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  • Ben Hunter

Scorsese Doesn't Like Marvel Movies (And That's Okay).


For the most part, I agree with Director Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The King of Comedy, Gangs of New York, Aviator, The Departed). Who, in a recent op-ed for the NY Times, defined his position that "Marvel movies are not cinema". He's old school so I get why he's completely turned off by comic book superhero films, primarily Marvel.


The Marvel films that truly move the needle (Logan, Deadpool) have either stopped or are in limbo, and the films that Scorsese is addressing (Avengers, Thor, etc.) are in the forefront, heavily marketed and pushed on us, and what people typically think of when "Marvel" comes to mind. There are few exceptions (Endgame, Winter Soldier, Iron Man 1), but overall, these are formulaic, commercially churned out money makers, geared to take our money while making us have fun at the movies. Which is necessary in a diverse market and why I enjoy watching these films. But I wouldn't go so far as to call them "art".


Why?


It's the formatted point I mentioned. Take out the superhero aspect and what do you have?

With Logan; a really well done, modern day western about a man bonding with his father and newly discovered daughter for the first time.

With Dark Knight; an extremely engaging detective noir story where we try to discover why the killer is taking the city by storm with his various victims and empathize with how a villain is born and how it could happen to anyone of us.

Deadpool? A gut-busting, truly comedic revenge narrative (an unusual route for that type of story, hence the engagement) about a man avenging his downfall in society and re-kindling the love with his woman.


That's why these films stick out. But rarely does this genre truly deserve recognition as the year's best, to give us something new that we didn't expect in a way that sticks around over the years. You kind of know what to expect going into Black Widow or Black Panter 2 (2 films I'm looking forward to enjoying, really so with Black Widow in hopes it breaks free from the box it most likely will fall into). But I don't take it any further than that though my heart is open.


So I say all that to say these films aren't going anywhere and we will continue to enjoy them over the years. Scorsese's point, which I agree with, is they're taking up just about all of the market share. Arthouse cinemas are an endangered species. One of the things I love about living in Los Angeles. I welcome the new era of streaming, especially now that I'm older. However, I understand why things are trending that way. The iPhone and technology are a major part, but we've gravitated towards brands (Marvel, Star Wars, Disney, Harry Potter) which Hollywood and big tech have continued to feed to us. So Scorsese and people who share his view, are left feeling "where has all the art gone?" As we continue to keep our focus on Marvel, and Star Wars.

Also continues to affirm for me why DC is truly the better world.


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