Anyone who stopped by and checked out my blogging last month for the A to Z challenge must have noticed how much I enjoy movies. And if you didn’t notice, then I’m stating it now. I love movies!
Besides being a big fan of movies, I’ve also been a huge fan of comics for most of my life. In the geek war of DC vs Marvel, I’ve always been more of a Marvel fan. (Won’t ramble on about my reasons why, that topic could likely span several blogs.)
Over the years Hollywood has attempted to bring the comics alive, both in the theaters and on TV, with varying degrees of success. Even now with so many fantastic movies being put out, the subject matter finally being treated seriously and often helmed by fellow fans/geeks, there are still some stinkers coming out. (*cough* Green Lantern *cough* … and I’ve already ranted about my feelings on Man of Steel.)
Went and saw Age of Ultron today and decided I’d do my top 10 Marvel Movies! For the purpose of this list, if there is a franchise that has multiple movies or versions I will only be including 1 film to represent it. I must also say that my feelings of which is the best tends to change from time to time, especially upon repeated viewings.
10. The Punisher
The Punisher has had 3 movies done on him so far. And you might not even recognize the movie poster for the version I picked. It came out in 1989, direct to video here in the states, but it was in theaters overseas. I’m not going to lie and say any of the movies have been great or that even the 1989 film was the best version. I do recall enjoying it quite a bit and have fond memories of it. Some day I will pick up a new copy and likely be disappointed.
The Punisher is quite the unique character. Forget the fact that he’s just a man, no super powers. We’ve seen that with other characters. No, what makes Frank Castle so interesting is that he was one of the first antiheroes. He’s doing ‘good’ by being bad. Most heroes don’t kill. (there are definitely exceptions that I’ll likely hit on later) But the Punisher is all about the body count. Someone say bring the pain? Oh, he’ll bring it. I’m still waiting to see him done proper justice. Rumors abound that Punisher might be getting a reboot via Nextflix.
I’ve always been a big Daredevil fan. I was thrilled when they announced the movie, less thrilled when they announced Affleck would be playing Matt Murdock. But to be honest, Ben didn’t do a horrible job. If you are going to watch the movie, make sure you watch the director’s cut. Blinded by an accident when he only a kid, his other senses are heighten to superhuman levels.
Matt Murdock is truly a tortured character, which you get a slightly better sense of in the director’s cut. I’d been hoping for a reboot. Given the new era of movies with the creation of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) and the serious respect with which the movies are made now, a gritty realistic Daredevil could have been huge. This movie was still treated as ‘fantasy’ and while most of the movies coming out today do have humor, the ‘humor’ in this movie isn’t so much humor as silliness. I know the man without fear just got rebooted on Netflix, but I haven’t seen it.
Great character and awesome casting. Wesley Snipes was Blade. I remember when this came out and many people didn’t even know that Blade was a comic book character. They did a great job bringing the character to life. It was one of the first movies to treat comics seriously. Dark, gritty, and violent.
I actually enjoyed all of the Blade movies, though each had issues. Part 1 had the issue of Blade’s final battle being against … well a pool of blood. Part 2 was great in character design, interesting twist of possible love interest, Ron Perlman (adding Ron makes anything better) but it suffered from some overdone CGI scenes. Trinity was fun, some decent humor, but probably the weakest of the 3. Rumors have been around for a very long time about a reboot. I’d like to see it happen, heck I’d love to see Snipes reprise the role.
7. The Amazing Spider-man
Now given that we’ve had 5 Spider-man flicks I know I might get some flack for this being the one I picked to represent the character. And I’ll admit, when I first saw this one I wasn’t blown away. But it’s grown on me, and I am sad that Andrew Garfield won’t be suiting up any more. I came to enjoy him as Peter. Of course Emma Stone was freaking brilliant as Gwen Stacy. That is not to say it was without problems. The ‘secret’ life of Peter’s dad was so out of left field and should never have been added. And ASM2 was a mess on so many levels I wouldn’t know where to begin.
I enjoyed the first two Spidey flicks. The best parts had to be J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jamesone, dude as SPOT ON! Spider-man 3 was on par with Schumacher Batman flicks, yes it was that bad. The first did a great job as an origin story. Two was good, but the bad guy wasn’t so much Doc Ock as it was the arms, and thus didn’t just click with me. What is often times interesting about Spidey’s enemies is that they aren’t so much pure evil as they are shades of gray, which makes them interesting multi-dimensional characters, but I think these types of movies sometimes work better when you have a bad guy you can truly loathe, not one you can sort of sympathize with, though there are definitely exceptions. So it seems we will now be seeing Spidey in the MCU and I am quite excited about that. Now we just need to see who will be playing the part of good old Peter Parker.
Let me say ranking this next section was hard, I love these movies and they seriously could have been put in any number of orders.
This is the movie that truly made me believe that Marvel was going to be able to take any of their properties and translate it to the big screen. They took gods and made them relatable to people … gods!!! They took near indestructible characters and made you feel for them. (Yes, I know many superheroes could be labeled as such, Superman for all intents on Earth is a god, but Thor is drawn from real Viking beliefs.) Half the movie takes place on Asgard, which they did an AWESOME job of bringing to life. Not to mention the costume work on this film was spectacular.
