Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Best Live Action Super-Hero Movie Ever

Karen: The last decade or so has seen a ton of super-hero films released -some great, some OK, and some downright awful. But there's more than enough out there now to ask: what's your favorite super-hero film of all?

Karen: I know it's a hard question to answer. I don't know that I can personally pick just one. I still have a great fondness for Superman and Superman 2. Both Iron Man films are high on my list, as well as the first two Spider-Man and first two X-Men flicks. To make this a little easier, I did say live action, so we'll get to animated films at another point -not that those will be any easier! So have your say -what are your favorites?


joe ackerman said...

I guess it's a generational thing, but the first Christopher Reeves Superman film would be my favourite. Yeah, both Dark Knight and the first Iron Man film are great superhero films, but nothing, and I mean NOTHING, has ever held me like Superman held me, and still does. I know the effects and the story probably appear a bit ropey in these sophisticated times, but you know what? I REALLY DID believe a man could fly. And no other film has done that for me, before or since.

david_b said...

My favorite Superhero films have to have some essential ingredients..

1) Faithful in story and casting (this rules out the Spiderman films, primarily after the first one)
2) Humor, perhaps a little tongue-in-cheekness to it (it is based on a comic book y'know.., not Shakespeare)
3) Soul, authenticity to it, not a CGI-fest like Transformers.
4) A sense of wonderment and novelty (like Superman I, 'believing a man can fly').

I love the Adam West Batman, working on several levels. The first Spidey and Batman ('89) films were good, but some casting was skewed. I felt the FF should have been done as '60s period pieces, much like the Lee/Kirby days. Jessica Alba..? Again, bad casting..: Good for marketing, terrible for believability.

C.A.S. said...

It would definitely be "Superman, The Movie; it was my 14th birthday when it first came to the silver screen on Friday, Dec. 15, 1978! Went to see it immediately after school; it was a birthday present that I still hold dear!

J.A. Morris said...

Favorites are 'Superman II',the first two X-men movies. I'm pretty sure they're also the only live action Super-Hero movies I own on dvd. The first Reeve movie is okay,but stopping nuclear missiles is nothing compared to slugging it out with three evil super-powered Kryptonians.

'Spider-man 2' was my favorite of that franchise, I thought Doc Ock was close to the comics version than the Goblin & Sandman we got in the films. But '2' is still a problematic movie. It relies too much on the "idiot" plot devices.
I liked the Christopher Nolan Batman movies,but I feel like there's too much going on,too many villains,and in the case of the 1st film,I didn't buy Katie Holmes as a prosecuting attorney. I'm not the first to say this, but the Nolan/Bale Batman just feels a little too much like James Bond.
FF movies were disappointing,but I thought the Silver Surfer was pretty cool.
The Iron Man movies were fun,I thought the 2nd was a bit better.

Two things about live action Super-Hero movies that still tick me off:

1.We never got to see Galactus. I'm guessing it was a budgetary decision to depict him as a cloud.
2.We didn't get a big "Phoenix" effect like we saw in the classic Claremont/Byrne/Austin stories.

Atomic Kommie Comics said...

Based on an existing superhero...
The Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941)
While not totally-faithful to the source (like Watchmen), it captures the spirit and flavor of 1940s comics with a lead who LOOKS like a superhero, AMAZING stuntwork, solid non-cgi fx, and breathless pacing.

Original "super-hero style" character for film...
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
The first Indiana Jones film is what the 1975 Doc Savage film SHOULD have been, a pulp magazine on film!

joe ackerman said...

J.A., turns out the reason we didn't get a proper Galactus was that the studio didn't think that the general public would "buy it." true!

so, a lumpy orange guy breaking things and a nekkid metal man flying around space on a surfboard's ok, but we're not gonna buy a forty foot bloke in purple with a big hat?

Steve Does Comics said...

Spider-Man 2. I don't think anything else comes close to it - apart from Spider-Man 1.

Anonymous said...

