Interesting: When Good Movies are Bad

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Brad Bird tweeted this article this morning and I think it’s worth posting there. John Carter is mentioned as a casualty as a non-franchise movie at the time of its release. There is interesting food for thought in here about what works, what doesn’t, and where we are, or are arriving, as a moviegoing public.


The Avengers: Last Summer’s Best Blockbuster

Making sense of Marvel’s mega-bet

By Zach Baron on 
Now that The Avengers has already stomped all over box office records in Taiwan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Mexico, Brazil — and come within a hair’s breadth of similar glory in fickle Australia — it seems guaranteed that when the bloodless dust of a thousand dead superhero foes settles on Monday morning, Disney will at last have a genuine 2012 blockbuster on its hands. As it should.

Joss Whedon’s meta-tentpole blockbuster is as good — or at least as emphatically What It Was Supposed to Be — as fanboy prophecy has tremblingly suggested. Barefoot Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, speaking scornfully in Russian while tied to a chair! Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, making sardonic Shakespeare in the Park jokes at Chris Hemsworth’s Thor’s expense! Mark Ruffalo’s tweedy, colonial chic, as his Bruce Banner hides out from the Hulk in a colorfully otherized Calcutta! The obligatory, wanton destruction of — SPOILER ALERT, assuming it is possible to spoil even a single scene in one of the most well-publicized and advance-marketed films of all time — New York City’s admittedly unloved general midtown area!

Read the rest at Grantland


  • Wait, I’m not reading something right or was is sarcasm when this guy says Avengers is far superior to John Carter? I can’t compare the two films. They are utterly different in every sense of the word, so no, I can’t say one is better than the other. I loved JC so much I had to go see it 7 times. I’ll see Avengers again, but not sure it will get in like JC did enough to go see it so many times.

    I agree about this writer’s arrogance and what I like to call faux-intellectualism. I think many of these bloggers who think so highly of themselves forget that summer movies are meant for fun and both Avengers and John Carter fit that mold perfectly in two different ways. I wish people would just lighten up and let themselves enjoy things instead of criticizing everything in a vain attempt to look smarter than everyone else. sigh

  • Curious why Bird would tweet this. The guy from Grantland thinks is Avengers is far superior to ‘Carter, yet seems to say that the only reason the Avengers had the chance to be good was because of all the lead-up Marvel movies over the years. I saw Avengers and, yes, it’s very good at doing what you’d expect it to do…..witty Stark, smart Black Widow, troubled and kick ass Hulk, great action scenes, etc. But I was a bit disappointed. Some of the dialogue seemed too cool for school and some of the action were embarrassingly unrealistic, even for the world of super heros. I’m kinda disappointed Bird tweeted this. Why? I personally still think John Carter is the best film of the year. But maybe it’s not the best “blockbuster” (i.e., the best popcorn film in Joe Average’s eyes). Maybe that was Bird’s point????

  • Yeah, the Avengers was excellent, and the reviewer in this article has a subtly dismissive vibe which really doesn’t stick. A lot of the article is more about institutional elitism and trendy disparagement rather than the movie in question. It’s good that he enjoyed The Avengers, but could we please have that without the snobbish undertones?

  • I don’t really see the point of this article. What’s the problem with “franchises”, especially if the movie is good? I guess the bashing of Avengers will be the new trend in “hype” critics, after the bashing of John Carter.

  • I know it’s off topoc, but George Lucas couldn’t direct a movie to save his life.
    Watch “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls” and hear what others said about him.

    If you haven’t seen them already, check some funny clips from South Park:

  • MCR good buddy you are gonna have some issues with this one too ! The synopsis I read has Tarzan’s parents killed in a plane crash and the grown up Tarzan fights the Evil Greystoke Enterprise. The family business that was boardroom hijacked after his parents death. I kid you not, i read this today.

  • I’m sorry but seriously? First the guy who wrote the article spends the whole time whining about how bad summer movies are, yet he thinks The Avengers is a good movie? He sounds like one of those film snobs still clinging to the myth that Spielberg and Lucas destroyed movies. And why is Brad Bird-whose last film is the type this guy is railing against-Twittering this? Someone’s got their wires messed up. (Also I noticed there’s been no word on the recent Tarzan news. I guess it doesn’t fit here but just wondering what anyone else thinks about it? If this isn’t the right place that’s OK.)

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