|English: Screen capture of actor George Reeves as Superman in the U.S. government film "Stamp Day for Superman" (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
It's all a matter of taste--why one person likes something and another doesn't. There are probably a few people who think I have bad taste about certain things, while I've found it difficult to appreciate what certain others have raved about. The variance of what people prefer makes for an expansive marketplace of interests and ideas. It also makes for some interesting disagreement.
I don't think I have bad taste, but for many things I might have uncommon taste. It's rare for me to find someone who will share my anchovy and onion pizza with me. Most of my friends don't have the same enthusiasm I have for certain music styles and artists. I got a fairly lackluster response for my excited review of Veronika Carnaby's Bohemia. My wife and anyone else I know refuses to watch a Fellini movie with me.
Why would my interests diverge so extreme from the mainstream? Perhaps in future posts I'll go into some of my reasoning about this, but not here in this post. At some point on Wrote By Rote (my memoir blog) I'll discuss the topics of food preference and other things with which I seem to be enamored. Recently on Tossing It Out I addressed the topic of reading out of the mainstream, so I'll save any further discussion of that for some future post on this blog.
In this current post my focus will be on examples of two films of 2012 for which my opinion diverges from most in one case and in the other may be something more readers might agree with--or not. I offer these examples as a prelude to a future post that will examine not what makes a film good, but what makes it preferred over another.
Marvel's The Avengers
When a film starts off with some weird Darth Vader voiced guy talking about conquest of the Earth then we know we're in for some heavy nonsensical crap--definitely time to start suspending disbelief. I didn't pay too much attention to this prologue since I didn't understand what the guy with voice distorter was saying. But I probably wasn't listening that closely either since the voice annoyed me.
Soon we are in some kind of massive secret facility like you always see in these kinds of movies. Trinity, Morpheus, and Agent Smith from The Matrix show up except it's not really them and the Agent Smith look-alike is part of the good guys team. Then "The Crow" materializes amidst a bit of flash and fanfare. Except it's not really "The Crow", it's Loki from Asgard. He's a real jerk, but after all he's from Ass-gard so what'd you expect.
Thor and Loki are my biggest problems with this film. I'm no fan of mythology brought into modern times or any depictions of so-called "gods". And the pretentious talk! Shouldn't they at least be speaking Norwegian or something? "Shakespeare in the park" is what Ironman calls it at one point. Yeah, I can go with that. Stop with the haughty talk already.
Captain America is cool enough. It would be unpatriotic to speak poorly of him and he wasn't all that bad of a character. Then there's the big green Hulk. I like the way they kept Bruce Banner calm until it was time for the raging Hulk to be released, but no matter how you look at it The Hulk is a comic book character who becomes a CGI figure on film. No Lou Ferrigno Hulk for us modern folk--he's got to be huge and ludicrous and bounce and jump all over the place. As much as I've always loved the Hulk in the comic books, my eyes were starting to hurt from rolling so much.
There were a bunch of other characters as well, but the real star of this film in my opinion is Ironman. He had most of the best lines and Robert Downey, Jr. carries the film as far as I'm concerned. I like the technology behind this superhero. Still a little dumb, but fun dumb.
Marvel's The Avengers is heavy on the front end with excessive set-up, way too prolonged in the middle with drawn out fight scenes and quibbling amongst our supposed heroes, and effuscient with effects in the climatic invasion-through-the-portal scenes. And yes, I made up the word "effuscient"--this is about a lot made up stuff so I guess I have the right to make up words.
And how about that battle scene? Was that some of the same footage used in the abhorrent film Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon? I swear that was the same undulating fishlike aircraft used in both films with the tail crashing through high rise office spaces. The entire battle sequence was impressive to give the fx crew credit, but come on already. I did like the visuals of the battle, but I guess by the time we reached them the earlier tedium of the film had worn me out.
Where is the style of the George Reeves Superman of 50's TV? Back then our hero was fighting common thugs and war criminals, not hordes of aliens unleashed through a portal by some false god. Can we go back to some simpler fun?
If you want more of my rantings you can read My Amazon Review of The Avengers.
I liked this film a great deal so there isn't that much for me to say about it. The basic premise of the story concerns three typical teen-aged boys who become exposed to a mysterious force that causes them to develop super powers. There is a delightful innocence in their process of discovering and developing these powers. Eventually things get out of hand, but in a logically explainable progression of events.
Various issues that are relevant to many young people are introduced and explored in the story. This movie is thoughtful and tastefully presented. The "found footage" portions are not overly distracting like The Blair Witch Project or Cloverfield and add nicely to the film. There are some excellent special effects, but they do not overpower the movie.
A sequel has been proposed but apparently has been stalled due to dissatisfaction with the script. If they do make a sequel, let's hope they don't try to go too big, too ridiculous, and too Hollywood. Simplicity can be an exquisite pleasure.
And That's What I Think...
These are my opinions based on my own personal tastes. I know that many of you liked one or both of these films. I hope no one was offended with my having a bit of fun with the first review. Sometimes there's no accounting for taste. Or, perhaps, maybe there is. I'll explore this in a future post.
Do you tend to like things in the mainstream or outside the zone of popularity? What did you think of these films if you saw them? If you didn't see them yet, is there a particular reason you did not? What's the oddest movie that you like a great deal that not many others seem to care for?