Marvel Studios continues to create ambitious, successful superhero movies with Iron Man 3 – the best of Tony Stark’s solo adventures to date. This time out, Stark is suffering post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of having his world upended in The Avengers – leaving him vulnerable both physically and emotionally.
While Iron Man 3 isn’t (quite) the movie that The Avengers was, it is an outstanding superhero movie that develops aspects of Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) in very human ways – thus anchoring the superhero exploits to a very relatable human being.
The GeekScholars have reunited! After an amazing time covering the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con, the crew is back, ready to report on a whole host of awesome film news, and strap in because this week’s show is pretty epic.
On this episode of GeekScholars Movie News, honorary GeekScholar, and comic book expert, Nelson, makes a return appearance to the show, as the gang dives into a whole bunch of information regarding the upcoming entries into the Marvel Cinematic Universe including:Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Ant Man, and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Last but not least, the crew reviews one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2012, The Dark Knight Rises. For those of you who have not yet seen it, fear not, the in-episode review is completely spoiler-free. However, if you have seen the last Batman movie from Christopher Nolan, and want to hear the GeekScholars’ unedited thoughts about it (which include MAJOR spoilers, like the entire ending), stay tuned after the credits for a special post-show discussion.
Listen in right here!
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The Hollywood Reporter started the rumors swirling a few days ago that Chris Evans was in the lead to become Captain America and now it’s been confirmed, Chris Evans is Captain America. He signed a long term deal Marvel that will see him appearing as the Star Spangled hero. He will appear in the main films, as well as the planned Avengers films and will make guest appearances in other Marvel Universe titles. My question is, what happens to Fantastic Four? Does this mean that franchise is dead or will get rebooted? I used to hate the guy, then I saw Sunshine and fell in love with him – he was the best thing about Fantastic Four 2, he really has some acting chops. Everyone thinks this is a great choice but to me he seems too young for the role of Cap.
Ang Lee’s Hulk, the A Beautiful Mind take, left fans cold, so now we have Louis Leterrier’s “HULK SMASH!” version – and it does indeed rock the house. The script – solely credited to Zak Penn [suggesting that the parts star Edward Norton worked on were edited out] – gives us all kinds of neat stuff to watch: Bruce Banner [Norton] working on Brazilian martial arts techniques to maintain his calm; a graphic that pops up every so often to remind us that it’s been x days since his last Hulk-out; a kind of spiffy pair of references to Captain America [including a shield!]; a brief appearance by Dr. Leonard Sampson; a hint that the Hulk’s smartest arch-enemy might be waiting in the wings if a sequel is warranted, and lots more.
The question is, does the movie work? Well, yeah, it does. The only real problem with the film is that it has been edited to be almost the exact opposite of the Lee film – almost all action, with a small amount of character development. A lot of critics will probably tell you the film is humourless, too, but watch for what has to be Stan Lee’s best cameo ever and see what you think. There’s even just enough romance to remind people that Banner had a serious relationship before he become the Jekyll/Hyde being that he is.
The plot here is pretty much the basic Hulk comics plot: Banner doesn’t want to become the Hulk but people won’t leave him – with predictable and dire results. The fun is in setting the film is real locales [the chase through the Brazilian favella might remind of Jason Bourne, but it’s nifty in its own way] and in using the Banner character to show two of the basic conflicts in fiction: Man vs. Himself; Man vs. The Environment, and Man vs. Man. Banner’s struggle against his primal self is there, just as in the comics, as is his struggle with the U.S. Army – personified by General Thunderbolt Ross [William Hurt] and Emil Blonsky [Tim Roth]. A case could be made that the climactic battle between Hulk and the Abomination could also represent Man vs. The Environment [or misuse of same], but we’ll forego that one.
Louis Leterrier’s The Incredible Hulk loses the comic affectations of Lee’s film – there are no shots composed to resemble comic book panels – but retains the emotional core [however little screen time it might get] and powers forth the action. By the time Hulk and the Abomination clash, they are characters and not merely CG constructs. Leterrier’s direction is as swift as merciless as Emil Blonsky, and a whole ‘nother level beyond what he achieved in his Transporter films.
Perhaps, if there were more character moments [not many, but the inclusion of the Banner-Samson chat from the first trailer would’ve been nice] the film would resonate better, but this time, it’s all about the fun – and The Incredible Hulk is definitely that!