04 August 2006

Superheroes on Screen - Retrospective 2002

Following in the tradition of the 2005, 2004, 2003 retrospectives, behold, I bring you the superheroes on screen in 2002.


Blade II

The first Blade movie was made with a modest budget and showed surprising returns for one of Marvel's less known properties, and this sequel faired even better. While I am not a huge blade fan, the success of Blade has been quite influential. It showed that you don't need an A list superhero to make big money at the box office AS LONG AS THE BUDGET IS KEPT UNDER CONTROL. Perhaps Blade being profitable is why Marvel greenlit Daredevil, The Punisher, and Elektra and even has plans for Power Pack while DC acts as if they only have 2 characters to work with. Spawning another sequel and a TV series, Blade was the little franchise that could.


What more can be said about Spider-Man? It is one of the most profitable films of all time, and Marvel's crown jewel. Sure, the film had its problems like the Green Goblin Power Ranger suit, and some fans were annoyed that Peter Parker has organic webs rather than being able to invent mechanical webshooters while still in high school (then again how did PP get that suit? Did he sew it himself?). But overall, the film's message of "with great power comes great responsibility" resonated with audiences to the tune of just over $400 million in the US alone. Sam Raimi proved that a director with respect for the source material makes all the difference.

Men in Black 2

The first Men in Black film was a fun sci-fi film based on a lesser know Marvel property. Will Smith was the funny guy, and Tommy Lee Jones, the grumpy dude. In the sequel, both were unlikable and grumpy. This time around, the archvillain was literally a lingerie model played by Lara Flynn Boyle, with Johnny Knoxville as a sidekick with an incredibly poorly rendered CG second head. This sequel was just nowhere as good as the original, and actually soured me to the whole concept. Still, it earned $190 million at the box office leaving the door open for MIIIB.

Birds of Prey

This little show tried to build on the success of Smallville on the dubba-dubba-WB. Set in future Gotham, the "Birds" included the grown up daughter of Batman and Catwoman AKA the Huntress, the former Batgirl confined to a wheelchair and assuming the name Oracle, and a young thing named Dinah. Together these Birds filled in for the MIA Batman against Harley Quinn, and other of Gotham's crazies. I always meant to watch this show, but it was cancelled after 13 episodes, and I never got the chance.

Overall, it was sort of a quiet year with just a few projects although Spider-Man more or less ushered in this current superhero genre craze we are currently experiencing. That's all for now, see you next in 2001.

Previous Retrospectives

1 comment:

Mike said...

I.M. me please,I have a question for you