With The era of heroes, Tom Breihan chooses the most important superhero movie of each year, starting with the first big-budget moments of the genre and moving on to the crushing multiplex monsters of today.
Here is a fun mental exercise: describe the poison to a child. I have tried it. It's ridiculous.
It's something like this: So, Spider-Man is sent to an alternative dimension, right? All the most famous heroes on Earth are there to fight against the most famous villains because some think it would be a good idea (although really Marvel could have an excuse to sell toys). While he is there, Spider-Man receives this new black suit (again, toys) that turns out to be made of alien exudate. But the mud is a creature, they call it a symbiote, and the creature begins to take Spider-Man and turns it bad, and Spider-Man has to fight the mud and get rid of it.
So anyway, there is also this reporter who is really angry with Spider-Man, I forget why, and then the mud finds the and joins him, and then that The boy becomes a big and evil version of Spider-Man. He is obsessed with killing Spider-Man, and he has all these teeth and this big and weird tongue, and sometimes he eats people. But sometimes it's good too. And then, sometimes, the costume goes and joins other people, like the guy who used to be the Scorpion. And sometimes it engenders these other disguises, and they become other characters, and they are even more evil.
Then: that is poison. An absurd and incoherent character with a Byzantine mess of a history and a thirst for pronounced and integral blood. The best superhero movies take their heroes and focus on what matters to them, what motivates them. Batman is a paranoid and traumatized billionaire who puts all his focus on his just revenge against the forces of darkness. Superman is an extraterrestrial deity who is also an idealistic giant, and is here to serve as inspiration for all of us. Spider-Man is a nervous child who has always been overcome, but who is bound to do good anyway because of his guilt and his own innate goodness. Blade is a half man / half vampire who hates vampires because they killed his mother while he was being born. The same goes for the villains. But Venom has no nucleus. It's a hungry stain that hates Spider-Man. That is his thing.
As a character, Venom is too ungainly and too free of human motivation to work on a children's movie. But in the late '80s and early' 90s, when Marvel was going through a boom period, Venom became a hugely popular character. That was partly due to the fact that the famous comic artists of the time seemed to be competing to see who could draw the most ridiculous version of Venom, and partly it was due to the general hunger, at that moment, for any hyper-hyper and exaggerated comics. characters. (See: Wolverine, Punisher, Wolf. We thought they were all cool!) And so the producers of Spiderman 3 He decided that Venom was finally ready for his big-screen debut. And to play this huge mass of muscles and teeth, they kicked the child out of That program of the 70s. Even he does not know how that happened.
Producer Avi Arad, who also worked on the new Poison movie, has taken the blame for harassing Spiderman The author Sam Raimi in including Venom in the third installment of his franchise. So Raimi had to work the whole story of the black suit and Venom in his film, compressing years of comic book plots in one piece. (What a new Poison The film, although deeply ungainly, at least had the good sense, or the corporate crossover good / bad luck, to keep Spider-Man completely out of the story. Along with the whole Venom saga, Raimi also tried to include Peter Parker's relationship problems, his inflated ego, his love / hate relationship with his best friend amnesia and begotten, Harry Osborn, and his struggle to know the details of the death of his uncle. He also huddled in Sandman, a villain of Spider-Man who became, in the version of Raimi, a fleetingly unfortunate convict and a moving monster in the style of King Kong. All this is in a movie. The professional wrestling term for this type of story, which does not require much elaboration, is "10 pounds of shit in a five-pound bag."
To tell this many loosely connected stories in the space of a single movie, Raimi has to rely on the magical power of coincidence. Then: the spot Venom arrives at the Earth in an inexplicable meteorite, it crashes in Central Park without being detected and it swoops on the first person that is, that is Spider-Man. Later, when Spider-Man manages to disentangle himself from that blob, the only man in the empty church below is Eddie Brock, the photographer who committed fraud and who hates Peter Parker. When Spider-Man saves a lady from the collapse of a crane, it turns out that the lady is his university laboratory partner. (It can not be just a person who works in an office, it has to be a model who does a photo shoot.) The criminal who accidentally murdered Parker's uncle is the same one who transforms himself into a sensitive sandstorm. I could go on.
