Eight down, 28 to go. With the posting of Flashback/Backslide’s review of Hulk (2003), we are just about one quarter of the way through the Marvel Blogathon. Now seems like a good time to zoom out and take a bigger look at the films.
Some film historians cite the 1998 release of Blade as the start of the second generation of Comic Book movies. Taking an approach more in line with action films than the campy comic films of the past decades, these new films were still working out what comic book movies should look like in the modern age. The movies are set in modern times unlike that first generation, giving the films more relatability and the feeling that the characters might actually prowl our cities.
Bryan Singer and Sam Raimi gave their heroes more humanness and emotional depth and allowed the characters to make choices and deal with the consequences. Daredevil and Elektra learned the wrong lessons from Blade, X-Men and Spider-Man and were cursed with poor timing. Coming after Spider-Man blasted the expectations for comic films, Fox inflated the budgets and tried to blend in elements ill-fitted for the darker heroes. John Link Movies points out the incongruities in his review of Daredevil, noting that the films become “infused with a sort of humor that doesn’t quite fit in.” Hulk, while more imaginative than Elektra and Daredevil, likewise suffered from competing creative interests with Ang Lee stretching the limits of the medium to fit the source material.
Competing interests hurt some of the individual film’s reception and box office takes. But overall the first quarter of these Marvel films earned remarkably well. Spider-Man especially opened doors for the next wave of films. Counting the first seven films from Blade to Hulk (leaving out Elektra which was released a few years later and after a few more Marvel films), the total lifetime gross reaches nearly $2.25 billion. A sizeable chunk of the net comes from Spider-Man but the success of the lot of films kept the momentum rolling forward for sequels, new franchises and eventually for a super team.
Best and Worst Lines of the First Quarter:
(All the following are culled from IMDB and I can not attest to their accuracy).
“Mother fucker! Are you out of your damn mind?” Blade, Blade.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are now seeing the beginnings of another stage of human evolution.” Jean Gray, X-Men.
“Remember, with great power, comes great responsibility.” Uncle Ben, Spider-Man.
“Well, to each his own. I chose my path, you chose the way of the hero. And they found you amusing for a while, the people of this city. But the one thing they love more than a hero is to see a hero fail, fall, die trying. In spite of everything you’ve done for them, eventually they will hate you. Why bother?” Green Goblin, Spider-Man.
“I had lost my sight, but I got something back in return. My remaining four senses functioned with superhuman sharpness. But most amazing of all, my sense of sound gave off a kind of radar sense!” Matt Murdock, Daredevil.
“Her name was Elektra. She was a warrior. She was also dead. Well, nobody’s perfect.” Stick, Daredevil.
Check out the full list of Marvel Blogathon reviews released so far:
|1/12/2015||Blade II (2002)|
|1/19/2015||Daredevil (2003) Review by: John Link Movies|
|1/22/2015||Elektra (2003) Review by: Movie Rob|
|1/26/2015||X2: X-Men United (2003)|
Flashback/Backslide’s Marvel Blogathon continues Monday, February 2nd with a review of The Punisher (2004) written by Drew’s Movie Reviews. Check out the most recent entry in the Blogathon; a review of 2003’s Hulk.