Riveting, the verb

I’m so glad I rarely, if ever, see movies in theaters, because I’m already a cranky old man, and I find myself getting outraged over money I might theoretically have spent to see it in a theater instead of watching the DVD for next to nothing.

I also wonder if I might not be completely out of touch with what constitutes an entertaining film, because I thought Iron Man was really boring. It made tons of money, and it got good reviews. I mean, it got good reviews beyond the “not bad for a super-hero movie” standard, almost like it was a film, or something.

I don’t really understand that. Aside from a cast with several Oscar winners and nominees and a script with snappier dialogue than usual (which isn’t a very high bar to vault over), I thought it was just as laborious as every other recent movie based on a super-hero property. Maybe I’m too nostalgic for the economy with which super-hero origin stories were originally told, but it seemed like it took forever for Tony Stark to do anything. Given the apparent complexity of the technology, I guess that’s fair, but had nobody ever heard of the montage? Or would that have been too cheesy for a movie about a drunken billionaire with a magnet in his sternum? (Of course, such economical measures might have resulted in the elimination of one of my favorite characters, the robot that kept spraying fire suppressant. I want a spin-off franchise, and I want it now.)

Why do all of these movies seem to plod? Why do they all seem so methodical and overly reverent when they should be snappy and fast-paced and fun?

5 Responses to Riveting, the verb

  1. mark thorpe says:

    It’s sad to see Jeff Bridges, a great actor, play one of the most worthless / useless villans I’ve ever seen. Not a horrid movie, just forgetable – and like you said, boring.

  2. […] Riveting, the verb – commentary from Precocious Curmudgeon on the forgettable Iron Man. […]

  3. Katherine Dacey says:

    I was equally mystified by the glowing reviews for Ironman, David; I was so bored that I fell asleep watching it in the theater, despite the almost deafening soundtrack. About the only comic book film I’ve ever enjoyed was Ghost World, which did exactly what an adaptation should do: bring new depth and substance to already-familiar characters. I actually prefer the film to Clowes’ original graphic novel, as I think that Thora Birch makes the lead character a genuinely sympathetic figure and not just a disaffected teenage nitwit.

  4. davidpwelsh says:

    If I hadn’t been watching it at home, I would have dozed off too, Kate.

    Ghost World is still probably the best movie adaptation of a comic, in my opinion. I’m really fond of Tim Burton’s second Batman movie, mostly because of Michelle Pfeiffer being scary and sad and perfect as Catwoman, and because Burton resolutely refused to take more than ten seconds to explain anything. And I liked the first Christopher Reeve Superman movie because the tone was pitched just right and the cast was so great.

  5. Sadie Mattox says:

    Damn it! Some glich caused my post about your post to disappear so you may want to delete the trackback. I was going to say – aren’t they supposedly making a Wonder Woman movie? Also, I really enjoyed Superman I, II and III – I haven’t seen them in years but they were some of my favorites when I was a kid. They were all action and romance and humor, allowing the audience to fill in the emotion without having to be TOLD what to think or feel. That’s my problem with the newest crop. We have to have so much backstory so we know when to feel sorry for Batman or just why he’s so angry. Instead of a quick flashback and then letting the characters/metaphors speak for themselves. I mean, the man dresses up like a BAT – I get that he’s dark you really don’t have to slap my face with it.

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