Thursday, May 31, 2012

My favorite comic book movie

I just saw THE AVENGERS. I figured, why go the first night? Like everyone else it seems, I found it rollicking good fun. Joss Whedon knows how to hold an audience, choreograph mayhem, and even more impressive – get good laughs along the way.

Robert Downey Jr. was a hoot! Gwyneth Paltrow turned in a lovely cameo (thus giving her plenty of time for her colon cleanses). Samuel L. Jackson traded his PULP FICTION afro for an eye patch but he was still "Jules." At any point I expected him to stop and say, “Now that’s a mighty fine burger.” Mark Ruffalo managed to fill Edward Norton’s big green shoes admirably as the Hulk. Jeremy Renner is good in every action movie he’s in… which is every action movie now being made. Chris Evans can throw and take a punch. Chris Hemsworth keeps that delicate balance of superhero and GAME OF THRONES character. Cobie Smulders was used perfectly -- she delivered an occasional line of bald exposition while in a body suit.  And standout for me was Scarlett Johansson who is easily the hottest, baddest-ass half-Jewish girl in cinema today!

Like I said, I liked it a lot. And I had not seen all the individual prequels yet still found it easy to follow and care.

Two quibbles – but these apply to practically all comic book movies.

1) There’s always a major fight scene over Manhattan and pedestrians are watching. No! They’d be running for their fucking lives, not turning back until they reached South Dakota. They wouldn’t be looky-loos from floor-to-ceiling windows in skyscrapers while giant alien space ships are slicing these concrete towers in their wake. Okay, maybe Roger Sterling from MAD MEN but that’s just because he’s so drunk and bored.

2) Superheroes come together and save the world and instead of thanks, a ticker tape parade, and a guest spot on THE TALK, the government calls them a nuisance and wants to shut them down. Huh?  What?  Sarah Palin is a great American, but Iron Man needs to be held in check?

Still, I’d have to say THE AVENGERS is up there as one of my favorite comic book movies. But it’s not my favorite.


The special effects, which were eye-popping when it was originally released in 1980, now look primitive. And the thought that Superman would give up his powers for Margot Kidder stretches credibility even in a comic book world. But Christopher Reeve was so damn great as the Man of Steel.

And… here’s why this movie wins for me… for all the heart-pounding action and dazzling destruction, Superman ultimately uses his brain to outsmart his super villain opponents.

That’s what was missing for me in THE AVENGERS. They won on might, on taking advantage of their various superpowers.  You got a little of that with Scarlett but she's Jewish.  Invaders were smashed, pierced, clubbed by hammers, whacked by shields, and thwarted by flying sardine cans with energy lasers. Stirring and spectacular, and if you watched it in 3D – all taking place in your lap – but to me not as satisfying as that one great moment where Superman squeezes General Zod’s hand and you realize he tricked him. That was worth fifty explosions. And then Clark Kent goes back in the diner where those rednecks roughed him up and you’re cheering the minute he steps into the room. That’s a payoff, boys and girls!

I know there will be an AVENGERS II (hell, there was a MANNEQUIN II) and my only suggestion for it would be to incorporate some ingenuity into the world saving.

Next up for me is the new Batman. I’m sure it will leave me exhilarated, confused, and depressed. But isn’t that what a good popcorn movie is supposed to do?

By the way, if you haven’t seen THE AVENGERS yet (or you have but left during the closing credits), stay till the very end. You will be rewarded. Joss Whedon always has another little surprise up his sleeve.


Natalie said...

Friday question - I asked this once before in jest, but it really is a sincere question.

Say the writing staff is going over a script and somebody finds a plot hole, major continuity error, inconsistency, glaring factual there any discussion about fixing it or is the attitude just "eh, it's TV, the audience doesn't care."

I'm usually able to suspend disbelief for at least the 44 minutes the show is on the air, but lately I've seen some writing that I think is honestly pretty sloppy. Easily Googleable facts gotten wrong. Inconsistent character histories from not just one season to another but from one episode to another! Huge plot holes.

It's hard to enjoy a show when ever couple minutes you are thinking "but wait a minute..."

Steve Zeoli said...

I have yet to see The Avengers, but am looking forward to it. Loved the comic books and the animated TV series from the '60s. Still, what always bothers me is this: If mankind is at risk, why doesn't Tony Stark just manufacture 1000 Iron Man suits and train a battalian of special forces soldiers in how to use them? Is he that worried about his patent?

Dan Fiorella said...

