Blockbusters! Gigantic films with explosions in them! And also sometimes Aerosmith! And this year, it seems, Chris Hemsworth! The summer blockbuster season is upon us, people of the geek, and we at the Blogbusters Command Satellite have taken it upon ourselves to brief you on the stuff we think looks great. So without further ado, we start this week’s bulletin with a report from our Manx correspondent.
Alasdair Stuart: The Avengers is the one I’m looking forward to most, because I want, desperately, to be proved wrong. Don't get me wrong, it gives every indication of being a startlingly epic-scale crescendo to the years-long build up it's had. The cast is top-notch, no one does snark like Whedon and the tone looks both suitably bleak and remarkably grounded. That shot of them assembling on the poster honest to God gives me goosebumps: the most powerful heroes on Earth and they're back to back, surrounded by enemies and not going down without a fight.
The only problem is that I think one of them won't get back up, and I think I know who. And I like this guy.
Hawkeye, Clint Barton, SHIELD Agent, expert archer, dead man walking. Let me explain why:
Every other character has a tie-in movie, up to and including preliminary stages for a Widow one, and a Nick Fury movie being drafted. It may be out there but I haven’t heard a single thing about a Hawkeye tie-in movie and with Renner’s star so on the rise that feels odd.
But maybe that’s the point. You see, Jeremy Renner is the new face of the Mission: Impossible series; he’s the new face of the Jason Bourne series; he’s regularly mentioned in connection with the Escape From New York remake; he’s even got that utterly demented looking Hansel And Gretel: Steampunk Fairytale Killers thing coming out. Mr Renner is BUSY, and I wonder whether he’s been cast as Hawkeye for that exact reason. You have a name actor like Renner, you put him front and centre, you give him an arc and then you kill him to raise the stakes. I’ve got nothing but circumstantial evidence on it but I think I might be right. After all, it is Whedon, and he does love killing off the troubled, dutiful characters.
On the plus side, how else are we going to make room for Nathan Fillion in Avengers: Reassembled as Ant Man? The line starts here!
As for the one that will be a big old floptastic mess? I’m with my learned colleague who’s up next. Dark Shadows looks... horribly misjudged. I’m prepared to be wrong – after all Depp’s perpetually disgusted delivery is very funny – but it looks a little too Addams Family for me. Still, time, and the amount of cinema seats filled will tell.
Steven Ellis: I reckon we’ll all put similar answers to this. There are the biggies coming out and I’m looking forward to most of them. Prometheus is probably the one I’m looking forward to the most. But I’m also pretty excited for The Avengers ( ASSEMBLE !!) and The Dark Knight Rises ... From the look of the trailers we really do have some promising blockbusters to look forward to...
There’s also the third Men In Black film which looks like it might be fun and the new Spider-Man film, but I just can’t seem to get enthusiastic about that.
As for flops. Having been a fan of 2000AD and Judge Dredd since the early ’80s, I’m really, really looking forward to the Dredd reboot. But this is the film I’m most worried about, too. With very little in the way of images and footage barring some pretty dodgy unauthorised stuff it’s hard to get any sort of impression of how this is going to be. There’s has been a lot of negative reactions doing the rounds on the internet about the film but I hope it’ll be a hit. I have a little fear that it may well flop though...
I also have reservations about the new Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaboration Dark Shadows . From the trailer it looks to be a bit of a mess and I wonder how well it'll do outside of America, as it's an adaptation of a show that doesn't seem to be that well know out of its home country. It certainly doesn’t seem to be generating the same level of hype as some of the films I mentioned earlier, except with hard-core Depp/Burton fans.
Laura McConnell: “I hate to be cliché, but it’s The Avengers for me. Or whatever they’re calling it in the UK now. Avengers Assemble , isn’t it? Alas, for me it is still The Avengers , so I’ll stick with calling it that. And I mean, come on. Iron Man, Cap, and Thor – what more could a girl want? Well, besides consistent casting of Bruce Banner and a non-CGI Hulk, of course. But I’m willing to let that go. I understand Hollywood bickering and modern special effects practices, as much as sometimes I’d like not to, so it’s fine. Oh, but I do know what could make things more fun! Hawkeye and Samuel L Jackson. It’s a pity they won’t be in this movie and that they didn’t film part of it in my hometown. Oh. Wait. They are and they did? Oh. So, yeah, it’s The Avengers for me, thanks.
Matt Risley: As I’ve been excited about The Avengers (I barefaced-ly refuse to call it Avengers Assemble ) for years, I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but the film I’m most jazzed about is Prometheus .
Sure, the trailers for the trailers have grated, but the recent 2:30 minute trailer peek into Ridley Scott's return to the Alien world (I don’t care what he says – that’s Alien through and through) is properly, nerdily exciting. I can’t remember the last decent, genuinely scary sci-fi horror that’s got me this giddy since, well, Aliens .
As for the biggest flop, that's easy – if Men In Black 3 isn’t the most ramshackle, unfunny and charmless summer blockbuster to hit cinemas, I’ll be very, very surprised.
Side note: This may not fall under “Summer” but I’ve seen The Cabin In The Woods and I’m calling it right now – best genre film of the year.
So there you have it friends, robots and countrymen, we’re all dead excited by Avengers and Prometheus , we’re all a bit worried about Men In Black 3 and Steven and I think Dark Shadows is going to be a bit awful. Next week, we’ll discuss the Hundred Years War and its long term effects on the economic structure of Luxembourg.
Oh... sorry, I turned over two pages there. Next week we'll be discussing comics! Specifically:
What comics do you read? What would you recommend to total newcomers to the hobby?
Enjoy, true believers! See you in seven…