So Iron Man is getting all kinds of good press and a lot of people I talk to have seen it and given it a good review. I haven’t seen this one yet but it’s high on my list of “gotta see” movies. I figured since it’s out and I have the time I’d throw my two cents into the ring and give my take on the best and worst comic book movies of al times. Oh and just a warning, if you by chance haven’t seen any of these movies beware there be spoilers ahead!
Spider-Man/Spider-Man 2: The first one took forever to come out, I lost count of how many studios had the rights to this one and how many drafts of the script there were. If I were a bigger nerd or really gave a damn I could probably find out but since I’m not gonna do that we’ll just say lots and lots.
It would have been really easy to screw up this franchise but fortunately Sam Raimi gave it the right amounts of humor and action and did a good job on the casting. Tobey McGuire really did an excellent job playing Peter Parker and the villains were believeable, J.K. Simmons was spot on as J. Jonah Jameson, Kirsten Dunst….she was ok. Maybe it’s because I’m not a huge fan of hers but she seemed to be kind of just there for the check sometimes.
X-Men/X-Men 2: This was another franchise that took forever to get off the ground but once it finally came to be was done really well. You may have noticed that I left the third installments of both of these franchises off the list, theres a reason for that and we’ll get into it just a bit.
Again I thought they did an excellent job casting this one, Patrick Stewart was the perfect choice as Professor X, he had the look and ability to carry off the role without making it seem too unrealistic, James Marsden was able to capture Cyclops’s alloofness and superior attitude and still make him a somewhat likeable character and a true leader of the team. I really like Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and I’m convinced Ian McKellen can play damn near any role out there.
Batman/Batman Begins: I am a huge Bat-fan so of course these two had to make the list. The Dark Knight Returns, Knightfall, Knightsend…all great Batman stories, if you can pick them up in graphic novel form definitely check them out. The original Batman kicks ass because it was such a different take on the character from the cartoonish television that used to be on television back in the late ’60’s. This Batman was dark, gritty and violent and the Joker wasn’t afraid to kill whoever got in his way.
Batman Begins kicks ass because it actually gives Bruce/Batman more of an origin story and delves into the training he underwent to become the Dark Knight. It also delved into the relationship between Bats and Gordon and explains where he gets those wonderful toys.
Hellboy: I don’t know a lot of the backstory for this one like I do the others, I stil have yet to read an issue of the comic but Ron Pearlman played a pretty kick ass demon in my opinion. From what I’ve seen of the comic they stayed pretty close to the look and origin of the characters, one of these days I’ll get around to reading it.
There are a few more that are worth mentioning but these would be the ones I would take with me if I were stuck on a desert island and could only take a few movies with me.
Narrowing this down to just a few was a challenge as well. Comic movies, like video game movies can go wrong real fast. These next few movies just….well I’ll let you form your own opinions.
Spider-man 3: I wanted to like this one, I really did! It’s just if your gonna make Venom a character you need to devote a movie just to him. Spidey 3 would have been just fine with Sandman and the Harry as the villains, with Eddie/Venom in the mix it just felt too rushed and you don’t really get to explore the relationship Peter had with the suit and Brock like you did in the comics. I know you can only do so much with the source material but if they woud have just held off a little longer this one might not have been on this side of the list. If there is another Spidey movie I’d love to see them do a variation of “Kraven’s Last Hunt” hands down my favorite comic story of all time. Basically Kraven “kills” Spidey, buries him and assumes the role of everyone’s favorite wall crawler. MJ is left wondering what happened to her hubby till she see’s “Spidey” brutally beat a mugger. I don’t want to give away too much in case you come across it and want to read it but it really is a great story.
X-Men 3: Where do I start with this one? Again a good idea gone horribly wrong. The Dark Phoenix saga should have been it’s own movie, not crammed into a movie about the cure for being a mutant. And Rogue being “cured”? Seriously? Who’s idea was that? And don’t even get me started on the Juggernaut, “I’m the Juggernaut bitch?” Please! Oh and I love how Angel pulled a Darth Maul on us, he was so heavil hyped before the movie came out but was hardly in the damn thing! You know theres so much wrong with this movie I could spend a lot more time listing it but there are other movies worthy of my scorn so I’m just gonna leave this one alone for now.
Batman Returns/Batman Forever/Batman & Robin: Batman Returns is kind of borderline on being good and being bad, on the one hand you’ve got Christopher Walken and Danny Devito as the villains but Devito’s Penguin is so over the top and manic it’s hard to enjoy. Tim Burton kinda lost the vision of Batman for me with this one but if I had to choose a sequel other than the two listed above to watch I’d take this one anyday. Batman Forever and Batman & Robin…words fail me as to how bad these two are. People blame George Clooney for killing the Batman franchise for a while but in my opinion the true villain is Joel Schumacher. Nipples on the Bat-suit? And what’s with all the neon colors? But the biggest travesty of all is how he handled the Bane character in Batman and Robin. In the movie he’s a dumb hulking brute incapable of independent thought but in the comic he was a brilliant criminal who figured out Wayne was Batman and used his sense of duty to cripple him in the Knightsend story line. No matter how much you polish this one it’s still a turd.
Daredevil: Oh Marvel, why? This one isn’t as bad as the last batch but it’s pretty bad. Ben Affleck…nothing against the guy but he shouldn’t have played Matt Murdoch, I’m sorry it’s just not a good casting decision. And what did they do to Bullseye? He was such a cool villain in the comics but to make him a bald Irish guy with a bullseye tatoo in his head? So, so wrong. This one spawned a sequel, Elektra, I haven’t seen that one yet, well not all of it so for right now it’s safe from my scorn but I’ve heard it’s a stinker too.
There are a few other comic movies out there I could review but I’m gonna call this list good for now. Maybe when “The Dark Knight” comes out this summer I’ll review some of the others Like the Fantastic Four and the Blade movies. Until then true believers ’nuff said.