History of Superheroes in Movies

superman

While there were superhero movies in the 1940s, 50s and 60s it wasn’t until the 1978 film Superman opened the door for comic books and their characters to be taken as serious movie ideas, but that faded over ten years until 1989’s Batman put them back on the map again. Unfortunately, with the exception of Batman Returns (1992) the popularity of superhero films declined again until 2000 when X-Men got it right.

xmen

Since X-Men superhero movies have been on the up and up. Production companies started taking the concepts seriously again rather than trying to make it comical and camp (I’m looking at you Joel Schumacher). 2002 saw Spider-Man swing on to the silver screen and both the X-Men and Spider-Man films spawned major film franchises for Fox and Sony respectively. But we’ll get to the major production companies later. Fox continued it’s push with Daredevil (2003), X2 (2003), Elektra (2005) and Fantastic Four (2005) while Sony (Colombia) released Hellboy and Spider-Man 2 in 2004. Following the success of
these franchises DC and Warner Bros. took a different angle and rebooted the popular Batman franchise with Batman Begins (2005) which had a much darker tone to it than the Marvel films that were being released at the time. Superhero films cashed in on the success of the early 2000 hits for a few more years X-Men: The Last Stand and Superman Returns in 2006 and Spider-Man 3 and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer in 2007 (which might I add were all franchise killers) but come 2008 something clicked in the minds of Marvel, DC, production companies and audiences… Superhero Movies could be better than exciting. They could be exhilarating the perfect escape for people young and old just like the comic books they were based on were for people years ago.

darkknight

2008 was a big year for Superheroes, with Marvel’s start of their Cinematic Universe (Actually owning the rights to these characters this time) Iron Man blasted on to the screen, reviving the dwindling superhero audiences and Robert Downey Jr.’s career at the same time. On top of that the reboot of the Hulk franchise with The Incredible Hulk re-established another character for something in the future. Iron Man would have been the walk-away hit of superhero films that year had the follow-up to Batman Begins not been released. The Dark Knight wowed audiences and box officenumbers proved that superhero movies were not just a sub-class of action films. They were their own genre. Mixing comedy and drama with action, visual effects and the characters people of all ages could enjoy. The superheroes were here.

avengers

The late 2000s brought us a prequel to X-Men in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and a surprise cult classic with Watchmen. The start of the new decade brought in more of the independent heroes in to the spotlight, Kick-Ass and Super depict average joes standing up and answering the call against villainy and Iron Man 2 delved deeper in to the mystery behind S.H.I.E.L.D and why they were showing up in all these Marvel movies. 2011 was another big year for Marvel with Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger setting up for the biggest superhero team up in film history. Fox released a re-invigoration of X-Men going back to the early days of Professor X in X-Men: First Class and DC unfortunately missed the mark with Green Lantern. Last year blew me away though with The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises three of the four big superhero movie powerhouses put everything they had in to these films and they were incredible.

The superhero film genre has risen over the last twenty or so years to become films that provide drama, comedy, explosions and an all round entertaining visit to the cinemas.

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Iron Man 3 Sneak Peak

A San Diego Comic Con Exclusive reveals that Iron Man 3 will feature Tony Stark’s Extremis Armour. The Extremis is an Iron Man suit made of nanotechnology bonded to Tony Stark’s skeleton. This will be awesome for the film!

Alfred Hitchcock: A Retrospective

With these three words, ‘Master of Suspense’, you already know who I’m talking about.  THAT says more about Alfred Hitchcock than any award or analysis ever could.

Luckily for us, the Gallery of Modern Art have decided that you can never overdose on Hitchcock, providing us with “all 56 films in existance and 17 selected episodes for television.”  Yes, thats right.  EVERYTHING.

For someone like me, (a film student who seems to watch alot of trash and bypass the classics), this is my shot to talk in a somewhat educated fashion about a truly fantastic director, who made films with class, technique, make trademarks and pushed the boundaries of his time.  I had the privilege of attending the launch of the program on October 7th.  Every Friday night GOMA whips out the Hitchcock lounge, complete with deliciously devised cocktails, music, and ominous crows scattered about the place.

