21 April 2006

Pajama Party - Retrospective 2005

I could have gone the easy route and posted a couple of new pics from X3, like Beast reading a book while hanging upside down, or Multiple Man, or I could just mention that the Official X3 Website is live (the Mutants section is pretty cool). But YOU demand more, and so I am going to occasionally have a supplementary retrospective looking at superhero movies and shows of years past. Hope you like it. This week is 2005.


The year started off pretty limp with Elektra debuting in January over Martin Luther King weekend to horrible reviews and a lackluster box office. Elektra lost out to Racing Stripes (that movie about the racing zebra and the talking flies) among others. In all, Sidney Bristow... I mean Elektra only mustered $24 million domestic total. I have to say, the movie is much better than it got credit for if seen in the vein of Hero, or House of Flyingg Daggers. It dared to be different and paid the price. I like the style and the villains including a dude with tattoos that come to life. But the story could have been stronger. I also was not a huge fan of ER doc Goran Visjic. This pretty much killed the Daredevil franchise even though it didn't have much to do with Daredevil anyways.

Woah! In February, we were served up another dose of Keanu in Constantine the supernatural detective. I chose to pass on this one, but it actually did pretty well. For a dude that takes a lot of crap for his acting skill, Keanu has been remarkably bankable. I think this film's tagline must apply to both the actor and his role: Hell doesn't want him. Heaven won't take him. Earth needs him.

The real highlight of the year arrived in June with Batman Begins. a low key marketing campaign didn't shove "yet another batfilm" down people's throats. Instead, a buzz was able to build and the film was able to speak for itself earning just over $200 million, and more importantly, resurrecting the Batman film franchise. Batman Begins got almost everything right. Bruce Wayne is the focus of much of the film, and in fact his story slightly outshines Batman's in the film. The villains were not overplayed, and the gadgets were grounded in reality. Great performances were delivered by almost everyone and the next batfilm is surely going to be huge.

Contrastingly, Fantastic Four opened in July with a loud marketing campaign, bringing some cheese and comedy along with it. It also was a success earning $155 million and putting the wheels in motion for a sequel. Fantastic Four was more of a missed opportunity than a bad movie. It is overall decent, and has some good moments, but Dr Doom's portrayal is motiveless and wussified. Good villains make good heroes, and this villain was lame. I liked Johnny Storm ok, and the Invisible Girl was ok too, but the Thing seemed like he stepped out of a B movie, and Reed Richards was just plain forgettable. Some of the criticism of this film was so stupid though, like Ebert saying that the Human Torch was just like the Flash. Um, Roger, the Flash runs fast, and the torch flies and is on fire. What are you smoking? If anything, this movie showed that summer is big enough for 2 superhero films to succeed. Hopefully FF4-2 will make the proper adjustments. If so, it could be a lot of fun (though still no Batman).

Disney was quick to try and cash in on the superhero genre with Sky High coming out in the tail end of July. The previews for this film looked like it was trying to be hip like The Incredibles, in a sort of X-Men school environment. Who knows, maybe it was really good, but I will probably never find out. It also was a modest success, terrible effects, costumes, and all. But then again, who can get enough of Kurt Russell? Not me.

In the TV realm, Smallville continued to delight. Season 5 opened with a short but sweet version of Superman 2. Clark journeys to the fortress of solitude, battles Kryptonians, beats them way too easily, and loses his powers. The bad guys also flew off in a 2-D portal just like in the films. Brainiac also made his debut on the series bringing the show to a new level of coolness.

Lastly, DC Comics continued to dominate with 3 animated shows. The Batman continued to sell toys, Teen Titans continued to look Japanese, and Justice League Unlimited continued to appeal to more adults than children.

And that Folks was 2005. Overall I'd have to say it was a pretty good year.

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