Rated D for Doom: A Look at Superhero Movies in ’09
Now that our look back at 2008 has concluded, it’s once again time to set our sights on the future. Just as I do every year, I’m here to discuss the upcoming superhero movies of 2009, and, from initial glance, it looks like it’s going to be one weird year.
In 2008, we had quite a lot of inconsistency when it came to these flicks, and 2009 doesn’t look to be any different. Last summer, we saw two of the best superhero movies ever made, with The Dark Knight shattering expectations, not to mention box office records. Iron Man also did quite the number at the box office, and it was an incredibly enjoyable experience, to boot.
Yet, the year was rounded out by two of the absolute worst films ever made (in any genre), in the form of Punisher: War Zone and The Spirit.
Enough about the past, though. We’re here to talk about the future, and it looks like it might be a very frustrating future, indeed (Obama lied, there’s no such thing as hope for the future!). Let’s go!
To begin things, let’s talk about probably the most anticipated superhero movie of the year, in the form of Watchmen, set for a March 6 release (thankfully, those lawsuits from Fox have been fully resolved).
The previews for this movie look semi-promising, but I’m not a big fan of computer graphics and slow motion wire stunts, so I’m not sure if this will be anywhere near as good as the comic. While that’s not surprising, it’s still kind of a letdown.
As much as I want to get my hopes up for Watchmen, the fact is, I’ve read the final script, and there are enough tweaks and changes to the original story (that don’t really make sense as to why they’ve been changed), that I have next to no faith that this will be anything more than two hours of dreadful mediocrity.
Speaking of dreadful mediocrity (don’t worry, Jim Doom, I’m not stealing your Doomino Effect gimmick), that brings us to the April 8 release of Dragonball Evolution.
While I’ve never personally read a Dragonball comic, they’re super popular in Japan, and I’d say it qualifies as a superhero movie. And, from what little I’ve seen of it, this looks like it might be the stupidest movie of the year. It’s practically guaranteed to be cheesy and campy and lame. I mean, as much as I loved the cartoon when I was a nerd in high school (who never got laid, mind you), I don’t think I’ll find a single ounce of enjoyment from watching Goku toss around his spirit balls on the big screen. Call me crazy.
Following that, there’s another movie that I really want to enjoy but probably won’t, with X-Men Origins: Wolverine being released on May 1.
After watching the trailer for this eventual shit burger, I was left with a healthy dose of skepticism. It wasn’t until the comments section in that post, when the Artist Formerly Known as Jean-Claude Van Doom pointed out how similar the trailer is to the trailer for Elektra, that I realized how accurate that statement is and how pathetic this movie looks. How hard is it to make a cool Wolverine movie? I guess the answer to that, according to 20th Century Fox, is, “Pretty damn hard.”
Moving right along, there’s another movie coming out this summer that’s just about guaranteed to disappoint, with Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen coming to theatres on June 26.
As far as I can tell, nothing that sucked about the original has changed for this sequel. Shia Lepoof is still the star, and Michael Bay is still directing. Only, this time, they have pyramids and stuff. Whatever, this isn’t Power Rangers, and the Gold Ranger had the worst Zord ever. I’m not interested in pyramids; I’m interested in giant shape-shifting robots that don’t look like a big hot mess. So, this is out.
Come August 7, there’s another adaptation of a popular comic-based 80s cartoon, with G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra coming to theaters everywhere! I haven’t heard much about this flick at all, but the recently released teaser images have me intrigued, kind of. They still haven’t shown any pictures of Cobra Commander, and the whole thing kind of hinges on that, for me. And I really hope they include Shipwreck in this thing, replete with blue shirt, goofy hat, and sidekick parrot.
Let’s move on now to movies that aren’t sure-fire 2009 releases that are still TBA, yet will most likely see the light of day at the local cineplex this year.
Red Sonja, starring Rose McGowan, will most likely make it out this year, yet very little is known about it, at this point, aside from a couple teaser posters that have been released online.
I’m not even sure if I’ve ever read a comic with Red Sonja on the cover, but this has been gaining some attention on the net, and it’s kind of confusing to me. Who the hell cares about Rose McGowan? She was terrible in Grindhouse, which is maybe the worst movie I’ve ever had to endure (other than the aforementioned Spirit film).
One last yet-to-be-announced flick for 2009 is Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass.
The comic hasn’t even hit five issues yet, but the movie is fast-tracked to a quick release. The comic is about a teenaged kid who decides to dress up in long johns and fight crime against local bullies and gang bangers.
The movie is starring Nicolas Cage.
in order of interest for me, i’d go for:
2. G.I. Joe
3. Wolverine: Origins
4. Red Sonja
I like Kick-Ass the comic but this smacks of striking while the doodie is hot.
In keeping with the austerity theme that we all need to adopt, I’d probably just shell out the bucks for Watchmen and G.I. Joe, and the rest will be (cough, cough) torrented. whoops, did i say that? i meant to get the DVDs when it hits the bargain bin at Target.
I think Red Sonja will at least be a fun, mindless genre picture, something Robert Rodrigues is good at. PLANET TERROR was the superior half of Grindhouse. Anyone who says DEATH PROOF was better does not understand movies. Science has proven this.
I think Watchmen will, at worst, dazzle audiences while they watch, and then they’ll forget about it after they leave the theater (a la Superman Returns). But I’m still hoping it will live up to my expectations.
I have high hopes for Wolverine, but realistically, I’m not investing much in this flick.
G.I. Joe is gonna be shit-ass terrible. Could we pick a cast I could care less about? Dennis Quaid? Sienna Miller? Marlon Wayans??? Okay so Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a pretty cool guy, but as Cobra Commander? And okay Ray Park is a great choice for Snake Eyes; no qualms there. But it’s done by the guy who did the Mummy franchise. Van Helsing, anyone?
But you’re leaving out the best-looking upcoming comic book film for 2009: “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”. It’s directed by Edgar Wright, who did “Hot Fuzz” and “Shaun of the Dead”, and it’s got a solid cast of underdogs.
Agreed. Planet Terror wasn’t half bad.
Death Proof was one of the most horribly annoying movies I’ve ever seen.
I love Hot Fuzz, but every Scott Pilgrim thing I’ve read seemed stupid beyond stupid. Maybe I’m just not reading the right stuff, because the fans seem to be quite fond of it.
Re: Planet Terror vs Death Proof, I think I’d rather have food poisoning than the flu.
I keep having dreams that I watch Wolverine and it’s even worse than I fear, and I leave the theater thinking “THAT’s what they came up with? What a waste of a franchise.” I swear I spend more time dreaming about that movie than I do thinking about it in waking hours and I have no idea why.
Nick Cage in Kick-Ass… how delightful. I mere mention of his name causes me to chuckle. I really can’t think of anything quality he’s done besides Raising Arizona, and that’s a stretch. But I will likely see the movie now that he’s in it; I’ll put my feet, drink a super sized coke, and pretend I’m watching Rome burn. 😈
You’re not off-base on the SP hate. But maybe the movie can overcome that, and the fact that Michael Cera only knows how to play one character.