Dear Movie Goers, it seems like we’re in Super Hero world when we look at the most popular films being produced today. Though a lot of serious film “people” think that super hero movies are nothing but a hunk of junk released in the summer to earn some movie, I can see why they think that. But I don’t entirely agree with them. This is because a lot of people tend to forget that movies are there for entertaining. They began as a form of entertainment and though I do enjoy the heavy weight Oscar-y type movies a lot more, I never fail to smile when a Super Hero flick comes up for me to ENJOY and have mindless fun. Super Hero movies are there to transport us from reality. They give us a sense of hope, apart from those bad-ass story lines, campy acting and breath taking special effects. Because I believe, admittedly or not, everybody loves Super Hero movies. With numerous flicks coming out in the near future: including “Thor 2”, “Man of Steel” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past”, and the recent smash release of “Iron Man 3” (2013), here’s my list of the Top 10 Best Super Hero Movies Ever Made. NOTE that there’s an art in these films, and not all of them are good movies. These films, I believe hit the right spots.
10. Superman (1978, Richard Donner) – The 70s plus super heroes means ultimate campiness. And that’s why I decided to include “Superman”. From literally flying around the Earthy (with outdated special effects, which at that time was revolutionary) to cheesy comic book lines, Richard Donner’s “Superman” wasn’t trying too hard to be something that it wasn’t. It’s pure fun with a cheeseballs (but super iconic performance) by the late Christopher Reeves as the Man of Steel. And how can we avoid the cameo of legendary Marlon Brando as Superman’s famous daddy Jor-El. It’s sad to say that a lot of teenagers and kids today can’t appreciate this picture because of its “fake” special effects and apparent bad writing, but kids today have to remember that this is a milestone of super hero movies. And it’s a lot better then that shit show that was 2006’s “Superman Returns”…trust me. For it’s time, “Superman” had outstanding visual effects and is definitely better written then then Bryan Singer version.
9. The Avengers (2012, Joss Whedon) – When “The Avengers” came out, people were excited to see everybody’s favourite super heroes (and some of the biggest stars of today) in an action pack epic that would blow them away. The film consisted on the mixture of numerous famous super hero personalities from five different movies. Though not all of those five movies are…great (some were actually pretty bad)…putting them all together and working really hard to make something great, really produced something…well, great. The movie isn’t too smart, which is good, and is just a whole lot of entertainment, filled with a sense of nostalgia. It also ends in an epic battle set in New York City where we find (picture above) the Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and the eccentric Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) in the kick-ass finale. Did I mention it’s one of the highest grossing movies of all time?
8. Batman Begins (2005, Christopher Nolan) – The visionary director found in Christopher Nolan reboots the Batman series with such darkness, brooding emotion and seriousness that the film serious became a gold mine for the genre. Christian Bale stars as the cape crusader and brings world class acting to the character that was once one dimensional or considered to be really corny. The whole ensemble that includes Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Cillian Murphy are fantastic just to name a few. And Katie Holmes, under Nolan’s direction actually acted pretty decent. The beginning of this series only boosted adrenaline to the next two pictures. With it’s legacy, Nolan made “Batman” famous again and this time with substance. He lies as one of the most famous characters in this century.
7. Batman Returns (1992, Tim Burton) – The only “Batman” movie that isn’t part of the Christopher Nolan series that appears on the list is Tim Burton’s 1992 version. Though I can’t say much for Michael Keaton’s acting as Batman (like I said it really is for Bale) the film has a supporting cast that is out of this world. Hathaway’s “Catwoman” will always be shadowed by one Michelle Pfieffer, who knocks the character out of the park. She never forgets that she is a comic book character but brings in a great depth to Catwoman’s tragic life. Her one liner’s are so memorable and Pfeiffer is so sexy in the role, that she is just so unforgettable. Danny De Vito’s Penguin is just as ruthless and despicable that this film makes it worth while. Apart from that, this lays as one of Burton’s best works. Though I’m not a huge fan of his library of motion pictures, Burton’s wacky and dark trademark gives this campy 1990s films just what it needs.
6. Spider-Man (2002, Sam Raimi) – Every adolescent boy (who was a huge fan of the first Spider-Man movie) would never forget that steamy scene when Kirsten Dunst (who was playing Mary Jane Watson) was drenched in the rain and we could see her nipples. Sorry for being crude if there are ladies reading this blog, but I never forgot it and I’m already twenty years old. Apart from that magnificent scene, which ends with the iconic upside down kiss shared by MJ and Peter Parker / Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire), the film is so good. I’m not even kidding when I say that, the film is actually triumphant in the super hero genre. Though “Spider-Man” is now more then ten years old, it remains fresh in everybody’s mind with it’s campiness, good acting and special effects that still stand today. Plus, the casting of Tobey Maguire as Spidey was ingenious. HE ACTS WITH HIS EYES, OKAY!? It makes me question: WHY THE HELL DID THEY REBOOT THIS FRANCHISE!? Apart from the disastrous third film, “Spider-Man” and it’s sequel are near perfect Super Hero movies.
