One is the first chapter in an epic trilogy based on the first of three massive novels set in Middle-earth, the fictional world created by author J.R.R. Tolkien. The other is the first chapter in an epic trilogy based on a 100-page children’s book set in that same world (with additional material plundered from Tolkien’s appendices to his work, and from the screenwriters’ imaginations). Ultimately, they are epic films about high adventure, fantastical creatures, magic, swordplay, camaraderie, and magnificent New Zealand landscapes. Eleven years separate their theatrical releases; did that time allow Peter Jackson to craft a superior new adventure, or just continue to prove that the first movie in a franchise is often the best? Step into the Reel Rumbles ring and find out as we pit The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring vs. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
As Marvel Studios begins their big push to the 2012 release of The Avengers, their films are increasingly taking on more of a soap-opera-like continuity between them. This serialization might be a little aggravating, but so far, it’s not keeping the films from being enjoyable in their own right (at least for the most part).
Still, comic book superhero films in general (and Marvel films in particular) are only becoming more prevalent nowadays. This year, we’ll see the X-Men prequel, X-Men: First Class. And, only five years after the hit-and-miss (mostly miss) Spider-Man 3, the webslinger will be getting his very own shiny reboot in 2012.
But in The Avengers is Marvel’s juggernaut, and before it brings together Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, it has to introduce more members of its roster in their very own films. It can be a little exhausting trying to keep up with these Avengers, so if we really only want to check out one Marvel movie this summer, which should it be? With that question in mind, Flickchart‘s Reel Rumbles take on a slightly different form as we present: Pre-Rumbles: Thor vs. Captain America: The First Avenger.
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