Monday, July 30, 2012

Free Swims Cinematic Super Hero Showdown 2012 Edition

I did a top 20 Super Hero Movie countdown back in May of 2008, Top 20 Super Hero Movies ,and after seeing TDKR I felt like updating my list....
 Over the past couple years Hollywood has been churning out alot of Super Hero movies, some truly memorable ones and other we'd like to forget. I vaguely remember seeing Superman I in the theaters as a child and being completely blown away when Christopher Reeve flew over the Manhattan skyline, the advancement of CGI has taken the fantastic feats Super Hero's do in comics and bring them to the silver screen, but the greatest special effects can't help a weak story or poor acting.


Starting with the biggest pile of super crap I'll list my top 30+1 Super Hero movies that I've seen on the silver screen. 


31. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
This movie just goes to show how far a great franchise can fall when greed overcomes! Such a sad fall from grace...
















30. Green Lantern
First off, let say I think Ryan Reynolds is a good actor, and this was not the Super Hero movie for him. If the Deadpool movie ever gets out of development hell he has to get the part!
Now onto Green Lantern....I will say the female co star was smoking hot, and the special effects for parallax was decent in some parts....
That's pretty much it :/
the aliens from the Green Lantern Corps seemed like rejects from the Star Wars prequels.
It took me two tries to make it thru this movie....that's all I have to say. If you have to see it don't spend real money to do so coughinterwebzcoughcough








39. Ang Lee's Hulk
Eric Bana you choose unwisely....
I still can't get over those scenes where the hulk bounced across miles of desert to get somewhere, uggh, green poop!
After seeing the trailer for Ed Nortons The Incredible Hulk I think this franchise may be salvageable. I hope there's no super bouncing Hulk!












28. Judge Dredd
I saw this one with my friend CJ, Judge Dredd isn't one of the mainstream super heroes, much like Dare Devil and Hellboy, so this movie attracted two types, the fans of the comic and those who were fans of 80's action star Sly Stallone. When this came out movie producers were still looking for larger than life actors to fill the boots of super hero's like Stallone, Ahnold and Dolf Lungren. I think this movie would've been better with a lesser known actor playing Dredd. Interesting character, poor translation to film.









27. Superman III
The poster really says it all...doesn't it? The scene in the diner with evil superman was great though...it really tackled the theme of every super hero's battle with their "dark side", this one did it just a little worse than Spiderman III.














26. Dare Devil
Ben Afleck...is there nothing he can't do?! Apparently Super Hero movies...
After watching this snooze fest I wished I was blind too!
Colin Farrel as Bullseye, Michael Clark Dunkan as Kingpin and Jennifer Garner as Elektra, the big names are there what happened? Not much, this movie was highly forgettable and boringly predictable.
Dare Devil never felt much like a Super Hero movie, just a bunch of actors playing super hero...meh.










25. Superman Returns
Up in the sky! It's a bird, it's a plane, no it's a deadbeat dad from Krypton! That was one hell of a kiss Kal El! Great, Bryan Singer is going to give us a fresh new vision for the Man of Steel for the twenty first century....maybe not. This Superman stands for truth, justice and avoiding alimony checks! WHAT!? Kevin Spacey as Lex Luther cool! Do we really need to know how he got all his wealth, do we really need Lex Luther AGAIN? Isn't there anybody else Superman could've fought? At least we find out why Cyclops didn't get a proper funeral at Xaviers crib now!
So I spent $9.75 for a polished retcon, thanks alot!







24. X Men III
Here's the case of Good-Better-Ooops.


I mean c'mon Bryan Singer hands the blue prints to Brett Ratner, the formula for success is right there and yet....
The movie wasn't a complete failure, I thought the Dark Pheonix was badass, Famke Jansen can be beautiful and horribly scary at the same time! Ian McKellan did a great job with Magnetto throughout the series, and Hugh Jackman IS Wolverine, but poor James Marsden, Cyclops ends up so pussywipped he dies at a lake and hardly gets mentioned there after!
And if your gonna kill off a central character like Charles "wheels" Xavier, have the balls to stick with your decision.





