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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.

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

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.

Top 5 Let-downs of the Summer

Continuing with my last point, 2012 is a rough year for movies. The last two years where undeniably great, while this one is just meh. Then The Avengers came and surprised everybody by not only having lots of explosions and special effects, but by having a heart, and having every part of the ensemble in top-gear, and being one of the funnest movies I’ve seen. Then.. Nothing. No other movies came out that even approached the Avengers. Here’s my top list for 5 lists for disappointments of the summer. Granted none of these movies are bad per see. Just big let downs for people out of it’s core fan bases.

5. The Dark Knight Rises

Let’s start this list right. The mighty Dark Knight falls. On it’s face several times. There’s three real problems with this movie. One Nolan tries too hard to make this feel like it’s an important piece of film. So much so he forgets to make a superhero movie. Except a few moments that feel  like he put them there. I’m not going to spoil anything but basically Batman puts a big ass Bat symbol in the middle of Gotham for no real reason. Stupidest shit ever. Also the dialogue is horrendous. He works best when Batman is more of a symbol as opposed to a superhero. That’s when you get lines like “I’m the hero Gotham needs, not the one it wants”. That corny shit they put on the poster. Next He’s making a crowd-pleaser. Anybody with a brain could figure it out but for my readers who just got a lobotomy, it’s for a broad audience. Nolan has no teeth, that’s why there are no on-screen deaths, No real violence to speak of and everything in the last hour is predictable. I’ve never seen a Nolan movie that doesn’t get lazy at the end. Even Inception buckled under it’s own weight in the last 15 minutes.

Lastly there’s so much to digest, and the sloppy editing doesn’t help.A good conclusion needs to feel like it completes the series, answers all the questions, and needs to feel like all hell broke loose. TDKR does none of the aforementioned. There’s no real tension because we know all the characters are going to be okay and it’s a Nolan movie. They could easily make a new movie, hell like two movies and they did a terrible job of concluding the series. The returning characters are no different then where they start, Lucius Fox getting once again next to no screen time, and Officer Gordon doing basically the exact same shit he did in the last movie. The problem with wanting to make everything important is that he adds unnecessary undertones to everything. Bane is a solid villain, even though he’s really copy of the joker (Note the facial deformity, the hidden face in the intro, and even having basically the same plan on a larger scale), but I really think he could easily be a great villain. Nope. Not only does the twist at the end undercut his entire character, but his political views contradicts his plan. He wants to have an anarchy basically, which we never see play out, and then he plans to blow up the city.. How about you stick to one or the other. Not to mention the movie is long as shit, for no reason. It takes Nolan an hour and a half what would take any other director half that. Then you have more time for character development, and letting all these themes of identity, self-preservation, and darwinism come into play. Once again , not a bad movie. Just a sloppy, long, kind of boring, disappointing one. Not to act like there’s nothing positive, but everything they do right is completely ruined by a decision made later in the movie.

It’s not higher on the lists because I really didn’t expect too much from it to begin with. I love Dark Knight, but it basically had a few of the same issues, but everything I saw from the trailer made me figure out I probably wouldn’t enjoy it that much. The problem with wanting to be so relevant is you look at it more closely then you would say Ironman or X-Men. Ironman and X-Men had political statements that wasn’t too obvious and really anybody could understand. Respectively, Responsibility and Equality. Simple, you learn that in Kindergarden . You can’t rap up Bane’s political agenda in one word or even a paragraph. If you want to make a real movie make it, get your head out of your own ass and just make a political thriller or a superhero movie. Anybody who thinks I’m crazy you’re probably a fan boy and wanted to do all the extra work that the film made you do to enjoy it. I didn’t so there you go.

4. Prometheus

Now I could put Dark Knight Rises and Prometheus on the same bracket because they have the same problems. Bloated length, illogical character motivations, contradicts it’s own themes, overstuffed, and a false sense of self importance. First off, I needed to do several hours of research to figure out this movie. Anytime a movie makes you so intrigued you go off and do research outside of it that’s great. Anytime a movie Requires you to go off and do research it automatically gets knocked a few notches down. Now when I mean several hours, I mean SEVERAL HOURS. Between youtube, wikipedia, and a bunch of lists, I got it down what the movie wanted to get across. Still, several notches down.

Positives. This is actually an easy section to write because there are a lot of positives. I can understand why some people, who actually followed the movie and love Aliens, could love it. I could see even enjoying it completely in the dark. But as I discussed a positive can easily become a strike against the film if followed up poorly. The visuals ride the line between physical and clearly CGI but are incredible, jaw-dropping in some parts. The only minor complaint is that since it’s a prequel the technology looks so futuristic it doesn’t fit, but I can let that go because they’re so many beautiful images in this movie. The performances are still great. And when they aren’t it feels like the scripts fault, but Ridley Scott’s strength is clearly in set design and working with actors. Micheal Fassbender… Ahhhhh he’s so dreamy. And creepy. And fun to watch. If he doesn’t get, no win, a Best supporting Oscar Trophy I’ll be mad. The atmosphere works great through the whole movie. Here’s where the line grays. The story works great at the start, it’s a slow-burn but it’s taking it’s time it feels like it’s leading up to something.

