Tagged: movies

Like everyone else on the planet, I saw the Avengers super-hero movie, and liked it enough to look forward to the inevitable sequel. But as a long-time (albeit former) reader of The Avengers comic books, I have a list of things I want to see in the sequel.

I want Ultron. The post-credits sequence brought the villainous Thanos into the storyline, but the super-villain I want to see is Ultron. His origin’s connection to Henry Pym and the Vision would provide a narrative foundation for the next movie. His patented encephalo-ray makes for dramatic comic-book panels, but is a bit problematic because he has to keep missing or else it’s game over (victims become brain dead). The Avengers don’t really have any other iconic adversaries. No one wants to see Kang the Conqueror or Immortus in a movie. Once Marvel gets the movie rights for the Fantastic Four or the X-Men, they can pit the Avengers against Dr Doom or Magneto, which would be fun. » Continue Reading…

Hollywood and geek fandom are anxiously awaiting the release of The Avengers, “Earth’s mightiest heroes,” hitting movie screens this May. With the wild success of some superhero movies, and the ignoble failures of others, does a movie with several superheroes offer better odds? The new trailer offers grounds for hope. The movie features Iron Man, star of two megahits ($318 million for the original and $314 million for the sequel), alongside the Hulk (star of two respectable duds; $132 million for the ’03 version and $134 million for the ’08 version), plus Thor and Captain America, both of which had impressive film debuts of their own (Thor: $181 million; Captain America: $176 million). That’s a $1.3 billion franchise (stats from Box Office Mojo). Plus toss in Hawkeye and the Black Widow (and Nick Fury), minor Marvel characters that Marvel has promoted via cameos in other flicks. It can be tricky enough to handle team dynamics in a comic book; I wonder what will happen when a team gets the Hollywood treatment. » Continue Reading…

A new trailer for the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man movie has come out, giving a good idea of the direction the reboot will take. Rebooting a franchise after only 3 movies seems a waste, so this new beginning had better have a good vision, one that justifies starting over. The trailer points to the mystery of Peter Parker’s missing parents, fueling the plot and building Peter’s character. I’m not a fan of childhood flashbacks. It’s taken for granted most super heroes (and many other literary characters) are orphans. Maybe this is to just reduce the narrative complexity, or maybe it’s a necessary ingredient of hero-building. The new movie links Peter’s father to the scientist who becomes The Lizard.

The comic books never had the burden of each issue being taken as a whole, but the movies come out too seldom to be truly episodic, so each movie needs to feel complete. A power franchise like Spider-Man also means the producers have to plant seeds for larger story-arcs and future villains and plot points, but each movie still needs to end with resolutions, and to have resolutions it must first establish complications. So, screenwriter James Vanderbilt has chosen to use Peter’s parents to bind the action with sentiment. We’ll see if that works. » Continue Reading…

Second Spider-Man Trailer, Reviewed