Tuesday, April 22, 2008

And you thought 6 was the sign of the devil

Nope, it's 3. As in Part 3. Number 3. Take 3. The 3rd.

I realized - actually, it was brought to my attention - that I had omitted the whole superhero genre.

  • Superman - how bad was Superman 3? No really, how bad? A 70 point drop, my friends - from 93 to 23. Well, really, they went from Gene Hackman to Richard Pryor. What do you expect? 70 points seems almost kind.
  • Spiderman - well, after Supe's precipitous descent, nothing is going to look so terrible, but 28 points from 90 to 62? Not so good.
  • Batman - poor Bruce. Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson directed by Tim Burton score a 72. Six years later, Joel Shumacher hands us Val Kilmer and Jim Carrey, and manages a measly 44. Shocker.
  • X-Men - the first one gets a respectable 80, the sequel gets an 87 (way to go!) and then, they just can't leave well enough alone, and wham! bam! the third installment sinks to 56. Will they ever learn?

And I'm not even sure how to discuss the sequels that aren't sequels, they're... do-overs? Sure, sometimes that's a good thing. Batman Begins with Christian Bale - that was a good thing. Served to make up (well, a little bit - okay, not really at all) for Batman & Robin, which for those of you who are counting, would have been Batman 4 of the first set (don't get all persnickety on me with the Adam West version) - a stellar example of why there exists the 11th Commandment ("thou shalt not make fourth sequels"). A 12 on RT, by the by. A 12.

Then Superman Returns? Did he have to? He only scored a 77 this time around. And also, could someone make up a superhero sequel naming convention we can all agree on? Because Batman Returned as the second installment of the first three and then he Began as the first installment of the second three, while Superman Returned for the first of the second three (if there are even going to be two more - seeing as he Returned to a 77, maybe we'll be spared). I'm just saying, it's confusing.

And it's not like there's a shortage of superheroes out there - I'm still waiting for a good Wonder Woman movie. And waiting. And waiting. Flash Gordon (the 1980 version scored an 82) is ripe. It's possible that The Flash is in pre-production. And that The Green Lantern may finally make it to the silver screen, courtesy Greg Berlanti (who wrote a fantastic Why We Write essay).

This summer we've got Iron Man, directed by Jon Favreau (writer - Swingers) and Hancock, directed by Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, anyone? Anyone?).

With all that, someone please tell me - why do they keep breaking the 11th commandment? Why?

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