SEQUELS AND FRANCHISES: GOOD, BAD OR GUILTY PLEASURE?
PART THREE: SUPER HEROES
by Blake Spears
Personally, most of the comic book movies ever made, I file under guilty pleasure. Yes, even the bad ones like The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a movie that fell short because it had an empty script and some bad casting and no one really knew any of the characters. I often think about how cool this movie would have been had they made a couple of individual movies, that introduced us to some of the characters in their own realms. A Captain Nemo movie would be out of this world, as would a movie about Sean Connery's, Alan Quartermain's adventures in King Solomon's mines (yes I am aware of the Stephen Granger/Deborah Kerr, King Solomon's Mines from 1950 and I would have settled for a decent re hash of that). Perhaps if they had shown us how extraordinary these characters were, before they put them all in a film together, then LOEG would have been a much sounder experience than it was.
I personally loved Brian Singer's version of Superman Returns. Many complained that it was light on action and there was too much drama and romance. Sure it might have been light on action, but the action we got was pretty cool and finally gave us an insight into the potential of Superman's powers, something that any of the other Superman movies have failed to do. Singer gave us a romantic narrative, that took us back to the basic relationships between these characters. Understanding the character relationships in a Superman movie is the key to making the franchise the success it should be. With Singer announcing he is on board for the sequel and promising to up the ante in the action stakes, Superman will once again become the Man of Tomorrow.
This year is full of our favourite comic book heroes gracing the silver screen. With the releases of The Dark Knight, John Favreau's highly anticipated Ironman, Edward Norton's revision of The Incredible Hulk and Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, we look set for a treat. Many sequels are being planned and more franchises are coming our way and over the next couple of years we will be treated to Zack Schnyder's rendition of Alan Moore's Watchmen, a Silver Surfer movie, a sequel to The Punisher (why?), George Miller's Justice League and the hotly anticipated Wolverine origin movie, plus a whole other string of heroes who have hit the drawing board.
Whilst comic book movies and franchises are for the most part uber successful, like any other genre they have their flaws. Fans are either happy or disgruntled, leading to forum board meltdowns from fan boys who are just too eager to put in their two cents. Regardless, the studios will continue to pump them out, as their potential to make money is enormous and in the world of comic books, there are limitless stories and characters to carry on franchises for years to come.
Comic book movies can be a good, fun ride. Sometimes they are just really bad but for the most part, for the avid popcorn eating, movie lover , they are one of life's wonderful, guilty pleasures.
Blake's Top 6 Comic Book Movies:
2. Batman Begins
3. X-Men 2
5. Hellboy6. Superman Returns
Blake's Bottom 6 Comic Book Movies:
2. X-Men 3
3. Spiderman 3
4. The Punisher