META: Notes on a Genre I Love

Tom Russell milos_parker at
Sun Mar 8 12:56:11 PDT 2009

On Mar 8, 12:08 pm, Andrew Perron <pwer... at> wrote:
> On Sun, 8 Mar 2009 06:25:13 +0000 (UTC), Martin Phipps

> >> The first Spider-Man movie was the best of the three (IMHO), and you
> >> know why?  Because it had the most silliness.  

I personally think the second movie was the best-- deeper
characterization, better action sequences, better humour, and a much
better villain.  The Green Goblin was never Spidey's arch-nemesis
until Gwen Stacy died.  Without the death-- which wouldn't have worked
in a film without the proper build-- he's really nothing special.  Dr.
Octopus, on the other hand, has a great visual look/powerset and the
movie's revamp lent him a certain tragic air.

> >I disagree.  Comics book villains were always dialed back: they never
> >killed anybody.
> ...
> Have you actually been reading comics lately?  And by "lately" I mean
> "since 1973"?

Or, actually, since 1940. :- )

> >And the funniest
> >scene in the Incredibles was the one in which E explained to Mr.
> >Incredible why he didn't want to wear a cape: that was
> >deconstructionism at its best.
> And it was deeply silly all the same! ^-^

The thing about the Incredibles is that it did take the ridiculousness
seriously without losing its sense of humour.  It totally buys into
and loves the mystique of the superhero-- consider the sleek coolness
of the retro-intro, the great jazzy score: it's just a cool fun silver-
agey type of film.  Until the two new Batman movies, in fact, I
considered it the Best Superhero Movie I Have Ever Seen, better even
than the original Richard Donner Superman (another film that respects
the concept without losing its sense of humour yet avoiding the
pitfalls of camp that plagued the second and third films).

And as for Andrew's earlier comment about it being the best of the
Pixar movies-- well, it's certainly miles above the stuff that came
before it.  But Ratatouille and WALL-E seem to me to be even greater
films than The Incredibles-- Ratatouille thanks in no small part to
Brad Bird, the writer-director animator-auteur who was also
responsible for The Incredibles.  So when I say that those last two
Pixar films are greater than The Incredibles, it's not meant in any
way to denigrate The Incredibles but to say that they surpassed the
seemingly insurpassable bar that that film set.

Costumes, sidekicks, and talking apes forever!!!


More information about the racc mailing list