Smiley Spot: Summer Superhero Movies
How’s your summer treating you?
That amazing, huh? I’m glad to hear that! I had a great time touring Eastern Europe and the Middle East, with an amazing group of people. I’d like to thank all of my great UsyFaber editors for helping out with Kirby month.
Now that I am back in blog mode, I wanted to share my thoughts on the ‘Big Four’ superhero movies this summer.
(There’s a funny story about me and Warner Bros’ Green Lantern. This was the movie I was most excited to see; so our fearless leader Andrew Uys got us all tickets for an advance screening. But, after all the trouble he went through, I was unable to attend that screening. So I caught the last showing in Toronto, with three other people in the audience. Special thanks to my buddy, Eli, for putting up with ym crazy enthusiasm!)
In my opinion, I think that all four were top notch and comic fans were immensely lucky this summer. Do I think that these movies were perfect? No. But I don’t think that the problems detract from the sheer pleasure of seeing these characters on the big screen.
So I am going to talk about the movies in the order that I saw them, and share my thoughts on each:
What Rocked: As the first of the four movies, Thor really sold the fun side to superheroes. Three quarters of the movie was the titular superhero flirting with Natalie Portman. How is that not escapist fantasy at its best? On a larger scale, Thor really sold the main character and the difference between superpowers and super-heroism. Of all of the characters slated for The Avengers film, Thor is the one I most want to get the girl in the end.
What Rocked Less: Though an awesome movie from start to finish, the movie did not really have an ending. The main plotline of the film really fizzled at the end because the big fight appears to be delayed for The Avengers movie. Still, I want to see more Asgard. I want more Mjolnir action. And I want a lot more Portman/Hemsworth action in the future.
X-Men: First Class
What Rocked: After months of negative speculation, First Class won critical acclaim and made us care about Mutants once more. The lead characters sold their emotional journeys and told a story that was fun to watch. The film also touched on important issues like racism and teenage angst. Also, I still cannot get over how great Magneto’s fedora was in the movie. Get me some of that!
What Rocked Less: What took me out of the movie was humanity’s close-mindedness and propensity for hatred. I’ve talked about this in past blogs but if humanity was really that prejudiced, we would have all died in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Another thing that irritated me was Sebastian Shaw’s giant nuclear missile stamp. He uses it twice on a giant board to illustrate his evil plan. Also - the black dude died first.
Captain America: The First Avenger
What Rocked: I am going to ignore the fact that the movie was enjoyable from beginning to end, that it was incredibly well acted and that it made Captain America genuinely cool and compelling. The fact that it ended the way it did blew me away. The time jump, even more than the origin story, is what makes Cap so special and compelling. Jack Kirby intended to use Cap as a man out of time and talk about his moral core in a world without one. Getting to see that moment where Steve has no idea where he was thrilled me more than any other in these four movies.
What Rocked Less: If I were trying to be mean I would point out that there was not a lot of action in CA:TFA. The most powerful and visually appealing soldier in the world did not stand out from his fellow soldiers in any of the fight scenes. Evans’ acting was strong enough to make him compelling regardless, but for the next outing I want my Cap to fight evil in a way I have never seen before.
What Rocked: I missed the negative media blitz for the movie when it happened. For that reason, my opinion is probably the only valid one on the planet. Just saying!
This movie was one of the coolest experiences I ever had in theaters. This is because it captured the very essence of the Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern comic. Some of the lines were ripped right from the comic and made the same emotional impact. More to the point, the concept was the same and the film adapted its source material well. Green Lantern to its core is a story about overcoming fear, and Ryan Reynolds convinced me of that, one hundred percent.
What Rocked Less: I also learned a very important lesson with this movie. As advanced as digital movies have come, there is still a long way to go. The movie could not sell the scale and vastness of the Green Lantern comic. This was apparent thanks to the lack of aliens in the film. The truth is that it was just too expensive and the film had to settle for the technology of the time. It detracted from the vastness of the Green Lantern mythos. Instead, we had to settle for a mediocre helicopter scene in the middle. But, the gauntlet has been thrown and some day we will get to see the full scope of the Green Lantern Corps. This movie just was not it.
Thanks as always for reading and until the next batch of summer superhero movies I’ll be here giving you the inside scoop on the comics that ‘Rock’ and the ones that ‘Rock Less’.