Saturday, April 2, 2016
Nerd Rant: Superheroes Movies vs. Blockbuster Fatigue
I have a confession to make. In a recent post, I mentioned how I had no interest in watching the new Batman v. Superman movie because I wasn't excited about it. What I did not mention was the movie-going math I did in my head as part of this decision. This year marks the release of two high-profile movies about superheroes fighting superheroes: BvS by Warner Bros. and DC and Captain America: Civil War by Disney and Marvel, which is slated for release on May 6th. In light of these two films, I had to ask myself this question: Which movie will feature a story that is worth enduring almost two hours of explosive CGI effects and eardrum-shattering surround-sound noises?
Making such a decision may not sound like much, but this is a big deal for a movie geek like me. For as long as I can remember, watching as many high-profile special-effects driven movies as possible had become an annual tradition. This was largely due to growing up in the late '70 and the '80s, when filmmakers like Spielberg, Lucas, Dante and Zemeckis used all sorts of practical effect techniques in their summer films. Now, in an age when high-definition digital effects have become universal, I feel like I have to pace myself so I don't get overwhelmed with the sensory overloads that modern blockbusters have become. I want to be entertained by imaginative movies, not beaten over the head repeatedly by them.
I'm particularly concerned about how this will impact 3D cinema in the years to come. Of the recent releases, I generally prefer CGI animated movies for 3D entertainment over live-action 3D movies. This is because animated movies rarely rely on series of jump cuts to propel the action forward, and jump cuts are antithetical to maintaining the 3D illusion. For example, I love the big 'bot epic Pacific Rim but watching it in 3D is a chore for me because my eyes have to keep adjusting to each new cut during the action scenes. Compare the live-action 3D films of previous eras to the live-action 3D films of today and you'll notice that classics like Creature from the Black Lagoon and House of Wax are much, much easier on the eyes than many of the modern films.