Marvel Movie Universe
Comic book movies have been popping up like weeds in the last 10 years, ever since the Spider Man and X-Men craze. Those two Saturday-morning high profilers more than deserved the film treatment. Daredevil, Ghostrider, Elektra (even though my mom loved it), The Punisher, Hulk, and Iron Man are all movies that most people probably agree we could do without. Here’s a low-down on my opinions:

Spider-Man deserved to be a movie because its a superhero that can be about one major character and how his life is affected by his cursed power. It’s sorta in the modern day “emo” trend, but the fact is that’s what kids want, and adults love to see a guy in blue tights fighting monsterous villains in NYC. It just looks cool. Spider-Man is one of the most charasmatic characters ever created, and thusly deserves a movie. Sam Raimi brought in great characterization that Maguire complimented with a great performance. I more than approve, with Spider-Man 2 probably being one of my top 50 movies of all time.

X-Men deserved a series because of the popular collection of characters, would make for an awesome trilogy, and sadly was utterly decimated by studio politics. Don’t blame Ratner, kids. Blame Singer for leaving the project just as it was finally getting good. The first movie was decent popcorn, but the second was what REALLY nailed the oncoming “mutant apocalypse” feel that the series was known for, especially with scenes such as the raid on the Mansion which was mirrored by the raid on the Evil Secret Government Hideout. I still attribute inane fanservice to the fall of the trilogy, with that wonderful Juggernaut line killing my brain for the last twenty minutes of the film. And no, I won’t repeat it here.

Daredevil is a decent character, but if Spider-Man is already saving New York, why do we need this fluzy? I liked Affleck’s performance, the man has TALENT, but sadly the directing was so off base, and one of the more mature characters of the Marvel Universe was treated as a child’s plaything, with more cheesy taglines and quips than this more-Batman-less-Spidey needed. It was the start of a snowball towards REALLY BAD COMIC BOOK MOVIES which brings us to

Elektra which I’ll admit I haven’t seen, but my mom loves it, and some of the fight scenes look OK. Defintely looks more focused than Ultraviolet, but hey, that isn’t saying much. Jennifer Garner should be doing something more serious with her career instead of playing wtih Sais- she obviously has the talent. I’ll admit I saw 13 Going on 30 and felt slightly touched. If I don’t admit that, my mom will kill me, alas poor ego vs. survival.

Ghostrider deserves the Straight-to-DvD treatment for two reasons: 1) Nicolas Cage’s career in the action/suspense field is an absolute joke. Here’s a link to one of his other recent career moves which he took VERY SERIOUSLY
and 2) The special effects look absolute crap tastic. Find your own damned trailer I’m not going to provide links to absolute…well Nic Cage movies that don’t sully his career. And just to show I’m not a complete hater- I really want to see Lord of War.

In my opinion, The Punisher and The Hulk were two movies that had the guts to try something different, and succeeded with mixed results. They’re more open to a love-it-or-hate-it field of criticism though, as they aimed for marks and didn’t always miss them. There was some really cool stuff in both films that felt original and not tacked on for the sake of playing-up the character. However, other than the fantastic casting of Iron Man in which Robert Downey Jr is playing an alcoholic (nyuk nyuk nyuk) there really isn’t anything to look forward to from this Robo-Batman-Wannabe.

Now there’s two major Marvel Franchises I have yet to mention- Blade and The Fantastic Four . I don’t mention the former because the first movie, as I recall, actually came out before X-Men and Spider-Man. It was also a REALLY COOL vampire action flick. I have no beef with Snipes killing vampires. It’s damned awesome, even some parts of the much maligned Trinity.

So what’s the deal with FF? I thought it was a bad idea at first, but then I actually sat down and watched the film and realized that while the movie wasn’t very good, the heart was ALL THERE, and the franchise aimed more at families than most of the films that came out as of late. Most comic book films aim towards either “resetting” a franchise, or building up the nerd base for what I can assume is going to be a cosmic war of stupidity over forums for the next 30 years until something wipes them all out (I’m going to go with George Carlin’s theory of Autoerotic-asphyxiation). Fantastic Four aimed to be a family movie, with more of a fantasy-comic book setting, and in the end could please crowds at least for one viewing. Its the kind of shlock comic book films could be made out of if we lived in a less-cynical time, and I don’t mind it one bit. So here’s the trailer for the sequel, something of which I HIGHLY APPROVE OF.

My opinion might not matter for much at this point in my career, but what we all need to do is pay attention to trends- FF is one of the least destructive trends in comic-book movie making, and if they’re going to make a kids-movie craze out of it, I prefer that over CGI skulls that are supposed to be taken seriously any day.