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View Full Version : We DO need another hero!



azbikergirl
05-23-2005, 02:55 AM
I went to see Star Wars today and while watching the previews, I was sickened by yet another remake of Batman. Like we haven't already seen enough superhero movies in the last decade. Am I the only one who's not ga-ga over superheros?

I'd better send out some more query letters... ;)

Richard
05-23-2005, 02:57 AM
In fairness, Batman isn't really a superhero. I'd certainly rather see that than, say, Fantastic Four - yet more special effects pornography.

whitehound
05-23-2005, 04:06 AM
I find most superhero stuff intensely boring. On the other hand, it must be said it's a venerable and honourable literary form: a very high proportion of Celtic folk-tales are basically superhero, special effects stories, fully of people who can see through walls or go seven leagues at a stride etc..

Cuchulainn is even an Incredible Hulk-type monstrous superhero, who falls into fits where his muscles swell and writhe and his eyes spin and gouts of blood shoot from his forehead and etc..

MadScientistMatt
05-23-2005, 05:08 AM
At least, thankfully, it doesn't look like it will be the same sort of tripe as "Batman & Robin." I couldn't tell if the director meant for that one to be a parody of itself or it just happened by accident. This one does not look quite as absurd and campy.

preyer
05-23-2005, 07:43 AM
'supergirl' was worse.

i'm not too much into superheroes, either. movies are okay, that's just a couple of hours. comix were cool when i was a kid. reading them? no way, much too boring.

i've not seen the trailers for batman. thought the batcar looked like batcrap... okay, technically i guess that would be guano. it's got liam neeson in it, too... one of the most overrated actors around, imo. i've seen drywall with more personality.

love batman, though. he's a perfect anti-hero. i hope they make him have a truly conflicted personality. sorry, like michael keaton, but he's NOT batman and there was never really any sense of his mind being twisted. all the story potential there and what do we get in a sequel? penguins with rocket on their backs. pu-uke. it would have been humourous to watch them fight ewoks, but not terrorize a city. well, if nothing else, the last batman franchise wrote the book on how to kill a cash cow and turn its best meat into hamburger. it was truly painful to witness.

the one bit of dialogue i remember was robin saying: 'who's going to stop me?' and batman says, 'i will,' or something, while val kilmer is standing there shirtless sucking in his gut so much i thought his spleen was going to pop out of his mouth. it was laughably awful.

hard to believe there actually was a time when these were the movies to beat, eh?

spider-man kicks arse, though, even for a superhero. it's the characterization that makes it worth watching, no doubt about that.

not sure what the trend is towards heroes. it had been towards anti-heroes, comic-speaking, with spawn and witchblade among others. not sure if you find many straight-up heroes much anymore. personally, i've always found them dull as dull can be.

one great superhero that's always overlooked is aquaman. he's actually got a complex, convoluted story that's pretty dark.

shows like smallville make me gag. all it is is jason priestly's character from 90210 with super powers. bor-ring! people will watch a fart move across the screen if it's on t.v.. excuse me while i go watch foodnetwork right now. they seem to be building some kind of bbq grill or iron maiden or something. looks interesting....

brokenfingers
05-23-2005, 08:29 AM
I agree about the superhero fad - but Spiderman the movie was a classic example of good story construction. It was almost textbook. And it worked superbly!!!

I took my son to see it and I remember thinking that I knew what they were doing (the screenwriter and directorís manipulation etc) but nevertheless I was moved Ė I still responded!!

Iíd like to go into detail, but Iím gonna watch it again first to refresh my memory and then Iíll get back and explain further what I mean.

Axler
05-23-2005, 04:02 PM
The positive buzz around Batman Begins has been pretty incessant for the last few months so I'm a little surprised that some of you don't seem to be aware of it.

No, it's not camp, there's no Bat-nipples on the Batsuits ala Joel Shumacher's Batman and Robin travesty, it's a straight-forward version of Who He Is And How He Came To Be.

People who have already seen previews of the completed film swear it blows Spider-Man 2 away.

As for The Fantastic Four--er...how in the name of God does anyone figure that you can make even a semi-believable movie about that group WITHOUT state-of-the-art special effects?

