The biggest debate in America today

Are Marvel movies really cinema? I can’t even get on any social media lately. Good Lord people take their comic book movies serious. As soon as I saw Scorsese’s comments I knew some friends of mine were going to flip shit. I actually agree with Scorsese…now I’m going to run away.

Martin Scorsese:

“I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema,” Scorsese told Empire . “Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”

I love those movies, dude! I don’t get too upset. I feel incredibly lucky every time I go to a theatre. Love the entire experience and always feel like I’m spoiled beyond measure, when I get to go do 4DX. Absolutely love it!

I guess he’s just mad that Leonardo DiCapreo isn’t in the marvel movies?

Honestly his comments smell like some old codger in music who tries to tell you why the best selling and loved music of the time isn’t really music. He’s entitled to his opinion.

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I’m with Scorsese. I just can’t get into the marvel movies. My son is too young for them but I’ve taken my nephews. I find myself just coming up with any reason I can to wander off and play on my phone. Just not my thing. I’ll watch the Irishman though.

Maybe I misunderstood what Scorsese was trying to say. It wasn’t just “I am not into them and here’s why.” It was more “I am not into them, and oh by the way they aren’t real movies.” That’s why I liked the comparison of older music people trying to tell other people what’s music and what’s not.

I’ll watch them for something to pass the time, but that’s about it. I’m not really “into” most of them the way some other people are. Of course that goes for alot of things in life.

The Marvel Movies are complete awesome. They are this generations Star Wars.

Are they Oscar worthy? No. But its hard to take Scorsese seriously when he admits he didn’t even watch any of them. Great director or not, you have to watch the movie to say its trash.

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I made the music parallel here as well. I look at Marvel movies as the Taylor Swift/Ariana Grande of movies, they’re fun to look at and are entertaining, but there’s not a whole lot of substance to them.

But over the course of human history where we’ve had music, how much of it actually had “substance?” Music as a category is something that should be enjoyed by the listener for whatever it is to them. Not having someone else tell them what’s acceptable and what’s not, based on some artificially created criteria. And that wasn’t always my stance, I had to evolve on it. I hated the boy band craze. In rap we’ve now got the mumble rap era. Coming from someone who grew up on Wu-Tang, Eminem, etc that the idea of rap without regard to lyrical content was mind blowing to me.

Fast forward and after dating some younger girls who listen to mumble rap, I kind of “get it” a little more now. They just sit back and enjoy it for what it is, and don’t really care what its not. After starting to listen in the same light, I can finally enjoy a song like this one (attached). I can’t understand half the words and the ones I can understand are dumb. But, I like it anyways.:laughing:

Never been a fan of the comic book genre, not really my thing. But I do enjoy the comedic ones like Deadpool, Guardians of the Galaxy, Antman and the like. With that being said, I do want to see Jauquin Phoenix’s “Joker”. Because he is a good actor and have enjoyed most of his roles.

Oh yes, I’m definitely looking forward to going to see Joker. Its interesting that we seem to have kind of the same “taste” in these movies. I loved the ones you mentioned, but don’t really rush out to go see the next Superman, Batman, Wonderwoman, Aquaman, Spiderman (I think I only saw the first one and missed the rest of those). Wow, now that I think about it, I’ve missed a ton of the marvel movies for a lack of interest. But I gladly plopped my money down for Suicide Squad and I was hoping Jared Leto’s version of the Joker would get more air time…but I’m not disappointed on who they chose instead.

Agree 100%…I also started listening to the younger generation’s music from having much younger brothers and dating someone a decade younger than myself. I also hate the mumble rap just because I appreciate actual talent and depth in music. But I understand what it is and like the marvel music, if you don’t think about it too much and accept it at face value, then it’s entertaining at least. I just saw Joker yesterday, great flick that dives into the psyche of what makes someone into a monster. That’s one thing DC does in SOME of their movies, they dive into what makes the super hero/villain into who they are. Marvel usually just cuts and pastes whatever was in the comics, which was written for children so substance is lacking.

Okay, so I went to see Joker last night. They have a Tuesday special where I can get 2 tickets for like $11 after taxes. Pretty cool, relatively speaking. I still remember being at MSU and out at the Okemos mall we could get tickets for $3 a piece.

That movie was so damn different than most of the other comic book movies. I guess I’ve seen movies like it before, but they typically have some boring actor playing the character so its not something I enjoy. Phoenix really kept me interested in even the most boring scenes. To humanize and even turn Joker into somewhat of a sympathetic character was a nice touch.

