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 Dark Knight Rises – Review

Apologies for the late review, this film needed to be seen a few times for me so I could happily pass judgement. Christopher Nolan’s epic run of Batman films ends with The Dark Knight Rises.

It’s been 8 years since Batman took the fall for Harvey Dent’s murder and the police of Gotham, thanks to the ‘Dent Act’, have cleaned up the streets from crime. Until a ruthless mercinary named  Bane attacks Gotham. His plans promt Batman to return to the city who, in the last film, wanted him dead. But some of the police still hold those feelings for the caped crusader and their attempts to stop him allow Bane to continue his plans for Gotham City.

This film is epic and on a grand scale. If you see it in a cinema with good bass it is simply incredible.

Christopher Nolan expertly co-writes and directs again as usual. He brings in some of his actors from Inception, Tom Hardy (as Bane) Joseph Gordon-Levitt (as Gotham City PD officer, John Blake) and Marion Cotillard (as Miranda Tate) as well as some more famous faces like Anne Hathaway as Catwoman.

Old favourites return to the series aswell. Christian Bale is again, Bruce Wayne / Batman, Micheal Caine steals the show as Alfred Pennyworth. Morgan Freeman plays the President of  Wayne Enterprises, Lucis Fox. Gary Oldman as Commissioner James Gordon. There are also some nice little cameos from the other films you might find pretty cool.

As I said before Michael Caine was the stand out performance for me. He really conveyed the emotion that Alfred felt throughout these troubling times for Bruce and Gotham.

The music fills the cinema perfectly and Zimmer’s use of silence in key scenes is so captivating. You find the chanting in the film very hard to get out of your head. But why would you want it to?

I had so much fun watching this film. Both times it excites you, frightens you, makes you feel the dispair and anguish of the people of Gotham. I really don’t want to say all that much more about this film but it ends the trilogy very nicely perfectly. I was a bit suspicious the first time the film ended as a big fan of Batman lore. But after the second viewing… All that went away.

4.5 Stars

The Dark Knight Rises is in cinemas now. AND YOU NEED TO SEE IT!

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 20, 2011

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

  • Warner Bros. Press Release for Production on The Dark Knight Rises…

PRODUCTION BEGINS ON “THE DARK KNIGHT RISES”

Filming will take place on three continents, with an all-star cast working under the direction of Christopher Nolan.

BURBANK, CA, May 19, 2011 – Principal photography has begun on Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ “The Dark Knight Rises,” the epic conclusion to filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.

Leading an all-star international cast, Oscar® winner Christian Bale (“The Fighter”) again plays the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman.

The film also stars Anne Hathaway, as Selina Kyle; Tom Hardy, as Bane; Oscar® winner Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”), as Miranda Tate; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as John Blake.

Returning to the main cast, Oscar® winner Michael Caine (“The Cider House Rules”) plays Alfred; Gary Oldman is Commissioner Gordon; and Oscar® winner Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”) reprises the role of Lucius Fox.

In helming “The Dark Knight Rises,” Christopher Nolan is utilizing IMAX® cameras even more extensively than he did on “The Dark Knight,” which had marked the first time ever that a major feature film was partially shot with IMAX® cameras.  The results were so spectacular that the director wanted to expand the use of the large-format cameras for this film.

The screenplay for “The Dark Knight Rises” is written by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer.  The film is being produced by Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Charles Roven, who previously teamed on “Batman Begins” and the record-breaking blockbuster “The Dark Knight.”  The executive producers are Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Kevin De La Noy and Thomas Tull, with Jordan Goldberg serving as co-producer.  “The Dark Knight” is based upon characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics.  Batman was created by Bob Kane.

Behind the scenes, “The Dark Knight Rises” reunites the director with several of his longtime collaborators, all of whom worked together on the “The Dark Knight.”  The creative team includes director of photography Wally Pfister, who recently won an Oscar® for his work on Nolan’s “Inception”; production designer Nathan Crowley; editor Lee Smith; and Oscar®-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming (“Topsy-Turvy”).  In addition, Paul Franklin and Chris Corbould, who both won Oscars® for the effects in “Inception,” will supervise the visual and special effects, respectively.  The music will be composed by Oscar® winner Hans Zimmer (“The Lion King”).

The locations for “The Dark Knight Rises” span three continents and include the American cities of Pittsburgh, New York and Los Angeles, as well as sites in India, England and Scotland.

