Posts Tagged ‘Orlando Bloom’

Successful Movie Franchises Part 2

July 28, 2011

In last week’s entry the reader was treated to tales of spies, villains and redemption. That’s right, the blog entry dealt with successful movie franchises. This week’s installment continues the story. Will good prevail? Will the hero get the girl? Read on and find out.

Batman/Superman
I combined them because they both started as comic books, then went to movie serials, then television and finally back to movies. They are also complex characters. They both lost their parents. They both are compelled to fight the good fight. Superman does it because his foster parents, the Kents instilled in him that his gifts must be used for the betterment of humanity. Batman does it because of survivor’s guilt. He saw his parents killed in a botched robbery and that spurred him to fight for justice.

While a lot could be said about the differences and similarities between the two, for now I’ll just focus on the films. As for Superman, there have been five movies about the Man of Steel, four starring the late Christopher Reeve in the title role (Superman films from 1978 to 1987) and one with actor Brandon Routh (Superman Returns). The films are:

Superman: The Movie 
1978
Superman II

1980
Superman III
1983
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
“1987
Superman Returns
2006

Since Superman Returns was such a disappointment critically and commercially, I hope there will not be another Superman movie. It had a good run, give it a rest and think of something new.

Moving along to Batman, there have been six films. Where did I get that number from? Simple I included the very campy Batman film from 1966 starring Adam West and Burt Ward (yes, the television show did spawn a movie) As for the role call of actors, Adam West, Val Kilmer and George Clooney each portrayed the Dark Knight in one film, Michael Keaton portrayed the Caped Crusader twice and with the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises Christian Bale will have portrayed Batman in three films. If you want to know  the filmography, here it is:

Batman 1966 Adam West in the title role and Burt Ward as Robin
Batman
1989 Michael Keaton in the title role and Jack Nicholson as The Joker
Batman Returns
1992 Michael Keaton in the title role, Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman, and Danny DeVito as the Penguin
Batman Forever
1995 Val Kilmer in the title role and Chris O’Donnell as Robin
Batman + Robin
1997 George Clooney in the title role and Chris O’Donnell as Robin
Batman Begins
2005 Christian Bale in the title role
The Dark Knight
2008 Christian Bale in the title role and Heath Ledger as The Joker
The Dark Knight Rises
2012 expected release Christian Bale in the title role and Anne Hathaway as the Catwoman.

I hope The Dark Knight Rises is the last Batman movie—ever!  Director Christopher Nolan did a great job rebooting Batman and Christian Bale, like Michael Keaton, got the darkness of Batman/Bruce Wayne just right. After all, he’s not some rich guy with nothing better to do than fight bad guys. For all his wealth and for all the good that he does as Batman, Bruce Wayne cannot bring his parents back and therein lies his darkness. Still, like Superman, it had a good run. End it. Please!

Shrek
The thumb nosing tale to every Disneyesque motif out there spawned four films. Each of the films featured the voices of Mike Myers as the title character, as well as Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy. The films collectively have made over $1 billion in the U.S. Not bad for an orge, his wife and his donkey pal. In case you want to put these films in your Netflix queue, they are:

Shrek 2001
Shrek 2
2004
Shrek the Third
2007
Shrek Forever After
2010

This franchise looks like it is done. Yet, the careers of the three principal stars have stalled recently, so there just might be another one coming down the pike. Still, let’s hope the folks at Dreamworks decide not to greenlight Shrek 5: Insert Clever Subhead Here.

Spider-man
This franchise took a while to get off the ground. The motion picture rights were first purchased in 1985 but a combination of the story not being right to limits of technology delayed the movie from being made until 2000. It was finally released in 2002 with Sam Raimi as the director and Tobey Maguire as the title character. Three films where made with Raimi as the director and Maguire as Spidey and these three films made $1.1 billion dollars in the U.S. Yet Spider-man 3 got mixed reviews. So, there were plans to make a Spider-man 4, yet Sam Rami couldn’t meet the deadline of 2011. So, Sony Pictures cancelled Spider-man 4 and announced that the franchise would be rebootted with a new director and new cast. The rebootted Spider-man is expected to be released in 2012. Personally, I think it would have been better just to end the franchise with Spider-man 3. Spidey/Peter Parker battled his demons, got the bad guys and married Mary Jane Watson. There are loads of superheros in the Marvel universe, so there would be no lack of material for filmmakers to draw from. Again the list:

