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Kevin Smith Makes A Bold Comparison In Addressing Martin Scorsese's Marvel Comments

Kevin Smith would like to respectfully let Martin Scorsese know that he's maybe, kind of, just a little full of it.

The filmmaker and comic book writer responded to Scorsese's recent comments denigrating Marvel films with the observation that, in his book, Scorsese is responsible for the biggest superhero movie ever: 1988's The Last Temptation of Christ. (via Yahoo! Entertainment)

First, a little context: last week, we reported that the Empire magazine had asked ol' Marty if he'd been able to keep up with the glut of superhero flicks which have come to dominate mainstream film. "I tried, you know?" the director said. "But that's not cinema."

If that comment seems a little dismissive, don't worry, it got worse from there. "Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks," Scorsese said. "It isn't the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being."

Well, as perhaps the greatest living film director, Scorsese is certainly entitled to his opinion, a statement that Smith was in full agreement with when asked for his take on the director's remarks. "Martin Scorsese has made such wonderful movies," Smith said. "He's been doing the job since I was a kid. I'm not going to sit and be like, 'I know better than him.' That's his feelings. I would say this, and I'm not countering Mr. Scorsese: Martin Scorsese made perhaps the biggest superhero movie ever made."

Smith clarified that he was indeed referring to the 1988 film which, at the time of its release, was lambasted in certain circles for its... shall we say, unique approach to interpreting Scripture. "The Last Temptation of Christ is a superhero movie," Smith said. "And I'm not diminishing Jesus by any stretch of the imagination. But who is Jesus if not a superhero?"

Leave it to Smith to come up with a hot take which perhaps nobody else on Earth would have; that's why we love the guy. We can only imagine how many religious figures will be lining up to take shots at him over this remark, but come on, he has a point. If walking on water, feeding the multitudes with a loaf of bread and a couple of fish, and returning from the dead aren't superpowers, then we're not sure what qualifies.

Who else has sounded off about Martin Scorsese's Marvel comments?

Smith hasn't been alone in taking issue with Scorsese's sentiments, although most of the rebukes have been from those in the Marvel Studios camp. (To be fair, although Smith will probably never land a juicy role in the MCU, he has written for Daredevil and Spider-Man on the comics side.)

Perhaps the most diplomatic response came from Robert Downey, Jr., who elevated Tony Stark from comics C-lister to worldwide icon, and whose late-career resurgence is thanks in large part to comic book movies. "I appreciate his opinion because I think, it's like anything, we need all of the different perspectives so we can come to center and move on," Downey said. "I'll tell you the truth, I didn't expect [the Marvel Cinematic Universe] to become what it became... I've always had other interests, and according to Scorsese it's not cinema, so I have to take a look at that, you know?" 

It must be difficult to speak with your tongue jammed into your cheek like that. Nick Fury himself, Samuel L. Jackson, was characteristically blunt in his assessment of Scorsese's jab. "I didn't pay much attention to it," he said. "I mean, that's like saying Bugs Bunny ain't funny. Films are films. Everybody doesn't like his stuff either." Jackson presumably paused for shocking dramatic effect before adding, "We happen to, but everybody doesn't."

Guardians of the Galaxy series writer and director James Gunn, meanwhile, tweeted a take that referenced Scorsese's 1988 flick in a slightly different context from Smith. "Martin Scorsese is one of my 5 favorite living filmmakers. I was outraged when people picketed The Last Temptation of Christ without having seen the film," Gunn wrote. "I'm saddened that he's now judging my films in the same way." Wow, that's pretty brutal — but, Gunn being Gunn, he followed up with, "That said, I will always love Scorsese, be grateful for his contribution to cinema, and can't wait to see The Irishman."

Actually, neither can we. At any rate, Smith was obviously being a little flip with his comment about The Last Temptation of Christ, but there was no mistaking the sincerity in his follow-up remarks, in which he expressed his wish that Scorsese had a little better understanding of why movies like the MCU's offerings mean so much to people like him (and us, and probably you, too).

"Martin Scorsese probably doesn't have the emotional attachment to those movies that I do. When he sees those movies, he's like, 'That's a theme park.' When I see those movies, that is the closest I get to being with my dad at a movie theater again," Smith said. "I respect his opinion, but I don't think he has the same emotional attachment that a lot of us have. It's the men and the women that we relate to in the movie, not the 'super' part."

Well said, Silent Bob.