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Denis Villeneuve Says ‘Cut and Paste’ Marvel Movies Have ‘Turned Us Into Zombies’

Revolutionary

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Another day, another auteur weighing in on the artistic substance of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Almost in time for the two-year anniversary of when Martin Scorsese compared Marvel movies to theme parks, “Dune” director Denis Villeneuve has sounded off on what he thinks about many of the “cut and paste” Marvel movies dominating movie theaters in recent years. Villeneuve spoke to El Mundo (via The Direct) about the MCU, and why big-budget movies are still relevant when they’re coming from master storytellers.
During the interview, the outlet pointed out that it is contradictory that blockbuster movies are the ones who want to become the conscience against the drift of capitalism. On the contrary, Villeneuve admitted that he thinks that big-budget movies are still artistically relevant, citing notable filmmakers like Christopher Nolan and Alfonso Cuaron:
"Just think of the golden age of Hollywood to see that commercial films can make a different artistic proposal and, therefore, political. I have never felt like a loss or an impediment to have a generous budget to do what I wanted to do. Upside down. Who said that a movie on a big budget can't be artistically relevant at the same time? I am currently thinking of people like Christopher Nolan or Alfonso Cuarón."

When the interviewer cited Martin Scorsese's comments about the idea that superhero films are not cinema, Villeneuve agreed to the former's sentiment, saying that "these types of movies have turned [the audience] into zombies a bit" due to its "cut and paste" formula:

"Perhaps the problem is that we are in front of too many Marvel movies that are nothing more than a "cut and paste" of others. Perhaps these types of movies have turned us into zombies a bit ... But big and expensive movies of great value there are many today. I don't feel capable of being pessimistic at all."


Just like when Marty Scorcese rightfully criticized the quality of MCU films, the manchildren of the internet are fuming and trying to shit on Villenueve's MUCH superior films (there is no debate - there is no MCU film currently even CLOSE to the level of a Villeneuve film). All while trying to defend their favorite corporation churning out mediocrity to turn their brains into mush so that they can loyally buy merchandise for Disney's newest product... until the next one comes along and they do it all over again!



These are the kinds of "comebacks" you come up with when your brain has consumed too much Marvel:
 

TheCockatrice

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there is no debate - there is no MCU film currently even CLOSE to the level of a Villeneuve film

Wrong. Guy is an idiot just like Scorsese. Fine to not like those movies, but denying the fact that a lot of people love and enjoy them, because you know, tastes and shit and just posting hateful shit is dumb af. I love Blade Runner 2049 and Dune and Avengers and everything else. Just watch the movies and enjoy them. Stop posting dumb shit just to attract attention to your audience. It's ridiculous.
 
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Dr_Salt

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Wrong. Guy is an idiot just like Scorsese. Fine to not like those movies, but denying the fact that a lot of people love and enjoy them, because you know, tastes and shit and just posting hateful shit is dumb af. I love Blade Runner 2049 and Dune and Avengers and everything else. Just watch the movies and enjoy them. Stop posting dumb shit just to attract attention to your audience. It's ridiculous.
Doesn't eliminate the fact they are cookie cutter movies with the same plot structure. Yea they are well made and fun but he is right in that respect.
 

TrueLegend

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Marvel is like Mr.Beast Youtube Channel so I get where he is coming from...but well that's how things go. Marvel movies vary from director to director but they are largely overrated. Still, some of them are really good movies.
 
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CGiRanger

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I mean, he's not wrong. There's definitely a cut-and-paste or assembly-line element to these Marvel films where originality, let alone even bare creativity, is pretty much not a thing at all.

But yeah, I just don't watch them. At some point they'll wear themselves out to the general audience as well.
 
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SafeOrAlone

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MCU is more than the sum of it's parts. The individual films have room to grow, yet the shared universe is innovative in the film industry. It's not just a marketing tactic, it's fun and rewarding for fans.

The movies aren't perfect but they are special & beloved for valid reasons.

I'd love to see Villenue get in there someday, if he is allowed the appropriate amount of creative freedom. He's one of my favorite directors.
 
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TurnOneYeti

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Some of these "cookie cutter" MCU films are a lot of fun and they are cinematic representations of comics and characters many people grew up reading as a child. It hits an inner child, nostalgia spot kinda like a new Mario game. Tell me a Mario game that isn't formulaic ... How many devs are on social media complaining how Myamoto is making us run around collecting stars again to defeat Bowser? Sorry the MCU movies weren't clinically acclaimed at your latest Cannes Film Festival you pretentious douch.
 
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Revolutionary

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Wrong. Guy is an idiot just like Scorsese. Fine to not like those movies, but denying the fact that a lot of people love and enjoy them, because you know, tastes and shit and just posting hateful shit is dumb af. I love Blade Runner 2049 and Dune and Avengers and everything else. Just watch the movies and enjoy them. Stop posting dumb shit just to attract attention to your audience. It's ridiculous.
No one is saying you can't enjoy dumb movies. I recently enjoyed the hell out of a dumb movie called Malignant. The difference is that people like you are completely incapable of admitting that they're dumb and vapid movies. The fact that you speak of The Avengers in the same breath as Blade Runner 2049 says it all. A concentrated study on what it means to be human in a world where the lines of humanity have been blurred... versus a movie about a group of superheroes in bad Halloween costumes (we're talking about Avengers 2012, right?) learning to work together. Those two films are on the same level to you? Come on, man.

