Martin Scorsese Compares Marvel Superhero Films to "Theme Park Rides"

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Vidiot, Oct 5, 2019.

  1. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Hollywood, USA
    In an interview with Empire magazine, Martin Scorsese gave the Marvel Cinematic Universe the cold shoulder, comparing the billion-dollar franchise to theme parks.


    “I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema,” Scorsese told Empire magazine. “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.”

    His comments on superhero movies incited responses from other filmmakers like James Gunn and Joss Whedon, as well as some comic-book personalities. Whedon, a frequent collaborator in the MCU, responded to Scorsese’s comments by highlighting the work of “Guardians of the Galaxy” director Gunn.

    Gunn also spoke out on Twitter, saying, “I was outraged when people picketed ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ without having seen the film. I’m saddened that he’s now judging my films in the same way.” He added, “That said, I will always love Scorsese, be grateful for his contributions to cinema, and can’t wait to see ‘The Irishman.’”

    Martin Scorsese Compares Marvel Movies to Theme Parks: ‘That’s Not Cinema’
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
    Grant, JediJoker, formu_la and 12 others like this.
  2. audiomixer

    audiomixer As Bald As The Beatles

    I have been saying this for years now. It’s not cinema. It’s eye candy.
    Bolero, Jack Lord, Grant and 27 others like this.
  3. noname74

    noname74 Allegedly Canadian

    76 year old doesn’t get something made with teens/young adults in mind. Shocking.
  4. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Hollywood, USA
    I see Scorsese's point, but my response is generally, "sometimes, you don't need a fine 8-course meal at a 5-star Beverly Hills restaurant. Sometimes, just a cheeseburger and a coke is fine. And there is such a thing as a really great cheeseburger vs. an awful cheeseburger." The Marvel movies are really, really great cheeseburgers (in general).

    Scorsese seems to forget he did Boxcar Bertha early in his career, and I wouldn't call that fine art. And there are those who believe the only reason he did The Color of Money was to bolster his career after the relative failures of New York New York and After Hours. I think there is such a thing as an enjoyable mass-market film that doesn't pretend to be high art, and it can be good in its own way.

    I think the danger of making blanket statements like this is you can come off sounding arrogant, disconnected, and very snooty. Noted Marvel directors Joss Whedon and James Gunn have already weighed in, and clearly they're hurt:

    Joss Whedon, James Gunn react to Martin Scorsese criticizing Marvel movies

    James Gunn 'Saddened' by Martin Scorsese Comparing Marvel Movies to Theme Parks

    My response would basically be: "I know... it's only rock & roll... but I like it, love it, yes I do!"
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
  5. GregM

    GregM Ready to cross that fine line

    Daddyland, CA
    The many conventions broken by MCU films are exactly why I find them fresh. And let's not start in on the many reasons I will likely find The Irishman stale.
    Simon A and Chris DeVoe like this.
  6. MortSahlFan

    MortSahlFan Forum Resident

    I hate those superhero movies, but I don't care for Scorsese, either. I give most of the credit of "Taxi Driver', a movie I like very much, to Paul Schrader, who wrote every detail of the script, and the fine acting by Robert De Niro.
    timind and Laibach like this.
  7. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    South Florida
    Can you imagine if Avengers: Endgame beats The Irishman at the Oscars? :laugh:
  8. Mirrorblade.1

    Mirrorblade.1 Forum Resident

    I agree with him.. I can't watch any live action super hero movies.
    Dc animation does the best story telling as far as that goes.

    When this genre loses it steam what will happen?
    Bolero, Grant, Halloween_Jack and 2 others like this.
  9. motionoftheocean

    motionoftheocean Forum Resident

    He's 100% correct.
    gitters, Grant, Chris M and 27 others like this.
  10. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Out of My Element
    Comic book movies are to cinema what comic books are to literature. No shock.
  11. Pizza

    Pizza With extra pepperoni

    I enjoy comic book movies and loved most of them but must admit I’m getting tired of them. I don’t feel the same excitement of a new release. I feel like they’ve run their course. Endgame was the peak, if not quality wise then certainly economically. The gross curve will be heading south for the most part. Plus it’s hard to imagine what can be done creatively at this point. Maybe I’ll be surprised.
  12. MYKE

    MYKE Analog Upstairs, Digital Downstairs

    Exactly. My grandfather wasn't supposed to get my interests, when I was a kid, and my grandsons would be weirded out if I understood any of their stuff. It's the great Circle of Life.
    What's important here is The Irishman is getting closer.
    noname74 likes this.
  13. malcolm reynolds

    malcolm reynolds Handsome, Humble, Genius

    I dislike Marvel films and Bergman bores me into a coma. I guess I am right in the middle when it comes to films.
  14. I've read some amazing comic books over the years.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  15. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    I have no use for those who are either/or - that if you like Art House Films, you cannot enjoy Superhero films, that if you enjoy classic films, you can't enjoy modern ones. It's nonsense.

