The problem with cinematic universes

Why can't we just have regular good movies

March 24, 2021

So the other day I did something rather consoomerist and watched the Snyder cut of the Justice League movie. In fact was the first "new" movie that I've actually looked forward to watching in a long time. I was never like any of the people who demanded that it be made after the original cut ended up being terrible, but when I heard it was actually going to happen I was happy. I am also happy to say that I enjoyed it, it's not the best movie in the world but I enjoyed it better than I do most movies.

Other than the movie's obscene four hour run time, the biggest complaint most people had about this version of the movie (as well as the original) was the fact that through this movie, DC was trying to rush into creating a cinematic universe. This is a valid complaint, but I want to take it a step further. My main complaint with this movie is that it tried to create a cinematic universe at all.

Big film industries have been brainwashing us into thinking that we want cinematic universes and that everything needs a sequel and a prequel and three spin offs and a cartoon series and a Broadway musical and novelizations of books that take place in some alternate universe where everyone has swapped genders but still act just about the same and then there has to be children's books made where every good character is a puppy and the villains are all cats and we have to dress all our babies up in overpriced clothes so that they look like the characters from these cinematic universes. We don't need any of this.

A cinematic universe is an excuse for studios to make bad movies. Consider the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Many people believe the MCU to be the greatest thing to happen since man learned to make fire, this is simply not true. Are there some good movies in the MCU, yes, but there's also a lot of bad ones. I have never heard someone say that the second Thor movie was a good movie, that is because it is not a good movie and yet millions of people have seen it and a large subset of these people chose to rewatch it all the time, not because it is a good movie (which again it is not) but because it is a part of the MCU. There exists several hours of MCU content for us to consoom and Disney has no plan to slow the production of this content down, but I can probably count the number of Marvel movies worth watching on one hand. All these movies are severely overhyped.

Of course I don't think sequels shouldn't exist, there are plenty of great sequels out there despite the fact that there are plenty of bad ones. I think Terminator 2 Judgment Day is the perfect sequel because it is a great movie for fans of the original and it is great by itself, in fact more people have watched Terminator 2 than have watched the original, it is completely possible to watch the second movie without being at all familiar with the first. And for the sake of the success of Terminator 2 this is quite the good thing, many people forget that the first one wasn't all that great of a movie, much less people would have likely watched it if the mindset of people in the 90s was more like that of consoomers now where they think you have to watch everything in order.

But I'm starting to get off on a tangent, sequels are acceptable if they are good, bad sequels and bad spin offs are not acceptable and this is what cinematic universes are made of.

Another thing consoomers say to criticize the Justice League movie is, "They should have mad stand-alone movies for the other characters first, they didn't develop these characters enough." The second part of this argument is valid but the preceding suggestion is not the right solution. Consider the first Star Wars movie, in episode four the main characters Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, Obi-Wan, Darth Vader, C-3P0, and R2 (sorry for the long list) are all perfectly developed within that one movie, this does not mean that they can't develop further in later movies, it just means that if episode four were the only Star Wars movie you ever watched you would still feel like you knew these characters. The Fellowship of the Ring is another movie that is able to develop all the major characters in one movie, in fact this is what every good movie does, you don't have to make movies explaining the origins of each of a movie's main characters before making that movie, just do it all in one movie so that people with absolutely no background knowledge of your movie can enjoy it, (this is why most of the Star Trek movies aren't all that great, they rely on prior knowledge of the characters).

Good movies are what we all want, unfortunately that is not what the film industry wants to make, they want movies that sell and they've figured out that it is a lot easier to sell something that is a part of a cinematic universe even if it is bad, than it is to sell a good stand alone movie. Realize the fact that if it were not for the Mandalorian or Wandavision the number of people with a Disney+ subscription would be drastically lower. Don't waste your time in the consoomersit trap of watching a bad or even mediocre film only because it is part of some cinematic universe, only spend time watching things that are actually worth your time.