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NarniaWeb breaks the best news I’ve heard all year!!
These aren’t necessarily the best ever but they are the ones that come immediately to mind and ones I have watched over and over.
The Phantom – I thought Billy Zane was really good in this and it is a good/fun adventure in the vain of old serials from yesteryear (did I just type yesteryear).
Batman (Keaton) – Soft spot for this one
Unbreakable – Nothing more needs to be said.
Incredibles – I never tire of it.
Blade/Blade 2 – I thought the first was pretty original–although it started a series of vampire/human hitman flicks some of which I deem good and others I deem horrible – Ultraviolet anyone.
One of mine that has not been mentioned was “Orgazmo.” It’s vulgar and disgusting, but if you take out the South Park stuff you have a story that hits the superhero mythos almost exactly. After seeing it for the first time I said, “This is the greatest superhero movie ever” – which held until I say the first Spider-Man.
1. Spider-Man 2: I feel this film did a nice job of respecting it’s source without shackling the creativity.
2. X-Men 2: Solid story, funny, faithful to the core ideas of the comic-without alienating folks who do not read X-Books.
3. Hellboy: It was faithful to the characters without forcing it to be a literal translation. I felt Ron Perlman gave Hellboy a gruff heart. I love the scene with Hellboy and the kid on the roof.
4. The Crow: Anti-Hero I suppose? I really liked the comic, and this did a fairly effective job of bringing the character to life.
5. Batman Begins: As close to year one as you can get-and they did not rely on obvious choices like a new Joker. Now if they could just convince HBO to do a mini series of the Long Halloween…
Capt. America (A Marvel comics adaptation of the Bionic Man – with the Red Skeleton, a resurrected Nazi War Criminal who is realistically frightening);
Batman the Movie (the one where Batman and Robin battle a shark with shark-repellant while dangling on a helicopter rope);
Superman IV (seriously, the guy battles nuclear devastation AND a superhero made out of nuclear waste who is strikingly Russkie);
GI Joe v. Cobra (the one in the eighties where they predict some nasty and drastic effects of cloning and DNA manipulation. Deep stuff.)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Heroes in a half-shell!)
Thanks for including Unbreakable. It’s one of my favorites, yet many folks discount it due to the popularity of Sixth Sense. They’re both good, but Unbreakable has better re-watchability.
I tried to think back of pre-70’s superhero films, and all I could think of was Flash Gordon. He was not so much a superhero as spaceman hero. It was not until the 70’s (Tron, Star Wars) that cinematic special effects could make a superhero somewhat believable on the big screen. Otherwise, you had to rely on animation or keep the superheroes on the small screen.
Five is too few so here are the ten best in chronological order (though I haven’t seen Superman Returns yet):
Danger: DiabolikBatman: Mask of the PhantasmBladeThe MatrixMystery MenUnbreakableX2The IncrediblesBatman BeginsSky High
It is interesting that 4 of them are not based on actual comic book characters, but are better than most recent comic adaptations.
Honorable mentions: Spider-Man 2, Hellboy, the Fleischer cartoons, Blade II.
Hmm good topic idea. I’m not going to include CTHD since people are just frigging pumped up in any wuxia.
The IncrediblesA remarkable tale of trust and identity, complete with first-rate animation, wonderful characters, and a villain that isn’t just pissed off because someone shut down his company or dumped chemicals on him.
Sky HighHilarious. I challenge anyone who thinks Crash’s race-baiting hysteria constitutes one of the year’s finest scripts to check out this nimble, hysterical adventure. Surprsingly complete, though it’ll require a revisit or two.
X2:X-Men UnitedWhat Jeff said. Basically.
The New Batman/Superman AdventuresTechnically TV. Oh well.
Runners-Up: X-Men, Batman Begins
I think that I would have to say that Crouching Tiger… does qualify as a superhero movie.
I don’t think I would have thought of Unbreakable, though I do agree with the choice.
I, like Tim, would have substituted Batman Begins for Dark City (admittedly I have not seen Dark City so I have no real opinion on it).
as far as I am concerned Crouching Tiger is a super hero movie.
1) Iron Monkey – mild mannered doctor by day, ninja by night. He aids the poor in his Chinese City. The best martial arts scenes I’ve seen in a while.
2) Robocop – hero rises from the ashes to avenge his own death (good call nate).
3) All those batman, super man, justice league cartoon movies they’ve been making lately. Man, they have come a long way since the shows from the 70’s.
4) Spiderman – True to the comic and great casting. I think they could have done something better with the Goblin Costume. Defoe is scary enough on his own.
5) Unbreakable – I am with you on this one man. It is a superhero movie without all the flash. I never thought they could make a movie about super heroes without hardly any special affects.
Hey Jeff, what would you say are the top movies that have a christian message, whether they mean to or not. Lately a bunch of us have been talking about The Big Kahuna and how it has affected our personal ministries. Something I’m sure the writer didn’t intend. Or did he?
I’d second both Donnie Darko and Batman Begins.
Yes… Donnie Darko! I completely agree that he is a superhero-type character.
Superman the MovieSpider Man 2Mystery MenThe Matrix (since I consider Neo a superhero-in-training)Xmen
How about Donnie Darko– now there’s a hero who realizes what true heroism is all about.
And that reminds me… I’ve always considered Taxi Driver to be a sort of anti-superhero movie of sorts. The guy certainly THINKS he’s a hero, anyway.
And I never tire of Mystery Men, one of those rare spoofs that unflinchingly pokes at the cliches of the genre while simultaneously revealing real warmth and love for its source material.
I’ll be redundant. My list mirrors Jeff’s almost exactly, but replacing Dark City with Batman Begins.
Additional runner-up: The Rocketeer.
Trying to go the obscure route to avoid redundancy here…
Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze A wonderfully shoddy-looking production spearheaded by the late, great George Pal, but a tad listless in the story department.
Dr. StrangeModern-day sorcerer stuff, luridly depicted.
RoboCopA crazy, violent, gripping action film, though occasionally too sadistic in its pretensions to satire.
SupergirlHottest. Superhero. Ever.
SupermanAs portrayed in the Fleischer bros. cartoons (especially The Mechanical Monsters and The Bulleteers). All are splendidly stylized and relentlessly paced.
Jeffrey, couldn’t we redefine “super” to include heroes like Hercules, King Arthur, and Zorro? That would certainly give us a wider spread. In that case, I would consider adding Jason and the Argonauts and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.
Dagnammit – the sad thing about this announcement is that it would have been so amazingly awesome if it were true.