The Enchantment of Superheroes


My colleague, Randy Wilson, is disenchanted with the superhero movie. He’s concerned that the overblown CGI robs us of our imagination. He’s worried that the genre lacks moral depth. And he’s afraid that we, as a society, aren’t using our gifts to say anything meaningful, to say anything true.

I would encourage him to look for the baby in the bathwater.

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More Disenchantment at the Movies



“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Did you see the latest Superman update, Man of Steel?  An imaginative story filled with heart-wrenching emotion, from a comic book no less. This one, like its cousins Iron Man, The Avengers and X-Men has all the thrilling over the top realism that CGI technology can provide. We hardly need our imaginations any more. Won’t that be a brave new accomplishment, entertainment that we can absorb without even having to think about it?

Lately I keep coming away from these marvelous heroic good vs. evil cartoon reboots scratching my head. I can’t seem to figure out why these modern day superheroes with all of their mythic powers and advanced technology always end up in a kung fu fist fight with the bad guys.  Probably because these aren’t really stories told around the campfire to pass on cultural explanations and reinforce essential moral values. What we’re paying millions of dollars to create and watch today in our “cinemultiplexicons” are glorified and amped up video games. These are the kind of games that keep you coming back and dumping in quarters by enticing you to rack up more punches and gunshots. Continue reading