    It's moments like this when I really miss Roger Ebert. He would write a brilliant piece for the Sun-Times putting Scorsese in his place, defending the pleasures of a great popcorn movie.

    Did Scorsese really mean to somehow imply that Hugo, for instance, is a deeper and more meaningful film than Avengers: Infinity War? Or that The Wolf of Wall Street says so much more about the human condition than Guardians of the Galaxy?
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
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  16. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Hollywood, USA
    Very well-said.

  17. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    Thank you.
    alan967tiger and longdist01 like this.
  18. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Hollywood, USA
    And Mr. Samuel L. Jackson weighs in with some comments:

    “I mean that’s like saying Bugs Bunny ain’t funny. Films are films. Everybody doesn’t like his stuff either,” Jackson told Variety‘s Angelique Jackson at the grand opening of Tyler Perry’s new studio in Atlanta, Ga. “Everybody’s got an opinion, so I mean it’s okay. Ain’t going to stop nobody from making movies.”

    Samuel L. Jackson Responds to Martin Scorseses’ Marvel Comments
  19. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Out of My Element
    ON AVERAGE, yes (absolutely yes) I believe “classic films” are “deeper and more meaningful” than comic book movies, and yes, they have much more to say about the human condition. But I generally don’t watch films for escape, in fact, quite the opposite. I watch films for intellectual engagement. Rarely have I left a comic book movie and found myself still pondering it the next day. But I’ve been pondering “Crimes and Misdemeanors” for 30 years.
    Grant, Pete Puma, timind and 6 others like this.
  20. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    This would be the same Martin Scorsese who made "Color of Money" and "Shutter Island" and "Cape Fear", correct?

    Not exactly "cinema", are they?

    Scorsese just sounds like an out of touch snob here - and one who doesn't get the breadth of emotions and character arcs in these "theme park rides".

    Did he pooh-pooh early Spielberg, too?
  21. Mirrorblade.1

    Mirrorblade.1 Forum Resident

    I respect people who older have more life experience than me.
    For me I never liked anybody my own age I felt they were out of touch .
    Super hero movie is pure sugar rush everybody knows it. I could never equate it to high art
    or movies of the past. that are timeless.
    I'm not the type that follows the crowd.
    McLover and Bluesman Mark like this.
  22. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    I guess we're very different movie watchers. If I find myself being "intellectually engaged" by a film, I know that I'm not being emotionally engaged. If I can stand back in my mind and think about a film as I watch it, as opposed to just being moved by it, the director has failed.

    My all-time favorite film is Terry Gilliam's Brazil. At the end of that film, I was still sitting there in my seat as the credits finished and the lights came up. I was as stunned as a carp, gasping on the planks of the bottom of the boat. My intellect wasn't engaged until much later, I had been emotionally steamrolled.
  23. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Out of My Element
    So tell me a comic book movie that left you “emotionally steamrolled”.
    S. P. Honeybunch likes this.
  24. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    I can't tell you very many films of any type that did, Brazil was extraordinary. Terry Gilliam himself has not been able to duplicate that one. But the end of Avengers: Endgame was definitely moving.
  25. TheVU

    TheVU Forum Resident

    Normally another man’s oppinion is just that. It only begins to sting when it comes from one of your heroes.

    My films and what I hope to make are far closer to Scorsese’s body of work than Whedon’s or Gunn’s. However I wouldn’t find him to be an inspiration. Just the same, if Roman Polanski or Tarantino called my movies a traveling circus, I wouldn’t be upset. I would be determined to make something even better than before.

    The thing that is telling about their responses is that they seem to consider themselves comic book film directors, not just directors. Prove him wrong. Make a crime thriller, a romantic comedy, or a western. But if all you want to make is Gaurdian’s 3, 4 & 5, he might just have a point.

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