The X-MEN movies

The X-Men movies timeline

There was a long period of time where the only super hero movies we had were the Christopher Reeve Superman films, which (as we discussed HERE), had their considerable ups and downs (mostly downs), and the Batman franchise (which we discussed HERE, HERE, and HERE), but this was before the excellent Christopher Nolan reboot, so it was also mostly bad.

X-Men teaser posterThen the late 90’s hit and Marvel (with New Line Cinema) had a surprise hit on their hands with Blade, and all of a sudden it felt like there might be a chance we’d get some more. That’s when Fox dropped a bombshell and announced they were going to finally, FINALLY, release a live action X-Men film!

Say what you want about the first movie, and we will, but it really opened the floodgates for the huge wave of superhero films (that mostly sucked) for the early 21st century. For better or worse we probably wouldn’t have the Spider-man movies without this one!

Fifteen years later, and the franchise has had its ups and downs (notice a trend?), but found its footing again with X-Men: First Class and Days of Future Past. Now, with X-Men: Apocalypse, Deadpool, and a third Wolverine film looming, the franchise appears to be in as good a shape as it has ever been.

But how did they get here?

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The Superman Movies! (part four)

Previously on All UR Movies Are Belong to Us, we tore into the Christopher Reeve Superman movies (and then briefly skimmed over Supergirl and Steel), this time we’re looking at the last two outings of the Last Son of Krypton… which could not be more tonally different!

 

Superman Returns - poster with Lois

SUPERMAN RETURNS

Directed by: Bryan Singer

Starring: Brandon Routh (Clark Kent / Kal-El / Superman), Kate Bosworth (Lois Lane), Kevin Spacey (Lex Luthor), James Marsden (Richard White), Parker Posey (Kitty Kowalski), Frank Langella (Perry White), Sam Huntington (Jimmy Olsen), Eva Marie Saint (Martha Kent), Kal Penn (Henchman #2), and Marlon Brando (space dad hologram).

Plot: Nothing happens for the first 90% of the movie, and then for the last 10% the stakes are finally raised to EVEN MORE nothing happening. Also, Superman is a deadbeat dad who spies on Lois Lane constantly, never punches anything, and has a dorky bastard kid with superpowers and a terrible haircut. Speaking of terrible haircuts, Lex Luthor is back at it again with another ridiculous scheme involving real estate!

 

Comic Zombie: Superman Returns is the exhibit A some people point to when they say that superhero movies shouldn’t be made by fanboys (to which I counter with The Avengers). It seemed like a no-brainer: Brian Singer had just made two very successful X-Men movies, it has a solid cast (on paper), a huge budget, and was a do-over for parts 3 and 4, which this film pretends never happened. Just like the rest of us.

I mean, nothing could go wrong this time around, right? Right??!!

WRONG! - Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey)

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Erik Smash: Superhero Beach 2015

Here’s a look back at some highlights from my previous posts this year…  — Erik

Happy New Year!

Retro Review: THE SENTRY!

Tales from the Spider-verse

Spider-Verse poster

Ant-Man: A Short History

Power Couples (Valentine’s Day)

The FLASH - Tv LogoA Quick Guide to… THE FLASH

DAREDEVIL!

Comic Zombie Presents… Holy Bat Movies!

AGE OF ULTRON – Review

Avengers: Age of Ultron poster

Previously on… THE AVENGERS (movies)

Retro Review: KINGDOM COME!

The Crow - graphic novelTHE CROW! – An Interview with James O’Barr!

Comic Zombie Presents… The Not-So-Great Debate(s)

“How’d you get into comics?” – with Jonathan Sanders

Top 15 Comic Book Video Games

“Kingdom Bum!” – A Sneak Peek with Adam Wollet

27: “Love is a Losing Game” – An Interview with Ashley Lanni

Love is a Losing Game, by Ashley Lanni

Alex Ross - Secret Wars 2015Top 15 Alternate Realities

All New, All Different Marvel! (but mostly the same…)

THE SHORT BOX – Strikes Back!

PREVIEWS – December 2015

What I’m Reading Now #4 (Super Late Edition)

Mocking Jay - Part 2The Hunger Games: “MOCKING JAY – Part 2” REVIEW

STAR WARS Comics!

