The Oscars are a fascinating and paradoxical affair for moviegoers. Every year, we infallibly flock to our televisions or computers to find out which films are being honored, but we also expect and usually do criticize the Oscars, for something, usually in the form of asking why the Academy chose this rather than that, and so on. One thing they’re known for is snubbing genre films for major awards, especially Best Picture. And no category of film embodies the concept of genre plays in the contemporary industry more than superhero films.
From a certain point of view, it is understandable. Superhero movies are primarily designed to entertain, which is ultimately the most important purpose of movies, but they have become stereotypical and rarely do anything to advance the art of cinema or offer anything substantial. to meet Academy standards. And yet, even when they do, they still tend to be overlooked or only taken seriously when they represent some sort of topical statement. It cannot be overstated the number of superhero movies that have been denied a chance at the crème de la crème of cinematic honors.
As dated as the effects have become, when this movie was first released, it really made people believe that a man could fly. In fact, much of this larger-than-life story about a visitor from another planet who becomes Earth’s greatest superhero was handled with the grandeur the filmmakers expected.
Included between Richard DonnerThe direction, John Williams‘ iconic score, and the perfect cast of Christopher Reeve as Superman, an eternal symbol of idealism and goodwill, this film set the benchmark for virtually all superhero movies to follow and let the industry know they were worth watching.
‘Spider-Man 2’ (2004)
Considered one of the best blockbuster superhero films and sequels ever made, Spiderman 2 dives deep into the idea of what it means to be a superhero, with all the sacrifices that come with it. Stimulating questions are raised as to how much of what Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) himself wants him to be abandoned to fulfill the great responsibility placed upon him to protect lives as a costumed crime fighter.
This film transcends typical superhero fare by focusing on the humanity of the superhero narrative instead of an action-heavy formula. And even then, the movie doesn’t lack for excitement and actually pulled off some of the best action ever seen in a comic book movie.
“The Incredibles” (2004)
Brad BirdThe Pixar film about a family of hidden superheroes who must step out of the shadows to confront a dangerous villain may have won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, but it deserved better.
Without compromising superhero fun and adventure, The Incredibles offers an in-depth commentary on the realistic implications of actual superhumans living in mainstream society. Additionally, the film eloquently examines middle-class family life and superhero mythology itself using biting satire. Few mainstream genre films could claim to be as cerebral as this while still retaining their entertainment value.
‘The Dark Knight’ (2008)
Of all the instances where the Oscars have snubbed best-picture-worthy superhero movies, this is by far the most egregious. The black Knight transformed a simple premise of Batman and the Joker engaging in a game of cat and mouse into a richly layered narrative encompassing themes of morality, corruption, organized crime and urban terrorism, brought to life by Christopher Nolanhoned directorial vision and a top-notch cast and crew.
Any flaws are negligible compared to the quality of the film at every conceivable level of production, from performance to cinematography to action sequences and more. This is a true masterclass in comic book movie storytelling.
“The Avengers” (2012)
In 2012, The dark knight rises and celestial fall were among many highly anticipated films, but The Avengers must have been the biggest. It was the culmination of a daring experiment by Marvel Studios that some weren’t even sold on. Half a decade was spent on several superhero projects that would lead to a huge crossover movie in which the established heroes would band together to fight a threat too big for any one of them.
avengers wasn’t trying to break the mold or convey an important message, it was striving to give loyal fans the event film they were promised, and it did so with clever writing, engaged actors and effects breathtaking. If only the Academy had noticed. But Marvel was just getting started.
The Oscars have always loved westerns, from Cimarron (1933) to Django Unchained (2012). So it’s a wonder why Logan (2017) received so little love from them. At a time when superhero movies are considered the new westerns in terms of how they’ve taken over the industry, this film combines the two genres in bloody and dramatic fashion.
Long duration x-men cinema regulars Hugh Jackman and patrick stuart with a bright young newcomer Dafne Keen deliver outstanding performances as lost and battered souls searching for hope and redemption in a desolate world awash in a haunting cinematic atmosphere Courtesy of the director James Mangold. Jackman’s signature role in Wolverine couldn’t have been sung better with this unrelenting dystopian sci-fi neo-western masterpiece.
‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ (2018)
Yet another Best Animated Feature Oscar winner who should have been up for the top prize as well. This psychedelic journey of young Miles Morales learning to become his world’s new Spider-Man with the help of allies from other universes has a distinct visual style that probably could never be replicated.
But more than that, this film is a passionate and painstakingly crafted love letter to an inspiring icon who means so much to so many people, both in film and in real life.
‘Avengers: Infinity War’ (2018)
The first part of a decade-long crossover multi-film magnum opus in the works, Avengers: Infinity War, despite all its praise, has been criticized for its reliance on previous Marvel Cinematic Universe films. However, the MCU itself sets a new precedent that arguably rules out works like Infinity War to be judged by conventional standards.
The many protagonists of the story do not require any additional configuration. What counts is the meeting and the clash of personalities, which the film does wonderfully. Instead, character development is all about Thanos, the antagonist, who is so well-executed that he dominates most of the film. Plus, the intergalactic ventures and sweeping battle sequences that abound highlight the MCU’s growing reach. And it all culminates in an ending so devastating that it sent shockwaves through the pop culture landscape.
“Avengers: Endgame” (2019)
The follow-up of Infinity War shifts the spotlight from the villain to the heroes, who are reeling from the consequences of their failure to defeat Thanos. Well-acted and surprisingly poignant dramatic moments are presented as the Avengers come to terms with their losses and grief before the plot kicks into high gear.
End of Game serves more than just a sequel, it’s a celebration of the years of dedication that have been given to the MCU by filmmakers, cast, and fans alike. Nostalgia meets epic fantasy storytelling on a scale that could barely fit on the big screen. The Oscars may foster more traditional, so-called intellectual cinema, but few films could match the impact generated by this perceived popcorn flick.
“Spider-Man: No Coming Home” (2021)
The latest installment in the MCU Spider-Man trilogy connects three generations of moviegoers through a multiversal jaunt that completes the passage of Tom HollandPeter Parker, from teenage vigilante to hero in his own right. As Into the Spider-Verse, this film explores the legacy and pathos of Spider-Man in a respectful and dramatically effective way. The wealth of fanservice has a purpose and does not exist for its own sake.
Released at a time when the theatrical experience was thought to be dying out, No coming home revived faith in the power of cinema. What if it was an amusement park movie?
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