So the suckers - I mean, the editors at WHATCULTURE! have seen fit to inflict my latest article upon the world. This one goes a bit far afield - I stated earlier that I'd try to alternate "lighter" pieces (basically fluffy hit-bait that is fun to write) with more "serious" in-depth works, and this one ended up being a bit more of a plunge than I expected.
Hopefully, it's worth it, but you can judge for yourself - the link is after the jump:
Superheroes and the Myth of the Modern Blockbuster.
I do feel a bit bad about not mentioning the bomb that Sony dropped when they gave their long-in-development Spider-man project to nerd secret weapon Sam Raimi. And this was honestly every bit as big (if not bigger) than Jackson getting The Lord of the Rings or Whedon getting The Avengers - Raimi had been accruing serious nerd cred for decades with his horror films and pulpy TV shows (we've all seen Xena and Hercules by now, right?). And it paid off. During an era where studios were wanting their films to reflect the popular comics of the time (which mostly sucked) Raimi went for a classic interpretation of the character with a great sensibility and faithfulness to the spirit of the comic - something the new reboot sadly lacked.
I could also have gone a bit more in-depth into the contributions of Disney and Pixar over the years, especially given that I only recently posted Part 3 of my Disney Renaissance Retrospective (and Part 4 is coming very soon, I promise). But I tend to think of those films as falling into a slightly difference category than effects-filled spectacle features, even if modern animation has its fare share of. . . well, effects-filled spectacle.
Other than that, I feel pretty good about how this one turned out.
Incidentally, if anyone is at all interested about some of the history of Hollywood studios and the Hays Code that this article touches (very VERY briefly on) they should take a gander at a few episodes of The Big Picture (there are four on this subject) by The Escapist's Bob Chipman, and the following article about Rebooting the MPAA by BADASS Digest's Devin Faraci. The former is a good watch, the latter a good read, and both are on sites that film and nerd culture enthusiasts should be checking regularly anyway.
For my next article, "5 Reasons Why the Remaking Robocop is the STUPIDEST THING EVER". . . Okay, probably not really, but it's tempting.