Battle of the summer movie superheroesWritten by Jeff McGinnis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
High above the city, on a rooftop overlooking a busy intersection, Tony Stark — known to millions as Iron Man — watched the traffic, seemingly lost in thought. He barely noticed the blast of lightning behind him, signaling the arrival of the God of Thunder.
“What say you, metal-clad mortal? You look vexed,” said Thor.
“Oh, hey,” Stark replied. “I dunno, I was just thinking. This is gonna be a busy summer. And to be honest, I don’t know if we have what it takes to win.”
Thor roared with laughter. “You have doubts? What force could possibly triumph over a team as powerful as The Avengers?”
“Yeah, what’s the deal, Tony? You saying we’re gonna lose?” Captain America stepped into view, accompanied by the Black Widow.
“No, I’m not saying that,” Stark replied. “We just have to be …”
“HULK WINS! HULK ALWAYS WINS!” The giant, green alter ego of Bruce Banner suddenly crashed onto the rooftop, nearly collapsing the building underneath him.
“Yeah, Stark, you sound like you’re giving up,” added Nick Fury, with Hawkeye close behind.
“See, this is one of the problems,” Iron Man said. “There are so many of us, how can any one movie do justice to us all? What if the sheer number of heroes overwhelms the story?”
“Well, not all of us have that problem,” said a new voice. Dangling from a strand of web attached to the roof’s tallest antenna, The Amazing Spider-Man dropped into view.
“Who the hell are you?” asked Fury.
“Uh, I think that’s obvious. I’m your friendly neighborhood …”
“No, no, I can see you’re Spider-Man. But you’re not, well, the same Spider-Man.”
“Oh, that. Yeah, it’s time for the reboot! I’m the new guy.”
“Reboot? Already?” Black Widow asked, incredulous. “Didn’t you just have a movie, like, five years ago?”
“Yeah, but now everything’s fresh and
new! New actors, new creative team, and a new director!”
“Really? What else has he directed?” asked Captain America.
“Uh … ‘(500) Days of Summer,’” Spidey said. A wave of suppressed giggles passed through the assembled Avengers.
“But still,” Spider-Man continued, “I’m one of the biggest grossing names in superhero movie history! How can I lose?”
“One of the biggest. Not the biggest,” said a voice from the shadows. The group turned to see the arrival of Gotham’s savior, the Dark Knight himself.
“My last movie was the biggest superhero film of all time,” Batman explained. “And now, everyone knows ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is the final act of a trilogy. You can all fight over second place, but clearly the year belongs to me.”
“Do you want a lozenge?” asked Spider-Man.
“A lozenge. Your voice, it’s kinda scratchy.”
“I know. It’s for dramatic effect,” Batman explained.
“Hey, we all know how big your last film was,” said Fury, voice dripping with sarcasm. “But that time, you had a buncha free publicity when your villain passed away. What makes you think you’re gonna win so easily this time?”
“Because my last movie was also universally hailed as one of the best movies of the year,” Batman responded. “Unlike some other superhero films I could name.”
Hulk, Spider-Man and Thor exchanged uncomfortable glances.
“Whatever, Dork Knight,” Fury said.
“The Avengers will clearly be the summer’s biggest heroes.”
“Oh yeah, you guys’ll dominate just like ‘Snakes on a Plane’ did,” Spidey said. “Oh, sorry Nick, too soon?”
“You’re one to talk, Peter Porker,” Batman said, snidely. “Didn’t you get cut from ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’?”
“Oh, don’t have a tantrum, Bats,” Black Widow said. “We all know how great you are at those.”
The heroes’ dialogue quickly degenerated into violent bickering, with everyone trying to shout their point loudest. As tensions and tempers rose, finally, above the din, a voice boomed.
“ENOUGH!” screamed the Hulk. Everyone suddenly fell silent.
“HULK NOT SMARTEST OR MOST VERBOSE,” he said. “BUT HULK KNOW ARGUING GETS US NOWHERE. HULK SAY WE ALL CAN BE WINNERS! HULK SAY EACH OF US CAN MAKE TON OF MONEY, AND MAKE THIS THE BEST SUPERHERO SEASON EVER! HULK SAY, LET’S HAVE A GREAT SUMMER AT THE MOVIES!”
Suddenly, bolting from the darkness came a shadowy figure. A vampire — one which bore a striking resemblance to a pale Johnny Depp — came flying into the group, fangs bared, aiming for Captain America’s throat. Before Cap or anyone had the chance to react, suddenly, an ax flew, catching the demonic beast squarely between the eyes. He fell dead to the ground.
The menagerie of costumed adventurers turned to see a new arrival — a tall, lanky figure in a stovepipe hat.
“Now, who were you saying would be the summer’s biggest hero?” asked Abraham Lincoln.
Email Toledo Free Press Star Pop Culture Editor Jeff McGinnis at PopGoesJeff@gmail.com.
Summer movie box office predictions
By Michael Siebenaler, Toledo Free Press Star Staff Writer, email@example.com
The summer movie schedule always creates excitement for me, but this year audiences will likely get action fatigue — giving more original films like Peter Hedges’ “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” (Aug 15), Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” (May 25) and Woody Allen’s “To Rome With Love” (June 22) a fighting chance. Here is my summer movie Top 10 list and my Top 10 summer box office predictions (release dates subject to change):
Movies to see (by date):
- “The Avengers” (May 4) — Superheroes unite! What could be better?
- “Men in Black 3” (May 25) — Time travel and Tommy Lee (… Jones that is) matched with Josh Brolin’s amazing impersonation as the younger Agent K.
- “Prometheus” (June 8) — Director Ridley Scott returns to sci-fi with an all star cast and “Alien” subject matter.
- “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” (June 8) — An animated animal fest for the children … and for laughs.
- “Brave” (June 22) — This Scotland tale continues the Disney/Pixar summer movie tradition.
- “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” (June 22) — Steve Carell and Keira Knightley find comedy, drama and romance.
- “The Dark Knight Rises” (July 20) – Batman’s curtain closes for Christopher Nolan’s film trilogy.
- “The Bourne Legacy” (Aug. 3) — Jeremy Renner and the returning supporting cast continue this strong series.
- “Total Recall” (Aug. 3) — Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale and Jessical Biel will shine with the meaty plot and amazing direction from Len Wiseman (“Live Free or Die Hard”).
- “Hope Springs” (Aug. 10) — Steve Carell again as a relationship guru with married couple Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep attending his weekend seminar.
Box office winners (by $$$):
- Top Three: “The Dark Knight Rises,” “The Avengers” and “Prometheus”
- “Ice Age: Continental Drift” (July 13) — The all-star voice cast returns with new additions, including Jennifer Lopez, as this animated film series hits its fourth installment.
- “The Amazing Spider-Man” (July 3) — The web slinger reboots again, but Sam Raimi’s trilogy will be tough to top.
- “Men in Black 3”
- “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted”
- “Battleship” (May 18) — Naval battle board game combined with giant alien mechs for entertainment that makes things go boom! An early slot will help grab more dough from moviegoers before they get that action movie fatigue.
- “The Bourne Legacy”