Monday, 10 March 2014


The Magic Of Marvel.


GODZILLA! Everyone beware! Godzilla is coming! Batten down the hatches and lock the doors, because the original Kaiju is coming to destroy and dominate the Hollywood blockbuster market of the Summer like 'Pacific Rim's' monsters versus Transformer like robots did last year. It all looks truly and finally, genuinely terrifying too. Oh and the 'Transformers' are coming as well along with the 'Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes'. Now that's a lot of worldwide destruction and end of earth type stuff on a 'Man Of Steel' skyscraper crushing finale level. No wonder the dinosaurs of 'Jurassic Park 4' have to wait for their resurection next year. Now with all these monster movies, who could stop the machines, apes and one monster that could scale and crumble King Kong's Empire State? No, not the Justice League, their epic battle between Superman and Batman will have to wait until round 2 next year, but Marvel. Did somebody call 'The Avengers'? Because between two of the teams major players who need the rights to assemble and the one Captain to lead them all, it's going to be the year of Marvel's Avengers and cast of characters once again...and the highly anticipated, eagerly awaited 'Age Of Ultron' sequel isn't even out until next year either. Still the formidbale franchise within a franchise of franchises is still going strong in all it's spin-off main strand stories, building up fan boy and girls DVD shelves that look to one day chase down the comic-book coral of cells and cartoon strips of stories. After the conclusion of the 'Iron Man' trilogy and the super sequel to 'Thor', 'The Dark World' joined 'The Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Caulson cause television show and various 'One Shots', as more superhero storytelling started 'The Avengers' Phase 2, with a continuing classic, bold bang, we now have a new 'Captain America', 'Amazing Spider-Man' and 'X-Men' film to make this Summer season even hotter than the rest they've dominated. Marvel are just unstoppable.

1939, that year tells you how long Marvel have been dominating for. Ever since Stan Lee picked up the pen and paper and created characters from his vivid imagination that would serve as heroes to kids young and old all the way until today. Even with rock stars, sportsmen and other movie stars also fitting that poster on the wall aspiration, even Hollywood's biggest names want to don a mask and cape. You can't even watch a film today without seeing some superhero link. There's Hulk getting it on with Pepper Pots in 'Thank You For Sharing' starring Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow...what would Tony think? Plus, some actors have so many superhero or comic-book characters to their credit that it's almost getting selfish. Chris Evans is Captain America, the former Human Torch (bring him back) in the 'Fantastic Four' and also in the Marvel great graphic novel adaptation of 'The Losers' alongside Idris Elba who also has parts in 'Thor' and 'Ghost Rider' too. Now don't get us started on the Marvel/D.C. turncoats led by the 'Daredevil' new Batman in Ben Affleck. Or Ryan Reynolds for crying out loud, because that's mainly D.C. As dark and deep and great they are with everyones favourite in Batman, the strongest hero in Superman and all the best villains (if they are all in Batman) led by The Joker and the unquestionable, unamiously incredible Heath Ledger (Rest in Peace) portrayal, they still have a long way to go before avenging Marvel's fun filled formidable foundation. From the headquarters in New York, the Marvel universe has birthed classic characters like Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Captain America, the Silver Surfer, and the Avengers as a whole, whilst mirroring current events and life lessons in their work. From X-Men's Magneto and Professor X representing the violent/non-violent sides of the Malcolm X/Martin Luther King Jnr debate and Captain America's super soldier living through all the world wars that have defined the last century. Marvel have always had something to say to the youth and the form of escapism from a world at war in more ways than one.

