A Double Helping

Film snobbery goes both ways. People who sniff at “popcorn movies” are just as annoying as people who won’t go see indie films.

This week brings two films that are on opposite ends of the pop culture spectrum, but both are excellent in their own ways: “The Amazing Spider-Man,” which opened Wednesday, and “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” which opens in limited release Friday. “Beasts” (above) is the greater artistic success, while “Spider-Man” will make more money, and not just at the box office (I bought myself the “Spider-Man”-themed OPI nail polish set. There was no such set available for “Beasts.”).

In a lot of ways, the films couldn’t be more different, but their differences don’t matter when it comes to the most important measure of a movie: They are both good.

Look, if you only like movies in which things explode, then you don’t like movies — you like explosions. The same goes if you only like indie films (though I’m not sure what you really like in that case. Pretension?). For true movie lovers, “Spider-Man” and “Beasts” have that element of magic that makes it worthwhile to sit in the dark with strangers for a couple of hours. The arrival of these two in the same week shows the range of what movies can do, and those who refuse to see them are depriving themselves of the summer’s best treats.

Kristen Page-Kirby covers film for The Washington Post Express.
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Kristen Page-Kirby · July 5, 2012