Saturday, July 2, 2011

Super Heroes Go To The Movies

Being a fan of comic books, I'm often asked if I've seen the latest super hero movie.  Inevitably, I haven't.  I haven't seen one since Iron Man, which I actually enjoyed, and I'm not rushing out to get to whatever's playing at the local theatre.

Hollywood's latest and greatest super hero movies seem to be (from what I can tell) keeping with the spirit of the source material.  When they do stray, it's not in any way that creates too much of a problem.  They seem to cram a lot in, which is a problem, but people who typically digest Hollywood entertainment are used to that sort of thing.  Hey, if one villain is good, thirty-five is even better.  There is a bigger problem with these movies, though, and that is the one that concerns me.

They aren't telling new stories.  Granted, I think the first Ultimate Avengers arc would make a great movie, as would the Born Again storyline from Daredevil, but I've read these, just like I've read about the origin of Thor and the first issues of the X-Men.  Yes, the movies changed things, but the basic stories are the same, and if I read them in a form that has no budget issues, what do I gain from seeing it on the screen?  Nothing.  That, of course, is where the dilemma lies.  If Hollywood did all new stories, it risks altering the character's history (not a big deal to people who don't read the comics), and it risks alienating the core fan base for whatever character it is doing.

This is a no-win situation for Hollywood, and it is one that has been created by those very vocal fans who cry foul the second a comic book is optioned.  Hollywood has, in turn, taken the best course of action. It takes a beloved story and creates just enough change to make it work for Hollywood audiences and offer something a little new, but not new enough to turn away the fans ... excluding me.  I can't say I blame Hollywood.  After all, nobody wants to spend millions on a film nobody will watch.

Of course, if the Avengers film is that first arc from Ultimate Avengers I will probably watch it.  The entire thing was written like a movie in the first place, and you got to admit that would be fun to watch on the big screen.

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