My latest at Mere O, on literary conflict and the malaise besetting Hollywood:
I highlight this not to jump on Jackson’s team in particular — these are old, staid criticisms of their treatment of The Lord of the Rings by now — but because this trend is endemic in popular culture at the moment. Every superhero must confront not only a pantheon (sometimes literally) of enemies, but a host of internal conflicts. In some cases this is appropriate: Spiderman has long had his constant, nagging self-doubt and guilt; Batman has long been a tortured figure. Superman? Not so much. Yet Superman Returns spent a great deal of time building up Superman’s angsty relationship with the world, and trailers for Man of Steel suggest that director Snyder may take the reboot in the same direction.