All that chance is not the only direct access on the screen. We also have the amnesia of Harry Osborn, a device of narration so cheap and clumsy that they stopped doing it in comedies a full generation. Near the end of the film, Harry has his big change of heart climate just because some random butler finally appears to tell him that Spider-Man did not kill his father, something this useless butler could have told him. years before And as there is no time for anyone to express any kind of astonishment or disbelief, the brilliant scientist Peter Parker and his even brighter scientific professor (Dylan Baker as Curt Connors, who probably would have become the Lizard if Raimi had kept manufacturing Spiderman movies) learn from the existence of extraterrestrial life, and they hardly react. Connors simply takes a look at this bubble, which should be the greatest scientific discovery in the history of mankind, and in a tone of tone, "has the characteristics of a symbiote."
But looking again Spiderman 3 Today, what really draws attention to the way the film does its job is the tone, so broad and clumsy that everything seems desperately anxious to lose the attention of someone who is watching. The characters do not have interior lives; They broadcast the most theatrical versions of any simple emotion they may be feeling. The characters do not participate in the dialogue; they simply recite their motivations to each other. That's true of everything Raimi Spiderman movies, including the masterly Spider-Man 2. But in a movie like that, he found space to turn Doctor Octopus into a rich and conflictive character. There is no room for any of that in Spiderman 3.
That is the fall of the movie, but it is also the charm. Raimi discovered fun and understandable ways to do mostly CGI superhero action before anyone else, and some of the fight scenes in Spiderman 3 are funny. But Raimi is more interested in telling a silly melodrama story, with fragments of comedies of entanglements here and there (see: the extensive riff of Pepé Le Pew by Bruce Campbell), that in any of Spiderman 3The superhero things Raimi, for example, put infinitely more energy in the scene of Harry revealing himself as Peter's romantic rival than in any of the Spidey / Green Goblin fights. And this, of course, brings us to the most remembered part of the film. It takes us to the fucking dance.
As the symbiote makes its way into Parker's brain, it becomes more of a sure and selfish imbecile. Raimi and Tobey Maguire convey this with bangs, caricatured hepcat jargon and aggressive jazz helmets. The scenes of Maguire's dances became an instant hit as soon as the movie came out, and I remember that I twisted in the theater, embarrassing myself, Maguire, Raimi and all the others who were part of it. But if you watch the movie today, those scenes are the best of the movie. They are exaggerated and deeply, gloriously foolish. I suppose it helps that Maguire spent the rest of the movie playing Parker like a brutally bad asshole. Then, when it suddenly materializes on the piano bench of a jazz bar, then spins through the air, it functions as an ecstatic release moment. With these scenes, the film achieves a sort of absurd transcendence of the drama-nerd.
There are other good things about Spiderman 3. Sandman's CGI effects, although primitive, are expressively horrible. The church of Thomas Haden does everything possible to find gravity in a completely subscribed paper. J.K. Simmons has more opportunities to smoke adorably like J. Jonah Jameson. Raimi continues with the strange setback of the New Yorkers gathered to gape at the superhero fights, apparently not even annoyed by the threat of falling debris. James Franco makes the turn in an incredibly incompetent way. And even though it's not your real story arc, Maguire and Kirsten Dunst do a convincing job representing a couple who got together as children and who no longer have any reason to be together.
Venom does not appear until the end of the movie. This is another good thing, since Topher Grace interprets him as the least intimidating or convincing villain that ever existed. This is not even Grace's fault. As the star of comedies and occasional cameos in Steven Soderbergh's films, Grace always had her own charisma. In Spike Lee BlackkKlansman, he arms his lack of sincerity and turns it into something similar to evil. But in that role of Venom, all he can really do is insist that being bad makes him feel good. He jumps up and growls a little, and then Spider-Man kills him with clan canes and one (1) pumpkin bomb. The Venom version of Tom Hardy's lobster sandwich id is not exactly a movie icon, but it could only be a great improvement.
