There’s currently a war raging. There are those who believe that comic book superhero movies aren’t cinema in the truest sense of the word and there are those who believe these movies are wonderful examples of what the art of the moving image on the big screen has to offer.
This war began when Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola stated their dislike for Marvel movies, saying that they lacked cinematic nourishment. Marvel fans went wild, how dare these godfathers of cinema trash their beloved 23 film, multi-billion dollar grossing film series?
Well, the Marvel movies (and it’s mainly Marvel that we’re talking about here) are essentially big-budget, big screen serials – like the old Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers serials from the 1940s. These weren’t cinema. They were entertainment. That’s what the Marvel movies are today. They’re not art – they are episodic adventures which are crafted to entertain. Movies In Focus calls that ‘jumped-up TV’.
Are there any movies based on superhero comic books which are cinema? Yes. Here’s the list (in no particular order):
- Batman Returns
- Batman Begins
- The Dark Knight
- The Dark Knight Rises
- The Shadow
Other movies based on comic books which aren’t superhero comics:
What am I missing?