Sunday, March 29, 2009

Make Mine Marvel

I have to say I am looking forward to Wolverine:Origins. I had a lot of trepidation about the movie mostly based on Liev Schreiber playing Sabertooth. Hugh Jackman does make a larger than life Wolverine. Though he is by no means as small as Alpha Flight’s Puck, Logan has never been a tall guy. Most comics him standing at least a head shorter than Cyclops. Contrary to that Sabertooth has always been massive. In the first X-men movie the quality of Jackman’s Wolverine negated my qualms about his height. It was also amazingly well offset by the truly massive and almost typecast Tyler Mane. Hell I don’t know how tall Jackman is (I would guess at least 2 inches over six feet) but with Mane playing opposite him in the big Wolvie/ Sabertooth throw down it was cinematic perfection. I have watched the DVDs for X-men enough times to justify having bought the three pack DVDs and may someday upgrade to Blu-ray.
Not to say Liev Schreiber won’t better play the part of Sabertooth. I think he has the grit and guts to take the character to epic levels perhaps even grand enough to make up for the lack of lines Mane had in the first movie. I enjoy watching him work. Granted the real treat of the experience is bound to be Ryan Reynolds playing Deadpool. Hell, he was amazing as Hannibal King (perhaps the best part of Blade III accepting Jessica Biel’s hotness), and the wise-cracking assassin role is perfect for Reynolds. If the movie isn’t a home run swing on that fact alone I will hang up my hat… at least until the next time it rains.
Now all of this post was brought on by Becca. She commented to me about Punisher: War Zone. I had been avoiding seeing it because I was so disappointed about the decision not to follow up with the Thomas Jane Punisher. I do admit that the grim and gritty Ray Stevenson Punisher is much more true to the comic. In fact War Zone is far more canon to the comic than the first Punisher movie ever thought about being. They also are in no ways sequels. War Zone gets Frank Castle back to his original origin (family gunned down in the park as opposed to payback as seen in the Thomas Jane version). Even though the Thomas Jane flick was not true to the comic version I was very happy with it. Hell how often do we see Travolta play a bad guy? I own the Thomas Jane Punisher on DVD. It has seen plenty of play time. I am undecided yet on adding War Zone to the collection. It is worth the shelf space, but my entertain dollar may be better spent elsewhere.
Becca basically summed the movie up as bloody. That is a truly apt description. A gorefest might even put things more accurately. From Spider-man to Ghost Rider all of the Marvel comics movies (including the first Punisher film) were light on profanity and extremely light on blood and guts. War Zone could easily be considered a chop house film just for the number of times it shows skulls flying apart. Ray Stevenson nails the nasty Frank Castle. It is funny though his on-screen paternal affection for the young girl called me instantly back to his character in King Arthur. Gotta love Dag! For the record, my DVD copy of King Arthur has seen plenty of viewings.
I have been very comfortable with my daughter seeing most of the Marvel comics movies. The Spider-man flicks thus far have been decent in quality and maintained the larger than life veneer of superhero goodness. Though the X-men movies have been a little darker (as they should be since the comics are darker) I was comfortable with the kiddo watching them. I haven’t let her watch any of the Blade movies, Daredevil, or Ghost Rider. So far she hasn’t asked to see them or the Fantastic Four movies. While I would say yes to FF the rest would get a no. I haven’t bothered to pick up FF DVD’s as of yet. It isn’t that they aren’t good movies I just don’t know that I would be watching them for anything other than to stare at Jessica Alba. Now, where is my copy of Into the Blue…
Now I LOVE Ben Affleck. Dude is the bomb. In the words of Kevin Smith he can play anything including the shark from Jaws. He was in fact the BOMB in Phantoms. Daredevil though just sucked. Sure I have the DVD. Yes I watch it on occasion. Daredevil was just a movie that might had been best not made. DD has always been second string. His origin is interesting with the super senses in exchange for his sight, but lets face facts the rest of his “powers” equate to a guy who is good at gymnastics. Now before anyone objects to that go read some of the original DD comics. Matt Murdock was a gymnast in college. Its a fact. It made me uncomfortable as a geeky preteen reading the book and I pretty much avoided him unless there was something special about the issue. So Daredevil, lame flick, but not necessarily Affleck’s fault. Ben I think you did your best, man. We can talk about Gilgi some other time… A side note to the whole Daredevil issue… if you need an excuse to watch DD, Kevin Smith’s role might actually be it. Its short, but very sweet. I first saw DD on DVD. I haven’t sent it to McKay’s as trade in, but it has only seen a few plays.
The Blade movies… well none of them were awful. The Blade TV series is another story, but we are talking movies. As a fan of both Vampires and comics I can’t say a whole lot ill about them. Overall they aren’t in my top 100 favorites, or even in my top 10 comics flicks. They aren’t horrible. They also aren’t kid flicks so my daughter isn’t allowed yet. I have all the DVDs though I certainly haven’t worn out the covers getting to them.
Ghost Rider… wow. Eva Mendes… Nick Cage… This should have been a great movie. Again I think it suffers from the same problem as the Daredevil flick. It is a slightly more compelling story, but less so when put on film. Nick Cage went a little clean cut for my tastes as Johnny Blaze, but then again I prefer the Rise of the Midnight Sons Ghost Rider. I don’t have the DVD. I don’t plan to buy it, but when it is on HBO or whatever I won’t necessarily turn the station.
So I guess overall I am a big fan of comic movies as a whole. I think Marvel has done (mostly) an excellent job on getting their catalog to film. Superman Returns was just BAD. It is bad enough that I cringe thinking about it. Brandon Roth was much better as a gay former jock in Zach and Miri than he was as the Man of Steel. The Christian Bale Batman has made up for it (again mostly). It is worth noting I have not talked about Marvels two attempts at the Hulk movies. Even the lovely and talented Liv Tyler barely makes the Incredible Hulk watchable. As a whole, though Marvel is putting more good comic films out there.
Granted I have yet to see Watchmen!

Hellboy and Constantine both are worthy comic mentions. They grace my DVD racks with pride. I don’t own any Batman movies and I only have Superman Returns because it was buy 2 get 1 free DVD night at Blockbuster. It was that or The Animal. In retrospect I would have been better off with Rob Schneider. Not something that happens often.

December 2nd Comic Books on a Budget