While I agree with your Avengers & Superman II reviews, I disagree with:

And then Clark Kent goes back in the diner where those rednecks roughed him up and you’re cheering the minute he steps into the room. That’s a payoff, boys and girls!

I hated that scene. Clark risks exposing his secret identity to get revenge on some red-neck after saving the world? That struck me as very petty for a super hero, IMO.

Otherwise, spot on.

Colin said...

I liked the part where the Avengers change uniforms and come out and hang 21 on the Rangers.

And I'm a Rangers fan.

Charles H. Bryan said...

I've not yet seen the Avengers, but I absolutely agree about Superman II. I remember when I first saw it I thought "I wish I had a kid right now, just to say 'You want to be a good person? Learn this from Superman -- he gave up his personal happiness for the sake of other people. You can't do much better than that.' "

It's not just a great superhero movie; it's a great story with a great message.

And Ken, congrats to your Mariners on last night's game against Texas. Holy crap.

Matt said...

I would add that it was mastery over anger (hulk) tactical nous (Cap) and ingenuity (the surprise coaxing of the new Iron Man suit) that paid an important part in the victory. But that moment in Superman II is golden.

The Mutt said...

So Superman straight-up murders three defenseless people, then picks a fight with a man who has no chance of beating him. A complete violation of everything Superman had stood for for decades. Horrible. Just horrible.

Blaze said...

Our opinions are so much closer than usual! "Avengers" was great. I have been comparing it to my feelings from the once upon a time for "Superman". However, #1 ("the Movie"), not #2. #1 was gold, #2 was silver, #3 was zinc and #4 was something stuck to the bottom of a shoe.

The "lookie-loo scenario"...every action or cop or thriller or any show where a character wears a gun has lookie-loos. Apparently, the biggest entertainment in a city is to stand and watch a raging fire or a hostage-terrorist situation. The bad guys and SWAT might open up any second with an OK Corral firefight, but the police always have to keep the bozos back.

With alien invasions, it makes a wee bit more sense. First, they are seemingly everywhere, so where is safe to go? And secondly, aliens! That is actually something to stop and look at.

Bri said...

I wish I could get into superhero movies, since that's all Hollywood is able to make a profit on anymore, so one day that's all there will be.

I can't, due to their utter predictability.

I hear there's Spiderman movie coming out this summer. Wonder what that's about? And don't get me started on Batman.

I'd take some of Grandpa Whedon's material any day over this, but when people empty their pockets they way they do for superhero movies, I know I'm fighting a losing battle.

Obdulia - juegos gratis said...

I like it!

Thomas said...

If it were up to me, I would have named The Avengers, "Iron Man and The Hulk mostly and also some others".

It actually really didn't appeal to me. It was so *generic*. What's the point of hiring Joss Whedon, if it's just going to be a standard exploding superhero film? He's known for much smarter stories, so it felt awfully mundane to have a good-vs-unambiguous-evil story, which could have been written by any other writer.

In terms of explosions per minute, it was great. But that, to me, does not alone justify the rave reviews.

John said...

My main concern was they destroyed Park Avenue down to about 35th Street, which is going to make it really tough for me to get to my hotel a few blocks south next month.

And, yea, listening to the second and third innings of the Rangers-Ms game last night on XM was pretty amazing -- by the time it got to 14-0 with one out in the third it was almost like the start of that old Bugs Bunny cartoon with the Gashouse Gorillas conga-lining around the bases.

Mary Stella said...

I'm not a big superhero movie fan and haven't seen The Hulk, Captain America, Thor or the two Ironman films.

I went to see the Avengers because I've idolized Joss Whedon since the Buffy days. I LOVED the movie.

Tony Stark had the best lines, but for me, Scarlet Johanssen's scenes with the Russians in the beginning and then with Loki were terrific. They might be my favorites of the movie.

Matt Tauber said...

You need to rewatch "Superman II", as it is a terrible movie. Yes, it was great when I was a kid, but oh how it stings these adult eyes.

As The Mutt mentioned in an earlier reply, Zod and Ursa are murdered instead of arrested and brought to justice. Non is allowed to fall to his death. This is all followed by light-hearted banter with Lex Luthor.

The return scene to the diner where he beats up the bully doesn't bother me. The trucker didn't care about a fare fight when he beat up Clark. But how did he beat up Clark, did losing his powers suddenly remove his knowledge of fighting or his muscle tone?