Over a decade ago Roger Corman made an FF movie which was light on the spfx...and it was so horrible Marvel prevented it from being released. Bootleg copies float around, often shown at conventions with the audience doing a Mystery Science Theater 3000 riff on it.

Super-heroes are like any other kind of genre film...some are good, some aren't. Elektra=not good. The Incredibles=brilliant.

This is all just my opinion, of course.

Richard
05-23-2005, 04:08 PM
As for The Fantastic Four--er...how in the name of God does anyone figure that you can make even a semi-believable movie about that group WITHOUT state-of-the-art special effects?

Play the the idea and create a cool movie out of it, rather than doing yet another insufferable franchise-starting origin story for audiences who don't care, and fans who already know? You can do more than just have the characters playing with special effects - look at The Incredibles. That's not a great movie just because it looks cool.

Axler
05-23-2005, 05:19 PM
Play the the idea and create a cool movie out of it, rather than doing yet another insufferable franchise-starting origin story for audiences who don't care, and fans who already know? You can do more than just have the characters playing with special effects - look at The Incredibles. That's not a great movie just because it looks cool.

You seem to be making quite the assumption based on...what again? A couple of trailers which of course always focus on the bombast, regardless of the kind of film they are?

Judging by the trailers for The Upside of Anger, the movie was two hours worth of yelling, screaming, window-breaking, profanity, sex and people being punched.

The actual film had very little of that.

As for The Incredibles...

It was of course heavily influenced by the FF...I daresay if Disney hadn't been the releasing studio, litigious Marvel would have filed all sorts of suits. Even the book Art Of The Incredibles was dedicated to Jack Kirby.

Having read a draft of the FF script well over a year ago, I can assure you that the FF movie is "more than characters playing with special effects".

There were some scenes so close to what appeared in The Incredibles that rewrites and even a couple of reshoots were necessitated.

I don't know if you're criticizing all science-fiction/fantasy films that employ special effects or just science-fiction/fantasy films wherein the special effects dominate every other aspect of the production.

If it's the latter...well, you know...that falls within the interpretative purview of the scriptwriters, not with the property itself.

If it's the former...

The technology now exists to make believable-looking films based on properties like the FF and Lord of the Rings. It seems a little silly not employ it, inasmuch as that's what the technology was developed for, whether it's to bring John Carter of Mars or Kal-El of Krypton to cinematic life.

Jamesaritchie
05-23-2005, 07:43 PM
Personally, I'm looking forward to both Batman and The Fantastic Four. It's all a matter of personal taste. Of course, I also think Liam Neison is one of the most underrated actors around.

And if Star Wars isn't a super hero film, nothing is. At least Batman doesn't use some silly force.

azbikergirl
05-23-2005, 08:01 PM
I enjoy a superhero movie once in a while, but when I see one, next thing I know, they're remaking it. Again and again. How many Batman movies do we need?!

Axler
05-23-2005, 08:12 PM
How many Batman movies do we need?!

Only one really good one.

All of the previous films had bits and pieces and a few scenes that were good...if you spliced them all together you'd have an upper-level mediocre Batman movie.

I'd rather just have one solid good Batman film than half a dozen, each one being used as a vehicle for a director's individual "take" on the character.

The observation about the reason they changed the costume in the last Batman film, starring George Clooney was that the old one didn't look quite gay enough.

katiemac
05-23-2005, 11:01 PM
That's what they're working on, AZ, is bringing back the life into the Batman movie string. With the hype around the Spider-man movies, the Batman crew decided it was time to bring Batman back -- but without all the silly extremeties the other films seemed to revolve around. I believe someone already mentioned nipples on the batsuit?

Anyway, I think they've taken a clue from Peter Parker's fan club. Batman is the line between the good guys and the bad guys, and from what I've heard, the writers have enough sense to actual explore the true darkness of the storylines, rather than compromising it like the past films had.

I was a bit disappointed by the trailers I've seen thus far, but I have no doubt that's one of the films I'll be seeing this summer. I'm not a comic book fan, nor am I really familiar with the Batman story, but I do have a hard interest in the route that makes one good or evil.

