I feel like we've been down this road before. Heck, I feel like I even did a ranking at some point. I am pretty sure that how I rank them today would be different from whenever I did it last... even if my last list was only a week ago
I've thought about it some and ranking the best comic book movies is really difficult for me. I mean, if there are 4 or 5 that I think are contenders to be #1 on my list, it feels sorta strange to make one of them the best and one of them #5... because #5 is still a darn good movie! But, I'll try anyway.
1. The Dark Knight - even though I thought the Two-Face ending went too over the top, the moral questions and dilemmas at the core of this film were remarkable.
2. Superman 2 - I am putting it here for nostalgia mostly. The battle between Superman and Zod + his allies on the streets of Manhattan was amazing considering the limitations of computer generated effects at the time. A great twist at the end with Superman counting on Luthor's deception to win the day. So many great moments, my favorite being the "revenge" fight in the diner at the end.
3. Spiderman - This re-launched the Comic Book movie craze and made it clear that dark and serious were perfectly fine for this type of film. The bad guy got killed at the end... literally a stake driven through his heart. That's dark!
4. Avengers - Totally different than the above because it is less serious but also more fun. The best humor of any comic book movie by a mile!
5. X-men 2 - So rare for a sequel to be better than an original, but I just loved some of the mystery and morality at the core of this film. The ending was unflinching with Jean sacrificing herself (have to pretend like you have no idea Phoenix exists).
6. Spiderman 2 - Almost reaches the heights of the original. The train battle is incredible. The concept of the arms controlling Octavious' mind was great.
7. Iron Man - The first half was amazing, probably the best origins story in any comic book movie.
8. Batman - The Timothy Burton version. "Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?"
9. X-men: First Class - I am probably in the minority, but I thought this was a fabulous film and loved the way it integrated historical elements into the story.
10. Batman Begins - Loved most of it, but the final 1/4 really broke down for me when Ra's al Ghul returned.
As I look at the list, I find it unfathomable that I have left out the original X-men and the original Superman. consider them to be #11 and #12. Iron Man 2 is not far behind.
By the way, I chose not to include graphic novels in this list like Sin City, Watchmen, 300, and Scott Pilgrim. I don't actually consider those to be part of this same genre. I wanted to confine this to the classic, traditional comic book heroes. I also left out Men in Black, which is based on a comic book but simply does not feel like it is part of this same genre of films.
-Jason "worth noting that the recency effect of Avengers being fresh in my mind may be influencing my high ranking of that film" Evans
I might be in the minority, but I'd have Batman Begins as second only to Dark Knight. Spider-man may have relaunched the comic book movie, but as far as I could tell, Batman Begins is what made it cool for them to be "serious."
And if we change the criteria to "Superhero movies" rather than "Comic Book movies," my number 3 would be The Incredibles.
I'll copy my comments to here with some additions...
That's a tough one for me. I really liked the original Michael Keaton Batman. Dark Knight was good, but Ledger really didn't do it for me as the Joker. Don't get me wrong, he played an amazing villian, but he was more of a generic psychotic killer dressed in clown getup than the clown prince of crime. A lot of that had to do with the writing, of course. I guess Jack Nicholson just did it too well, and even Mark Hamill in the cartoon and video games was awesome.
I liked the first Iron Man a lot.
I loved the original Superman with Reeve. Superman 2 was pretty good too.
I liked Kick A- and Watchmen was okay. I liked the first Spider-Man. At this point, I'm having trouble thinking of them all. I'll come back to this.
I can't believe I forgot the X-Men movies. A couple of those were very good. I even liked the Wolverine Origin one. And I agree on the Incredibles. That would probably be my #2 in a ranking. I keep hoping for a sequel. Gotta love the Underminer: "I may be beneath you, but nothing is beneath me!" Classic.
I forgot that MiB was a comic. That would be high on my list. As for super heroes, I even kind of liked Hancock for his flaws.
LET'S GO DUKE!