“Star Wars: THE FORCE AWAKENS” – A (Spoiler Free) Review

The Force Awakens

The Superman Movies! (part two)

We discussed the surprisingly solid “Superman: The Movie” and it’s inferior sequel, Richard Lester’s “Superman 2” (and it’s much, much better alternate Richard Donner cut) here in Part One. I suggest reading that before diving into hell here, if for no other reason than to remind yourself that Superman movies can be fun, if not outright good, because these two train wrecks will do everything they can to prove that statement wrong…

 

Superman III

Superman III (1983)

Directed by: Richard Lester

Starring: Christopher Reeve (Clark Kent /  Kal-El / Superman / Evil Superman?), Richard Pryor?! (Gus Gorman / low-budget Brainiac?), Annette O’Toole (Lana Lang), Robert Vaughn (Lex Luthor Ross Webster), Jackie Cooper (Perry White), Marc McClure (Jimmy Olsen), and Margot Kidder (Lois Lane – cameo).

Plot: Webscoe (really?) CEO, Ross “I’m not Lex Luthor!” Webster, blackmails Gus “I’m Richard Pryor!” Gorman to help him use his computer to take over the world or some stupid shit that’s not worth mentioning, and to use a “weather satellite” to somehow (?) decimate the coffee crops in Colombia so he can monopolize the coffee market… I promise, I’m not making this up. Superman reunites with his ex-girlfriend Lana Lang while on a trip home to Smallville, and while there is exposed to a weird off-brand form of Kryptonite that makes him a huge asshole, going around straightening the leaning tower of Pisa and blowing out the Olympic flame (what a dick) before going on a drinking binge (what?). Superman splits into two personas: Dickhead Superman and Morally Righteous Superman. Mr. Moral beats Mr. Dick, the regular Superman is back, and beats the bad guys. Audiences wiped away the blood coming from their noses.

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The Superman Movies! (part one)

Superman 1978

The first, and greatest, super hero, Superman has had a rather mixed bag when it comes to adaptations of his comic book adventures. There have been numerous television shows, radio serials, animated series, animated movies, video games, and live action movies, more of which were either just ok or straight up bad than good.

Superman actorsWhat is it about the big, blue boy scout that leads to so much crap?

You would think the elements that have been in place for 75 years now would be easy to adapt to the big screen, or the small screen. It’s not like there aren’t literally hundreds of pre-made stories in his publication history that are begging to be filmed and thrown on the screen, yet time and time again people think they can ‘improve’ upon the man of steel and his epically large library of awesomeness, and time and time again they fail miserably.

That’s not to say there haven’t been some success stories… “Superman: The Movie” was a high point, as were the Bruce Timm animated series and his representation in that same universe’s “Justice League” and “Justice League Unlimited”, as well as a handful of direct to DVD animated movies that did well. Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” may have divided some fans on its quality, but both Erik and I will go to our graves defending it.

Man of Steel

But for each of those, there are Superman 3, Superman Returns, Lois and Clark, most seasons of Smallville and the dreaded Superman 64! It’s curious. And as bad as those are, you wouldn’t believe some of the utter shit that almost got made. (6 Terrible Superman movies, you won’t believe almost happened!)

For now, just to keep things relatively simple Erik and I are skipping 1951’s “Superman vs the Mole Men” and are only going to discuss the live action feature films, starting with…

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Super Hero Beach: Tales from the Spider-verse!

Erik: Over the past year, I’ve been putting together articles for SuperHeroBeach.com. A few months back, I invited Comic Zombie and several others to share their favorite Spider-man comics to promote the Spider-verse comics event. This was the result…

Spider-man comics

Ever since his debut in Amazing Fantasy #15, Spider-man has had some of the most iconic story arcs in comics history. Since 1962, Spidey has been swinging across the New York skyline from page to screen in numerous incarnations, from web headed teenager to star crossed lover to fighting alongside the Avengers.

Amazing Fantasy 15Now that Marvel’s “Spider-verse” event is upon us, I thought I’d ask a few people around town to share some of their favorite Web-slinging adventures from our favorite wall-crawler: Jonathan Sanders (manager of Super Hero Hive), Badr Milligan (of The Short Box Pod Cast), Adam Wollet (local comic creator), Brett Ricketts (creator ofTheDirectEdition.com), Comic Zombie(blogger @ comiczombie.wordpress.com), and of course myself, Erik Slader (writer of the blog Epik Fails of History and content creator for this here site).

For those of you living in the Negative Zone these past few months, Spider-verse is a current story line where every single Spider-man ever from all corners of the multi-verse must unite against a common threat.

Sinister Six

Click here for the rest!