Sharon Mock
05-23-2005, 11:12 PM
I'm not much of a fan of origin stories. The most interesting events are rarely found at the beginning of the story.

It's an artifact of my major problem with superhero movies (and, I think, the whole superhero genre, though I'm not familiar enough with comics to make any strong claims): The makers take for granted that the audience will find the protagonist appealing and interesting, just because it's a Famous Superhero.

That's one of the reasons why I liked Hellboy, despite the plot issues. It worked hard to win me over, and I appreciated the effort. And it worked.

Axler
05-27-2005, 04:32 PM
That's one of the reasons why I liked Hellboy, despite the plot issues. It worked hard to win me over, and I appreciated the effort. And it worked.

Well, of course Hell Boy as a comics character is only a little over a decade old. He doesn't have 60 years worth of accumulated baggage, convoluted continuity and four or five different versions in his history like Batman or Superman.

Also--Hell Boy isn't a corporate-owned character. He's the sole property of a single creator. Therefore, what you saw in the Hell Boy movie was a pretty pure vision of the character, distilled from the first couple of story arcs.

Although I agree tacitly with your observation about origin stories, the first Burton-Keaton Batman film didn't feature one, at least about him...but it went into great length with The Joker's backstory.

In that case, the director and screenwriter made the erroneous assumption that the audience was already with familiar with Batman's origins and that The Joker was the most interesting character of the two.

Batman Begins will reverse that approach.

Wormo
05-30-2005, 10:58 PM
When the idea of bringing some comic book heroes and villains to the cinema screen first came to my attention (perhaps somewhere with X-Men, at this point, i'd overlooked Batman and Superman, they didn't seem to bother me) but now we seem to be getting plastered with every single comic book hero and villain to date, I think they should personally stay back in there!

Or Perhaps like Kirsten Dunst stated, 'Spidermans should like, totally die! (http://img.penny-arcade.com/2004/20040716l.jpg)' I'll have to agree with Kirsten and the title of the thread, we need to get rid of the old and bring in the new!

brokenfingers
05-30-2005, 11:13 PM
When the idea of bringing some comic book heroes and villains to the cinema screen first came to my attention... but now we seem to be getting plastered with every single comic book hero and villain to date...

Movie producers, TV producers, music producers and to a growing degree - publishers, all follow the same pattern:

Keep throwing whatever you can get your hands on at the public until you find something they like, then keep throwing more and more of the same thing until they get tired of it. Repeat.

Axler
05-31-2005, 02:29 AM
Just like you can have myriad films set in the old West and myriad films of teenaged girls learning they can sing/dance/skate/be royal, you can have myriad films based on comic book properties.

Hell Boy is as different from Spider-Man as it's possible to be, just like Sin City bears no resemblence to X-Men. You need to expand your horizons, I'd say.

preyer
05-31-2005, 05:23 AM
don't forget spawn.

some of these properties have been around for a long, long time. aquaman, for instance, goes back as far as batman and superman (at least real close, especially if you consider it could be viewed as a rip-off of the sub-mariner). that character came and went, reborn under a different guise, and evolved with the times. still, it comes back for a reason. as mentioned, because some of these characters have convoluted pasts, you sometimes have to have an origin story to know where the filmmakers are coming from. from what i know of spawn, the movie varied from the comic which varied from the cartoon, so even the creator can apply quite a bit of license depending on the medium.

it's my understanding that this batman version plays pretty fast and loose with the batman origin, so, yeah, you'd have to retell that if you're planning on changing it.

funny, i've always said liam neeson was over-rated, not under-rated. aside from a few performances, i've seen blocks of wood with more personality and charisma. i think he's competent, not as great as he's made out to be. he was totally outshone in 'schindler's list,' in all but his crying scene. i forget the name of the movie he was in with jessica lange, but he was pretty one-sided imo. i won't even talk about the movies called 'star wars' which is good for taking actors and bringing out their worst career performances. but, to each their own. personally, i don't think jude law gets the recognition he deserves, but awful movies like 'sky captain' don't do much to help.

