A Super-Hero Weekend

I just had a super-hero weekend.

With this being a massive super-hero movie summer — The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises — I got in the mood to do a mini super-hero filmfest at home over the weekend, made easier since it was a long weekend (thank you, Marine Day, for your fluid non-work love).

I started by re-watching The Watchmen – the “Director’s Cut,” which is not the massive “Ultimate Cut” that incorporates the animated Tales of the Black Freighter — and I’ll say that I enjoyed it a whole lot more than I originally did. I think knowing what to expect coming in helped a lot with that — it couldn’t fall below my expectations — and the fact that I’m senile (I really am, sadly) resulted in an ending that still surprised me a bit (not the who, but the why).

I think re-watching this is also going to help me enjoy the “Before Watchmen” books that have been coming out more than I was, since I had honestly forgotten most of what happened in the original series.

This was followed by the animated adaptation of Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s Batman: Year One (from the original “Year One” story arc in the Batman comic book). A lot of these DC Comics animated direct-to-video films tend to be pretty good, and this is one of the better ones, featuring the inspired casting of Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) as Jim Gordon.

I was of course going to watch Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, and re-watching these made me realize just how much I really do want to watch The Dark Knight Rises to find out how they follow the storylines from the first two films, and how this story is going to end — which is, to be honest, something new in that I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to seeing a super-hero film because of the story.

My plan was also to watch Sam Raimi’s trio of Spider-Man films, but movie watching fatigue forced me to stop after the first two. I didn’t really enjoy the first one much — Willem Dafoe dealing with his dual personalities is just painful to watch, and that Green Goblin helmet of his is still too ridiculous.Spider-Man 2 is much better, mainly because of the terrific action sequences and the fact that Doc Ock is a cooler villain, but having to endure Peter Parker’s inner doubt for most of the film was such a bore, I just really couldn’t wait for something exciting to happen.

I will watch the third Spider-Man film next weekend — and I will not fast-forward the silly dance sequence (which I really should) — as well as the two Iron Man films, which I expect I will still enjoy as much as I did the first time around (especially the first one).

Is somebody there?
Who are you?
Don’t play the innocent with ME — you’ve known all along!
Where are you?
Follow the cold shiver running down your spine… I’m right HERE!

By Jean Snow

Production Services Manager at Ubisoft Shanghai. Before that, half a life spent in Tokyo.