Depends on your critieria, I guess. "The Dark Knight" is one of the most exciting movies around, and *gasp, blasphemy* I kind of like Heath Ledger's Joker better than any version I've seen since Killing Joke.

But if you;re going for faithfulness to the material Superman I and Superman II are tough to beat. Yes, Supes vs. nuclear missiles is a bit of a snooze, but go read some of the comics.

However I am a little surpised that no one has mentioned Hellboys I or II or the Rocketeer.

The Hellboy flicks really captured Mignola's feel in my opinion and the Rocketeer movie is pretty damn good.

Inkstained Wretch said...

The first two Spiderman movies probably did the best job of translating what was best about the comics to the screen. They got the gee-whiz feel of the comics just right, the stories were solid and the effects were magnificent.

Generally though I have found live-action superhero movies to be busts. There is just something about seeing a person in tights and a cape (or whatever) on a screen doing superheroy things that just screams "Fake!" in a way that cyborgs, vampires or zombies - oddly enough - do not.

Hard to explain, but there it is. Animation suits comic adaptations much better.

MOCK! said...

I hadn't considered "Rocketeer" until Eric mentioned it. That is a good one.

It is hard for me to separate the "WOW" of Superman and Batman (when there was such a dearth of superhero movies) with how they stand up.

I like the X-Men movies, always thought Toby McGuire was miscast as Spider-man, and didn't mind Watchmen.

That being said, as I looked through my DVDs to jiggle my brain, I am really psyched for the animated features conversation.

Edo Bosnar said...

Generally I don't really like live-action super-hero films - they tend to disappoint on so many levels. Even so, I have to say, like joe bloke, I was impressed as hell with the first Reeves Superman movie when I first saw it as a kid (naturally, it lost much of its magic with subsequent viewings). Superman II, however, I didn't like back then or now - I never thought the whole "you have to give up your powers to marry a human" thing made any sense at all, except as an extensive set-up for that cruel ending.
Burton's two Batmans impressed me at the time, but again, started to lose their luster after repeated viewings.
CGI certainly makes super-heroes "work" better in live action, but of the newer films I think I liked Dark Knight the most - interesting, I'm much more of a Marvel zombie, but I seem to prefer to the DC hero movies...

Karen said...

If I had to narrow it down, I'd probably say the three super-hero films I've enjoyed the most were Superman 2, Spider-Man 2, and Iron Man. All of the Batman films from the 80s-90s seem terribly dated now.

Doug said...

So in our unofficial survey, it looks like Iron Man was the winner, with Spider-Man 2 second. Others of note X2, Superman II, and the Dark Knight. Does anyone notice the trend that moviemakers generally get it right the second time around?

Fun activity -- thanks, Karen!!


Anonymous said...

In answer to David B’s point about Jessica Alba, well, one of the things about the original FF was the age gap between Reed & Sue, so she certainly suited that. I also thought she was a good choice if you take John Byrne’s Sue rather than Stan’s. The Surfer, I though they got amazingly right, in terms of looks, personality, character arc etc. Very cool.

Nolan’s Batman is good, but most of what is good is actually there in Burton’s. The rest, as you say, is just big, big action set pieces, and Heath Ledger’s joker is what you remember.

I’d give the prize to Iron Man, although, perversely, I think they’ve both relied too heavily on being comic-booky and not cinematic enough. What makes them for me is the casting: Downey more or less IS Tony Stark, no acting required. I mean, who else would you cast? Gwyneth as Pepper, Favreau as Happy, Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury. It can’t get any better....oops, Scarlett as the Black Widow...well, not my first choice, but she’s always nice to look at.

If the Avengers movie is crap, I may have to go and live on the moon. In the Blue Area of course. Speaking of which....are the rumours true? Whedon may go Kree/Skrull war? Yikes. Talk about the holy of holies. They will definitely have to change the story structure, but what a ride.

Last thought: now that he’s directing movies......Frank Miller’s Batman or Daredevil? Anyone? Anyone?

Related Posts with Thumbnails