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Monday, November 09, 2009



I find this confusing. Do Batman and Spiderman not count as heroes? I thought those movies did pretty well. So why does Hollywood think heroes won't sell?


I was not surprised but still perturbed that Barb refers to "Dark Knight" as "post-Christian crap" (contra Greydanus, who has only good things to say about the film). The point of that film was to describe how heroism could exist in a dreary world, a post-modern world where what is good is fragile because what is 'good' is hard to define. In short, it was about a world quite like the one we have now in the West.

I would say Barb misunderstands the present psyche somewhat. Films like "Watchmen" exist because we are at a point in history where people have begun to question to basic assumptions that Christendom has taken for granted: whether Man is worth saving, whether live is worth living, whether true happiness is something that can be really achieved or is only an illusion. The films "Dark Knight" and "Watchmen" are two opposing answers to the same post-modern concern. Indeed, postmodernism is not something grown out of a vat and cleverly spread into the population, but is the consequence of the collective culture denying the existence of an objective moral authority.


Good points, NauticalMongoose. I agree.

Barb's understanding is too simplistic. Perhaps it's something only people who grew up and were formed deeply by the current period can understand well. I saw Batman in the Dark Knight as precisely someone who makes a heroic, Christ-like choice (at the end of the film). Whether one struggles with making such a choice is human; to write that off as irrelevant to what one needs to see in a "hero" story does not seem to understand where much of the audience is starting from. Batman's choice is startling, and that is precisely the greatness of that movie. Over-the-top "go be a hero" movies won't work because that's not where we are. You have to slide into our psyche first under the radar and surprise us. The Dark Knight did that.


I think when they are talking about heros it means the person that always acts like gentleman or lady and is never/ rarely mean spirited. While that may not be the common run of us they do exist (or else there would be few if any saints). While I liked Spiderman and Batman I feel that the modern version of the hero is much more superficial and shallow than the previous of a man/ woman who excelled others in virtue. Modern movie makers have a hard time grasping such things. Even the actors can't do it. I have watched the modern version of CS Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the main actors just stike me (and most others I have spoken with) as shallow and "little nasties." Evidently they have a hard time grasping the older concept of innocence and virtue. They seem to believe it it too good to be true. To be honest I like the old movies better. They are much more classier (albeit some of them are corny). They were made when Hollywood didn't sneer at innocence and to be virtuous was to be manly and to honorable was to be respected. Anyone ever see "Billy the Kid" where Billy is played by Buster Crabbe? Nothing like the real Billy the Kid but they are case in point. Of course there is the comic sidekick but it is good to have some innocent laughter at times. Neither is it demeaning as the character is always respected and sometimes even saves the day (Fuzzy played by Fuzzy Al St John). If we had more of that type movies maybe we would be a little less mean spirited, cowardly and selfish as a society.

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