It was on this night that I once again viewed the only Hitchcock film I had seen before.  The infamous Psycho.  But I hadn’t seen it like this before.  GOMA had managed to acquire, from Universal Studios no less, a copy on 35mm film.  On the big screen, you have a sense that this is the way classic cinema should be seen.  Every dot, slip, just adds to the authenticity of the experience.  In a world thats full steam ahead digital, it felt refreshing knowing that the organic medium of film hadn’t been lost quite yet.

But the real highlight for me so far is the Sunday films.  Somewhere along the way, an individual/group had the ingenious idea of pairing Hitchcock’s silent films with a live band playing a score they themselves had devised.  Introducing The Quadratic Contingency, who upon my viewing of The Pleasure Garden on the 9th of October, accompanied the film with their talents.  I can honestly say that this musical addition enhanced the experience of watching Hitchcock’s first directorial effort (a melodrama!), capturing my attention and holding it tight.  I was captivated by the storyline, the tale of two dancers tangled in a web of fame, lust, deciet and cuddles.  Watching an aged black and white silent film is simply charming and almost soothing admist our current filmic environment of big budget explosions, 3D and megastars.

For people like me, this is an opportunity to actually come out the otherside educated in the Hitchcockian way, and discover truly timeless filmaking together.  For others, here’s a chance to catch up on the classics that, after all these years, delivers chills and thrills courtesy of everyones favourite Master of Suspense.

Alfred Hitchcock: A Retrospective is running from the 7th October to the 27th November at the Gallery of Modern Art.

Check Out the GoMA Website for more information on the retrospective.

This review was by Danielle Muir.

 

 

Superheroes To Save Us From The Apocalypse

With the supposed Apocalypse coming at the end of 2012 the superhero films are coming out hard and fast with this year and next year looking to be bigger and better than previous years.

2011-

Green Hornet – Hopefully not a sign of things to come as far as the next two years in Superhero films go.

May, June and July (around the American Summer Break) seem to be this year’s Super Months. Thor, featuring Australian, Chris Hemsworth is set to be released around Late April – Early May. It’s the story of Marvel’s least original superhero, the Norse god of Thunder Thor and his exile to earth. Next on the bill, in June is X-Men: First Class. This film is about the first generation of mutants – Professor X, before he was a professor, Magneto, before he was a total evil badass… and many more. Modelled after the new Star Trek film, the producers want to take the series in a new direction with a fresh young cast. This film is seen as the first film in a new trilogy in the franchise.

To DC’s only release this year, The Green Lantern. Ryan Renolds plays Hal Jordan, one of the first characters in the comic books to don the ring and fight for the Green Lantern Corps. The movie is seems to have a Iron Man sort of feel to it and from the trailer it’s difficult to say how this movie will go. Hopefully it will do well and one day DC might follow Marvel’s suit and create a Justice League movie.

Wrapping up the summer of super is Captain America: The First Avenger, the film is a chronicling of the first Avenger, from his rise out of the super soldier program to his status as “America’s Greatest Superhero”. Chris Evans plays the scrawny come super, Steve Rogers. While Hugo Weaving plays the evil Nazi, Red Skull.

2012-

Casting has been announced for the new Nolan produced Superman film with Diane Lane joining the cast as Martha Kent. Earlier this year Henry Cavill was cast as Superman for the film. The casting of Cavill made me think that maybe Christopher Nolan wants the world’s super heroes to be british? Batman played by Christian Bale and now Superman standing up for Truth, Justice and The Way of the Queen. That aside the director of the reboot tentatively titled “Superman: Man Of Steel” is Zack Snyder. This mix of Nolan and Snyder could be a strong one! – Superman: Man Of Steel is set to be released the end of next year. Another Nolan addition to the ranks is The Dark Knight Rises, the third and final instalment in the rebooted Batman series. Christian Bale returns as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Anne Hathaway is slated to play Selena Kyle (Catwoman) and Tom Hardy to play Bane. Could Batman’s back be broken in this film by the deadly Bane? All I know is it’s Batman and it’s back… Nolan Style. Prepare for epicness! – The Dark Knight Rises is expected to be released July 20, 2012.

