do we need more superheros?

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do we need more superheros?

Postby krista in ma » Fri Jul 22, 2005 3:14 pm

http://entertainment.msn.com/movies/art ... ews=196627

not sure if some of these are in production / pre-prodution / ideas / etc...

including -
ghost rider (2006) with nicholas cage
v for vendetta (2005) with natalie portman
(at various stages of development) - movies for thor, the silver surfer, captain american, and namor - the sub-mariner, iron man, doctor strange, nick fury, black panther, wonder woman, watchmen (which sounds interesting), and the flash.

as i have very limited comic book reading under my belt... what say you...good characters for movies?
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Postby Mafus » Fri Jul 22, 2005 4:48 pm

I think some of these (particularly Black Panther and Ghost Rider) could make good movies. The problem(s) with comic book movies these days is volume. Producers are making every comic character ever created into a movie, regardless of whether the character merits it or not. Some (like Silver Surfer or Thor) I just don't believe will translate well. Maybe the Surfer could be done well if it was done, like WAR OF THE WORLDS, from the point of view of an everyman, watching events unfold from outside.

Also, a lot of comics, particularly Marvel's, have so much interrelated backstory that it's hard to tell a story that makes sense when you try to extricate the character from the broad comic book universe he/she inhabits. Case in point: the X-MEN movie. I think Singer did a great job distilling 30+ years of comic book continuity down into one film but since he had to play fast and loose with the order of events and the "team roster" a lot of fans were alienated. I imagine trying to tell the Silver Surfer's story without using the Fantastic Four or Galactus would be pointless.

As with everything else in our culture, we've reached an oversaturation point with comic book adaptations. It's fine for films like V FOR VENDETTA or AMERICAN SPLENDOR because most movie goers aren't really familiar with the origins of the story in the first place. But I can see us reaching a point, and very soon, where the audiences shout "Enough with the superheroes, already!" Especially when every comic book hero becomes a movie franchise before the box office returns are even in. The worst offender that comes to mind is ELEKTRA, spun out of the mildly successful DAREDEVIL movie.
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Postby MarylandManson » Fri Jul 22, 2005 10:37 pm

Interesting question! I've long thought that, in the comics or on film, it's not the powers or the effects or what have you--it's the human theme that makes it worthwhile. And if there's some kind of counterpoint to the human theme, all the better. For example:

Spider-Man: power vs. responsibility, and one mistake can color your whole life
X-Men: outcasts trying to save a world that hates them
Batman: since childhood trauma, a struggle between inner darkness and light
Fantastic Four: the family that loves each other and loves to tear each other apart

Etc., etc.

(Note: I haven't yet seen the new Batman and FF films to know, but these themes are present in the comics.)

On that note, it's hard to see how stuff like Thor or the Silver Surfer would have such human interest. Iron Man might be interesting for the power/addiction themes explored in the comics. I didn't see THE HULK. How did Ang Lee do with the inner-rage theme?

Cheers! MM
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Postby raasnio » Sat Jul 23, 2005 1:08 am

Just my opinion, but I believe Ang Lee screwed The Hulk up pretty good. He wasn't a fan of the material and it shows. He actually said something about how he was trying to make A grade material out of D grade material. I do think they cast the right person, Bana, to play the Hulk. There's talk of a sequel, but Lee won't be directing.

MM, you need to see Batman Begins. I've seen it 3 times. :D

I agree with you on the 'human theme' aspect. Special F/X can only do so much and they can't carry a film successfully on their own.
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Postby PohlSE » Sat Jul 23, 2005 3:15 am

I will fall into the minority here but Ang Lee's version of The Hulk has really grown on me. What put off most people, I think, was how 'eastern' he told the story. He didn't really violate the premise of the comic as much as re-tell it from a Chinese perspective. Being a fan of the Chinese/Hong Kong epic, intertwined story telling style, I really have come to enjoy this take on The Hulk.

On the question of superhero movies; I'd like to see a superhero story where the hero is enjoying himself instead of agonizing over his troubles. I've had all the angst I can stand without a life-time supply barf-bags. Give me someone who has gotten his powers and is having a blast.

One of the reasons that The Incredibles was so popular (and one of the top 3 superhero movies ever made) was that it was FUN! Sure they had domestic troubles, sure the world was in peril, but they loved being super even though they had to hide it, it was who they were.

I'm sick of obsession and angst and suffering and worrying in superhero movies. Where is the fun?
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Postby MarylandManson » Sat Jul 23, 2005 11:01 am

PohlSE, that's interesting. I'm a huge Pixar fan, and I can't believe I still haven't seen THE INCREDIBLES. How about Plastic Man for a fun-filled superhero extravaganza? Even "gloomy" old Frank Miller had fun with Eel O'Brien. If they ever do him, I just hope they keep Jim Carrey away from the film. Imagine Bruce Campbell putting his chin to the test?

And raasnio, I do want to see BATMAN BEGINS. And SAW. And SPIDER-MAN 2 and X-MEN 2 and SIDEWAYS and all those Slade recommendations like TRAINING DAY and etc., etc. Movies, even after they're on DVD, take a back seat with two toddlers at home. But I have a hell of a backlog to look forward to.

Cheers! MM
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Postby raasnio » Sat Jul 23, 2005 2:12 pm

MarylandManson wrote:But I have a hell of a backlog to look forward to.

