Author Topic: Superhero Movies  (Read 787 times)

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Offline MH

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Superhero Movies
« on: November 13, 2017, 07:35:16 pm »
Loud sigh.

http://superheroes.theringer.com/

50 best Superhero films ?  I saw #3 when it came out.  It was ... ok.

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Offline SirJohn

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2017, 09:18:46 pm »
Loud sigh.

http://superheroes.theringer.com/

50 best Superhero films ?  I saw #3 when it came out.  It was ... ok.

Maybe the discussion should be why people find ordinary life and people so boring they throng to see stories about superheros....
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum

Offline kimmy

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2017, 11:53:01 pm »
Maybe the discussion should be why people find ordinary life and people so boring they throng to see stories about superheros....

Well, Michael and I discussed that at great length in the "Wonder Woman" thread this summer.

Here's my take:
https://canadianpoliticalevents.createaforum.com/general-discussion/wonder-woman/?message=3128

To summarize my thoughts in a few bullet points:

 -while the superhero genre is very popular right now, it has actually been around for over 80 years.

 -stuff doesn't survive for that long by accident. If it didn't connect with people in a way that was more than fleeting, it would have been long forgotten. In culture, as in ecology, stuff that has survived has survived for a reason.

 -if we understand what that reason is, we understand something about ourselves.

 -the superhero genre is actually just the latest manifestation of something far older. Cultures around the world and throughout time have created tall tales around larger-than-life folk-heroes. The heroes of ancient Greek myths, or Gilgamesh, or Paul Bunyan and Babe The Blue Ox, or the Native American tales about Whiskeyjack, or the Chinese legend of the Five Brothers, or folk tales based around real figures like Robin Hood and John Henry.   It transcends culture and geography.   Superheroes, in one form or another, have been with us for millennia.

The idea speaks to us, somehow.

 -k
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Offline MH

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2017, 05:23:31 am »
Ok on it being around for a long while, however why is it popular now ?  Demographics probably have a lot to do with hit, and Hollywood's need for big spectacular box-office movies.  It's the opposite of the economics of the "Raging Bulls and Easy Riders" era, where they would bet on small films that could earn spectacularly.  Instead they bet on huge films that can earn 5X investment or 10X.

Also, to point out that trends happen:

The magic era on TV in the 1960s had magical and fantastical sitcoms like I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, My Favourite Martian all over the tube.  Shortly after, it switched to country sitcoms like The Beverly Hillbillies (which was on TWICE a week) Green Acres, Petticoat Junction.

After the movie Dark Victory was a hit in 1939, there was a trend of movies with SAD endings !

Lots more examples.

Offline cybercoma

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2017, 08:33:18 am »
Loud sigh.

http://superheroes.theringer.com/

50 best Superhero films ?  I saw #3 when it came out.  It was ... ok.
My immediate thoughts are that Wonder Woman and Logan are ranked too low.

Offline cybercoma

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2017, 08:38:02 am »
Also Hellboy....holy crap.

Who were the chuckleheads responding to "rewatchability" and "timelessness." The Ringer should fire them.

Offline SirJohn

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2017, 06:45:02 pm »
Ok on it being around for a long while, however why is it popular now ?  Demographics probably have a lot to do with hit, and Hollywood's need for big spectacular box-office movies.  It's the opposite of the economics of the "Raging Bulls and Easy Riders" era, where they would bet on small films that could earn spectacularly.  Instead they bet on huge films that can earn 5X investment or 10X.

Business loves sure things. Hollywood is a business, and they love sequels.
People like familiarity, and having a level of reassurance that the movie will be entertaining. That's why actors who aren't all that good are such huge stars. You might not know what the movie was about (unless its a sequel), but you know Arnold Schwarzenegger played a certain type of character (or Chuck Norris, or Bruce Willis, or the Rock).

There's also the larger than life aspect of superheroes or spaceships with laser weapons or magicians and wizards. It pulls out of the drab and mundane into a different world of magic and light and the fantastical - like we wish we lived in.
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum

Offline MH

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2017, 08:09:14 pm »
Hollywood crashed itself once on big budget flops in the early 60s.  That led to a period where they gambled on small pictures, and 1 in 20 paid off big.

