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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The Amazing Spider-Man – Review

In these current times nothing is more common than a movie sequel, adaptation or reboot. Yep franchises are the only way to fly in the film industry, in most cases, its a safe and sure bet. Enter the Amazing Spider-Man, Sony’s new version of their not so amazing trilogy that went out with a very underwhelming finale. But I have to say… This time, they got it right!

Peter Parker is a young man living with his aunt and uncle in New York City, this much you already knew… What we didn’t know is why or how our young Spidey-To-Be is the way he is. In this film, Richard and Mary Parker leave Peter with Aunt May and Uncle Ben after their home was ransacked. Richard is a geneticist with some dark secrets and very dangerous research. Peter’s parents leave that night and never return.

Fast forward to present day and Peter (Andrew Garfield) is a senior at High School. He’s a photographer, very smart but not a nerd just a little awkward. Completely different and refreshing personality. There’s a girl (there always is) but not who the typical audience would expect, this time its back to the comics with Peter’s first girlfriend, Gwen Stacy (played by a blonde Emma Stone).

Becoming Spider-Man is a little “Second ‘verse, same as the first”… There isn’t really a way around it but it is nice the skip over the sort of things we’ve seen before. This change is much more interesting and sped up. Which gives the story more flow. The story, while people would think that they’ve seen it before, “why see it again?”, is very different to the 2002 Spider-Man it almost feels like its a more realistic story yet it sticks to the comic books. So pretty much… It’s Awesome! If I’m going to criticise this film, it would be that Spidey takes off his mask way too much! And people’s sections to Peter being Spider-Man is a little underwhelming.

The comedy and timing of the dialogue is great and it just feels like they weren’t trying as hard as the original. That’s not a bad thing by the way, it’s great to have Marc Webb at the helm. You’ll remember Marc Webb as the director of one of my favourite films, 500 Days of Summer. He once again provides us with a very good film that never feels to epic but somehow seems to pull if off anyway.

Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone play Peter and Gwen very well, their romance seemed to skip a few stages at times but I’m fine with them being on the cutting room floor, because it still worked. Rhys Ifans plays Dr. Curt Connors, an Oscorp geneticist who worked with Peter’s father before he disappeared. Connors lost his arm before the story begins and attempts to find a way to regrow it with lizard gene tissue. This goes horribly wrong and the villain of the film, The Lizard is born.

Ben and May Parker are played by Martin Sheen and Sally Field, they portray a younger couple than the ones in the original films. But they are still a very nice couple instilling their kindness and sense of responsibility in Peter. Irrfan Khan plays Dr. Rajit Ratha, a devoted Oscorp employee and Denis Leary rounds out the key cast as NYPD Captain and Gwen’s father, George Stacy. Stan Lee also cameos in one of his best yet! Keep an eye out for that!

Bottom Line: Some would say that this reboot is purely for Sony to keep the rights to make Spider-Man films… In my opinion they can keep them. The Amazing Spider-Man was made with care and a level head. I hope this film franchise doesn’t go the way of the last because this honestly felt and looked so much better. I really enjoyed this movie, it has brought Spider-Man back to life.

3 Stars

The Amazing Spider-Man is in cinemas in NT and QLD now and swings in to cinemas other states tomorrow.

Trailers of 2012

Lately, a whole bunch of trailers for 2012 have been released. So here are just a few of them in one nice little post for your Christmas Viewing Pleasure. Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you catch the Boxing Day Flicks like I will!

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Reaction: I was not a huge fan of the LOTR trilogy… I will watch this but yeah… Not a die-hard fan.

The Dark Knight Rises

Reaction: Will this ‘Rise’ above 2008’s The Dark Knight? Only time will tell. Nevertheless… it is bound to be Nolan at his best!

P.S. Love the quick flash of Joseph Gordon-Levitt!

The Avengers

Reaction: Joss Whedon where he belongs! At the helm of a Superhero Action flick! Possibly the biggest Superhero Movie of ALL TIME!

Prometheus

Reaction: Wow! Alien is back in a brilliant new prequel! Definitely looking forward to this!

The Amazing Spider-Man

Reaction: This will be a different take on the Spider-Man saga. We’ll see if it will top Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Pic… Again, time will tell.

Wrath Of The Titans

Reaction: What did I just see? WTF?

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengence

Reaction: … Ummm… Maybe… There hasn’t really been a good Nic Cage film for  while… Fingers Crossed?

The Expendables 2

Reaction: No Story Line… Just Names!

