Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thursday Review #5: Top 10 Superhero Movies

A couple of weeks ago I reviewed "The Avengers" which I thought was OK but not great.  Which naturally got me thinking of what are the best superhero movies in my opinion.  My opinion doesn't matter much, but I'm going to do it anyway.  Here's the list:

  1. The Dark Knight
  2. Watchmen
  3. Iron Man
  4. Spider-Man
  5. Captain America
  6. Spider-Man 2
  7. X-Men
  8. Batman Begins
  9. Batman (1989)
  10. Darkman
Except for the top 2, the rest aren't necessarily in order.  There's not much difference in my mind between picking something 6th and picking something 7th.  So whatever.  I think probably the only surprise on there is "Darkman" at #10.  I'll acknowledge it's not a well-executed movie but I love the idea behind it and some of the cheesiness is fun too.  And you might say, "How can you put THAT in your Top 10 and not "The Avengers"?  I just can.  It's my list.

You'll notice there are 3 Batman movies on there, so I guess it's obvious which hero I like.  Or at least he has the best movies.  (Maybe I'd have to add a fourth after July 20.)  A lot of people would put "Superman" or "Superman II" on there but I thought those movies sucked.  No disrespect to the memory of Christopher Reeve but they were dumb, especially the whole "turning the Earth backwards really fast to go back in time" thing.  How lame.  If you're going to go back in time you need someone who has a magic eye that lets her see the past.  [You probably don't know what that refers to...yet.]  But I will admit "Superman" has the best theme song.  You can't beat John Williams.

Just for the heck of it I think I'll do the Bottom 10 next week. Stay tuned Tuesday for another Two-Fer...


  1. Cmon PT, Batman 89 at number nine? Jack Nicholson's Joker portrayal was nearly as good as Ledger's, and the movie was much darker. The only difference between the two was motivation. My biggest beef with Ledger's portrayal was that he wasn't Evil enough. Psychopathic, yes. Too understandable in motivation. Nicholson's portrayal oozed evil.

    I agree with with your assessment of the Superman films. As the superman movies were family films, that designation weakened their ability to provide that extra push.

    And I'm happy to see Darkman on your list. That anti-hero film was well done- surprisingly so.

    1. What weakened the 1989 Batman was the last third or so of the movie. The idea that the Joker killed Bruce Wayne's parents and so forth.

  2. I loved Darkman. That was the movie that made me pay attention to Liam Neeson. That movie probably deserves a re-make with a real budget.

    And there hasn't been a Superman movie worth watching, especially Returns. I want that 2 hours of my life back, and I got to see it for free!

    1. Ha, every time I watch "Darkman" I think about how to do a reboot. As soon as I get it figured out I need to find a way to contact Sam Raimi. Though because there are so many reboots every time I watch an 80s movie I wonder how to reboot it. The other one I really think could use a reboot is "Highlander." That's kind of a superhero movie isn't it? I mean they are superhuman.

      I didn't hate "Superman Returns" as much as some people. All around it was less dumb than the original ones. The big mistake was trying to tie it to movies that had been made over 20 years earlier. I mean what do you even call that, a mid-quel? From a marketing standpoint it was a terrible idea because you're trying to tie it to movies made before a large part of your target demographic (teenagers) had even been born. Anyway, maybe the reboot will be better. I assume anyway they're doing an actual reboot this time.

    2. I haven't watched it in a long time, but it was low budget, so it could probably do with a "real" treatment. It was one of those movies that really rose above its funding level.
      The same with Highlander, except they kind of ruined it with all of the horrible sequels.

      My main issues with Superman Returns were the kids and the fact that Singer went with what was basically the same plot as the first movie.

    3. I'm curious to know what they would have done with the whole Superman's illegitimate son thing if they had done a sequel. Maybe Superman, Lois, and the guy who played Cyclops would go on Maury Povich for a DNA test or something.

    4. They are planning a sequel. At least, they said they were. It was supposed to be part of their lead up to a Justice League movie. But, then, Routh wouldn't commit to a JLA movie and, then, wouldn't even come back for the sequel. Some guy from The Tudors has been cast as the new Superman last I heard.
      Of course, Bale also says he won't do a JLA movie and, although he said he wanted to do Batman, basically, forever, he now says he won't be coming back for a 4th one.

      Then there was the whole issue with Green Lantern which has also caused problems for a JLA movie.

    5. At this point it would make more sense for it to be a reboot than a sequel. I mean it'll have been 7 years by the time it comes out and they've replaced pretty much everyone (cast, director, writers) from the last one.

      Anyway, I don't think DC will ever get their shit together enough for a JLA movie. Marvel seems to be a lot better organized than them.

  3. I was all prepared to argue with your list, and then, with the glaring exception of the fact that "The Avengers" was 2nd best superheroes ever, maybe, I'm pretty much in agreement with it.

    But: I would put in "Kick-Ass," as it was really good. And I would leave out "X-Men," as I can't watch that movie without falling asleep. Honestly. I've tried 3 times and each time I get about 1/2 hour into it and then doze off or get bored and give up. Maybe it's because I know eventually they're going to say "Mag-neet-o" and that drives me crazy, but even the inclusion of Anna Paquin, who's hot, can't get me to watch that.

    1. I liked "Kick-Ass" but Nicolas Cage kind of brought that whole movie down between his creepy pedophile mustache and campy Adam West-style diction.

      I watched "X-Men" again when I was on vacation last week in part because I'd seen part of "X-Men First Class" on HBO that day. I'm not sure people really give that movie credit for reviving the superhero film genre after Joel Schumacher had pretty much wiped it out with "Batman & Robin." "X-Men" made it OK to take superhero movies somewhat seriously again, which paved the way for "Spider-Man" and then "Batman Begins" and so forth.

  4. My list would be 1) The Dark Knight 2) the Avengers 3) X2 (The X-Men sequel 4) The Watchmen and 5) Superman Returns (yes I loved this one while everyone else hated it).

    1. You just liked how Brandon Routh looked in the supersuit.

      A lot of people like X2 better than X1 but I liked the first one because it was shorter and a lot less convoluted, with a lot fewer characters.

  5. I think I'll have to list mine to get it straight in my head. I think the Dark Knight and the Avengers are at the top of whatever list I come up with. Maybe I'll work in one and put it up soon. I'm sure the world is waiting to find out what I think.

    1. The world will be waiting with bated breath. But do it soon so you can rid of that spider for Pagel.

  6. Ah, lists. Yeah. I liked Avengers a lot. It would probably be in my top 5, along with The Watchmen and Kickass, if only for Hitgirl's character. X1, definitely, yes. I need to re-watch Darkman.

    I must confess I did not like The Dark Knight. I thought the action sequences were sloppy and it suffered from structural issues and problems of character motivation. Ledger was great, but did not surpass to Nicholson's Joker, IMO.

  7. My version begins much as yours does, but veers considerably from there:

    1) The Dark Knight
    2) Watchmen
    3) Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut
    4) Superman Returns
    5) Batman Begins
    6) Green Lantern
    7) Batman
    8) X-Men: The Last Stand
    9) The Hulk
    10) Spider-Man 3

    1. In the Richard Donner cut don't they use that silly going back in time thing again? Which begged the question that if Superman can go back in time like that, why not do that to start with and save us all 2 hours? actually that was the subject of a "Robot Chicken" parody last season where Superman kept going back in time to keep Lois from getting pissed at him for not TiVoing her show.

  8. Great list PT. You even put Darkman in there! That is one of the most underrated superhero movies ever.



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