For What It’s Worth: The Comic Book Movies of 2012

I think for the most part 2011 was a very good year for comic book movies. There were some that did better than I expected, and some that didn’t unfortunately. As we move on to 2012, we have another slate of cbms coming and I will rank them by my level of excitement. Now – for the record, I am only talking about comic book movies, for example JOHN CARTER (novel) and G.I.JOE (toys) had their beginnings in other forms of media. So, without further ado…

I kind of liked the first one, but there were a lot of problems. The sequel is to be darker tone than the first one (meaning fewer jokes – hopefully less unintended humor as well). I was never sold on Nic Cage as Johnny Storm. However, he is not working from the script and directions of Mark Steven Johnson (he wrote and directed DAREDEVIL) so there is hope. In any regard, this is at the lower end of the expectation scale.

#4 (tie) – THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (July 3), 
                 DREDD (September 21)
This may move up when the new trailer comes out (we’re due for a new one), but right now it stays here. As much problems I had with SPIDER-MAN 3, I don’t believe a reboot was really in order. Could we have had a fourth movie without Tobe and Kristen? Sure. How many actors moved through the 007 role with the same supporting cast? The problem with the third is Columbia wanted Raimi to use Venom. They wanted that to happen as early as the second film. Anyway, we’re getting a reboot and we’re using a new villain – The Lizard. I’m so happy that they decided NOT to go to the Green Goblin so soon.

I really haven’t read a lot of JUDGE DREDD, but am familiar with the character. I also spared myself from seeing the movie which apparently NOBODY liked! It sounds like this reboot(?) will be closer to the comics, plus it stars a favorite actor of mine – Karl Urban. He’s been in Sci-Fi movies before: the villain in THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK, the hero in DOOM, and of course playing the new version of Dr. McCoy in STAR TREK. The screenwriter Alex Garland also wrote 28 DAYS LATER and SUNSHINE. Both are good stories so I feel good about this. I do want to see a trailer however.

#2 – MEN IN BLACK III (May 25)
From the trailer, it seems they have caught the spirit and fun of the first one. I hope so because the second was such a letdown it’s not even funny.  Do you know what the running time was for MIBII? 88 minutes! Not even an hour and it left less than that! Yes, time travel is involved in the new movie, but seeing Josh Brolin playing a young Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones character) may be worth it. He looked and sounded just like him in the trailer. I have high hopes guys – don’t let me down!

And finally…

#1 (tie) – THE AVENGERS (May 4), 
                THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (July 20)
What can I say? I am VERY excited about both movies. I never, ever thought there would be an AVENGERS movie, but we’re mere months away from it being on the big screen. Kudos to Marvel Studios for coming up with a game plan to make this happen. Several people (including me) think DC/Warner Brothers should do the same thing with the Justice League – have a few characters be set up in their own film, then join up for the League pic with additional characters. They still might go that way, but who knows?

With this being the final Nolan BATMAN movie, all bets are off. I wouldn’t even be surprised if Bats gets killed in the end. Why not? We all know the franchise will be rebooted in a couple of years. Warner Brothers has already confirmed it. I’ve enjoyed the Nolan Bat-verse and hate to see it come to an end, but I rather have it end than see another BATMAN FORVER or (ugh) BATMAN & ROBIN. At least we’ll get a better Bane than the we saw running around with Arnold and Uma.

So, that’s my list. I’ll take a look at this list toward the end of the year and see if the films lived up to my expectation. We’ll see…