Thursday, January 30, 2014

My Ten Favorite Superhero Movies

Probably not a lot of surprises on this list, other than possibly what order I put them in.  And yes, there are really just three sets of superheroes here, I know.  I love the X-Men, I love the Avengers, and I love Robin -- what can I say?

I waited until now to post this because I wanted to see The Wolverine a second time once it came to DVD, to decide whether or not I would include it here.  And I decided that although I have issues with the final act... it's Wolverine.  I love him too much to leave it off.

And before I get lots of outraged comments about the fact that the Dark Knight trilogy does not appear here, let me be clear:  I love Robin.  I merely like Batman.  Also, Christian Bale ain't no Val Kilmer.  Also, playing the Joker basically killed Heath Ledger.  So while I do own Batman Begins, I don't love it.  Remember, this is my favorites, not what I think the best movies are.


1.  The Avengers (2012)

Six talented people assemble to save the world from Loki's (Tom Hiddleston) desire to show Thor (Chris Hemsworth) he can be cool too.  And no one writes about groups of lost creatures like Joss Whedon -- this is what a superhero movie should be.

2.  X2:  X-Men United (2003)

Professor X (Patrick Stewart), Magneto (Ian McKellen), and their followers join forces to keep William Stryker (Brian Cox) from destroying all mutants.  Until I saw The Avengers, I thought this was what a perfect superhero movie looked like.  It's still magnificent.

3.  X-Men (2000)

The X-men help wandering mutant Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) rescue Rogue (Anna Paquin) from Impending Doom.  And to think that I refused to see this at first because I thought Hugh Jackman was all wrong for Wolverine!  What kind of fool am I?

4.  X-Men Origins:  Wolverine (2009)

Wolverine squares off against his half-brother Sabretooth (Liev Schreiber) and a younger Stryker (Danny Huston this time), and gains his adamantium skeleton in the process.  This is the origin story I've always wanted.

5.  Iron Man 3 (2013)

Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) takes on a terrorist named The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley).  Also known as the movie where Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) finally gets to wear the Iron Man suit.

6.  X-Men 3:  The Last Stand (2006)

It's the X-Men versus Magneto's bunch again, with a back-from-the-dead friend turned into a foe.  Actually a better movie than X-Men, but I don't love it as much.

7.  Iron Man (2008)

Genius billionaire playboy philanthropist Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) escapes from captivity and hunts down the people who kidnapped him.  And builds a really cool flying suit that shoots stuff.

8.  Thor:  The Dark World (2013)

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) team up to save the Nine Realms from angry elves.  Not as twee as that sounds.

9.  Batman Forever (1995)

Batman (Val Kilmer) acquires a girlfriend (Nicole Kidman), a protege (Chris O'Donnell), and two enemies (Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey).  The first superhero movie I ever truly loved.  It looks dated and wacky now, but it was extremely cool when I was an extremely uncool fifteen-year-old.

10.  The Wolverine (2013)

A mourning, angry, lonely Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) goes to Japan.  I didn't mind the final act nearly as much the second time around, though why on earth he doesn't just slice up those arrows-on-ropes and get the heck outta Dodge still stymies me.  Oh well.

What do we learn here?  That the year 2000 ushered in the Golden Age of Superhero Movies!  Only one movie on this list was made before then.  Wow!

Interestingly, I love 5 of these movies mostly because of one character:  Wolverine.  Yeah.  He's that important to me.  And unlike the Avengers movies, where I love Thor the most, but really like Tony Stark and Steve Rogers and Bruce Banner so, so, so very much, in the X-Men movies, I mostly love Wolverine.  Oh, I'm quite fond of Professor X, Rogue, and a few others, but not at all to the degree that I like Stark/Rogers/Banner.  Professor X would come the closest, but would I watch a whole movie about him?  Maybe, but only if he was played by Patrick Stewart and not what's-his-name who plays the younger version.

