Monday, 7 May 2007

Marvel Comics movies, friend or foe?

I decided to write this little piece about the ongoing pehnomenon of the last 5 years or so. I am talking about the behemoth of movie creation that is called "the Marvel Comics movie".
You know the drill, get a comic book character dress him in a fancy hollywood suit and present him with a ribbon to the movie audiences that otherwise wouldnt give a toss about him/her. In an era where Hollywood is dying for inspiration (or at least that is what executives say) the pages of comic books have become the new screenplays. So how do those movies fare I wonder, let's see some pros and cons :

Stan Lee (old guy,creator of spiderman) : "Move out of the way Spiderman here comes Stan "the man" Lee"
Spiderman : "You know Stan, technically this written piece is dedicated to me".
Stan Lee : "Shut up Spidey! All I need is a rubber to erase you out of existence!"
Spiderman : "Ok Stan...Whatever you say...You are da man! (senile old fool...)"

Spiderman:Oh, good old Peter Parker. Still fighting the good fight for a bunch of New Yorkers that hates and loathes him. How has the silver screen treated him I wonder...

The good : The costume has remained unchanged from the classic comic book look, he is always the average joe fighting the good fight. MJ is always there to love him and hug him and and... despite him being an absolute dork. Still you cant fight it, you root for the guy he is so similar to you anyway (well if you take out the fact that he sticks to walls and shoots webs out of his ass, sorry hands, that is, lol)

The bad : For some reason, he constantly loses his mask all the time(in 3 movies now he always lost it or got it torn apart at some point, kind of stupid really). I mean by now half of New York knows who Spiderman is so why bother with the secret identity thing. MJ is getting progressively whinier with each new installment and she is a constant source of trouble. 3 movies havε passed, 3 times she was abducted, 3 times she needed saving, it's all getting a bit tedious. And a note to Sam Raimi, I like the 3rd movie but it should have really been Spiderman vs Venom all the way. Why couldnt you see that...

...and the ugly: Well we reached the third movie. It is time to lose some heat and let the franchise catch its breath. Unfortunately, this wont be happening because Spidey makes ridiculous money at the box office so there will be a Spiderman 4 movie sooner than necessary.

Daredevil : "Strange my radar sense doesnt pick up a movie sequel in the horizon.It must be something I ate..."

Daredevil : He is not one of the more mainstream properties marvel comics has but he is considered one of the coolest characters by Marvel Comics fans. Eventually, he got his own movie....

The good: Daredevil, daredevil in dark alleys and daredevil being the coolest blind person alive ( I always liked that aspect of the character since it sends a strong message about "people with disabilities really being people with special abilities". Bullseye is so over the top, it is fun. And Jennifer Garner, yammy..!

The bad: The editing was too quick, the movie was (literally) too dark and there was just something wrong about Ben Affleck grinning like a fool all the time. "You know Ben this wasnt an Axe commercial it was an actual M-O-V-I-E !". The final fight with Kingpin was a joke and probably the shortest fight in the history of good guy/bad guy fights.

...and the ugly : I dont see another movie happening soon since box office dictates otherwise. It is sad since Daredevil is one of the most "human" characters that Marvel Comics has created and I would have liked them to give it another shot...

Hulk : "Hulk wants sequel. Hulk's next movie will smash the box office....Puny humans"

The Hulk : The green goliath. The unstoppable destruction machine. The dumbest superhero? ever made. Eventually he got his own movie but how was it...

The good : Ang Lee (the director) tried something really ambitious and very intelligent. He attempted to make a proper movie about a fictional character. It was humane, it was smart, it had the best editing I've ever seen. Eric Bana was ace as Bruce Banner and Jennifer Connely's eyes were there to lure us, males, once again. To this day I watch this movie and I cant decide if it is a failed experiment or the work of a genius (I am leaning more towards the latter myself).

The bad : This movie was too intelligent for the average audience and too DAMN intelligent for the popcorn generation of movie goers. Most people wanted to see Hulk smashing shit for 2 hours and couldnt care less about anything else. Nick Nolte was also so nuts in this movie. I mean he was so out of there that I think he could easily take Hulk on and beat him with his little finger,lol.

...and the ugly: The movie tanked commercially, so there wont be a direct sequel to this. I guess I am just disappointed that there isnt a corner in the movie market for an intelligent blockbuster (The Hulk is as close as it has come in my opinion). This isnt necessarily a bad thing since the new Hulk movie has Ed Norton and Liv Tyler in it and focuses on a more traditional style of Hulk story , Bruce Banner on the run. Still, I would have liked to see the original cast reprising their roles...

Blade : "Man, I tell you I am blessed.I am black, I wear dark shades and I feature in this really dark photo. Noone can see me blush with shame for the utter mess that Blade : Trinity was..."

Blade: A really C-list character of Marvel Comics showed the way for comic book movies. You better believe it...

The good : Wesley Snipes is Blade. Never has an actor identified so much with a lead character in this type of movie. It is uncanny I am telling you. The 2 first movies were dark enough to be gritty, fun enough to be good action movies, cool enough to justify repeated viewings. And then...

The bad: ...came the 3rd movie. Except from the uber sexy Jessica Biel (Jessica Biel as in the woman not as in the actress if you catch my drift,lol), this movie was shit. Vampire poodles anyone... Nuff said. This was crap and not even its kickass soundtrack could save it. Wesley Snipes was bored, if not asleep through out, the Dracula was a boy band reject and Kevin Reynolds was just annoying...

