Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Superhero Genre Part 1: The final two best?

Before I begin, I want to take a little time to state my condolences to the family and friends of those victims of the Colorado massacre in the movie theatre. My prayers go out to all of them. This heinous act was beyond deplorable, and completely unnecessary. It’s still unknown why this happened, but hopefully justice will be served. 

As many of you who follow us here on this board know, a popular genre of films we love to review, critique, and in some cases criticize, are the hero/superhero archetype films. And within the last decade or so, there’s been a resurgence of sorts, with this genre. 

Now granted this isn’t the first time this theme has become popular. Remember the 80s with the Superman films? And of course the 90s with Tim Burton’s Batman films. And of course sadly the ‘other’ Batman films that came after that. Let's also not forget the more recent 2000s decade of Spiderman trilogy (with Toby McGuire). 

With that, movies both good and bad have come along, such as The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk series, Judge Dredd, The Blade Trilogy, and the X-Men. Others that started late in the first decade of the new millennium to this current one, are films like Iron Man, Sin City. And for course current ones only a few years old, like Capitan America, Green Lantern, Thor, and to a lesser extent, the G.I. Joe series, with the 2nd film to come out later this summer. However, the films in this part (yes there are two parts to this) I wanted to talk about are the recent Batman film, “The Dark Knight Rises” and the early re-launch of the Spiderman genre, “The Amazing Spiderman”. 

I have seen both films, and I’m impressed by both of them, one far more than the other. That said I did have some concerns for both films, and an even bigger concern with these superhero films in general. More on that later part in part 2. First, the Spiderman film, right at first when I heard they’re was going to be a re-launch of Spiderman with another new film, I immediately thought, “why in the world are they doing a new reboot of this comic book hero so soon after the original trilogy?” 

Think about it, it’s only been 5 years since the original trilogy ended, and this one is beginning. I mean for most repeated film genres of similar characters are typically a minimum of 10 years, why so soon? 

At any rate, I did go see the film, even though I was suspicious of it. Surprisingly, I did enjoy it. It was done pretty well, significantly different compare to the older Toby Magire films, both in approach and in some ways plot structure. I was told by a friend and one of my cousins (both long time Spiderman fans) that how they approached the Peter Parker becoming Spiderman was much more accurate to the first original Spiderman comic. From his problems at school, social acceptance, the first gal he had a crush on (Gwen Stacey, NOT Mary-Jane Watson), and his first major villain (the Lizard/Dr. Connors, not The Green Goblin). The theme itself was a bit darker then the previous films, though I think some parts were a little contrived. Oh and the part about Peter Parker’s parents disappearance (compared to their supposed deaths), not the same as the original comic, (though is more similar to the Ultimate Spiderman storyline). 

In any case overall I was entertained with this film. Though I can see where some might have issues with it, especially if they’re not familiar with the superhero, and make comparisons to the first trilogy. Yes I realize technically I’m doing the same thing, but keep in mind; this would happen either way if you were a complete expert on Spiderman. Remember this re-launch came out 2012. The original trilogy came out in 2007, not even a full decade! I have a major beef with that, but like I said before, I’ll post that argument (among others in Part 2). 

Now for “The Dark Knight Rises”. I must say there has been immense anticipation for this film, especially due the success of the 2nd film. Arguably this was the most anticipated film to come out this year thus far. With what Christopher Nolan did with the previous two films, and with “Inception”, it seemed that this one will not be disappointing. And of course I was NOT disappointed. Not in the least. The plot of the movie was sound, and picked up well from where “The Dark Knight” ended. Much of the original cast from the previous films made their appearances, including a few interesting surprise characters as well which I won’t go into detail about (you will have to see it for yourself). 

It’s not really necessary to see the previous films to understand this one, but it’s highly recommended to do so. At the very least look at the 2nd one (TDK) to get a better understanding on what takes place within this film. I had only one issue with the film was the Catwoman character. No I have no issue with Anne Hathaway’s portrayal of the infamous cat burglar, (her acting was actually pretty good) it just seemed to me that her character was in my opinion, unnecessary. Basically if her character was removed from the film, it wouldn’t compromise anything in the movie. Some of you might not agree, but that’s my opinion. 

Nolan hasn’t made a bad movie yet, and with this latest film, that still stands true. 

Now with these two movies in mind, plus all the previous comic/superhero genre films mentioned, I have a growing concern of where a lot of these films are going and what where Hollywood is going with these films…among many other genre films. More of this in Part 2. 

 In the meantime feel free to add your two cents with what you think of either film mentioned.

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