6 comments:

  1. The Avengers is my favorite as well. It completely blew away all of expectations, and I have never had a better movie going experience. X2 is another great pick. That movie is often forgotten in this new wave of superhero movies. Until Spider-Man 2, it was my favorite comic book movie. The first X-Men is also a classic for sure, and it was one of the first comic book movies I got to see in the theater. X-Men: Origins is a movie that I just cannot like because I am a fan of Wolverine. I know you like it, but I was majorly disappointed in how it tried to tell his origin story. I probably need to write up that post you recommended about why I didn't like it so much. Iron Man 3 is probably my favorite comic book movie, although it is a tough pick since there are so many great ones. While I don't hate The Last Stand as much as most do, I was still disappointed by it compared to the first two X-Men movies, but I will admit the battle scene at the end was fun. Iron Man and Thor: The Dark World are two of my favorites as well. I can't wait to re-watch The Dark World when it comes out! The Wolverine is one of my favorites for sure. I really like the first two Acts of the movie, and I still enjoyed the final Act. Also, the Japanese setting was very cool.

    I can't wait to see Days of Future Past later this year! I am so excited for that movie!

    I probably need to get around to making my Top 35 comic book movies list some time soon, but that will probably have to wait until this summer.

    -James

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    1. It's kind of like there's The Avengers and then there are all the other superhero movies. It's breathtaking. And it just gets better and better the more you see it!

      I really like Spider-Man in the comic books -- he's so snarky and funny! But the Tobey M. version never had that spunk, so I saw them each once and that was enough. Haven't managed to see the Andrew Garfield one yet, alas.

      The setting for The Wolverine was great, and I was so pleased (SPOILER!) that Mariko didn't die. Pleased and greatly surprised, since she's such a huge part of the Wolverine comics, and her death is so important there. I guess since Silver Fox died in Origins, I figured Mariko would too. (END SPOILER) But my favorite aspect of The Wolverine, other than Wolvie, is totally Yukio. She rocked! I would love to see more of her.

      And yes, Days of Future Past looks promising! So does Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

      Speaking of superhero movies, I just picked up both Fantastic Four and FF: Rise of the Silver Surfer at Walmart for $3 each last night -- score! Those are such fun, younger-kid-friendly movies (plus, Ioan Gruffudd and Chris Evans!), and I haven't seen them in years, so I was really happy to pick those up.

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  2. Iron Man, Thor, The Avengers :) much, much wonderfulness and superheroness. :) I haven't seen any Wolverine movies...sos, you really like Wolverine? I don't know much about him at all, besides that he has some sort of claw-things coming out of his hands.... :)

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    1. Oh my goodness. I love Wolverine so much! He is one of my five favorite characters ever, the five that are super-important to me. I've loved him since high school, when I was reading my brother's comic books, lol. And Hugh Jackman, despite being way too handsome and way too tall for the character, embodies him so perfectly. Try the first X-Men movie if you want a good intro to all the characters (Joss Whedon actually did some script work on it, though only 2 of his lines remain. And one of them is Wolvie's!)

      Dear, dear Wolverine. Broody, angry, taciturn, growly, snarky, sad, tender, desperately-in-need-of-a-hug Wolverine. He's impossibly old, he's virtually unkillable, he has a habit of playing big brother to and mentoring lonely young girl mutants, he can't remember most of his past... I need to stop here. I did write a sonnet about him a few years ago, which is still on my blog here. (I have a thing for sonnets.)

      Please, watch the first X-Men movie. Between Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and Ian McKellen, it's got some of the best acting you'll find in a superhero movie. Actually, if you have a Walmart around you, I just spotted all of the first trilogy in a $3 display at mine last night. You might luck out and be able to find them too!

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  3. X-Men is probably one of my all time favorite superhero movies ever. They are all well acted, well written and just fantastic. they are all different which is nice and i could watch them over and over. I love Thor, and the Avengers but i am not a huge fan of Iron Man. I find him hysterical and Robert does an AMAZING job portraying him, i just am not a huge fan of the movies. I like the first and third ones best.

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    1. Before The Avengers, I was a firm RDJ non-fan. Disliked him intensely from the couple of roles I'd seen. And now... I'm not exactly on a quest to see all his movies, but I now find him intriguing and enjoyable.

      Oddly, I like Steve Rogers better than Tony Stark as a character, but the first Captain America movie has some issues that keep it from being a favorite. But I'm greatly looking forward to the next one!

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