Now our Captain is back this Spring after the polar vortex (sounds like a Marvel villain in itself) that hit lower Manhattan and the rest of the world this Winter. Keeping it cold and with a similair war theme, 'The Winter Soldier' looks to lead this years blockbuster battalion by it's super strong, steel-like shield. Chris Evans is pumped up and back as Steve Rodgers who after 'The Avengers' events of New York must face life in the present day he'e been brought too. After awakening from the ice capsicle prison stasis of 'The First Avenger' movie (that was also easter egg hinted at in Edward Norton's first 'Incredible Hulk' movie), this new Avenger movie looks to have a story as sensational as the first. Although the war torn texture of the first decades past movie and it's characters including Hayley Atwell (nice 'One Shot' for the memories), Dominic Cooper (as Howard Stark) and THE general Tommy Lee ("I'm not kissing you") Jones will be missed (let's do the time warp again), this new age and phase in the capital of Washington looks to be another landmark against D.C. Armed with a new suit (like he's been shopping with the 'Anchorman' assembled newsteam) with less spang (although we have loved the previous incarnations like the Stark marks) and a new foe in Bucky's 'Winter Soldier' this could be the sensational sophmore, non-slump that could best the outstanding original like the latest Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston's respective Thor and Loki battle of wits and wonder. Of course being S.H.I.E.L.D heavy in more ways than one, Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury is back (he really is in everything...especially every one of these movies, he could have more cameos than Stan Lee) along with 'Her' herself, Scarlett Johansson's high-flying, ass-kicking Black Widow along with more bite from the agent core star Cobie Smulders who looks to join 'The Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D' with 'Thor's', Jaimie Alexander's Lady Sif for more sex and brains appeal once she finishes wrapping up 'How I Met Your Mother'.

Sebastian Stan's soldier of the cold and the Captain America himself Robert Redford are all assembled to make this cast list truly super, but every hero need a sidekick and Captain America needs the War Machine to his Iron Man, especially with the Avengers waiting for some assembly required next year. So how about a patriot? After his breakout performance in 'The Hurt Locker' and scene stealing stars in cult classic films like 'The Adjustment Bureau', 'Abraham Lincoln-Vampire Hunter' and many more, Anthony Mackie looks set to spread his wings as a modern, marine style look at The Falcon. The next, great actor plays one of Marvel's most loved side-characters-albeit without the red and feathers-in what looks to be an all flying, all shooting action flick of fantastic, amazing Avenger action. If that doesn't look like one of the best films this year and greatest Avenger and Marvel ones of recent time then how about something else that's truly Amazing? It's time to catch a Spider as Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker sense is back for the stunning sequel of 'The Amazing Spider-Man' a quick, franchise reboot that is more triumphant than the last trilogy and looks to truly go for bold, now the routine introductions are over. I mean, come on how many time do we have to see his uncle, or Bruce Wayne's parents die? Dubbed as the beginning of his greatest battle, the sensational 'Sinister Six' look to crowd Spider-Man's amazing, worldwide web before spinning-off to their own seperate movie announced to be coming soon. Oscorp's about to obliterate the hero movie notion for the next generation. The Marvel family is about to get even bigger, even if some of them wouldn't want to sit at the table together. Peter, please tell Doctor Octopus to pass the salt...he sure has the arms to do it! Now how many more movies can Marvel serve up on their amazing spinning of the plates? What more could you ask for from New York's best high-wire photographer...apart from some shots with the Avengers?

With Emma Stone at his side and Sally Field watching over Garfield's Spidey has plenty of star-strung A-Listers on his broadsheet but it's the bad guys that are about to break good this Summer like Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. First there's the ever great and versatile Paul Giamatti suiting up in metal as a stampeding Rhino and the great, young talent of 'Chronicle', 'Lawless' and 'The Place Beyond The Pines' Dane DeHaan (the only guy to rival rising star Paul Dano and the next Jimmy Dean, believe it or 'see it' not) as Harry Osborne's Green Goblin that will keep this new franchise flying at Parker's smashing pumpkin falling. Still, it's 'Django' himself Jamie Foxx who looks to continue his incredible comedy/music/movie award winning run with a top villain that is more than just a blue man group lookalike off Broadway. Playing the electric Electro villain, Jamie looks to outfox the Spider with a super charged performance as the bolt, bad-guy. Hey Sparkles! It's 'Electro Unplugged'! You can see in all these incredible trailers and the terrific, terrifying threats he issues that the enemies will truly unite around this source. From his pathetically brilliant, balding, geeky, comb-over original character to the formidable foe he becomes, Electro looks to be Spider-Man's greatest battle in the Big-Apple. "You wanted to be the you have to pay the price", sneers Foxx in electrical undertones (that could match Bane and other bad-guys great voices) as the two duke it out in the core, heart of New York. The battle between Spider-Man and Electro around the electric, lights-out sparks of Times Square looks sets to be the battle royale of the year and quite possibly one of Marvel's most amazing, action set-pieces ever and the whole Avengers recentely saved New York City and the world from a portal of Loki led aliens not two years ago. If only Peter Parker was there to capture it, because he would have probably brought his friend from the academy too.

