Monday, December 8, 2008
The Dark Fight.
As year end critics' lists begin to emerge, the terrific "Iron Man" is being found in several of them (including "The NY Post", "The New Yorker" and "TIME"); the equally worthy "The Dark Knight" not so much.
In several award sites and forums a lot is being made about how Iron Man has stolen the Batman's thunder, but honestly how can anyone with a slight reasoning mind say this?
Proving that Batman's core of supporters is made out of mindless fanboys, they are arguing how it's unfair for one movie to be there while the other is not.
When did "Iron Man" and "The Dark Knight" become exchangeable?
Both films surpassed critical and box office expectations and perhaps the one thing they have in common is that they were adapted from comic books.
Other than that they stand at completely opposite levels: one is a joyous throwback to pure comic book aesthetics while the other is an attempt at neo noir with hints of social picture.
Both films were released during the summer and not counting the fact that critics' lists are completely subjective, individual works we might take a look that the sociopolitical effect might've had in both films come awards season.
Maybe Batman proved too dark with the way the economy threw people around and Iron Man's optimism was what they needed. Again, films have always been subjective to the times, just take a look at the Oscar winners during WWII, especially the fact that "How Green Was My Valley" beat "Citizen Kane" for Best Picture.
One is arguably the greatest film ever made, the other is one is also a very good film, but during the time, not counting Orson Welles' ego, people were in need of a traditional look at how values make society survive.
Does this make "Valley" a bad picture? Not at all, but then again this is perhaps seeing too much into something that shouldn't even be argued.
For all we know when all is said and done, none of the films will have important places in critics' lists or one might have more mentions. They'd end up being apples and oranges no matter what (last year nobody made a fuss about how "No Country for Old Men" and "There Will Be Blood" were dark, brooding, absolutely inhuman westerns and they both were critical darlings throughout the season).
Why then must they be compared and pitted against each other?
If this stupid reaction continues not only will there be a backlash for both films, but for the whole comic book style which has had an already hard enough time getting some respect.
If fanboys say that one film making a list means the other one was kicked out aren't they in a way saying that therefore all comic book films are the same and should be treated so?