Super is a low budget indie film that never got the same kind of attention that similar super-hero themed movie Kick-Ass got. The parallels are somewhat superficial – both movies are about ordinary folk who put on costumes to fight crime but they are stand-alone films in their own right. I loved Kick Ass (read my review) and as much as I wanted to like Super (it’s got Ellen Page!), it’s just too much of a narrative and conceptual mess to truly fully enjoy.
With the resounding box office success of The Avengers, the summer blockbuster season has gotten off to the perfect start. To date, the Joss Whedon-helmed superhero movie spectacular has already grossed over US$800 million worldwide and there appears no reason to suppose that it will not surpass the billion dollar mark.
With science-fiction and fantasy themed movies capturing the imagination of the movie-going public, let’s take stock of what is the come in the months ahead and let’s speculate upon how well (or poorly – remember John Carter?) they will be received.
Despite all the hype that has been surrounding The Avengers movie, I had this nagging suspicion that the movie just could not live up to the huge expectations being placed on it. The key issue was whether writer-director Joss Whedon could juggle the four main characters (viz. Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and Captain America) and supporting characters (viz. Black Widow, Hawkeye & Nick Fury) and provide a coherent narrative at the same time.
With all the hype surrounding Marvel’s Avengers, it’s easy to forget that Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight Rises opens in July and still remains one of the most hotly-anticipated films of 2012. A new trailer was released a few days ago and as trailers go, there’s not much slam bang action to go around but there are enough hints to suggest what will be transpire in this final installment of Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.
Making a superhero movie is a fine balancing act. How to satisfy the comic book geeks without being incomprehensible to the general movie-going public? So far, I think The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Incredible Hulk and maybe Spider-Man 2, did a grand job in hitting that middle ground, the rest have been either too faithful to the comic book (Watchmen) or not faithful at all (the X-movies).
It’s been a long time since a second tier DC Comics character has been given a feature film adaptation and so much has been riding on this Green Lantern movie for Warners. With the recent successes of the Marvel film adaptations, Warners need a DC comic book movie hit. And despite the critical mauling that this movie has been universally receiving, I will stick out my neck to predict that Green Lantern will be a box office hit.
Well, considering that director Matthew Vaughn (Stardust, Kickass) signed on with X-Men: First Class only in May last year, it’s amazing that he has managed to put together probably the best X-Men movie so far in the franchise. In fact, I will be bold enough to declare that X-Men: First Class is probably the best superhero team movie ever! Not that that is a grand achievement in itself when you consider that the only real competitors (other than the first X-Men trilogy) are the two truly awful Fantastic Four flicks.
Of all the movies slated for release this summer blockbuster season, the one which seemed to lack the necessary geek credibility was Green Lantern, starring Ryan Reynolds. The first trailer did not help this perception as it played more like a comedy (think: Batman & Robin) than a dark epic superhero drama (think: The Dark Knight). But since then, Warners has taken great pains to address that imbalance with a second trailer which has certainly raised the expectations amongst the geek community.
With the movie release coming up very soon and perhaps concerned about public perception (non-geek), a third (and final) trailer has been released – narrated by GL Toma Re (as voiced by the excellent Geoffrey Rush), this trailer gives the requisite background into the GL universe so that neophytes may also understand what Green Lantern is all about. Take a look and you will be convinced that the Green Lantern movie will be a superhero action-adventure to look forward to.
This, for me, is the superhero movie of the summer, mainly because of what I have seen of Michael Fassbinder’s Magneto in the trailers. In addition, I am also putting a certain amount of faith in director Matthew Vaughn’s ability to make this work (but since his competition is the risible X-Men 3 and Wolverine movies, it will not be difficult).
Fox has issued four trailers focusing on the very subject matter of the film – the first class of mutants tutored by Professor X and Magneto viz. Banshee, Mystique, Beast and Havok. Whilst all look intriguing, it only serves to emphasize that the film deviates too much from the comic book to make it an absolute winner.
This is obviously an attempt to link this prequel with the X-Men trilogy in the eyes of movie-goers. Therefore, we get a Havok who is older than Cyclops, a different Angel, a young Banshee and a Mystique that was formerly an X-Man! Only the Beast remains from the original comic book team.
Of course, only geeks like me – who grew up loving the original X-Men – will be pissed off and bothered about this whilst watching the film.
The best compliment I can bestow upon Thor is that I was expecting more when it ended. The two-hour duration whizzed past so quickly that it actually felt short. Kudos to director Kenneth Branagh for bringing to life a comic book super-hero story that seems almost unfilmable.