But….as the story progresses it hits the half way mark and gets dumber and dumber and dumber and dumber, while still pretending to be a smart movie. When you take away all the fixings it’s your typical space horror movie. The fixings being psychological jargon, metaphors, and so much ambiguity. It feels like the writer didn’t know the answers to the questions he presented so he said fuck it we’ll make a mystery where none of the questions get answered people will call it brilliant. No..No…NO. Mr. Screenwriter you’re the sole reason this movie is weak. Everything but your smart stupid ass script works. But then you come in and throw a wrench at the whole thing. Everything that can be wrong with a script is here. Overarching themes, stupid characters, overly insightful characters, too much ambiguity, poor dialogue, just overall sloppy. This script needed to be tight and this easily could’ve been one of the best movies in the world. The writer even acknowledged they should get somebody else. It would’ve taken like a week to just punch up this script and make it good again. Nope I’ve been noticing that a lot. Dark Knight I’m looking at you buddy.

3. The Amazing Spider-man

Now I love Comic Book Movies. They’re basically character studies that get millions of dollars and get to be epic and dark and funny possibly all at the same time. Now my favorite CBM is Spiderman 2. No Ironman. No Avengers…. No Spiderman 2 actually. Sam Raimi took a great comic book hero and made this magical movie that did the best possible job in adapting a comic book. He got the spirit of the character and the comic right, while also putting his own spin , Much like Nolan with Batman, and Matthew Vaughn with Kick-ass. Crafting a movie that’s fun on the exterior and dark and depressing on the inside. So to say I have a chip on my shoulder for the reboot, is an understatement. The Spiderman trilogy is my favorite. I even liked Spiderman 3 a lot. So I hated it before it even came out, and I still came out disappointed.

The New Spiderman is okay. It’s not horrible, it’s not bad, it’s just okay. The problem is it has an entire trilogy of movies hovering over it’s shoulder. It’d be different if it’s just one movie, but no 3 separate movies it has to be better than. Basically Sam Raimi scored a 100 percent. There was no conceivable way to make this reboot work as well as the original. I don’t know why they didn’t just make a sequel with a new guy and director. The acting doesn’t have that charm as the originals, the action scenes don’t come close. Not even the special effects, the one thing that could work.. They look.. like special effects. The original two movies where stuck in that golden age of film making where CGI and pratical effects met in the middle and created a genuine look that can never be recreated. ASM has special effects that look like any other movie out there. Now with Avengers you have the epitome of a fun superhero film and Dark Knight you have the opposite in an, arguably, dark realistic tone. It kind of just floats somewhere in the middle not really committing to one side, unlike the original which ended up working as both very well. As a kid I watched it and loved it then grew up as a teen and appreciated the more moody aspects and related to them. This is like Twilight meets Spiderman. And I have to keep bringing up the original since it just ended 5 years ago. It dips into too much of the moody stuff instead of keeping it hidden under the surface. If this was the first movie, it’d probably be a little better but it did feel like set-up so we’ll see how the next one does.

2. Dark Shadows

My main fear with this list is that I would alienate people, but this is not a problem for Dark Shadows. Nobody saw it , Nobody cares about it, and it pretty much flopped at the box office. Normally this is the kind of movie that’s really fun, a little goofy, but no this has to be the dullest vampire movie i’ve seen in a while. Really all these movies are on this list because they have a decent start decent end but kind of just take a nap in the middle. This doesn’t have that decent ending to back it up. There’s only two good thing in this movie. The visuals and set designs and Eva Green. She plays the worst psycho ex girlfriend ever. She goes from looking absolutely sexy to fucking crazy every time she’s on screen. I wish this movie was better because she honestly deserves Best Supporting, but Tim Burton pretty much ruins any chances of that by having her be in one of the worst sex scenes I’ve ever scene.. Ha.. Johnny Depp is kind of just phoning it in, I’m not sure to blame the script him or Mr. Burton so I’ll pass it around. The underlying problem is the tone and the decisions. It’s so goofy, then it tries to be really scary. And when I say goofy, I mean like Looney Toons type shit. Besides Eva Green a complete and total waste of time.

1. The Expendables 2

Now I actually hate this movie. I hate this movie I hate the last one I hate what it stands for. HATE. This has to be the laziest fan service movie I’ve ever seen. When you do a team movie right you’re effectively making a movie better than any standard movie of the genre. That’s why Toy Story is better than Shrek. Lord of The Rings is better than Harry Potter. Why Avengers is better than Dark Knight. If done right, every actor can turn in a memorable performance and also the pacing can improve since the screen time is spread out more cuts which means faster editing.

Now this isn’t an ensemble. This isn’t even a team movie. There’s no since of “We need this guy for this” or “wow that guy is a badass”. Nobody in this series has any personality, beyond what kind of weapon they use. They don’t even have a good performance to carry the movie. There’s literally nothing good in this movie. It’s dumb but not dumb fun just dumb lazy. The villain name is Villan.. No irony seriously that’s his name. The action scenes aren’t even all that good, only having a few moments of inventiveness, but mostly being routine and outright confusing. The worst part is most of the actors here can do combat. You have three action stars, a master martial artists, a lineman, and a UFC fighter. If Jackie Chan did the choreo we’d have a bad ass movie on our hands, but nope.

This movie shows a devolution of what we call an action movie. Horror movies and comedies are already in the shitter but action is slowly sinking to their level. There’s no effort they have a cast that could be decent with an okay script and good direction, but nope both are terrible. Really the cast isn’t that great either the only one I’d consider a good actor is…… I guess Stallone, but he’s been in his fair share of shitty movies himself so yeah.. All they said was “If we get all these guys together people will come see it and love it.. A script.. Yeah I got my 13 year old nephew he writes fan-fiction he’ll take care of that”. I said none of these are bad movies but this one is easily a bad movie, I’m out.