Nov 12, 2008

The Golden Age

If life were fair, then I would be an 11 year-old boy again right now because we are living in the Golden Age of comic-book movie adaptions, people. These are glorious times to be an 11 year-old or girl here in the land of Hollywood movie magic.

I guess it started with either X-Men (2000) or Spider-Man (2002). Take your pick. The sequels were damned good too. Well, the first sequels. The second sequels were fucking awful. Since then it has been a veritable fan-boy smorgasbord of comic-book adaptations. Some really good, some really awful.

Daredevil (2003) - It sucked.
Hulk (2003) - It sucked worse.
Hellboy (2004) - Very nice surprise.
The Punisher (2004) - I liked it better than most.
Catwoman (2004) - Dear God!
Elektra (2005) - Why, oh why?!?!?
Batman Begins (2005) - Christian Bale rocks as Bruce Wayne.
Fantastic Four (2005) - Phew! What a piece of crap!
Superman Returns (2006) - And I wish he hadn't.
Ghost Rider (2007) - Nic Cage? Really?
FF: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007) - Not awful.
Iron Man (2008) - Awesome! The way it should be done.
The Incredible Hulk (2008) - Massively better than the 1st one.
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) - Haven't seen it yet*.
The Dark Knight (2008) - What can I say? Brilliant!

*It just came out today on DVD and it is at the top of my NetFlix queue.

And that list doesn't even include non-superhero comic-book adaptations like V for Vendetta (2006) or superhero films that aren't comic-book adaptations like Hancock (2008) - which I still haven't seen.

It looks like 2008 has been the banner year thus far for superhero films. The wonderful thing about even the crappy films on the above list is that I will still watch them. With glee. I love me some superhero flicks! Just like a good 11 year-old should.

And there is more on the horizon. Another Iron Man film, a Thor film, a Captain America film and an Avengers film are all in the works. Watchmen comes out early next year (hopefully). So will a solo Wolverine movie that already has me turgid. And Bryan Singer is giving Superman another chance. I have my doubts, but there are folks out there who like that shit.

There are some other flicks out there just waiting to be made. I think the X-Men have another really great film in them. Green Lantern and Green Arrow could make an interesting film. And I would love to see a really good Justice League film. That would be sweet.

I dunno. Maybe I have had the best of both worlds.

I got to enjoy all the original comic-books when I was a kid (ahem...and much older), and I get to experience them all over again on the big screen now that I am an adult. An immature adult, to be sure, but an adult still.

So put on your tights and your capes and enjoy, my fellow nerds and geeks!

We are truly living in Golden Times!

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
- Roman Poet Juvenal


badgerdaddy said...

Who watches the Watchmen, indeed.

Michelle said...

Ok, so you taught me a new word: Turgid....i had no clue what that word means.... Now i do!! So thanks!

As far as all these movies, i love em. I was not really into comics as an 11 year old. Well unless you all Archie a comic....

I loved Iron Man and The Dark Knight but i like/love all the others too!!! They are fun to watch!!

Ok running time!

Faiqa said...

Christian Bale... swwoooooooon.

Verdant Earl said...

badger - indeed.

Michelle - I was barely alive at 6:27 this morning. And you were going running? Well done!

Faiqa - Let's not get carried away. Did you see him in The Machinest?

Dr Zibbs said...

Am a movie fan but not a huge comic book movie fan. I do this Hellboy is pretty good though. And I forget the graphic novel movie that came out a feew years ago but it was great. Just can't think of the name right now.

Avitable said...

I really enjoyed Daredevil - it felt very true to the comic for me. And I think that the original Hulk is a brilliant movie, if it wasn't for the last ten minutes, which were jumbled and fell apart.

And Superman Returns? I love that movie. Absolutely love it.

Verdant Earl said...

Zibbs - Road to Perdition? Sin City? V for Vendetta? Ghost World?

Avitable - yeah, yeah...I know. We will have to agree to disagree on those films. I'm a HUGE Daredevil fan, especially those Frank Miller issues that the film was based on. That might have had a lot to do with my extreme disappointment in the film. I just watched the new Hulk film this weekend (twice) and I loved it! And don't even get me started on Superman again. Just don't.

Slyde said...

you liked the punisher? they took garth ennis' awesome story and turned it into stupidity. shame on you.

everything else you said was pretty much bang on...

Verdant Earl said...

Slyde - Maybe I just liked seeing John Travolta get his ass handed to him.

Dr Zibbs said...

B.E Earl - It was Sin City. Loved that movie.

RW said...

I was a huge Marvel guy from 62-70 and saw the rise and fall of the original Spider Man, Fantastic Four, W-men, the Submariner, iron Man, Silver Surfer and even obscure little stuff like Sgt. Fury.

