Sunday, 22 July 2012

The nostalgia boom trilogy: Ben 10 or 20 years ?

So in the final part of my nostalgia examination I'd like to present an oxymoron to the subject. Looking to the future of the nostalgia boom. In a nutshell what in the next ten or twenty years will be the next summer blockbusters be based on.

Looking at younger franchises still contempt with a younger audience and have been around in short period of time in franchise years I'd say your best bet is Ben 10.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the show it revolves are Ben Tennyson, a boy with a magic alien watch which gives him the powers of 10 aliens and further adventures expand his collection and toy line.

Though it may market itself towards a younger audience the show plays nicely with some big ideas and some humour to keep grown ups amused.

So with the comment right their would appeal to any future film producer, director or writer. The show just toys with the ideas of death and moral ethics a hero faces in a similar way to Batman or to a lesser extent the Transformers cartoon has.

Thanks to the censorship it feel like the show wants to be as a modern day comic. Essentially this could lead to a Frank Miller affect. In  the 1980's Frank Miller and other revolutionised how comics were written, they were no longer colourful child friendly productions after the production of Dark Knight Returns Batman and other comics alike grew up with their aging fan base.

The fact Ben 10 is now on it's fourth incarnation and merchandise appears to be selling well shows it's fan base it not bored with it.

Looking at the origins of these big film adaptations most of the production seems to be centred around the vision of a hero growing up with them. Star Trek was rebooted to be more 'cool' and join the modern day world,  Sam Ramis Spider-man pitted Peter Parker in a real cruel world.

I may not be able to tell the future but looking at shows like Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles and every staple of American comics it just appears to be logical and what model the film industry is striving for. Of course this may change if the finical climate changes allowing studios to be all risky and let another Scott Pilgrim happen. But if in ten or twenty years from now Ben 10 does pop up again it could pretty prove this business model either works or Peter Pan syndrome is something our generation is cursed with.

Monday, 16 July 2012

The nostalgia boom trilogy: Mighty morphin' movie

With Power Rangers entering the nostalgia vintage I look at the points which could persuade a movie exec that a Power Ranger feature film is very good idea. This of course ignores all the legal complications which will very likely ensue

Imagine of the cacthphrases came back ?
1. Giants robots- As shown in the Transformers franchise giant robots are appealing. In the west the idea of giant over designed robots is hugely appealing as the concept is still hugely fresh on the blockbuster scene.

2. Superheroes- The world of blockbusters is currently dominated by the superhero genre. The reason this genre has thrived is simply put down the variation of invocative take on the conventional structure of superheroes, like with the 'real life' Kick ass, the far from perfect Iron man and the hybrid genre master Captain America. Since Power Rangers is re-edited and re-purposed Japanese TV show I'm sure the Japanese take on a super hero would help it stand apart.

3. Toy tie ins- The key selling point of a summer blockbuster is money in it's crudest terms. So the more tie in products which can be churned puts the film ever closer to that green light of approval. As shown with Transformers the essential format is their make it so easier for movie execs to swallow it down and with the Power Rangers franchise already successfully honing in on this it makes the rest child's play.

4. Martial arts- As displayed recently in The Raid and through the recent Batman films intense fight scenes displaying exotic martial arts really hits a key note with audiences. One of the things that makes the TV show stand out is the intense fight scenes displaying a wide variety of martial arts from judo and Brazilian jujitsu.

5. Fan base- In tough times even the film industry needs to counts the pennies. Adaptations could be the scene as the safe bet to studios as if said adaptation has shown to be highly popular then they could at least expect to break even on their investment. So with a franchise like the Power Rangers with fan base spanning several generations this makes the likelihood even more of a morphinominal idea to a studio exec. 

Saturday, 14 July 2012

The nostalgia boom trilogy: Could Ninja Turtles be a good film ?

Part 1 of a look at the nostalgia boom in cinema:

So with the heroes in a half shell drop kicking their way onto the big screen, let's take a sensible rage-free look at if the film could be good and appraise fans and cinema goers alike.

The pros:

One of the original creators is on board:
The origins of the Teenage mutant ninja turtles draws back to an indie black and white comic book in 80's designed to parody the ninja obsessed media of the time. Kevin Eastman Peter Laird may have disagreed about the tone of the franchise but Eastman is set to be involved and has publicly pledged his support and has even popped out some concept art.

The source material can be suitably adult:
Wacthing the cartoon itself can be considered quite childish and would be probably bore anyone above the age of 13. Though the cartoons and previous films display the franchise can play with adult themes confidently for an family film. Looking at how Batman transitioned for a campy Adam West to a dark gritty Christian Bale shows it can work.

The cons:

Michael Bay lack of interest in source material:
As can be seen with Transformers Bay has very little interest in following the source material as shown in the Transformers film which had very little coverage of the actual robots themselves but focused on the human characters who can be considered very one dimensional and generic.

Mass audience appeal:
To look at how geek properties can sometimes fall on their face let's use Stargate universe as an example, a typical sc-fi franchise with pulpy romanticism and complex plots. The universe franchise however plays out more like a normal drama with affairs, pregnancies and day to day regular issues. Studios want money and the fans make up a small minority of ticket sales so they have to advertise to a wider audience. It's thought every film follows a formula of a previously successful films so sometimes the quirks and selling points of the source material may not translate to the big screen. This is what may hinder the fight scenes. Looking at shooting techniques from Bays film it tends to make the plot hard to follow especially for fight scenes as we only catch glimpse of obscure parts of the shots.