And why did he give up his powers? His mother said he could not marry a mortal without becoming one. This is wrong in that Superman is mortal, he's just an human. But, gee, sorry Mom, I'm the last of my race, so unless you want me to be a eunuch I'm going to have to get it on with an Earth girl.

After he gets beat up in the diner, there is the news report about Zod, and so Clark walks back to the Fortress?!? Everything you care about is in jeopardy, but take your time, buddy!

There's so much more - the giant saran wrap "S" weapon, the goofy Dick Lester touches, the Niagara Falls hotel room scene that goes on and on - but I get your central point. Superman doesn't out-muscle the villains, and that's kind of bold for a modern super hero flick (though good for the budget).

Btw, "Superman" is my favorite all-time movie, which makes the sequel all that harder to take.

edprof said...

Hulk was the star.

RCP said...

"There’s always a major fight scene over Manhattan and pedestrians are watching. No! They’d be running for their fucking lives, not turning back until they reached South Dakota."

Having lived in Manhattan for 11 years, I can assure you that most people on the streets would look up, stop for a second, mutter "I don't have time for this shit" and continue on their ways.

Mark said...

The Richard Donner director's cut of Superman II is much superior to the Richard Lester release version. Just in case the distinction means anything to anybody but me.

Brian Phillips said...

Regarding Superman II, it was made on the Salkind Plan, in which brothers Alexander and Ilya would film enough for two movies and tell the actors that they made one. This is the other side of the Cimino/Kubrick Plan, in which one feels like one has shot enough for two movies, but in fact is making one.


Because Superman I and II were made at the same time, I remember reading something Margot Kidder said before S1 came out, but she was referring to S2. There is a scene in which she lies in bed with Superman "in a PG sort of way", said Kidder. She was supposed to say, "Oh, Superman". Friend-of-the-blog Chevy Chase suggested to her that she say, "Oh, Super-wooper-pooper-DOOPER-Man!"

For a funny take on why connubial bliss would be unwieldy or even fatal, read Larry Niven's story, "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex". from "All the Myriad Ways". One of many points made is, how hard would a super-baby kick in the womb?

Johnny Walker said...

Just adding my 2c to the pile suggesting watching the Richard Donner cut of Superman II. If that's your favourite superhero movie, you owe it to yourself to watch what might have been!

Johnny Walker said...

Also, I loved The Avengers, too! So glad to see Joss Whedon hit the big time. I hope it sticks!

Nat Gertler (Sitcom Room alum) said...

Warners had Whedon all lined up to do a Wonder Woman film. Script all writ and everything. Decided not to go ahead with it.

Think they're kicking themselves now? (Or too busy trying to put together a Justice League film to notice?)

DJ said...

This was addressed in the Iron Man comic books. Basically, the more suits there are (or if the technology gets too far out), the more likely they'd fall into "the wrong hands." The story had Stark going on a one-man campaign to take his tech back from bad guys, the US military, everyone.

Based on some photos that have leaked from Iron Man 3, they might touch on it there, too.

Eduardo Jencarelli said...

Superman II isn't even close to the original film. To me, nothing tops the original Superman. The John Williams soundtrack itself makes them worth it.

Avengers is by far the best of the Marvel produced movies. It's a good sign of what's to come. Joss Whedon is definitely a keeper.

Also, going off-topic for a second: regarding the burger debate from the other post, I was at Shake Shack last week. Seriously overrated. Burger Joint is ten times better.

Lex Luthor said...

Matt Tauber above is absolutely right. I watched "Superman II" a few weeks ago, and it is a mindnumbingly wretched piece of excrement. I can't believe I actually liked it.

Besides the flaws Matt mentioned, there's an additional "walking scene": besides Clark walking back to the Fortress, him AND Lois actually walk FROM the Fortress down to the bar the first time. Seriously. In their fucking regular clothes.

I guess the Fortress of Solitude should best be called "The Fortress just on the other side of that hilltop there", because that was just one of the dumbest things I've ever seen in a mainstream movie.

The rest of the movie is crap as well. The "kneel before Zod" scene is the only good thing about the entire movie.

I can't believe Ken thinks it's a good movie, albeit his favorite comic book movie. He must not have seen it since it opened.

Unknown said...

There's ALWAYS a scene after the credits in Marvel movies

Every single one of them has has one, starting wit Ed Norton's "Hulk", introducing Tony Stark.

DJ said...

The first one was in Iron Man, when Nick Fury introduced himself to Tony Stark. The next one was in the Norton Hulk movie, when Stark showed up to suggest a solution to Gen. Ross's Hulk problem.

