Monday, May 16, 2011
Best and Worst Superhero Movies
With the success of Kenneth Branagh's Thor and the excitement over the new X-Men, Spiderman, Green Lantern and Captain America movies coming to an African bootlegger's spread out sheet on Fulton St. very soon, let's add to the hype overkill and look at the greatest and stupidest Superhero movies of all time.
Compared to newer superhero flicks, this one seems a little dated. But Tim Burton set the stage for the more sophisticated big budget blockbuster comic book movies, and that Batman logo is still one of the cooler posters.
Spiderman 1 & 2:
Maybe the first superhero movie to explore the psychology of why someone would become a superhero, and also featured some great effects.
Batman Begins and The Dark Knight:The gold standard in comic book movies, the first movie to almost get you to believe that a guy would put on a funny suit and jump around beating up bad guys (I especially like the scenes where Bruce Wayne is testing out different costume technology) and featured some great set pieces and acting (as far as superhero movies go).
The first X-men was a very solid film, not as bloated with mutant shenanigans as the next couple of X-movies. Not as much character development as the ones I previously mentioned, but very good nonetheless.
Brought Robert Downey Jr. back to superstardom (maybe bigger than he ever was pre-drugs) and Tony Stark was a cool, fun playboy alternative to Bruce Wayne's solemn, rich but miserable hero.
The Hulk (both versions):
Brokeback Mountain director Ang Lee didn't get much right with his version of the big green guy, but the next version with Ed Norton as an ornery Bruce Banner wasn't much better. The cartoonish Hulk (although he probably cost as much as the GDP of many small countries) actually looked worse than the original Lou Ferrigno hulk of the 70s.
Hard to find anything good in this piece of trash. Ben Affleck is even less believable as a superhero than he is as a South Bahston tough guy. Even Matt Murdock could see this was a bad idea from the jump.
The Punisher (80's version):
Dolph Lundgren grunted his way through this 80's adaptation of Marvel's most violent character. Dolph couldn't act his way out of a wet paper bag, but the biggest mistake in this whole mess might be the decision to leave the iconic Punisher Skull off his chest.
The poster boy for shitty sequel: convoluted plot that was probably rewritten by 5 different screen writers, one too many villains crammed in, and an overall boring movie that looks like it was the obligatory third film in the contract of almost everyone involved.
A blemish on Christopher Reeve's resume (may he rest in peace), thankfully not too many people remember much about this one except that it was God awful, Richard Pryor was in it, and it was referenced in "Office Space".
Batman and Robin:
Wacky director Joel Shumacher has admitted that he intentionally played up the homoerotic nature of the relationship between Batman and Robin, so you weren't the only one reminded of Ace and Gary every time there was a close up of Bat nipple or crotch. Thank God Christopher Nolan revived this franchise, scrubbing away the camp and overall goofyness that made this movie such an unwatchable turd. Tim Burton had ratcheted up the camp value a little in Batman Returns, but this looked like a gay fever dream.
We'll keep our hopes up that the upcoming Spiderman reboot and Avengers film are more like the first movies on this list than the later ones. If I missed any, let it be known, geeks.