Tag Archives: Prometheus

Ironman 3 Opening And What It Means For Marvel

Marvel is now officially on top of the world. Ironman 3 has opened 175 Million it’s first weekend in the U.S. Alone, and has grossed 680,000,000 WorldWide in the past 10 days.  That’s the second highest opening save the Avengers last year and it looks as if Ironman will be the highest grossing film of the year, and definitely the summer.  This is  the moment that officially marks Marvel as a brand to be reckoned with.

Summer of 2011 Thor and Captain America performed Modestly with both around 400 Millionand 350 Million , both really good starts for B- List comic book characters.  Marvel’s A List Characters are Hulk, Fantastic Four, Xmen, Spiderman, and DeadPool, and seeing as Marvel only has one of those properties they’re doing extremely well.  Avengers last year was predicted to only make around 800,000,000.  I say only like that’s not a lot of money, but Marvel has always been the underdog of Geek Properties. Needless to say it made that in foreign release only and caught everybody by surprise. It was better then we could’ve hoped, and a lot of people went back to see it multiple times. I saw it twice in one night.  So of course same situation with Ironman 3, People are expecting Man of Steel to do better, and Ironman to make only around 700,000,000 Million.  Welp once again through great marketing, risky choices, and overall quality Ironman 3 has made that in it’s first week and a half. So what exactly does this mean for Marvel Studios.

This may still be a little pre mature, but basically it means they have a license to print money.  As long as they keep on a winning streak Marvel movies will continue to out perform and make more money because of the shared universe aspect. Marvel is pretty much going to make at least a billion a year, at least, not even counting The Avengers gross. And even if Avengers 2 doesn’t gross as much as Avengers 1, it will still be made up from the boost of the individual movies. It overall increases an interest in the characters and individual franchises.  The beauty of it is that marvel hasn’t made a bad film yet, and the chances of franchise fatigue is really low, since we only get a Thor or Ironman movie every three years as opposed to every other year or every year.  People are excited for properties that were before just for comic book fans.  Marvel’s Phase Two will be extremely lucrative.

What’s it mean for new properties coming out?  They’ve confirmed a Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy, and an Ant-Man,  adaptions to come out.  Now this is where it might be back to square one, as none of these properties are very well known, but the entire idea is to use the avengers as a spring board to propel other movies to more public interest.  Guardians of the Galaxy is already selling more comic books and if done right will be sort of another Avengers except in space.  I imagine one more sequel will be announced for Phase 3, possibly Thor or Captain America, or possibly even Guardians, which has a chance of making a lot of people new fans.

Basically the Reason everybody loves Marvel is because they’re the best of both worlds.  They have the Disney Marketing Machine which will make the movie appeal to wide audiences, but Marvel will make sure every movie is of quality first and the fans will be the first ones served.  It’s a dream come true, a studio that cares about making money, but also about making good movies first and foremost, and this is a giant nail in the coffin to the other studios trying to imitate their business model, looking at you DC and Fox.

5 Classics That Don’t Hold Up

Every once in a while somebody will try to get me to watch a “classic” movie.  The reason I tend to stay away from these is because film making has significantly improved over the last few decades.  Older movies tend to be slower and boring, because story pacing just wasn’t what it was today.  When I look at Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Fight Club, and GoodFellas I’d like to think I could watch them in 40 years and I  wouldn’t really be able to tell they were older save the actors. I recently watched The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly and that’s still a good movie. Movies have evolved from slow, meandering , at least most we still get Tree Of Llife, and now with good editing movies can still tell great stories in a 3rd of a time. I don’t even think movies had deleted scenes back then so everything they filmed was left in.  These are the movies I think are fine, but really don’t hold up, and these are what people consider the greatest movies of all time,  and I can see now you feel that way but they don’t work for me anymore.

5 Citizen Kane

So everybody tells me this is the best movie of all time right, so I put it into my Bluray player and I’m sitting waiting for it to get good.. and waiting.. and waiting.. and waiting.. and waiting.. and then it was over.  Now had I seen this when it came out, I’d probably be dead by then, but i’d enjoy it better.  This also had a decent pace and good cinematography , it only suffers from me having seen the movies that takes the elements this used.

4. Indiana Jones and The Temple Of Doom

If I believe correctly this is considered the weakest of the Indiana Jones movies and for good reason. Not to say any of these is bad or is a bad movie, but this is the one where they took the most risks and it didn’t pay off it bit them in the ass hard.  The characters are annoying it’s not very funny or charming, the action doesn’t hold up because of the technology unlike the first one.  Not to mention the characters are so annoying, even Indie isn’t as fascinating as he usually is, still a whole lot better then Kingdom Of The Crystal Skulls.

3. 2001 : A Space Oddessey

This might be the most boring movie I’ve ever seen in my life, I’m not joking whenever I want to take a nap , I put this on.  I can appreciate the fact that the special effects are frickin amazing.  It has that old school charm, but it still holds up, now admittedly I’ve never finished this movie, i’ve sat through the opening three times and either fell asleep or lost interest.  Once again amazing special effects, I think the movies biggest problem, along with most Kubrick films sorry I know i’m in the minority, is the overall lack of urgency with the story telling.  The opening with the apes should’ve only taken about 10 minutes, maybe, but it goes on for like 30 whole minutes, which just encases what’s wrong with the pacing with this movie, every scene is 3 times as long as it needs to be.  Another thing is I appreciate a good score, but this turns into a video with scenes going along with 5 minute songs when the audience has already taken away what they need to in the first minute.  Hopefully one day , I’ll be able to finish this movie , and I’ll admit it’s not entirely fair to judge without seeing the entire thing, but sue me I tried.. like 4 times.

