Monday, February 13, 2012

Predictions for the 2012 movie season #1: The Avengers

So we here at the lazer blog love to talk about our favorite movies from the days of yor. However, we have an important duty to analyze the movies of the now and the movies that are about to be. So heres what im going to do. Im going to look at whats coming out, pick the movies that matter and make predictions about them that will be roughly 99% accurate (by movies that matter I mean the things that arnt rom-coms, generic dramas or generic comedies. You have a 100% chance that those will be garbage)

First lets get some things out of the way.
Brave, Prometheus, Dark Knight Rises, Titanic 3D etc, we all know these are going to be good either in virtue of the studio making it (pixar) the people directing it (Ridley Scott and Christopher Nolan) or because it has already won like a billion oscars and has grossed even more money.

On the opposite end of that we can look at any completely unnecessary remakes/sequels and assume they are going to be absolute shit (with a few exceptions that maintain tiny shreds of hope like Men In Black III. So far we have one good one and one really bad one. This third movie will determine if this story is dead or still has somewhere to go)

Heres a short list of just some of the movies that fit this description that will be absolute bile.
1) Dredd. Thats right, a remake of the amazing Stallone epic. Everything ive seen about it makes it look very serious and as a result its going to suck (beyond the obvious reasons its going to suck IE that its a Judge Dredd remake). Shit like this needs to be campy and over the top, otherwise it just doesn't work

2) The Three Stooges. This movies trailer made me want to vomit out of my eyes. Heres the pitch, set the three stooges in modern times, make jokes about modern products to sell them and then we can also have them interact with the jersey shore mutants! WOOOOOOOO

3) G.I. Joe whatever the fuck its called. If you saw the last one and liked it, you should probably seek help. However, if you did like the first one its unlikely you can read well enough to actually find help sooooo I guess cuddle up in the fetal position and just die?

4) Scary Movie 5. I dont even have to explain this one do I?

5) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D. This isn't the original amazing one by the way, this is the shitty remake or one of them or I dont even know. Its fucking stupid and thats what matters.

6) 21 Jump Street. Clearly an attempt to play on the nostalgia of my generation. Guess what, this show sucked and the movie is going to suck way more.

Theres alot more but if I keep going I may just loose it and start my life as a movie vigilante, taking out people like Michael Bay batman style. Oh shit theres one more I have to mention!

7) Total Recall. That they are doing this is a crime against all that is awesome and I hope many a plague is vested upon the makers of this film.

Ok I have to stop this list even though there are SO MANY MORE! So, on to the business of movies that are relevant and that are not guaranteed to be good or bad right off the bat. Here is the first movie that I will be making a call on.

1) The Avengers

So we all have high hopes for this movie. I mean they have been building it up for forever and it is with out a doubt the most ambitious combo project we have seen to date. There are some dire signs however.

1) Only one and a half of the movies leading up to this has been good. Thor/Captain America, not so sweet. Not terrible but not good by any means. That leaves us with Iron Man (the wholly good one) and The Hulk (the half good one). Iron Man the first will go down as one of the best superhero movies of all time and thats 10% thanks to a decent director who knows how to do quick, tongue and cheek action (Jon Favreau) and 90% thanks to Robert Downy Jr. being absolutely perfect in the role of Tony Stark. The Hulk gets a half good because of the great performances by Edward Norton as the hulk and Tim Roth as the bad...hulk thing...skelehulk...whatever it was. Also, the script was co-authored by Norton and, if kept in its intended form prior to studio involvement, it would have added an hour to the movie and probably made it 10 times better. That means, in some universe the intended script was used and the movie really WAS 10 times better so it gets a couple metaphysical points for that. The point is, we are more in the red as far as quality going into this movie then we really should be.

2) Edward Norton is no longer The Hulk. Bad Sign. When the actor you set up for a project this fucking big isnt coming back, we as the audience should be worried. Thats problem number 1. Number 2 is that Norton is one of the best actors out there and any movie he is in is all the better for it. I mean common, look at this!

He played this

He also played this

There are very few actors that can go from American History X to Death to Smoochy. Losing Nortons presence in this film is a bad bad thing. Dont think that losing the original actor in the sequel is a bad omen? Name me one movie where a major cast change worked out and ill name you five where it didn't.

3) Too much for one movie, IE the "Third" syndrome. There have been two films in renent memory that were monumental in how much anticipation they generated and how much they sucked. 

There were a lot of terrible decisions in the creation of these movies and a lot of terrible things that they let get on the screen but the biggest problem with these two films is that they shoved way too much into the movie. Its the sequel multiplication fallacy, they thought that because its a sequel they need to throw in a bunch more stuff in order to get the audience to come back. In both of these movies we had too many storie lines (symbiote, Sandman, and Hogblin in Spiderman and Mutant "cure" and Dark Pheonix in X-men) and we were introduced to so many new characters that all of the stories and all the characters were left completely bare and lifeless. For a story and the characters in it to work we need time to get involved with them, but if you have too much in one department or the other, we cant get involved so the movie doesn't work. The same thing could happen with The Avengers. Yes, we have already set up the characters but the problem may arise that they will try and give every character enough screen time and enough focus on each heros own story line to appease the fan boys and doing so will stagnate the movie because there isn't enough time to do that and make a compelling overarching story. 

These are some big worries for a project that has as much riding on it as The Avengers does. However, there is a shining light beaming forth from the visage of a nerdy guardian angel, enveloping this movie in promise. That light is coming from this man.

Thats right. Joss mother fuckin Whedon. The patron saint of nerd culture on the screen. This dude knows what hes doing with material like this. In fact, I cant think of anyone who would be better suited for a movie that has the tone that the previous films set up. That tone is trying to capture the snarky, fast paced dialog and action from the comics these movies are based on. Looking at things like Firefly, I know that Whedon will nail this tone without issue. Other prominent comic book directors, while good, would do this movie all wrong. Brian Singer (X-men 1 and 2...and Superman Returns but lets not talk about that one) and Christopher Nolan (modern Batman) brought superhero movies to a level of prestige unseen before by being able to really bring out the characterization and dark dramatic side of the material. That style would fuck up everything that is going into this movie and make The Avengers feel really off. This movie needs levity, it needs over the top awesomeness, and because of that I believe it is in good hands. 

So all in all, my prediciton for this movie on a scale of 10 would be roughly an 7.5 to an 8. If they got a different director, it would probably be a 5 or lower. If Edward Nortan was still around, it would be a solid 8. However, we got the right guy at the helm and because of that I think he will handle the issues mentioned above and make something that is right on the nose for what this movie needs to be. Now this movie will never be a 10, that spot on the Chet rating scale is really fucking hard to hit (Citizen Kane, The Godfather, The Empire Strikes Back, Samurai Cop etc) but it was never intended to be. Its a summer popcorn selling blockbuster and an 7.5-8 rating for a movie like that is damn high. There it is! More movies will be discussed in the future!

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