I must reiterate: there is no debate - there isn't a single MCU movie on the level of a Villenueve movie. The Gunn movies are probably the closest, mostly because they actually have a distinct director feel. You see the GOTG movies and you think "this a James Gunn film" (especially if you're familiar with his work). Watch any of the other MCU movies and you'll realize they may as well have been constructed in a factory on an assembly line. The directors barely have a say in their own films lol. Why do you think they're always scooping up newish directors for MCU movies? Because they won't make a fuss when Disney execs constantly meddle, like when Edgar Wright said "fuck this" and left Ant-Man.

I realize the previous paragraph probably means nothing to you, someone who just wants to go into a theater, eat popcorn, and laugh & clap at the moving pictures... but to people who are actually interesting in the art of filmmaking (like Scorcese and Vellenueve), the MCU is a mostly sad state of affairs. At least try to understand the viewpoint before getting defensive and calling them idiots lol
 

Umbasaborne

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Hes not wrong, its all the same shit ( i still dig it) i love all these reddit lurkers screeching at him on twitter like he gives a shit. “REEEEE DONT MAKE FUN UH MUH MAVEL MOOOBIES REEEE!” These are the same morons who were sad that avengers end game didnt get best picture at the oscars. I dont hate marvel, i like the movies quite abit. But they are shallow pop corn pics, not much else to them. Some hit harder than others like winter soldier, but its really all the same shit
 
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He has a point. The look, lighting, the cinematography is pretty much cut 'n paste across all films. That was part of the reason Edgar Wright jumped ship from Ant Man. Even the TV shows look movie like....purely because they have all the visual cues from the movies. That said Natalie Holt the composer from LoKi deserves a payrise, her score was phenomenal.

 
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TheCockatrice

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No one is saying you can't enjoy dumb movies. I recently enjoyed the hell out of a dumb movie called Malignant. The difference is that people like you are completely incapable of admitting that they're dumb and vapid movies. The fact that you speak of The Avengers in the same breath as Blade Runner 2049 says it all. A concentrated study on what it means to be human in a world where the lines of humanity have been blurred... versus a movie about a group of superheroes in bad Halloween costumes (we're talking about Avengers 2012, right?) learning to work together. Those two films are on the same level to you? Come on, man.

I must reiterate: there is no debate - there isn't a single MCU movie on the level of a Villenueve movie. The Gunn movies are probably the closest, mostly because they actually have a distinct director feel. You see the GOTG movies and you think "this a James Gunn film" (especially if you're familiar with his work). Watch any of the other MCU movies and you'll realize they may as well have been constructed in a factory on an assembly line. The directors barely have a say in their own films lol. Why do you think they're always scooping up newish directors for MCU movies? Because they won't make a fuss when Disney execs constantly meddle, like when Edgar Wright said "fuck this" and left Ant-Man.

I realize the previous paragraph probably means nothing to you, someone who just wants to go into a theater, eat popcorn, and laugh & clap at the moving pictures... but to people who are actually interesting in the art of filmmaking (like Scorcese and Vellenueve), the MCU is a mostly sad state of affairs. At least try to understand the viewpoint before getting defensive and calling them idiots lol

Oh shut the fuck up. Admit they're dumb? No, most Marvel movies are great. People enjoy different things. People like you need to learn that.
 

DeafTourette

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adults lining up to see superhero movies is a bit concerning to me
So, as an adult, you shouldn't like animated films, either?

Or anime?

Or any of a number of things some call childish?

Like videogames?
 

JimmyRustler

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Well, he‘s right. I‘ve been avoiding all Marvel movies until after Endgame and then watched all of them in a row. The fast food comparison earlier was accurate. They were entertaining and all but holy shit did I have enough of it by the end.

Thank god there are still some sane studios out there giving Villeneuve and the likes money. I‘m gonna honor this by watching Dune next week.

What I find concerning by the way is just how long this Marvel era is dragging on now with literally no end in sight. There were always some eras where certain things were popular but never this long. People do have become Zombies, so he‘s right by that too.
 
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The Gunn movies are probably the closest, mostly because they actually have a distinct director feel. You see the GOTG movies and you think "this a James Gunn film" (especially if you're familiar with his work).
That's because Gunn is actually a real director that makes real movies and not a complete hack.

Some MCU films are so incredibly formulaic I think it is a stretch to even call it a film. Feels like it was created by some sort of algorithm.
 
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Amiga

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sour grapes. and MCU movies are just 2-3 per year. why isn't anyone else trying to make a different kind of blockbuster. is it because most of the people with original ideas are canceled?

and he is one to talk. the things that are making him famous are (BR and Dune) are based on older popular works. he should make something original and successful 1st before lecturing.
 
