Despite the obvious popularity of Marvel Cinematic Universe amongst moviegoers, some of Hollywood’s finest ever filmmakers continue to voice their disdain for their output and the superhero genre in general.
James Cameron recently insisted he is pining for “superhero fatigue,” while Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, Mel Gibson and many other directors have attacked the genre, too.
Roger Corman’s impact on the cinematic landscape rivals that of each individual above. I recently had the opportunity to talk to the legendary director, during which time I couldn’t help but ask for his opinion on the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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“I watch them,” Corman admitted. “I like them for the most part. I watch them more for research than for their entertainment. I feel like I have to keep up with what is going on to see what is successful and to just be aware of the motion pictures universe.”
“I don’t like them all. I like all of the special effects in them. It’s just the story around the special effects that I have a problem with.”
Corman used this opportunity to wax lyrical about one recent sci-fi blockbuster that he believed combined story with its special effects splendidly.
“One film I thought where the special effects, which were astounding, that integrated with the really intricate storyline was Christopher Nolan’s ‘Inception’.”
Earlier in our discussion I also pointed out to Corman that his approach to producing and directing films in the 1960s has now basically been copied by modern studios to great success, which was a similarity he had noticed years ago.
“A New York Times critics wrote at the time of ‘Jaws’s’ release, ‘What is ‘Jaws’ but a big budget Roger Corman film.’ He was right. But it was bigger and better. I remember when I saw it, I thought, ‘This means trouble for me and my compatriots. The majors have caught on to what we’ve been doing’.”
“Just a little bit after that out came ‘Star Wars.’ Then I thought, ‘They are really hitting it where we are live.’ Since then they have taken the ideas and concepts we were working with and made them bigger and better. Particularly in science fiction films, which have amazing special effects.”
But does Corman believe that special effects are used too much today in cinema?
“Special effects today are far superior to what we were able to do. What you can do with computer graphics today is incredible.”
“But there is that danger that the filmmaker can become too much in love with special effects that it gets in the way of the story. I only used special effects at certain points in the narrative, which was there to enhance the story.”