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February 23 2015

James Gunn on the bias against superhero films. He mentions Joss along with others at Marvel putting care into their movies while the genre is not taken seriously by some in the industry.

James Gunn is the man.
Gunn's a must-follow on facebook.
Yeah, Birdman was not a win for superhero films as some people boast. If anything, it's an anti-superhero movie.
You know what is kind of funny, one of major boosts to have the academy increase the number of Best Picture nominees, to more than 5, was all the criticism they got from the year The Dark Knight was eligible, and it is assumed that is the shoe-in as the sixth nomination spot for that year, but was the last year they had only 5 Best Picture Nominees.

And despite some snobbish apologist who wants to claim how Nolan movies "deconstruct" the genre or how un-genre-ish they are, they're still super-hero movies.
I believe there is a mistaken belief that these CBM's are taking resources away from traditional drama's, rom-coms, and straight
out comedies. In actual fact its simply become less feasible to do pictures that do not play in foreign markets because of the rise in
production costs.
Aside from Citizenfour, the most thought-provoking movie I saw in 2004 was CATWS. Both addressed the same issues, only the comic book movie was more accessible to people.

While Gunn's saying "Whatever the case, the truth is, popular fare in any medium has always been snubbed by the self-appointed elite," is from the POV of a filmmaker, people who pay to see comic book movies have to feel like they've been sucker punched by that elite. I know I wanted to smack Liam Ra's Al Ghul Neeson for bashing comic book movies. (Of course, the real problem was the men <*cough...Arrow...cough*> who wrote the most pitiful script for the Oscars ever.)
Every year has its share of blockbusters (and wannabe blockbusters), just so happens these days those movies are based on comic books. But looking across the Oscar nominees, 2014 was an extremely vibrant and varied year for American cinema. And even counting Big Hero 6 I think there were only something like 5 or 6 comic book movies released. I don't see dramas getting swept under the rug by the guys and gals in capes.
When Gilroy talked about the "tsunami of superhero films", is he wrong? Aren't we being swamped by a myriad of superhero films right now? I like superheroes but I wish there was a bit more variety in the mainstream fare.

And while the writing for the Oscars was bad, is it a lie that the scripts are formulaic? With the exception of The Dark Knight is there really a super-hero movie that deserved a nomination?

He should talk when there's a Marvel movie that doesn't crumble in the third act.
There are movies that aspire more to entertain, movies that aspire to tackle serious issues, movies that aspire to just be cool, movies that aspire to be pure art. Where I agree with Gunn is that there is some bias as to which type of movies are worthy, and not just superhero but science fiction and fantasy have always been regarded as lesser entities by these award bodies. That’s fine, they have their award shows and they are free to give the awards to whomever they please; but they have been steadily losing their credibility, as they have not only been known to just make bad decisions but to actually give the best movie award to outright awful movies, like Crash.

What is wrong is automatically assuming something negative about a movie just because it belongs in this genre. How many times have I read in film reviews things as “mindless action” or “excessive CGI” as if that proved anything? That's snobbism 101. Interestingly, some of the smartest people I know are huge CMB fans. Go figure!
In order to be swamped by comic book movies, they'd have to be the majority of films being released. They aren't. They make up like 1% of the films released each year.
I like his Facebook post, especially when he says the thought and work he and others (Joss and the director of Winter Soldier) put into character development is no less than the work involved developing characters for "serious" movies...even if his
character is a talking raccoon :)
CBM's are NOTHING like the tidal wave of Western's we "enjoyed" for over 50 years. The changes that have sidelined the type of movies these critics want have other root causes.
The main root cause is than quirky/intelligent/adult dramas and comedies are done SO MUCH better on TV these days that there is no huge demand/appetite for them in the cinema. With no demand there is no revenue thus less and less production for that type of thing. The snobby film school crowd hasn't quite accepted that fact yet.

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