June 25, 2013

While discussing superhero movies...


27 comments:

  1. Why is it even necessary to have an origin story for a superhero at all? Is it possible to tell a good story about a superhero that simply leaves it at "nobody knows where he came from?" Why are we so hung up on origins?

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    1. Origin's are an important part of the Fantasy to a certain type of fan... it's the path their life could take from their current boring life to a heroic future.

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    2. Why do heroes need origins? It's complicated. Read The Power of Myth and The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell for a better explanation than you're going to get from an online forum.

      Why do heroes need to have their origins rehashed and rehashed and rehashed every few years by Hollywood? They don't. But as long as people keep paying for it, Hollywood will keep doing it.

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    3. Well not everyone knows the backstories or has seen the original comics/movies/etc, so explaining the origin is important, but should not be made into an entire damn movie... honestly, ten minute exposition intro is fine.

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    4. Why can't an action movie just start with the explosions? Who cares that John McClane was at some stupid Halloween party?

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    5. The correct analogy would be if Die Hard spent the first hour with little Johnny McClane saying 'Paw, I want to a policeman' while his dad fixes a beat-up old pick-up truck next to a cornfield. Probably followed by 'Suhn, yew can grow up to be whatever yew want to be as long as it's a great man who'll change the world fer folk to look up to if you listen to yer heart and follow yer dreams and remember whur yew came from.'

      And *then* probably followed by Paw throwing himself under a bus so nobody'll find out Johnny just enrolled in the police academy, or some dumb garbage like that.

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    6. It just occurred to me that The Incredibles is a Super Hero story with no Super Hero origins. It's one of my favorites, too!

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  2. When I was a girl and reading DC comics (this would be mid to late 1960's), I always made a point of looking for the origin story. That's why DC's "Secret Origins" series was so useful. The origin not only tells you who the hero or villain is and where (s)he came from, but it gives you an insight into their motivations. Can you read the stories (or, in this case, watch the movies) without an origin? Sure. I did it a lot. But I, at least, find it easier to get into the character with an origin behind me.

    As a side note, if you're going to be making significant changes in the character, an origin comes in handy to clue people into the changes.

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  3. origin stories are necessary because sequels.

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  4. Yeah, they should make more superhero movies like Superman Returns. That one didn't rehash Superman's origin at all, and everyone loved it, right? Wait, what? You mean not everyone loved it? Well, almost everyone liked it more than Man of Steel, so clearly....Wait, you mean, large numbers of people seem to like Man of Steel more?

    Look, the reason for the origin story has nothing to do with Campbell's Thousand Faces bullshit. The reason Superman needs an origin story and John McClane doesn't is that the whole point of John McClane is that he's an ordinary person in an extraordinary situation. That's the whole point of Die Hard! You don't need to explain how a person becomes ordinary.

    Superman isn't ordinary. He wears long underwear and a cape and flies without an airplane and sees through walls! It helps to explain why, and why he uses those abilities the way he does.

    Also, people want to see Superman's origin because they want to see Krypton. Imagining an alien planet is interesting and entertaining to a lot of viewers. That's why DC has published so many stories about life on Krypton and the history of Kryptonian civilization and so forth. Get over it!

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    1. The problem with that movie was that there wasn't some serious villain and they tried doing a bunch of nonsense with Lois Lane and Superman having a kid he didn't know about.

      Who actually remembers what the villain's plan was? So little time was spent with it in comparison to the time spent with oohing and awing moments with Superman just standing around in his suit.

      And holy shit there were tons of little callbacks they just felt like they HAD to do, as though anyone seriously cared.

      Though it probably did end up working better in Man of Steel spending about the entire movie on just Superman's origin story. So maybe it's just that directors need a paint by numbers style of story to work with so they don't just screw it all to hell.

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  5. Yeah, nice non-sequitur, but people didn't hate Superman Returns because of it's lack of origin story. People hated it because it was a terrible, nonsensical mess that turned the world's greatest Boy Scout and role model into the world's worst deadbeat dad.
    Also, NOBODY wants to see Krypton. It's always the same boring crystaline mono-ecosystem about to be destroyed whenever it gets showed. Let's face it, Krypton is boring beyond belief except for the fact that Superman came from there.
    More also, there is nothing normal about John McClane, otherwise he'd never be able to do anything he does in those movies. Normal people in those situations would either sit down and surrender or get shot all to hell in a matter of seconds.

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    1. Just because you don't want to see Krypton doesn't mean other people don't. Also, your description of it doesn't match the depiction of it in Man of Steel at all. As for Superman Returns, whatever the reason some people didn't like it, do you recall anyone saying "Well, at least they didn't rehash the origin again?" Because I sure don't.

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    2. That's because it was supposed to be a sequel, genius. How many sequels do you know of that rehash the origin story? Even if you can somehow manage to name one, I guarantee that it's vastly outnumbered by all of the sequels that don't.

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    3. In the first Die Hard, John was just an ordinary cop.

      Look at him as he does all the crazy things he pulls. He looks terrified. Because any normal person would be.

      By the 4th and 5th ones, he's turned into a superhero... but that wasn't what he was supposed to be.

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    4. It was supposed to be a sequel to a movie that came out two decades or so earlier, genius. It was effectively new.

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  6. Tell you what, you young, dumb, spotty little nerd: when you're the guy behind the desk in the studio office, you can put on your little nerd jackboots and try telling everyone what they can and cannot expect from a movie. (Enjoy it while it lasts, because it won't be long.)

    Until then just keep beating off to musclemen in spandex and shut your flapping facegina.

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    1. Because if a chef prepares me a poor meal, I shouldn't complain until I have gone through a culinary academy.

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  7. Jesus, we've got some real winners in the comments today, don't we, folks?

    Origin stories depend on the character, but quite often they're necessary when your franchise gets inevitably rebooted. I think it would be interesting if we got a fifteen-minute backstory followed by two-hour superhero movie about an unrelated plot or villain.

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    1. speaking of jesus...

      if they change a character like superman from a hercules archetype into a jesus archetype, then they may as well go ahead and recount the origin. 'cause i don't remember all of the comics telling the compelling story of how superman was jesus.

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  8. On the other hand, are the retold origin stories that much more repetitive than the actual plots ?

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  9. I love this man in the Daredevil t-shirt, and (thanks to the Supreme Court) I want to marry him.

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  10. It doesn't puzzle me that reboots over the origin story again but rather that they spend so much time on it.

    Is there really anyone who doesn't know the origin story of Superman, Spider-Man, Hulk etc. These character are so well known now that almost anyone could give you at least a brief outline of the origin.

    To me the Ed Norton Incredible Hulk movie struck the right balance. Everyone knows he's a guy who turns into a green Hulk when angry, so there was no need to spend a great deal of time on it.

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  11. So stick to your fuckin' comic books and let the audiences those movies are intended for enjoy them, you pathetic, whining nerd.

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  12. For all those who's response boils down to "previous commenters opinion isn't valid because they don't aren't a writer/director/God", unless YOU are one of those things, I'm not particular interested in your valuation of anyone else's qualifications.

    Chris Nolan or Neil Gaiman can pop in any time and make that argument. You cannot.

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  13. If the movies were for comic book readers then origin stories would be superfluous, but they aren't. The movies are for a much larger audience. There aren't enough comic fans to get the audiences they want.

    The movies aren't for us. Get over it.

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  14. The MAXX - a origin story backwards.

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