I didn’t think Hollywood would be able to top 2012 when it came to comic book movies. Lo and behold, though, I was wrong. With Iron Man 3 kicking off the summer movie season in just over a week, I decided to take a look all the films coming out this year, and I was startled to see so many that either feature superheroes or are based on comic books.
It would seem that “nerd” is no longer a four-letter word (not the bad kind, anyway), and Hollywood has reached out in an attempt to embrace the massive population of full-grown children with disposable income. Ah, yes, Hollywood is playing the song of my people, and I couldn’t be more excited. Just take a look at the incredible list of movies coming out this year, presented with some of my “expert” thoughts on them. This is me more as a nerd than a connoisseur of fine cinema. So, if you’re not down with the geek, you’re not going to have a very groovy time with this one. But those who are geek-friendly can join me in looking at the list of flicks that will determine whether this is truly the year of the comic nerd.
As always, I’m down for a frank conversation, so please leave comments telling me how much you agree or firmly describing just how far up my ass my head is.
Iron Man 3- Marvel’s big dog is back and has found a new director in fan-favorite Shane Black. This film has him pitted against his arch-nemesis. Robert Downey Jr. made Marvel Studios a success and launched a cinematic universe. However, is this the end to Downey as the Armored Avenger? No one really knows, and while we never thought about anyone else playing Tony Stark, we’re not against the idea in principle. Either way, this one could be one of the best movies of the year, and it will almost definitely be the biggest comic book film.
Bullet to the Head- Sylvester Stallone is blowing up these days, which means it’s no surprise he got cast as old-school contract killer Jimmy Bobo. What might surprise you is that this film was based upon Alexis Nolent‘s French graphic novel Du Plomb Dans La Tete. While we weren’t too thrilled with how the movie turned out, we were certain surprised to hear of its origin. So, while it might not be the best comic movie this year (at least we hope it isn’t), it still qualifies, for what it’s worth.
The Wolverine- Fox has a lot to answer for after the atrocity that way X-Men Origins: Wolverine. However, with a new director, and focusing on the epic arc by Frank Miller, this could be Fox’s hot at redemption, especially because everything we’ve seen so far is absolutely awesome. Hell, there are even rumors that people are actually stealing the posters because they’re so cool. Besides, Hugh Jackman has always been an incredible Wolverine, and the fact that he’s got a stellar director behind him now only gives us high hopes for this new film.
Red 2- I loved Red. I loved it so much that if I pass by a TV and it’s playing, my day is shot. While the original was loosely based (very loosely) on a short series by Warren Ellis, the sequel promises the characters you all remember and loved from the first with some new additions. This time around, Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones are joining the ranks as Frank Moses and his team return for another romp. But with a new director, I’m not sure if it’ll be able to live up to the original.
Kick-Ass 2- Mark Miller’s gritty superhero tale is back, and I couldn’t be happier. The first one was an absolute triumph, and while a new director is behind the sequel, Jim Carrey‘s almost-unnerving reveal during the trailer has me chomping at the bit to see him in action. I have no idea if this will be as good as the first Kick-Ass, but I can guarantee that it will be the most unique comic book movie out this year. I’m going to be at the midnight screening for this one. How about you?
R.I.P.D.- Oh, that’s what the director of Red is doing. Ryan Reynolds teams up with Jeff Bridges to form a team of undead law men that are tasked with keeping the paranormal in check. From our first look at the trailer, we expect MIB meets True Grit, and that’s pretty awesome. Still, we don’t know a lot about the movie other than it’s based on the Dark Horse series The Rest in Peace Police by Peter M. Lenkov. I’m a little nervous about this one, but since director Robert Schwentke is behind it, I think it’s worth a shot.
Man of Steel- DC really needs to step up to the plate when it comes to their movies, and this might be their last chance to prove that they’re more than just Batman. Still, if there’s one man that’s proven that he has the artistic vision to pull off Superman, its comic book connoisseur Zach Snyder. True, he hasn’t always made great movies, but he’s always made damn entertaining ones, and the fact that Christopher Nolan was involved in the early days of pre-production gives me hope that DC actually stands a chance.
2 Guns- Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg are teaming up in the adaptation of the graphic novel by Steven Grant. It’s not exactly a well-known comic, but it’s one I might consider picking up if it pulled in such heavy-hitters to play the leads. Plus, it seems like an intriguing tale of corruption that ties together three branches of the government all trying to set each other up. I dunno about you, but that seems like my kind of movie. Of course, we haven’t really seen anything to back this up, but I’m sure it’ll be a fun little flick. And the worst case scenario is it will just be another forgettable flick.
Thor: The Dark World- I wasn’t a big fan of Thor, but after the trailer that hit this week, I can’t help but feel optimistic about the sequel. To be honest, the first movie was a mess, but after The Avengers, I’ve found a soft spot for the Norse God, even if my girlfriend starts whispering Chris Hemsworth’s name in her sleep. I’m interested to see the character grow on his own, though, and it’s going to be good to see magic take its foothold in the Marvel Universe.
300: Rise of an Empire- The adaptation of Frank Miller’s 300 introduced us all to a scantily-clad Gerard Butler. The sequel, though, is made up of a bunch of actors I’ve never heard of, and that makes me think it’s a vehicle for abs and super-slow motion to return to the silver screen. Of all the comic book movies hitting theaters this year, this is the one that I’m feeling the most ambivalent about. If it wasn’t for the fact that I’m sure I’ll be the one to write the review, I would skip it all together.