If Marvel had simply decided twenty years sooner that Spider-Man films should be made once every three years, and that a different young British actor should play him every time, perhaps fans wouldn’t have fussed about Spider-Man: Homecoming coming so soon after Amazing Spider-Man 2. We’d be used to the rotating lead spot by now. Granted, this would’ve caused seismic shifts in our entertainment timeline — imagine if Spidey had been played years ago by a younger Daniel Radcliffe and left a weird hole in the Harry Potter franchise. Ah, what might have been.
“If it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes a village to abuse one.”
As an embittered attorney who represented dozens of Catholic Church rape and sex-abuse victims over the years, Stanley Tucci lays bare the core of Spotlight, a passionate journalism drama based on the true story of the Boston Globe team that uncovered the vast web of lies, cover-ups, bully-pulpit negotiations, and geographic sleight-of-hand that gave dozens of hypocritical monsters the power and implicit permission to use hundreds of their most vulnerable followers as their playthings for decades, with virtually no accountability or consequences.
Innocents and their parents, obedient parishioners all, looked up to them and shouted, “Won’t someone think of the children?” These collared but uncontrolled sinners looked down and whispered “No.”
Two weeks ago we drove to the other side of the city to see Birdman in the only art-film theater in Indianapolis. I’m annoyed that it later opened more widely and is now showing at two theaters much closer to home, but there’s no use crying over wasted gas. Ever since then I’ve been struggling to translate my reaction into words that capture my enthusiastic response without being mere labels. There’s a scene about that, and it’s been bugging me ever since.
If you know the movie only from its elliptical ads, you’ll quickly learn Birdman is not slapstick superhero spoof. This isn’t Condorman or Superhero Movie with better effects and a more famous cast. Satire is one of the film’s numerous modes, but costumed metahumans and the summer action blockbusters they inhabit are just a couple of the many subjects facing the scrutiny of director Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel), who’s more interested in deeper goals than in brainstorming cheap Batman jokes.