Again… Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Film News Friday – Week 32, 2011

Here’s what’s been happening in the Movie World this week…

  • Bridget Jones 3 has been officially planned.
  • Anne Hathaway spoke on the image revealed last week, “…the picture that he (Chris Nolan) released of me, that’s not everything. That’s like a tenth of what the catsuit is. And I’ve got to say, I find it frustrating and I know he finds it frustrating, but I also think that he’s having fun with it, kind of like spooning out secrets. He has a lot more control than you think.”
  • It has been announced that Sin City 2 has financing and is ready to start production possibly by the end of the year. Rodriguez said, “Sin City 2 is going good, we’re just finishing the script for that, we already got the money. We have everything we need so we can just start shooting as soon as we get the pages. And it’s the same thing for Machete 2. We’ve already got the budget, just waiting for the script. As soon as we’re finished writing we get to start the shoot.”
  • Jason Momoa has written the sequel to his Conan the Barbarian film that is being released next week. He says that as long as people go to see it (the first one, that is). Then the second one can go ahead.
  • Boba Fett could get his own movie.
  • Samuel L. Jackson to produce a live action adaptation of Afro Samurai.
  • Rhys Ifans to play a part in the next Bond film. He is Playing the Lizard in The Amazing Spider-Man.
  • The Dark Tower adaptation, a no-go.
  • The trailer for the board game adaptation film, Battleship has come out and… well… I have no idea whats going on…

In the Hawaiian Islands, an international naval fleet at Pearl Harbor engage in a very dynamic and intense battle against an alien race known as “The Regents”. The aliens come to planet Earth, on a mission to build a power source in the ocean. Upon their visit, they come in contact with a navy fleet. The film is also purported to show both sides of the story, from the aliens’ perspective, as well as the humans’ so the audience knows exactly where the opponent’s ships are. – I can’t wait for Guess Who: The Movie!

Film News Update – Catwoman & Spider-Man

Selina Kyle (Catwoman, Batman) has appeared in a new official pic from The Dark Knight Rises. Anne Hathaway’s character on the site is referred to as Selina Kyle which may indicate a more realistic approach to the character similar to Harvey (Two-Face) Dent.

Official Pic:

Some unofficial pics of Anne’s stunt double:

In other news, in a very bold move, Sony’s Columbia Pictures have slated the release date for The Amazing Spider-Man 2! Thats right folks, still a little under a year out from the first film, the sequel, with no known storyline yet, will be released on May 2, 2014! Long way off but here’s some photos of the new Spidey, Andrew Garfield:

Spider-Man in costume (Left) and Peter Parker with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) (Right)

Film News Friday – Week 19, 2011

Here’s what has been happening in the movie world this week…
  • NBC are passing on the Wonder Woman series… pilot wasn’t optioned.
  • The Dark Knight Rises started filming this week. First stop India next stop London!
  • Spider-Man pictures are coming out hard and fast with peeks at Andrew Garfeild as Peter Parker and Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Conners.
  • David Hasselhoff joins the cast of Piranha 3DD.
  • A darker version of Peter Pan, now has Aaron Eckhart, Anna-Sophia Robb and Sean Bean have been casted. Eckhart plays Hook, the Captain Hook character reimagined as a tormented former detective on the trail of a childlike kidnapper. Robb… will portray Wendy, the lone survivor who leaves an asylum to help in the hunt… Sean Bean has been cast as Smee, the chief detective and Hook’s only ally on the force.
  • Darren Aronofsky is said to be working with George Clooney on a Sci-Fi flick about a man who, after being cryogenically frozen, emerges in a future where man is no longer the dominant species. The script has been on the shelf for nearly twenty years and it’s titled, Human Nature.
  • New Poster for Conan the Barbarian…

  • Sneak Peek at Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter lead Benjamin Walker as the Vamp Slaying President…

AUSTRALIAN BOX OFFICE – MAY 5-11, 2011

#

Title

This Week’s Gross

Weeks In Release

Total Gross

1

FAST AND FURIOUS 5 (M), UNIVERSAL [349/ $6,921]

$2,415,386

3

$22,138,506

2

THOR (M), PARAMOUNT [387/ $6,055]

$2,343,309

3

$15,624,295

3

SOURCE CODE (M), HOPSCOTCH [201/ $10,395]

$2,089,437

1

$2,089,437

4

SOMETHING BORROWED (M), HOYTS [249/ $6,207]

$1,545,459

1

$1,838,204

5

WATER FOR ELEPHANTS (M), FOX [250/ $3,716]

$929,094

Preview Only

$929,094

Film News Friday – Week 18, 2011

Here’s what has been happening in the movie world this week…

  • New The Amazing Spider-Man photos – http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=77234
  • Fast Five Director Justin Lin is in talks to direct a new Terminator film with Arnie. Lin and Schwarzenegger reckon they have a clear direction they’d like to take a fifth film and it could very well ignore the continuity of the past two films, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Terminator Salvation.
  • New Pirates 5 Script already written up and ready to go.
  • Star Wars is coming to Blu Ray! And Lucasfilm have released the details of the nine disc box set…

Bring home the adventure and share Star Wars with your whole family when STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment! To be released beginning on September 12 internationally and on September 16 in North America, the nine-disc collection brings the wonder of the entire Saga direct to your living room, where you can revisit all of your favorite Star Wars moments in gorgeous high definition and with pristine, 6.1 DTS Surround Sound. Dive deeper into the universe with an unprecedented 40+ hours of special features, highlighted by never-before-seen content sourced from the Lucasfilm archives.