WVWriterGirl
06-02-2005, 06:16 AM
As a comic book collector for the past fifteen years, I have to say that fianlly seeing the heroes on the big screen (and done well) is a welcome change in my household. I collect everything from the mainstream titles (mostly Marvel titles, like X-Men, Spiderman, and a few others*cough*downwithDC*cough*) to horror comics to alternative (well, ok, I'll take some DC Vertigo titles...Sandman, Preacher...). I even used to take some of McFarland's crap (yes, I said it, I think McFarland is a *hack*).

Personally, I think it all boils down to the characters. As a universal example, let's look at Spiderman. Yes, his history has been mangled over the past 30 years by the beurocrats at Marvel, but at his core, Spidey's just everyman...with a little extra. When The Venerable Mr. Lee came up with Spiderman, he wanted to create a character that would appeal to everyone -- teen outcast struggling with school, friends...life in general. Who hasn't, to one degree or another, struggled with these issues himself or herself? Now, let's throw in P. Parker's brush with destiny - the infamous spider bite. As if he didn't have enough problems, now he has to deal with these superpowers, and the internal struggle that comes with them. Should he use them for the good of his community? Should he hide them? Should he use them for his own benefit and the benefit of his family alone? Oh, let's not forget, the guy's still a teen (at least when The Venerable Mr. Lee created him) and he's got these very adult issues to deal with. If that's not good, strong character development, I don't know what is.

To me, that's what it takes to make a good movie. Sure, the new Punisher movie had lots of explosions and gunfire and manly stuff, but let's face it -- the Punisher is a lame character. Both movies made about him have been flops. (Yes, yes, I know, you're saying, "Hey, now, wait a minnit! Frank Castle's got a back story, too, you hypocrite!" He does, but it affects his continuing story very little compared to Spider Man.)

I say bring on the heroes. I'm counting the days until a Preacher movie is made/finished/released. I'd also like to see a modern Captain America flick...I think it'd work. I also like the X-Men properties, and think that, while the origin stories on some of the characters were not entirely correct (...understatement...fangirl alert...) the handling of the characters were authentic, well cast and true. These are characters that all have...well, character. They have flaws, but believe in themselves and their causes enough that they struggle through their flaws. Look beyond the CGI eye candy for the true stories (I swear, comic books are soap operas for men) to the real struggles the characters go through. I have grown through comic books as a person...give 'em a chance, you might, too.

WVWG

(P.S. -> There's an exception to every rule. The Hulk. Ugh. The movie futzed around with his origins so much that the only thing that remained true to the story was that he was big 'n green. 'Nuff said.)

(P. P. S. -> As far as comic book movies being true to their origins, you can't get any closer than Sin City. It was almost like the actors were using the comics as crib notes between scenes. Superb. Excellet. Bravo.)

allion
06-02-2005, 07:47 PM
WVWG, you are so right about Sin City. Loved the movie. Loved it. It was like watching a comic book come to life.

Karen - from one TS Eliot sig to another!

Saanen
06-06-2005, 05:08 AM
I suspect we're getting more Batman and Superman movies (the Superman movie is coming out, when, next year?) because studios are running out of comics to film. I must say that I'm not a bit interested in the upcoming Batman Begins or the Fantastic 4 movies. Why can't we see a bit more originality in the superhero genre? The Incredibles managed it (even if a lot of the originality came from spoofing superheroes--it was still a lot of fun).

I do like the X-Men movies so far and I'm looking forward to the third one, even if from what I've heard they're including Angel, and gender-bending him into a woman. I guess it wasn't enough to have Mystique wearing nothing but a blue plastic bodysuit; we need another character to show skin.

Oh well, going back to Batman, I was disappointed at the trailer. I don't like the guy they've chosen to play Batman this time. Really, I haven't liked any of the guys they've chosen to play Batman over the years, but it seems like they're just getting worse and worse. Then again, Batman will always look and sound like Adam West to me.

TMA-1
06-09-2005, 12:28 PM
I rather enjoyed that Batman movie with Catwoman, which is the one I've seen the most time. Spiderman exceeded my expectations, and was way better than I thought it would be.

I'm designing my own superhero that I will try out in a short story or two, but I have too many projects going on, too many stories I'm writing at the same time. Not a good idea I suppose.

arodriguez
06-26-2005, 02:16 AM
i love superheroes. i love any kind of hero, super, magical, bruce lee, whatever!!! kill bad guys!

