SUPER HERO MOVIES & comic book adaptations
converting graphic art to motion pictures., there has been a slow progression of graphic novels that have been made into movies... this is the best to the worst...(in my humble opinion...of course)
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|dsoul's Rating||My Rating|
The Dark Knight 2008, PG-13)
Superman 1978, PG)
How do you get a comic book hero movie to feel like Lawrence of Arabia? get Richard Donner to do it. He did an awesome job and somehow got an extraordinary cast together. This is a true epic in every sense of the word. It has great action and great drama... the only thing that bugs me is the whole spinning around the world to reverse time (cost ya half a star).. .. a great movie with many tones in it. (the smallville scenes are really great and the Daily planet buzz is great). What really makes this movie more than anything is Christopher Reeve as superman, which is worth another 2 stars.., he is good enough that he has me look past the holes, the inconsistency with the Superman in the comics, he is so good that he makes me want to watch this movie again and again.
Iron Man 2008, PG-13)
The Dark Knight Rises 2012, PG-13)
I don't know how Christopher Nolan did it but he certainly did it. He managed to surprise me even though I have a history of Batman comics behind me, even though I had watched the trailer & teasers a hundred times, he managed to surprise me. It is hard to judge this movie because it is the wrap up of the trilogy, so that has to be taken into account. Firstly I'd like to note that Anne Hathaway pulled it off & a lot was riding on her portayal of Selina Kyle/catwoman. Christopher Nolan manages to wrap up the whole trilogy neatly and it all fits together in a nice package. Dark Knight Rises is good but its not as tight as 'the Dark Knight' (but can you really beat Ledgers Joker as a bad guy?) one thing for sure it doesn't disappoint and we do get rocked by what's happening on the screen. What more can you ask for?...really.
Spider-Man 2002, PG-13)
X-Men: First Class 2011, PG-13)
Batman Begins 2005, PG-13)
Christopher Nolan does a great job at humanising the dark knight and we finally find out what makes the man tick. In doing so he is placed with the hard task of making the batman believable and thankfully he has a great cast to do it with. Christian Bale is great as the man behind the hood and he has great back up with Michael Caine as his butler & Liam Nielson brings dignity and discipline to his part (which is just what it needed). Great redesign of the logo and my god the batmobile totally rocks!!...Good gadgets and explanations to the gadgets which brings all the fantastical elements into a very real world. The only fault that I would give it is the steady cam/ fast editing of the fight scenes, which gives the viewer a great sense of violence but not much to look at. I would have liked a wider shot at times to see how much batman can kick ass instead of just seeing the body count after the action. Its a tough ask I know because going with the wide shot would make this feel like a movie rather than going with the gritty fast paced steady-cam which makes it feel like a doco. Still the best batman movie around.....easy. (sorry Tim, yours were great too, but they needed a bit more focus on the hero rather than the villains..yeah yeah the mystery is great but the title of the movie is "batman")
X2: X-Men United 2003, PG-13)
Now this is more like it. This is much better than the first xmen and stands up better after another viewing. Now that the backgrounds have been established we can move along and get to the good parts. Introducing Nightcrawler in the beginning with his attack of the white house is awesome and it just keeps going from there. They finally flesh out Storm, who was terrible in the first movie and I think it helped that Halle Berry dropped the african accent...(which we barely even heard in the first), The fact that they have a good actor playing the villain really help (Brian Cox).. it finishes off well and yes, leaves you hungry for more.
American Splendor 2003, R)
Akira 1988, R)
Amazing. This movie opens up the anime world. Classic. The music and sound for lack of a better word is perfect. The story is a bit hard to follow and I had to watch it a few times so that I could really get it ( which is why I took off half a star ) otherwise this is what anime should always aspire to.
Sin City 2005, R)
The Mask 1994, PG-13)
Unbreakable 2000, PG-13)
There is such a formula in superhero movies that when you sit down to watch this, you get to be really enthralled. This is a good movie and I have to hand it to M.NIght Shyamalan the way he directed this, I particularly noticed the reveals in his shots and also the long takes. This is a damn good movie, the subtlety does all the talking. I love the pacing in this movie and though the movies ending doesn't quite do it for me, I still think this is M.Night's best work. As a piece of directing he brings a lot to the shots, from upside down shots that get flipped around, to dulled out colour and his choice for the 1st person camera shots. I particularly love the fact that he wrote and produced this as well. Kudos to him & please Give me more!
