Thursday, June 22, 2006

Random Top Ten!

Random Top Ten!!

In honor of the rapidly approaching release of Superman Returns, here are my top ten superhero movies.

10. X-Men III - Don't buy the negative hype. See here for more.

9. Hulk - Unfairly maligned. The sense of power and destructiveness was very well-handled, and the comic books style visual flourishes were a nice touch. The story could have and should have been better, though.

8. Batman - Another one where they got the vibe right, good acting, very effective visuals, but an unfocused and flat plot.

7. Batman Begins - Easily the best Batman film to date, with a very canny balance of seriousness, exciting but real-feeling action, and a touch of humor. It's that last one that can easily overwhelm superhero films and push them off course, when the touch becomes more than that.

6. X-Men - A bit underfed, but marvelously cast, acted, and directed, with the perfect mood and sense of seriousness.

5. Spider-Man - In retrospect, Ebert was right; the effects made Spider-Man a tad too cartoony in full web-slinging action. But the execution of the origin story was absolutely spot-on.

4. Superman 2 - The good stuff manages to seriously outweigh the bad, but that bad stuff - whew. (Did he just throw a Saran Wrap "S" at him?)

3. Superman - I like that they took their time with the origin stuff. Not too rushed and nicely epic.

2 - Spider-Man 2 - A very close second. The focus (one villain) was right where it needed to be, the emotions real-feeling, the ending earned, and the effects a real step up. Just a great, great superhero film.

1. X-Men 2 - Singer got the cash he needed, and the scope and ambition were ably served. The casting continued a stellar track record (Alan Cumming as Nightcrawler? Brilliant.) And the story balanced wonderfully the demands of cinema with the mythos from the comics.

Until Whenever


Overworm said...

I agree with your list for the most part. What would I change? Not much really.

To begin with, I'd add honorable mentions for The Shadow and The Phantom, both of which have been unfortunately cast aside whenever any discussion of superhero movies arises. I enjoyed both tremendously, especially The Shadow which pleasantly surprised me at nearly every major turn.

Next, I'd push Hulk over Batman into the 7 slot, and slide Batman back to 9. Bump Batman Begins to 6.

Next, move X-Men to 10 and X-Men III to 7. The first X-Men was a good opening salvo in a movie series, but not so good of a movie. Like Batman, it tried to do too much. Unlike Batman, when it decided to slow down and give us more info, it focused on the wrong points/characters. X3 was much better in this regard.

Slide Spider-Man from 5 to 10. I liked a lot about it, but the Green Goblin was too cartoony for me and the special effects made him even moreso. Like X-Men I, S-M1 was a great set-up for the franchise, but not necessarily a great movie in and of itself.

Lastly, I'd rearrange the top four, putting X-M2 at 4, S-M2 at 3, and the two Superman movies at 1 & 2. I loved X-2, but S-M2 gets the nod because somehow, it teased a tear from me during the subway scene.

The first Superman movie was plain and simply one of the best movies I have ever seen. It did everything right. Absolutely everything! The second one runs a close second, but nothing can beat the thrill of the first one.

Nice list!

Lefty said...

You're wrong, wrong, wrong!

X-Men III was horrible, and while not a collosal waste of time (it had moments) did a disservice to the franchise.

And you forget to mention Hellboy. Shame on you.

I would have placed X-Men United at around 4, and Spider-man 2 at 3, with Superman in the number one spot.

But the real question for you is rate your top ten superhero musical scores!

Tosy And Cosh said...

I saw The Shadow a long time ago and remember liking but not loving it. Never saw The Phantom, though. I have big hopes for Superman Returns!

Tosy And Cosh said...

Hellboy was #10 before I realized that I had left X-Men III off. I won't reiterate why I liked it so; you can see my post for the reasons. ;)

I don't know if I could come up with that many great superhero scores. Williams' Superman stuff and Elfman's Batman stuff is excellent, but other than that . . .

tomthedog said...

Good list, definitely the better for NOT having The Shadow or The Phantom (both huge stinkers). I'd put Spider-Man 2 in first place, just barely beating Superman in second, and X-Men 2 in third.

tomthedog said...

Also -- how about The Incredibles? Do only live-action movies count? Or only superhero movies based on pre-existing heroes?

Tosy And Cosh said...

Um . . . I forgot The Incredibles? Sorry, X-Men III, you've been bumped.