Sometime in the early 70's, I think, they had the first TV cartoon versions of Marvel characters and I hated it ("Spider Man, Spider Man, does whatever a spider can..." ugh) and I think that's what spoiled seeing these characters in any other medium for me forever after.

I was a kid and so reading the "mags" - I think they were 10 or 12 cents - was connected to the smell of the paper, the taste of chips or whatever I was eating while reading, certain sounds. They were a huge influence on me - I was buried in marvel comics and even sent them a couple stories at age 12 (which Stan Lee responded to himself - he didn't use it though).

So I can't. I look at the movies and the way the comics even look now, and I can't. I recognize the production values and how cool they look - but it just doesn't feel the same.

RW said...

Of course W-men is supposed to be X fucking Men. I am an idiot, after all.

Paticus said...

I gotta say,I liked the first Hulk. I have not seen the 2nd one yet(it is sitting on top of the tee vee-hopefully this weekend.), but I have heard very good things.
Now we need someone to make a faithful adaptation of "Howard the Duck".

Verdant Earl said...

Zibbs - the sequel will be coming out next year, I think.

RW - I love the stuff from the Silver Age. Even Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos (later Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD). I actually think the films of today harken back to the wonder of those comics more than they do to today's glossy $3.95 versions. Especially Spider-Man and the last Hulk film. Very reminiscent of those early books. My favorite Silver Age book from the 60's was from DC. A title called My Greatest Adventure which later morphed into The Doom Patrol. DC's version of the X-Men (or W-Men). The Doom Patrol, led by a wheelchaired man as well, actually were created several months before the X-Men leading some to believe that Lee copied them. But I think its just a weird coincidence.

Paticus - Howard the Duck was a strange aberration of the 70's comic-book scene. Let it die in peace.

Paticus said...

But i love Howard. And then they released that...that...that...ABOMINATION with Lea Thompson and Tim Robbins. That must be corrected. Must be.

Seals said...

I've never been a comic book guy but I love comic book movies.

I like the X-Men films but I don't like what I've been hearing about the upcoming Wolverine movie. Everything I've heard is poo poo.

I hope that film doesn't ruin the franchise.

Anonymous said...

I just hate when they do a crappy job and then it has to be redone again in under ten years. Like the Hulk movies. It makes me think there are no original ideas left. But then some of these movies are really good. I get tired of remakes though.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Loved comic books as a kid! I still have my collection-somewhere. My faves were
Batman-not really diggin the movie thing though. I have yet to see one that completel knocked my socks off but (I haven't seen Dark Night Yet).

Spidey rules!!! Sorry I loved all the movies and my son and I fought every crowd to be geeks and see them on opening night. We have a perfect record so far.

Archie-Love me some Archie, Veronica and Betty. I mean,who isn't intrigued by a character named Jughead?

But my most treasured comics were about the antics of a little red devil named Hot Stuff. Remember him?

Ookami Snow said...

I like Hellboy II, but in a different way than the first Hellboy.

Bruce Johnson said...

Do you still wake up early on Saturday mornings to watch the cartoons? I wonder if you were (are) a Johnny Quest / Space Ghost fan....or God forbid, Clutch Cargo.....

The escapism of modern day Superhero films sort of perplexes me. At first they had their novalty, but they have become the new Hollywood western....I can only take so many mano-y-mano gunfights and scenes of monument valley at sunset.

I miss the films of David Lean, John Houston and Robert Wise.....I really do.

Verdant Earl said...

Paticus - I was only kidding. Kinda. :)

ajooja - Wolverine going snickety-snickt can never ruin a franchise.

Teeni - the second Hulk film was a reboot, but it wasn't a remake. It took place 5 years after the events of the first film.

Candy - I remember Hot Stuff. I didn't read those, but I remember them. Sadly, it hasn't been published since the mid-90's. Not a lot of room on the market right now for the old Harvey/Archie stuff.

Ookami - As soon as my "short wait" is over, I'm getting it on NetFlix.

Verdant Earl said...

Bruce - I miss those film too. I truly enjoy the comic-book stuff just as much as the grand stuff. Its just different. I WISH there were more Westerns made. I eat that shit up. And Clutch Cargo was a bit before my time. It never ran in re-runs in my market when I was a kid. I was a Bugs Bunny/Marvel Superheroes/Justice League/Johnny Quest kinda kid.

Heff said...

I was big into comics as a kid. I haven't seen most of the movies you've listed, but the ones I have seen I've really liked. (I have yet to see Iron Man or the newest Incredible Hulk).

Anonymous said...

Wassup Earl?