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Hellboy 2) 2008, PG-13)
Marvel's The Avengers 2012, PG-13)
I have to say that all the back work to get this movie off the ground really paid off. All those small scenes at the back end of, ironman, captain america, Thor, ironman 2 made the lead up enticing and help deliver this movie to a hungry crowd. Joss Whedon deserves all the credit for putting this movie together beautifully, being able to juggle so many characters and give everyone enough scene time is a feat in itself. What surprised me the most about this movie is the humour, I actually laughed out loud and wasn't expecting it to be as funny at all. Very enjoyable movie and still one that you can revisit again and again just for its sheer eye candy.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2012, PG-13)
At last Spidey is back & he is back in a major way. I am a spiderman fan so this is going to come out with bias. Its a hard ask for a reboot to come so close after the last spiderman but I like this spiderman better. Mainly because its staying closer to the comics and because of Andrew Garfield as peter/spiderman. I love too that Gwen Stacy is a "proper" girlfriend and that this movie really lays down the foundation of the characters and their relationships. Its not a perfect movie, I feel the lizard falls short for me.... because it's just too cg for my tastes., & of course his motivations seem a bit hair-brained (relax., its a comic adaptation) Otherwise from that the cast was great and I feel like we are finally seeing the real spiderman... I should say that I did like Sam Raimi's spiderman too ...(even though 2 & 3 really dwindled down for me..) I hope they follow up 'amazing' with some worthy sequels.
Iron Man 2 2010, PG-13)
Captain America: The First Avenger 2011, PG-13)
Thor 2011, PG-13)
Batman 1989, PG-13)
This movie should have been titled "The Joker". Its still how the dark knight should have been depicted...nice and dark. Michael Keaton does a good job as Bruce Wayne/Batman but most of the focus is on The Joker and Jack Nicholson does a great job with the role. Nice visuals and good special effects. It bugs me when Batmans Jet gets taken down by The Jokers revolver..come on!!?... never the less a good job with an awesome character. Does feel a little dated and I am not too happy with how many times Batman gets shot, surely he would move out the way instead of just standing there!!?!!
Hellboy 2004, PG-13)
Constantine 2005, R)
Blade 1998, R)
Spider-Man 2 2004, PG-13)
Men in Black 1997, PG-13)
Hulk 2003, PG-13)
I thought it was a good attempt at putting emotion into a superhero movie. It reminded me alot of the tv series... you know how you wait forever for Bruce to turn into the green Lou..I mean the HULK. Great editing and the comic stlyed bars for the pans/scrolls was very clever. I thought Eric Bana, Jennifer Connolly and NIck Nolte did a great job ( esp. Nick)...still felt like something was missing from the end. The climactic battle was a bit of a fizzer.
The Mask of Zorro 1998, PG-13)
Memoirs of an Invisible Man 1992, PG-13)
Superman Returns 2006, PG-13)
okay look I've got to say it...Whats with the small "S"... yeah I know I'm being a stickler but damn man..it bugged the hell out of me. The colour of supermans threads, why so dark? Has he been hanging out with Batman too much?.... So he went away for 6 years or whatever..then why does he look like he is in his mid 20's...then how old was he when he left?... OK, now that that is out of the way.... Just as Brandon Routh was channelling Christopher Reeve, Bryan Singer was channelling Richard Donner. Don't get me wrong they both did a great job and this is a worthy add on to the superman franchise but, but ..the same jokes?!. Look I get it Brian Singer you are really paying homage to Richard Donner ( and rightly so) but damn Bryan is a great story teller and he could have done better if he just let go of the shackles of the old movies. This movie definitely saves the franchise from rubbing out the good work that Richard Donner put forward and thank the Lord that Singer turned it around. Looking forward to a sequel where the old movies are behind us and we see where this new fresh version is taking us. Casting was good but I felt Kate Bosworth didn't give us a good Lois...was it her dialogue or was it that she just looks too young and pretty, but she is a fine actor nevertheless. (IMO the best Lois Lane is Terri Hatcher, mind you its hard to play second fiddle to a man in tights that can lift aeroplanes and fly).
