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Is This The Year That Comic Book Movies Jump The Shark?

By / 05.02.11

We can thank Wesley Snipes for all of this. Wait, let me back up.
Fifteen years ago, comic book movies were in the crapper. There was the original
Captain America movie that sucked beyond belief, the Batman franchise that Joel Shumacher raped to death, Punisher starring Dolph Lundgren and, of course, The Fantasic Four, which is below for your viewing pleasure. There’s nothing like mid-90s, low-budget flicks and essentially every comic book movie looked like this.

Then came Wesley Snipes and the way his 1998 Blade movie that didn’t suck. It opened the flood gates and movie studio pocketbooks for more comic book movies. Suddenly, we entered in a golden age of comic book movies where every summer revolved around a comic book-based blockbuster.
Now, we’re in another major turning point in the comic book movie saga as 2011 will feature a handful of comic book movies leading to next year’s major Avengers event. With all of the comic book movies coming up in the next year or so, it’s time to take a look at each one’s prospects for greatness and what they all mean for the future of comic book movies.

Movie — Thor
Release Date — May 6, 2011

In just a couple of weeks, it’ll all start with Thor being the first salvo in Marvel’s 2011 movie campaign. Of all the flicks this year, this one promises to have the most upside with two Oscar winners (Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins) and a dope director. Here’s hoping that this isn’t just a two-hour advertisement for the Avengers movie and the cameos and tie-ins are kept to a minimum. I can’t wait to see this one since it will set the tone for what to expect in the other Marvel movies going forward.

Movie — X-Men: First Class
Release Date — June 3rd, 2011

Conversely, this is the movie I’m most worried about. Let’s look at the evidence:
— Despite the June release date, the movie was still in
six weeks of re-shoots and editing in February, which doesn’t bode well for the movie’s quality.
— The last two X-Men movies, The Last Stand and Wolverine’s Dingleberry Fairytale were easily two of the worst comic book movies we’ve seen this decade.
— The posters look really stupid. I mean one even had Professor X’s head Photoshop’ed into his nards.
The good news? Matthew Vaughn, of Kick-Ass fame, is directing so there’s hope yet. Still, I’ll wait for the reviews before going to watch as this might be the death knell of the X-Men franchise.

Movie — Captain America: The First Avenger
Release Date — July 22, 2011

The only reason to be excited for this is the fact that it acts as the first chapter to the upcoming Avengers movie. Beyond that, the story is probably pretty boring. Of course, for continuity’s sake, I’ll be checking it out with very low expectations. Jon Favreau, who directed the first two Iron Man flicks, declined to direct the third because he thought the franchise was becoming convoluted with too much micromanaging from Marvel pressuring the director to insert too many previews for the Avengers movie. This same problem might plague Captain America, as it can end up feeling like a two-hour Avengers trailer instead of its own movie. We’ll see how Joe Johnston navigates that conundrum.

Movie — Green Lantern
Release Date — June 17, 2011

This will definitely suck. Aside from the new Batman franchise, DC’s track record is paltry. Even
Watchmen didn’t live up to the massive hype. Good thing nobody is expecting Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern to be remotely bearable. If the movie does end up decent, it’ll be a major surprise.

Movie — The Amazing Spider-Man
Release Date – July 3, 2012

Holy smokes this is the dumbest piece of bukkake in the history of cinema. The Spider-Man franchise had so much potential and fodder for future installments, but we get a reboot when it hasn’t even been 10 years after the first movie came out? I still remember most of the original, so why do I want to see the same movie again? And I’m not quite sure what the guy that directed 500 Days Of Summer – which, granted is a great movie – brings to the action-adventure table. Fie on this whole idea and the Spider-Man franchise in general, because the comic book has been basura, too.
There’s no trailer yet available for the new one, of course, so here’s the crappy 1970s version that is probably be better than whatever caca we receive in 2011.

Movie — The Avengers
Release Date — May 4, 2012

The future of Marvel’s movies and comic book movies in general heavily depends on the success and quality of The Avengers. I personally can’t wait, but a couple of details concern me:
— The movie
just started shooting two days ago and it is being released in a year. That’s not a tremendous amount of time for such an expensive and important project. We don’t want a repeat of the mess that is X-Men: First Class.
— I hate to offend you virgins Buffy fans that worship the ground Joss Whedon walks on, but I’m not that impressed with the guy. Buffy has always come off as campy and I thought his run as a writer for Astonishing X-Men wasn’t as brilliant as everybody seemed to think it was.
With all that said, I don’t think the cast of characters and the pressure put on Marvel to deliver will allow The Avengers to be sub-par. This could bring back the golden age of comic book movies.


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