Adapted from the iconic Marvel Comic, the film iteration was made on a measly budget of a million dollars with a joint venture by Fox, Marvel and Neue Constantin Films. After casting and initial filming was conducted, “The Fantastic Four” was a highly anticipated film covered in major magazines like Wizard and Film Threat. After a long tour of fan meetings and interviews with the press, the cast and crew learned that their hard work would result in a film that was cancelled by the studios and never to be released. Shortly after, the folks that took part in “The Fantastic Four” learned that, much to their horror, the film was never intended to ever be released. Worse, much of the struggles to conceive a fantastic cinematic vision in a decade bereft of epic comic book movies were merely to secure the rights for the comic book property and nothing more.
It’s apropos of Marvel to finally bring in Spider-Man to “Civil War.” Because while it is essential that he be introduced to a brilliant cinematic universe, he is representative of the underlying message behind “Civil War.” With great power comes great responsibility. After spending so many years doing battle with aliens and super powered foes, the Avengers are finally taking a toll on the world, and the government from all sides of the globe is angry at their inherent recklessness.
Superhero movie fatigue, my balls.
“Deadpool” is proof positive that the comic book movie is alive and well and prone to various iterations of the comic book movie mold beyond capes, tights, and bat ears. “Deadpool” is one of the most anti of anti-heroes ever conceived. He’s a man who works for any side that’s appealing to him, and you can never quite pin down whether he should be a friend or foe. Wilson like Marvel comrades The Punisher and Iron Man are never villainous, but also not the clean cut superheroes we’d expect. In the end, Wilson is about self gratification, even though he tells himself that his intentions are pure. He’s a man who loves being vile and obnoxious. Even Wade Wilson during the opening of “Deadpool” explicitly states that he is by no means a hero, and we’re given extensive insight in to how he lived his life before he became the “merc with the mouth.”
“Ant Man” seems like a stand alone superhero effort at first, but it fits comfortably in the pegs of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It also introduces us to a wonderful superhero who, by all logic, should not have translated in to such a great film. Surely enough, with a script by Edgar Wright (and various others) and an excellent cast (including a welcome Hispanic presence), “Ant Man” is one of the best adaptations of Marvel’s Phase Two in their Cinematic Universe. Like every hero in the Marvel Universe, “Ant-Man” is just an average man thrust in to great circumstances, and he has to earn his stripes as a crime fighter while overcoming his own flaws and insecurities.
Stan Lee is asked by Archie Comics to create a comic book for them. Just his luck, Stan Lee runs across a group of Marvel clones that happen to be aliens from another galaxy with their own sets of powers and abilities. Stan Lee narrates the tale of Stan Lee in which Lee plays Stan Lee who is looking for an idea for a comic. Just his luck Stan Lee comes across the idea for his new series when he decides to help a bunch of space cops and their prisoners escape US authorities. Though Stan Lee plays himself as the main character, he’s really there to lend exposition to a clunky story, and inspire awe on the audience for a bunch of half baked heroes and villains.
This year marks the 50th anniversaries of the X-Men and The Avengers. So to commemorate my love for the X-Men, I thought it’d be fun to count down my top ten X-Men of all time. I really don’t care who is dead currently, or who are evil, or who is on a new team. This is my top ten X-Men and the characters that keep me coming back to this intelligent and wonderful franchise throughout the late eighties and the nineties.
Who are some of your favorites?
The transformation scene of Flint Marko de-materializing and then forming in to a human once again through his sand abilities is rather incredible. Raimi just outdoes himself here and the sequence is mesmerizing. There’s even a scene where Sandman balloons in to a humongous sandstorm pounding down on Spider-Man. But, again, no one really cared. Venom was the attraction. What do you expect from the fans? Venom is more popular than Spider-Man himself! But you have to give it to Raimi for at least trying to take a considerably lame villain and attempting to bring him to the attention of movie goers alike. He even retcons the entire origin of Spider-Man by making Sandman one of the folks who took part in the death of Uncle Ben.
So what all seems like a quick crime turns in to a pretty lame moment where Ben tries to talk Flint out of stealing his car and is shot by his partner for his resistance. All things considered, it’s a shame because Thomas Haden Church is a doppleganger to his comic counterpart and his strong performance is just forgotten. Venom is obviously shoe-horned in to the movie due to his sudden introduction in the second half because Raimi commits a heinous crime by completely reducing him in to a second rate villain. With that Raimi makes his position clear to both fans and the studio. He wanted Sandman to take center stage, Venom just isn’t important.
Many would agree that the comic book movie has somewhat run its course in film. We have seen all the big guns of the comic book genre tackled on the big screen and we’re now being reduced to watching obscure superheroes and indie comics be adapted and fans are pretty exhausted. Even those who are die hard readers. One thing is for sure though: the fad is not dying any time soon even though they breed surefire controversy.
Such an example is the upcoming reboot of the “Spider-Man” movies. Upon reading the news many fans of the films and comics shouted from the rooftops at the sheer gall Sony studios had of wanting to restart the series. So far Sony is planning to completely revamp the big screen vision for the web slinger kicking out director Sam Raimi, and the entire cast and basically starting over from scratch. Obviously it’s to cut the cost of salary, but they insist it’s to completely rethink the direction the series is going in. Sony surprised many by this decision after talks ensued for months about their meetings with director Sam Raimi about plans for part four of the original franchise and even had the original cast contracted for parts four, five, and six.