Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! I enjoy watching big budgeted blockbusters. They are movies I can have fun with regardless of how serious they portray themselves. These partially include some of the comic book based movies we’ve gotten over the years. I enjoyed movies like “Captain America: Civil War,” “Wonder Woman,” and “Doctor Strange.” Now, if you have been following movies in recent years, you may notice every winter, there’s that one blockbuster movie that everybody goes to see. In 2009, that was “Avatar.” In 2012, that was “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” In 2015, that was “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.” This year, I bet that movie will be the next “Star Wars,” but in 2018, you’ve got a number of blockbusters coming out that people will probably see, including “Aquaman” and “Bumblebee.” Now if you are unfamiliar with these upcoming films, let me give you a little info as to what kind of ride you’re in for.
“Aquaman” is going to be based on a popular DC Comics character. This movie is going to star Jason Momoa (Baywatch, Conan the Barbarian) as the title character, it is in the same universe as “Man of Steel,” “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Suicide Squad,” “Wonder Woman,” and “Justice League,” which is to be released this November. The main premise is that Arthur Curry, AKA Aquaman, learns he is the heir of the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and he must face front to his folks and be a hero to the world.
“Bumblebee” is part of the “Transformers” franchise. This installment is specifically directed towards the series established starting in 2007 with “Transformers,” directed by Michael Bay. This film is a spinoff to those movies, exclusively about Bumblebee, one of the recurring autobot characters from the series. The movie is also going to also feature characters played by Hailee Steinfeld (The Edge of Seventeen, Pitch Perfect 2), Pamela Adlon (King of the Hill, Californication), and pro wrestler/prank call meme, John Cena (The Wall, American Grit). This film is set to take place in the 1980s, where we see Bumblebee as a VW.
Now I’ll ask you, which of these movies sounds more exciting? If you said “Aquaman,” I wouldn’t be surprised. As of now I think both movies probably aren’t gonna be fantastic, but we’ll see what happens. Why am I not surprised if you said “Aquaman?” Well, let’s start with the obvious, it’s a f*cking superhero movie. If anything gets audiences in the theater nowadays, it’s superheroes. “Deadpool,” which was released last year is now officially the highest grossing R rated movie ever made except for “The Passion of the Christ.” Marvel’s “The Avengers” is the #5 movie ever in terms of worldwide gross. 2017 has seen a huge success when it comes to superhero movies at the box office. This has been proven with movies like “Wonder Woman,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “Logan,” and “The LEGO Batman Movie.” Not to mention, people are hyping the hell out of movies like “Thor Ragnarok” and “Justice League.” The superhero train has been going on for a long time and something tells me it won’t come to a stop for a while.
As far as “Transformers” goes, the concept is not bad at all, the reason why people go see these movies because it involves giant robots fighting. Although if there’s something the “Transformers” series has taught its viewers, it’s that the robot fighting isn’t really the main focal point. So far there have been five installments in Michael Bay’s “Transformers” franchise. Right now, one of them is still in theaters, and not surprisingly, not many people seem to enjoy the latest addition. If you ever read my review for the fifth and previous installment, otherwise known as “Transformers: The Last Knight,” you may notice I share a similar opinion. None of the movies in the franchise are masterpieces in any sense of the word. I consider the first “Transformers” to be underrated, but it’s not the next tour de force or anything. The second installment is mediocre. The third one is almost as good as the first one, but the ending is kind of weird. The fourth one is not great, but it has some likability throughout. The latest one however is my least favorite in the franchise, and while there some things I admired throughout, I ultimately remember getting physically angry during the presentation. Another thing I’ll state has to do with the box office. Judging by worldwide numbers, “Transformers” has made $709,709,780 at the box office. “Revenge of the Fallen” made more with a total of $836,303,693. “Dark of the Moon” made a total of $1,123,794,079 making it #15 on the all time worldwide box office list. From then on, the totals shrunk, “Age of Extinction,” despite making a lot of money, didn’t live up to the success of the third movie with a worldwide total of $1,104,054,072. Although that movie did incredibly well in China and it became one of the all time highest grossing movies ever released in that country. The fifth movie is currently not at the lowest spot on this list but it’s not as high as “Revenge of the Fallen,” but also keep in mind that the film recently came out. As of now, it has $570,708,186 and counting. Could it at least beat the second movie? Who knows?
Let’s also judge based on quality here. I mentioned before that none of these “Transformers” movies are masterpieces despite earning tons of money, the same can be said for some movies made by the guys who own “Aquaman,” Warner Bros. and DC. Much like Marvel, DC is getting its own cinematic universe, which is known as the DCEU, AKA the Detective Comics Extended Universe. This will continue with the release of “Justice League” on November 17th of this year. While most of the DCEU movies so far have gotten some form of divide from movie to movie, the most recent released work, “Wonder Woman,” was generally well received. In fact, it’s one of the few films this year I gave a 10/10 to. Granted it’s not perfect, the villains aren’t memorable, they serve their purpose but it’s nothing to rave about. Although it’s better than some MCU villains *cough* Ronan, we’ve gotten over the years. That’s probably the only flaw I can state when it comes to “Wonder Woman.” The other movies are essentially mixed bags. A lot of people either really like “Man of Steel,” or really hate “Man of Steel.” I’m one of the people who likes it, although I do think it has flaws. “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” was disliked by critics and fans alike, although some people think it’s good, and some even go so far to say it’s actually genius because of something involving the name of “Martha.” I agree, it’s actually a cool idea, but the movie itself was at times, boring, lacked a story, and even had a terribly miscast Lex Luthor. Although I will say other positives in movie existed: The score, Wonder Woman, and the climax. So ultimately, “Batman v. Superman,” despite having flaws, to me, became more watchable since it first came out. When it came to “Suicide Squad,” I liked it the first time, but despised it the second time. The movie has plotholes galore, flashbacks galore, and despite the soundtrack having some good tunes such as “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Seven Nation Army,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and being able to enjoy all of the tunes at first, something about it feels off now that I think about it. I didn’t care as much the second time around and I kind of hate Harley Quinn a little bit because it was revealed in the DCEU, she killed Robin, so essentially we never got to see him. Oh, and LEGO Batman makes fun of it in his solo film.
