This has been a great year for sequels and an even greater year for superhero movies as a whole. For those of us that have loved comic books all of our lives, it was time to do an update with the DVD Patrol team. Some of the team have been here for awhile like the Toddster, Jeff and Brian. Others like Shawn and Kevin (just want to welcome him in and this is his first teamup!) might not have had the chance to let us know what they like. Don’t forget all these movies are now available on DVD with “Marvel’s The Avengers” being released this week. Here are a few choices the guys had and I had to throw in my new personal favorite.
It’s been years since I’ve seen a good superhero movie derived from the wonderful world that is Marvel comics, though rest assured, there have been plenty of bad ones to fill the void of time. What was the one good among the ever growing pile of bad? I’m going with “Spider-Man,” which claimed box office success when it hit the silver screen in the summer of 2002.
I’ll admit, Spider-Man has always been far removed from my list of favorite super heros, but when it comes to nerdy college-age students who instantly gain superpowers when bitten by a genetically mutated insect, Spider-Man takes the cake.
Apparently, millions of others thought so too, since the film grossed more than $820 million worldwide. The movie jump-started a wave of successful Marvel comic superhero movies spanning more than a decade, some even already scheduled for release in 2014 ( and even the bad ones like “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” and “X-Men: The Last Stand” were huge hits at the box office, piggy-backing off the success of the 2002 “Spider-Man”). The story of a nerdy loser becoming the country’s favorite superhero – it really give hope for guys like me.
While “Spider-Man” undoubtedly revived a dying franchise and sparked what feels like hundreds of subsequent superhero movies every summer for more than a decade, it’s a shame that the Spider-Man franchise couldn’t keep the momentum of its own success. The next two Spider Man movies, while equally successful at the box office, lost the same warm welcome from movie-goers as the first “Spider-Man.” Although still very lucrative, the franchise lost a lot of respect with the poorly written “Spider Man 3” and even became the butt of a joke when “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” took to the Broadway stage in 2011.
With a mixed review, the Spider-Man Broadway show has since proven that a movie franchise can only live out its initial success for so long before the public grows tired of it. Too bad no executives’ spidey-senses told them when to stop.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Three years ago, Marvel movies did some damage control utilizing a semi-reboot in an effort to defibrillate one of their most profitable franchises. After the egregious consternation that is the third installment in the X-Men movie series, topped in my book only by the horror of Star Wars Episode I and Spiderman 3 (which incidently has earned – though to imply that the movie’s ill-gotten gains are in any way deserved is an egregious error of the highest caliber – almost a billion dollars worldwide, making it second only to the Avengers as the highest grossing Marvel movie), the possibility of a forth installment seemed bleak indeed. Producers of the third movie seemed to draw inspiration from their own tittle, creating a film that defiantly dug its heels into the ground, translating into a metaphorical last stand for the popular franchise.