Spider-man 2002
Spider-man 2
2004
Spider-man 3
2007

Pirates of the Carribean
This movie franchise wasn’t based on a comic book or book or came from anyone’s imagination. This successful movie franchise is based on a ride of the same name at both Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida and Disneyland in Anaheim, California. The series stars Johnny Depp, Keira Knightly, Orlando Bloom and Geoffrey Rush. The idea of a pirate movie based on the ride was in development at Disney since the early 1990’s. When director Gore Verbinski came on board in 2002, he wanted to marry the fun of the ride with its supernatural aspects.  Well, it came as a great surprise that the film did well, because a pirate movie had not been successful for a very long time. To date the films have made over $1.2 billion in the U.S. That’s a lot of yo, ho, ho-ing and it won’t end because Johnny Depp has signed on for a fifth Pirates movie.

You know what is below:

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl 2003
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
2006
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
2007 (Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End were filmed simultantiously.)
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 2011

Thus ends the tale of the movie franchise. Tune in next time for another exciting tale from the world of movies, collecting and pop culture, brought to you by a Generation X’er with many writing credits and not to mention many movie posters for sale.

Sources:
http://www.supermanhomepage.com/other/other.php?topic=bizarro-files

http://gothamknightsonline.forumotion.com/t106-how-many-batman-movies-are-there-and-what-are-their-names

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/franchises/chart/?id=shrek.htm

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/franchises/chart/?id=spiderman.htm

http://spiderman.wikia.com/wiki/Spider-Man_(film_series)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirates_of_the_Caribbean_(film_series)

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Haven’t I Seen You Before?

June 30, 2011

Would you believe that there will be yet another Three Musketeers film? It’s true. This version stars Orlando Bloom and Milla Jovovich and was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. The movie is scheduled for release on October 11, 2011. An image of the movie poster is floating around cyberspace and chatter on it is mixed. There are comments from those who like it, saying that it recalls a time when movie posters were drawn. Comments from those who don’t like it range from “Blah” and “Lame” to “Too busy for this poster. My eyes are all over the place!!!” As for me, I like the compositional style, I just don’t like the look of those in the poster. They have a going through the motions/ “I’m just here for the check” look. Below is the poster.

Moving right along, a recent story in the Times of India was about two movie posters. In particular, how a Bollywood movie poster for Murder 2 was very similar to Lars won Trier’s Antichrist. Both posters featured arms entangled in twisted branches and if there weren’t an Internet either no one would call attention to it or the attention would come much later. Anyway, below are the two posters in question.

What’s going on here? Has Hollywood’s current recycling kick spread to posters? Actually no. The reuse/repurposing of compositional and artistic styles has been going on since before the Renaissance. Both Michelangelo and Leonardo DaVinci influenced Raphael. Henri Matisse and pre-Roman Iberian sculpture influenced Picasso. A can of soup influenced Andy Warhol. I would go on but you get the idea.

So, it’s not a case of movie posters artists getting lazy, they are taking part of a long tradition of artists seeing something that they like and incorporating it. What separates art from a mere copy  is when the artist uses a technique in such a way that it becomes a part of his or her signature style. Of course, with the above-mentioned Three Musketeers poster, sometimes taking elements from the past doesn’t always work. That’s why talent is so important. No matter what the tools he or she uses, whether photography, computer generated images or acrylic paint, the true talent of an artist shines through. Think of the movie posters for Back to the Future and Mystic River (seen below and created by Drew Struzen and Bill Gold, respectively). One is drawn and one is photographed, yet they are great posters because two excellent artists created them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Therefore, if the artist is good—a movie poster is a thing of beauty. If the artist is bad, the movie poster is lambasted throughout the Internet.

Keep this in mind the next time you look at a vaguely familiar movie poster.

Sources:
http://www.flix66.com/2011/06/09/logan-lerman-and-orlando-bloom-look-awful-in-new-poster-for-the-three-musketeers/

http://www.movieweb.com/news/the-three-musketeers-poster

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-06-09/news-interviews/29637659_1_poster-mohit-suri-trier

http://www.artchive.com/artchive/R/raphael.html

http://www.artchive.com/artchive/P/picasso.html

http://www.drewstruzan.com/illustrated/portfolio/?fa=medium&gid=686&mp&gallerystart=1&pagestart=1&type=mp&gs=1

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/secrets-hollywood-s-greatest-movie-188670