Yesterday I wrote about the initial reactions to a sneak preview of the upcoming Black Panther film.
The reaction by those who were allowed to see it, as I noted, has been for the most part positive and many have been outright ecstatic.
And, as I further noted, I’m rather cool to the whole thing.
If you’ve read my writings around these parts you should know by now I’m a rather HUGE comic book fan. Indeed, I’ve working in comic books and even have, along with my novels, a trade paperback out there, The Dark Fringe, available on Amazon.
For years I’ve been excited with the many waves of comic book movies -which for me truly began in 1978 with the release of Richard Donner’s Superman– but of late I’m finding myself kinda exhausted with the whole thing.
It’s part and parcel, I suppose, of getting older.
When I was younger, I had plenty of free time and would see a great amount of movies in theaters. Nowadays, I’m lucky to find the time to sneak in one theatrical movie in three months’ time.
So one gets picky, I suppose, with what one will invest their time on.
I loved the original Superman when it came out. I felt the first half of the first Tim Burton Batman film was the very best the character has looked on screen. Batman Returns, its sequel, I didn’t like as much but over time I have to admit its grown on me. I see little difference between Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. Neither I like very much.
The Superman films, sadly, ended terribly. The first attempt to revisit them, the Bryan Singer directed Superman Returns, was given three and a half stars by my local paper’s critic but I found it a crushing bore.
I liked the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films to an extent though there were things about it I felt were wrong (organic spider web fluids being one of the biggies). Curiously, as much as I love Spider-Man comics, especially the original Lee/Ditko run, once I saw the first two Raimi Spider-Man films I felt I’d had my fill of the character on the big screen. To date I haven’t seen the more recent Spider-Man films, my last experience being Sam Raimi’s third directed film. The one pretty much everyone doesn’t like. Spoiler: I tend to agree. It was weak tea.
When the Marvel movies started in earnest following the success of the original Iron Man, I was intrigued. I felt people were too harsh with Iron Man 2 though it wasn’t as well made as the first. I felt the first Thor wasn’t bad. By the time the first Avengers was released, despite its wild box office success, I felt the film was overrated.
In retrospect, this might be where my superhero fatigue started.
That’s not to say there weren’t exceptions.
I loved Captain America: Winter Soldier. Going totally against the grain, I also loved Batman v. Superman, though I would grant anyone reading this the “Ultimate Cut” is the version one should see.
I didn’t like Guardians of the Galaxy. At all.
I thought Doctor Strange was curiously flat. Wonder Woman was decent enough but not quite the classic it seems many felt it was. Justice League, given all the behind the scenes intrigue, fared far better than it probably had any right to, but I’d be the first to say it too fell in the “decent” category.
Which brings us to today.
Coming soon to a theater near you is, as I’ve stated, Black Panther. Soon after we’ll get Ant Man & The Wasp. Soon after that, the Avengers: Infinity Gauntlet two-fer. Somewhere along the line we’ll get a Captain Marvel movie. Over at DC, work progresses on the Aquaman film, the Shazam! (their, and the original, Captain Marvel) film, and the sequel to Wonder Woman. In the mix is a new Suicide Squad film, a new Batman film, a Flash film, and perhaps a new Superman. The Tom Hardy starring Venom has finished filming.
And I haven’t even mentioned the TV shows featuring superheroes!
Have I forgotten anything?
Clearly the future holds many live action superhero works to follow, which I have little doubt will run the gamut from good to decent to perhaps not very good at all. It’s the way things go, alas.
I won’t lie: Though I’m finding myself fatigued with the superhero genre, there nonetheless are some films on the list I’m curious about. Others, not so much.
We’re clearly still in a golden age of Superhero films and, for those who like that sort of product, you’ve got plenty of stuff to choose from.
I hope those who seek these works out enjoy them. I really do.
Just don’t take it too personally if I’m not cheering ’em on like I used to.
Oh, and get the @#!% off my lawn! 😉