Saturday, January 3, 2009

My Top Five Comic Book Movies

1. The Dark Knight
A dark masterpiece. Epic in scope and thought. The bar which all future superhero movies must measure themselves against. This is the Batman movie we all deserved, even if we didn't know we needed it. Heath Ledger's performance is one for the ages.

"Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he's not a hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight."

2. Spider-Man 2
The quintessential superhero tale. Just the right amount of humor, tragedy, and superheroism for a Spider-Man story. Doc Ock secures his place as one of the all time great supervillains. Spidey is bent, bruised, and pushed to his limits, but never broken. Just like any great story, the triumph in the final act rewards the audience with a renewal of faith and optimism.

"I believe there's a hero in all of us, that keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble, and finally allows us to die with pride, even though sometimes we have to be steady, and give up the thing we want the most. Even our dreams."

3. Superman
The granddaddy of them all. Without this 1978 classic, there wouldn't have been any Batman, Spider-Man, or Iron Man. Richard Donner's keyword was "verisimilitude", and its influence is evident in almost every scene. Christopher Reeve is Superman to me, as surely as the sky is blue. Probably the greatest credit intro sequence in the history of superhero movies, thanks to John Williams.

"You will travel far, my little Kal-El. But we will never leave you, even in the face of our death. The richness of our lives shall be yours. All that I have, all that I've learned, everything I feel, all this and more, I bequeath you, my son. You will carry me inside you, all the days of your life. You will make my strength your own, and see my life through your eyes, as your life will be seen through mine. The son becomes the father, and the father the son."

4. Iron Man
A truly engaging origin story told with enthusiasm and creativity. Robert Downey Jr completely embodies Tony Stark and allows us to believe his transformation from brilliant arms dealer to armored protector of the masses. Coupled with superb special effects and a great supporting cast, this movie lifts off and never comes close to touching down.

"They say that the best weapon is the one you never have to fire. I respectfully disagree. I prefer the weapon you only have to fire once. That's how Dad did it, that's how America does it and it's worked out pretty well so far."

5. Batman Begins
Rescued Batman from the previous entry "Batman and Robin." Nuff said.

"No, this is your mask. Your real face is the one that criminals now fear. The man I loved, the man who vanished, he never came back at all. But maybe he's still out there somewhere. Maybe some day, when Gotham no longer needs Batman, I'll see him again."

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