“The Dark Knight Rises” is a presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures, in association with Legendary Pictures.  Slated for release on July 20, 2012, the film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

  • Titanic is set to be released again, next year in, you guessed it 3D, to co-inside with the 100th anniversary of the ship’s voyage. Does James Cameron not have enough money?
  • Arnie puts his hollywood comeback on hold following his personal matters that have been developing over the past week. For those who haven’t heard look it up elsewhere, I will not comment on what Arnie does off screen and off productions.
  • Stephen Fry to feature in The Hobbit he will play the Master of Laketown.
  • Production begins on Tim Burton’s adaptation of Dark Shadows… the movie stars… well if you guessed Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter you’d be spot on… the cast also includes Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Bella Heathcote, Chloe Moretz, and newcomer Gulliver McGrath.
  • The Hangover Part III is currently in development phase. It is said that it would end the franchise… I hope that the second can live up to the first because it’s possible the original could be killed with this latest release god forbid a third. Let’s hope for everyone’s sake that I’m wrong.
  • Keanu Reeves has turned down the role of Keneda in the live action adaptation of Akira.
  • Tin Tin Trailer Released

  • Tim Burton not directing Maleficent, rumours say possibly David Yates may be brought on.
  • Ubisoft Planning Assassin’s CreedSplinter Cell & Ghost Recon Movies. A Raving Rabbids series of 7 minute episodes in 3D CGI are also in development.
  • I’ll leave you with one final bit of news… They’re Closer Than You Think…

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 16, 2011

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

  • Aussie Joel Edgerton rumoured to be the star of the new Bourne movie.
  • M. Night Shyamalan Fans Raise Money For the Director to Return to Film School.
  • Gordon-Levitt’s character in The Dark Knight Rises finally revealed… He will play John Blake, a Gotham City beat cop assigned to special duty under the command of Commissioner Gordon.
  • The Crow is currently in legal limbo as The Weinstien Company file a lawsuit against Relativity Media over distribution rights.
  • Ben Affleck is now not signing on for Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, Luhrmann has now set Leonardo DiCaprio to play Jay Gatsby, Carey Mulligan to play Daisy Buchanan, and Tobey Maguire for the role of Nick Carraway.
  • Writers hired to work on the script for J. J. Abrahms project, ZANBATO. The site says the script involves Japanese history and robotics: “swashbuckling robots with swords”.
  • New trailer for Jessie Eisenberg film, 30 Minutes Or Less. Check it out below.

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING TRAILER CONTAINS CORSE LANGUAGE AND ADULT THEMES.

Australian Box Office – April 14-20, 2011

#

Title

*(A) Denotes Australian Film

Week Total

Screening Weeks

Total Revenue

(In Australia)

1

RIO

$5,644,374

2

$10,152,582

2

HOP

$4,127,223

2

$7,234,867

3

PAUL

$3,144,250

1

$3,237,193

4

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID 2

$2,749,130

1

$3,295,516

5

SCREAM 4

$2,495,522

1

$2,495,522

6

FAST AND FURIOUS 5

$2,155,375

1

$2,155,375

7

JUST GO WITH IT

$1,618,143

3

$7,237,269

8

JUSTIN BIEBER: NEVER SAY NEVER

$1,402,160

2

$3,449,246

9

SUCKER PUNCH

$1,271,886

2

$3,681,875

10

THE LINCOLN LAWYER

$901,573

3

$3,823,010

Film News Fridays – Week 15, 2011

Here’s what has been happening in the movie world this week…
  • Zod to be Enemy in Man of Steel, Michael Shannon is playing the evil Kryptonian General, Faora is also rumoured as an enemy.
  • Jessie Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Alec Baldwin and Penelope Cruz, all join the cast of a new Woody Allen movie.
  • Peter Jackson has announced he is filming the Hobbit at  48fps… double the regular rate… and calls for cinemas to be ready or to miss out.
  • More cast join The Dark Knight Rises – Josh Pence as a young Ra’s Al Ghul as well as Daniel Sunjata, Diego Klattenhoff and Burn Gorman who are penciled in at this point. Production is not too far away!
  • Bradley Cooper to play the lead in The Crow remake. Penned by Aussie Musician Nick Cave.
  • Avatar 2 Development and Pre Production is gearing up.
  • Anthony Horrowitz to write the second Tin Tin movie.
  • Ben Affleck to join Baz Luhrman’s The Great Gatsby.
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes trailer released. Check it out below.

Film News Friday – Week 14 – Late Mail

I have been so busy lately its unreal. So here is the late mail from last week’s news.

  • Thor is gearing up like crazy… videos coming out every day.
  • Josh Pence is to join the cast of the Dark Knight Rises playing a young Ra’s al Ghul in flashbacks. This furthers rumours that Talia al Ghul will be a villain.
  • Patrick Dempsey pushes to be the star of a Doctor Stange movie.
  • The Crow is set to be remade by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, director of 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later.
  • Haliee Stienfeld to play the lead female in an indie Romeo and Juliet movie.
  • Johnny English Reborn trailer is out.
  • Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas to be adapted into a movie.
  • Keanu Reeves talks Bill and Ted 3

Something to check out: