I don't post to LiveJournal much anymore, but this rant is too super-sized and involved for FaceBook.
I'm reading reactions to the new Amazing Spider-Man reboot movie, as well as the absurd hype and breathless anticipation for The Dark Knight Returns, and I keep getting perturbed by the same things:
1) People (especially "internet people") are so woefully ignorant of anything that happened more than 5 years ago, it's ridiculous.
I just watched Spider-Man (2002) with my sons (and wife) for the first time in over 5 years (partly because I wanted to compare it to the new Amazing Spider-Man movie when I eventually see it) and to ensure that my sons are exposed to it before this new reboot abomination.
Yes, I'm pre-judging ASM before I even see it.
I've seen the trailers, a scene or two, and read reviews and comments about it - so I know everything! LOL Na, I know enough to have a bad feeling, and after reading reactions from people I'm pissed off enough to write a preliminary pre-review to set the stage properly and powerlessly/uselessly inform The Internet of some things -
* Spider-Man (2002) may be perceived as "campy", as so many modern-day 'net denizens say, but if "campy" means "true to the spirit of classic comic books", I'll take that any day over postmodern, beautiful-person'ed, "realistic and serious" cash-grabs.
But seriously, after watching 02 again, where do people get off by reinventing history by saying it is overly campy, with atrocious acting by Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst?
I must have missed the memo that somehow retcons a ~billion-dollar modern classic that pushed superhero films from the red-headed stepchildren of moviedom to the frontlines of box-offfice stardom.
Let me give a brief overview of superhero films:
Basically, they made little to no lasting impact until X-Men 1 in 2000.
Everything before then, with the exception of Blade (98) and Darkman (90) were typical Hollywood movies masquerading as superhero films. On a personal note, I'd add Hero at Large (80) to that, since IIRC John Ritter played an everyday hero very well.
Superman (78) and Batman (89) quickly petered out and where overtaken by Hollywood cliche/crap quickly.
Then, X-Men showed that with a director who knew the source material (like Bryan Singer), they could bring superhero stories and characters to the masses, and it would be accepted (once they purged the most campy bits out, like "yellow spandex").
So when Spider-Man (02) came out and shocked the world with box-office success, and had Sam Raimi, an obvious comic-book fan at the helm, the blueprint was made for the current superhero box-office domination. It still was held to the same stereotype of comic-book movies, with the belief that it needs to be an origin story with a strong emphasis on the villain's origin, etc that was required since Batman/Superman times. But with Spidey 1 and 2 success, and X-Men 1 and 2, comic books had quickly showed Hollywood that they were bankable on their own merits, not because they followed some old cliches or formulas.
It has also shown, quite clearly, that when Hollywood producers meddle with a director's vision (or when they don't get comicbook fans to direct), they get bad results. From Daredevil to Fantastic Four to Ghost Rider, they fail when the spirit of the characters is not adhered to. And when they are adhered to (see ALL of Marvel Studios films), they succeed box-office, critically, and fanwise.
So anyone saying Spidey 1 sucked because of Maguire, or it was too "campy", is just showing their ignorance.
2) People don't even know what classic superhero fiction is anymore, despite being shown multi-billions of dollars of movies showcasing it.
If I asked you, "When were the classic superhero stories written?", would you think 5 years ago?