Savlov Doesn't Get Comic Book Movies?

RECEIVED Mon., July 9, 2012

Dear Chronicle,
    We all can agree that film is a subjective form of media. However, when it comes to comic-book movies, you can pretty much trust critics will have no sense of them. Most tolerate, but are disdainful, considering them empty fare compared to the works of von Trier, Fellini, Allen, Truffaut.
    Comic-book movies when executed correctly (see Nolan's Batman trilogy, the first Iron Man, The Avengers, and [although, it is flawed in retrospect] Superman, circa 1978) can represent the best of how movies can intellectually and visually stimulate us.
    But most critics are reluctant to acknowledge that, as it would be beneath them to do so. Especially your critic Marc Savlov. Now, to his credit, Mr. Savlov did give a good review of The Avengers [Film Listings, May 4].
    However, in the same breath, this is the same critic who criticized The Dark Knight for being too dark [Film Listings, July 18, 2008]. Mr. Savlov is someone who clearly doesn't get it in regards to this type of genre. If most people do a little research, Batman is supposed to be dark in the comics. It's not supposed to be South Park.
    I found it hilarious that Mr. Savlov makes a similar analogy when it comes to The Amazing Spider-Man [Film Listings, July 6]. He praises Tobey Maguire's subtlety and accuses the current character of being a douche. Well, guess what Mr. Savlov? Maguire's "subtlety" is bad acting. He has done one of the worst executions of Peter Parker ever to grace the screen.
    Not to get all comic-book guy from The Simpsons, but most real spidey fans felt disappointed with Maguire in the role. Peter Parker isn't wimpy. Sensitive, sure, but not a doormat. He also has a sense of humor which the Sam Raimi films failed miserably to show. In the early Spider-Man comics written by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, he is portrayed as a sour loner. So the film's depiction of him being a jerk is actually spot on.
    Mr. Savlov, to write film criticism means having an appreciation of all types of genres. Comic books and fantasy clearly are not your forte; as you are never familiar enough with the background behind them to give a constructive, informative review. Stick to watching pretentious overblown arthouse movies and let someone that actually has a passing knowledge of comics review the film versions of them. Because it's clear that you do not. Or maybe do some real research the next time you review a comic flick. Like actually reading some comics.
Michael Thomas
   [Editor's note: Marc Savlov's critical viewpoint can be legitimately questioned, but not up for debate is his background as a voracious reader of comic books.]
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