Marvel has proven again and again that they know how to cast characters. Seriously, I am blown away by how great they have done in finding actors who nail their characters. Thor has that in spades. Anthony Hopkins as Odin … nailed it! Tom Hiddleston as Loki … nailed it! Seriously, Hiddleston becomes Loki, sneaky little weasel who also has serious charm. Chris Hemsworth as Thor … nailed it! Can you honestly imagine anyone else in the role?
5. Iron Man
Such a great telling of an origin story. I loved all 3 of the films, yes even part 2. Seeing the evolution of the armor over the various movies was quite cool. They definitely offered up some serious fan service with all the versions they showed off in Iron Man 3. Of course 3 also kind of annoyed some with how the Mandarin was portrayed.
Now did I already mention how Marvel nailed casting? Robert Downey Jr. nailed Tony Stark like there was no tomorrow. And yet the series also shows one misstep in casting. Paltrow as Pepper just didn’t work for me. Her performances weren’t horrible, just didn’t seem to work on the same level of everyone else in the films. Just my two cents. Loved her in Shakespeare in Love, though.
4. X-MEN: First Class
After the disaster that was X-Men: The Last Stand, the idea of another X-Men movie didn’t thrill me. I’m a huge X-Men fan and there were definitely moments in all three of those first movies I enjoyed, but First Class was just incredible. Loved how they handled the backstory on the formation of the group. Of course it’s not the ‘first class’ from the comics, but I was okay with that. I am a huge Havok fan so seeing him brought to the big screen was quite cool. One of the best parts of First Class? Almost no Wolverine. Don’t get me wrong, I love Wolverine, but the problem with the other X-Men films is that they all seemed to center around him. X-Men are a TEAM, First Class showed that off well. IMO there still hasn’t been a great Wolverine movie. Seems Hugh will be taking one more shot at it, but I just refuse to get my hopes up.
Having First Class take place in the past during the Cuban Missile Crisis was brilliant, a true reboot, though connecting it with the original trilogy by having Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen reprise their roles was pretty sweet as well. Oh and Kevin Bacon as Shaw was pretty dang cool as well. And of course we got to see the ultimate coin trick! Looking forward to Age of Apocalypse. Can’t wait to see how they handle Archangel.
3. Guardians of the Galaxy
Much like Thor, this movie made me believe that Marvel can bring any of their properties to the big screen and make it work. My mind was blown when they announced it. I’m sure the majority of the general public had never even heard of these characters. I’ve been a fan of Rocket Raccoon since he first appeared. They were going to bring him to the big screen? Seriously? Did I say ‘mind blown’ yet?
Not only did they bring Rocket to the big screen, they brought the universe alive. So many bright brilliant characters I never would have thought we’d ever see. Characters that could have been seen as silly or too unbelievable all came to life. Totally believable. The only character portrayal I didn’t particularly like was The Collector.
Guardians managed to blend action and humor. Seriously humor ran throughout the movie, from Rocket’s wise guy comments, (I need that guy’s leg), the opening scene of Quill singing into a space rat like it’s a microphone, to the pure insanity of him declaring a dance off! Bring on part 2!
2. The Avengers
Bringing Earth’s mightiest heroes together on the big screen … AWESOME. Once more Loki is a brilliant villain, along with the Chitauri army at his back. The chemistry of the characters is absolutely amazing. Everyone is perfect, including all the minor characters such as Hill and Coulson (who’s been brilliant in all his film appearances).
So many awesome scenes it’s hard to pick a favorite. My only issue really is how they treated my boy Barton. Hawkeye spends nearly the entire movie as a puppet. But they rectify that in Age of Ultron, giving him a larger more important role. Age of Ultron was quite good but with only 1 viewing I can’t decide how I feel about it in relation to the other Marvel films. The fact that they’ve already announced the movie will be getting an extended cut on blu ray has me giddy! Not to mention we already know there are two more Avengers movies coming, and it’s a series that can go on and on and on, with the members of the team constantly changing. Seriously is there a character in the Marvel universe that hasn’t been a part of the Avengers at some point?
1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Marvel’s way of bringing Cap to the big screen was brilliant. Like First Class, this movie takes place in the past. Spending the time with wimpy but moral Steve Rogers was the perfect set up to showing the contrast to how he was after receiving the super soldier serum. But then to show him being used as just a P.R. stunt added an entirely new layer of brilliance. And having scenes where they have Cap firing a gun, not something most people expected to see from him, was awesome. After all his history is that he was in the war.
As good as the first movie was, Winter Soldier was near perfection. The story was fantastic, and in a world of NSA spying, it seemed eerily familiar to the headlines we seen in today’s news. Taken to the next level, of course. Chris Evans is Cap. Sure he might have once been Johnny Storm, but this was the hero he was meant to play.
So many great action scenes. The final battle with the three helicarriers was incredible, but my favorite scene in the movie was Captain’s fight and escape from the elevator and then his takedown of the jet with just his shield.
Well that’s it. Sorry I rambled on for so long. What’s been your favorite Marvel movie? Your favorite on screen portrayal? Your favorite scene?