I heard going in that the people responsible for it were clear that its a stand alone movie that’s not meant for a sequel or crossover into another franchise. But from where they took the story and where they ended it, there’s no way I can see this movie die in that spot. The ending to me was a perfect setup for another movie. I know I left the theater wanting more.

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I get his point. I think his age may impact his view of streaming, but at the same time there are some movies you would just like to see in a theatre.

Martin Scorsese: I Said Marvel Movies Aren’t Cinema. Let Me Explain.

By Martin Scorsese

Nov. 4, 2019

Cinema is an art form that brings you the unexpected. In superhero movies, nothing is at risk, a director says.

When I was in England in early October, I gave an interview to Empire magazine. I was asked a question about Marvel movies. I answered it. I said that I’ve tried to watch a few of them and that they’re not for me, that they seem to me to be closer to theme parks than they are to movies as I’ve known and loved them throughout my life, and that in the end, I don’t think they’re cinema.

Some people seem to have seized on the last part of my answer as insulting, or as evidence of hatred for Marvel on my part. If anyone is intent on characterizing my words in that light, there’s nothing I can do to stand in the way.

Many franchise films are made by people of considerable talent and artistry. You can see it on the screen. The fact that the films themselves don’t interest me is a matter of personal taste and temperament. I know that if I were younger, if I’d come of age at a later time, I might have been excited by these pictures and maybe even wanted to make one myself. But I grew up when I did and I developed a sense of movies — of what they were and what they could be — that was as far from the Marvel universe as we on Earth are from Alpha Centauri.

For me, for the filmmakers I came to love and respect, for my friends who started making movies around the same time that I did, cinema was about revelation — aesthetic, emotional and spiritual revelation. It was about characters — the complexity of people and their contradictory and sometimes paradoxical natures, the way they can hurt one another and love one another and suddenly come face to face with themselves.


It was about confronting the unexpected on the screen and in the life it dramatized and interpreted, and enlarging the sense of what was possible in the art form.

And that was the key for us: it was an art form . There was some debate about that at the time, so we stood up for cinema as an equal to literature or music or dance. And we came to understand that the art could be found in many different places and in just as many forms — in “The Steel Helmet” by Sam Fuller and “Persona” by Ingmar Bergman, in “It’s Always Fair Weather” by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly and “Scorpio Rising” by Kenneth Anger, in “Vivre Sa Vie” by Jean-Luc Godard and “The Killers” by Don Siegel.

Or in the films of Alfred Hitchcock — I suppose you could say that Hitchcock was his own franchise. Or that he was our franchise. Every new Hitchcock picture was an event. To be in a packed house in one of the old theaters watching “Rear Window” was an extraordinary experience: It was an event created by the chemistry between the audience and the picture itself, and it was electrifying.

And in a way, certain Hitchcock films were also like theme parks. I’m thinking of “Strangers on a Train,” in which the climax takes place on a merry-go-round at a real amusement park, and “Psycho,” which I saw at a midnight show on its opening day, an experience I will never forget. People went to be surprised and thrilled, and they weren’t disappointed.


Sixty or 70 years later, we’re still watching those pictures and marveling at them. But is it the thrills and the shocks that we keep going back to? I don’t think so. The set pieces in “North by Northwest” are stunning, but they would be nothing more than a succession of dynamic and elegant compositions and cuts without the painful emotions at the center of the story or the absolute lostness of Cary Grant’s character.

The climax of “Strangers on a Train” is a feat, but it’s the interplay between the two principal characters and Robert Walker’s profoundly unsettling performance that resonate now.

Some say that Hitchcock’s pictures had a sameness to them, and perhaps that’s true — Hitchcock himself wondered about it. But the sameness of today’s franchise pictures is something else again. Many of the elements that define cinema as I know it are there in Marvel pictures. What’s not there is revelation, mystery or genuine emotional danger. Nothing is at risk. The pictures are made to satisfy a specific set of demands, and they are designed as variations on a finite number of themes.

They are sequels in name but they are remakes in spirit, and everything in them is officially sanctioned because it can’t really be any other way. That’s the nature of modern film franchises, vetted, modified, revetted and remodified until they’re ready for consumption.

Another way of putting it would be that they are everything that the films of Paul Thomas Anderson or Claire Denis or Spike Lee or Ari Aster or Kathryn Bigelow or Wes Anderson are not . When I watch a movie by any of those filmmakers, I know I’m going to see something absolutely new and be taken to unexpected and maybe even unnameable areas of experience. My sense of what is possible in telling stories with moving images and sounds is going to be expanded.