Special Features:

STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA ON BLU-RAY is presented in widescreen with 6.1 DTS Surround Sound. Special features include:

DISC ONE — STAR WARS: EPISODE I THE PHANTOM MENACE

– Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Ben Burtt, Rob Coleman, John Knoll, Dennis Muren and Scott Squires
– Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew

DISC TWO — STAR WARS: EPISODE II ATTACK OF THE CLONES

– Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Ben Burtt, Rob Coleman, Pablo Helman, John Knoll and Ben Snow
– Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew

DISC THREE — STAR WARS: EPISODE III REVENGE OF THE SITH

– Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Rob Coleman, John Knoll and Roger Guyett
– Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew

DISC FOUR — STAR WARS: EPISODE IV A NEW HOPE

– Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Carrie Fisher, Ben Burtt and Dennis Muren
– Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew

DISC FIVE — STAR WARS: EPISODE V THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

– Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Carrie Fisher, Ben Burtt and Dennis Muren
– Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew

DISC SIX — STAR WARS: EPISODE VI RETURN OF THE JEDI

– Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Carrie Fisher, Ben Burtt and Dennis Muren
– Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew

DISC SEVEN — NEW! STAR WARS ARCHIVES: EPISODES I-III

– Including: deleted, extended and alternate scenes; prop, maquette and costume turnarounds; matte paintings and concept art; supplementary interviews with cast and crew; a flythrough of the Lucasfilm Archives and more

DISC EIGHT — NEW! STAR WARS ARCHIVES: EPISODES IV-VI

– Including: deleted, extended and alternate scenes; prop, maquette and costume turnarounds; matte paintings and concept art; supplementary interviews with cast and crew; and more

DISC NINE — THE STAR WARS DOCUMENTARIES

– NEW! Star Warriors (2007, Color, Apx. 84 Minutes) — Some Star Wars fans want to collect action figures…these fans want to be action figures! A tribute to the 501st Legion, a global organization of Star Wars costume enthusiasts, this insightful documentary shows how the super-fan club promotes interest in the films through charity and volunteer work at fundraisers and high-profile special events around the world.
– NEW! A Conversation with the Masters: The Empire Strikes Back 30 Years Later (2010, Color, Apx. 25 Minutes) — George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Lawrence Kasdan and John Williams look back on the making of The Empire Strikes Back in this in-depth retrospective from Lucasfilm created to help commemorate the 30th anniversary of the movie. The masters discuss and reminisce about one of the most beloved films of all time.
– NEW! Star Wars Spoofs (2011, Color, Apx. 91 Minutes) — The farce is strong with this one! Enjoy a hilarious collection of Star Wars spoofs and parodies that have been created over the years, including outrageous clips from Family Guy, The Simpsons, How I Met Your Mother and more — and don’t miss “Weird Al” Yankovic’s one-of-a-kind music video tribute to The Phantom Menace!
– The Making of Star Wars (1977, Color, Apx. 49 Minutes) — Learn the incredible behind-the-scenes story of how the original Star Wars movie was brought to the big screen in this fascinating documentary hosted by C-3PO and R2-D2. Includes interviews with George Lucas and appearances by Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher.
– The Empire Strikes Back: SPFX (1980, Color, Apx. 48 Minutes) — Learn the secrets of making movies in a galaxy far, far away. Hosted by Mark Hamill, this revealing documentary offers behind-the-scenes glimpses into the amazing special effects that transformed George Lucas’ vision for Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back into reality!
– Classic Creatures: Return of the Jedi (1983, Color, Apx. 48 Minutes) — Go behind the scenes — and into the costumes — as production footage from Return of the Jedi is interspersed with vintage monster movie clips in this in-depth exploration of the painstaking techniques utilized by George Lucas to create the classic creatures and characters seen in the film. Hosted and narrated by Carrie Fisher and Billie Dee Williams.
– Anatomy of a Dewback (1997, Color, Apx. 26 Minutes) — See how some of the special effects in Star Wars became even more special two decades later! George Lucas explains and demonstrates how his team transformed the original dewback creatures from immovable rubber puppets (in the original 1977 release) to seemingly living, breathing creatures for the Star Wars 1997 Special Edition update.
– Star Wars Tech (2007, Color, Apx. 46 Minutes) — Exploring the technical aspects of Star Wars vehicles, weapons and gadgetry, Star Wars Tech consults leading scientists in the fields of physics, prosthetics, lasers, engineering and astronomy to examine the plausibility of Star Wars technology based on science as we know it today.

