Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Top-Ten Tuesday - Top 10 Superhero Movies

I'm sure X-Men: Days of Future Past should be on here, but I haven't seen it yet, so unfortunately I can't include it.  Anyway, here's my top ten superhero movies.

10. Spider-man

I think most can agree that Sam Raimi's first entry in his Spider-Man trilogy played a pivotal role in today's comic-book movie renaissance.  He not only proved that it is possible to captivate an audience of new and old superhero fans, but that superhero movies can tell a familiar origin story in a compelling new way, while providing an amazing story to boot.  Also, Bruce Campbell.

9. X-Men: First Class

First and foremost, this is an excellent example of how to A)reboot a franchise that went out on an absolutely awful note, and B) work around the prohibitive costs of acquiring all the established actors from said franchise(well, at least at the time).  

8. Batman

Proof that we all need to shut up about superhero casting.  Michael Keaton was an amazing Batman/Bruce Wayne, and thankfully left a great legacy by not starring in Batman Forever and Batman and Robin.  Plus, Tim Burton scenery and Jack Nicholson as Joker.  Enough said.

7. X-Men

I remember when this came out, I though the casting was absolutely horrible(well, aside from Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart).  I mean, who was this Hugh Jackman fella?  And where's Gambit, damn it?  Then I was proved very wrong(. . . for the most part).  This movie didn't attempt to do too much by fully developing every single character, thereby stretching them so thin you couldn't even see them.  Even though many beloved characters were sort of ignored, the ones that were not more than made up for the lack.  Now I can't imagine anyone other than Jackman stepping into Logan's shoes.

6. Batman Returns

Upon rewatching this movie, I realize just how many sexual innuendos and perverted Penguin quips went straight over my head as a child.  Anyway, in my opinion, Michelle Pfeiffer has yet to be topped as Catwoman.

5. Spider-Man 2

Take everything great about Spider-Man(the preceding movie), subtract the origin story, and you get one damn amazing movie.  Doc Ock is one of my least favorite Spidey villains, yet this movie made me love, then hate, then love the character again. We get to see Spider-Man/Peter Parker from a whole new angle, watching him learn to cope with the power and responsibility(or should I say great power and great responsibility).  One of my favorite parts, however, is the nod to Sam Raimi's Evil Dead/Army of Darkness series in a certain scene with Doc Ock.   It's too bad the third in the trilogy took such a dive, thinking it could pull off three major villains, one being a Spidey fan favorite(The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems to have not learned much from that movie's mistakes).  Also, Bruce Campbell.

4. The Incredibles

Hey, these don't all have to be superhero movies based off comic books.  Pixar took a wonderfully creative concept, added a huge dose of human emotion, and pulled off one of the most Incredible(excuse the pun) superhero movies - and it's an animated feature!  Making an almost 2 hour animated movie is a pretty big risk, but if anyone can pull off such a risk, it's Pixar. Now, just make an Incredibles 2.  Pretty please?

3. X-Men 2: X-Men United

Even if X-Men 3 had been a decent movie(which it was so terribly far from being . . . so, so, so terribly far), it would've been hard-pressed to outdo X-Men 2.  From watching Wolverine violently murder one of Stryker's men when they break into Professor Xavier's mansion and put those he now cares about in danger, to the scene where Iceman/Bobby breaks the ice(oh, that's even worse than the last pun) to his parents about being a mutant, this movie took on a much more human touch, and pulled it off wonderfully.  Though, again, where's Gambit?!  *Note* Please don't answer this question.

2. The Avengers

One reason I absolutely love the Avengers is that Marvel Studios took their time to set up the major players throughout the Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor movies, meaning that characterization and backstory could take a backseat to a pure action-packed, fun superhero movie without making you feel that the characters lack depth(well, except for Hawkeye . . .)

1. TIE!!

Yes, I'm well aware that having a tie for the number one spot is a cheap way to get 11 movies onto a list of 10, but it's my list, so there!

The Dark Knight

I'm a Marvel over DC kinda guy, but I love me some Batman.  Batman Begins should really be on this list, but I'm not going back now, so get over it.  Anyway, there's not much to not like about this movie.  It takes so much of what makes the Batman comics great, and translates it into one of the greatest superhero movies of all time.  Aaron Eckheart as Two Face?  Amazing.  Heath Ledger's Joker?  Do I even have to say anything?  While the first and third movies in this trilogy are amazing in their own right, The Dark Knight was simply the best of the bunch, and is not just a great superhero movie, but just a darn good movie in general.  

Iron Man

There are several reasons Iron Man ranks at the top of my list. I used to love Iron Man comics when I was younger(after receiving my first ever Iron Man comic with a White Castles kids meal), Robert Downey Jr.'s turn as Tony Stark makes Iron Man my favorite on-screen superhero ever, the script is witty, and . . . well, if I'm going to post this on time, I'm going to have to settle down on the reasoning.  This movie jump-started the Marvel universe on film leading up to the Avengers with a bang.  Marvel showed us that you can take a less popular superhero and make it universally appealing(not to mention extraordinarily profitable).  Of course, thanks to this film, Robert Downey Jr. got a brand new start in his career.  I wasn't a huge fan of Iron Man 2 or 3, but as much as I love the first one, I can live with that.

So there you have it.  This most current wave of superhero movies has truly been going strong for over a decade now, so here's hoping the upcoming crop of films keeps the momentum going strong!



  1. That's a great list, Brian! I think The Watchmen would have cracked my Top 10, but other than that, no complaints. Avengers and the Burton Batman are two of my fave's.

    1. Thanks! I did like Watchmen, but I think having never read the graphic novel kept me from enjoying it as much as I may have otherwise.