Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday Mention: Summer Superhero Movies, Thor and X-Men

Are you holding out for a superhero 'til the end of the night? If so, this summers full of blockbusters for you. But which movie will be the real winner? Lets take a closer look at what is out in theaters right nowThor and X-Men: First Class.

Its that time again: summer movie blockbuster time. And that means comic book movies chock full of heroes are coming to a theater near you. In fact, some of them are already there.

If you are a comic book fan and havent seen Thor yet, all I can say is, shame on you. Get to the theater and see it. I went in looking for a good time and that's what I got, so it was worth the money for me. Of course, it helps to have some eye candy in the form of a shirtless Chris Hemsworth. Dreamy sigh

But I also really liked the family dynamics that drive the plot. Two sons wanting the approval of their father. Two brothers with a rivalry even as they love each other. A child who finds out he isnt who he thought he was. Ah, drama! It makes up for the weaknesses in the movie, which include a hard-to-believe romance and and a rough beginning that could have been better if there wasnt a need to create a 3D sequence. 

But the family drama is nicely written and well acted. Thor is worth seeing for that alone, perhaps even without a shirtless Chris Hemsworth. But Im so glad I got both.

Then theres X-Men: First Class, which gives us the origins of the famous mutant superhero team. If youre a comic book fan and you dont see X-Men, youre not really a comic book fan. At least thats what the fanboys say. Seriously, this is the superhero movie everyone is expecting to explode this year. And it probably will because fans will go see it. But Im not sure it deserves the success. 

Somehow, the movie lacks emotion, which is odd given that there is such potential to feel blasted by the drama that sits there, waiting to be tapped. Michael Fassbender manages to bring the tortured Eric/Magneto to life, and he is by far the most relatable character. The fact that hes also violent, filled with rage and a desire for vengeance, and an unwillingness to follow traditional moral rules...Well, shouldnt we dislike that about him? Or at least disapprove? 

But we dont, because the "moral" center, Professor X, is so weak and hard to believe as a character that its impossible to feel any sense of sadness for Magnetos bad behavior. Why does Professor X care to work for the CIA? Arrogance? This is, after all, the same guy who uses his psychic gifts to pick up women in bars. I find it hard to believe he is joining the CIA because he thinks it’s right. Unfortunately, because Professor X doesnt come across as admirable or likable, it means the drama that should be there isnt there. 

We should feel great catharsis as a result of Magnetos choices and the loss of the friendship between Eric and Charles. Its perfect tragedy. And yet it doesnt feel that way. Movie fail.

Soon, the next two superhero movies of the summer will be released: Green Lantern and Captain America. I will see both. And I will be back with reviews of them. And then I will declare the winner for Summer 2011.

But before then, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you like superhero movies? Which movie do you think will be the best of the four comic book movies coming out this year? And why? Let me know. Maybe I will include your comments in my next Monday Mention.

Copyright (c) 2011 by Michele Chiappetta. All rights reserved.


  1. Well, course I love superhero movies. Or should I say I love Batman movies instead? Same difference?

    I can't really say which of the four will be best because I've never read the comics for any of them. I could be petty and say Green Lantern just because it's DC and I've always side-eyed Marvel, but recently DC hasn't given me a reason to stick up for them. All the emotional drama is occurring with the company itself instead of inside its products. Big problem.

    Truth is, I've heard so much yay- and nay-saying about both Thor and X-Men that my conclusion is this: I'll wait until their available on Netflix. Side-eying locked on.

  2. Batman...the connoisseur's choice of hero movie. Good selection, Jenn! Batman is the one comic book character that has been portrayed in many different ways, and you don't get a lot of fanboys screaming, "That's not the way it was written."

    I don't think it's a big deal that you haven't read the comics for this year's crop, as I never read them either, except for a few X-Men from time to time. And I'm strongly divided between Marvel (Spiderman) and DC (Batman). So I can't say much there.

    But I can say, Netflix is probably the best choice. Thor's chest can wait, and so can Magneto's angst.


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