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The Superhero Movie Learning Curve – Part Three

Hollywood has been trying to put superheroes on screen since the very beginning. And while they may not all be winners, on the whole they have been gradually getting better, both as stronger films, and as films that are more faithful to the source material. And you can see the stages of evolution, like a child developing through the years…

Buckle up guys, this is going to be a long one.

Maturity (2008 – 2012)

At a certain point, as an adult, you have to get your act together. You have to start planning for the future, making a life for yourself. You start to leave your goofy friends from high school and college behind, and start forming new relationships as an adult. This doesn’t mean you don’t still do stupid things from time to time (your old buddy from college comes into town and you get wasted; you forget to pay your credit card bill on time, and end up deep in debt), but they tend to be less frequent, less severe, and less insurmountable. And more and more, you start to figure out the kind of person you want to be.

In 2008, there were a slew of comic book movies, but two of them in particular ended up completely changing the game. The first of them was Iron Man.

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Continue reading The Superhero Movie Learning Curve – Part Three

The Superhero Movie Learning Curve – Part Two

Hollywood has been trying to put superheroes on screen since the very beginning. And while they may not all be winners, on the whole they have been gradually getting better, both as stronger films, and as films that are more faithful to the source material. And you can see the stages of evolution, like a child developing through the years…

I could easily write 1,000 words about any of these films, even the bad ones (or, some might say, especially the bad ones), but I’ll try to focus on their role in the ever-developing Hollywood Superhero Movie. (But if anyone really wants me to write a whole post about Daredevil, just let me know, I’m ready to go.)

The Teenage Years (2000 – 2007)

When you become a teenager, you start being much more responsible for your actions, both good and bad. And whenever you achieve something, it’s all the more impressive since you have actually accomplished something of merit, all on your own. Likewise, when you make mistakes, you tend to do so in a spectacular fashion. It’s an age where you start to figure out what kind of person you are – and what kind of person you want to be.

The first movie to usher in this era of superhero movies was X-Men (2000).

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Continue reading The Superhero Movie Learning Curve – Part Two

The Superhero Movie Learning Curve – Part One

Hollywood has been trying to put superheroes on screen since the very beginning. And while they may not all be winners, on the whole they have been gradually getting better, both as stronger films, and as films that are more faithful to the source material. And you can see the stages of evolution, like a child developing through the years…

Infancy (1930s – 1960s)

Ever since the movie serials of the ’30s and ’40s, superheroes have been cropping up on the big screen, with heroes like Green Hornet, Batman, Captain America, and Captain Marvel getting their own serial stories. I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this, because you can kind of guess how good they were, or how faithful they were – which is to say, not so much (to both). There’s nothing quite like watching a Batman with a saggy gut stumble around a set and casually toss around ethnic slurs. (It’s okay, they were government agents fighting an evil Japanese scientist… actually, no, none of that is okay.)

I’m also not going to spend a lot of time on television series that have come and gone over the years – but I do want to take a minute to discuss Batman ‘66.

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Continue reading The Superhero Movie Learning Curve – Part One