It's been three and a half months since I posted here. It's a shame that I've let things get so "out-of-control." But, it's a new year, so we can begin again.
Just recently, I turned forty, leaving my cynical thirties (read about them by clicking on the link) and entering the curmudgeon forties (I have yet found a true name for this decade of my life.) This got me thinking about a lot of things, which I am about to share with you:
“When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” C.S. Lewis
There’s a lot of pretentiousness that goes into not liking “superhero” movies. I’ve heard a lot of the reasons and complaints: they’re childish, superficial, too much CGI, not enough story. I’ve even read several articles recently where a number of actors/directors have warned that these movies will bring about the doom of all other movies, which, of course, is utter nonsense.
Now, I get it if someone doesn’t like that genre of film. I understand that. There are several film genres that I tend to avoid more than others.
I’m going to put all the cards on the table. I like superhero movies.
I have watched most of the Marvel movies and television shows (several on Netflix I’ve particularly enjoyed). I have seen most of the DC Superhero movies as well.
On a sidenote, I am really looking forward to this one.
But I’m not going to stop there. I liked the Lord of the Rings movies as well, and the Hobbit trilogy too, but to a lesser extent.
I enjoy watching Star Wars and many other science fiction/fantasy movies that are out there. This is my thing. These are the stories that I enjoy. Now, people may think liking such films is childish and immature. This brings me to my first obvious question. What sort of films should mature adults like? Do the films have to be filled with language or sexual situations? Must they not deal with the supernatural or the fantastical? Do they have to be based on real life?
Having turned 40 this past year, I have noticed something about myself.
The older I get, the less interested I am in seeing movies that show the “real” world. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t watch other types of movies. Because I do. I liked “The Impossible”; I liked “Dunkirk,” and many other movies. But where I put most of my money in terms of movie watching is the previously mentioned genres.
Why is that?
For one, if I want the real world I don’t have to pay to see it. It’s everywhere, and it’s depressing! Turn on the television, read a newspaper (or website). That, however, is not the only reason.
These fantasy/science fiction films bring to the public some very important elements that our society has lost in this postmodern age – valor, self-sacrifice, bravery, the idea of right and wrong, good and evil. While many people in film like to play in the gray areas, no one in the real world lives there. We all believe that actions are either right or wrong (especially if they are done to or against us.)
That’s why I like these types of films. There is a right and a wrong, a good and an evil. I still believe in that.
They also take me on an adventure to other worlds, other possibilities. It puts the real-life petty arguments in my life on the backburner and reminds me that there are bigger things to fight for. (And yes, Thanos isn’t one of them.) You see, a part of me is tired of the mundane aspect of life. I believe many other people are as well, which is another article entirely.
As I am now 40, I have very little time for that. I want to be inspired, and these films do that for me for whatever reason. These are new “fairy tales” and I’m not ashamed to like them. No longer do I have to pretend to be grown-up. The specks of gray hair in my beard won’t allow that. I’ve now reached the point in my life that I can say, “I am man enough to like these films.” If others think that makes me childish, well, at least some aspect of me is still young.
(If you're interested in buying my book, you can click on this link or this one. Or this one and this one!)
Scott Keen is the author of three young adult fantasy novels, Scar of the Downers, Rise of the Branded, and War of the Downer King.