Is he an Avenger? Is he an X-Men? Will he don that classic, comic-book, cult favourite yellow suit that was teased at the deleted end of his Tokyo, solo Logan's run (along with that promised, powerful, night time, neon rain fight scene in the heart of Japan)? No matter the answers, without question Hugh Jackman is The Wolverine, just like Robert Downey Jnr was born to play Tony Stark and lead his new Marvel wave that rebirthed and rebooted in 2006 with his new 'Iron Man' franchise that almost rose above 'The Dark Knight' (one of the greatest movies of all-time, superhero or not). After the singing of 'Les Miserables' and the shouting of 'Prisoners' showed there was more behind Jackman's acting claws then just the mutations, this Academy talent has never strayed from the character that took him from Australia to a pernament American Hollywood home, even if Ashton Kutcher tried to burn it down in 'Punk'd' (what a great sport the nicest guy ever, Hugh was too amongst the flames). Still following the terrific trilogy of 'X-Men' he led with a sharp cut above the rest and the fun 'Origins' and more serious sequel that Jackman's jacked-up Logan made worldwide famous, Wolverine is set to join up with the 'First Class' crew for more than a more hilarious than Stan Lee cameo. Assembling all the original 'X-Men' and new, days/past, rebooted back in time class, this Summer sees the sensational 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' star. Unlike the Captain and the Spider, teased with only one, incredible trailer, this 'X-Men' sequel looks to be the most stunning superhero film yet. With famous and favourite names like Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lawrence and her beau Nicholas Hoult, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Picard and Gandalf themselves, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen and many else for a true assembling what more could you need or want? With 'X-Men' rivalling The Avengers as not only Wolverines home but Marvel and the superhero world as a wholes best team and franchise, this looks to be the big-event of the year which will hopefully one day lead to Marvel's own 'Superman vs Batman' battle with the X-Men and Avengers. If those annoying rights would let it happen. Come on Mickey Mouse lets make it happen, think of the money and the smiles on the kids faces. Let the only question be who Wolverine will join?

We can all hope and anticipate like the end of most Marvel movies post-credits. Speaking of which if you saw a Bowie, stardust dress-a-like Benicio Del Toro at the end of 'Thor-The Dark World' then you know we have more than the usual suspects to Marvel at this year. Who would have thought we'd see Chris Pratt with a six-pack lead a team of heroes for hire that include Vin Diesel playing a tree and Bradley Cooper, a machine-gun totting racoon? No your not hungover, but Marvel's limitless, fast and furious talent looks to bring one of the surprise hits of the year in this surreal but super spin-off 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'. Get ready for one of the funniest films from a franchise not afarid to not take itself too seriously, but one that will still have super stakes and amazing action too. Remember these may be exciting hero tales everyone wishes to be a part of, but they are still about grown-men running around in capes and spandex. It might be time for Batman and Superman to remember this. As dark as realistic as you go you can't escape the fact that if you ran around like that in real-life it would look more than a tad pathetic, especially without all the historical comic-book back stories we are now used to. Still in this 'Big Bang', geek theory, popular day and comic-book age it's all fun and games though. Marvel are winning though, now the only thing they are green with envy about is hammering down a new Hulk franchise with both green fists. Still the Dr. Banner of Mark Ruffalo seems the right prescription to take over Edward Norton's blessing and keep this monster roaring and raging on with the rest of his Avenger team that have Phantos and James Spader to deal with next. Now could we get a new Hulk movie with all these great big-three Iron Man, Thor and Captain America ones? Or maybe a seperate Iron Man and Hulk movie together like the comics. Besides Banner and Stark did leave together at the end of the Avengers in a top-down, bromance convertible and Cap and the Black Widow are assembling again for this spring's 'Winter'. One things for sure though between all the comic-books, characters, rights and movies the fans are getting exactly what they want with no signs of things slowing down. The 'Fantastic Four' family looks to reunite with a reboot before another X-Men 'Apocalypse' too and how about that Daredevil/Luke Cage (how about the great Terry Crews?) T.V. show? Even Paul Rudd's getting to outgrow pin-up superstar Joesph Gordon-Levitt to play the 'Ant-Man'. From cartoons to toys, cells to movies and the stars that make them there will always be a hero to choose from. Even if you and your mewling quims happens to be Loki. This is more than just a phase and no 'One Shot'. The Summer's about to get real hot! Get your capes ready...Marvel are about to go supersonic. Super-who?

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