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and he is one to talk. the things that are making him famous are (BR and Dune) are based on older popular works. he should make something original and successful 1st before lecturing.
What? Prisoners, Sicario and Arrival established his credibility long before BR and Dune.

Why am I not surprised someone defending MCU movies does not know this.
 

mortal

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I agree with Villeneuve.

It's not like I even hate the IPs, but I am so tired of the cinematic universe thing for sure. Most of it washes over me tbh and it's visually uninteresting.
If we're going to see more comic book adaptations, give me more stylistically distinctive genre films.

More Logan & Joker, less MCU & DCCU.
 
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Revolutionary

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Oh shut the fuck up. Admit they're dumb? No, most Marvel movies are great. People enjoy different things. People like you need to learn that.
Dumb doesn't mean bad. It means vapid, lacking substance, etc. Like I said, it's fine to enjoy dumb things. Hell, it's fine to enjoy bad things. Just don't act like a baby and call people idiots when they rightfully criticize your new favorite Disney product.
sour grapes. and MCU movies are just 2-3 per year. why isn't anyone else trying to make a different kind of blockbuster. is it because most of the people with original ideas are canceled?

and he is one to talk. the things that are making him famous are (BR and Dune) are based on older popular works. he should make something original and successful 1st before lecturing.
Probably because original blockbusters don't have decades worth of characters and lore to fall upon like Marvel and DC, so they're much harder to get off the ground and get funding for, etc.

As for your second paragraph... really, dude? Enemy? Arrival? Sicario? Prisoners? Those are the films that put on him on the map BEFORE he started messing with famous IPs. Don't be one of those fanboys who spout dumb shit. You seem smarter than that.
 
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Amiga

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What? Prisoners, Sicario and Arrival established his credibility long before BR and Dune.

Why am I not surprised someone defending MCU movies does not know this.
small/medium scale, not big blockbusters.

Spielberg did many original blockbusters, same with Cameron, Scorsese, Nolan, Scott.

he is nowhere near that group yet to be quoted. especially on the subject of "blockbuster movies".
 
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Amiga

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As for your second paragraph... really, dude? Enemy? Arrival? Sicario? Prisoners? Those are the films that put on him on the map BEFORE he started messing with famous IPs. Don't be one of those fanboys who spout dumb shit. You seem smarter than that.
those movies didn't make him famous beyond avid cinema watchers.
 
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Did he get a new Marvel contract or something? Weirdly heated response to something that has nothing to do with him.

Also, this exchange in that tweet made me laugh out loud:
He might be overly sensitive right now due to the response his newest flick Demonic is getting (spoiler: it's shit and people hate it)

I think people are starting to realize that District 9 was some major anomaly and he, in reality, doesn't have the ability to make a decent film.

It's actually pretty remarkable - his films have progressively been getting worse since District 9.
 

Amiga

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I mean he's not wrong. But popcorn flicks will always have a place in cinema. I just disagree with the glowing reviews and such. I mean Black Panther does not deserve to be held at the same review % as say, The Green Mile, or Citizen Kane.

Ted talks and comedy shows are people standing and talking. they can be 10/10 for what they do. they share a format but not the purpose.
 
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mortal

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These are the kinds of "comebacks" you come up with when your brain has consumed too much Marvel:
God, I fucking hate hype culture sometimes. Is hype really the sole means of gauging the merit of art now? Ridiculous.

Also, that comeback doesnt even make sense either. Not only are many fans of both director's work and the Dune novel looking forward to this film.
Likening it to Avatar, one of the most commercially successful blockbuster films ever, as a likely failure is probably one of the most foolish things I've ever seen. Like what?
 

Amiga

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He might be overly sensitive right now due to the response his newest flick Demonic is getting (spoiler: it's shit and people hate it)

I think people are starting to realize that District 9 was some major anomaly and he, in reality, doesn't have the ability to make a decent film.

It's actually pretty remarkable - his films have progressively been getting worse since District 9.
he should switch to safe stuff like Blade Runner and Dune and people will think he is a genius.
 

Revolutionary

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He might be overly sensitive right now due to the response his newest flick Demonic is getting (spoiler: it's shit and people hate it)

I think people are starting to realize that District 9 was some major anomaly and he, in reality, doesn't have the ability to make a decent film.

It's actually pretty remarkable - his films have progressively been getting worse since District 9.
Yeah I saw Demonic. I'm not as negative on it as other people are, but it is indeed another stinker for Neil. I guess I can understand why he's so cranky lol
 
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He wants to direct some marvel cookie cutter stuff.

God speed. Please house of mouse.


If you don't want to see Ripley with a Smartgun...well....there's no hope for you.

 
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Oh no someone asked him about stupid Marvel movies and he gave his opinion on stupid Marvel movies!

I really need to watch Blade Runner 2049. I think the only Villeneuve film I've seen so far is Arrival which was just okay for me mostly because I don't think the sci-fi idea it had was actually any good.
 
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