Adventures in Marvel Movie-going

I have never been a comics fan. First and foremost, I find the the physical act of reading them really difficult. I suspect they’re too visually busy for me, causing me to get distracted easily and have problems following the narrative thread, but I’m not really sure, as I don’t have the same problem with newspaper-style comics, even the more visually experimental ones like the later Calvin & Hobbes strips. On top of that, I haven’t been overly impressed with the writing of most comics I’ve attempted (which is, to be fair, not many, thanks to the aforementioned problem reading them). To me, they read like something halfway between a novel and a film, but with neither the depth of a novel or the immersiveness of a film. (Sorry, fans, I’ll turn in my geek card now.) On top of that, I don’t like the typical plots of traditional comics – superheroes gifted their powers by some bizarre accident involving radiation (or whatever) are inherently less interesting to me than someone who’s developed their natural abilities to the highest level via hard work and dedication. And supervillains with grandiose plans to destroy the world are even worse. So yeah, nothing against those of you who do like them, but comics so far have just not been for me.

Comic book movies haven’t been that much better, in general. Spider-man and Spider-man 2: yawn. Batman Begins: yawn. The Dark Knight: better, but only when Heath Ledger was onscreen. The Dark Knight Rises: on my list to watch someday on account of Tom Hardy, but not very high on my list. Supermannever watched in any form, unless you count this Smallville humor vid. X-men: on my list to try, but again, not exactly high on the list.

Marvel’s recent oeuvre, on the other hand, has started to pique my interest a bit more. It’s managed to produce not one, but two entire movies based on comic books that I really liked. I’m not sure how long this will continue, considering that the contracts on its biggest stars are running out, but for now, I’m enjoying it.

My adventures in Marvel movie-going, so far:

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Shakespeare in Love Movie Review



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Review:

Stoppard and Shakespeare is a magic combination. Witty dialogue, romance, great acting, zillions of literary allusions, beautiful costumes… what’s not to love?

My rating:  (5 / 5)

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Emma (1996) Movie Review



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Review:

I know it’s fashionable to hate on Gwyneth Paltrow, but though she does seem… annoyingly oblivious to reality in many ways, I can’t join in, because she’s been in too many of my favorite movies. So clearly, if nothing else, she has great taste in roles.

Emma isn’t my favorite Austen adaptation, but it’s pretty high on the list – charming, witty, romantic, and with a host of excellent performances, of which my favorites are the delicious Jeremy Northam as Mr. Knightley and Sophie Thompson (Emma‘s sister) as the spinster Miss Bates.

My rating:  (4 / 5)

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