Why Marvel Needs To Take Its Time Jumping On The Female Superhero Movie Bandwagon

I have written on women superheroes in movies in the past, and thought that it was a topic worth revisiting, especially since some have decided that Marvel Studios somehow has a duty to make a feature with a female lead.

Which is nonsense, but don’t get me wrong, inclusiveness is a great thing. All of us need to be able to see ourselves in the various superhero universes out there because they serve to not only inspire us, but as a reminder that reminder that we’re part of something greater than ourselves.

But there’s one problem with that thesis: Hollywood is driven not by altruism, but by money. If superhero films featuring women were successful, I guarantee you that every studio would be making them.

And it’s not rocket science as to why such films aren’t more common, which is because they have, so far, been failures at the box office.

For a prime example why Marvel should take their time, let’s look to 2004, when Warner Bros released Catwoman.  It was a failure, earning $80 million on a $100 million budget. And truth be told that was $80 million more than the movie deserved (Though Halle Berry was so classy that she actually attended the 2005 Golden Raspberry Awards–also known as “The Razzies“–where Catwoman “won” in the Worse Picture category).

And the thing is, I don’t blame Pitof, who directed, or Berry’s performance in the title role (though the ‘tuna’ scene was a bit obvious and silly).

Heck, I don’t even blame Theresa RebeckMichael Ferris or John Brancato, who wrote it.

I blame whichever executives at Warner Bros who green-lit the project because alarm bells should have immediately gone off when it was learned that the main character, Patience Phillips (Berry) was ‘Catwoman’ in name only.  Her origins had very little to do with the comics that inspired her creation.  Now, I understand that executives may have wanted to go in a different direction after Catwoman made an appearance in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns–who portrayed the character as a bit too damaged–but to go so totally in the opposite direction tonally was a bit of an over-correction.

As if the Titanic, in a effort to miss a a small sheet of ice, ran smack-dab into the iceberg.

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Warner Bros Moves ‘Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice’ Premiere Date

Numerous sources reported today that Warner Bros moved the launch date of Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice from May 6, 2016, where it would have competed directed with Marvel Studios tentatively titled Captain America 3, to March 25 of the same year.  This ensures that it doesn’t–initially–compete with Captain America 3.

This is probably a good move on Warner Bros part because it can be argued that Captain America: The Winter Soldier outperformed Man Of Steel, despite Superman being better known, as well as a more iconic character.

3 Hurdles Marvel’s ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Overcame To Be One Of The Biggest Movies Of The Summer

Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy opened in the United States last week, and looks to have a very bright future, seeing that based on advanced buzz along, Marvel has already locked in a sequel for 2017 while Thursday it earned $11.2 million, besting established franchises like The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Transformers: Age of Extinction and Captain America: The Winter Soldier for a Thursday debut.

Worldwide, its earned over $160 million; pretty impressive for a movie that’s based on a bunch of characters literally no one was familiar with before the movie.

Though what’s most interesting is how risky a venture it actually is, for I think three reasons:

  • First, there’s nothing like Guardians of the Galaxy.  Marvel Studios features, from Iron Man to The Avengers, have always featured a balance of action as well as humor.  That’s has always been a part of the Marvel formula, but Guardians is different.  Some have described it as a comedy, and while there’s plenty that funny, it’s more a case of viewers caring and being invested in the characters–particularly Groot and Rocket–that they come off as fully-realized characters that just happen to be a raccoon and an alien tree, as opposed to just a bunch of pixels.
  • Second, as many have stated prior, there are no recognizable characters in Guardians of the Galaxy (other than Thanos, and I think it’s reasonably same to assume that no one is seeing it for him–which is something that Sony should keep in mind before doing a movie based on The Sinister Six, most of whom are unknown to most viewers and whom are also villains) which goes without saying is a huge risk, made even more so when you take into account that it was directed by James Gunn, who prior directed two smaller films, Slither and Super, which cost 17.5 million to produce.

For both movies.  While Guardians cost $170 million.

And when you combine this fact with the fact that Gunn doesn’t particularly like making movies (around the 12: 58 mark) then the odds were more than even that Guardians could have potentially been Marvel’s weakest performer, if not a box office failure.

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The Last ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Trailer…

There may be more Guardians of the Galaxy trailers coming, but seeing that the movie is coming out in a bit less than two weeks, this is the last one (unless a new one has something more interesting to reveal) that I intend to post.  The reason being, as far as I am concerned they’re just preaching to the converted.

This trailer revolves around the coming together Peter Quill/Star Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket & Groot, the beings that will come to be known as the Guardians of the Galaxy.  They meet in the intergalactic prison known as the Kyln (an awesome name, by the way), though if the trailer is at all accurate, they won’t be there long.

The movie looks awesome and early reviews are positively glowing, so unless all of the sudden everything goes off the rails, I am expecting it to be pretty awesome.

I Know That Rocket Isn’t Hispanic, But…

In the TV Spot No. 17, from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy you see a bit more of Groot and his relationship to Rocket.  Though what interested me most about the trailer is the way Rocket speaks.  He says: “Yes, you did, I just saw you do-ing it.  Why you ly-ing.”

And he sounds awfully ethnic, in fact, Hispanic.  Since Rocket is voiced by Bradley Cooper it’s seems unlikely that’s the feel he was going for; but don’t take my word for it, listen around the 0:04 mark.

It’s an odd bit of voice work.

Meet Baymax!

As you can tell from the screenshots of the Tweets that I have included below, I have been having a few conversations with Baymax, of Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6.  He’s very literal, as is the way with most machines–and reminds me quite a bit of Apple Inc’s Siri.

Besides, how can you resist a mug like that?  And if you’re unfamiliar with who he–or should I say “what” Baymax is–I have included a trailer from the upcoming feature (which is based upon Marvel Comics’ Sunfire And Big Hero Six).

Sunfire isn’t joining the team this time around because he’s currently licensed to 20th Century Fox (and appeared in X-Men: Days Of Future Past).

Baymax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Boyhood’ And Hyperbole In The Twitter Age

I just scored some tickets to Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood today.  It’t not the type of movie I typically go for, but then again, I enjoy sneak previews.  I mention it because I was checking out my Twitter feed, and noticed this Tweet from @IFCFilms:

"Boyhood" Tweet

And Boyhood may indeed be as good as Rolling Stone says it is, though what’s more than likely is that we’re witnessing a bit of hyperbole (It’s early July.  There’s plenty of time for another movie as good, if not better, to come along), which is when you describe someone or something in a particularly exaggerated and/or dramatic fashion.  And in and of itself there’s nothing wrong with it, as long as it’s not too manipulative.  After all, Boyhood is a small movie, competing with others with significantly larger budgets and consumer awareness so positive word-of-mouth can make the difference between box office failure or success.

Though unfortunately hyperbole isn’t limited to just movies and probably has been around as long as there have been humans with reason to exaggerate.

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