Week of 6/9-6/15
We all know what film is the star of this weekend and that’s Man of Steel. Directed by Zack Snyder and produced by Christopher Nolan—director and producer of the Dark Knight (Batman) series—this film is a reboot of the Superman series, so it’s not a sequel to Superman Returns. This movie is intended to be the springboard for a DC Film Universe of sorts and could be the film that leads to DC Comics competing with Marvel Comics on the big screen in an all-out way. Seriously, The Dark Knight series alone couldn’t carry the weight of DC when Marvel has Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, Deadpool, X-Men, Wolverine, and very likely The Incredible Hulk and The Fantastic Four. There has also been talk of another Blade series kicking off and a series based on a little known Marvel team—as opposed to the popular Black Panther character.
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There’s simply more weight on Marvel’s side in the way of silver screen success. There always has been. If you go back a decade, Marvel still had the advantage with Spider-Man. Sure they had some lemons in Daredevil, Elektra, Ghost Rider, and the first Punisher film, but they also had the first Fantastic Four, The Hulk, the second Punisher, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, and the X-Men films. DC’s only success in the last two decades as far as films are concerned was with the two Batman film series and in the 1980s with the original Superman series of films.
Note that I said “as far as films are concerned”. When it comes to live action TV series you have to give it to DC Comics and with animation it’s split depending on the decade. The last decade and this one has been mostly DC Comics with series like Teen Titan, Justice League, Young Justice, Batman: The Brave and Bold, and The Batman all making up their DC Animated Universe and a good deal of incredible animated feature films.
Meanwhile Marvel had success with The Mighty Avengers, X-Men Evolution, The Ultimate Spider-Man, and to some degree The Spectacular Spider-Man as well as some good animated features (not Marvel Manga). The 90s could be given to Marvel with X-Men and Spider-Man—there were other B-level cartoons such Iron Man, Fantastic Four, The Hulk—but DC Comics had the standout Batman: The Animated Series which was incredible from artwork to story. Sure Superman ruined DC’s chances to actually take the 1990s, but there will always be Batman: The Animated Series.
Back to the big screen, Man of Steel looks incredible, the hype is behind it, and there’s a lot riding on it to be a great Superman film. Not a “good” one and not a “decent” one, it really has to deliver and with the time put into this one and the crew behind the creative process and direction of this film, I believe it’s been nailed. It’s a movie the whole family can watch and could very well appeal to comic book fans like myself or hardcore comic book fans.
The other film that got promo time was This Is The End. This apocalyptic comedy features a star cast of comedic actors with Seth Rogen (who wrote and directed the film), James Franco, Danny McBride, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, and Craig Robinson. Everyone in the film pretty much stars as fictionalized version of themselves—so they play themselves—and there’s also a lot of guest stars in the film such as Rihanna, Kevin Hart, Evan Goldberg (who also directed the movie), and more. If you’re looking for a new comedy this weekend, this will be your film.
There are two other films out this week: The Bling Ring and Twenty Feet From Stardom. The first is a crime drama based on actual events and is directed, written, and produced by Sofia Coppola. It stars Emma Watson, Taissa Farmiga, and Leslie Mann among others. It will have a limited opening this weekend in New York and Los Angeles and a nationwide release next week.
Twenty Feet From Stardom is a documentary about the lives and careers of backup singers. This one could actually be pretty interesting. It features plenty of star performers most likely discussing their backups. When you have documentaries about the performers that don’t manage to get to the top or who aren’t in the front for performances, you usually hear about how they could’ve been bigger than they are and maybe whatever problems they’ve had or how the business was at the time. Think Anvil: The Story of Anvil only focused on a different part of music and stage performance. Twenty Feet From Stardom is out now.
Here’s what’s hot in theaters:
- The Purge
- Fast & Furious 6
- Now You See Me
- The Internship
- Star Trek Into Darkness
- After Earth
- The Hangover Part III
- Iron Man
- The Great Gatsby (2013)
Swift’s Picks: Obviously I’m going with Man of Steel as the hot pick to watch. It’s not your buddy comedy or zombie slaughter film or Saw-grade gorefest or CGI animated feature or heist film, but it is a truly blockbuster film that isn’t called Iron Man 3, After Earth, Fast & Furious 6, or Star Trek Into Darkness—the first and third of which are worth seeing as well. This Is The End is a pretty distant second if you need a comedy to watch. Expect Man of Steel to do extremely well this weekend at the box office. I don’t see it having a strong Iron Man 3-grade run, but I see it doing much better than Star Trek Into Darkness which has done good, but not as good as it should’ve. I truly see it sticking in the Top 10 for a while and sitting in the upper five longer than After Earth and Star Trek Into Darkness were.
Get out to the theaters, beat the rush, get a good seat, and enjoy the movies!