee. Had Kirby never filed suit, there's every reason to think Shooter would've worked something out with him. So once again, the lawyers screwed everything up. Maybe Kirby did it to himself by ever bringing lawyers in to begin with but there it is.

As for Kirby not being given his due, the entire industry recognizes him (right or wrong) as "the king". Frankly, I think you could just as easily apply that label to Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, Carmine Infantino or numerous other creative folk. But that aside, for example, Kirby claimed to have had some input on Spider-Man. Stan Lee disputes that. Steve Ditko disputes that. Steve Ditko's fucking former roommate (a guy with nothing to gain either way) disputes that. Stan Lee has no hesitation in publicly acknowledging Kirby's input on other characters but, what, he's only lying about Spider-Man??? What kind of sense is that supposed to make?

As for the other...

Apologist douchebag wrote:I personally haven't much liked any of Marvel's recent films - I think they're pretentious and/or derivative and ridiculously overrated (the fact that the entire superhero movie genre annoys me has much to do with that, I do admit)
Shocked

Well, maybe it's not so shocking. We've all said for a long time they only like Singerman because it destroys what Superman is all about. To find out that this butt nugget doesn't even like comic book movies should just about say everything you need to know about the value of their opinions. "All opinions are equally valid"? Um, no. And this is why. Avengers celebrates what makes Marvel great. And Marvel has a lot of greatness to it. Avengers unapologetically (heh heh) wallows in it. Those of us around here who have seen Avengers all understand what Whedon was up to in making this movie.

Of course, this Apologist fucktard completely misses it. He takes some bullshit, self-righteous stand about Kirby "not getting his due". Was Marvel completely fair with him? Maybe, maybe not. Hell if I know. And hell if I care. It doesn't and shouldn't affect my enjoyment of the Avengers movie.

Like any good grandstander, his efforts accomplish jackshit toward his stated problem. Donating the price of a movie ticket to that fund will (wait for it) accomplish jackshit for Kirby's estate. As far as I know, they don't depend upon that fund for anything. And as Jack himself passed away back in '92 or '93, it's not like he's depending on it either.

non_amos wrote:That 1st link doesn't seem to work
Because it links to http://www.comics...on-morris, including the "...".

non_amos wrote:but the 2nd one has a pretty cool Superman image.

It's usually not PC to say among comic fans but I've never been into Kirby's Superman. In fact, I've never been into Kirby all that much in general. DC editorial apparently had somewhat similar feelings, at least as far as Superman was concerned, as they frequently had Curt Swan redraw faces for Superman and Jimmy Olsen to keep them more "on model". That lasted for at least a while.

If any of you luvz you some Kirby, more power to you. But as a penciller, in terms of what I find attractive in comic book art, Kirby just never lit my fire.
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Re: "Superhero Movies Like Avengers Assemble Should Not Be Scorned"

Post  webhead2006 on Sun May 06, 2012 12:47 pm

The legal crap and estates stuff is such a crappy thing that just blows for all. And wouldn't if no credits to kirby/others in films just be from legal standards the companies/film makers have to do. And on that even if they where not credited at the start, I do recall most/all the marvel studios films in end credits toss some credits to marvel/others for characters. But also on the comments of that poster man he is such a moron isn't he. Marvel has do the character great and made good exicitable films that fans/general audiences love. What as dc don't right besides in animation. Not much they screwed the pooch with gl. They can't get flash/ww/etc... films off the ground. And batman been there only success, but nolan has changed so much for the character.
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Re: "Superhero Movies Like Avengers Assemble Should Not Be Scorned"

Post  Apologist Puncher on Sun May 06, 2012 8:51 pm

That shit-for-brains won't ever see it, but AT LEAST they credited Kirby as co-creator of both The Avengers AND The Hulk at the end of the film.

But yes, because he lost a lawsuit, we should all punish ourselves by not seeing the year's best film.

Please.

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