24 July 2010

Tight-Panted Horse Race

As San Diego Comic-Con is about to sweatily happen, I thought I'd take a moment to update the horse race going on between two Marvel movies (Thor, Captain America) and a DC one (Green Lantern).  A lot of images and details have been released recently.  Doubtless, Comic Con will serve up more revelations in the nest few days, but this is where things seem to stand now.


THOR

For a while now, a lot of people have had their doubts about the hammered and bearded one.  Then this image came out:

Lordy.  Disco pirates have stolen into Hitler's bunker!

And naturally people got even MORE worried.  "Look at the shiny!"  they said.  "My god, the shiny!"  They seem to have wanted this:


But seem to have forgot that Thor was drawn originally by Jack Kirby and looked a lot like this:

Now who's shiny?

Also released was a beefcake picture of actor Chris Hemsworth:
.
It just became, like, 1000% times easier to get the wife to see this.


For me the one thing that still makes this project dangerous is Kenneth Branagh.  Back when he was making films regularly (cough, early nineties, cough), Branagh had a habit of not so much making films as hitting them over the head with a tacky stick until every scene is swollen to its most garish proportions.



GREEN LANTERN

Hey, this is a DC and I don't care that much because, it's not "one of my guys".   (How sad is that?  It's like loving McDonalds and refusing to go to Burger King on principle.)

Still, I'm curious about this flick because I seem to be one of the few men on the planet capable of admitting that I like Ryan Reynolds, more or less, and because, even though Green Lantern stories have always been impenetrable to me, the character concept (space cop) is a really good one.

So this hit:


And everybody thought this:

But with less Jew-fro.

I don't have any thoughts about the costume other than that I'm guessing it only glows like that when Lantern's doing something with the ring.  Kinda like how the guys in Tron use to glow when they were drinking that electronic pond water.

Of the three films under consideration here, Lantern's probably got the best director, the man who made Casino Royale whose name escapes me at the moment.  On the other hand, it's not like they're gonna link this stuff up with the Christopher Nolan Batman universe or anything, so big minus.


CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER

Only one image has come out for the Star-Spangled Avenger, and it's straight fanboy service.  For years now, the consensus amongst rabid fanboys was that they wanted "Saving Private Ryan, but with a superhero in it."

I've always found their dedication to this proposition troublesome for two reasons:  the first is that it feels like a coded version of the ever-present and awesomely embarrassing fanboy chant: "Comic books are serious, see the violence? Comic books are serious, see the violence?"

The second reason is that I have my problems with Saving Private Ryan as the template.  Despite all his talk of wanting to "expose the realities of war", Spielberg's horrific combat scenes feel opportunistic and exploitative (to me at least).  And much less arguably, I feel, SPR is itself an already far too mythologized version of war.

Mind you, the image...


... looks freaking amazing. 

But I realize that's just my id talking.  I'm not proud of it.