Monday, April 19, 2010

Top 15 Comic Book Movies-Part 3

5. Batman (1989) – How appropriate that the Batman franchise started with Tim Burton and his dark portrayal of the Caped Crusader. At the time of its release the Superman franchise was the only DC Comic character to have a major motion picture and so this was a great addition. Since this was the first installment you really have to admire Burton's vision. He created a Gotham City that was dark, chaotic, and in desperate need of help. I will say that Nolan's Gotham City wasn’t as dark and gritty as his predecessor’s so I have to give it to Burton in that aspect. Michael Keaton was very good in this movie especially as the Batman character. Keaton really captured and displayed the dark tortured soul that is the true Bruce Wayne and Batman. However, his public Bruce Wayne character could have had more life. Furthermore, Keaton never had the height or the actual physical stature which Bale has given to the character. Don’t get me wrong I’m not hating on Keaton I’m just stating the differences between the actor and character. With all that said let us not forget the great Jack Nicholson as The Joker. Here was our first real glimpse into the mind of psychopath. Nicholson’s Joker is very different then Ledger’s. Nicholson allowed viewers to get up close and personal with The Joker. He did so almost to a point that you could be slightly comfortable being in a room with him.

4. Superman (1978) – The first major super-hero movie created and a personal favorite of mine, both the character and film. While The Dark Knight is the template for comic movies today Superman was the first to correctly illustrate what an origin movie should look like. Even though CGI was still in its infancy the live action shots established an authentic tone to the story. From the falling helicopter to the breaking of the Hoover Dam it brings me back to simpler time. This is the role that made Christopher Reeves career and immortalized him as the Man of Steel. And who better to play Jor-El, the father of Kal-El (Superman), than the legend himself Marlon Brando. His sacrificial words at the start of the film accompanied by that iconic theme music gives me chills every time. While Gene Hackman played a great Lex Luthor and a formidable villain the true fight for Superman in this film is that he has to be everywhere at once.

3. X2: X-Men United (2003) - Before the release of the two latest Batman movies X2: X-Men United held the number one slot. While others may feel different, X2 took the franchise and Marvel Comics to a whole new level. Yes, X-Men (2000) was good. However, Bryan Singer made a better movie his second time around by introducing new mutants, providing more character development, and incorporating better fight scenes. From the opening scene with Nightcrawler in the White House to climatic ending with Jean Grey, Singer installed faith into the hearts of fans. Moreover, the most important and best thing Singer did was unleash Wolverine. The fan favorite was too reserved in the first movie. So for the second installment Wolverine went on an all out killing spree fucking up people left and right. Only Wolverine can take out a team of special-op soldiers in a matter of minutes with such ferocity and simplicity.

2. Batman Begins (2005) - As a writer and director you got to have a real set of balls to not have Batman show up in costume until an hour into the story. As you saw with Ang Lee’s Hulk it proved to be a shit show. However, with Batman Begins the back story was just as important and interesting. It’s during that specific time you come to understand Bruce Wayne’s pain and determination. Furthermore, there was so much build up that when Bruce Wayne finally donned the cape and cowl for the first time it immediately signaled the rebirth of the Batman franchise. Christian Bale proved to be a great pick as the legendary detective and in my opinion the best Bruce Wayne/Batman. Casting Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth was genius as well although I was always partial to the original Alfred in the four previous films played by Michael Gough. A great movie all together.

1. The Dark Knight (2008) – In my opinion this is the best the comic book movie made to date. Excellent acting and dialogue, a great script, precise sound quality, and a genius director all contributed to one of the highest grossing films. Obviously the unfortunate death of the talented Heath Ledger contributed to the hype of the film. However, dead or alive you can’t deny that was an amazing performance and extremely authentic to The Joker character. What made the film even better was the fact that Nolan never focused on The Joker by himself unlike Tim Burton. In The Dark Knight, The Joker would just show and “dooo things” surprising everyone. By doing so, Nolan and Ledger kept the Joker as a very mysterious character keeping the audience at a distance. At the same time, Ledger still managed to pull everyone in through his intesne performance. My one compliant about this film was Christian Bale’s voice as Batman. It was over the top and got worse as the movie went on. It wasn’t like that in the first film. With that said, The Dark Knight is the archetype for all future comic book movies.
So that's it. I hope you enjoyed it. Please let me know what you thought about the list. Did I leave something out which should be on there? Any honorable mention(s)?


  1. Nice! Glad to see "The Dark Knight" made the top spot.

  2. the batman series dominates here. however, if i could be any superhero it would OBVIOUSLY be superman bc he can fly AND see through things ie-peoples clothes