The Avengers (2012) -vs- X-Men: First Class (2011)

May 2, 2012 Bryce Zabel

If one superpowered superhero can fuel a super-blockbuster (Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor, Batman, Superman, Captain America), just imagine what a half-dozen of them in the same movie can do.

A few years ago, Marvel Studios did just that. After giving movie-length origin stories to its key players, Marvel now brings all their power-hitters together into the ultimate superhero combo group — The Avengers. Imagine this group fighting not just evil but each other for screen time: Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, Iron Man and a couple of second tier-types, the token hottie, Black Widow, and Hawkeye, the guy with the bow and some very fancy arrows. […]

Title Fight, July 2012: Batman versus Spider-Man @ The Smack

April 4, 2012 Bryce Zabel

You know it’s coming — a super heavyweight championship — and it’s on for this summer.

Make your bets now in the mega-Smackdown between the SONY 3D re-boot of The Amazing Spider-Man (July 3) and the third and final installment of Warner Bros. The Dark Knight Rises (July 20).

These two awesome franchises — both successful at the box office as well as critically — mean to fight it out in the cool air-conditioned theaters of our globally warmed summer. Expectations for each are as high as they can get, particularly for the new Batman film but, increasingly, for the new take on Spider-Man thanks to some impressive trailers. Note that both are reboots. The Dark Knight Rises wraps up one three-film arc and The Amazing Spider-Man kick-starts another.
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Chronicle (2012) -vs- Kick-Ass (2010)

February 5, 2012 Eric Volkman

Ah, teenagers. Aren’t they charming? We don’t think so. We’ve got a surly bunch of ’em in this Smackdown, and rather than have them bother us hard-working adults, we’ll just let them whine and snap at each other or simply sulk in a corner by themselves. The main character in sci-fi drama Chronicle is a troubled loner dealing with a messed-up family life and a general inability to relate to other kids his age. […]

Kick-Ass (2010) -vs- Mystery Men (1999)

April 21, 2010 Sherry Coben

“Kick-Ass” features winning and well-drawn characters engrossed in a complicated narrative full of revenge schemes, garden-variety venality, and grandiose dreams. The suspense gets punctuated with bursts of shocking violence and world-class movie-action, and somehow the high school domestic story somehow remains center stage. Kick-Ass keeps his high-school-nobody day job, and his friends, colleagues, and even his burgeoning romance all ring blissfully true. It’s a subtle mix set in a not-altogether convincing metropolis.
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