Franchises have never had it so good. Next year, there are 12 major franchise installments coming out in the cinema- sequels from big hitters, like old giants Star Wars and young up-and-comers Hunger Games, reboots from Mad Max and Jurassic Park (ish), and another installment in an endless set from James Bond or Fast and Furious (now with increased brevity, as simply ‘Furious 7’). Plus, the endless Marvel machine judders on with Avengers 2.
Critical opinions are divided. Sure, some have been well-received, like the Marvel series as a whole. But others- perhaps rightly- reject what they see as a colonization of the multiplexes by loud, brash and boring blockbusters. Aside from the aesthetic problems presented by the films, another problem remains: how are you to keep track of what’s showing when?
The good folk at AP2HYC – namely editor David Molofsky-Laloo- have proposed a great solution: a calendar including release dates pre-printed (along with other noteworthy dates- like Marty McFly arriving in Hill Valley on October 21st, 2015!). At first, the idea for the calendar was based on making their monthly newsletter more interesting: ‘Originally, the idea was basically to just do the digital version, but without the artwork. I then realised that a physical calendar would be even cooler, and it basically grew out of that.’
The calendar artwork he’s referring to, by the way, is exclusively parodies of those big franchise films, created by independent British comic artists- in an attempt to correct the balance of power a little! ‘The artists are all people whose work we’ve reviewed on AP2HYC’, explains David. ‘I’d met most of them in person at comic cons and knew that they would have the right kind of humour for this kind of thing. I picked Matt Rooke very early on because I knew that his Apes ‘n’ Capes would make for a hilarious parody of Fast and Furious.’
Rooke’s artwork is the perfect example- the fact that his ‘Vin Biodiesel’ and ‘Paul Climber’ are apes lampoons something we all know about the relative intelligence of those movies. Likewise, Andy Clift’s teddy bear Avengers poster has its tongue in cheek positioning Marvel’s best-selling characters/soon-to-be action figures as toys.
The calendar’s ready for a Christmas release and the Kickstarter’s finishing in two days, so be quick if you want to stay ahead of the crowded blockbuster field this year. And which of the movies is David most looking forward to?
‘Avengers: Age of Ultron, especially now that I’ve seen the trailer. I’d say Ant-Man and Star Wars Episode VII tied for second after that, and then Jurassic World just from sheer curiosity.’ Avengers, Star Wars and Jurassic Park- what ScreenGeek couldn’t get behind that?