Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Emma Stone is Gwen Stacy / Iron Man 2 / Will Farrell

Movies come in as a distant third for how I enjoy superheroes...actually make that fourth if I count live action TV as separate from movies: comics, cartoons, live action TV, and then movies. But one of the big stories in the comic movie category today is that Emma Stone will be in the rebooted version of Spider-man as Gwen and not Mary Jane as expected. Hardcore Spidey fans are likely mostly happy if the leading Spidey girls are placed in the correct sequence. I wonder how far Emma's read into the Spidey saga and the fate of her character? If things end up going the same way, you just never know with these movies. I personally found Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane to be one of the weak links of the Toby Maguire cycle - I mean she was such a constant downer and so emotive, not bottled-up, vivacious and seemingly carefree as she was in comics until the eighties or so.

As I've said, I don't really count on movies to deliver me the superhero goods the way comics can, so I'm rarely disappointed, just sometimes pleasantly surprised. I just think that you can't cram what's awesome about comics into two hours. Producers necessarily having to keep a sharp eye on special effects budget cuts down considerably on the sense of artistic freedom, not to mention the limitations of appealing to a mainstream audience. That being said, last week I watched and enjoyed Iron Man 2. It was meandering and disjointed, with plotlines dropped and picked up quite arbitrarily. I liked that aspect of it, it reminded me of reading several months worth of comics. The superhero action was pretty fun and solid and looked good. Sam Rockwell stole every scene he was in as Hammer. Gwyneth Paltrow was kind of another downer love interest, though I've never followed Iron Man enough to know what sort of person Pepper Potts is supposed to be. Mickey Rourke was good but not in it enough. Scarlett Johannson was in it a lot, or should I say a lot of her was in it. Anyway, considering it's not a character I'm usually that into, it was entertaining enough, and I was glad the origin was out of the way in the first film. The second movie in a superhero series is so often my preferred because it can just get right into it.

Finally in comic movie news, if you haven't heard already, comedy actor Will Farrell set a Guinness record this week by having 1,500 people turn up at an event dressed as superheroes. Finally, a worthwhile world record. Farrell also blabbed a bit on his own opinions of superhero movies, video of which is available here.


rob! said...

This reduces the chances of the lovely Ms. Stone playing Aquagirl in an Aquaman movie (as if that was going to happen anyway!).

Aaron said...

Well, I dunno - I mean a few girls have done more than one comic related movie, like Jessica Alba being Invisible Chick and also being in Sin City, or Jennifer Connelly in the Rocketeer and Hulk...seems to me there's some I'm not thinking of...but there's always hope!

LissBirds said...

That's an awesome Guinness World Record!! Almost as cool as the world record for how many ballerinas dancing en pointe in Central Park. I would seriously attend both of those records, if I could.

I still haven't gotten around to seeing either Iron Man or Iron Man 2. I'm not really that motivated, perhaps because Robert Downey, Jr. kinda rubs me the wrong way. I don't understand why they're "rebooting" Spiderman already. Why not just continue it but with different actors? It seems a little too soon for a reboot.

I've always had a soft spot in my heart for comic book movies, but that's only becuase I grew up with so many good ones (The Superman movies, Dick Tracy, The Rocketeer, the Tim Burton Batman movies), but I'm getting a little more jaded now when it comes to Hollywood. I didn't read comics as a youngster, so I had a different perspective than other fans. Sometimes ignorance is bliss: I know some fans were unhappy with some of the X-Men movies, for example, and I know hardly anything about X-Men comics, so I didn't have a problem with them!

Oh, and don't forget Ryan Reynolds pulling double duty as a superhero actor, too. Hope springs eternal! And after they make this Aquaman movie, can they make a Martian Manhunter one?

Aaron said...

Downey's always rubbed me the wrong way too! Since I'm not a huge IM fan, it doesn't bother me as much as if he was Superman or something.

Like I've said, I tend to enjoy comic movies more than a lot of other people because I regard movies as such an inadequate superhero delivery system in general. A lot of fans show up with the demand that this MUST look and feel just like it did in their heads, but I don't really care so I often enjoy them for what they are. I liked the X-Men movies a lot and I was a pretty avid fan of the comics in the early and mid eighties. In fact I liked X-Men 3 best, it had the most soap opera and superhero fighting, and that's the ones fans hate most. I also liked the Fantastic Four movies, though I'm sorry they didn't go for a more comic like Dr. Doom, I think that was a case where changing it made no sense, kinda like Batgirl being Alfred's niece in Batman & Robin made no real dramatic sense. But we'll always have the comics.

I think Reynolds gets triple duty, in fact, if we count Hannibal King in Blade Trinity! Good point! And there are a lot of what I call "DC Double Dippers", especially if we throw in voice work.

LissBirds said...

There definitely is something to be said for turning off the internal critic and just enjoying things. It kind of reminds me of fanboys who are down on Ewoks. (Though I didn't like the prequels, so I'm somewhat guilty as charged.) I liked X3 almost as much as the second one. And Spiderman 2 is my favorite of the Spidey movies, even though I've met people who hate it. *shrugs*

But I'll admit I'm already looking at the upcoming Green Lantern promo pics and going, "No!! The gloves are wrong! The mask is wrong!!" The difference is that this is the second comic book movie to come out where I've actually read comics prior to seeing the movie. (The Dark Knight being the other one.) But I'm kind of like that with any book that gets turned into a movie. I'm not a fan of change.

I've never seen Blade Trinity. Boy, the Reynolds gets around...

Aaron said...

I've never had anything against Ewoks...there are a lot of ways in which Jedi is simplistic compared to its predecessors, but some aspects of it are amazing and I think the idea of apparently maneating teddy bears is funny. I don't even mind the prequels though I think of them as a separate entity and among them Clones is by far my favourite.

I'm not a fan of inexplicable changes...like if he's going to be wearing a costume, why bother changing it. Frankly I was down on the GL animated movies because I thought it left out Carol too much, and I disliked the changes to Kanjar Ro and the Weaponers. I find those kinds of changes insult my intelligence because it's like, what, do we supposedly know what aliens look like now or something? So the change is just all about making it cool or something.

So I also don't just accept change. It's actually more like...sometimes comic movies actually are really similar in tone to the comics and fans still hate them and I can't understand why. For instance, the Ghost Rider movie is quite faithful in terms of origin, and the early issues of the comic are no less weird and bronze age silly...I mean fans tend to complain if there are scenes contrived just so there will be a fight, but it's not like that doesn't happen in comics ALL THE TIME...which is one reason I love em, they go anywhere. But I think sometimes fans imagine comics to be more, and I think that's one of the benefits of the medium.

Apparently in his new movie, Ryan doesn't get around at all!