The game changes, but it's still a game.

Offline Gorgeous Graham

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2017, 08:46:16 pm »
Maybe the discussion should be why people find ordinary life and people so boring they throng to see stories about superheros....

The last 30+ years, blockbuster movies have been dominated by the fantasy & sci-fi genres.  People move this crap.  Name a blockbuster, 95% chance it will be in either of those 2 genres, so these genres are huge money-makers.  Superhero movies have taken off because they're untapped IP usually with up to 50+ of street cred in the comic realm that can be made into sci-fi/fantasy movies.  It's not new IP that can be a risk financially, it already has a longtime nerd fanbase that can be exploited.

Let's look at all the blockbusters that came before the recent superhero craze.  Let's take the 2000's.  Lord of the Rings, Star Wars prequels, Harry Potter, Avatar, Transformers etc.  It's all fantasy.  The 90's had Jurassic Park, Terminator 2, Independence Day, The Matrix.  The 80's you had Star Wars, ET, Back To The Future, Ghostbusters etc.  People love it.

Eventually, they'll run out of ideas & people will get a big overkill with all these superhero flicks and studios will have to search for other fantasy/sci-fi IP to make money from.  Superhero movies won't go away entirely though, they just won't make up every other blockbuster seemingly.
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Offline kimmy

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2017, 09:37:54 pm »
It won't be a sudden stop, it'll be a gradual decline.   

For a while Twilight and The Hunger Games had inspired a whole bunch of imitators. For a while it worked, and it began to fade. The Hunger Games itself started experiencing declining returns as it continued... the last movie was still a big hit by any standard except its predecessors: it made $150 million less than the 2nd movie did.  Other movies in the genre slumped even harder.  The "Divergent" series was planned to have another movie, but the 3rd movie in the series sagged so badly that they didn't bother making another movie.  Stephanie Meyers tried to duplicate her "Twilight" success with a new franchise called "The Host"... but she only wrote one book in the series, and the movie tanked, and that was the end of it.  They had to make a "Mortal Instruments" movie franchise, but with the market already saturated with that kind of stuff, the film was a box office disaster and the planned sequels were cancelled. (the Mortal Instruments was instead rebooted as the "Shadowhunters" TV series, which I've written about here before, when I was writing about my morbid fascination with incredibly bad programs. Shadowhunters remains the single worst television series I've ever seen. Truly a masterwork, it's almost as if they said "you know, this is really shitty, but we need to try and make this even worse. Let's brainstorm what could turn this steaming piece of crap into total flaming dog diarrhea." But I digress.)

There's not going to be a day when they release a superhero movie and people say "wait, this is stupid" and nobody goes. It'll happen over a span of years.  As we already saw with Spiderman.  They made a bunch of Spiderman movies with Toby McGuire, then a few years later they decided to do a "reboot" and make a bunch more Spiderman movies with Andrew Garfield. Each made a little less than the last. And they fizzled out after a while.  They sold the rights back to Marvel/Disney, and by plugging the character into their "shared cinematic universe", they've revived interest in Spiderman for the time being.


And I think the "Marvel Cinematic Universe" concept has helped them avoid that pitfall. They might not make another Thor movie, or another Captain America or Iron Man movie. We'll see Thor and Cap and Iron Man again in the next Avengers movie, and after that who knows if they'll be back or not. But meanwhile they're using the popularity of their current crop of properties to build a next generation of characters that people aren't tired of yet.  We were introduced to "The Black Panther" in the last Avengers movie, and next year "The Black Panther" gets his own movie.

And the "Marvel" brand itself seems to have some marketing value. "Dr Strange" and "The Guardians of the Galaxy" hadn't previously appeared in any of the Marvel films, but audiences were willing to give them a chance, probably based to some degree on the established track record of previous Marvel films.  From "Iron Man" straight through to the current "Thor" release, almost all of these movies have all received highly positive reviews for delivering entertainment.

