Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Who Decides: Comic Book Movies

So I have a nice short list of favorite comic book movies. I know there are a lot, but these four really do it for me. Now to be honest, I haven't seen the Iron Man movies yet, I know what is wrong with me. I have seen the 2 different Hulks, the X-Men trilogy, Daredevil, the Punisher (all 3 of them), and all of the Batman movies. So I have seen my fair share of them.

Now first off, as I say on my profile, the movies need to stick to the comics. I didn't see the X-Men in the theaters because the team was all wrong and the suits? What was up with them? Speaking of costumes, to this day, I still haven't seen Spider-Man 3 because how hard is it to get the black suit right? They dropped the ball there, I won't talk about the emo Parker I keep hearing about. So onto the list.

4. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - now I didn't see this in the theaters because I heard they made Galactus into a cloud instead of a giant robot. I guess since he was never seen it is ok. But the movie itself is pretty solid. The Fantastic Four have always been a more light hearted more family oriented comic book and I think they did it here. The cast is perfect. Jessice Alba is the weakest link on the cast. Reed, Ben, and Johnny Storm come to life on the screen just the way you always imagined they would as you read the comics growing up. It's a shame to see Chris Evans moving onto Captain America because he nails Johnny Storm and it will be hard for me to forget him in this role.


3. Superman 2: The Richard Donner Cut - I just reviewed this film a few weeks ago, so if you want a really detailed review of it go HERE. I can't add much to that review. It is a great movie and the RD Cut makes it so much better.


2. Spider-Man 2 - This should be number one. I'm actually not taking off any points for the black costume either. It is perfection. The movie does a great job of establishing Peter and all of his troubles and trying to balance a love life, school, family and friends, and Spider-Man. It's better than the first because it doesn't have that ridiculous Green Goblin mask either...what was up with that thing? Doctor Octopus is perfect. I can't really explain his performance unless you have read the comics. And the whole movie is full of memorable scenes. How about the train scene where Peter is unmasked and all of the people on the train help him out and not worry about who he is?

Or the ending when Peter is unmasked in front of Mary Jane...classic. The music the drama is perfect.


1. Batman (1989) - while the movie itself might not be as strong as Spider-Man 2, it is better than the first Spider-Man. This movie is number one for the lasting effect it had on movies and tv. First off the movie itself, it was good. Keaton was great as Batman. Remember this was Beetle Juice. I was worried even as a 6th grader that this would be like the 60's Batman. Nicholson does a great job as the Joker. I won't get into the whole Nicholson vs. Ledger for the best Joker. Let's just say he took Cesar Romero's Joker and intensified him. It wasn't an origin movie, I'm looking at you Batman Begins, but it did have just the right amount of flashbacks to refresh an already known story. The ending was also shocking. You saw the death of a major villain. Huh? No Arkham? It was shocking.

As far as the lasting effects, remember this was the first comic book movie since the horror that was Superman IV. Fans were unsure as to the seriousness of the movie. Would it be another CF or would it be like Superman I and II? Would it be like the 60's tv show or Year One? It brought back comic book movies. The hype surrounding this movie was nothing like I had ever seen or have seen since. 20/20 was running segments on Batman. The hype machine was in full effect back then. Turn on the tv and you would hear about Danny Elfman's soundtrack, Prince's Bat Dance song, the merchandise available, or the actors themselves talking about their roles.

What else? How about the entire DC Animated Universe got its start because of this movie. That's right. While Batman was getting ready for release, Bruce Timm started work on Batman: The Animated Series. The basis of the show was the Tim Burton Gotham City. A darker city and darker Batman. It was great.

The show itself was a hit and even after the flop of Batman & Robin, the DCAU kept going. It gave us Superman, Batman Beyond, Justice League, and finally Justice League Unlimited. The writing was always top notch. Stories for JLU came from previous stories in Batman. Harley Quinn? She was born in the Batman series before the comics. The biggest shocker would be the length this universe lasted. From 1992 until 2006...that's 14 years! All because of the success of Batman.


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