The Crow 1994, R)
The Incredible Hulk 2008, PG-13)
I thought a reboot is supposed to be better? Sure, a better villain is supposed to make the movie better but I could've played a video game & got more heart out of it. This was disappointing, I actually prefer the Ang Li version better, at least that had a bit of heart to it. This felt like a video game, & ended up looking like one at the end.
Superman II 1981, PG)
Basically riding off the back of the superior first movie. It was very clever to continue with Lois Lane figuring out who clark kent really is and then moving this movie on to a romantic track. It does get a little slapsticky ( yeah I know that word doesn't exist ), but Gene Hackman does a great job with steering the second major plot point. It loses some of the spark of the original when fantasy elements find their way into the movie...like the infamous throwing of the celephane S thing. Shows that Richard Lester doesn't know anything about the original mythology. Still a very entertaining movie. (Terence Stamp was well cast as General Zod ) and of course there is no faulting Christopher Reeves performance of Superman...who somehow looks natural in tights and a red cape.
X-Men: The Last Stand 2006, PG-13)
This movie was disappointing, I guess X2 really got me too excited for something major and this doesn't pull it off. There are some nice set pieces but the end battle just comes off rushed and not really thought out. e.g. Surely throwing exploding cars into a fray is the first thing you do rather than just having all your troops storm the place in no clear strategy at all.... then start shooting cars into the crowd. I thought having Kelsey Grammer as Beast was cool and the best scene was definitely being in Jean Greys house and the action that comes from that. I found that in the end this movie works best as a trilogy, that is ...watching the 3 movies together in one sitting... but on its own it doesn't feel right.
The Rocketeer 1991, PG)
The Phantom 1996, PG)
X-Men Origins - Wolverine 2009, PG-13)
Batman Returns 1992, PG-13)
A very entertaining movie. I loved Selina Kyle/Catwoman. Michelle Pfeiffer had just the right amount of crazy to sexy ratio in her portrayal. Just goes to show that Tim Burton is really more interested in the bad guys than the good guys. Danny Devito is great as the penguin & so is Christopher Walken as Selina's boss. Tim Burton's dark style is really seen through out this movie and it suits the subject matter well. I think the more I watch Tim Burtons Batman I start to see a character that doesn't really know what he is doing, a character that just reacts to whatever is in front of him. Which I don't like. For me Batman is front footed, not someone that lets a girl in a catsuit come up to him and caress him only to get stabbed by her claws also I felt that some parts where stretching it ... like batmans boat/jet ski thingy through the sewerage tunnels... was it necessary??... he's a smart guy couldn't he just have gotten there by car..and climbed down a manhole??..or are we just trying to squeeze in some toys for kids??... and whats with the whole programmable batarang that gets caught by a dog ..COME ON!!!... give batman some skill.... that part always has me yelling at the screen?.... nuff said.
Ghost World 2001, R)
Life after school, I felt "Ghost World" captured the limbo great. I especially like how the story just unravels in a very spontaneous way. I guess the downside of this is that it doesn't really go anywhere ( but does it have to?...I guess there is character development but no end result).. you just get to know the characters well and they are well fleshed out. I like the fact that it is unpredictable and fresh in its quirkiness but I did feel the ending was a bit of a let down. (then again what the hell was I expecting?!... know what I'm saying?!.. I guess this movie is different enough that it has me asking these questions.)
X-Men 2000, PG-13)
I just watched this again not to long ago and I was surprised at how bad it was. I can't remember it being this bad. The direction is good but the dialogue is pretty shocking, if it weren't for Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) this movie would really suffer. A lot of ground work needs to be covered to make the Xmen really work, but it struggles in many ways. Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart work well against each other and I think thats what gives this movie a little credibility. That being said, its not an easy thing to get these characters to work together but that's the main draw to Xmen., its that its super beings working together and you don't see much of that at all in this movie.