23. Spiderman III
This movie made $336,530,303 at the box office last year! Don't believe me? http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=2007&p=.htm
It was #1, how could it be all the way down here at #13!?
I'm willing to bet anyone reading this dropped $9.75 to see this OVERHYPED mess last summer. Another classic example of a great franchise hitting sequelitis, not only that but the total misleading ad campaign, everyone and they're aunt thought Venom was gonna be the marqee villain! No, we got Sandman, and he wasn't very evil,he was a regretful thug trying to do the right thing for his kid but seemed to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Venom should've either been left for Spidey IV or made the main and ONLY villain. This movie failed to even come close to living up to the hype, too much was attempted too little was achieved.



22. Hellboy II: The Golden Army


















21. Superman II

Hey where's Richard Donner? Who's this Richard Lester guy?
What was intended to be a continuation from the first film ended up as the first sequel in an abysmal downward spiral of Kryptonian fecal matter. If you want to see Supes II as it SHOULD'VE BEEN do yourself a favor and pick up the Richard Donner cut.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superman_II:_The_Richard_Donner_Cut











20. X Men Origins: Wolverine
Dysfunctional family, sibling rivalry, obesity, gambling, father/son issues, Will I Am getting a spinal tap, crappy CG adamantium claws, naked Hugh Jackman running around, killing defenseless old people, totally botched continuity....all forgiveable....


 Absolute failure realizing the Dead Pool character......JIHAD!!!!











19. Thor
When ever a movie says "from the studio/ producers/ directors that brought you (......)" that's never a good sign. 
But this movie wasn't that bad....
Thor felt more like a good fantasy movie than a Marvel super hero movie to me, and unlike Iron Man it didn't feel like an origins movie either. I enjoyed Thor and can confirm he is no homo in this movie, but I wouldn't spend the money to buy it when it releases on Blu Ray & DVD.  My review here: Thor Review









18. Hellboy
Guillermo del Toro brings a lesser known comic book hero to the silver screen. Ron Pearlman was great as Hellboy, Abe Sapien was cool to see on the big screen, the makeup Pearlman sports in the movie was very impressive. Nazi's, a baby from hell, Rasputin and hell hounds, unlike Judge Dredd, Daredevil and the Punisher this movie was a great representation of the comic book character, I'm looking forward to the sequel, The Golden Army!











17. Spiderman
It certainly took the friendly neighborhood Spiderman a long enough time to hit the silver screen, but due to Spidey's acrobatic crime fighting style it was probably impossible to do without the power of CG. I enjoyed the origins story it was funny seeing him discover his new powers, Rosemary Harris as Aunt May was great, I really think she was terrific. And she Shined even brighter in Spidey II. Tobey Maguire was ok as Peter Parker and Kirsten Dunst did a commendable job as Mary Jane.
The weak link in this movie was Willem DaFoe, I loved him in Platoon, but his performance in Spiderman went from creepy to downright clownish as the Green Goblin. That helmet was awful!
It's understandable why Spiderman did so well.....everyone knows Spiderman!

Fun but not epic....

16. The Crow
I remember seeing this back when I was in college and thinking, "Why couldn't the batman movies be this awesome?"
Brandon Lee....son of Bruce Lee as a reincarnated vigilante angel! C'mon the movie is awesome some start to finish, amazing atmosphere, all Goth, with the title song from The Cure....which I was also a big fan of! 
A very cool movie about death and rebirth and then there's that whole Brandon Lee dying during filming a scene that's some crazy shit!
I remember my friends and I going frame by frame to find the moment he was shot...
FIRE IT UP!!!





15. Blade
When was the last vampire movie that made bloodsuckers so cool!? Blade was fresh and the hero was badass, Wesley Snipes was perfectly cast for the role, and Stephen Dorff as Deacon frost was a great choice also, the two played off each other too well. The overall story may have been a little hokey but it was fascinating to watch and goth kids everywhere rejoiced as this Superhero flick made vampires the in crowd.
The only low point in the movie for me was the end of the fight between Blade and Deacon Frost....the CGI effects where poor, the thing looked like a bubbling blood clot. Otherwise Blade was well worth the admission price.







