Last year, while decent, was not the best year for comic book films. Or films in general.
However, I think this year might be a kick ass year for films. If not amazing, than at least a year where studios take some big gambles and the fate is determined for the future of comic book movies. Why? Three reasons….
- Remakes: Films like Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and The Amazing Spider-Man are both films that are remakes of their predecessors. If they do very well in the box office, it might be a sign that comic book films will at least have ten extra years in the spotlight. Especially if The Amazing Spider-Man does well. If that happens, Fox might be eager to give franchises like Daredevil or Fantastic Four another go.
- Re-releases: IN 3-D!!! Actually, I don’t care too much for 3-D. But what I do care about is seeing some of my favorite films back on the big screen. Which I’d take over a remake any day of the week. They’ve already had some success with last year’s re-releases such as The Lion King or Ghostbusters. But this year’s re-releases (such as Titanic, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, and Beauty and the Beast) may do well enough to prove to the studios that yes, we love our classics. And if that’s the case, will I finally get the chance to see films I was too young/not born yet to see, such as Batman or Superman, on the big screen?
- The Avengers: One hell of a gamble. A big cast and a big set up throughout the films. If it does go well, you can damn bet Warner Bros. will be eager to get the Justice League set up for a major film.
But of course, chances and gambles are nothing if the films are crap. Fortunately, there does seem to be some intriguing films. Here’s all the comic book (and near comic book) films you’ll be able to catch this year.
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3-D
Like most people, Star Wars Episode I was not my favorite Star Wars film. In fact, it’s not even one of my favorite worst films ever. However, it’s been a while since I last saw it, so I might warm up to it after the passage of time. Plus, I’ll finally have the chance to review each Star Wars film for Movie Monday (you can put your money on the fact that Lucas is going to be re-releasing all of them). Hopefully Lucas won’t be editing the films yet again.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Yes, I know. It’s a Nicholas Cage film. Not only that, but the first Ghost Rider wasn’t the best comic book film of all time. But this one promises to be a darker and grittier take on the motorcycle, chain wielding badass. Plus, let’s not forget the fact that Nicholas Cage did a kick ass job in Kick-Ass.
It’s not a comic book film, but it is classic pulp. And more importantly, you’d be hard pressed to argue against the fact that Edgar Rice Burroughs was influential to science-fiction, literature, and comic books. And for those of you who say that John Carter is a rip off of Star Wars, sorry to tell you but it’s the other way around. Lucas was definitely influenced by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
This one I’m definitely curious to see how it turns out. The anticipation has been brewing since the after credits scene in Iron Man. But can you pull some of the top name actors around town and get them to drop their egos for the sake of the story? Even if you can get them to humble a bit, can you squeeze all of those characters in for a decent story? And most importantly, can Joss Whedon fans shut the hell up about Joss Whedon? We shall wait and see. Whether it’s a mega success or a catastrophic bomb, it will be an interesting spectacle nonetheless.
Men in Black III
I loved Men in Black and have plenty of fond memories of it back when I was 9-years-old. But I hated Men in Black II and wished that Men in Black would appear and erase my memory of it. However, the new Men in Black III looks good enough. Probably nowhere near the quality of the first Men in Black, but I’m sure I’ll get my popcorn kicks.
G.I. Joe Retaliation
It’s not a comic book film, but G.I Joe certainly has its fair share of comic books. I haven’t seen the first film, but by the looks of the trailers, the sequel might be better than the first one.
The Amazing Spider-Man
Mixed feelings. Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure it will be good. But I’m not sure if it will be as ground breaking as Spider-Man. People complain about Peter Parker being emo in Spider-Man 3, but this guy looks like he needs to be chewing down Prozac pills. Not sure if it will be a good or an amazing (pun intended) film. But I do know one thing. They say there’s a hero to save us, I’m not gonna stand here and waaaaaaiiiiit!
The Dark Knight Rises
I’m sure I’m gonna love this. But you know what I won’t love about this? Having to hear the legion of Nolanites weep that this is “THE BEST TRILOGY EVER!”
I AM THE LAW!!! I admit, I do have some affection for the 1995 film. But this might be a fresh take on it. Especially since the 2000 AD version is very different than the 90s film. However, the creative drama behind the scenes makes me weary of this one.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 2
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Since I added Prometheus, I might as well add our little furry feet friends to appease the fantasy fans and various editors. I loved the book, but I’m a bit nervous about Peter Jackson breaking it up into two films (a.k.a. let’s split it up into two films to make more money). This isn’t The Lord of the Rings where it was an epic saga long enough to be broken into three books. The Hobbit was a fairly quick read and a much lighter one, too. Still, I’m interested to see how it turns out. And no, you’re not the only one with the Lord of the Rings song stuck in your head.
So there you go. One giant leap for comic book films. Whether it’s a stumble or a move towards the right direction will determine the fate for this decade. Nevertheless, I’m excited to see what the new year brings.