With the new Avengers trailer out and the countdown beginning for me, I thought we would discuss the top seven comic book films that have come out. These are my picks.
Based on Mike Mignola’s Dark horse comic series, Guillermo del Toro managed to bring Big Red to cinematic life much to my glee. Hellboy is a great character. He is as endearing and funny as much as he is total bad ass. I think Del Toro does a great job of showing that the freaks and geeks of the world can be heroes too. Plus it has Ron Perlman (I grew up watching Beauty and the Beast and even have a cd of ‘Beast’ reciting poetry with the score from the show just like he did on the show), Selma Blair (Who wouldn't want to be Liz), and proves that men like Doug Jones (Abe Sapien, but who also was the Lead Gentleman in the Buffy episode ‘Hush’) and Andy Serkis can do more wonder in SFX makeup and green suits than most actors can. I also love the detail that goes into Guillermo’s films. Love, love, love this film.
TWO: BATMAN BEGINS
I grew up a Batman girl. He had no superpowers, was definitely no boyscout like Superman and then there was the whole bat thing. Now I loved Tim Burton’s Batman, but Christopher Nolan’s reboot is a creature all its own. We had been watching superhero films, but few were relatable. In a way they seemed too otherworldly, too ‘comic-y’. Batman was now grounded in a world we could relate to and the ‘comic’ feel went away. Now it wasn't just geeks watching movies made from comic series. There is also something about an origin film as well that can be satisfying. Batman was cool. Batman was scary and I got to watch how he got there. And for the first time I even got my father interested in a comic book film. What can I say it is a start.
THREE: SPIDER-MAN 2 While Spider-man is pretty kick ass. Spider-Man 2 is kickass times kickass. It is kickass squared. By Spider-Man 2 Spidey is already the hero and yet has mundane problems like keeping your grades up, wooing the girl he loves, and keeping a job. You cant help but like Peter just as you cannot help but like Doctor Octopus played brilliantly by Alfred Molina. Doc Ock was a role model before he became the big bad and that gives his character some depth, depth I appreciated. Plus we got to see Peter rise again even after he is put through hell. Again an amazing film and I miss seeing Tobey McGuire in films of late. (though excited to see him in Great Gatsby).
FOUR: KICK ASS
We’ve always wondered what would happen if regular people decided to be superheroes, fighting crime and wearing costumes. We’d probably think they were all nutters. Mark Millar and John Romita Jr explored these ideas in their comic series. Matthew Vaughn brought it to life (He directed X-Men: First Class and is a frequent collaborator with Guy Ritchie). While the movie isn't always plausible (Hit Girl being able to trounce bad guys three times her size or lets face it jet packs) and yet I love the brutal, gritty nature of it all. While there are deviations from the comics, it is a fairly faithful adaptation. Also I just love Hit Girl.
FIVE: IRON MAN
Despite being more of a DC/Vertigo girl, Marvel has the Avengers and Tony Stark is both a bad ass and an ass hat. Who knew that Iron Man would become such a household name the way that Batman, Superman or Spidey is? While Iron Man in another origin story and thus has the same hero’s journey, Robert Downey Jr owned that role and the film would not be the same without him. He was funny, charming, and a bit of an ass but that is who Tony Stark is. And seriously just give RBD Jr an Oscar already as he is an amazing actor, one I will go and see any film for.
SIX: SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD
Director Edgar Wright is the shit and he makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. It began with Shaun of the Dead and Spaced and continued with Hot Fuzz. He was actually a great choice to bring Scott Pilgrim to life. The film has everything that made me love Bryan O’Malley’s series and yet had enough geeky references (name those video game soundbytes) to make a geeky video game playing, comic book reading girl like me one very happy camper.
SEVEN: TANK GIRL
As a fan of the comics by Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin, I was happy to see Tank Girl come to the big screen. While most people would put it on their worst lists, I love it anyway. It’s funny, snarky, and entertaining. Yeah there are a hell of a lot of differences and some of my fave bits got axed, and yet I feel the same way as I do the book/movie of Practical Magic: they are different creatures. I think Lori Petty and Naomi Watts were perfect as our dynamic duo and they make me happy. Also the film has a kick ass soundtrack that frequently plays on my ipod which includes tracks from Bjork, Portishead, Veruca Salt, and L7.
HONORABLE MENTIONS The Crow, The Rocketeer, A History of Violence, RED, Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell.