Top Six comic book movies
This is the first installment of a weekly column in which I will discuss my Top Six favorites in a given category. That’s right, six. I figured I’d stand out at least a little and not pick a very predictable number. I originally planned on writing about my Top Five favorite movies of all time in the first one, but plans change.
As July 18 draws nearer, my anticipation for “The Dark Knight” is growing to ridiculous levels. Never in my wildest imagination would I have thought a comic book movie would draw comparisons to “Godfather Pt. 2.” So, as I sit here, twiddling my thumbs and counting the days until this thing finally gets released (and I thank God there’s an IMAX in Ann Arbor), I figured I’d make a list of my favorite comic book movies of all time.
Let’s get one thing straight — I’ve never been into comic books, and while this summer has really upped the ante in terms of their quality, I largely dismiss most as flaky, popcorn blockbusters. With gems like “Fantastic Four” and Ang Lee’s “Hulk,” how could you not? Some are really good, and I’d be willing to bet they’re not the ones most comic book geeks get, well, geeked about.
“Spiderman” didn’t make my list. Maybe because I don’t understand all the backstory because I don’t read the books, maybe because I think Toby MacGuire is a giant douche; either way, my point is, this isn’t your conventional list of Top Five comic book movies, because I’ve never really been drawn in by comics. As always, I’d love to hear what you think, and if you wholly disagree that “Men In Black” should be on the list, fire back with ruthless disregard for my personal feelings in the comment section.
6. Men in Black, 1997
Alright, you’re lying to yourself if you don’t think that Edgar-Bug dude was a badass bad guy. He had it all, gross makeup, a weird voice, feelers, slime — what more could you want from a villain? Will Smith and Tommy Lee have a great chemistry throughout the flick, and damned if I haven’t wished for a cricket since I first saw this. It’s a fun watch, if for nothing else, simply because the alien design and gadgetry is so unique and creative.
5. 300, 2007
Do I have to explain myself with this one? I think this is secretly every guy’s Dream Movie — 90 straight minutes of absolute ass kicking. There’s no rhyme or reason, but that’s the great thing about this flick; there doesn’t have to be. As long as the blood, guts, gore and mayhem continue to brutally stroll across the screen, I’m a happy camper. And there’s definitely no shortage of that in “300.”
4. Batman, 1989
Jack Nicholson really set the bar high as far as depictions of The Joker go. I think he really makes a good villain in this flick, but his portrayal lacked a certain wild, psychopathic edge to it, and I think Heath Ledger’s performance will more than trump Nicholson’s in that category. Regardless, I really liked this movie. It’s one of those rare comic book adaptations that transcends the cult, comic following as is easily accessable to a wide audience — even my grandpa had a copy on VHS when I was a kid.
3. Iron Man, 2008
On the surface, this flick is a summer Hollywood blockbuster, and it definitely works on that level. It’s got major stars, good action scenes, some comedy spliced in and shameless product placement. But it’s also deeper than most summer blockbusters. It’s got a great script, great director and there’s just something about it that makes it feel like more than a comic book movie, even though there’s a dude flying around in a bright red, metal suit
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 1990
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? check. Splinter? check. Shredder? check. The Foot Clan? check. A surprisingly interesting and intense script? check. Jim Henson? check — and he totally outdid himself on this one. Muppets can only take you so far in life; the puppets that he can up with for this movie are so incredible. I’ve never seen anything like them before. I hadn’t seen this movie in a long time, and even though I felt like a giant nerd, I was really engaged when I watched it again recently. I’d forgotten how good this actually was.
1. Batman Begins, 2005
This is the flick that set up the sequel I’m so unbelievably excited for. In my opinion, “Batman Begins” is the type of movie that can’t completely change the way people look at comic book movies. It demands to be taken seriously, and I think it succeeds. I got completely swept up in the great story line. I’m glad they replaced Katie Holmes and I’m glad to see some more serious villainry from “The Dark Knight,” but “Batman Begins” is still a great movie.