Inverarity (inverarity) wrote,
Inverarity
inverarity

Superheroes!

I haven't done a movie review post in a while. Over the last couple of months, I've been catching up on all the superhero films I missed in theaters. I almost never go to see movies in theaters anymore. Netflix FTW.

I used to be a great big comic book fanboy. I mean, I had the collection, man. I still do. It's sitting there in long cardboard boxes in my closet, and someday maybe I'll sell it or something. It's not like I ever open up the mylar bags and reread them. Although it's not extremely valuable as comics collections go, I do have a lot of them, some of them moderately valuable (early X-Men and New Teen Titans and the like).


I did a lot of superhero RPGing back in the day, too. Champions, Villains & Vigilantes, Superworld, Aberrant, Marvel Superheroes.. you name it, I still have the rulebooks somewhere (in the same closet where I keep the comic books).

I played these

So anyway, if you haven't figured this out yet, I was a huuuuuuuuuuuuuge nerd.

Then I grew up and wrote Harry Potter fan fiction.

Ahem. Anyway... I still nurture my childhood (oh, who am I kidding, my well-into-adulthood) love of superheroes. I don't really read comic books anymore, so my knowledge of the DC and Marvel universes is about 10-20 years out of date, other than what I pick up online. I don't game anymore either (though I was sorely tempted by City of Heroes. But I still read superhero novels, and I still watch superhero movies.

Iron Man 2





The first Iron Man movie was one of the best superhero movies since the first Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movie. Iron Man 2 was not the disaster some critics called it, but it definitely was not as good as the first. The story and the villains were very "meh."


Demon in a Bottle



In 1979, Tony Stark's alcoholism was featured in the story arc Demon in a Bottle. This was not the first time that a "gritty, real-world" storyline was featured in a mainstream superhero comic title (Snowbirds Don't Fly was eight years earlier), but it was still fairly uncommon at the time. In Iron Man 2, they kinda sorta ran that storyline, but it was one drunken incident rather than a serious problem for Stark.

Overall, a fairly shallow film that existed only to set up the James Rhodes Iron Man in the movie canon.

Thor



Thor


Demon in a Bottle



You know, I really didn't think they could make a decent Thor movie. Thor has always been one of the cheesiest, most over-the-top superheroes, and only two writers/artists have ever done him credit: Jack Kirby and Walt Simonson. I thought the movie could not help being a giggle-inducing cheese-fest. (How you gonna have actors deliver lines like "I say thee nay!" with a straight face?)

Rather to my surprise, this was one of the better superhero movies I've seen in recent years. Thor as a brash, arrogant asshole who needs a lesson in humility was a nice touch, and Loki was interestingly complex: you truly weren't ever quite sure if he was a misguided punk who really wanted to be the favored son, or if he'd been a rotten apple right from the beginning. And Tom Hiddleston did a splendid job acting Loki with his poisoned tongue, and absolutely reveling in wickedness when he finally turned bad. I was less impressed by Chris Hemsworth, but he's Thor: his job was basically to look pretty and muscular.

Anthony Hopkins as Odin, though? No, just no.

From the frost giants to the Warriors Three, I pretty much loved this movie, which could never have been done so well without modern CGI.

X-Men: First Class



X-Men: First Class

Yes, this was a good movie, and a redemption of sorts after the poor-to-mediocre X-Men 3 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. But I found it mostly annoying because the X-Men purist in me kept saying "No, wait, that's off."

I got to know the X-Men during the Chris Claremont era. So yeah, I am vaguely aware that they retconned the White Queen to give her diamond-body powers or something, and apparently now Emma Frost is an on-again, off-again good guy, but this White Queen was basically just a submissive plaything for Sebastian Shaw (whom Kevin Bacon seemed to enjoy the hell out of playing), and I suspect they did this because January Jones basically can't act. Getting her bitch on in true Emma Frost manner is, I think, beyond her.

Also, WTF is up with Nightcrawler being a bad guy? Is that another change in the new X-Men mythos?

So basically they took the characters and all the origins I am familiar with and fucked with them. It was a good movie despite all that, but it annoyed me.

Captain America: The First Avenger



Captain America

Captain America, on the other hand, was a surprisingly faithful rendition of the original cap, complete with the Death of Bucky and the Capsicle being thawed out 70 years later.

This was kind of like the original Superman movie: it requires you to put all your cynicism and jaded adult sensibilities aside while watching it, and remember back when you were a kid and heroism and patriotism could be embraced unironically and uncritically. Captain America is a superhero who can actually rise above party politics and political ideology and divorce patriotism from nationalism: now that's a true superpower.

As a movie, you can't go wrong with bashing Nazis, and who else would you use as a villain but the Red Skull? I liked it. It wasn't a brilliant piece of work, but it was fun and faithful to good old Cap.

Transformers



Transformers

I have no sentimental attachment to the Transformers. I didn't watch the cartoon as a kid, never read the comic books, and had actually managed to avoid this movie until now.

Oh. My. God. That is 2.5 hours I will never get back. This is the dumbest fucking movie I have seen in such a long time. It was just plain fucking stupid, ridiculous, unbelievable, insulting, and moronic from start to finish. No, don't tell me I shouldn't have expected better from a movie about giant robots based on a toy line. Everything from the dialog to the plot was almost deliberately stupid and nonsensical. It's like Michael Bay just wanted to rub the audience's nose in the fact that they were stupid zombies who will pay for whatever shit he serves them and ask for more.

Also, Shia Labeouf: most annoying actor ever. A poor-man's Matthew Broderick. Megan Fox... sigh. What can I say? She was cast to be hot. She actually isn't that bad an actress, but Bay seemed to go out of his way to make sure she said nothing but stupid things.

And I've been told that the second movie is even worse? I almost want to Netflix it just because I can hardly believe this...

Movies I have not yet seen



Green Lantern and The Incredible Hulk. Will catch them pretty soon.

Tags: movies, netflix, reviews, superheroes
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