Cheers! MM


That you do, MM. Add another vote for you to see The Incredibles. It's a blast. :D
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Postby PohlSE » Sat Jul 23, 2005 4:52 pm

I would love to see Bruce Campbell as Plastic Man. That would be a casting coup. And yes, Plastic Man would be a nice shift into the realm of fun. Also from the DC world Booster Gold and the Blue Beetle made a great capitalistic/comic hero team; in the midst of saving the world and having fun, they were trying to put their powers to use to make a buck.

I'm not saying that the movie has to be a comedy, but I think it would be refreshing to have a hero who just loved having his powers and wasn't afraid to enjoy himself. That is probably the reason I like the movie The Incredibles so much; it explored the theme of being yourself, super or not, in a very interesting way. The characters revel in their powers, particularly Dash, and you are left with a sense of wonder that is sorely lacking in 90% of hero movies today.

Now I liked the X-Men movies but they are a perfect example of this 'glass-half-empty' syndrome that fills superhero movies. Two good examples are Storm and Mystique. Storm makes brief comments in the first film about how she sometimes feels like an outcast... Because she has white hair? Give me a break! She can control the weather but she can't buy a bottle of hair dye? And Mystique's comment "people like you made me afraid to go to school as a child." Yet, you can shape shift into anyone on the planet? Waaah, waaah! If it were me, the ability to look like a young Sean Connery for the rest of my life while eating nothing but triple-decker pizzas morning, noon, and night would more than make up for being blue.

Ok... end of rant.
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Postby Slade » Sat Jul 23, 2005 6:32 pm

To understand the mental makeup of Michael Slade, you need a grasp of four comic book series in the early 1950s, before the jackboot censorship of the Comic Code Authority was imposed:

1/ EC Comics: TALES FROM THE CRYPT. THE VAULT OF HORROR. THE HAUNT OF FEAR.

2/ BLACKHAWK

3/ BATMAN

4/ DICK TRACY

Then you must try to imagine a time when there was no youth culture and no TV. Even when TV came, it was obscene to mention the word "pregnant," and Elvis Presley could not be filmed below the waist because of his gyrating hips. That was the time before Disneyland and all the rest, when Disney consisted of comics like UNCLE SCROOGE and movies like SNOW WHITE.

Can you imagine the verboten thrill in a squeaky clean culture like that of sneaking down to the basement as a six- or seven-year-old kid and getting into your secret stash of postwar paranoid angst?

Now, consider the world we currently live in with all its dangers "out there" just waiting to take us down. This isn't the time of BATMAN, the hero we need for internalized urban angst.

No, this is the time of BLACKHAWK, when what we need is the team that will protect us from what's "out there," not stir it up and create it.

Wander through this and click on the covers that begin to emerge around issues 35 on. "The Black Dervish of Death."

http://ourworlds.topcities.com/blackhaw ... _indx.html

That was 1950, folks!

Perhaps (I'm putting a toe across the line into The Kitchen) some of the "old warriors" in the White House today should have spent more time sneaking down to the basement when they were kids.

At least, they'd have some grasp of what they were dragging us all into.

Slade

P.S. BLACKHAWK, of course, is the one series that could never be filmed. Way too politically incorrect. I love the irony!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackhawk_(comics)
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Postby Slade » Sat Jul 23, 2005 9:08 pm

Check out "The Human Bomb."

http://ourworlds.topcities.com/blackhaw ... ue079.html

That's 1954!

The problem with "superheroes" these days is they just don't write 'em like they used to.

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Postby Slade » Sat Jul 23, 2005 9:24 pm

Imagine you're an interviewer and Slade is out on the promotion tour for SWASTIKA.

You ask the classic question: "Mr. Slade, where do you get your ideas?"

Slade: "I used to sneak down to the basement. That's why there was a Comic Code Authority. I got warped very young."

http://ourworlds.topcities.com/blackhaw ... ue103.html

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Postby Mafus » Tue Jul 26, 2005 4:28 pm

While I love Bruce Campbell as much as the next guy (?), I think Jude Law would be the perfect choice to play Plas.

And let me throw in my vote for Adrien Brody for The Joker in the next Bat flick.

Slade, have you picked up any of the DC Archive editions of The Blackhawks?
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Postby Slade » Tue Jul 26, 2005 5:09 pm

Mafus,

Archive editions?

No, fill me in.

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Postby Mafus » Tue Jul 26, 2005 11:04 pm

"I know you gentleman have been through a lot but, when you find the time, I'd rather not spend the rest of this winter...TIED TO THIS @#%&ING COUCH!!!"
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Postby Wayne R. » Wed Jul 27, 2005 9:09 pm

Mafus wrote:Case in point: the X-MEN movie. I think Singer did a great job distilling 30+ years of comic book continuity down into one film but since he had to play fast and loose with the order of events and the "team roster" a lot of fans were alienated.

As with everything else in our culture, we've reached an oversaturation point with comic book adaptations. It's fine for films like V FOR VENDETTA or AMERICAN SPLENDOR because most movie goers aren't really familiar with the origins of the story in the first place.

The worst offender that comes to mind is ELEKTRA, spun out of the mildly successful DAREDEVIL movie.


For my money, X-Men (2) is the only superhero movie anywhere near this year's Batman. Even so, where's Angel? When I was 12 or 13, I thought he was the man.

V For Vendetta's already on the wrong track by casting an known actor as V, unless he doesn't appear without the mask (Can't imagine that, some actors don't even like wearing specs lest their face is obscured). His identity's still unknown. Alan Moore will give a couple of pointers as to who it isn't, but as for who it is, "You're on your own."

Elektra could've been good. I haven't seen it, but from what I hear it's nowhere near as dire as Catwoman. There's an excellent graphic novel, Elektra: Assassin. Read it and imagine the way it could've gone.
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