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Balancing Realities Pt.2
by Xavier Jones-Barlow

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Cape too short

Cape too short
Not so long ago I chatted about how certain movies appeared to bend certain historical truths. Sometimes to peoples annoyance and others, to audiences delight. I questioned the integrity of the directors that took the liberty of changing the past, then conceded that at the end of the day I just wanted to be entertained and hey we sure as hell can not be certain if known historical records are that accurate anyway. Now, I would like to discuss another facet of the argument.

It is all very well re-writing history. It is almost forgivable to portray important and significant figures throughout time in a detrimental, over exaggerated or false manner. What I want to bring to your attention is much more profound. The ramifications to movie-goers, society and the whole of human civilisation could adversely affect generations to come. I am of course referring to when somebody gets Superman's costume wrong.

There seems to be more and more people getting into all sorts of states of upset over the portrayal of fictional characters than real individuals. This is always apparent when a comic book adaption is released. Comic book fans are a passionate bunch of folk,always ready to defend their most treasured art form, willing to sacrifice self-dignity for their craft and the first to get vocal when something is not right. In recent years when have seen a gluttonous surge of comic films. Mostly thanks to the industries advancement in computer generated effects. We have been able to see exactly what Spider-Man
Wrong shade of black

Wrong shade of black
would look like swinging through Manhattan, how a nerdy scientist becomes a giant green angry monster and at last, we can actually believe a man can fly. You have to admit, it all looks superbly fantastic.

It is not enough though is it? Batman is not just bat-like and scary, the X-men are not just a bunch of pretty thesps and an Oscar winner and Spawn is not just a decaying guy with an impressive cape. These stories have been nurtured and loved over years, to the point where they could even be classed as myths in themselves. Who knows, in a few thousand years they may even be considered legend much in the same way that King Arthur, Robin Hood or the Olympian Gods are today. So there is plenty of opportunity to get it all wrong. I can safely make the assumption that no comic crossover has escaped criticism, some more than others, some rightly so, others unjustly, but then that is just my opinion.

As Obi Wan-Kenobi once wisely stated, we cling to certain truths depending on our point of view, as humans this is our right and prerogative. And so, although I do not consider myself a 100% comic aficionado I am familiar with the genre and I have the following feelings;

1) Christopher Reeve will always be the daddy of the Supermen.
2) X-3 was a big pile Elephant poo. With the exception of Kitty Pryde.
3) Batman Begins was SO right.
4) Fantastic Four was pants. The sequel had better be as good as the trailer.
5) Daredevil was utterly brilliant.

You see, I can feel cries of pain and anguish from
Did your heart cry?

Did your heart cry?
some of you all the way over here, but please calm down, these are just my humble thoughts and I believe I am allowed to do that.
It certainly is not easy when a filmmaker takes your childhood hero and twists them into a shadow of your imagination, bear in mind however that this is your idol through their eyes with the limitations and constraints of the filmmakers mind. If you had done it differently there would still be a group of people tearing their eyes out. Rumour has it there is a new Spider-Man movie out, and popular opinion is divided (One comment, graphic and pained as it was, I did find most amusing, 'My heart cried!'). Me? I loved it. Spider-Man has always been my favourite, since the age of four at least, and I was presented with exactly what I wanted to see. I am not going to go into it further, I feel that is what Matchflicks reviews are for.

So the comic book world and the movie universe will I fear, always be at odds. I think this is the way it should be, after all they are two entirely different mediums. They can contradict and compliment each other and at the same time be completely autonomous. Be thankful that the larger than life characters, solid moral teachings and complex story lines are allowed to reach a wider audience. As before, I am going to stand by my mantra that while fictional and real occurrences may appear distorted on screen it is all in the name of entertainment. Sit back and enjoy.

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Xavier's Book Club
Every other Saturday

Xavier analyses film, literary. A bizarre melding of books and movies.

Other Columns
Other columns by Xavier Jones-Barlow:

My Month As A Teenage Girl

Mr Jones and the Shame of the Spolier Scolls

Fragment: Consider Revising.

Proof Reading The Movies #1

The Cinematic Chicken And The Literary Egg

All Columns

Xavier Jones-Barlow
Xavier lives in Scotland where it is very cold. He spends his time writing about live bands and people dreamt up in his bizarre imagination. Quite huggable .

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Xavier Jones-Barlow by clicking here.

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