Probably not considered comic-genre, but there is a live-action movie coming out that has me happier than a little girl on Santa's lap...

G.I. JOE!!!!

The cartoons of the 80's were the comics of my generation. With the success of Transformers, I say bring on He-Man and Thundercats at the very least. Hell, I'd even check out the Snorks if they did it right. And with personal bias, I'm still wishing that someone in Hollywood would realize that the Metroid franchise is tailor made for the big screen.

C'mon people...give me a scooby snack or sumpin'!

Anonymous said...

Since I've never read a comic book in my whole life, my husband always is very excited to hear what I think about an adaptation film whenever we see one.

I'm happy to announce that I am smart enough to know that suck is suck, comic book reader or not. ;)

Verdant Earl said...

Heff - I didn't think I was gonna like it but the Iron Man flick was fantastic.

WLC - Even with the crapfest that was the Transformers movie? C'mon! Although I would be interested in a Star Blazer live action flick.

Hilly - Oh, I can tell that some of these are truly sucky. But the 11 year-old in me doesn't give a crap! :)

Anonymous said...

Transformers is a terrible movie, so I should qualify my comment...

By "success" I mean that it made a ton of money. Shit theBeef is a horrible actor, and he's now ruined both Transformers and Indiana Jones. Can somebody tell me the allure there? I don't get it.

I'm not familiar with Star Blazer, but I trust that you would never lead me astray. So...I'm on board

That said, tell me there isn't a small part of you that's dying to see what they could do with today's special FX coupled with He-Man, or thunder, Thunder, THUNDERCATS...


Mrs. Hall said...

Anyone a Concrete fan?

That's all I got.


Mrs. Hall

pure evyl said...

I even enjoy shitty superhero movies except for that pos First Hulk movie. That was way too long to be enjoyable. It made BraveHeart look like a trailer.

Verdant Earl said...

WLC - Star Blazers (forgot the s earlier) was a two or three season Anime from the 80's. They fought the Comet Empire in one of the seasons, I remember. And the big starships looked a lot like submarines and battleships, etc...

Holly - I read a bunch of Concrete comix, but I never got the appeal. Sorry.

Evyl - Totally agree. Plus Nick Nolte has become un-watchable.

platts42 said...

Xmen, X3, Spiderman + Spiderman 3 all sucked balls. The first of the series was good until the second arrived which retroactively suckifed the first.

Looking forward to Watchmen and trying to cram it down my wife's throat (up to the point of reading it to her).

marty mankins said...

I've seen both Iron Man and The Dark Knight and agree 100%.... best movies of the year (well, Wall-E was well liked, too, but he's not a superhero).

From previous years, I really liked the first 2 Batman movies with Michael Keaton. They were a bit out there in some respects, but well done, IMO.

i am the diva said...

Daredevil (2003) - I actually didn't mind it, i think that Spiderman stole it's thunder - maybe it just needs air?? although... it does star ben affleck. hm.

Hulk (2003) - Everyone and their dog informed this movie was about as appetizing as re-warmed dog turds, so i opted not to see it.

Hellboy (2004) - Haven't seen it.

The Punisher (2004) - Another i haven't seen...

Catwoman (2004) - uhm, i steered clear of this one, also based on the advice of others.

Elektra (2005) - I wasn't sure why they even bothered to make this movie. I guess maybe HorseFace McGee had a contract or something? (That's Mrs. Affleck to you)

Batman Begins (2005) - Hawt. I mean, c'mon!! What's sexier than Ninja Batman? nothing, i say.

Fantastic Four (2005) - Worst. Movie. Ever.

Superman Returns (2006) - As i recall, i went with B-rad, and my brother and his wife, and everyone (except B-rad) fell asleep in the theatre. Nice.

Ghost Rider (2007) - Oh God. I hate Nic Cage more than any actor anywhere ever. But...Eva....sooo hot.... want to touch the heinie... mmm.... so, i saw it. and if i could just ignore the nic cage part, it wasn't great.

FF: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007) - Worst. Movie. Ever. Part II. Can you believe i saw this in theatre - even after seeing the first piece of shit? Not my choice, by the way.

Iron Man (2008) - Robert Downey Jr rocks in so many ways. YES!!!!

The Incredible Hulk (2008) - I had my doubts, but based on Slyde's accolades, i watched it and loved it. Ed Norton, you're my hero.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) - I watched it on Sunday, the Pan's Labrynth dude did the characters, most awesome. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and am now going to go back and watch the first one.

The Dark Knight (2008) - Sexy Nurse Joker? Best scene ever.

Verdant Earl said...

Diva - nice wrap-up. I don't think Jennifer Garner is all that attractive either.