Brilliantly interweaving two stories – one, in Asgard and the other on Midgard (i.e. Earth!) – Thor is delivered almost naturally for a movie that involves Norse deities. There’s not a single moment where you begin to feel that the concept is silly or corny – in line with other Marvel stories, the believability quotient is always high. No mean feat.
I read a lot of super-hero comic books growing up in the 60s and one of my favorite characters was the X-Man, Cyclops. You know, the guy who could shoot red laser beams from his eyes, functioned as team leader (in the absence of the crippled Professor X), hooked up with the only girl (Marvel Girl, natch aka Jean Grey) in the team and possessed all the qualities that I looked up to as a young pre-teen child.
Of course, in the subsequent years, Cyclops’ life got a whole lot more complicated and his character has been revised to such an unrecognizable extent (as with most comic book super-heroes) that I have lost all interest in him (and super-hero comic books in general).
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER OFFICIAL TRAILER
This is already looking like an AMAZING year for superhero movies. Based on the trailers of Thor and X-Men: First Class, it appears that directors/producers are pulling out all the stops to make superhero movies work on every level – for the geek and casual movie-goer alike. Finally, Captain America is given a proper trailer and it looks like yet another winner. Every comic book geek knows Cap’s origin story and I am hoping that the promise shown here is fulfilled and justice is done to the vision of creators Joe Simon (now in his late 90s!) and Jack “King” Kirby (rest in peace). The movie opens on 22nd July.
Initial images have been released for the upcoming Matthew Vaughn-helmed X-flick (above). The picture shows the early X-Men in costumes resembling the original comic books (although why is Mystique part of the original X-Men is beyond me). Also prominent are Jennifer Jones’ Emma Frost and Kevin Bacon’s Sebastian Shaw (as the Hellfire Club plays a key role). At front of both “sides” are Magneto (Michael Fassbinder, left) and non-bald Prof X (James McAvoy, right). Is that the Beast or Nightcrawler lurking in the middle? Frankly, I am not looking forward to this at the moment. I will need to see the first trailer to allay my fears.
I liked the 5-minute Comicon trailer that was leaked online months ago so it was a no-brainer to also like this official teaser trailer for next year’s Marvel Studio’s blockbuster of our fave Norse God of Thunder. The trailer basically shares the same opening sequence of Thor being questioned by Agent Coulsen (of SHIELD) before moving over to Asgard wherein Odin banishes Thor. We also see Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster, the Destroyer and Thor in full battle action. Those fight sequences look quite awesome, filled with Kirbyesque power! Yum.
There were only two superhero movie in 2010 viz. Iron Man 2 and Kick Ass (while Scott Pilgrim vs The World is based on a comic book, it certainly is not a traditional superhero movie). The former was a box office smash while the latter was a critical success. If you think the age of the superhero movie is over, think again.
In the years ahead, there will be many more superhero movies released and GEEK OUT! will attempt to give you the skinny on what is what is not as far as these upcoming movies are concerned.
Okay so I’m watched this episode between two episodes of The Event, so I suppose that this light-hearted family dramedy is going to suffer in comparison. So if the show lacks an edge, maybe that’s part of the agenda. Which is why I’m getting bored of the series already. Unless something really interesting happens soon.
This latest episode of No Ordinary Family grapples with one important question – is telling a lie acceptable in order to protect your loved ones? Yes, folks, the infamous “white lie” issue. For the Powells, keeping a secret about their new found abilities is critical to protect themselves from people who would abuse such information.
I must confess that I was originally determined to not like No Ordinary Family due to its blatant allusions to the Fantastic Four and the Incredibles but I am still giving it a chance after viewing this second episode. The writers are taking their time to develop the plotlines and characters and so far, I am sufficiently intrigued to continue…
The superhero TV series is baaacccckkkk! And with Julie Benz (Rita from Dexter) as well! If you’re looking for reference points, of course, it’s Fantastic Four via the Incredibles. The Powell family survives an air crash into the Amazon River (whilst on holiday) and return home with super-powers (yeah read: FF and Cosmic Space Cloud).
Adapted from the hyper-violent comic book of the same name, created by writer Mark Millar and artist John Romita Jr, director Matthew Vaughn’s (Layer Cake) vigilante superhero film tells the tale of an average New York teenager who decides to don a costume and fight crime. For real. His superhero activities inspires many others to follow his lead with dangerous consequences for all concerned.
The movie stars Aaron Johnson as the titular character, Nicolas Cage, Chloe Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Mark Strong.
Kick Ass opens on 16th March. Check out the trailer below.