Samuel L. Jackson gave the perfect response to Director Martin Scorsese, who had some very disparaging remarks about the Marvel Cinematic Universe and superhero films-at-large.
“I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema,” the director of Goodfellas said. “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.”
Jackson, who recently starred in Spider-Man: Far From Home. responded in an interview with Variety. “I mean that’s like saying Bugs Bunny ain’t funny. Films are films. Everybody doesn’t like his stuff either,” he said. “Everybody’s got an opinion, so I mean it’s okay. Ain’t going to stop nobody from making movies.”
Of course, Jackson is right. He gave the perfect, classy response to Scorsese’s flippant comment on films made about his colleagues, some of whom he may have to work with.
This is not a comment on Scorsese’s talent. He is clearly a master at what he does and he has the filmography to prove it. However, him claiming a genre he does not like is “not cinema” is an incredibly elitist statement. Like many in Hollywood, Scorsese has a bizarre fear of innovation (unless it suits their films, of course). Before movies with sound became the norm, films with this were called the “talkies” and were highly resisted by the Hollywood elite, but the audience loved them, so they begrudgingly went along. Same with colorized motion pictures. Same with animation. The list goes on and on.
Innovation in any industry, especially the entertainment industry is of vital importance. Sometimes, innovation leads to bad decisions, like the overuse of the slanted “dutch angles” or the “shaky-cam” perspective. But special effects, make-up, CGI, sound, colorful film, soundtracks, and so much more have pushed the boundaries.
The MCU and the DCEU to a lesser extent have shown that movies can push the boundaries of what is “acceptable” in a franchise. Some have been less successful than others, but it is fine for filmmakers to expand their horizons in this manner. Sure, the superhero will eventually go the way of the Western and the musical, but let it be fun for the audience, otherwise, you risk alienating them as a lot of Hollywood has already.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my movie reviews of X-Men: Dark Phoenix and my comic book review of J.J. Abrams’ Spider-Man. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.