My goal for 2016 is to get back in the habit of posting trailers on a regular basis, something which I sort of abandoned in the last half of 2015 (it’s a long story). And what better way to start than with the latest trailers for Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I haven’t been particularly enthusiastic at the prospect of a DC Extended Universe of films, designed to combat the wildly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe, following the release of Man of Steel two and a half years ago. I was not a fan of Man of Steel (nor of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy before it, which is not a part of the new Universe but which obviously influenced its tone), and the fact that the second film they’re attempting is such an obvious push to get an Avengers-style film out (Superman! Batman! Wonder Woman! Flash! …Aquaman? Cyborg?) makes the film feel too forcefully commercial in an already overly-commercial genre. But what I do find interesting about the DCEU is that its two upcoming films already feel very different. If there’s one criticism of the MCU I’ll entertain, it’s that the films generally aim for the same sort of tone, and despite a good amount of variety among the films they all feel kind of similar, as if they’re different chapters in the same book rather than individual movies. And while Batman v Superman feels like more of the same following Man of Steel, Suicide Squad’s latest trailer makes it seem like the film was made by an entirely different studio. And what really surprises me is how much these latest trailers have changed my level of enthusiasm for the films, though in completely opposite directions from each other. Take a look at the Suicide Squad trailer below and then read on for my thoughts on it and Batman v Superman.
In my review of Man of Steel, I talked a bit about the modern phases of comic book superhero movies that began with 1978’s Superman. I’ve enjoyed some of these phases more than others (I’m not a fan of Nolan’s style), but they’ve all produced good films and bad. So I thought I’d come up with a list from best to worst of the comic book superhero movies of the modern era. I kept the list limited to my arbitrarily chosen “major” superheroes, so you won’t see things like Blade or Hellboy on the list (though I love Hellboy). I’m also not including more indie comic book films, like The Rocketeer or Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, both of which I love. I tried to just use the films people were most likely to have seen. (Note: Green Lantern is not included because I actually never saw it.)
Lists are great for discussion, so let me know what you think! (In other words… BRING IT ON!!! I can’t wait to hear people challenging where I have the Batman Begins saga or Man of Steel.) If there’s anything obvious that I left off, let me know. And then vote below as to what is your favorite comic book superhero movie (you can fill in your own choices). Continue reading
The superhero movie as we know it was born in 1978 with Superman, starring Christopher Reeve. The posters claimed “You’ll believe a man can fly” and we were given a movie that seems very dated by today’s standards. Reeve, clad in spandex, soared on wires in front of a blue screen in many ways seems silly to modern audiences. Clark Kent was the squeaky-clean all-American, still standing up for “truth, justice and the American way” 40 years after his introduction in the comics. It was undeniably goofy, but timeless in a way. It gave us a modern yet dated world, where reporters dressed like they were in the 1930s yet boarded helicopters from the roof of the Daily Planet.
Of course, superhero films have gone through many incarnations since then. Continue reading