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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(500) Days Of Summer – Review

One of my favourite movies of all time… nuff said. This movie has two fantastic actors who play two very good characters. (500) Days Of Summer is not a love story, it is so much better. Tom, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Summer, Zooey Deschanel lives cross when Summer starts working at the greeting card office that Tom works for, that’s day one… the following 500 days are shown out of order but in a way that is easy to understand what is going on. This is a refreshing take on the conventional romance movies in which it is usually the girl who believes in happily ever after and then in the end it happens. (500) Days Of Summer is different.

Directed by Marc Webb (now working on The Amazing Spider-Man) this movie has beautiful scenes and shots as they are strung together by a fantastic soundtrack with songs by The Temper Trap, Regina Spektor, Hall & Oates and many more. The film has funny moments as well as ones that tug the heart strings a little. All in all (I know this post is short but it just means you have to see this film) this movie is one for everyone.

4 Stars

You can find (500) Days Of Summer on DVD and Blu-Ray in all good DVD stores now.

Forecast – Week 16, 2011

Every Tuesday a forecast will be released focusing on the Movies coming out in Cinemas and the DVD’s that will hit your local shelves this week.

CINEMA

FAST AND FURIOUS 5

Vin Diesel and Paul Walker lead a reunion of returning all-stars from every chapter of the explosive franchise built on speed in Fast Five. In this installment, former cop Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) partners with ex-con Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) on the opposite side of the law. Dwayne Johnson joins returning favorites Jordana Brewster, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Matt Schulze, Tego Calderon and Don Omar for this ultimate high-stakes race. 

ARTHUR

“Arthur” is an upcoming comedy film and remake of the 1981 film of the same name, directed by Jason Winer and written by Peter Baynham. It stars Russell Brand as Arthur, a drunken playboy who stands to lose a wealthy inheritance when he falls for a woman his family doesn’t like. The original was really good so I don’t know how this one will stand up to it’s predecessor.

INCENDIES

A mother’s last wishes send twins Jeanne and Simon on a journey to Middle East in search of their tangled roots. Adapted from Wajdi Mouawad’s acclaimed play, Incendies tells the powerful and moving tale of two young adults’ voyage to the core of deep-rooted hatred, never-ending wars and enduring love.

MARS NEEDS MOMS 3D (WA, SA)

Bombed this weekend in QLD, NSW and VIC. See last week’s forecast for info about this movie.

POTICHE

When her husband is taken hostage by his striking employees, a trophy wife (Deneuve) takes the reins of the family business and proves to be a remarkably effective leader. Business and personal complications arrive in the form of her ex-lover (Depardieu), a former union leader.

THE TEMPEST

In Julie Taymor’s version of ‘The Tempest,’ the main character is now a woman named Prospera. Going back to the 16th or 17th century, women practicing the magical arts of alchemy were often convicted of witchcraft. In Taymor’s version, Prospera is usurped by her brother and sent off with her four-year daughter on a ship. She ends up on an island; it’s a tabula rasa: no society, so the mother figure becomes a father figure to Miranda. This leads to the power struggle and balance between Caliban and Prospera; a struggle not about brawn, but about intellect

THOR

Thor is a powerful but arrogant warrior from another world whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. He is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans as punishment. Once here, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth.

See these films on your screens Thursday, 21st of April. Fast and Furious 5 comes out tomorrow (Wednesday the 20th of April).

DVD
TRON: LEGACY

Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund), is haunted by the mysterious disappearance of his father Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), a man once known as the world’s leading video-game developer. When Sam investigates a strange signal sent from the old Flynn’s Arcade – a signal that could only come from his father – he finds himself pulled into a digital world where Kevin has been trapped for 20 years. With the help of the fearless warrior Quorra (Olivia Wilde), father and son embark on a life-or-death journey across a cyber universe – a universe created by Kevin himself that has become far more advanced with vehicles, weapons, landscapes and a ruthless villain who will stop at nothing to prevent their escape.

RED HILL

A young police officer must survive his first day’s duty in a small country town. Australian Movie.

These two movies will hit your shelves on Wednesday the 20th of April.

THE LAST EXORCISM

A troubled evangelical minister agrees to let his last exorcism be filmed by a documentary crew.

