Superhero Summer Under Way

With the release of X-Men: First Class this weekend, the superhero summer is certainly upon us.  This isn’t the first such summer.  Comic book properties have more than a decade of box office success to draw on now, and while some may lament the dearth of truly original storytelling this trend has helped facilitate, the comics fans among us have generally cheered the results.  You will see a certain segment of the geek world cheering the box office returns, living vicariously through the profit margins.  At Beemsville, we’ve long been more interested in the narrative and whether the character or comic book ensemble gets a fair creative shot on the silver screen.

This is a weird summer; however, with no truly A-list-to-the-general-public characters (no Batman, Superman, Spidey), but plenty of beloved comic book heroes with long histories and strong followings.  It’s worth noting that most of these movies don’t feature a lot of A-list stars, but rather good known quantities in the lead roles.

Marvel’s Thor has lead the way in admirable fashion (full review here).  The early reviews of the X-Men prequel have been positive, and though it will mess with the purists’ heads on facets of the X-mythos, we’re glad to see the mutants looking strong.  Later this month is DC’s only offering, with Ryan Reynolds’ portraying Green Lantern.  Hopefully this film is good, because GL has always been a personal fave with a lot of cinematic potential.  In July we get another of the Avengers prequels from Marvel with, Captain America.  Not sure what to think about this one, and I’m worried about the film spending too much time in the World War II setting rather than the more interesting aspect of Cap – how he deals with the present once revived from suspended animation.

Later that month we get the movie I’m truly hyped up for:  Cowboys vs. Aliens.  I remember seeing C vs.A at the Chicago Comics Convention a few summers ago and thinking:  man, what someone like Spielberg might do with that concept…  Now we get Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig in the lead with coolness to spare.  Finally, in August, we have a new version of Conana character with a long and proud history in comic books.  Don’t know much about this one, but I’m very curious to see how it looks.  I will say that the new guy, Jason Momoa, looks like a Cimmerian, and if the rumors are true about which script they used, this could be a late-season surprise.

The question:  how many of these movies will be really good, just OK, or plain bad.  We know they will make some money for the studios.  And a slight lament that the kids aren’t just a little bit older so I could take them along to some of these.  These movies will all likely be PG-13, and while I don’t have a problem letting them watch with me at home (especially with a hand on the remote), it’s a different story with the intensity of the big screen.

Jason Momoa as Conan

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One thought on “Superhero Summer Under Way

  1. Well as The Rube has pointed out in other non-soccer posts, Thor was admirable, although The Rube would’ve liked to see the golden locks covered by the winged helmet at least once in addition to some more a$$ kicking by Thor instead of all the sexual tension etc. and wasting time on the whole “know your role” deal that Odin put on him, alhtough as Mr. Ville pointed out some more wandering during several hundered years prior to the time the movie was set in would’ve been very cool!

    X-Men….meh….The Rube will take Mini-Rube to see it next week-end although by and large isn’t really all that thrilled to go see it. Not because The Rube is a fanboy so much as it seems to come down to just taking the basics of the X-Mythos and using it to make money…I’m not sure yet, but I believe they even “created” some new mutants (no not THE New Mutants) to play more than just passing roles in this newest edition.

    Cap will be Cap. Some cool one liners (not because Cap does that, but because the current mentality of the public consuming this product expects it) as well as some shield throwing a$$ kicking. The Rube is just hoping that this movie doesn’t end up seeming “too quickly” put together to get the chracter introduced to the non-comic public before the big payoff in The Avengers. From the preivews one can infer that Cap will at the very least look the part.

    Green Lantern is going to be exactly what its supposed to be. Cheesey over the top CGI effects, lots of Ryan Reynolds without his shirt on or in latex and lots and lots of Ryan Reynolds delivered dialogue that will cause some to laugh and some to uuugh…That said, if at any point in this movie Hal Jordan utters the words…”Write that down…” The Rube may be in a pickle as he loved Van Wilder for its sophomoric comedy and lack of thinking required jokes, but isn’t sure that character is what we’re supposed to be getting here. The Rube is just saying don’t get to “geeked” up about GL, it will be exactly what its supposed to be.

    Last but not least in a year of sequal/prequal movies coming out…(yes I even consider Cap and GL prequals to their ultimate ideas of The Avengers and a Justice League movie), the best one of the bunch thus far is King-Fu Panda 2! Beats Hangover 2 and as sorry as I am to say it….Pirates 4! The Rube has spoken….its time for a tylenol…

    ~The Rube out

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