  • Hugh Jackman in talks for a 3D adaptation of Fantastic Voyage
  • Quentin Tarantino’s Next to be Titled Django Unchained
  • The ending of the film about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden is to be changed after the events that unfolded last weekend. Kathryn Bigelow, director of the Hurt Locker has signed Aussie, Joel Edgerton to play one of the Navy Seals.
  • Swinging Spider-Man!

FNF – Week 12 2011

Film News Friday, March 25th

  • The writer of The Amazing Spider-Man, James Vanderbilt has been reported to have signed on for the sequel. Sony Pictures seems to want to get the next movie underway soon after the July, 2012 release.
  • Feature Length Film to feature Micky, Donald & Goofy being developed at Disney.
  • A “PG-13” version of The King’s Speech is being released in America. This is in response to the R rating on the regular release. – This version set for Australia?… Maybe on a DVD release but certainly not in cinemas.
  • New ‘Bourne’ film (that will not have Matt Damon) in talks to cast Joel Edgerton (forthcoming remake of The Thing), Dominic Cooper (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy), and Luke Evans (Clash of the Titans) in the lead role, a character that isn’t Jason Bourne, but is somehow affected by the events of the trilogy. It’s being billed as a ‘side-quel’.

The Week That Was

The news the made the headlines this week since the last FNF.

Saturday, March 19th

  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt now confirmed for The Dark Knight Rises, along with Juno Temple.
  • S.H.E.I.L.D website launched > http://www.joinshield.com/.
  • Jodie Foster to direct a Sci-Fi Thriller.
  • Adrianne Palicki: the new Wonder Woman… >First Pictures.
  • Billy Bob Thornton to return in Bad Santa 2.
  • Kevin Costner to play Jonathan Kent in The Man of Steel.

Sunday, March 20th

  • Joseph Gordon-Levit’s Dark Knight Rises role revealed, Alberto Falcone, the son of Mafia chieftain Carmine Falcone, the character Tom Wilkinson played in Batman Begins.
  • New Hugh Jackman movie, Real Steel – New viral videos released of a few of the fighting robots central to the storyline. Check out wrb.com or Coming Soon.net.
  • US Ticket sales are down 20% on the first quarter of 2010. Why? A series of 3-D flops are to blame. Disney’s Mars Need Moms the most recent to bomb out and is one of Disney’s worst opening weekends in years.
  • Brian Naylor, director of the new Ghost Rider movie “The Spirit of Vengence” talks about the story the characters and more. Check out Collider.com for the full article.
  • Tim Burton to direct a stop motion version of The Addams Family for 2014.

Monday, March 21st

  • Production on The Hobbit begins. Facebook page launched for the film.
  • New Pirates 4 trailer is released.
  • Zack Snyder, talks more on Superman… “real(-est) film he’s ever done”.

Tuesday, March 22nd

  • Batman Begins, Speculation… Again: Joseph Gordon-Levitt may not be playing Falcone. Entertainment Weekly has announced that the statement of the character he will be playing was wrong.
  • New footage of Captain America to be released tomorrow on Entertainment Tonight.
  • The script for an american live-action Akira have been sent out to prospective leads. Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy all possible for Tetsuo.
  • Poster for the new Antonio Banderas movie comes out… The Big Bang! (Read the plot line of this movie you will think “what the?!?!”

Wednesday, March 23rd

  • Next Narnia movie to be produced… The Magicians Nephew
  • Clash of the Titans 2 goes into production… I’m sure none of you can wait for this.
  • Captain America trailer released.
  • Harry Houdini movie in the works by Sony Pictures.
  • The Wolverine on hold, no director and Japan crisis.

Thursday, March 24th

  • Dame Elizabeth Taylor Dies age 79.
  • Paramount Reveal the first 20 mins of Super 8.
  • Zack Snyder reveals Superman begins shooting in August.
  • Battle: Los Angeles Tops Australian Box Office

TV News

  • Torchwood to premiere July 8.
  • Fringe to give the green light for a new season.
  • Futurama renewed for two years.
  • CBS seem as though the may want their cash-cow, Charlie Sheen back… he is still winning.
  • TV Series not returning to American screens next season so far…
    • Friday Night Lights
    • Life Unexpected
    • Live to Dance
    • Lone Star
    • Medium
    • My Generation
    • Outlaw
    • Running Wilde
    • Skating with the Stars
    • Smallville
    • Supernanny
    • The Cape
    • The Good Guys
    • The Whole Truth
    • Undercovers

Youtube

Captain America Trailer

The Big Bang Trailer

The Big Bang Poster

And thats the News, this week.