“What am I gonna do? Get a bunch a criminals together to fight the criminals? That’s a stupid idea.” –Batman
When it comes to money, all of these films were successful. Each one except “Man of Steel” is now in the top 100 when it comes to worldwide lifetime gross at the box office. Although none of them made it to the gross which the third and fourth installments of “Transformers” achieved. Only one of these movies made it past “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” and that was “Batman v. Superman.” Speaking of “Batman v. Superman,” it did receive a big drop at the box office on its second weekend. This is possibly due to bad reviews, other movies being out, or the fact that everyone wanted to see it on opening weekend even if it meant skipping out on your family’s Easter dinner.
While it is true that the third and fourth installments of “Transformers” made a lot of money, it’s also true, that the fifth one, despite having earned a lot right now, might not make as much as other installments in the series. All the movies now look and sound the same and there’s very little diversity in terms of formula and plot, if there is a plot to begin with. Also, one of the biggest criticisms given by moviegoers to the franchise is that it focuses too much on the human characters. That’s not what they paid to see. It’s quite possible that this upcoming “Bumblebee” movie could be more about Hailee Steinfeld more than anybody else, including Bumblebee himself. Maybe it could work, perhaps if there’s not gonna be many other robots in the movie it could be like “The Iron Giant.”
Some people are also saying that superhero movies are reaching a peak. Based on the popularity and fascination people still have for superheroes, I don’t see anyone usually tired of superheroes. If this idea of superheroes peaking doesn’t grow any bigger, then I can see “Aquaman” getting more money. Speaking of money, I believe “Aquaman” has one ENORMOUS advantage in their favor if being a superhero film wasn’t enough. This may sound like a pun, but trust me, it’s not.
Unlike “Bumblebee,” “Aquaman” is going to be optimized for the IMAX experience. If there’s one gimmick that most moviegoers are willing to pay extra money for, it’s IMAX. I’m DEFINITELY one of those people. Why do I bring this up? Well, let’s dive into it. So far, every installment in the DCEU has been enhanced for IMAX and the same can be said for every installment in the “Transformers” franchise. Both universes in my book, are both excellent for IMAX. In the DCEU, you get a lot of fast paced action as you may see in “Man of Steel” and “Batman v. Superman.” As for “Transformers,” each installment contains loud and epic giant robot fights, that’s IMAX material right there! Part of me feels like as far as the IMAX experience goes, people would pay extra to see superheroes fight on an IMAX screen, although wouldn’t mind settling for another experience. But when it comes to robots fighting, IMAX would immediately come to mind for a lot of people.
Also, remember the December blockbuster topic this is all a focus on and other movies associated with this? Movies like “Avatar,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and “The Hobbit” series were all released in IMAX. The fact that “Aquaman” will be released in IMAX can possibly support my statement that it will end up making more money than “Bumblebee.” Although if you go back to 2014, a month before December, “Big Hero 6” beat “Interstellar” at the box office and yet “Interstellar” was MADE for IMAX, and I mean MADE for it considering how it was partially shot with IMAX film cameras. Once again, I’ll say, it was BEFORE December which both movies came out so that may not be the best point.
One last point I’ll make before this post is over are the directors of the individual films. Both directors have done well received work in the past. In “Bumblebee,” you have Travis Knight (left), an animator known for his work on “Kubo and the Two Strings” and “Coraline.” He hasn’t directed all that much, but he directed “Kubo” and that was one of my favorite movies of 2016, so that gives me some confidence that he’ll put some effort into “Bumblebee,” hopefully more than Michael Bay. As for “Aquaman,” that’s being directed by James Wan (right), who’s well known for his work on horror films including “The Conjuring,” the “Saw” series, and “Insidious.” He’s also the director of “Furious 7,” which I consider to be one of the best installments in the “Fast & Furious” franchise. Both movies have great talent behind the camera, we’ll just have to wait for the final product.
I want to know, what do you think of all of this? Do you think it’s a good idea for these two movies to compete against each other on the same opening day? Why or why not? Also, which one of the movies being focused on here are you personally more excited for? Thanks for reading this post. I might review a movie next week, I might not. I don’t know what I’m doing yet. However if you do want to check out my movies which I have reviewed recently, I shall inform you that for your pleasure, you f*cking sadists, that I went to see, the one, and hopefully the only, “The Emoji Movie.” I enjoyed this movie, possibly in an alternate universe, but in this universe? Hell no! There’s an icon that can take you to this review, I hope you enjoy it, but if you’re a kid or you’re reading this with a kid, enter with caution, because in terms of language, this is probably the most swearing I’ve done in any of my reviews. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy reading that review, and stay tuned for more reviews! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!