Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Which superhero films soared or sunk at the movies this year?

We've had our fair share of superhero themed flicks in 2011,with both Marvel and DC throwing their big budget hats into this cinematic ring.

How well they did is not only based on the box office receipts,however-the true success of each film lies in the storytelling and the interest peaked within the minds of the moviegoers as to seeing more of these heroes and villains in later installments.

In that department,X Men: First Class is an all around winner. The film managed to pull the X Men movies out of the slump it was sliding into,thanks to the lackluster Wolverine flick,and it even received decent reviews from many of the critics as well.

Most agree that the real standout performance in XM;FC came from Michel Fassbinder as Erik,aka Magneto. His nuanced take on the rightfully angry young man still deciding upon which road to take with his mutant abilities made him both sympathetic and a deadly force to be reckoned with:

Speaking of franchises,two of Marvel's big superhero releases were meant to introduce two pivotal characters for the upcoming Avengers movie due out by summer of 2012. While Thor was amusing enough,the real heavyweight champion here was Captain America:The First Avenger.

By wisely choosing director Joe Johnston(best known for his retro cult film,The Rocketeer),the tone for an old fashioned approach to a major icon in the Marvel cannon was properly set. In addition,characterization was nicely build up for our leading man,who was selected to become a super soldier based on his inner rather than his outer strengths:

Meanwhile,DC took a huge swing with Green Lantern and missed by more than a mile there. First off,Ryan Reynolds was not a good casting choice;the guy is way too snarky to be straight shooter Hal Jordan(stick to Deadpool,buddy!)and second,the flimsy script combined with overblown special effects was a surefire formula for film failure.

Hopefully,this won't be a discouragement to other DC heroes getting their shot at the big screen(still waiting for Wonder Woman over here!)but this sucker was a train wreck of epic proportions that understandably made folks run out of the theaters in terror and not in a good way:

Green was definitely not a super color to don for any potential hero this season,as Seth Rogan attempted to enter the ranks of cinematic evil fighters with The Green Hornet. Granted,it's hard to revive such an old school cult figure but it's not impossible.

Unfortunately,the end result here was an awkward mix of comedy,action adventure and 3D,which made this whole movie more of a chore to get through instead of a fun time at the movies. It's one thing to share your love of small scale heroes,it's another to make the scale even smaller by focusing the attention all on your fantasy life,Seth,just saying:

Next year looks particularly promising,with the Avengers on the horizon and the third Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale Batman film. As the latest trailer for The Dark Knight Rises shows,the intensity levels are going to go up big time.

Also,I have a little more faith in Anne Hathaway's Catwoman as her comments to Bruce Wayne in this clip suggest a rather Occupy Gotham City vibe to the plot,plus Bane appears to be some sort of violent revolutionary figure.

Between this alleged last of the Dark Knight saga and Marvel's action packed Avengers,I think we may be in for quite a wild ride. Superheroes on film go in and out of style but there are times when we need to see some form of heroics on screen and 2012 holds enough uncertainty as it is,that holding out for any sort of hero should at least be rewarded somewhere:

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