Even with all its titanic defects, Spiderman 3 He still made a lot of money: almost $ 900 million, the most of any Spiderman movie ever All these people paid to see it, but nobody really liked it. Once the world had seen The beginning of batman, a film in which the characters show at least some appearance of recognizable human emotions, it was difficult to make someone love this kind of incoherent nonsense, however lucrative they may have been. There were plans for Raimi to make another one. Spiderman One or two movies, but ended up leaving due to creative differences, and Sony disastrously restarted the entire character only five years later. Spiderman 3.
The year after Spiderman 3 With all his money, two very different superhero movies told their silly stories with levels of sophistication that a movie like this simply could not match. Most of the studios stopped trying to put their movies full of characters. Instead, they slowly and patiently constructed stories, striving not to insult the intelligence of their audience. For all the money he made, Spiderman 3 It was a dead end, the spectacular fire of an experiment. We will never have another movie like this one. And as foolish as Spiderman 3 That is to say, it also makes me feel nostalgic for the time when the studios really discovered how superhero films could or should work.
Other notable superhero films of 2007: Nicolas Cage did not have the chance to become Superman, as he wanted. But he did have the opportunity to join the lexicon of superheroes with Ghost Rider, the adaptation of the supernatural character of Marvel that I thought was the best thing in the world when I was in fourth grade. Cage has a lot of fun like Johnny Blaze, the double motorcyclist who becomes a demon of skeletal revenge, but the story of the movie, Reckless Screenwriter and director Mark Steven Johnson inexplicably has another shot at this superhero movie, and his ridiculous images make it hard to see.
Worse was Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer, who took one of the most iconic stories in the history of Marvel Comics and turned it into a simplistic CGI malarky. There is ambition in the film, which tried to expand the template of the superhero movie into something cosmic and that consumes everything more than a decade before. Avengers: the war of infinity. But there is nothing even remotely satisfying in the way that story really tells. Perhaps his greatest sin is in the way he transforms the planet-eating Galactus, perhaps the greatest destructive force in the logic of Marvel's fools, in a cloud of shit.
You could probably argue that the most viscerally satisfying superhero movie of 2007 was Mirageman, the low budget Chilean film where Marko Zaror, the imposing martial artist who had once been the double of the Rock trick and who has gone on to international direct action to DVD stardom, puts on a blue mask and overcomes the shit of a group of guys
The year had some superhero movies that, even more than Spiderman 3, they were explicitly for children. Loser is a live action movie about a CGI superhero dog that speaks with the voice of Jason Lee; Lois Lane, Amy Adams, Tony Stark's future father, John Slattery, and the future giant hammer forge. Infinity War Cameo Peter Dinklage all the game roles. TMNT He gave the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise a lively theatrical replay, seven years before he had another theatrical restart. And the former Bill S. Preston, Esq. Alex Winter led Ben 10: Race against time, a live adaptation made for television of a Cartoon Network program. Also, this probably does not count as a superhero movie, but the documentary Confessions of a Superhero He told the stories of people who dress up as superheroes and pose for photos on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
There were also a lot of adaptations of non-superhero comics. 300 projected in 2006, but came out in theaters, made lots of money and helped inspire a new wave of American fascism in 2007. Meanwhile, Persepolis was nominated for an Oscar, and 30 days at night It turned out to be a much funnier horror movie (with a better random interpretation of Ben Foster) than it probably had the right to be.
Next time: 2008 is the most important year in the history of superhero films, and it is about two films. Iron Man the entire Marvel cinematographic universe began, and its sunny, contraceptively intelligent tone established the voice of the most dominant entity in today's cinema. But The dark knight It was a genuine cultural phenomenon, the first superhero movie that was received as a masterpiece rather than a frivolity. It could certainly be argued that Iron Man was more important for the development of superhero films, but one could also argue that The dark knight It was more important for the culture in general. And in his overwhelming success, The dark knight It may have been almost as important to Marvel's success as Iron Man I was. I've gone from here to there many times, but we're going with The dark knight.