Thursday, May 10, 2007


   Movies based on Marvel Comics have gone out of control; and this year above all, is the final insult! After last summer’s disappointing “X-Men 3: The Last Stand”, this year we get “Ghost Rider” in February, “Spider-Man 3” this May and then comes in “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” in June! I can remember a time (oh, about 8 years ago) when rumors spread that Marvel would be producing several movies based on popular Marvel Comics characters for the new millennium.
   1998 began the “Blade” saga, a relatively obscure Marvel character from the 1970’s, you put blood, violence, techno music, black leather and Wesley Snipes together and you get a relatively impressive action/horror film. Mind you, this is before “The Matrix” craze (it’s hard to remember action movies before “The Matrix”, but there was.) Then in 2000 Marvel’s “X-Men” came out and it was the dawn of a new era when the comic book characters we know and love become a Hollywood cash cow. Sure we remember the “Superman” and then “Batman” franchises of the ‘80’s and ‘90’s but lest we forget like those films, we are doomed to witness the inevitable coming of… the SEQUAL!
            Comic book movie fans have but to remember the one name that will forever be synonymous with the inexcusable and unbearable comic book movie sequels, dare I say it…Joel Schumacher! We know where this is going, sure the first movies or so come out and the people rejoice. But after the first sequel we get into the 3’s and 4’s and then it goes completely nuts.  Okay I admit it, I love “X-Men” and “X-Men 2: United”, thank you Bryan Singer, but wait, where are you going Bryan, you’re leaving us to do… “Superman Returns”, please say it isn’t so! So what we are left with is Brett Ratner’s: ‘lets kill all the main character’s off and end this fiasco’. Don’t get me wrong I am a die-hard Wolverine fan but I guess I’ll have to wait to see Wolverine’s movie to get some kind of satisfaction (But…guess what, it’s still a sequel).
            Now, we come to Spider-man. In 2002 we are blessed with the holy grail of Marvel movies, “Spider-man”. Sam Raimi, once the purveyor of B-movie schlock (but good schlock) now presents us with the perfect Marvel movie. The film went nuts at the box-office, merchandising galore, millions of bucks were made and young stars such as Tobey ‘my voice still cracks at 30’ Maguire and of course the lovely Kirsten ‘bitchy vampire brat’ Dunst. Still, think me not a blasphemer, for I too kneeled at the wondrous new Spider-man and of course it’s sequel, Spider-man 2. Again, the Spidey greatness flowed and…so did the money. It left us wanting more and so…behold it came! Here’s the skinny of it, Spider-man 3 is a great movie, the CG special effects are mind-boggling, the action is intense, the love-triangle soap-opera crap is ever present and of course we have not just one villain, but 3! (3 ½ if you want to get technical).
            The main plot of the movie comes from Spider-man finding the alien symbiotic costume which just happens to fall to Earth inside a small meteorite that lands coincidentally too close to Peter Parker and Mary Jane while they flirt in a gigantic spider web. Thus begins Spider-man’s new look with the ever-popular black costume, which first made its appearance in the comics in 1984. (Remember the “Secret Wars? Nope? I guess not…) As they said in the first movie, “with great power, comes great responsibility”, so now in Spidey 3 we get: with the black costume comes Spidey turning into a real asshole! Then we have The Sandman, Harry Osborne as a half-assed Green Goblin, and Venom, who all take a shot at Spidey. And lets not forget the introduction of Gwen Stacy (Bryce-Dallas Howard) for no apparent reason except for a little tension between Peter and MJ. As a big Spidey fan myself, I also consider Venom to be one of my favorite modern villains, but lets face it, they just didn’t do him justice!
            So, will this be the end of the Marvel movies, take a look back at the last decade of failures such as “The Punisher” (1989) with Dolph Lundgren and there was also “Captain America” (1990). Who knows we might just get “Daredevil 2” next year or how about “Blade 4” in a team-up with Ghost Rider, the possibilities are endless, but do you really want them to go that far?
They say if you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it, so… Mr. Sam Raimi if you can look back at a little movie (or atrocity) known as “Batman and Robin” (1997) you will see what too many characters, too many subplots and too many damn villains will and did to destroy a beloved comic book movie franchise. I predict, “Spider-man 4” will come out in May 2010, here’s the “plot”: Spider-man versus The Lizard, The Vulture and oh, why not The Rhino too (going with the whole animal theme here, lol). Gwen Stacy will be killed by…lets say out of jealousy by Mary Jane and then she forces Peter to marry her and then goes all Lorena Bobbit on him! LOL! OK, I was just joking but hey, you know there’s going to be a Spidey 4 and they will have to end it by finally getting Peter and MJ married, its inevitable, they’ll throw in a villain or two and then we have a happy ending. Now, go back to your lives citizens, nothing more to see here. Move along…