1. Dark Knight
2. The Incredibles
3. X-Men 2
5. V for Vendetta
Honorable mention to Batman Begins, X-Men First Class, and the first couple Spidermans. I remember loving individual scenes in the Spiderman movies but somehow they never truly grabbed me as whole. I thought the villains were kinda silly, which is probably a big part of it. Since wander brought up Mark Hamill, Mask of the Phantasm would be my vote for best superhero movie that nobody's seen.
I'm surprised Watchmen hasn't made any lists, maybe because it's not about established characters.
I'd have a tough time putting them in any order, but if I had a boatload of DVD's in front of me and wanted to choose 10, here's what I'd grab.
- Batman Begins
- Dark Knight (I'd watch them back to back, so gotta have both)
- The Incredibles (Tip of the hat to Darthur for the reminder)
- Flash Gordon (not a superhero, but definitely comic-book, and that movie is so damn cheesy it's irresistable)
- Batman (first one)
- Hancock (one of those ones that I can't help but watch whenever it's on)
It's not my list of greatest superhero movies, it's my list of the ones I'd have fun watching again. (Citizen Kane may be a great film but I can't remember the last time I wanted to sit through it again.)
Rather timely thread here, as a few days ago I was staying in a hotel and watched the first two Superman movies back to back on a premium movie channel. Pretty sure they were the original theatrical releases. It was one of those "movies you haven't watched since you were a lot younger and now can watch with a different perspective" experiences.
The comic-to-film genre owes a LOT to the first Superman movie (the late-70s one). As in, its entire existence. I do recall when it came out it was pretty much that year's Star Wars.
Superman 2 was as good as 1 story-wise, and probably better acting-wise. But the production does suffer a bit from being filmed at separate times under separate directors. Things look a little off from scene to scene if you know nothing about the backstory here, and then you read the Wikipedia page and start noticing every little difference in Margo Kidder's appearance and such. In both movies there's stuff whose physics doesn't make sense, but I guess that's just one of many tropes these two movies started.
The first Batman movie suffered as the Batman (Keaton) was only the third-best actor in it. Although I guess Reeve was never the best actor in either of the first two Superman movies.
Last edited by hurleyfor3; 04-27-2012 at 02:41 PM.
You must spread some comments around before flaming the Moderators again.
I agree that if we open it up to any super-powers/super-heroes kind of movie then my list probably changes. Watchmen and The Incredibles most assuredly would find spots in the Top 10. Sin City might as well.
I would add that I think there is something of a different challenge when you are making a movie about a comic book character who is known and beloved worldwide. Batman, Spiderman, Superman, and (to a slightly lesser extent) Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man, X-men, and so on, are such a part of the public consciousness that it presents unique challenges to the moviemaker. These challenges simply don't exist when making 300 or Watchmen or Incredibles. It is also worth noting that most of these traditional comic book heroes come from franchises that have been adapted many times, in many different forms, over the years. TV cartoons, previous movies, or live-action TV shows... these characters and stories bring a ton of baggage (both good and bad) and emotions for the audience with them to the big screen. That is why I see these as a separate genre from the lesser known comics or the graphic novels.
Does that make sense?
--Jason "to whoever excised this from The Avengers thread... thanks. Good call" Evans
The movie was basically Keaton and Nicholson... no one else really mattered. I thought Bassinger was just so-so in it. Nothing special.
-Jason "still unbelievable that Michael Keaton abandoned that franchise so he could make Speechless... ugh!" Evans
Since Jason arbitrarily eliminated my No. 1 and No. 2 choices (Watchmen and Kick***), not much point in offering my list (I guess Defender wouln't count either).
But I will say that I thought Michael Keaton -- a fine comic actor that I admired -- was far and away the worst Batman in the entire franchise -- the George Lazenby of Batmen, if you will. I could not see him as Batman. When he utters the iconic line "I'm Batman!" all I could think of was, "No, you're not. You're Mr. Mom."