With no word crunch, Lost in the Multiplex’s writers speak their mind and vent their spleens. You’re where you want to be if you’re after movie articles, stories and interviews. Dig in.
So, following on from my last column where I ranted against Joe Queenan's grumpy soliloquy against superhero movies in the Guardian, it comes as a great pleasure to hear that MAN OF STEEL, the new Superman movie, has been breaking records with its opening box office receipts. I am yet to see the film, and while I wasn't too enamoured of the changes to the Superman mythos, I am thrilled to see it's hitting the ground running with fans around the world.
Horror. It's possible no other genre of film relies so much on its sound, and especially its music. The wrong type of score can kill a horror film straight away, whilst the right kind can enhance it in unlimited ways. But there seems to be a disconnect with some horror scores when they are taken from the film and presented on their own as an album. This is certainly the case with THE LAST EXORCISM PART II.
To understand where Superman II goes wrong, you need to understand the circumstances behind making Superman II.
Disclaimer: Due to persistent delays, this retrospective has started a whole 5 days late. Great, right? There is no changing that now, so these posts will have a staggered run over the course of the weekend, culminating in a special review of Man of Steel.
There is a detail regarding Superman that people often overlook, or even forget, I certainly know I did, and it takes place in the opening minutes of the film. Before the glory of Krypton; before even the sweeping exhilaration the John Williams scored opening titles; right at the very beginning of the film we find ourselves in a dark theatre, cast in faded blacks and whites, with a great curtain parting to reveal a movie screen, projected 1.33:1, just like the old serials of the 1930s and '40s, revealing the cover of an Action Comics. The pages turn, a child reads the captions aloud, leading us into those iconic opening titles.
A piece on the Guardian's website arguing that there are now too many superhero movies out there has got my back up in a good old-fashioned "Somebody is WRONG and I must smite them" fashion, as is tradition among people like myself. However, people like me are also the mouthpiece for the people enjoying the hell out of the comic book films on the market right now, otherwise known as the paying public. As someone who writes a superhero-centric film column for this fine site, I felt it was my duty to offer a response from the other side of the argument – the fans ourselves. For those of you that side with this snobbish naysayer, I say buckle up. For those on the side of the superheroes, I say Snikt. Let's get down to business.
Stop it, Hollywood. Just stop it. Remakes are old news, but still you're trying to remake things which are fine as they are. One film that you are yet to reboot/make/imagine is The Crow, the legendary, era-defining, one-off masterpiece which was completed in fine style after the on-set death of star Brandon Lee. Completed with body doubles and some clever use of early CGI (as well as some truly astonishing model work in those dark cityscapes), that film stands alone as a piece of art as well as entertainment.
When Marvel Studios unveiled plans for a GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY movie, the reaction of a lot of people was “Oh...” followed by a bit of a shrug. When I first heard about the project, it seemed like it was going to be a massive waste of money and time, but as it gets closer to going into production I must admit my interest is growing, and I'd wager the same thing is going through a lot of other fan minds right now.