14. Iron Man 2
Everyone said Iron man 2, hell yeah! This movie is gonna be twice as good as the first!
Well it was bigger and had more action and Olivia Munn and epic indy car crashes but it really didn't seem better than the original in the end. It was fun but I wasn't feeling the Tony Stark charisma in IM2 like in The Avengers. And the final battle against Whiplash was very underwhelming.
A good sequel, larger scale, fun.....nothing epic like Alien to Aliens but a solid summer block buster experience. 









13. X Men First Class
Michael Ironside commanding a battleship!!
Best Movie Evah
















12. Blade II

Guillermo Del Toro (Hell Boy) took the best parts of the first and added more blood, more gore, and more horror but was able to retain the cooler aspects of the Vampire lifestyle in the 21st century. Is the enemy of my enemy my friend or enemy...Blade teams up with the Bloodpack, a formidable squad trained to hunt down Blade but find themselves allied against a new strain of vampire.
As cool as Deacon Frost was he seemed like a vampire technophile compared to Nomak, son of Vamp lord Damaskinos. Namak may come from vamp royalty but he ain't no pushover. The fight scenes were crazy eye candy!
Guillermo Del Toro made the second instalment of the series the "Empire Strikes Back" of the Blade trilogy!




11. Captain America
I was really surprised by Captain America, the first trailers didn't really sell this movie too well, the fan made one was pure gold though. 
Captain America was a very entertaining movie with a superb cast and awesome action and Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull! 
Chris Evans is perfect as Steve Rogers / Captain America.
Check out my Captain America Review .










10. X-Men
It's tough enough to do an origins story for one Superhero, Bryan Singer attempts to introduce 6 hero's and 4 villans...not an easy task, just ask Sam Ramiri about Spiderman3! X Men accomplishes this task pretty well, for Joe-movie-goer who never read one X Men comic they were able to differentiate all the different characters,their abilities, who's good, and bad. Wolverine and Rogue are really the only two character's who's origin is touched upon and Wolverine's continues through to the second movie.
Ian McKellan as Magnetto took some getting used to, Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier was a perfect casting in my opinion.
Lite on action, and a rather silly story X Men accomplishes the difficult task of introducing so many different super hero's.
Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) steals most scenes and is the marquee character, which isn't a bad thing.


9. Batman
Tim Burton takes the Dark Knight and puts his trademark atmosphere into Gotham City, Jack Nicholson creates a Joker that all others are compared to, I can't wait to see where Heath Ledger takes the Joker in the upcoming TDK! Michael Keaton does a good job as Bruce Wayne/Batman, but any scene Nicholson was in he stole the spotlight.
Burton's vision of Gotham was great but his Batman was not as dark as his comic version. Batman unlike most super heros is more of an anti hero as he is more akin to a mercenary.










8. The Dark Knight Rises
The third and final chapter in Christopher Nolans Dark Knight trilogy was good, the movie mirrored  the occupy wall street protests going in NYC. Bane represented the 99% (the lowest common denominator)  ....the people's champion during batman's absence. 
Watching TDKR was similar to having the last 50 pieces in a 1000 piece puzzle, you can see what the picture is gonna be but some parts haven't been figured out yet.
I'm glad Nolan choose Bane as one of Batman's final villains, he's well enough known without being mainstream and gave Nolan room to mold him to fit in this trilogies realm. Tom Hardy as Bane, Cillan Murphy as Dr. Johnathan Crane, Joseph Gordon Levitt as Detective John Blake...all members of team Nolan did fantastic jobs with their roles.  The highlight for me was Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate....her little secret was fantastic! Ya gotta always watch out for that slow blade!
A respectable conclusion to a fantastic trilogy for a comic book super hero!