2. The GodFather

Sharpen your pitchforks, heat up your tar I know I know.  I think a big thing that doesn’t help these movies is that everyone tells me they’re the best of all time, and i get my hopes up.  Once again the main killer is pacing and lack of subtly.  We just told stories different back then.  This is a 3 hour movie that honestly could’ve been 2 or even standard 90 minutes.  I can see why people like it it’s so damn iconic.  This might be the most quoted movie of all time.  If they were to realease a “If you’ve got shit to do later” edition i’d buy it and probably love it.

1. The Shinning

This is the only one of these movies I consider bad.  The acting is bad, the writing isn’t that great, it’s boring, it’s not scary, and worst of all it’s boring as fuck.  I don’t know if I’m catching the director’s cuts of these movies, but my god they’re not doing themselves any favors.  When I heard the Razzies nominated this for Worst Picture and Worst Actress I was offended.. and then I saw the movie and i’ll be damned if the women who played the wife doesn’t give the worst performance I’ve seen in a movie so celebrated.  This movie didn’t even get nominated for a whole lot of Oscars and I see why.  This seems to be that one Kubrick movie that it’s okay to hate, and boy did I hate it. There’s too much of this movie that’s nothing going on.  There was a 5 minute scene of the wife and boy watching T.V.

It seems to me that Kubrick really needed a better editor.  Of all the movies I watched of his they all tend to be over 2 and a half hours and it usually feels unnecessary, I was going to include ClockWork Orange, but I actually enjoyed that movie somewhat, this was totally unpleasant experience.  And really the score doesn’t help, it almost becomes a parody of itself.  Not to mention too much ambiguity.  Now I complain about this a lot , but as someone who writes screenplays half the time something is ambitious , I either couldn’t explain it or didn’t feel like explaining it.  Now I’m nowhere near as good as the great Kubrick, but I can’t help but wonder if he didn’t have answers so he just left them blank, and let the audience do the work.  This seems to be the most polarizing of Stanley Kubrick films and I dare you to go back and watch and it tell yourself it’s not silly and it still holds up.

Ironman 3 a dissapointment?

Just saw Ironman 3 last night, and wow did I enjoy it.  I’m not going to say I love it yet, I want to go see it again to really get a feel for it.  I think the biggest hurdle this movie has is the fact that it’s not a superhero movie anymore.  It’s much more of a thriller, maybe a little Jason Bournish, with a mystery all through it.  This is not a review, this is purely a comparison to the Ironman Franchise, including Avengers.

This is the mis steps Ironman 3.  This is a mixed complaint, but the movie doesn’t have a really fast pace or great story structure.  There’s no 3 act template so the movie, probably on only the first viewing,, doesn’t seem to have a direction for a lot of it. The story is also very untraditional.  A british screenwriter Drew Pearce wrote the script with Shane Black and you can really feel his hand here.  It feels like a new franchise, and a new character.  there’s also a real lack of action during the beginning. Also the snappy dialogue is gone and it’s more of a dry wit sort of thing, so it’s not as funny, whilst still being pretty funny. The complaints that I have are more in the comparison with The Avengers then Ironman 2.  There’s also a character moment that I won’t spoil that personally I enjoyed, but I can understand why people found it unsatisfactory.

Now the positives, and there are many, is that this is the most mature Marvel film out of the bunch, and while I did complain that Tony Stark wasn’t swarmy or Jokey enough, that’s the point, he’s not the smooth talker anymore, we get a little bit of it in the beginning, but now he’s out of his element.  The humor is darker and more specific dialogue then the rapid fire style of the first two.  But Ironman 2 was too jokey with lazy humor, people talking over each other, and it really wan’t all that funny.  This is a new side of Tony Stark, much more vulnerable and frightened almost frail portrayal.

This movie is ultimately a left turn for the franchise, instead of being a traditional action movie, it’s a thriller.  As a thriller it’s pretty bad ass, It wasn’t very convoluted it has good villains, really good acting,and a real sense of threat.  Most of the time Ironman is in a defective suit and can’t fight the way he usually does adding a sense of danger, that was missing in Avengers and Ironman 2.  Also the villain to me hands down is a mass improvement for the franchise, much more clear motivations, and a plan that’s actually excellent.

Basicaly all my complaints with Ironman are in comparison with Avengers, it was hard to top and I don’t think they were trying to do that, I think they were trying to make a tony stark centric story and focus back on the characters.  In comparison with Ironman 2, it’s a much more superior film, in almost every fashion.  So for anybody wondering it’s better then Ironman 2 not as good as Avengers.  If you come in expecting Avengers you will be utterly disappointed. I’m finding more things to appreciate it the more I think about it

Will Marvel Ever Get All It’s Characters Back?

When I was growing up I was never very much into comic books, I was more of a manga guy, admittedly I regret this, but comic books are way too expensive even for me know as a grown adult.  I did end up reading a few runs here or there, but I got the essentials book for Spiderman and Xmen, both fantastic runs, and I read the ultimates for both of them.  Ironically whenever the Avengers came in the picture, I was like “boooooo”.  They all seemed silly weak and boring to me compared to Wolverine or Spiderman.

Now I’m all about the Avengers characters.  Captain America and Thor are two of my favorite Superheroes, and Ironman is my absolute favorite movie character, maybe second to Tyler Durden or Scott Pilgrim.  Marvel took them embraced their silliness and made really fun movies out of them.  I just came out of Ironman 3 and wow comic book movies have come so far. I got into an argument with someone on the internet over if Spiderman would show up in the Avengers 2. I said no that’s stupid, the amount that sony would charge would not be the amount worth of the income.

