I get called a pessimist and not a true fan when I bust on the Red Sox for being only about three things; Dunkin Donuts, pink hats, and singing Sweet Caroline. People not from this area or who aren’t into baseball won’t understand what I’m talking about, but it’s ok: this isn’t about baseball but rather how you can get pissed at something you care about.
I care about the Avengers, I really do. I grew up on Marvel comics; it was when I took out Marvel’s Secret Wars from the local library that really made me fall in love. This was at a time when the biggest mainstream thing Marvel had going for them was X-Men on Saturday morning cartoons. Walk into any toy store at the time and there would be rows upon rows of the same Weapon X Wolverine, US Agent, and black & red Daredevil action figures. Now they sell practically every Marvel action figure and piece of merchandise in every store. Just the other day my doctor hit my knee with a miniature Thor hammer for reflex, he told me they’re for sale downstairs in the gift shop next to the “Get Angry & Get Well” Hulk balloons.
Marvel has gone ubiquitously mainstream, their prized film is a few weeks away from release, and it is going to suck. Before you start calling me names about how wrong I am, let me call the people who think I am wrong names before they can call me names. Morons, there I said it. Back to the analytics and point, look, I LOVE(D) comics, especially Marvel. The Avengers were more badass to me than the Justice League. Thor, Captain America, Wasp, Ant Man, Scarlett Witch, Vision, Hawkeye, Iron Man, She-Hulk, and Darth Vader were all amazing characters. (Ok I put Darth Vader in because there were no Avengers action figures, I had to use a Barbie, a Gumby doll, and 2 U.S. Agents). I want this movie to be good, but I can’t ignore these four big marketing “signs” that all point to a soon to be train wreck in my opinion.
The super-fast hype pushing. I feel there were three good Marvel movies; X-Men 2, Spiderman 2, and Iron Man. Everything else has been a complete steaming pile of Saturday morning cartoon crap. You can read my reaction to Thor here: http://www.thegeekgeneration.com/2011/05/thor-movie-review/ as example, scroll down, it’s the response to the original review. But whether it was Thor, The Hulk (how many dudes are gonna play this guy?!), Captain America (loved how Marvel felt they needed to censor a swastika and throw in a nice happy bunch of multi-cultural guys since we all know the 1940s was known for its tolerance of diversity… ) Iron Man 2 (I’m still going through shock therapy to get over this one) all these movies are the same hype and forced mess of lame production value. Did we really need all these movies? Did we need a movie about Frodo and Gandalf before Peter Jackson made Lord of the Rings? Marvel thought it was a great idea to push out as many independent characters as they could before Avengers, so what does that do? It creates great expectations, which we have learned never to have when it comes to Hollywood.
The trailer is garbage. There is an art and language to movie trailers, and when three or more trailers are released for the same movie with the same scenes and clips it translates into English as “I really hope people go see this movie.. “ Here are all the clips from the Avengers trailer: 1) up-close shots of each actor’s face in slow motion to make viewers say; “..OH DAMN, that is like… THOR?! Who’s that?! Charlie Brown!! Er I mean, Captain America!!! HOLY SH^%!!” 2) bunch of explosions in the same two blocks of city in the day 3) Robert Downey Jr. making quirky remarks. Oh, and robots because when you can’t write dialogue just make most of the enemies robots who can’t talk, thanks Marvel. And do they really need Hawkeye and Black Widow when you have Thor and the Hulk already on the team? They ditched Hawkeye’s mask, which I always thought was very cool. Marvel hates masks in their movies.
They keep releasing footage and clips of the movie. Because that is always a good sign right?! Damn this movie is too good we can’t contain it, quick release some footage bit by bit to cool down the awesome. No, from a marketing stand point this equates to; “If people see enough sh*t thrown at the screen hopefully people will buy the 3D tickets… “
There’s almost as much merchandise as Episode 1. How much merchandise did the Dark Knight have? Spiderman 2? The Land Before Time 9: Little Foot in Big Hands? Not that much, and those movies were amazing (I’m kidding about the Land Before Time, they had like 8 of those right?) Ah but the merchandise for Star Wars Episode 1… I heard they use it as currency still in parts of China. Tons of merchandise = spreading out the investing returns. Not being confident in the main basket? Then put your eggs in many different baskets; toys, merchandise, video games, 7-Eleven Slushies, etc.
I’m bitter because I love Marvel, and that is why I hate them; the same reason why we hate George Lucas for destroying what we loved. Ah, the creator is now the destroyer. The train wreck is coming, I hope it can be avoided but Nerd Caliber doesn’t pay me all these cases of money to be wrong. I’ll be camped in line for the Dark Knight Rises. In Nolan I trust.