Fantastic Four 2005, PG-13)
This movie is alot of fun, and I enjoyed it but (theres always a but) the movie wasn't well cast IMO Jessica Alba is the bee's knee's and all but she didn't make a good Sue Storm, she's too damn hot to play a nerdy scientist how is she related to Chris Evans Johnny Storm... now Chris Evans fit Johnny Storm to a T (funniest lines, great delivery & smooth with the ladies) but he does not look anything like Jessica Alba (and thank god for that.) Michael Chiklis was better in the THING make-up then he was outside of it, I don't think his acting was on par before his transformation to the THING. Ioan Gruffudd looked the part but I don't think he quite had the yank accent and he seemed a bit hollow. The only notable I thought was Julian McMahon, who I thought was great as Dr Doom...made him seem real even though the dialogue sounded straight out of saturday morning cartoons. To the actors credit they made a great team, they gelled well together but this movie didn't have enough of those scenes in it. All in all good fun and a worthy adaptation of the Fantastic Four but could still use some work...here's hoping that everything goes well in the sequel ( director Tim Story did his job well..nice visuals, good pace....script needs some work...e.g. Dooms motivation was a bit fuzzy.)
Dick Tracy 1990, PG)
Flash Gordon 1980, PG)
The Shadow 1994, PG-13)
Mystery Men 1999, PG-13)
Sky High 2005, PG)
Darkman 1990, R)
Ghost Rider 2007, PG-13)
I found the story very clunky (the beginning left much to be desired..)but its saving grace is its great visuals and Nicholas Cage ... he practically carries the movie through its vague plot points.. and damn Eva Mendes looks hot in this movie. Not completely a waste of time but you have to bite your lip through certain scenes.
Judge Dredd 1995, R)
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 2003, PG-13)
Men in Black II 2002, PG-13)
Spider-Man 3 2007, PG-13)
I found this movie the most Comic booky of the lot. Quite filled out with many different plot points to cover (which make it feel even more comic booky).. I guess I had to put my mind into the whole.."hey, this is really a comic book movie"... and unless I did that I knew that I was going to really be scrutinizing this movie too much to enjoy it.
Blade II 2002, R)
Spawn 1997, PG-13)
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance 2012, PG-13)
The Punisher 2004, R)
I watched the directors cut and it was a lot better than the original but still fell short. There are two very well set up pieces, the death of frank castle and the fight against the Russian (which was brilliant) its because of those brilliant moments you actually get a little bit of hope for this movie. Thomas Jane does a good job at playing the cold killer that is 'the punisher', but the crappy dialogue really fails the villain played by John Travolta, which we know can play a villain. The stand out was Will Patton as "Leonard Glass", he plays his character perfectly and could not be replaced. The sad attempt to put support characters to provide some much needed levity fails miserably., straight up this could have been something but the script fails this miserably and the end scene needed a lot more bad guys in my opinion. This one is just for the fans of the comic who will appreciate their hero materializing for some good scenes.
Blade: Trinity 2004, R)
The Spirit 2008, PG-13)
Daredevil 2003, PG-13)
Very disappointing. It does have some great special effects.. (when DD first experiences his powers as a boy)... but it is over saturated in computer effects and hardly ever feels like its real..(yeah yeah I know its a movie, but you know what I mean). The love story was really dumb and the sex scene..feels like it was just squeezed in for eye candy. The story unravels like a crappy video game..especially the end. Very badly written and COME ON... do injuries actually mean anything in this movie.DAMN. (add half a star for the directors version..he actually takes out the sex scene.)
Elektra 2005, PG-13)
There was alot of potential in Elektra but unfortunately it falls because of the action that is without consequence. This airy magical stuff is all fine if it holds within its own laws (pro's & con's etc etc) and unfortunately Elektra felt like they wrote it backwards.. they first put together the climactic battle at the end and then tried to write a story that would lead to it. It felt that more time was put into the action shots and the effects shots rather than into the story and the scenes that involved drama. The actors do well with the effect shots, making things believable but the acting falls short during the drama and partially because of the awkward script. Jennifer Garner is a hottie and I'm sure she could have done better given the chance, I would have liked to have seen them (you know "them") make more of an attempt to make the actor look like the comic book hero... darker hair, same costume but I guess this movie wasnt about the comic book because they would have worked in more violent action scenes and much more realism.