In a bit of mixed bag news it’s just been reported that Marvel now has control of Blade, Punisher, DareDevil, and Ghost Rider.  Now all of these movies are damaged goods, except maybe Blade.  While I didn’t think the Thomas Jane Punisher was all that bad, all of these movies have had what’s considered the lowest reception for a major superhero movies.  Personally, i’d rather not see any of these characters back.  They’re hard to get done right and many are arguing that every one of these movies needs to be Rater R to really stay true to the comic books.  But this brings about really good news.

The good news being that it’s not going to be too far off until Marvel has Fantastic Four, Xmen, and Spiderman and can actually make a true Avengers movie and can hand pick the best of the characters that fits the stories and easily pump out 3 movies a year.  The reason I say that is because Fantastic Four, and Xmen are also damaged goods.

The way franchises work is, if you make a weak sequel the following movies will suffer, Fox has shot themselves in the foot not once, but twice with the Xmen franchise.  First the made X3 then it was Xmen Wolverine Origins.  So when they finally made a fantastic movie , xmen First class, it didn’t do that great.  It was a modest hit, and after looking at the returns I was surprised that they are proceeding with a sequel.  then I thought about it, they’re absolutely desperate to get that tentpole.  Right now it’s all up to Wolverine, which honestly i don’t see doing that well. Personall I’ll go see Xmen Days of Future Past because I love the new reboot, but I’m done with Xmen and Fanastic Four.  And I’m sure a lot of people feel this way, Fox has a bad reputation of mishandling superhero movies.   Even if the reboot is successful, which it probably will be, I doubt the general public will care enough to keep it going, eventually both franchises will stop making money, and Fox will stop making the movies.  If they were smart they’d make a movie once every other year to keep public interest up, but nope they’re being greedy, and wringing them dry.  I give it 10 years.

On the other Side is Spiderman. now Amazing Spiderman did pretty damn good business, not quite reaching The originals, Avengers, or The Dark Knight, but slightly better then ironman numbers, but once again instead of Sony spreading these movies out they’re making one every other year.  This doesn’t work because eventually you’re either going to make a bad sequel or the public will get tired of them. They’re even talking about a Venom movie trying to copy the Marvel shared universe template.

The Advantage Marvel has is that they’re not on a time clock to get these movies made.  For those of you who don’t know, Sony and Fox have to make a movie every certain amount of years or they lose the rights to the characters.  But if Marvel doesn’t want to make another Captain America movie they don’t have to worry about losing him as opposed to Spiderman.  Marvel also has the advantage of having an excess amount of characters to pick from.  It also has the advantage of not having franchise fatigue.  An Avengers movie comes out once every 3 years so it’s an event, they’re on their way to having a license to print money.  Ironman 3 has already gotten a huge boost from Avengers, they just need to keep the momentum going and have all their properties flourish , while Fox and Sony get picked of sequel by sequel, and once Marvel gets their hands on Spiderman or Wolverine it’s over, money in the bank.

The Master – Why It’s Not As Good As Everyone Says

There’s always a festival/ critical darling director, whose movies are not quite as engaging, provocative, or powerful as people say they are.  A few directors come to mind, but let’s look at Paul Thomas Anderson.  I have a love hate relationship with this guy.  He’s a fantastic director, most if not all of his movies have gotten nominated for oscars, and he gets amazing performances out of his actors, also adding a surreal, but gloomy aesthetic to whatever he’s making.

He’s not a very good writer , I’m afraid.  His scripts have good dialogue , but the character arcs don’t go anywhere, the pacing is meandering, and there’s no real story or plot.  I guess you could consider them character pieces, but the characters don’t really change or have any definable qualities.  What’s more he does the thing that pisses me off with these directors is that you can’t enjoy the ending unless you understand the overlying theme in the movie.  The theme of your movie is supposed to be layered over top your story, it shouldn’t dictate where your story is going.  Black Swan is about DoppleGanger’s, Performance Anxiety, and Insantiy, but without realizing that I can still understand the ending and go back and catch that later.

It’s another case of I can’t quite say it’s overrated, nobodies talking about the script, it’s not quite as long as his other movies, and My God the acting paired with his direction is incredible, but it’s still just a bit off from being something I would return to consistently just for the acting.

Pacing

I’m going to try to not turn this into A Paul Thomas Anderson hate train, because I really respect the guy, he’s a fantastic film maker.  But all of his movies have the problem of poor pacing. They’re unnecessarily slow, and scenes go on for too long.  Sometimes that’s a good thing, adding to the uncomfortability he gets across with his camera work, but most of the time it leads to me being bored.  Even his best movies have a lag so bad , I consider changing it to something else, which once again probably reflects on the script.

Too Long

This is of course subjective, but there are some movies that are character pieces that don’t have a whole lot of story.  Personally I tend to stay away from them, because they’re usually one of these movies that’s the director patting himself on the back for his cinematography instead of spending time developing characters.  But it can work.  The Wrestler doesn’t have a whole lot of story.  The issue with making a movie this long with no story is that it feels like a waste of time.  Had this been an hour and a half character study and test of patience, it’d be tighter, and not only keep everything it was going to say, but be forced to get the point across more deliberate.  There are good movies that just bullshit for an hour.  And while I acknowledge, a lot of stuff in the middle of this movie works really well, about half of it boring as shit.  Once again subjective, but some people tend to agree.

Characters

In every category every year there’s a nomination, that is only given as a high five to the actor and the movie, that has absolutely no chance of winning.  Not to say they haven’t earned it, but there’s no way it’ll win.  This year we have Amy Adams in The Master. Now I’m tempted to say Amy Adams gives a great performance, but really I don’t remember her doing much in the film.  And further more, I don’t get a feel for her character.  I couldn’t give you one character trait and describe her.  Seymour Hoffman’s character gets a little more.. character i guess, but that’s only because he’s a metaphor for a real life human being, but Adams isn’t given anything to do, and doesn’t have an arc.  Once again Jacquion Pheonix is the only one who really delivers because he’s given more to do.  He’s an alcoholic insane guy, whose as aimless as the plot is.  Not to take away from the lovely Amy Adams, god knows she’s earned the ability to just get the obligatory nomination, but I really do think there are more deserving performances.

