I love comic books and I love movies so naturally, I’m a big fan of movies based on comic books.  There is no doubt that this summer was enough to make many a geek wet themselves with delight.

Talk to the hand

Talk to the hand

The summer started off with a giant crimson and gold bang as Iron Man dominated theaters to the tune of $318,219,154.  Not too bad for a movie about a dysfunctional millionaire with a really cool suit.  Despite the fact that I think that Tony Stark is a giant douche bag in the comics, especially after Marvel’s Civil War, there’s no doubt that Robert Downey Jr. was flat out amazing.  Throw in a nice cameo by Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury that set up the upcoming Avengers project, and this provided much geek glee.

Next up we had Speed Racer, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, and Indiana Jones and the Something About Aliens.  I didn’t see Speed Racer because I fear having epileptic seizures.  I don’t have epilepsy but the trailers were enough to keep me away.  Plus, I’m not a big Speed Racer fan.  Narnia was good, albeit a bit long and Indy was further proof that George Lucas is going insane.  It should be noted though that I will be buying both Narnia and Indy because I am a geek and really enjoyed both movies.

Hulk contemplate the complexities of life.

Hulk contemplate the complexities of life.

Once the pre-summer blockbusters were out of the way, we were treated to Edward Norton getting all green and smashy in The Incredible Hulk which, surprisingly, did not suck.  It even made a respectable $134,518,390 at the box office. I didn’t expect much from this film given the fact that Ang Lee’s The Hulk made me want to jump off of a bridge.  That was a bad movie.  The sequel, not so much.  I may even end up buying it on DVD.  Plus, there was a cameo by Robert Downey Jr. reprising his role as Tony Stark.  In case you forgot, it set up the previously mentioned upcoming Avengers project.  There is also some alleged footage that was cut at the last minute that showed Captain America.  It’s purpose?  To set up the upcoming Captain America movie.

Between The Incredible Hulk and The Dark Knight, which let’s face it, is probably one of the best movies in the history of movies, we saw the release of Wanted, Hancock, and Hellboy II: The Golden Army.  I didn’t see Hancock but the other two were good movies.  To be honest though, at this point in the summer, I was just waiting for Batman to beat the crap out of some bad guys.

"I've never felt this way towards a psychopath before."

"I've never felt this way towards a psychopath before"

July 18 will go down as the day that the best superhero movie of all time opened.  Yes, I’m talking about The Dark Knight.  I’ve already reviewed this so I won’t do it again here but this movie is two hours and thirty two minutes of pure awesome.  When all was said and done, it brought in $521,890,027 making it one of the most successful movies in history.  With a re-release planned for Oscar season, who knows how much this movie will end up making.

We were also treated to The X-Files 2: I Want to Believe and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  I didn’t see X-Files.  Not because I don’t want to, but because I was too busy.  I’m sure I’ll eventually watch it though.  For my thoughts on The Clone Wars, read my review.  Needless to say, with a box office take of only $34,477,361, I don’t think I was the only one mildly disappointed by it.

This all got me to thinking, who came out on top this summer?  Obviously DC Comics did well with The Dark Knight but Marvel had two offerings that were really good.  OK, one that was really good, one that was awesome.  However, Marvel set up future projects and actually did what the comics do in showing that these characters don’t live in a vacuum.  With Thor, Captain America, The Avengers, an Iron Man sequel, and two Spiderman sequels all in the works, I think that Marvel is going to prove to be the big winner in this summer’s box office battles.  With the cameos and the upcoming movies that they were able to set up, every geek should be jumping for joy.  Now if only DC could pull of the same thing with the much rumored Justice League movie… 

  • I actually just watched Speed Racer with my step-son right before you wrote this! It’s not bad. It’s not good, either. It was made in such a way that kids just get the biggest kick out of watching it, and adults don’t feel like they were dragged to a pokemon movie. Yes, it’s bright and sort of confusing, and parts of it feel like Spy Kids with the cheesier animation. Over all though, it was entertaining.

    As much as I groaned when I saw the previews for Clone Wars, you have to admit that it didn’t LOSE money. It certainly cheapened the whole franchise though (scoring lower reviews than Ewoks and the Christmas Special!). Some of the critics were pretty harsh on it, lol. Film.com writer Eric D. Snider wrote, “Remember how people talked about the Star Wars prequels like they were the worst movies ever made, when really, come on, they weren’t THAT bad? The Clone Wars actually IS that bad.”

    And while Lucas may be going insane, you’ve got to give props for having two large release movies in a single summer!

  • We took the kids to go see Narnia 2 and Speed Racer at a drive-in double feature. I wasn’t looking forward to Speed Racer after watching the reviews (I was tempted to leave after Narnia), but we stuck around and I found that I had enjoyed it much more than I was expecting.

    So is Nuking the Fridge the new Jumping the Shark?

  • I didn’t get that reference.

  • Ah, I get it now. I never saw the movie so it didn’t make any sense to me. I even saw the video of it on YouTube, and it is absolutely ridiculous!

  • Dr Squishy

    I still haven’t decided for myself if The Dark Knight really is that great, or if the expectations, mixed with an already legendary final performance by Heath Ledger, convinced us to overlook some of the sillyness of the “Super Bat-Radar”, and the ending (Batman has to be perceived a villain because…..).

    For my money I think I’d give the best movie props to Iron Man. For one this movie had low expectations, coming from the director of Zathura, Elf, and Made. Featuring a lead actor who despite being brilliant has been more famous for his off screen problems, than silver screen greatness. Despite this it turned a B lsit Marvel hero into a spectacular thrill ride, and their perfect launching point for the Avengers.

    However last weekend my wife and I went to the Sugarhouse dollar theater and saw Kung Fu Panda. This might be the number 3 best movie of the summer. It was funny as all get out, and featured some of the best martial arts scenes in years.

  • Agreed!

    “Enemies were blinded by his sheer awesomness.”
    “AHHH, MY EYES!!!! HE’S TOO AWESOME!!!”