7. The Dark Knight
Why so Serious?
Before TDK came out I thought Nicholson's Joker would be the one all other's would be compared to, I was wrong Heath Ledger's (RIP) Joker is the most powerful and disturbing villain in any super hero movie I've ever seen, money, power, infamy, Ledgers Joker doesn't care about any of that he is the epitome of chaos. Aaron Eckhart does a great job as Harvey Dent/Two Face











6. Iron Man
After seeing this movie I decided to do this list, Iron Man was a fun ride! My review can be read here:
Simply put Robert Downey Jr. was a great cast for Tony Stark, as far as an origins movie I think it was slightly better than Spider Man 1, Jeff Bridges was a better villain than Willem Dafoe, and Iron Monger was so much better than the Green Goblin ugghh that mask was soooo stoopid! Gwyenth Paltrow's Pepper Potts was as good as Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane, but I like Pepper Potts character a bit more. Iron Man was definitely worth the $10 a ticket...dam movie tickets are getting so dam expensive, and the theaters for the most part aren't reflecting the high prices in their quality....but that's another discussion.






5. X Men 2
Lets get the proverbial ball rolling! With the origins stuff out of the way more or less lets take these mutants to the next level. I wasn't to crazy about Ian McKellan's Magnetto in the first movie but he grew on me in each consecutive sequel. X2 started out with an attack on the president and set the stage for what was hinted at in the first movie. Humanity's fear of the unknown and the atrocities we do to each other because of our fears.
X2 unites the 2 mutant sides against the humans, this angle was also done in Blade 2...it worked well in both movies.
X2 also introduces Nightcrawler and Lady Deathstrike to the cast of mutants, both visually impressive in their own way, Nightcrawlers makeup is very impressive, LDS beautiful yet deadly and the fight between her and wolverine was great! X2 adds more action without sacraficing the over arching story. A definate improvement over the first X Men film.



4. Spiderman II
What was that line from Scream 2? Oh yeah, "sequels suck", this doesn't seem to be the case for some of our super hero's...at least for the second sequel.
Like Blade and X2, Spidey hit the floor running in his sequel, unlike those two, Spiderman had to fight the good fight alone, but when Peter Parker resolved his persona issues he found himself facing the visually impressive Doctor Octopus. Played by Alfred Molina, he really did an amazing job with the villan. This movie had people cheering when Spiderman fought Doc Oc.
Spiderman 2 really captured the essence of the comic book character, every single character in the movie seemed like they were torn straight from the comic book! Great Super Hero, terrible delivery boy lol.





3. Batman Begins
Best origins story for any super hero so far, tied with Spidey 2 for best authentic representation of the character from it's comic book source material.
Why is this so much better than say Superman returns? Chris Nolan had an ORIGINAL vison, and didn't just polish up Burton's Batman. He also gave us a really unique villian instead of re-using the Joker again we got one of the franchises original villians, Ras Al Ghul and Sarecrow! Christian Bale is so much better as Bruce Wayne/Batman than Michael Keaton, George Clooney or Val Kilmer.
If the Joel Shumacher series left a bad taste in your mouth, Batman begins will be like a shot of Listerine!
Although this is the best representation of the comic book character, Batman Begins doesn't seem like a comic book story at all, absolutely worth having in your personal collection!




2. The Avengers

The avengers movie is best described as greater than the sum of it's parts, meaning as good as Iron Man 1 and 2, Captain America and Thor were The Avengers took all those awesome super heroes and amplified them to the power of greyskull the SUN!!
Super Fun Summer Super Hero Flick, Great Acting, Awesome Dialog, Special Special Effects   











1. Superman

When you mention any other actor who's done a super hero movie none more than Christopher Reeve embody the Hero they played more in my opinion. Sure Superman is dated and the special effects pale in comparison to newer super hero movies like Spiderman, but none have the heart and soul that this film had! One of my favorite scenes in any movie I've ever seen is when Phyllis Thaxter as Martha Kent walks out to Clark Kent in the wheat field, that scene is beautifully understated and yet full of so much emotion.
Christopher Reeve's Superman represented all that was great about America and all humanity regardless of what was happening in real life. When I saw this as child I believed, just as the poster said...
The music by Johnathan Williams was just as powerful as Superman. Gene Hackman's Lex Luthor might not have been a very powerful villan but his diabolcle plan was evil yet genious enough to qualify him for magna cum laude of evil villan school.
Superman remains a timeless American classic.