Stop worrying about Themes and focus on story

My favorite Paul Thomas Anderson movie is probably There Will Be Blood.  It does have a lot of meandering, but it actually manages to tell a real story, instead of banging over the overlying metaphor that only him , and critics seem to understand.

The Master is basically a metaphor for Scientology and other Cults.  It’s also the ClockWork Orange concept of telling a man to be civil doesn’t work, they will always be savages.  Niether one of these really adds to the story.  This movie feels like it had no direction.  Every scene was thought up from the scene before, almost as if Anderson got his favorite actors, and then said let’s make a movie, and got on the set, and improvised.

Ambiquity 

Here’s my big problem with these directors and critics.  Whenever they see a movie they have already made up in their mind they’re going to like it regardless of the actual quality.  This is the most blatant case of last year.  Now this is far from a bad movie, and I wouldn’t give it necessarily a glowing review, but to praise this movie and ignore the major flaws baffle me.

I think when a movie is too open ended when does it stop being good and when does it become flaky, unfocused, or pretentious.  My big problem with Prometheus is that nothing is set in stone, there’s no answer to anything.  Here it’s even  more apparent.  None of the characters have motivations, any constistent flaws, there’s no plot and there’s no sub plot.  Nothing has any weight.  I read an interview where he said that Anderson had no where to take the story before and no direction and eventually used stories from a navy buddy of his and unused parts from previous movies, which leads me to believe he just patched this together from separate ideas instead of one cohesive place of inspiration.

There’s a scene where Seymour Hoffman’s character makes Pheonix’s character do something repeatedly as it tests his patience.  I’m sure somebody who liked this movie would say it’s a metaphor for the audience therefore making excuses, but no then there would’ve been more of that in the movie.  There’s nothing for me to grasp onto so at the end of the 2 hours , I just felt empty like it wasted my time.  Flight was 2 and a half hours, and it meandered a little, but overall it had a character arc, and sub plots.  Denzel’s character is different from when he started the movie until when it ended.  Can’t say the same about the characters here, which overall means there’s a lack of character development.  Pheonix is honestly brilliant here.  His voice, mannerisms, and unpredictability really make him fascinating to watch, it’s too bad his character doesn’t progress or do anything definable enough to call it a good performance.

I plan on revisiting this movie again, hopefully It’ll grow on me like a lot of these do. Definetly worth seeing and definitely a Rental, which is sad.  This movie speaks to me, it’s an allegory for religion it’s got 3 Oscar Caliber actors acting their asses off, and some of the best direction, i’ve seen all year, so sad that Anderson couldn’t step out of his own way and deliver a well balanced movie experience.

The Dark Knight Is A Liar

Everybody loves The Dark Knight trilogy.  Geeks love it , Girls love it, Jocks love it, Parents love it, inmates love it, Nolan excels at making thinking man movies that also function as pop corn movies.  Fans of Nolan think he is a genuis, and god’s gift to cinema.  Detractors say that he’s overrated, and simply uses narrative tricks to fool people into thinking his movies are better then they are.  Me being Mr. That’s Over rated , Tend to lean to the detractor side.

Not to say that Nolan isn’t a genius, or at least isn’t capable of being a genius, but I think he’s a much better director then screenwriter.  His dialogue is absolutely atrocious ” Cat’s got your tongue”, and his scripts tend to have get really sloppy, especially during the third act.  I don’t think I’ve seen a Nolan movie that hasn’t dipped in quality in the third act.  Inception was going great until it buckles under the weight of itself and really lost me emotionally. The Dark Knight has one of the weakest 3rd acts , for me personally , because it falls into the trappings and just becomes your typical Batman movie.  I noticed with Dark Knight Rises , and I hope this trend doesn’t continue, that his movies have gaping lapses of logic inside of them.  Stuff will happen that doesn’t make sense that nobody can explain.  Like in the beginning of The Dark Knight the joker knew exactly when to drive a bus out of the side of a building, and none of the other drivers or passengers notice?

The Dark Knight, to some, is the epitome of superhero movies.  Personally it’s more of a crime drama , so i prefer the darker Spiderman or the Avengers before.  Now I’m going to lose a lot of people, but the dark knight trilogy do not have a “dark” tone.  Now somebody of lesser intelligence may say ” What are you talking about it has dark in the title”.

Let me explain.  Having a dark tone, means having a movie that on the surface level is funny , quirky, or fun, but on further inspection you realize how depressing it is. It also means having characters you aren’t necessarily supposed to root for, and characters who are introspective and self loathing or even doubtful.  Fight Club is a good example, it’s real funny, but overall the story and characters and the situations they find themselves in are messed up.

The overall message of The Dark Knight trilogy is hope in humanity and hope in general.  It’s got other themes and ideas that ultimately conflict, but basically what I got from Dark Knight is people are good.  That’s definitely not dark, and of course there’s nothing wrong with that except it feels like a cop out.  The reason people like myself honest to god hate the dark knight rises, but can understand why some people of equal intelligence can like it, is because all the contradictions.  The Themes conflict other movies,  The overall smartness conflicts with the dumb logic the movie has and plot inconstancies, and worst of all is the tone.  The overall tone for your last movie needs to be absolute dread, something that was pulled off a lot better in The Dark Knight.  Harry Potter was a much better conclusion for several reason.  First it split up the movies into two parts giving both stories time to breathe and keep the story structure in pacing under control.  Second it meant that we can really get a sense of looming dread throughout the series.  They even desaturated the posters and marketing to make it look like saving private ryan to help really nail home ” This is the end”.  The most obvious thing it did was kill off it’s characters. Spoilers I guess, or is it too late?  Shit even Twilight had the balls to kind of kill off most of the main characters.  In the entire Dark Knight trilogy only 2 secondary characters die.