Knuckles Buchanan said...

Yes, but Whedon threw in a ringer halfway through the credits. The final scene is, by far, my favorite scene in the movie.

tb said...

I saw a reference to "Mannequin II" on Family Guy last night - something like "I hate all time-travel movies-except Mannequin II"

Brian Doan said...

As a fan of the movie and your blog, just a couple of quibbles to your quibbles...(:

1) Isn't it ultimately Tony Stark's brain-- his ability to understand how to use the tesserarck-tunnel-whoozit-macguffin the aliens/Loki have used to come to Earth as a means of destroying them-- that saves the day? Sure, he can't do it without the suit, but it's his mind that makes the play (a feeling enhanced by how Whedon shows us Tony's face--instead of his mask--when he's flying into space, knowing he won't see Pepper again. In other words, it's the human stakes that count for Whedon, just as in his TV shows).

2) We actually do see scared people running everywhere, and get quite a bit of dialogue about what to do to transport civilians to safety (it's how Captain America introduces himself to the cops). And SUPERMAN II-- which I also love, and was also reminded of watching THE AVENGERS-- is even more egregious here, featuring numerous shots of people not only watching, but acting as a Greek chorus-- "They hit Superman!...Superman is DEAD!...", etc.

But you know, that's ok. In some ways, it feels as "realistic" as anything else. Yes, you'd eventually want to run, but c'mon-- a guy in a metal suit, a Norse god and a green Hulk are flying through the air, and you're NOT going to take a moment to look up and be awestruck by how cool that is?

As an Ohioan, I was mostly tickled to see how they used our fair Cleveland as their downtown, including having the Renaissance Hotel (where I'd just been a week before) double as the "Germany" where Loki tries to stage his coup. Given that Superman is a Cleveland invention, it feels appropriate.

David Schwartz said...

I have such mixed feelings about the comic book movies. It's wonderful to see these characters that I loved as a child (and into adulthood) represented on the big screen. Yet it always seems bittersweet when I see that the Producers of these movies plaster their own names all over the titles, but give so little credit to the people who actually created these heroes. It sure would be nice if the Producers were a little more generous with the credits of the people who created these franchises. The co-creator of almost every character in the Avengers and the man who designed their look and their costumes, was a man named Jack Kirby. Yet, he didn't even get a mention until the end credits, and not very prominently at that. Jack Kirby co-created the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Thor, Captain America, the Hulk, the Silver Surfer, and so many more characters, and yet the movie-makers didn't give him any kind of prominent mention. I know that comic book creators have all too often not gotten royalties for their characters, it's just a shame they can't even get prominent credit for the franchises they've created.

Kirk said...

I know the fanboys are going to hate this, but my favorite superhero movie is BATMAN. Not the one Tim Burton directed. I mean the one that came out in 1966. Starred Adam West. Was based on the TV series.

Two scenes stand out. First, Batman has a bomb that's about to go off. Everytime he thinks he's found a safe place for it to detonate, he instead encounters nuns, children, drunks, even little duckies.

"Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb!"

The other great scene. Earlier in the movie, the Penguin dehydrated the Gotham City equivelent of the United Nations Security Council, reducing them to dust. During a climatic fight scene, the vials containing the Council members get knocked over, and that dust gets all mixed up. Batman takes all that dust to the batcave, where he painstakingly seperates each Council member. Back at the United Nations, he rehydrates the little piles of dust. It seems to be a success, as the members become human once again. The world (satellite broadcast, hosted by Commisioner Gorden himself) proclaims Batman a hero!...but there's one leeeettle problem...The ambassador from Japan is speaking french, the ambassador from France is speaking Italian, etc.

Batman, ever the optimist, looks on the bright side:

"Who knows, Robin? This strange mixing of minds may be the greatest single service ever performed for humanity! Let's go, but, inconspicuously, through the window. We'll use our Batropes. Our job is finished."

John Trumbull said...

My friend Matt Tauber above is right. But the epilogue where Clark Kent returns to beat up the trucker (singular) is GROSSLY out of character for Superman. He just saved the ENTIRE WORLD from three Kryptonian supervillains, but his ego is SO fragile that he can't rest easy until he beats up the trucker who makes him bleed? BULLSHIT! That's as bad as Sam Malone telling a potential one-night stand that he'd rather just be friends.

Paul Duca said...

Ken, what reason IS there for you--a smart, clever grownup--to GO to comic book movies aimed at teenaged boys?

By Ken Levine said...

I AM still a teenage boy.

