Growing up reading comic books, most youth were extremely disappointed with the live-action adaptations of their favorite superheroes. Movies such as the 1990 Captain America Movie were absolutely atrocious with bad acting and special effects that were on par with afternoon school television specials. Even Tim Burton’s 1989 and 1992 Batman films were too over the top. With the latter movie having penguins with rockets on their backs towards the end of the film. Joel Smuckmaker, I mean Joel Schumacher added neon lights, a mildly retarded Bane, and “Bat nipples” to the franchise to allow comic book movies to be taken as seriously as Gallagher smashing a watermelon. Once again Cinematic Impact has to mention the man that always does everything correct: Christopher Nolan. Nolan took the Batman franchise out of the shitter and it is now so revered that Clint Eastwood says that he takes Batman Begins and The Dark Knight as seriously as any major crime saga to be released from Warner Bros. In regards to Batman Begins, these films along with the 2006 Casino Royale are the definitive reboots of the 21st Century. Now Sony Pictures’ subsidiary Columbia Pictures has the daunting task of giving the public an exceptional Spiderman film that will go up against Prometheus, The Avengers, and The Dark Knight Rises in 2012. Warner Bros. has to make Superman something other than a child-support dodger with Man of Steel.
The Amazing Spiderman
Sony Pictures executives Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal conducted an interview with the U.K magazine Empire. Empire learned that the executives are well aware that it’s going to take a unique story to keep viewer’s interest in another web slinging adventure. For the majority of critics and moviegoers enjoyed the first two Sam Raimi directed films. The third was a convoluted mess of whining couples, too many villains, and a totally unnecessary EMO/Gothic dancing scene. The action scenes were not engaging because everyone knew that Mary Jane would end up in a predicament suspended hundreds of feet above the ground and Spiderman would swing into action and save her in the nick-of-time. The most pathetic subplot in Spider-Man 3 was the revelation that Peter Parker’s uncle was actually killed by Flint Marko; who earlier conveniently lands in the middle of a radiation experiment to become Sandman. The next Spidey outing will need to be more than just a darker atmosphere. Especially with the studio deciding to include traces of the origin story again, it will take a whole new perspective to keep audiences coming back for more. The Superhero genre’ is reaching its apex, and soon only the cream of the crop will be worthy of audience’s money and time.
Sony Pictures fully launched The Amazing Spiderman.com today (26DEC2011) and there is a very brief description of the film’s plot, characters, and production crew. Marc Webb (the director of the wonderful 500 Days Of Summer) is helming this project. Webb’s background is primarily in music videos, but web-heads should not worry because David Fincher has proved that former music video directors can be competent directors. Webb’s players are Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) Emma Stone (The Help), Martin Sheen (The Departed) and Sally Field (Mrs. Doubtfire). Garfield is lean and handsome, and looks more like a real-life representation of Peter Parker than the still competent Tobey Maguire. Garfield’s costume is slightly altered and he also sorts web-cartridges just like in the comics. Supposedly in this film, Peter Parker will discover the truth behind why his parents abandoned him, while dealing with a deadly creation from Oscorp. The Red One Epic camera will be used to capture Spidey’s battles with the Lizard-Man. I am a true fan of the film format, but this digital camera is the best of the lot. And of course Sony Pictures is banking on the 3D format to quadruple the $220 million dollar budget. No matter how great this film is, it will still have that been-there-done-that feeling. David Fincher has said that the origin story and the death of Uncle Ben should be taken care of in a crafty 10-minute James Bond-ish montage, and then roll the audience into a grand brand-new adventure.
Man Of Steel.
Warner Bros. tasked Christopher Nolan and his wife Emma Thomas to find the next director of the most famous hero from Krypton. The list of potential directors included Matt Reeves, Darren Aronosfky, Chris Columbus, and Duncan Jones. But it was the slow-motion/ speed-ramping fiend Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen, and The Dawn of the Dead) that landed the job. Snyder is obviously a great choice. His action sequences are riveting and although he uses CGI heavily he does have his special effect team do as much practically as possible. Superman will benefit greatly from the high-speed camera shots, but it is not Snyder that I am worried about. True, Sucker Punch was just a long video game cut scene and was lackluster, but that is forgivable.
The writing from Jonathan Nolan and David S. Goyer needs to be top-notch. These two writers are no strangers to superb screenwriting; however making a nearly invincible character engaging yet badass to audiences will not be a walk in the park. Superman is extremely story intensive. Superman Returns featured Superman, as a deadbeat dad who fought a giant rock as the climax of the film, so no matter what Snyder will have a better film than the 2006 crowd disappointer. J. Nolan and Goyer must craft a story where the origin story of Superman is not needed, and it is questionable if the world needs Superman. Yes, Superman Returns tried the latter mentioned notion and failed. But perhaps Snyder will show a world that is in utter chaos (not just damsels in distress) and only a being of phenomenal power and fortitude can contain the situation. Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road, Boardwalk Empire) will play Superman’s muscle equivalent General Zod. Zod is the sickest mofo this side of Braniac and Doomsday in Superman’s universe. The cast that includes Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane, and Russell Crowe are a stellar line-up. Kevin Costner is not a gifted actor (he is set to play Clark Kent’s earthly father), but perhaps his role will be small or mundane enough that it will not be a factor. And of course Henry Cavill is looking totally convincing in the lead role.
Sue Kroll, the head of Warner Bros.’ marketing team should have fun publicizing and advertising for this film. The posters and trailers will have epic encounters of its protagonist and antagonist. Snyder has Chris Nolan onboard as a producer, so it will not be entirely impossible that we see some type of prologue or extended scene that features pulse-pounding action.