Batman Forever 1995, PG-13)
I guess Joel Schumacher was more a fan of the tv series than the comics. It was an early warning when you see batmans car go up a wall that this movie is just for the kids... and I'm talking about the kids that have no idea about physics, have an attention span of 3.5 seconds and will buy alot of toys. It does speed through everything very quickly and I guess thats why I can still sit and watch it. Jim Carrey is great as the riddler and its a shame that Schumacher decides to put two face into it as well as its congested enough as it is. Val Kilmer was very forgettable but believable as Bruce & Batman, I prefer this batman character than the first two (which I just watched) as he more decisive and not railroaded like Keaton's Batman who never seemed quite sure what he was doing. Tommy Lee Jones I felt was miscast in this, two face just ends up like another joker in this, doesn't do anything distinct or remotely interesting. I think the problem with this movie is all in the terrible script and the direction...especially as it gets to the end. It feels so hacked together & its really all about getting certain shots in.
Catwoman 2004, PG-13)
The Punisher 1989, R)
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace 1987, PG)
okay if its a clone of superman why doesn't it look like superman? how the hell does putting a bit of material in a petrie dish give you a person born with a suit on? WHY THE HELL DOES NUCLEAR MAN SOUND LIKE GENE HACKMAN???... damn, I just want to cry. I could go on and on....Christopher Reeve really tries hard in this one but seriously there is no saving it. I feel sorry for a awesome actor like Gene Hackman having to deal with some of the stupid shit that his character has to say in this. WHY WHY WHY?!?! (two stars for the producers of this movie, who some how managed to get Gene Hackman & Christopher Reeve in this...and poor Margot Kidder and her cameo, that took some serious bullshit..or maybe thats where the budget went).
Batman & Robin 1997, PG-13)
I guess Joel Schumacher wanted to put his own stamp on the Batman franchise and I guess he viewed it as a kids movie or maybe he was just a fan of the tv show. I think he makes that evident with the amount of colour that he puts into the movie and of course when Batman & Robin show up at a gala night, it kind of kills the whole detective/ninja thing that is suppose to scare the bad guys. I think it would be pretty hard to get bad guys to hate you when you have nipples on your armour. But hey, Gotham city looks great, everything is so colourful and shiny yet DAMN it takes a whole lot more than that to make a comic hero movie work. George Clooney (& I am a fan) just dials in his performance as batman..(classic e.g. is when freeze locks them into a safe and freezes his hands to the wall and batman says... "you'll never get away with this blah blah..is the cheque in the mail Joel?....I mean Mr Freeze, ah Doctor, Doctor Freeze"..okay not exactly like that but my god its terrible.. I can't stop laughing at that part... Arnie is the only one that can somehow make his terrible lines sound at least funny... but Joel should have at least put the kitchen sink in this one as he speeds through all the plot devices like an infomercial. Batgirl Mr Schumacher?!...damn!! isn't there enough in this one?..oh I get it, we can't have two guys in nipple armour and tights fight against a girl .... that would be.... wrong.( One & a Half stars for the colour and the sheer balls to try and get away with batman and robin sky surfing with doors from a safe from who knows how high to safely land on the ground...COME ON!!!! *holds breath and counts to ten*...its for kids iven, its for kids....
Superman III 1983, PG)
WHY why why?! It was going so well... firstly.. Richard Pryor as a computer hacker?!... what the???... secondly Superman splits in two??... what the?? Thirdly.. nothing between Lois and Superman. He just gave up his powers for this one woman, actually he gave it ALL up for this woman, and now they barely even look in each others direction...what the?!?! ... I dont mind a little fantasy but this supercomputer thing should have just had a leprechaun sitting in the middle and it probably would have made more sense. DAMN why WHY WHY?!?! (two stars for at least having Christopher Reeve in it)