LITTLE FOCKERS

It has taken 10 years, two little Fockers with wife Pam (Polo) and countless hurdles for Greg to finally get “in” with his tightly wound father-in-law, Jack. After the cash-strapped dad takes a job moonlighting for a drug company, however, Jack’s suspicions about his favorite male nurse come roaring back. When Greg and Pam’s entire clan-including Pam’s lovelorn ex, Kevin (Owen Wilson)-descends for the twins’ birthday party, Greg must prove to the skeptical Jack that he’s fully capable as the man of the house. But with all the misunderstandings, spying and covert missions, will Greg pass Jack’s final test and become the family’s next patriarch…or will the circle of trust be broken for good?

These two movies will hit your shelves on Thursday the 21st of April.

THE KING’S SPEECH

The Academy Award-winning story of King George VI of Britain, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.

MADE IN DEGENHAM

A dramatisation of the 1968 strike at the Ford Dagenham car plant, where female workers walked out in protest against sexual discrimination.

These two movies will hit your shelves on Friday the 22nd of April.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part One – Review

The second last film in the eight-part epic (spanning over 10 years of filming) that is Harry Potter. I watched this today and I couldn’t help but realise that if people hadn’t read the books or done a bit of research in to the storyline, they would have no idea what is going on. The amount of assumed knowledge is pretty big. The sixth film (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) goes in to a little about the Horcruxes but nowhere near enough to fill a casual viewer in on what is going on. Nevertheless Harry Potter is a huge book series as well as it’s film adaptations… and those who are serious about watching these films, most of them have already read the books.

This movie is unfortunately not as good as it’s predecessors. As much as I love the Harry Potter series this one falls a little short. Hopefully it will redeem it’s self in its conclusion when it hits our screens on the 14th of July (mark it in your calendars). Most of the other movies could work as a stand alone adventurea, which I believe adds to the appeal of the films and although the later books relate more to each other the films still work as individual stories. Deathly Hallows does not.

All that grumpiness out of the way and all criticisms said, this movie is fantastic for a fan (unless you’re so devoted to the books that you feel the movies let the whole series down) it starts to tie up loose ends (or at least puts them in a bundle for the next movie to tie it off) and the acting, I feel, is brilliant. One of my favourite stars, Emma Watson, improves with age (she’s so dreamy). The story line has enough action and comedy to just satisfy the viewer… just. I might be wrong in saying but it feels to me like this movie is another Order of the Phoenix (the fifth film), good but just not great.

3 Stars

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part One is on DVD and Blu-Ray in stores now.

Wasted on the Young – Review

Wasted on the Young is an Australian film from first time feature director Ben C. Lucas.

Wasted on the Young is a film that begins with a jumpy timeline, centring around the fateful party where Xandrie (Adelaide Clemens) is drugged and raped, while showing before, for example the meeting of Xandrie and the protagonist, Darren (Oliver Ackland) and after the party, where Xandrie wakes up traumatised on the beach. The rest of the film deals with the events that follow that night. In the end everyone is involved because as Xandrie says, “If you see something and do nothing, you’re not a witness… you’re an accomplice.” All hell breaks loose when Zack (Darren’s step-brother) (Alex Russell) believes he’s gotten away with what he did to Xandrie on the night of the party and decides to throw another party to keep his “loyal followers” entertained. Darren has other plans and seeks “justice” for the crimes Zack committed.

This movie has a heightened sense of reality, there are no adults present (with the exception of a teacher’s voice on one occasion) and so it gives you a feeling that there are only these young people in this world, almost a Lord of the Flies feeling. They rule and justice and punishment is handed down their way. It can be looked at as a reflection of the issues plaguing youth these days and in a world without adults, who knows, this could be the way things would be handled. The acting in Wasted on the Young is very strong, Adelaide Clemens handled her difficult role of Xandrie incredibly well. The character of Darren reminds me a lot of the character of Simon in the british tv series Misfits and Oliver Ackland struck a cord with me, he could resonate this rage-ful helplessness that really connected with me. The whole young unknown cast did a fantastic job of making this “parallel world” come to life.

Wasted on the Young’s techniques are what sets this apart from other Aussie films, is high-contrast, and exclusive and selective shots contribute to this feeling that something is wrong with this world, you can tell that it’s not quite real. The director, Ben C. Lucas has this film planned and executed perfectly. It really made me think if this was the world we live in today, would this be the end result, is life truly Wasted on the Young?

4 Stars

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