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08/01/14

Super zero: Why super hero movies aren't always a big hit

The last decade has been a mixed bag of movies that pertain to caped crusaders and characters with duel identities.
For every "Iron Man" and "Avengers" franchise, you'll get at least a handful of movies that are easily worth skipping or were flanked by awful reviews that kept the viewing audience at bay for the entire run n the theater.
What truly makes a wonderful superhero movie is both intrigue, marketability and if the movie truly takes on the super hero character with equal parts vigor and a seriousness that often is missing from what had been perceived a cartoon, campy and hardly Oscar worthy fare.
Simply put, superheroes once were perceived as popcorn flicks with modest appeal. Most of the movie franchises, including the original "Superman" and "Batman" franchises that starred Christopher Reeve and Michael Keaton, respectively, started strong and soon became parities of their originals, which is quite the shame given the performances by Reeve and Keaton in the first movies.
Aside from the original "Superman" and "Batman" movies most superhero movies from the 1980s and 1990s struggled to be taken seriously.

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Then, the likes of Christopher Nolan and Jon Favreau took the reigns of "Batman" and "Iron Man," respectively and created the kind of cinema that you'd expect from classic characters and superheroes. Ironically, Nolan and Favreau were the true heroes for adding A list actors and brooding, realistic story lines to their movie premises.
Nolan's "Batman" and Favreau's "Iron Man" made their fair share of cash and earned praise for being more than just super hero movies but the kind of movies that receive four star reviews and get award buzz around them.
The same can't be said for others that tried the same formula and failed miserably.
Halle Berry is one of the better actors of her generation, but her "Catwoman" movie in 2003 was, in a word, terrible. The entire premise whiffed with audiences and the movie was a failure from the moment she donned the cat suit.
Berry isn't the only high profile superstar of the silver screen to swing and miss at a superhero movie. Ryan Reynolds and Seth Rogen left a lot to be desired in their performances in "Green Lantern" and "Green Hornet," respectively.
And who can forget "Daredevil" and Ben Affleck being nothing short of unwatchable. In a nice, convenience twist, Affleck's wife belongs on the list of awful that are superhero movies with her "Daredevil" spinoff: "Elektra."
The point is comic book and superhero movies aren't the proverbial slam dunk as far as being box office winners. It actually takes more than just slapping together a script and getting top notch actors on board.
Someone has to recreate these characters and put forth more than just a sub par effort and rest of the laurels of the characters alone.

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