5. Iron Man (2008, Jon Favreau) – Robert Downey Jr. was a known drug addict and Hollywood Diva in the 90s. It’s “Ironic” (see what I did there?) to see him come back so strong as a “hero” in “Iron Man”. But us movie fans are not offended. As Robert Downey Jr., fixed his life and surprised us all with his comeback in the first “Iron Man” movie back in 2008, movie magic was made. He, and his semi-sarcastic persona, embodied the tough Iron guy in the memorable Favreau picture. The first film will always be the best out of the bunch. It has a cool storyline, outstanding visual effects, great players and comedy. Everything we wanted in a movie. Oh, and also Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow as sexy but conservative secretary Pepper Potts.
4. X-Men: First Class (2011, Matthew Vaughn) – I was always a fan of the older X-Men movies, they were campy and fun…but often cringe worthy. When Matthew Vaughn’s “X-Men: First Class” first premiered in theatres back in 2011, I never looked back. I even saw it three times. For me the film wasn’t only quality super hero stuff, but brought the swinging 60s (a guilty pleasure of mine) into the picture. Apart from that, they got a cast of relatively unknown actors (well they were famous…they just weren’t household names at the time) and trusted them to headline a massive franchise…and it worked. The risk came out as this thrilling ode to the original X-Men comics that is hard to resist. Though it’s set in a more “prude-like” era, “X-Men: First Class” is sexier, more mind boggling and follows a smart type of filmmaking that makes the movie such a fantastic watch. James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult and Jennifer Lawrence are stand outs. Excited for the sequel coming out next year!
3. Spider-Man 2 (2004, Sam Raimi) – “Spider-Man 2” always hits a soft spot for me. This is because I believe that this is was the first Super Hero movie that really took storyline and character development into consideration. Yeah, we have the bad guy (found in Dr. Octopuss as portrayed superbly by Alfred Molina) but “Spider-Man 2” is really a story of human nature. And this is why I love it so much. We have Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) who is trying to balance out his responsibilities. Then we have Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) who is confused about her love life and where it’s going. Harry Osborn (James Franco) is depressed about his father’s death and is slowly developing into a mad man. And (weirdly my favourite character) Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) who is dealing with death of her husband and some financial problems as she goes broke. The film features all these great story lines with the visual effects and action extravaganza in between. Who could as for more? It’s a step up from the first 2002 edition of the series, and ends with a thrilling finale that doesn’t even include fighting a bad guy…just a wedding dress, a man and a woman.
2. The Dark Knight (2008, Christopher Nolan) – The lost of Heath Ledger back in 2008 was one of the biggest shocks of the new millennium. However, Ledger leaves us one last, haunting performance in his Oscar winning performance as Joker in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight”. The film explores morals and is certainly a step up from 2005’s “Batman Begins”. One of the highest grossing films of all time, “The Dark Knight” brings us into an even deeper Gotham as Batman (Christian Bale) battles another psychopath who does evil purely out of fun. The disturbing performance of Ledger will always remain as one of the most terrifying and modern star turns of our time, including one of the most iconic. Who thought Heath would ever out act Jack Nicholson? I never did, till this.
1. The Dark Knight Rises (2012, Christopher Nolan) – In my opinion, the greatest Super Hero movie of all time came out as early as last year. Nolan’s epic conclusion of his version of the Batman franchise is a powerful statement film that explores human nature and chaos. He delivers the movie as not only top notch entertaining but one of his career best (probably after 2000’s “Memento). The new addition to the cast which includes Academy Award winners Marion Cotillard and Anne Hathaway, along with the talented Mr. Tom Hardy (as super villain Bane) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt just enhances the ensemble which includes Bale, Caine, Freeman, Oldman and Cillian Murphy to name a few. It is one of the most awesomely casted super hero flicks ever made. “The Dark Knight Rises” explores with talent and is just thrilling to watch. Never a dull moment in this terrific motion picture that could only be Nolan’s brain child. I have nothing else to say but I’m being true fan boy for Nolan’s “Batman”, but I don’t deny that because I find them fun and I personally find them good. And that for me is what exactly a Super Hero movie should be. “The Dark Knight Rises” is all of this.