It doesn’t feel dreadful because Nolan is too soft to kill off any of his main characters.  Your last movie needs to have character death or that sense of dread, neither work because the last act is so rushed you don’t really get a sense of time passing for suffering.  The lesser intelligent person may also say ” But it’s so realistic and gritty, and he’s Batman”  Well you’re not all the way wrong.  He is in fact Batman, and it’s realistic and gritty for a superhero movie I suppose, but not really.  Kickass was realistic and gritty save the rocket launcher.  TDK trilogy always had moments that stick out as clearly unrealistic but no more so then TDKR, and gritty? Not really if you read the comics you realize Batman is a thug.  He will break your bones, snap limbs, bring you to the bring of death, but there’s none of that here.  Bane even snaps a guys neck offscreen.  Nolan doesn’t have the edge like Fincher who would’ve knocked this out of the park. And even if it was “gritty and realistic” outside of relations to other comic book movie that still doesn’t mean it’s dark.  It’s more of just a pop corn movie then an intellectual masterpiece people make it out as.

That being said, i can genuinely see why people love this movie.  It really only pays service to people who like TDK , which is a lot of people.  For people like me who loved TDK but doesn’t think it’s the best film ever, it’s a serious letdown, to each his own

Why Tropic Thunder Should’ve Won An Oscar

In 2008 There was two geek properties that had a match lit under them.  On of these properties was The Dark Knight.  Everything about this movie was on point.  The Marketing was great, it had a great director, but what really set it off was it’s iconic villain. The Joker, who has steadily changed the face of villains for time to come.  He was smart, funny cool, and had a real distinct look about him.  Most of all he was terrifying.  Everything about this performance was on point.  The voice, the clothes, the posturing, even Heath Ledger’s unfortunate passing bled into the mystique of the character.

The other geek property which set fire to the industry if not more so.  Ironman was a slightly smaller hit, I remember when it came out everybody referred to it as ” better then Spiderman”  Ever since TDK came out there was a blatant turn on spiderman by the general public , but before that it was the pinnacle of superhero movies.  Ironman ushered in a wave of spinoffs prequels, and worked in the concept of a shared universe among movies which had only been hinted at before.

Ironman ultimately got overshadowed by TDK, but not completely gobbled up like The Incredible Hulk.  In retrospect I prefer Ironman over The Dark Knight, and my love for Robert Downey Jr. blossomed.  Later that summer Tropic Thunder came out.  A movie directed by Ben Stiller, which I thought I would hate, but actually liked it okay.  Everytime I see it I find new things to love about it and it gets better every time, but one thing that stood out was Kirk Lazarus as an Irish Award season darling, who was playing a black soldier in a Vietnam war movie.  It sounds dumb, and it was, but in the best way possible.

Now I’m going to be hypothetic as I would never take an Oscar from the Great Ledger, but let’s say Heath hadn’t tragically passed, who he had deserved an Oscar? Any other year I’d say yes, but here I  gotta say no.

Ironically everything you can say good about Heath’s performance you can say about Downey’s.  Heath Stole every scene he was in, he had several ticks, he made the movie.  Same can be said as Robert.  Only one was funny and one was terrifying.  There’s even a level of make up that adds to the parallel performances, and makes them more interesting aesthetically.  Nominations were announced and Robert got himself nominated for an Oscar for best supporting.

To me the best thing about Robert’s performance is the layers of character and irony. ” I’m a dude playing a dude disquised as another dude”.  It’s a real statement on actor’s and the ways actors get Oscars.  In some ways it’s an Oscar bait performance mocking oscar bait performances.   You have the total unrecognizable transformation, the make up, and the double accent.    Same can be said as Heath’s performance. Except one is the definitive supervillian and one is black face.  You can’t sum up RDJ’s performance in one sentence and do it justice.  It’s a parody of Russell Crowe and Daniel Day Lewis, it’s also a statement on how actors transform themselves whilst having an actor transform himself, it’s also a statement on how far actors are willing to take risky career choices for an Oscar, whilst once again having an actor take a risky career movie, it’s also a parody of Robert Downey Jr himself, it’s also a metaphor for not knowing who you really are. The fact that the Academy actually nominated this performance is hilarious in itself.

The Joker is just crazy, which can be interesting and is, but Kirk Lazarus is also crazy, and we really delve into his character’s psyche.  We get a very subtle understanding of why he does what he does, and we understand this.  The Joker doesn’t really get any real explanation, and why that makes for him being more captivating it doesn’t add for a more fleshed out character, which to me lends itself to a better performance.

Amazing Spiderman – Why It’s Not As Good As Everyone Says

Now I’ve done a few of these posts and the generally the rule I try to follow is to only write an article about films I genuinely like as to avoid being biased.  There where 3 main movies last summer I thought were a bit over hyped Promethues Dark Knight Rises and Spiderman.  Now I had a big debate with myself on which of thee latter two I enjoyed less. The Dark Knight Rises aimed high and spectacular failed in some key areas while still delivering a visceral experience.  ASM aimed extremely low and I guess hit all the points it wanted to make.  In the end I’ll have to choose TDKR as the better movie because it had a reason to be 2 and a half plus, but ASM didn’t need to be longer then the Avengers or 90 Minutes.