Steve said...

Not sure if it's your cup of tea, Ken but the animated "Batman: Year One" that came out recently on DVD is worth a look. A little silly in parts but with Bryan Cranston and Eliza Dushku doing voice work, who can quibble?

DwWashburn said...

Everyone to their own opinion, but Superman II was a travesty to me.

I've been a comic collector since the 60s. I was on the road auditing a company in Baton Rouge when II came out. The people I was working with knew by affinity for comic books and suggested we see the movie one night.

I rarely talk in movie houses and through most of the movie I sit there in absolute shock as to the mockery that was the script. But when Superman kisses the panicing Lois and makes everything go back to normal, I said in a voice louder than I thought I used "Oh, come on". I got a few giggles and several hand claps.

Of the Reeve movies it was the worst IMHO. I even liked IV better. That shows you how bad I thought it was.

Phillip B said...

Mrs. Peel, we're needed...

Mike said...

I also liked The Avengers, especially because of the funny lines and scenes. But I agree that Superman is still #1. I even liked the last one, Superman Returns, though it could have been better with a different story line.

Pete Grossman said...

Yes, Superman II. Was lucky enough to see it in a screening room months before it was released. Many knew I went and hounded me for the story, but I pledged not to tell anyone as I wanted everyone else to have the experience of seeing it for the first time - and be blown away like I was.

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Pat Reeder said...

I never got into superhero comics as a kid (I did read all the Archie's Jokebook comics, which taught me every one-liner that has been kicking around since vaudeville), and superhero movies give me a headache (plus an eye-ache if they're in 3D). So I probably won't be seeing "The Avengers." In fact, the weekend it opened, my wife and I went to see "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" instead. That's how square I am. Despite the lack of CGI explosions and the phrase "Let's do this!" in the dialogue, it was actually quite enjoyable.

Johnny Walker said...

The story of Superman II is a fascinating one. Donner was filming the first two movies back to back. Unfortunately he was going over budget and was at constant loggerheads with Warner. Eventually, Warner demanded he focus on finishing the first film so they could stop production, see how it did, and decide what to do with the half-finished second.

The first film wasn't just a success, it was Warner's biggest movie ever. Donner and the cast felt vindicated but Warner decided to pull Donner from the project, instating Richard Lester to film the remainder of the sequel.

The cast was up in arms. Hackman threatened to quit, but there was nothing anyone could do. There was a wry feeling that, if Superman had been a failure, they would have forced Donner to stay.

Ironically, it ended up costing Warner more to get Lester to direct the sequel, as he couldn't be credited as director unless he filmed at least 50 percent of the movie, meaning they had to reshoot a ton of the already 70% finished film.

Donner's Cut, or what they could piece together, shows an awesome movie, and is worth everyone's time. Especially if you disliked Lester's version!.

Mark Patterson said...

Why does everyone assume that the Kryptonian criminals died at the end of Superman II? We know that Superman doesn't kill. It's a funnybook movie...if you don't see a body, they ain't dead.

The reason I detested the last bit with the trucker is that Superman is not a bully. Once he had his powers back, he had no business going after anyone.

Everyone else seemed to like it, though.

Eric said...

As a long time geek, I'll say this about The Avengers; it really captured the uselessness of Hawkeye.

Tony Tower said...

Jumping in on the SUPERMAN II comments. . .

Mark Patterson (hi, Mark) is right - the Phantom Zoners are not "murdered." Falling into fog/snow in the film is more than a little vague, but they didn't die. A cut scene shows arctic police leading them away, and Superman destroying the Fortress since it's location is no longer secret.

Clark and Lois are shown driving to the diner. It's unclear where the car came from and whether they drove the whole way, but they didn't walk. Clark does walk back alone, sure, but that's just part of his penance - the Passion Of The Superman, if you will. A bit overwrought, but fair game.

Warner Brothers didn't fire Donner from SUPERMAN II. The producers, Ilya and Alex Salkind did. The Donner cut on DVD is far superior to the theatrical version, IMO.

Finally, SUPERMAN I and II screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz biography, MY LIFE AS A MANKIEWICZ, is just out and highly recommended. By me, anyway.

joeyang said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
joeyang said...

Love your review of Avengers, but I have to disagree about Manhattanites being looky-loos. I was there on 9/11. There were a lot of people just standing around going, "Hey, I think that's a giant flaming hole in the World Trade Center. Neat."

Daniel said...

