It’s no secret that Hollywood has completely run out of ideas. For years, they’ve been trying to rehash old TV shows into movies, remake old films, adapt Broadway for the big screen, even convert crappy video games into even crappier movies. It should come as absolutely no surprise then, that Hollywood has now turned to a media which can provide an almost unlimited supply of characters, settings and story lines.
The comic book has bought Hollywood a few years of blockbuster movies without anyone needing to stop and come up with even a semblance of original thought. The comic book even gives the movie makers a free pass on dialog and story-boarding (assuming they were written and drawn well in the first place). Throw in a few hundred million bucks on special effects, and you’ve got yourself a sure-fire summer hit.
Of course, the comic book movie genre is very much the same mixed bag of quality as it’s source material. For every Dark Knight or Spiderman, there’s a Daredevil or Catwoman out there somewhere taking up space in the bargain bin. That being said, the last decade or so has provided high quality comic book movies at a much higher rate than ever before. In fact, it wasn’t that long ago when even the biggest comic book fanboy in the world would cringe when news that his favorite book was being turned into a movie. Images of extremely low-budget costuming and effects would float through his head.
It’s a completely different world now. Marvel has had wild success lately with the Spiderman and X-Men movie franchises, and looks to have expanded on that success with the new Iron Man and Hulk movies. The Christopher Nolan Batman re-launch (horrendous Batvoice notwithstanding) has nearly erased the horror of the previous movie franchise (obviously not including the 1989 Batman), and Watchmen was an excellent version of what has been called an unfilmable story.
Now, it looks like there is a huge number of comics-related projects in the mix, ready to cash in on this trend.
Because I’m bored, and because it’s my blog and I’ll do whatever the hell I want, here are a few top ten lists.
10 Favorite Comic Book Movies
- Sin City – Perfect adaptation from page to screen.
- Spiderman – Made comic book movies fun.
- Batman (1989) – Live action Batman not campy for the first time ever.
- Iron Man – Best comic book movie of last year.
- Spiderman 2 – Another perfectly executed Spidey movie.
- Batman Begins – Great acting, action and direction.
- X-Men – The first movie that really nailed down the special effects for super-powers.
- V for Vendetta – Very underrated.
- Dark Knight – Just a few tweaks away from true greatness.
- Superman (1978) – The first actually good comic book movie.
10 Most Disappointing Comic Book Movies
- Batman Forever / Batman and Robin- Live action Batman once again campy. Ugh.
- Hulk (2003) – SNOOZEFEST. How do you make a movie about an infinitely strong monster boring?
- Superman Returns – What the hell were they doing here? So many terrible errors all over the place.
- Fantastic Four – Given a second rate cast and crew, it ended up as a third rate movie. Sigh.
- Superman III and IV – The first good comic movie franchise goes out with a whimper.
- Daredevil – I might have liked this movie better if at the beginning, I was blinded instead of the main character.
- Judge Dredd – This was so bad it was funny, except for the parts that were supposed to be funny.
- Spiderman 3 – So, you’ve got this visually awesome, total badass arch-enemy in Venom. How about showing him for more than 5 minutes?
- The Punisher (any version) – Stinkers, the whole lot of them.
- Catwoman – You’d think it’d be hard to really call this a disappointment, since almost everyone guessed how bad it would be. Yet, here we are.
10 Most Anticipated Comic Book Movies
I’m only considering upcoming non-sequels. Any sequel to one of my favorites should be considered very much anticipated.
- Y The Last Man – A really amazing series. Go out and read it if you get a chance.
- The Avengers – Like I said, Marvel is on a roll right now. Let’s hope they keep up the momentum.
- Deadpool – This is just a really fun character.
- Justice League – Because I’m a bit of a sucker for the super teams.
- Hard Boiled – Another Frank Miller project. I read it way back when, and remember enjoying it.
- The Preacher – Another one I haven’t seen in a long time, but remember liking when I was a kid.
- Silver Surfer – The best thing to come out of the Fantastic Four movies was the Surfer.
- Iron Fist – Kung fu movie on steroids. What could go wrong?
- Luke Cage – Blaxploitation movie on steroids. OK, now that I think about it, why don’t they just go with a single Iron Fist / Luke Cage movie?
- Thulsa Doom – James Earl Jones’ bad dude from Conan gets his own movie? My guess is that they will not ask JEJ to reprise the role.