We’ve all got a movie or so that we really enjoy, even though we understand that it is an absolute Mess. This is my confession of loathsome love. Take it for what you will, as most of these picks may have you shaking your head in shame. But I’d be willing to bet you’re fond of more than a single crappy flick!
If you were to travel back in time just a few decades, look me directly in the eye and inform me that in 2016 there would be few, if any films hotter than comic book transfers.
It never seemed like a reality. Filmmakers were struggling to get the look and special effects up to snuff through the 90s, so when you saw a superhero movie, you knew it was a rarity. In 2016 however, it’s the expected, and the norm. Imagine pulling comic flicks from the lineup these days – raged out basement dwelling 30-somethings would overpower towns, torches and pitchforks wielded carelessly.
Well, don’t sweat it too much, nerds, we’re not going to see a drop-off of comic book films in the near future. We may never see comic book transfers fade into obscurity. This movement feels more like the birth of a new genre rather than the birth of a new fad.
Comic book movies are just too damn entertaining, gratifying and generally enjoyable to anticipate a departure from the Hollywood spotlight anytime soon.
Thank god. My inner Super Geek knows I’d cry two full rivers if the market began turning away from superhero movies. But as long as these pieces are doing the kind of numbers they’ve done throughout the first half of 2016, they’re here to stay.
Speaking of the success of these pictures, let’s take a look at how the focal four films released this calendar year have fared at the box office.
Seeing as Deadpool is still a pretty new release, I don’t want to hit you with too many spoilers. But I will tell you that Ryan Reynolds was most certainly born to play the role of Wade Wilson AKA merc extraordinaire, Deadpool. This isn’t just action packed, it pulls no punches in regards to intensity, hurling about obscenities and engaging in intense violence like it’s all good for our health. And Deadpool, let me tell you, is one funny dude. You think his punchlines work wonders on page? Wait until you hear them on screen, delivered with spunk and edge.
Yes, Deadpool is an excellent comic book adaptation. And, after another watch or two, the movie just might crawl its way into my top 10. Right now the decision to include it feels a little premature. Deadpool hasn’t yet passed the longevity test, though I see no reason why it won’t live on in my memory and earn a place in my collection.
It’s an awesome flick. But these are 10 more awesome flicks, each more than worthy of elite branding.
10 Hellboy: Easily one of the most underrated comic book adaptations in existence, Guillermo del Toro did Mike Mignola’s brilliant creation justice like no other could have. This one is loaded with action, jaw dropping visuals and wicked creature designs, but at the end of the day it’s Hellboy’s (Ron Perlman) charisma that carries the flick. Insanely good comic adaptation.
09 Batman: Michael Keaton always felt like the greatest Batman, until Christian Bale came along and stole the franchise show. But that can’t erase Keaton’s success, and it doesn’t change the fact that Tim Burton’s gloomy take on the discreet crusader of Gotham City was excellent. It was the first time that Batman took to the screen as a genuinely dark character, and it isn’t going to forgotten anytime soon.
08 Superman IV: The first Superman film to feature Christopher Reeves in the titular role was great. It was memorable to say the least, and the second movie rocked thanks to General Zod’s presence. But Part IV was the one that truly pulled the hearts out of the chests of fans. It featured Superman in his first lengthy one-on-one superhuman showdown. Nuclear Man rocked, Lex Luthor was fantastic (thanks to Gene Hackman), and Superman duked it out like never before. A great film, despite the flaws.
07 30 Days of Night: I told you Hellboy was underrated? This is the one comic book adaptation that trumps it in the neglect department. I think a bit part of that comes in the fact that a surpring amount of fans don’t realize the story is based on a comic book. No matter, really, as 30 Days of Night was a special film that represented comic books and the horror genre in dazzling fashion. It’s creative, it’s intense and it’s aesthetically genius! And come on, holy hell at those disturbingly graphic decapitations!!
06 Guardians of the Galaxy: As a child, Guardians of the Galaxy wasn’t a book I read. It wasn’t a book my friends read. To be honest, I don’t even recall seeing the book on any shelf. In short, I didn’t know these characters existed. But, in one swift motion James Gunn changed the game and made character like Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket loveable and memorable. The comedy is thick, the action is insane and the movie looks absolutely stellar.
05 300: Another picture that many fail to realize was a comic long before it was a film, Zack Snyder’s visual telling of Frank Miller’s sprawling war epic, 300 turned everyone’s head. Never has CGI looked so remarkable and clean. The image is absurdly convincing, the war is an awe inspiring spectacle, there’re cool monsters and the heroic Spartans elicit true excitement. Gerard Butler was born to play the role of Leonidas and that serves as a major piece of the puzzle that ultimately pushes this one into the realm of mastery.
04 X-Men 2: Still, in my humble opinion, X2 is the finest X-Men film to see release. The truth is, every film in the franchise, sans the third, is a top notch effort But X2 gave us exactly the kind of X-Men movie we needed. The Wolverine vs. Lady Deathstrike war is one of the greatest moments of combat in the entire series of films, which alone ensures this one ranks high. Especially high – as a diehard fan – on this particular list.
03 Spider-Man 2: Some will tell you that Sam Raimi is finest during his moments entangled in Ash Williams’ world. It’s hard to argue against that, but if you’re going to select one pic to rival his Evil Dead/Army of Darkness work, it’s Spider-man 2. While the Green Goblin was an awesome, awesome villain (and still one of my favorite Spidey villains), Doc Ock made for a much more enthralling villain on screen. Of all three of Raimi’s films, the second is most certainly the finest, bringing the action level to its edgiest degree, and keeping the romance just far enough in the background as to not swallow the story, Spider-man was one of the first truly excellent comic book movies.
02 The Avengers: The Avengers was bound to be a slick picture. In fact, it almost had to be. There was no possible way that Marvel or Paramount would risk this one being anything other than a grand slam. Bringing together Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye was just a stunning feat that may never be surpassed in any cinematic stance. We get a conflict worth thinking about and some of the most epic action to ever grace the screen, comic flick or otherwise. I don’t want to gush too much, and Avengers gives us a dozen or so reasons to do just that, but this one definitely earns the nukber two position.
01 Batman Begin/The Dark Knight/The Dark Knight Rises: Some will see this as cheating and some will side with me. See, not only did I have trouble ranking each film in the Dark Knight trilogy related to other films, I had trouble rating the franchise itself. Batman Begins gave us a Batman we’d never seen. Dark Knight gave us the strongest performance in the history of the Batman/Gotham universe (God rest Heath Ledger’s soul) and The Dark Knight Rises saw the on screen birth of the first baddie to genuinely destroy the Batman, Bane. All three are ridiculously well-crafted and mesmerizing movies and they all stand among the greatest films ever made. Therefore, they all get the number one slot!
Got a favorite we failed to include? Let us know!