Saturday, January 25, 2014

Man Of Steel, Remakes, and The Downfall of Comic Book Movies

About a week ago, a sudden urge took over on my way back from taking a drive and I decided to rent Man of Steel. My wife and I both watched it. It was a good movie but had its flaws. Particularly, the score didn't resonate with me and there seemed to be a lack of joy in it. It's being presented as the darker side of Superman. I tweeted about it later on.

Then my wife and I started a conversation about comic book movies. I had mentioned that their making a Batman vs Superman movie. Eventually we both arrived to the conclusion that we are tired of super hero movies. To the point that we have established this ultimatum for Hollywood:


(Caution: Spoilers Ahead!!!)

Think about it. How many Spider-man movies are there? Doesn't that seem like a big number? A little excessive maybe.

Well, I've figured out why.

Superhero/comic book adaptations are a sure thing. They are the quintessential cash cow of Hollywood. How much did Iron Man make? How about The Dark Knight Trilogy? Were they good movies? Yes, but how long before they are rebooted, revamped, reshaped, remolded, or whatever the hell else they plan to do it?

You'd think we'd get tired of it. I know I am. But apparently Hollywood doesn't think so.

Comic Book Writer Grant Morrison said, according to Wikipedia, that "The Incredible Hulk Reboot was proof that the audience will forgive you if you reboot the franchise..."

Well, if that didn't open the flood gates, I don't know what did. These days I feel bombarded with superheros I am already familiar with, grew up with in fact, being re-casted or redone.

I feel like after Batman Begins, all the studios wanted to capitalize on rebooting a popular super hero franchise. 

Since we started with Superman, let's take a look at him first. I associate Superman with a pureness. A hero who is friendly, calm but also strong. A hero who stood for Truth, Justice and The American Way. And I feel like the person who embodied that the best was naturally, Christopher Reeve. Made 4 movies from 1978 to 1987. Yes, the last two movies were lacking in both budget, effects and story, but Reeve was a hundred percent committed to the character.

Superman had style, and he was funny and made you happy just watching him fly. But he could also be intense, filled with a righteous burden of holding the reigns of mankind. To keep things in balance and to watch over everyone. 

I mean, as far as acting goes, Christopher Reeve brought it. Remember this iconic scene?

But it was also remarkable to see him riff, pull out a one-liner of wit here and there? I was hoping for something to that effect in man of steel. I mean, all I would need is a little boy asking the last son of krypton, "Hey, Superman. How can I grow up to be big and strong like you?"


I mean the movie made you feel helpless. Yes, they raised the stakes from Superman Returns (which I think the grand plan was boiled down to krypton real estate wheras Man of Steel hiked it up to terraforming Earth for Krypton) but at least Superman Returns had some joy in it. Yes, it was long and in some spots boring, but how can ya beat that recognizable score. I know they wanted Man of Steel to be a separate movie but, can you imagine if it had John Williams included?

"By God...I'm on Mars."
But, in a way, Hollywood has tried with little success. You know how much Green Lantern made Worldwide? $219 Million...and it is considered a flop.

John Carter, a movie I actually like, made $284 Million and is considered a flop. But why. It's different, its fun and it has a little mystery and a lot of heart. It boggles my mind how movies that made so much can still flop.

And now I hear they are starting Ant-Man, which looks interesting and, mor importantly, different. But when are we gonna have The Flash? The Midnighter? Shazzam? The Phantom Stranger? Moon Knight? The Maxx?

When is Hollywood going to take a risk and be original?

(P.S. If you could have only one super power, what would it be?)

1 comment:

Caroline Robinson said...

My one and only super power: Flying, definitely flying because I am so freaked out by heights and I am the worst flier now. When I have to fly I need to keep my hands clenched around the armrests in order to keep the plane from...(you know) the "c" word.
Re: soundtracks: Had a great idea last night for a movie short. Will let you and your wifey know.