This is the one movie I will call overrated.  This movie is getting all kinds of nerd love. I don’t quit it.  Now once again I have a biased for Spiderman.  Sam Raimi’s Spiderman Trilogy was with me through my childhood and adult hood.  As I transitioned from a child to a young adult , the more kid aspects provided a level of fun, while the darker introspectiveness appealed to my overly hormonal depressed teenage ass.  And as much as I’m a fan of Comic Book Movies, I really can’t consider myself a comic book fan.  EXCEPT I read the original run of Spiderman.  Years and Years of comic books.  Then I played the video games, and I even read a lot of Ultimate Spiderman.  So of course I have some baggage, but I have fond memories of the Evil Dead series and that remake satisfied me.  Because it actually tried and wasn’t rehash, but we’ll get to that later as I sterilize, put on my gloves, and perform an autopsy on this movie.


Fan Service

Once again I cannot stress enough how much I love clever fan service which makes the geeks smile, serves the story, and let’s new comers enjoy it as well.  This movie has the most annoying fan service of the geek properties.  Mainly because it’s lateral moves to get away from the Sam Raimi Spiderman, and it actually hurts the storytelling.  Peter Parker’s web shooters are discovered instead of built or created and they never run out of web. Pointless.  Gwen Stacy as opposed to Mary Jane even though it’s a generic hollywood relationship, and wasn’t unique to Gwen AT ALL. Pointless.  Peter Parker’s parents having their own sub plot that doesn’t pay off what’s so ever. POINTLESS.  New Mask that gets taken off constantly.  I think I saw Garfield more out of the mask then in the mask.

None of the fan service that Sony Pict- I mean Marc Webb introduces really get used to the point that makes them worth putting in.  There’s a real interesting dynamic of Peter running out of web, or his parents playing a big part of the universe.  But no they don’t take advantage of that.  Take For Example in Avengers when Thor fights Ironman.  This scene could’ve been totally pointless, but not only does it play into the story, it develops the characters dynamic, Thor having a temper, and Tony being the most tragic one out of the group and getting used to the crazy ideas of what’s going on in this shared universe.  It’s a great scene.  There’s not a whole in here like that, that I can remember this is more of the Expendables of lazily introducing geek mythos and letting it fall through their hands.

Romance

Now I don’t have a problem with a romance in a comic book movie.  It just either needs to be the main focus or on the side.  Xmen First Class had a love triangle that wasn’t even a big deal until the last 10 minutes.  Kickass also had a romantic subplot.  The reason it’s good to have the women behind the hero is that it if done right it raises the stakes.  We may feel bad for Kickass, but the fact that he has a women to fight for gives the scenes more weight.  In the original Spiderman there is no romance. It’s all about the characters of Peter, Harry, and Mary.  Not only that, but we never see the romance as a typical hollywood slob.  When they finally get together their relationship is absolute shit, and really sends home the fact of how dark these Sam Raimi movies are. It’s kind of depressing that at the end of the trilogy it’s not clear if Peter and Mary got back together or even if they deserve to get back together.

In the comics, and I can say this now, Gwen Stacy and Spiderman’s relationship was very complicated.  They both liked each other but for a number of reasons they had to work towards their relationship. They had to earn it.  It’s a similar dynamic in the original, where peter and Mary took two whole movies to get into a relationship and it actually more resembles the Gwen Stacy dynamic then Mary Jane, but enough about the comics.   Look at Ironman.  The reason Ironman works so well is because the chase is more interesting then the catch.  In Ironman 2 where they make out just because it’s the end of the movie it feels cheap, just like this romance here.

Basically they got together because they’re both pretty people.  Andrew Garfield is gorgeous and could easily be a model, and Emma Stone does not look like a nerd chick. But beyond that why do these two like each other other then they’re both attractive.  They don’t have any chemistry unlike say Tony Stark and Pepper Potts, and they’re not given anything to say that really makes it interesting so why should we care.  Basically if you’re going to have a love interest do it right and not so bland like the rest of the movie. Speaking off.

Walmart Brand Spiderman

When I watch Green Lantern or Wolverine Origins, poor Ryan Reynolds, it feels like the studios went up the movie maker typed in ” Generic action super hero movie” and then the movie came out and they said ” Shit, we forget to add in the hero” and they put in Green Latern and Wolverine.  My point being neither of these two movies have any identity.  The Green Lantern movie could’ve easily been say The Flash and replace the Intergallatic stuff with Science Labs or something and Xmen Wolverine could’ve  been any number of generic action movies.  A good superhero movie should look like it.  Captain America has a desaturated Saving Private Ryan look.  Ironman has a techy shiny aesthetic.  The Dark Knight has a gritty palette.  You could show me a clip from all these movies without the main hero or any main characters and I could tell.

Most of the time Amazing Spiderman doesn’t even look like a hollywood movie.  It looks like an episode of SmallVille or damson’s Creek.  Nothing wrong with that.. Well no actually that’s everything wrong with this movie.  Nothing feels cinematic or epic.  The original Spiderman’s transformation was not only physical, we get to see every single aspect of Peter Parker’s abilities.  Before he climbed walls and swung on his web, he got a banner stuck to his hand and got a trey stuck to his web on accident.  We see every single power of Spiderman from agility to quickness to spiderman sense. ALL THAT SHIT.  The new Spiderman he just skateboards.  Now agility is a pretty common ability in the Marvel universe he easily could’ve just been Night Crawler.  The transformation sequence here also has corny music that sounds like they’re trying to sell the soundtrack.. Just like Smallville.

I get the feeling that the producers did more directing on this movie then Marc Webb did.  I’ll give it enough credit in that it did a decent job of setting up a new franchise, putting it generously.  This is RC Cola, This isCaned Vegetables, Imitiatino, etc.


