I caught both Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 this week on a whim. At one point an avid comic book reader, I’ve become a glutton for punishment when attempting to reconcile a childhood hobby with a more critical cinematic eye. But the significant depression in the quality of these genre blockbusters is a recent phenomenon. There was a point when a superhero film maintained a measure of spectacle without being inundated with shoddy production, inept direction or categorically befallen to a type of sameness discussed at length by Matt Zoller Seitz (more on that later). I look at Tim Burton’s Batman Returns as the ideal example of a director understanding his source material and coalescing that material with his own visual acuity and directorial tendencies. The effort reflected the finer qualities of cinema and comic books and packaged them into one condensed two-hour effort - essentially where artistic integrity and commercial product meet at a satisfactory median.Read More
After a hiatus, this month’s Home Movies explores a handful of 2012 films that slipped through the cracks during my regular viewings and/or are simply new VOD releases. With only a few weeks away until the end of the year, I’ll be catching up on films that I missed out on to insure that my annual top ten for 2012 takes into account as many films as possible – the list is currently slated for posting on December 27th.
From an inviting, if not unnecessary, reimaging of a popular superhero to a surprisingly thoughtful feminist take on vampire mythology, my recent home viewings have consisted of an eclectic bunch of films worth delving into.Read More