When the Superhero Movie Era began in 2000, people all over the world, including myself, were extremely excited. To have our favorite comic book and cartoon icons make the transition to the live-action silver screen was something many of us had been waiting for for a long time. Up until that point all we really had if you think about it were 4 Superman movies (although I didn't like any of the four, the first 2 were deemed good movies, while the latter two were complete garbage) and 4 Batman movies (I liked the first two, but I think we all know that all the copies of the latter two should be collected and shot into the sun). Anyway, this era opened with a bang with 2000's X-Men and 2002's Spider-Man, both of which were first and foremost true to the comic book so the nerds liked it and overall pretty decent movies a so the critics and the general movie-going population liked them as well. Everyone was excited, a new age of movies with pretty much an endless amount of possibilities, and as long as the production companies gave the same attention to every comic-adaptation as they did to Spider-Man we would have a bottomless pit of great movie experiences, right?
Fast forward to the present. As with anything in life, money continues to make the world go round. In short, the studios have sacrificed quality for quantity and pretty much have been processing crappy adaptations and stamping on iconic names to these "films" in order to make a ton of money. I'd say there's about a 1:2 ratio of good comic adaptations to bad ones. So let's see if I'm right.
The Good: X-Men, X-Men 2, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Batman Begins, Superman Returns.
The Bad: X-Men 3, Spider-Man 3, Daredevil, The Punisher, Fantastic Four, Fantastic Four 2, Catwoman, Ghost Rider, Elektra, Hulk,...
The lists can go on and on and I'm certain that there are some that I've missed on both lists, but I think we can all agree that I'm at least in the ballpark. For every decent adaptation they make, they release out two or three pieces of trash. Then there are movies like V for Vendetta, which was a solid movie, but strayed significantly from the graphic novel.
However, like I said, these production companies don't care about what they're doing to iconic figures that, quite frankly, helped raise many of us, they just want to cash in on the name, and they're doing a hell of a job. With that said, The Dark Knight looks very promising (R.I.P Mr. Ledger) and so does Iron Man, but only time will tell.
This past summer's Transformers movie, while getting mixed reviews, was very true to the plot of most Transformers incantations (Autobots and Decepticons fight on Cybertron and then for some reason travel to Earth. The Autobots befriend a kid and then continue their war with Megatron and the rest of the Decepticons on Earth). This movie also officially began the transition, or I should say inclusion, of 1980's action-cartoon movie adaptations. If you can believe that there's going to be a Speed Racer movie coming out sometime this summer, and a Dragonball movie to be released in August. Yes, that's right, a Dragonball movie. I never thought anyone would have the balls (no pun intended) to try to adapt anime, especially the most famous anime franchise on the planet, but apparently I was wrong. Again, if there's money to be made. While I honestly believe that there's no chance that these two movies have any chance of being decent, they will still make a mind-blowing amount of money because idiots like me will pay to see them for nostalgic reasons alone...well, maybe not Speed Racer, but we'll see. Look for Thundercats, Voltron, G-Force, and G.I. Joe in the near future as well (all of which are in pre,preproduction from what I've read).
My point here is this; while we do get decent movies every once in a while, overall these production companies are ruining many of the characters and stories that we were brought up with, and as long as these movies continue to make boat-loads of money, the companies will continue to butcher these stories. The future of this era will strictly be dictated by the market, so if any of you out there think that these upcoming films may be garbage, they probably are, so don't go and see them. And if you are like me and actually go to movies to see how bad they can possibly be, then try to limit yourself as best you can.
And don't even get me started on Video Game movie adaptations!
Thanks for reading,