(Born in Argentina, grow up in Italy, I hope my English is good enough for the point I want to make).
I loved the Avengers, I liked Superman 2 better than 1 (mostly because no hero is better than his villain and Luthor in 1, even if he was great played by Gene Hackman, had a ridiculous plan).
But Zod in Superman II was trying to win the fight with the power he got because he was kryptonian. So we had a great moment when Superman beats him by being smarter. His perfect contrary.
Instead Loki does no use his power. He uses his intelligence, his planning. He is expecting his adversary to play his same game. So Hulk beats him by using the only thing that he does not expect. His strength. Again, his perfect contrary.
So I don’t think Superman 2 is better, it’s the same concept, used in a different way…

Lex Luthor said...

Tony Tower said: "Clark and Lois are shown driving to the diner. It's unclear where the car came from and whether they drove the whole way, but they didn't walk."

Are you saying that it's more plausible if maybe they walked to the nearest road, hitchhiked and got picked up by some North Pole resident that just happened to drive by The Fortress Of Solitude?

Tony Tower said...

Lex, I was merely responding to your "him AND Lois actually walk FROM the Fortress down to the bar the first time." That just is not what is shown in the film. It's not clear HOW it happened, certainly, but by the time we see Clark and Lois getting to the diner, they're driving a car and wearing clothes that we never saw them wear at the Fortress or at the honeymoon hotel.

I mean, i can make up a scenario, certainly. As shown, Superman gives up his powers immediately after his Holo-Mom tells him to. So presumably he had some idea of what was coming and flew off and borrowed a snowmobile. He and Lois skidooed to the nearest civilized outpost, bought a car and some clothes, and kept going to the diner.

It's not spelled out in the film how they get the car, and it stretches credibility more than a little. But not as badly as an amnesia kiss. ; )

Anonymous said...

Hi there. Quibble with Quibble #1: As a New Yorker, I can say that yes while many people will run and never look back. There are a lot of New Yorkers who will stand and watch (mostly dumbfounded) when all heck breaks loose from the sky and the world is coming to an end. If you doubt me, check news the news footage from a few years back. Notice that in the Avengers, as in real life, most huddled in restaurants and lobbies. Regards, Dave

Matt Tauber said...

The Phantom Zone criminals died because they didn't have any powers and fell into a long crevasse at the North Pole while wearing silk jumpsuits. No one tries to rescue them (cut scenes are a cheat, let's deal with the film as released) and we don't see them/hear about them in the two sequels.

I'll still defend the trucker reprisal to my old friend John Trumbull. If Superman is for the American Way, there's little more American than enjoying a jackass getting his just desserts.

The Mutt said...

I loved the series finale of MASH, when Hawkeye grabbed that rifle and shot those three Commies in the head, then he injected Hot Lips with that drug that would make her forget that they had sex.

That was so Hawkeye. That was the character I'd loved for years. What a perfect way to end his story.

John Trumbull said...

^ Mutt wins.

Anonymous said...

I recently rewatched the Superman movies in conjunction with reading a prepublication copy of Larry Tye's book SUPERMAN, which should be out in a couple of weeks (a decent history of Superman in all his manifestations, though it isn't as insightful as, say, Grant Morrison's sections on Superman in SUPERGODS from a year ago).

I was shocked at how awful they were. In my memory they had remained great films. Well, the first two anyway. The only way you could rank them as good movies is by factoring in the lack of changes in the movie industry in the past ten years. About the only thing that still impresses me is the soundtrack, which I still think one of the all time greats. But I wouldn't be tempted to put either film in the Top 25 best superhero movies.

Jango said...

I agree Ken, the 'twist' at the end of superman was very satisfying and I doubt many saw it coming. It did set the bar for a smart superhero movie although it did have many flaws.
I can't recall any other superhero movie that has had such an ingenious twisty ending like S2, except maybe M. Nights' 'Unbreakable'.

Rick said...

As far as I'm concerned, the top 5 comic book movies are, in no particular order:

X2, Spider-Man 2 (thanks in large part to Alfred Molina's sympathetic performance - what can I say, I like nuanced villains), Unbreakable, The Dark Knight, and Batman Begins.

The Avengers could probably be in my top 10, but it was mostly hurt, to me, by the boring faceless hordes of aliens and a fight that went on too long (since, apparently, every single member of the team had to have his or her own shot at killing some aliens and beating up Loki). Everything leading up to the finale was great. For those who enjoyed it enough, but weren't crazy about it, I'd strongly suggest watching it a second time. It feels far more cohesive the second time around.