Film - Is Age Behind Taste?

Man of Steel

On Steve Taylor-Bryant's 40th birthday eve eve (OK, it's on Monday) he feels his age and looks at why he loves the films others don't...

I for one cannot wait for Zak Snyder to get his chance to ruin every member of the Justice League as much as he did Superman for me. In comics I'm a DC man through-and-through but in the cinema world Marvel wins every time.

The comment above was from Twitter when the news broke that Zack Snyder will be making a Justice League movie.

I'm not saying everyone with this thought is wrong, far from it - how can an opinion be wrong? (watches internet explode at that piece of logic) It has made me think about why I liked Man of Steel and the world didn't though, and every other film I like that no one else does. You see I am different to just about every member of /G-f (and the population of Earth). I don't like Star Wars with the exception of Empire, I'll defend those things that most people find indefensible, but I think the main difference is that I am more senior in years.

When I was a child in the late 1970's We only had 3 television channels, the cinema was a ridiculous price to go to (some things never change, eh?) and a film took 2 or 3 three years to make it onto Betamax or VHS and a minimum of 5 years to make it to television. When my family moved onto a military base in Germany it was even worse. We only had 1 television channel and when we could afford the cinema the choice was limited to whatever the theatre had managed to borrow that week. Films were also pretty awful, sequels worse than now and spin off's unheard of. This led to a life of no expectation, a pretty important facet of my upbringing.

You see, nowadays the market is flooded with entertainment. You can search your 900 channel television provider, use your online film provider to search a massive database, buy a DVD or Bluray for the price of a jar of coffee, or search millions of sites for information pertaining to your chosen subject. This creates a build up of excitement, a false position to judge, and it is all expectation based. With the exception of Blade Runner I am not a fan of Ridley Scott, I much prefer the work of his brother Tony, BUT every film Ridley makes is massively marketed and hyped leading to expectations. Super hero films are the worst culprit. Superman I and II with Christopher Reeve were great fun, III and IV were awful, and don't forget I was around for Supergirl The Movie as well, therefore Zack Snyder's Man of Steel was a delight to watch, a superhero film done right, that managed to annoy comic book fans and a rabid fanbase high on expectation and fully paid into the marketing machine. 

I went to see it just hoping it was better than Superman IV.

Alien 3 is my favourite of that particular franchise, again though I could ignore the hype and had no level of expectation. Die Hard 4 and 5 are the same. A generation of media savvy fans hated them, let down by the weight of expectation placed into their minds by years of marketing executives but when you break them down to their core essence there is no difference in any of the films, so why the difference in expectations?

Die Hard 1 - Terrorist attacks. Bruce Willis, with help of reluctant person, saves the day. Stuff blows up.

Die Hard 2 - Terrorist attacks. Bruce Willis, with help of reluctant person, saves the day. Stuff blows up.

Die Hard 3 - Terrorist attacks. Bruce Willis, with help of reluctant person, saves the day. Stuff blows up.

Die Hard 4 - Terrorist attacks. Bruce Willis, with help of reluctant person, saves the day. Stuff blows up.

Die Hard 5 - Terrorist attacks. Bruce Willis, with help of reluctant person, saves the day. Stuff blows up.

Go watch those films again with just that brief synopsis in your mind and the last 2 films are instantly better. Don't get me wrong there really are terrible films out there and I actually do have the correct type of analytical mind to break them down into reviews. I am not blindly led by opinions of certain stars either, I like every film Johnny Depp has ever done for a reason, that reason changes per movie, but there is always a reason. Secret Window and The Ninth Gate were incredible scripts acted superbly well and The Lone Ranger I watched with kids, and as a family event it is quite lovely (another age related topic). Transcendence weighs heavy with expectation as well. Wally Pfister is Nolan's golden boy etc, BUT it is his first film! That fact gets forgotten as does the fact that just because he has teamed with Christopher Nolan numerous times, it doesn't mean you are seeing a Nolan film. Unfortunately the marketing and hype mongers in charge at the studio made you think you were so you went in with expectation.

With the younger generations being immersed in choice and spoilt with where they find about things, this trend will never change. Gone are the days where you watched a film without knowing anything about it and I can only hope I manage to keep my memory of those days (and my memory full stop) a bit longer else I am destined for the same knackers yard of hype and expectation that everyone else lives in. An example of how powerful expectation is for this generation? Imagine if Avengers: Age of Ultron had bombed. Marvel would have been over and the job was always too big for Joss Whedon.

Does that sound fair? Thought not, but you know it will happen one day.

Image - IMDb.