Thursday, January 28

Top 11 Superhero Movies

Superhero movies are all the rage these days. We're getting more comic book adaptations  than we are pretty much anything else. We've got several reboots in the works (Superman, Spider-Man exec), many sequels (untitled Batman 3, Iron Man 2, exec), and...just too many to count. So I'm going to list off my 11 favorite Superhero movies ever.


11. Superman Returns - While no where nearly as good as the original two starring Christopher Reeves, this is a strong enough movie in it's own right. The special effects are amazing, especially in the airplane scene. This movie wisely ignores the existence of Superman 3 and 4, and instead says that Superman left Earth for a while and has returned. He finds that the world has moved on without him. What follows is a rather dramatic movie, although perhaps too dramatic at times. Kevin Spacey is awesome as Lex Luthor, however Brandon Routh and Kate Bosworth look too young as Superman and Lois Lane. Overall, a strong movie, even if it's not the strongest Superman movie ever.





10. Batman Begins - After the abomination known as Batman and Robin, Batman took an eight-year break before rebooting with "Batman Begins". This movie reminded us how awesome Batman could be. It also told us how he became batman to begin with. The movie contains a dark, gripping storyline that successfully juggles three villains. If I have any complaints about this movie, it's that the camera is often too close to the action, making it hard to see what's going on. Also, it feels more like two movies than one, as the first half shows Bruce Wayne undergoing ninja training, the second half shows him becoming batman and saving Gotham City. Otherwise, an awesome movie that reminded us how cool batman can be.


9. Spider-Man 2 - One of the rare cases where a sequel is better than the original. Now that the Spider-Man character is firmly established, this movie explores more about how being Spider-Man affects Peter Parker. The movie also has one of Spider-Man's most dangerous enemies. Darker and more serious than the original, and also more action-packed. This movie does suffer however, from an anti-climatic ending. Overall, a great Spider-Man movie. Now if only Spider-Man 3 didn't ruin the trilogy.


8. The Incredibles - One word, Pixar! The Incredibles is about a family of superheroes that grow closer together when they fight crime together. This movie is packed with laughs, deep characters, and some pretty good action for a family friendly film. Like all Pixar movies, you really care about the characters. I have no complaints about this one.


7. Batman (1980's) - This Tim Burton directed movie is very comparable to "The Dark Knight". For one thing, their both really dark. The Joker is the main villain in both movies, and Harvey Dent at least makes an appearence in both as well. They also have some major differences. For one thing, this is the only portrayal of the Joker that actually gives him a name - Jack Napier. Jack Napier happens to be the man who killed Bruce's parents. This creates a very interesting dynamic between Batman and the Joker. There's also more mystery behind Batman in this movie compared to the recent reboot, and lots of people compare this to the deeply analyzed version in "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight". Also, Jack Nicolson is awesome as the Joker.


6. The Watchmen - I never read the graphic novel this was based on. Even so, I loved this movie. It contains one of the deepest stories I've ever experienced. Every single character is well developed, and everything comes together at the end. The story, originally written in the 1980's, is a work of genius. It's an alternate timeline of the cold war where superheroes exist. Not really sure what else to say about this one, other than of all the movies on this list, this is definately the least family friendly.


5. Iron Man - This one was a surprise to me. Before seeing it, I had absolutely no interest in Iron Man. After seeing it, well...it was awesome. After you see him selling weapons to military officials, he is captured by terrorists. During his captivity, he realizes that all these weapons his company has created only ends up being in the arms of the terrorists themselves. After he escapes, he builds himself the most awesome bionic suit ever. He uses this suit to rid the world of the weapons his own company has developed. He also realizes what's truely important to him. Overall, a very good movie, and I look forward to Iron Man 2.


4. X-Men 2 - Made by the director of Superman Returns, but this is by far the better movie of the two. This movie takes everything that was good about the first X-men movie and makes it better. The story is more epic, the characters are further developed, and the action is just awesome. This time round, all the mutants are working together against a common enemy, Striker. Striker wants to kill all of the mutants in the world, and he has the means to do so. This movie somehow juggles fourteen major characters from the X-men comics, and for the most part, develop them. While Cyclops, Deathstrike, and Cyclops feel a bit wasted, everyone else has adequate screentime. Again, too bad they had to mess everything up with X-Men 3.

2 and 3. Superman: The Movie and Superman 2 - It was actually very hard for me to pick between these two. Because of that, I'll just list them as a tie. Both starring Christopher Reeves as Superman, these movies are a strong example of what a superhero movie should be. Their both family friendly as well, which is a plus. The first movie starts with the destruction of Krypton, and quickly plays through a number of events in Clark Kent's life growing up. It explains Superman's origins very well without feeling too long. The first time Superman shows up as a hero is probably the best superhero movie moment I've ever seen. Long story short, he pwns criminals royally. Gene Hackman is great in both movies as Lex Luthor as well. In Superman 2, Superman must face off against three Kryptonian criminals, all with the same powers he has. The big fight between the Kryptonians is epic. Both movies have very impressive visual effects for their time. I haven't yet seen the Richard Donnor cut of Superman 2, but I hope to see it soon. Either way, I'd recommend either of these movies to pretty much anyone.


1. The Dark Knight - This movie is friggin awesome, nuff' said.

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