Paul J. Andrew
06-27-2005, 01:21 PM
As a comic book fan of over a decade, who recently saw Batman Begins, I have got to say that this is THE closest they've come so far in reproducing what Batman is about. No, they don't get all the nitpicky origin stuff exactly right as per the holy untouchable comics, but they stay so true to the spirit of the character and far closer to the details than any previous bat-movie. Personally I think Christian Bale is the best Batman they've had yet. Keaton looked OK in the suit, but Bruce Wayne does not have a receeding hair line. He is a billionaire playboy and drowns in fashion models when he goes out on the town. Christian Bale looks like Bruce Wayne ought to (although his hair should've been dyed black, but thats me nitpicking), and he fills the Batsuit very well. I say bravo on bringing the bat franchise back to life.

arodriguez
06-27-2005, 01:50 PM
i think just about every kind of mix of superhero has been done. all the possibilities are exhausted. if any of you can think of something original i would suggest you call someone about it. isnt it the same problem with fantasy? everything is just a rehash of something thats been done before....the same old formula over and over...just got to hope you have some nifty new skin to clothe it in.

Axler
06-27-2005, 05:26 PM
if any of you can think of something original i would suggest you call someone about it.

No need...film-makers are quite aware of The Watchmen, THUNDER Agents, Thor, and Green Lantern...that's just a short list of comics-derived properties being developed as films...properties that fit my definition of "something original", in the sense they've never been done as films in the past because of budget constraints.

Just out of curiosity...how many movies like Hell Boy have ever been made?

Dhewco
07-03-2005, 07:45 PM
ALL the superheroes have been done? I must have missed Black Lightning movie. The Iron Man movie, who was in that? What about the Power Pack movie...gosh, I've missed a lot.

Movies I must have missed because they've all been done:

Silver Surfer
Doctor Strange (I've been told there was one...but I've never seen it and can't find it.
Time to do another one anyway.)
Green Lantern
Namor the Submariner(not sure about the first name)
Molecule Man (he might have been called something else...but I remember he was one
the beyonder feared.)


Well, I'm racking my brain and I'm sure there are those I've missed. The point is, there are all kinds of wonderful comics that haven't been made into a movie. Personally, I'd like to see a new Wonder Woman or Flash movie. I like bubble-gum superhero movies almost as much as the darker stuff. I will admit the last few Batman movies weren't very good. I thought the first one was pretty good though.

Axler
07-04-2005, 05:29 PM
What about the Power Pack movie...gosh, I've missed a lot.

There was a pilot TV movie made in the late 80s. I only recall a bit of it, but it wasn't bad, albeit a little on the cutesy-poo side...like the comic.


Movies I must have missed because they've all been done:

Silver Surfer
Doctor Strange (I've been told there was one...but I've never seen it and can't find it.
Time to do another one anyway.)
Green Lantern
Namor the Submariner(not sure about the first name)
Molecule Man (he might have been called something else...but I remember he was one the beyonder feared.)

Movies based on those characters are currently in the works...the so-so Dr. Strange TV movie from 1979 shows up every once in a while on Sci-Fi Channel. I think it may be available on DVD.

As for the Molecule Man...he was a minor, pretty lame Fantastic Four villain...his appearance in Secret Wars was his last claim to fame...and then he went back to being lame. You'll never see a movie starring him.


Personally, I'd like to see a new Wonder Woman or Flash movie.

Both of them are in the works...Wonder Woman by Joss Whedon of Buffy fame and The Flash by the team who did the magnificent Batman Begins.


I thought the first one was pretty good though.

Batman Begins blows them all away. Other comics-derived movies that are on the fast-track and will appear in the next year or so are V For Vendetta, Superman Returns, Deathlok, X-Men 3, Wolverine, The Spirit, The Watchmen, Hell Boy 2 and El Muerto The Dead.

Until those films appear, I highly recommend the animated Justice League Unlimited on Cartoon Network...if anybody thinks it's a show for children or a revamped version of Super Friends then they're mega-HELLA-wrong.