Peter Parker and The Overall Tone

Now I have to admit, after rewatching the Spiderman trilogy it’s a real tight rope.  Sam Raimi is juggling several plates the whole series.  If you really pay attention, this is the darkest of the superhero trilogies.  ” But what about the dark knight it has DARK in the title”.  TDK trilogy is GRITTY and REALISTIC. Not Dark.  There’s never a point where the audience should question Bruce Wayne.  The characters are pretty much flawless.  In the Spiderman Trilogy  EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER has issues.  Peter is a bitch, Mary is a bitch, Harry has daddy issues.  While people can consider it whiny at points I think it’s an excellent juxtaposition of the kid friendly aspects.  This is a trilogy in which a teenage boy watches his grandfather die only to find out he potentially blamed the wrong guy only to find out the right guy didn’t do it on purpose.  Not to mention killing his best friends dad.  There was always self doubt and inner conflict in these movies which made it so great .  No character was sure of themselves.

This new movie is not dark.  It’s cinematography is darker, but really given the description of an actual dark movie, this Peter Parker is just an asshole. There’s no reason this guy should be a nerd or even Peter Parker.  There’s nothing in him that saids nerd aside from the glasses.  Poor Andrew Garfield isn’t good, but he’s given nothing to work with.  The original Peter had such a quaintness to him, and was such a geek you believed it. Andrew Garfield looks like a nerd, and the glasses they put on him makes him look even more handsome.  Basically his blandness once again reflects the lack of anything special in this movie.

There’s one thing I know certain people are looking for in here is for him to joke around a lot, but let me tell you. It’s nothing that adds to the character.  Most of the times when this movie tries to be “hollywood funny” it fails on it’s face in an emberassing way.  The original had Sam Raimi’s direction , and Jonah Jameson, and Peter’s expression.  This movie isn’t funny it isn’t dark, and the new Peter is basically no different by the end of the movie then when he starts.  If there’s an Avengers movie I want Tobey Macquire not Andrew Garfield.

ReHash and Too Soon

Now most of my big complaints have been the lack of any real style and comparisons to other superhero movies and of course to the original .  And I feel that since Sony only waited 5 years to reboot this franchise , Comparing it to the originals are fair.  Once again the Orignals are the absolute pinnacle of superhero arcs.  I’d like to say if this was the first Spiderman movie this wouldn’t be a whole lot better then Green Lantern.  This movie either needed to be really good or take the story in a new direction.  Which it didn’t.  It didn’t do anything new.

The action scenes in Sam Raimi’s movie are to this date absolutely Badass.  Spiderman’s powers add interesting dynamics to fight scenes since he can stand of walls, web sling, etc.  The subway scene in Spiderman and Doc Ock in the hospital are absolutely breathtaking and the high with Sandman is also badass.  The new Spiderman has a bigger budget and better special effects.

Sike. Womp Womp.  The new effects in Amazing Spiderman are pretty but they look like , well effects.  It looks like a video game as opposed to the amazing special effects in Spiderman that still hold up to this day.  The Lizerd looked absolutely fake.  And I thought that maybe they’d use more of Spiderman as an acrobat.  Nope. The last big climax is supposed to be great because it’s Spiderman swinging in a straight line…  Yeah we’ve seen Spiderman swing in the city, dive in the air, have an aerial fight, Pretty much everything you can possibly do cool whilst being in the air, and you guys have Peter’s sorry ass injured and swinging in a straight line.. I’m done.

Basically this movie is a soda with a lot of ice and low carbonation.  It’s not the worst thing and they world and you’ll still drink it, but real soda fans will tell it’s some bullshit.

Fixing Franchises – The Fast and The Furious

Next to the Aliens and Evil Dead Franchise, The Fast and Furious movies are very much inconsistent. The First one is a pretty straight forward action movie, The second one is much more dumb and over the top, The Third one Tokyo Drift is absolute shit, and the Fourth one is a cop thriller with cars.  Now my absolute favorite is the pinnacle of stupid fun, Fast Five.

Fast Five is a badass movie, it’s got charismatic characters, badass set pieces, hot ass women.  Normally I’m very cautious to approach these type of movies.  Dumb Fun has to be inventive and creative, not just dumb dumb.  That’s the difference between Bad Boys 2 and Transformers 2. One is dumb on purpose and the other one had no choice.  This is one of the few times I can look at the flaw in the movie and either laugh at them, or roll my eyes and laugh at them, resulting in the ultimate theatre experience in which I regret I was super in. Admittadly this should’ve came out before Fast Five, so I guess technically this is Fixed Franchises.

Keep Old Characters

The Power of any franchise is it’s characters. While it could be potentially corny looking back at the franchise the characters are actually pretty well defined and developed oddly enough.  Well, at least from the main cast the side characters aren’t , but Every character that’s been on the box art from the previous movies are really cool characters.  Tyrese , Ludacris, and the asian guy are all really welcome returns.  Keep the old characters in as to avoid franchise overload, because they’re making about 10 of these movies.

Introduce New Interesting Characters

Dwayne Johnson is not one of my favorite actors , but he never disappoints.  His introduction really nailed the aim the franchise was going for and actually gave the movie a decent villain and sense of threat. As Cheeesy as the guy is he’s a brick house, and if he punched me I feel like I’d turn to jello.  Keep that up, introduce more characters to beef up this franchise, when you really think about this series is the equivalent of the Avengers or Ocean’s Eleven, so new characters is the fuel.

Make A Good Villain

Now this is my only complaint about every movie in the franchise. The villains are generic and ass.  Aside from the Rock, which we all kind of knew wasn’t that bad of a guy, the villains are not very memorable.  They need an A-list actor to come in and soak up some scenery and really give the movie a sense of a threat.  That way there’s still tension when they’re on the screen as opposed to just a sense of fun.

