Marvel Studios brought home a big prize back in 2015 when they announced they had partnered with Sony Pictures to bring Spider-Man into the MCU. The Internet broke, and hope was renewed that Marvel could one day bring back other franchises sold off to other studios during a time of financial crisis.
As celebration turned into speculation, Marvel explained they weren’t going to explore Spider-Man’s origin story and that his introduction would come in Captain America: Civil War. The cameo was stellar, and the hype for Homecoming (the title, not so much) went through the roof.
The single best decision for the movie was the exclusion of an origin story — which would have made it the third retelling in 15 years. Spider-Man: Homecoming arrives ready to go, and he’s a bit more evolved than any previous version’s first single-movie appearance.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was supposed to compete directly with Captain America: Civil War by releasing on the same day, but Warner Bros. decided — wisely — that more money was to be made without forcing audiences to choose between two huge tentpoles.
But both studios knew their movies would be compared ad nauseum — each containing a similar premise where its lead titans would wage war against each other. DC, owning the most famous and more established comic book properties in Superman and Batman, still had a bit more of an uphill climb gearing up for its cinematic universe while Marvel looked forward to continuing its runoff to a climactic Infinity War one-two punch that begins in 2018 — ten years after Iron Man kicked off Phase One.
And it’s clear, after having seen Civil War, that my preference is Marvel’s movie. Not that I have to choose — one can be a fan of both comic movies and companies just like one can be a fan of Warner Bros., Universal Studios, and 20th Century Fox. I love both Guardians of the Galaxy and The Dark Knight without feeling the need to draw lines from one to the other.
If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then what is satire?
Ben Stiller leads an ensemble squad of A-list stars in a movie about actors acting as Vietnam soldiers who get themselves into real trouble when they head deep into the jungles of Asia to explore Hollywood’s heart of darkness.
Ben Stiller plays action movie star Tugg Speedman whose star is quickly fading.
After a botched attempt at getting an Academy Award leaves him scrambling to find work, Speedman gets cast in a movie filled with a ragtag group of actors and wannabes.
Among them are Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr.), an actor’s actor who takes method acting to the extreme going so far as to surgically change the color of his skin for the role, and Jeff Portnoy (Jack Black), a one-dimensional comic with a history of drug addiction.
Before Batman, James Bond, and CSI, there was Sir Conan Arthur Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.
The first Iron Man seemed like a great start — the core strength of the movie rested on casting a great lead, Robert Downey Jr., as genius inventor Tony Stark who turns into a self-made superhero.
The solid origin story came with a collection of vignettes that showcased a Marvel version of superhero DIY. It was the little MCU movie that could — Iron Man in the Marvel comic universe is a B-lister at best, and failure at the theaters wouldn’t set the comic company back.
But the movie succeeded as a blockbuster, so the Marvel Universe as we know it continues in the much anticipated Iron Man 2, which unfortunately sees the pendulum swing far to the other side with a convoluted story, weak characterization, and perhaps a bit too much action.