It's one of the most intelligent, albeit slyly subversive shows on TV at this point.

Dhewco
07-04-2005, 06:31 PM
I remember a Molecule Man comic. He turned good, in the end. I never found him lame. Of course, I think the comic was a limited run version. I think he could have been handled better. I enjoyed him immensely in the Secret Wars series.

Wolverine gets his own movie? Why? He's so much better had the bad boy of the team. I barely remember Deathlok, what was his power. What about Havok, there a movie with him?(can't remember whether he was a good or bad guy)

Axler
07-07-2005, 03:50 PM
Wolverine gets his own movie? Why? He's so much better had the bad boy of the team.

He's had his own comic for years, starting with a mini-series published over 20 years ago.



I barely remember Deathlok, what was his power.

A cyborg.


What about Havok, there a movie with him?(can't remember whether he was a good or bad guy)

Havok is Scott Summers younger brother, Alex...he was a member of the X-Men for quite some time but he was never a heavy-hitter in the Wolverine or Storm league. He had a cool costume, that's about the only reason he's memorable.

Kevin Yarbrough
07-07-2005, 06:50 PM
I believe Batman Begins gets into Batman's dark side more than the other movies did. In the first Batman movie you could see the hint of a dark side in the character, but that was it. The others were just a joke with bad story lines and bad acting. For some reason we, as an audience, like seeing a good guy with a dark side. I guess it shows that he is real and not some goody-goody. Some of the comics I have read show Batman as a man that walks the line of good and evil and it could be so easy for him to become one of the villians he chases. We like flawed characters. Characters with issues.

As for Christian Bale? The guy is a good actor and from I hear he did a good job in the movie. He is an actor that is willing to go the limits for the movies he plays in. If any of you have seen 'The Machinist' you will see Bale as a man so thin he looks anorexic. Skin and bones and nothing more. He looked sick but he dropped his weight down for that movie. After he was done filming that he went straight into filming Batman Begins and put on about sixty pounds of muscle for the movie in four months. He works hard for his craft.

Kevin Yarbrough
07-07-2005, 07:06 PM
There are a lot more comics they could make into movies. Hawkeye was a good one and I would like to see him become a movie franchise. What about Ghost Rider? I always liked that comic. What about the Outsiders? What about some of the Image comics? The Kindred, Prophet, Supreme, Brigade, Youngblood, Bloodstrike, and Newmen. Above all of these there is one comic I would love to see made into a movie and that one is Marvels Nightwatch. The character is awesome and the suit rocks. Not to mention how he became Nightwatch kicks arse.

wardmclark
07-07-2005, 07:41 PM
There are a lot more comics they could make into movies. Hawkeye was a good one and I would like to see him become a movie franchise. What about Ghost Rider? I always liked that comic. What about the Outsiders? What about some of the Image comics? The Kindred, Prophet, Supreme, Brigade, Youngblood, Bloodstrike, and Newmen. Above all of these there is one comic I would love to see made into a movie and that one is Marvels Nightwatch. The character is awesome and the suit rocks. Not to mention how he became Nightwatch kicks arse.

Ghost Rider (http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/ghostrider/) in in the works. Nick Cage, even.

trebuchet
07-08-2005, 04:14 AM
What about The Tick? The Maxx? Have they been mentioned? Okay, so they're sort of underdogs (yeah, Underdog!)
that's why I love 'em.

Penman Shipp
07-08-2005, 06:36 AM
Hunh.. I'd have to nominate these guys - Lazarus Long "specialization is for insects". Also Lt. Colin MacIntyre - David Weber's Mutineers' Moon, or Honor Harrington. ( There is, by the way, a great interview of David Weber at
http://www.computercrowsnest.com/sfnews2/02_july/news0702_1.shtml )
Those are my picks.

Saanen
07-08-2005, 06:37 AM
I'd love to see a movie version of The Tick. The comic was great, I loved the cartoon, and the short-lived TV show was actually not all that bad.

I saw Batman Begins and didn't find it very compelling. It just never took off for me and I don't much care for Christian Bale. Mostly, though, I think I'm just tired of Batman. Yeah, we're definitely in need of a new hero. :)