WEEKLY TOP TEN- #9
MY FAVORITE SUPERHERO MOVIES!
Well this has been a long time coming.
When deciding to come up with possible ideas for weekly top tens. A list of my favorite superheroes was something I always wanted to publish on my blog. Superheroes are in right now, they are our generations black and white gangster noirs, or our cowboy and Indian movies. About 3 to 4 of them are released every year now. For being a lifelong fan of comics, I love that these characters are on the big screen so often, and especially in the last 5 or so years, they are being treated with the respect they deserve. There have been bad examples, good examples and of course great examples. The following ten examples are 10 movies I feel best represent the genre at this moment. It is a list I am very proud of and I am sure you'll agree that these are some of the genre's gems.
10. Spawn (1997)
I hope you enjoy some of your superheroes edgy and angst-ridden, because that's exactly what you get with "Spawn." One of the first examples of a modern comic superheroes, "Spawn" was awesome to watch. When you look at the effects of the late 90's to today, obviously they don't compare, but they did look pretty solid for the times in this movie. Johhn Leguizamo has never seemed more alive than as Clown and I think Michael Jai White is a diamond in the rough and he unleashes epic fury in this motion picture.
9. Mystery Men (1999)
I know I just wrote about this last week, but there is no doubt that I was passionate about writing about it for a reason. I love it when high-concepts and comedy collide in a big way. I am an avid fan of Ben Stiller and I think this is one of his finest and misunderstood performances of his career. I love how offbeat it is, and I love that it plays with traditional comic book tropes with ease. This may not have been on many peoples radars back in the 1999, but as more people rediscover now, they'll realize the classic this film truly is.
8. X2: X-Men United (2003)
Proof that writer/director Bryan Singer should have had a hand in ever X-Men related film ever made, "X2" is pure magic. Its huge pop fun that still hits my sweet spot ten years later. The film was one of the first examples of a director being able to juggle multiple characters and multiple storytelling. Yes "Spiderman 3" haters, it CAN be done. All of the things that didn't work in the first X-Men movie worked in this sequel, everything that did work in the first X-Men film flourished in the sequel. What more could a fan ask for?
7. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
As Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase One came to a close, they saved the two best for last. All I can say is God bless Chris Evans. It was originally announced that Evans had won the Captain role, I was hesitant. I was not a fan of Evans at all and I thought he was about to ruin another beloved Marvel property. But somehow he really captured the true essence of Steve Rodgers and I couldn't be happier that he did it so well. Aside from Evans great performance, the whole movie feels like a grand adventure. Something for all ages and it works in huge ways.
6. Kick-Ass (2010)
Raw, raunchy and rowdy, "Kick-Ass" is a superhero movie that is NOT for everyone. But I can't help but get wrapped up in it every time I watch it. I love that we have a superhero movie that will make the audience laugh out loud while also making them cover their eyes in terror. Aaron Taylor-Johnson was a real discovery and so was Chloe Mortez and this is a movie where Nicolas Cage could really let loose of his "Crazy Cage" persona. I can't wait for the sequel later this year!
5. Unbreakable (2000)
Yes folks its true, M. Night Shyamalan's second film is a superhero movie in disguise. Quentin Tarantino said it best in his top 20 favorite films from 1992-Today, this is essentially the story of Superman, who grew up not knowing he was Superman. Its a film that works in unexpected ways and it blew my mind completely. Its a real shame that Shyamalan can't make another film that lives up to his early work, and I get very wary when he talks about making a sequel to this movie. But as this film stands now, its something that trips my trigger and is something I have loved for a long time.
4. The Incredibles (2004)
When I saw this in a packed theater back in 2004, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. But somehow Pixar has a talent for doing that all the time. I am so happy that Pixar decided to tackle the superhero genre, because we are richer for it. There is big action, big laughs and big emotion all throughout this film. And it all works so well that this movie makes me swoon. The voice talent is incredible, and the animation is still very well received after almost ten years.
3. Spiderman 2 (2004)
To me, what makes "Spiderman 2" so special is that it successfully showcases what most superhero movies haven't: the social, mental and psychological toll of being a superhero. It's gut-wrenching to watch how Peter Parker loses the women he loves, unable to keep a steady job, failing classes, losing his best friend, watch as his beloved Aunt May falls on tight financial time. Add risking your life every night and its enough to cause a heart attack. Tobey McGuire was able to capture Parker's personality spot on, in ways I feel Andrew Garfield hasn't yet. Oh, and the metro scene is still one of the most breathtaking scenes in all of superhero movies, yep I said it.
2. The Avengers (2012)
This is was everything I hoped it would be and more. That is why it rests so high on this list. This was an idea that I never thought could ever come to fruition. When I heard Marvel was actually going to go there, I geeked about it for five years. It felt so surreal sitting in the theater, watching this movie unfold. But I left with a big smile with tears rushing down my face. "The Avengers" was a comic book that literally came to life. It was funny but never cheesy. It had action but it was never overly violent. It was a visual feast, but it still had a heart and soul story-wise. The huge long pan highlighting each hero and their power is one of the best moments in all of movies. I want an Avengers movie every year. And I want all of them to be as epic as this.
1. The Dark Knight (2008)
I have written hundreds and hundreds of words of my love for this movie. And I think time will continue to tell just how great a movie it really is. Everybody saw this, and everybody has an opinion about it. But what makes this movie so special is that it is more than a superhero movie. Somehow, it became more than just a superhero movie. It broke down the rules of a superhero movie and changed the landscape for ever. Nolan set the bar so high that I can't imagine another film knocking this off its pedestal. (I mean, Nolan's threequel didn't even come close to this.) I love Batman as a character, and I had high hopes that this would be good. And I was so happy that it was so good. But this movie isn't just a superhero movie, it is important and essential to cinematic history. And I am not going to tap dance around this anymore.
"The Dark Knight" was the best film of the 2000's to tackle 9/11 anxiety in popular culture. This is a movie about living in a world of fear, this is about discovering that the world doesn't play by the same rules it once did. This is a movie about calculated moral decisions and the film really makes us examine ourselves and our culture. I think anybody could sit down, pop this movie in and write a great ethics, morality or even pop culture effects on social studies papers. In this movie, Batman wanted to inspire, but he never considered himself a hero. He wanted someone like Harvey Dent to come and lead the city to a moral salvation. He was ready to hang up the cape and lead a "normal" life once Dent really got going. Then a nameless psychopath in clown make-up appears and everything changes. He challenges the moral landscape of an entire city, he calls out the city for being hypocrites. He exposes the people's vengeful, paranoid, selfish sides of all human beings, and makes an entire city scared of itself. He attacks suddenly then vanishes without a trace. He takes the "White Knight" in Harvey Dent and turns him into a shadow of himself, a man full of anger and suspicion and Dent is never the same again. To top it all off, he firmly rests all of this mayhem on the shoulders of a man that wanted to change the city for the better. I don't think I need to discuss how all of this parallels to recent historical events.
"The Dark Knight" is something I don't think we'll ever see again, it is truly lasting the test of time. That is why its my favorite superhero movie ever.
So that's my top ten, what are your favorite superhero movies?