Not Your Usual Review Site

Is there a place for Serials in a post Spider-Man world?

Is there a place for serials or “saturday matinees” in the world of Super hero films and what comes with them?

This is from wiki when you look up serials:

“Serials were a popular form of movie entertainment dating back to Edison’s What Happened to Mary? of 1912. There do appear to be older serials, however, such as the 1910 Deutsche Vitaskop 5 episode Arsene Lupin Contra Sherlock Holmes, based upon the Maurice LeBlanc novel Arsene Lupin Contre Herlock Sholmes, and a possible but unconfirmed Raffles serial in 1911[1]. Usually filmed with low budgets, serials were action-packed stories that usually involved a hero (or heroes) battling an evil villain and rescuing a damsel in distress. The villain would continually place the hero into inescapable deathtraps and situations, or the heroine would be placed into a deathtrap and the hero would bravely come to her rescue, usually pulling her away from certain death only instants before she met her doom. The hero and heroine would face one trap after another, battling countless thugs and lackeys, before finally defeating the villain.

Many famous clichés of action-adventure movies had their origins in the serials. The popular term cliffhanger was developed as a plot device in film serials (though its origins have been traced by some historians to the Sherlock Holmes stories of Arthur Conan Doyle), and it comes from the many times that the hero or heroine would end up hanging over a cliff, usually as the villain gloated above and waited for them to plummet thousands of feet to their deaths. Other popular clichés included the heroine or hero being tied to a railroad track; being lashed to a log in a sawmill, lying on a conveyor belt and approaching a gigantic whirling sawblade; or being trapped in an abandoned mine shaft, watching as the burning fuse of a nearby bundle of dynamite sparked and sputtered its way towards the deadly explosive. The popular Indiana Jones movies are a well-known, romantic pastiche of the serials’ clichéd plot elements and devices.”

Okay with that out of the way…As a kid I couldn’t get enough of Sherlock Holmes stories, Superman Comics, and 80’s cartoons. As a kid I always sat down with my pops infront of the TV, after Saturday morning cartoons, to watch the usual Saturday mid day movies. Most of the movies featured Cowboys and Army folks, which bored me to tears. But every once in awhile I’d perk up when a old Superman, Batman and Robin serial would come on. They were the best thing ever to me, they were comics come to life. That being said, when I watch them now they are ridiculous…but that’s kinda what the point of those types of movies are. Serials were meant to distract people from the crap that was going on outside the theater for as long as the movie was rolling. I can understand why people don’t respond to them now, most people aren’t into crazy-silly action unless it’s drapped in a cape or a martial arts flick anymore. I mean, Iron Man(tony stark) can fight a giant robot man in the middle of a highway, but Indiana Jones can’t be chased by giant red ants…okay whatever. I guess it’s more acceptable to forgive cheesy if it’s wrapped in a funny book. As a fan of comics I don’t get how one is acceptable but the other isn’t. Action Adventure movies are crazy unrealistic to begin with, they are escapist films. I don’t knock the HULK for being a giant green monster, I knock it because the plot is basically a paragraph…a very short paragraph…but that’s what the HULK is supposed to be, he’s Jekkel and Hyde mixed with Frankenstien’s Monster. This is by no way a diatribe about movie fans who can accept the fantastic nature of a comic movie more than Indiana Jones running around saving the day. This is just my way of trying to understand why on one side you can cheer IRON MAN for flying in a giant tin can, all the while being very cartoony…but INDIANA JONES (which has always been a serial throwback and hypes that fact) gets knocked for playing up the fantastic and crazy(something that’s been a staple of the movies ever since they had ghosts flying out of the arc of the covenant and melting Nazi’s faces off in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARC). Once again everyone is welcomed to their opinions, I’m just wondering why sometimes things don’t get the same treatment or the same creative license.

Currently watching :
Watching the Detectives
Release date: 2008-08-12


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