Keep it an ensemble

Ensembles make the best movies.  That’s why Avengers is better then The Dark Knight, that’s why Toy Story is better then Shrek, That’s why Lord of the Rings is better then Harry Potter.  The team dynamic is tricky, but if pulled off gives a sense of fun and charisma to any movie.  This movie is the pre avengers Avengers.  Not to say it comes even close, but it still can with the sequel if it makes the team a bigger deal.

Don’t go darker go dumber

Now let me be clear, if this movie wants to go darker that’s fine, but people confuse dark with gritty and realistic thanks to Nolan.  No dark means introspective and grim, upping the stakes.  Now if you want to give every character a personal demon and stretch the limit to which they stay loyal to the team, DO THAT. That’s actually what I’d love to see.  But don’t make the mistake of killing off a character because as much as I praised the characters , I really couldn’t care less if one of them died.

Now if they can strike that balance of more personal turmoil and dumb shit I’m all for it. Basically make a good movie or make a dumb movie.  But either do both or do them right. Fast Five was a great stepping stone.  As much as people complain about rehash in a franchise it took a complete Left Turn, and once again delivered fan service in a way that actually help told the story.

I want it to go Full Retard.  I want the next one to take place underwater with underwater cars. I want the one after that to take place in outer space. After that they should have a crossover with another dumb ass franchise like Step up.  Go Full Retard. Give us what we want, I want the feeling of intoxication when I leave the theatre due to the amount  of pure visceral thrown at me. Fast Five was just the tip, but take me there Fast and Furious I need that.

5 Reasons Ironman 3 Could Make a Billion

This will be my most biased article ever. I think Robert Downey Jr. is the most versatile and talented actor working today. The fact that this man can get nominated in black face really shows how compelling he is and his screen presence. I think literally every other role he takes is Oscar Caliber which is something I can rarely say about a block buster actor. Ironman is my favorite Superhero, Ironman is my second favorite movie only behind Avengers. But Biased aside, Ironman really ushered in a new wave of Superhero movies.  It’s also a really reliable franchise, but not something that completely breaks the box office bank , like Lord Of The Rings, Spiderman, or a number of other geek properties.

But this year wishful thinking tells me that he might just hit that Billion dollar mark.  It doesn’t matter the movie will make money, it will more then likely be great, and possibly even better then the avengers.

Lack of Immediate Competition

Ironman 3 has two full weeks of no real domestic threat of competition. Of course Star Trek 2 will be coming out another great geek property, but Billion dollar movies happen because of repeat business. I saw The Avengers and The Dark Knight twice in theaters.  That means geeks can not only see it twice in one weekend, they have two whole weeks to gear up for Star Trek 2.  If I was Marvel and Paramount I’d market the fact that these two geek properties are lined up. ” Get Ready for Star Trek 2 , by watching Ironman 3″.

Even more so most billion dollar movies don’t make their money domestically they make them oversees.  Ironman is coming out a whole week earlier in other places to soak up that International Foreign money.  It worked for Amazing Spiderman which didn’t get completely squashed by Dark Knight Rises by coming out early and making it’s money internationally.

First Out Of The Gate

Studios are getting smarter, they know the best time to release a summer block buster.. is anytime but Summer. Sure you have your Dark Knight’s which can be released any time, but a lot of box office titans are released slightly before summer, August, Christmas , or before Oscar Season.  Thor and Fast Five where the first out of the gate and both exceeded expectations.  Avengers was the first movie pre summer and killed the box office and poor Battle Ship, and Dark Shadows.

Robert Downey Jr. 

Robert is still one of the few actors who have a reliable star power and box office draw.  Tom Cruise, Adam Sandler, and Jim Carrey three box office titans are only as strong as their franchises now a days.  Channing Tatum is the only other guy who really brings people in on name alone, and he doesn’t have a single movie over half a billion while RDJ has five.

3D and IMAX

If I honestly sat down with myself and said, how much do you honestly think Ironman 3 is going to make I’d say around 700 – 800 Million. They say the 3D bumps up the average ticket cost by 20 percent.  That means for every say Hundred Million you get an extra 20 Million without fractioning in IMAX and other factors. Not to mention Inflattion, Ironman 3 has a really big boost, as a billion dollars is meaning less and less ticket sales now a days.

Franchise Power.

Avengers was a super hit , and now everybody and their son daughter grandmother, wants more Avengers.  Ironman 3 is the closest people are going to get to another Avengers.  Not to mention that Ironman was a huge success. Rules of franchises go the first movie makes the least amount the second movie, if good, makes a significant amount.  The Dark Knight franchise went from 400 Million to one Billion, by having a good sequel.  Ironman 2 of course wasn’t perceived as well as Ironman 1, and therefore didn’t have the sequel jump in box office that Lord of The Rings and The Dark Knight had.

But there is a silver Lining.  After making a sub par sequel if you make a really good second sequel it makes a lot of money SkyFall for example.  Haters of the second Ironman movie will love this one and Fans of Ironman will also come.  They bank double. Not only that, the marketing is really pushing this Ironman as darker and more serious.  Almost to say “That last movie sucked but we got this one right”. Some peoples complaints about Avengers, which where unjust, was that it was a kid’s movie.  Here comes Ironman 3 looking all dark and stuff.  Not to mention they have a new director and writer who both have a built in fan base in Shane Black and Drew Pearce.  Not to mention the Disney Marketing Machine, which has been going crazy over the past month, even I’m getting a little tired of the constant tv spots. Just Kidding I love each and every one of them.

The biggest factor of course will be word of mouth, which nobody can really forecast or foresee.  Something Tells me not only will this be the best Ironman movie this might just end up on every bodies end of year best lists.