 -k
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Offline MH

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2017, 05:42:27 am »
World is ending, then.

https://www.theverge.com/2017/12/4/16736356/star-trek-movie-quentin-tarantino-jj-abrams

Tarantino rumoured to do a Star Trek ?  This is about the worst movie news of the year for me.

1) I love Tarantino films, with many exceptions, but I still go to check them out.
2) I haven't seen a Star Trek in the cinema since the early 90s, when I saw 4? and 6?.  Garbage.

Offline kimmy

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2017, 08:03:30 pm »
Potentially terrible news for people who hate superhero movies, as Disney has just purchased 21st Century Fox Entertainment.

Some tiny piece of that 52 billion dollar acquisition are the TV and movie rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four and related trademarks. That includes Deadpool as well.  Regaining the rights to all of the Marvel properties opens up all kinds of possibilities that comic-book fans have wanted to see for ages.

The Fantastic Four movies have been consistent box office flops, but the rights to Fantastic Four properties include the rights to iconic villains like Doctor Doom and Galactus.  And the X-men properties have immense possibilities.  The original Fox trilogy of X-men movies, starring Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, among others, were instrumental in putting superhero movies back on the map.  Movies featuring Wolverine were also box office successes, and the recent Deadpool movie was a smash hit.

There will be challenges, to be sure.  Hugh Jackman is the only guy who has ever been Wolverine in live-action films, and it sounds like he's ready to hang up the adamantium claws.  I believe Jennifer Lawrence is finished her 3-movie contract in the role of "Mystique", which is good, because Mystique was supposed to be a recurring villain and not the star of the whole franchise, and making the whole thing revolve around J-Law is the main reason the recent run of X-men movies was underwhelming.  But those are minor bumps in the road.  It's hard to picture anybody other than Jackman as live-action Wolverine, but they'll figure it out somehow.

It's hard to foresee how they'll go about integrating the newly acquired properties into the existing "Marvel Cinematic Universe". Movies take a long time to make, so this might not make its way onto screens for a few years. They already have a couple of years worth of movies in production. One can only wonder if they're furiously editing scripts to try to fit additional characters in.


 -k
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Offline Gorgeous Graham

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2017, 08:58:37 pm »
Potentially terrible news for people who hate superhero movies, as Disney has just purchased 21st Century Fox Entertainment.

The Fantastic Four movies have been consistent box office flops, but the rights to Fantastic Four properties include the rights to iconic villains like Doctor Doom and Galactus.

Never been a big fan of the Fantastic Four, either comic or movies, but they have great supporting characters & villains like you say.  I think the biggest one will be Silver Surfer, a personal fav of mine.  Can't wait for his stand alone film, even though like a lot of people I'm getting a bit sick of the superhero movies, and some of the ones that people loved I thought were lame, like Avengers series, Iron Man, and Dr Strange (the worst cheesy jokes, Cumberbatch did such a bad job cuz of the dialogue, I was shocked).

Quote
And the X-men properties have immense possibilities.  The original Fox trilogy of X-men movies, starring Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, among others, were instrumental in putting superhero movies back on the map.  Movies featuring Wolverine were also box office successes, and the recent Deadpool movie was a smash hit.

X-Men characters don't often interact in the comics with other parts of the Marvel universe since Xmen has more than enough characters there to keep up interesting stories, but X-Men is probably the most interesting Marvel franchise so will be fun to see what Disney does with those characters, even though they've been explored a ton already to mixed success.  Sad to see Jackman get too old for the part but I'm open to someone new if they get someone really good.  They did a great job recasting a lot of characters for X-Men First Class so it can be done.
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Offline MH

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2017, 08:45:33 am »
Potentially terrible news for people who hate superhero movies, as Disney has just purchased 21st Century Fox Entertainment.

Why ? 

I still think that the superhero thing is a fad.  Like the NFL.

Offline kimmy

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2017, 01:18:48 pm »
Why ? 

Because having Marvel's most popular properties united under the same banner and in the same "cinematic universe" for the first time will almost certainly extend the lifespan of the genre's popularity.

I still think that the superhero thing is a fad.  Like the NFL.

The NFL? Yeah, that thing is going to go the way of the Hula Hoop any day now.

 -k
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