If it’s not Captain America, Iron Man or Spider-Man sorting out one big bad guy per movie, it’s all of them getting together for a big crash/bash/smash, and always for around two-and-a-half bum-numbing hours.
I’ve tried to keep up with the onslaught, since each one tends to link into the next, and I do enjoy films which have mid- or post-credit scenes (even the one in the aforementioned Spidey movie, which I thought was far more amusing than anything in the preceeding 2hrs+), especially when most of the audience have already left… although it’s basically a given with Marvel, these days, so more people are staying.
However, it’s the preceeding part I have a problem with as they’re becoming increasingly ideas-free and tedious, Spider-Man Homecoming being a perfect case in point. Having already seen Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield romp about in the spider-suit on five occasions between them, do we really need to see teen angst and school proms played out on the big screen again so soon? No.
Plus, Marvel have divided their movies up into ‘phases’, so Phase 3 is due to conclude in April 2018 with another crash/bash/smash tirade in Avengers: Infinity War and, personally, after that one I think I’ll bow out… especially when I saw the trailer for the penultimate movie in the phase, Black Panther, where the character is meant to hail from a technologically advanced part of Africa… but it may as well just be an alien planet, from what we can see.
Most recently, they’ve turned their attention to putting their slew of TV series onto the big screen, and since the first chapter (two episodes) of Inhumans – running for a paltry 76 minutes – was shot on digital IMAX, that was given a few Friday screens last weekend, while Odeon chose to let it dominate their biggest auditoriums for an entire week… nice idea, but I could see from their site that hardly anyone had booked tickets, and comments on their Facebook page were derisory, leading from bad word of mouth, to dodgy CGI in the trailer (below), and simply the fact that, in the Trafford Centre at least, you’d be paying £17.35 for a Premier seat to watch a single episode… a sum that would fund two-and-a-half months subscription to Netflix where the Marvel series usually appear.
To that end, and given that is was ONLY available to view on IMAX screens, Marvel’s Inhumans took $1.5m in the US, and $1.1m elsewhere, over the weekend. That’s it.
Sometimes IMAX is essential, especally with the 70mm treatment (1.44:1) for Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, which was presented in that format for just three screens in the UK, the other IMAX audfitoriums showing it in digital IMAX (1.90:1), thus losing a portion of the screen. However, while Dunkirk will be shown with footage you’ll never see anywhere else again, ever… unless you go back again to see it before it leaves the cinema, that isn’t the case with any digital IMAX movie where 1.90:1 will comfortably sit within a 16:9 TV screen.
However, in a lot of cases, films are shown on IMAX screens when not a moment of it was shot with such cameras. Similarly, only ONE live-action film was shot in 3D, so all the others are pretenders. Which was that one film? Transformers: The Last Knight.
Other ‘cinematic universes’ are also having a tough time. For DC, I quite enjoyed the largely-slated Suicide Squad, last August, but both Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Wonder Woman were overlong and tough going (although I loved the 70mm IMAX scenes in BvS!). November’s Justice League just looks like DC’s version of an Avengers movie.
Then there’s Universal’s Dark Monsters series, which seems to have both started AND ended wth Tom Cruise’s disastrous The Mummy, since due to the poor box office, why would Universal throw another $100m at a film that even less people will care about?
In addition, there’s Stephen King‘s The Dark Tower. I understand there are seven books in the series relating to this, which one friend reckoned would make a great TV series, which is generally the order of the day. However, Hollywood decided to make a short 95-minute movie out of it. And not many have liked it.
Perhaps the time has come for more original thinking in cinema with a less corporate feel? If you agree, check out the brilliant Baby Driver.
And let’s hope we can put all the superhero junk to bed.
Check out the trailer below for Inhumans and click on the poster for the full-size version:
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.