Originally Posted by kedrell
Firstly, auteur's have largely been responsible for the crappiest one's we've ever gotten. They have a tendancy to think they're smarter than the material and that it's fine to change things based on their own sensibilities. That's not to say they all were like that, but I'd say the lion's share were.
I virtually never go see a superhero movie because I'm a fan of the director. I either am interested in the property enough to check it out or I'm not. But then I have never claimed to be a film fan. I'm just a fan of this genre in film. 99.9% of films that make it to the Oscars I couldn't be bothered to even care about, much less watch(even if they were free). So that's where I'm coming from.
But back to creative limitation, it really only seems to be this way with the films leading up to the Avengers(which is by no means the end of the road for any of them). I think afterward such concerns will disipate even though the MCU will still be chugging along. It actually will end up allowing even greater creative possibilities in the long run(creative freedom such as the early comics writers had to pick from a large universe of possibilities in telling their stories).
And even with all these pre-Avengers films so far I'd say that the trade off in constraints has been good for the films as it has kept the filmmakers focused and not prone to going off into unnecessary and useless tangents that they otherwise might have played around with. But then, I don't trust auteurs to put the properties they've been made stewards of ahead of their own artsy-fartsy egos.
If you're referring to Ang Lee for the Hulk or Singer's Superman Returns for the "crappy superhero" films, I may agree. But I think the most memorable ones have some trace of humanity and artistic identity. Whether you like that artistic stamp or not is one thing, but Christopher Nolan's Batman films (particularly The Dark Knight), Tim Burton's Batman films and Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2 (the other two were more compromised, though still distinctly Raimi) have such personality that they stand out. They look like filets compared to the pre-packaged fast food-vibe in Iron Man 2 and The Incredible Hulk. It was exactly those restrictions that frustrated Favreau off the Iron Man franchise to less confined pastures.
I actually think Thor borders on being Branagh's film more than Marvel. Unlike TIH, IM2 or even IM1, it doesn't feel like it is really part of a franchise marketing machine other than the after-credits scene and a throwaway reference to Stark. Otherwise you could just call SHIELD the FBI and it stands apart form the rest of the MCU. The best parts of the movie, the visionary scope and rich, opulent composition is certainly a credit to the director of Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing and not the studio the IM films and TIH. Also, the Freudian subtexts of the relationships between Odin and his two sons and how that affected each of them was the best part of the movie and felt very Branagh.
It isn't his entire movie though as it is saddled with a rather forced romance (romance is a good thing, but Thor loves Jane was shoehorned in) and some humor that reeked of desperation at times (most of Kat Denning's dialogue, though she is so good and Branagh so manic they make it work well enough). But it borders on being something wholly unique....just not quite there.
I see you dislike a strong cinematic hand, but to many it gives movies life that makes them stand apart from the Hollywood machine. While the MCU films are a cut above most Hollywood efforts in this genre (Superman II--onwards, Batman Forever, Batman and Robin, Catwoman, Daredevil, Elektra, Ghost Rider, X-Men: The Last Stand, Wolverine, etc. etc.) they are still a bit too confined by it, in my opinion.