...and the ugly: The 3rd movie was directed from the guy who wrote the two previous movies and Batman begins, David Goyer. It is still a mystery to this day how did the guy who essentially expertly "created" the Blade character for the silver screen misfired so badly in the only movie he had total control of. Oh well, anyone is untitled to a bad day at the office I guess,lol.

Electra : "I am sexy and I am Greek. I made a movie once in Hollywood, still trying to forget that one."

Electra : The first superhero of greek origin on celluloid (hooray!). Jennifer Garner in the lead role (double hooray and a backflip for that one). So was it any good?

The Good: Jennifer Garner and... Jennifer Garner (the woman Jennifer Garner). Hey wait a minute I already said that. Well there is nothing else to it really,lol. Some originally conceived bad guys with visually cool powers.

The Bad: The kid ninja or whatever that girl was....I cant really blame Jennifer Garner for this utter crap, I dont think even Meryl Stryp could have saved this movie from disaster (although to be honest I am pretty sure by this point Meryl Stryp can save ANY movie from disaster, she is the ultimate female super-actress after all). The special effects were crap, Jennifer Garner was like a zombie throughout( I almost expected her to grin like her husband Ben Affleck but she preferred the sleep walking approach,lol). The story was bad, the bad guys were bad (ok that actually sounds like a copliment but trust me... it isnt,lol). Essentially what could go wrong went wrong...

...and the ugly : Well not Jennifer Garner for sure,lol. This whole movie is ugly, ugly as sin I might add.

Ghost Rider : " I heard global warming would set us all on fire eventually but this is ridiculous!"

Ghost Rider : Although never an A-list character in the Marvel Universe, he is probably by far the coolest looking character. I mean a guy with a flaming skull riding a bike, spreading justice to the wicked. It doesnt get much cooler than that...

The good : First things first, I like Eva Mendes a lot (you got to love those curves man,lol). Now that this is out of the way let's talk about the movie. Nicolas Cage was an odd choice (too old for the role) but due to some sort of miracle he actually pulled it off (to the best of his ability) not being his usual nutty over the top self. Eva Mendes would look gorgeous even if she wore a potato sack and the Ghost Rider special effects are unbelievably cool. Still...

The bad: I think Cage was miscast.He does the best he can but the role just doesnt suit him. Eva Mendes doesnt have anything to do in the movie ( and no skimpy outfits for her how criminal is The bad guys make the ones in the Electra movie look good and that says a lot. Never have I seen such short,boring, uneventful good guy/bad guy fights. The movie is overall very slowly paced, so I guess insomniacs will love it.

...and the ugly : What could have been a top looking movie of manic action ended up an utterly boring affair. A good premise wasted by a director with limited vision. Ok, it was only a popcorn movie but it could have been a way cooler poprcorn movie (you know with extra sizzling butter and all,lol)

Wolverine : "Hey guys does my butt look fat in this outfit?"
Other X-men: "Yep"
Wolverine : " I knew I spend too much time seating on my ass blogging about nonsense..."
Other X-men: "You are not alone there..."

X-men : The best comic book allegory (dont worry folks I am not getting all philosophical on you using "literate" words, so put your holly water and crosses away for the time being,lol) for social racism and the burden of someone being "different" from the rest. The premise was there but what about the movies...

The good: The first movie did a lot with a minimal budget and put the comic book movie on the map with mainstream movie goers. Suddenly, it was ok to "like" a comic book movie and you werent regarded as some sort of weird geek if you talked about how badass Wolverine was (let's face it he is badass, not as badass as Deadpool of course,lol). The second movie was phenomenally good in all respects, essentially bigger and better and regarded by a lot of people as the best comic book movie ever. Then came the beast of the third movie(cool special effects)...

The bad: The third movie is kind of hard to judge. The change of direction from Brian Singer to Brett Ratner is like going from being a Transformers fan to being a Smurfs hardcore fan. Still the mainstream audience loved it because it was accessible and fast with lots of action and no "real" dialogue between the characters. People that had more expectations of it hated it with passion though. I mean lead characters die left and right with no emotional impact to anyone, the dialogue is more cheesy than acceptable and Wolverine behaves like some twisted castrated version of him. He just isnt him and that ladies and gentlement is unacceptable by the equally nuts Deadpoolite,lol.

...and the ugly: Where does the franchise go after this. There are so many characters left to show on the silver screen so the potential is there. The thing is if the movie producers are going to go with the flow of the third movie then there is a chance of alienating the comic book fans who are the heart and blood of this franchise(and all franchises to be honest). Can such a risk be taken..? (who cares...I just wanted to write something that sounded really dark and ominous,lol)

Deadpool : " I wonder if I am a bit UNDERarmed for the Deadpool movie premiere ...They'd better give me an Oscar as well, I dont carry all these guns just for show you know..."

Lastly there is the
DEADPOOL movie (not really but there are some rumours that it is going to be made and I cant wait for it...probably the only person that is going to watch it as well,lol)

I think I havent forgotten any other movie based on Marvel Comics creations so lets call it a day and go eat a sandwich or something. Hey, Deadpoolite needs to eat and get the energy to drive the world insane. It is a dirty job but someone has to do it,lol.

Take care all!

p.s. "Merc" is short for "Mercenary" as in "soldier for hire" for the uninitiated among you.


giorgos said...

Keep it going...I am here to read all about your next thing!!!

Deadpoolite said...

Thanks for the thumbs up! I did forget the Fantastic Four movie though so I have to whip myself up with a chain of sausages for self punishment (that is officially too wacky and a bit kinky for my stomach, man you gotta love those sausages ....yammy)!