So, you might ask, what’s my problem? Why not just let superhero films and other franchise films be? The reason is simple. In many places around this country and around the world, franchise films are now your primary choice if you want to see something on the big screen. It’s a perilous time in film exhibition, and there are fewer independent theaters than ever. The equation has flipped and streaming has become the primary delivery system. Still, I don’t know a single filmmaker who doesn’t want to design films for the big screen, to be projected before audiences in theaters.

That includes me, and I’m speaking as someone who just completed a picture for Netflix. It, and it alone, allowed us to make “The Irishman” the way we needed to, and for that I’ll always be thankful. We have a theatrical window, which is great. Would I like the picture to play on more big screens for longer periods of time? Of course I would. But no matter whom you make your movie with, the fact is that the screens in most multiplexes are crowded with franchise pictures.

And if you’re going to tell me that it’s simply a matter of supply and demand and giving the people what they want, I’m going to disagree. It’s a chicken-and-egg issue. If people are given only one kind of thing and endlessly sold only one kind of thing, of course they’re going to want more of that one kind of thing.


But, you might argue, can’t they just go home and watch anything else they want on Netflix or iTunes or Hulu? Sure — anywhere but on the big screen, where the filmmaker intended her or his picture to be seen.

In the past 20 years, as we all know, the movie business has changed on all fronts. But the most ominous change has happened stealthily and under cover of night: the gradual but steady elimination of risk. Many films today are perfect products manufactured for immediate consumption. Many of them are well made by teams of talented individuals. All the same, they lack something essential to cinema: the unifying vision of an individual artist. Because, of course, the individual artist is the riskiest factor of all.

I’m certainly not implying that movies should be a subsidized art form, or that they ever were. When the Hollywood studio system was still alive and well, the tension between the artists and the people who ran the business was constant and intense, but it was a productive tension that gave us some of the greatest films ever made — in the words of Bob Dylan, the best of them were “heroic and visionary.”

Today, that tension is gone, and there are some in the business with absolute indifference to the very question of art and an attitude toward the history of cinema that is both dismissive and proprietary — a lethal combination. The situation, sadly, is that we now have two separate fields: There’s worldwide audiovisual entertainment, and there’s cinema. They still overlap from time to time, but that’s becoming increasingly rare. And I fear that the financial dominance of one is being used to marginalize and even belittle the existence of the other.

For anyone who dreams of making movies or who is just starting out, the situation at this moment is brutal and inhospitable to art. And the act of simply writing those words fills me with terrible sadness.

If you just like fun, the Marvel Movies are great. Key point is you really need to watch them in order because its like a comic book where there is an over-arching plot arch that takes you through to the end. The acting is very high end, all professionals from the main characters all the way to the bit parts by guys like Robert Redford and Jeff Bridges.

I think they are really well done. But if you didn’t like superheroes as a kid, you aren’t suddenly going to like them now.

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I didn’t watch End Game. Every single movie started feeling the same, and it got really really boring.

Star Wars is doing the same exact thing. I just have no desire to see another movie in that series right now.

Anyway, I thought the biggest debate right now is who has the best chicken sandwich? :laughing:

I saw End Game and you are right, it was kind of the same thing all over again. There were a few little nuggets thrown in there, but other than that it was a better way to kill 2.5 hours than doing nothing. There was a part of the movie at the end that made part of the audience cry. Like, literally tears. I’m like “you can’t possibly be THAT emotionally invested in these characters.”

As I said before, Joker is its own animal and other than the fact that its technically part of the DC Universe…it bears no resemblance to any other super hero movie. If I had to peg a similar movie, it would be MONSTER with Charlize Theron.

Still haven’t seen it yet. But with a comparison to “Monster”, is all I need to hear. Loved that film!

Yeah, the problem with the Star Wars is they aren’t breaking new ground. I think its toast TBH. They need a new story that doesn’t involve the same tired formula.

One other trend I particularly hate is prequels. Tell me a story I don’t know the end to.

I’m finding TV a much more exciting genre right now.

One thing I would really like to see is the return of the epic movie. Like the ones from the 70s that the directors had control on that lasted 3 hours. I feel like Netflix and Prime are breaking ground on original programming I think it’d be fun if they headed that direction .

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Agree with this. The small screen has come up wonderful movies/series that, as of this time, better than at the theater.

Scorsese is being a hater. Do your genres and make your money and let others do the same. You’re just jaded because people in tights and CG screens are blowing the box office out and making tons of jack on 60 year old story lines that are ready made for the directors and writers. Action is a genre just like the deep thought suspense / drama film.

I was a Marvel Comic reader for much of my youth, so I tend to love the movies too. In movies, just as in the comics, Marvel still walks all over DC, but I do enjoy those as well.