Marvel returns in 2012 with 3 movies so far… a Ghost Rider sequel, the Spider-Man Reboot: “The Amazing Spider-Man” and the ultimate superhero team up movie… The Avengers.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance will star Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider again. It’s been several years since making a deal with the Devil and Johnny Blaze (Cage), living in self-imposed isolation, finds himself as the only person who can help save 10-year-old Danny – and ultimately the world – thanks to his unwanted and uncontrollable power – he has the ability to transform into the hell-on-wheels monster known as the Ghost Rider. Andrew Garfield, famous for playing the co-founder of Facebook in The Social Network returns to the screen in 2012 as Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man, the reboot of the series that ended only a few years ago. Marc Webb, the director of (500) Days Of Summer, has signed on as the aptly named director of this film. The Lizard and Van Atter, the Proto-Goblin are billed as the villains of the film.

The ultimate cross over sequal, The Avengers is Marvel’s flagship movie for 2010-2012 with almost all their films tying in to this movie. Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow & Nick Fury are all planned as cast in this movie directed by the one, the only… JOSS WHEDON! The ultimate comic-y fanboy has signed on to direct what will hopefully be an epic film of epic proportions!

The next two years are going to be incredibly super if all the movies work out… the are a few at the moment I’m not too sure about at the moment but we’ll see how they go. Who knows maybe 2013/2014 will be just as good… although the only Super-Film planned at the moment is Iron Man 3 :/

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Nick Linde’s 2010 Awards

Here are my winners and losers of 2010…

Best Picture Best Director
  • Inception
     

    • True Grit
    • The Social Network
    • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
    • Kick Ass
    • Shutter Island
    • Toy Story 3
    • Tron: Legacy
    • Honourable Mention: The first part of The Other Guys
  • Christopher Nolan – Inception
     

    • Martin Scorsese – Shutter Island
    • Ethan Coen and Joel Coen – True Grit
    • David Fincher – The Social Network
    • Stuart Beattie – Tomorrow, When The War Began
Best Actor/Actress Best Supporting Actor/Actress
  • Leonardo Di Caprio – Shutter Island
    • Jeff Bridges – True Grit
    • Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network
    • Natalie Portman – Black Swan
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt – Inception
    • Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit
    • Geoffrey Rush – The King’s Speech
    • Jacki Weaver – Animal Kingdom
Best Screenplay (Original or Adapted) Best Score/Soundtrack
  • The Social Network – Aaron Sorkin from The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich
     

    • Inception – Christopher Nolan
    • Toy Story 3 – Michael Arndt, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, and Lee Unkrich
    • True Grit – Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
  • Tron: Legacy – Daft Punk
     

    • Inception – Hanz Zimmer
    • The Social Network – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
    • Honourable Mention: Get Him To The Greek (African Child & Furry Walls)
Best Australian Film Worst Film
  • Animal Kingdom
     

    • Tomorrow, When The War Began
    • Bran Nue Dae
    • Beneath Hill 60
  • The Last Airbender
     

    • Clash Of The Titans
    • Iron Man 2
    • Valentine’s Day

Current Top 15 Movies of All Time

So to start this all off I’d like to present a top 15 list of my favourite movies of all time.

1. The Lion King

2. Kill Bill (1&2)

3. Inception

4. Fight Club

5. V for Vendetta

6. Donnie Darko

7. (500) Days Of Summer

8. The Dark Knight

9. Shutter Island

10. Dead Poets Society

11. Kick-Ass

12. Brick

13. Batman Begins

14. North By Northwest

15. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Honourable Mention: Swimfan

This list is subject to change and if you haven’t seen these films before I would suggest you do. These films are really good if I do say so myself.

To finish off this post, here is a trailer for a film that may make it into my list… directed by Zack Snyder, and billed as ‘Inception with Babes’, the one, the only, SUCKER PUNCH!