Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Top Five Super Hero Movies of All Time

Superhero movies have definitely gained prominence over the last several years with Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy and Marvel's The Avengers series of movies leading the charge. Both Marvel and DC Comics each have a nearly endless supply of super powered heroes to put in movies and an even more extensive catalog of stories to pull material from so its easy to believe that capes, cowls, and costumes will continue to be a major factor in future cinematic adventures.

After unbelievably extensive examination and countless hours of poring over the smallest details (see: watching lots of movies and eating popcorn) by the highly trained, overly qualified, and grossly underpaid research staff (see: me), this list has been compiled, finalized, and approved for your viewing and reading pleasure.

Number Five

This spot was actually the hardest decision as it came down to which one out of three options would fill this first spot on the list. I'm not going to tell you what the other two are, but I will tell you why I chose Kick-Ass over some very worthy competition. The first time I saw this movie, I absolutely fell in love with both the story and the characters. A movie that is known as a deconstruction of the superhero genre actually gets more right than just about any other movie that it is supposed to be satirizing.

For me, it just has that magical quality that you want in a movie like this. Sure, the story isn't anything earth shattering and it is just a little bit goofy, but director Matthew Vaughn absolutely knows that. He does such a great job creating a world where heroes aren't really heroes and everyday people may not be able to make much of a difference in the world, but they sure do know how to beat the hell out of each other.

Aaron Johnson is perfect in the title role, Nicolas Cage (who I have never been a fan of) seems to be having so much fun in his portrayal of Big Daddy, and a very young Chloë Grace Moretz is awesome in her debut as the foul mouthed Hit-Girl. All these ingredients not only helped Kick-Ass earn its name but also earned the movie a place on this list.

Number Four

When Spider Man first came out, it literally changed the world's perception of what a comic book movie was capable of. For so many years, it seemed like superheroes would always be the stuff of cartoons, cheesy TV shows, and low budget features that would never do the characters justice. Then along came Sam Raimi, who is a self professed comic book nerd, with a vision for a series of movies that would see the famous web crawler live out his famous exploits on the big screen in a way that no one had ever seen before.

This movie not only had big budget special effects, but it also had a very good story to tell with fully realized characters and a fun vibe that made you feel like you were watching a comic book come to life. There was such close attention to detail to get everything right and every cast member, from Toby McGuire as Peter Parker to J.K. Simmons as the one and only J. Jonah Jameson, showed that they really cared about making this project the amazing success that it turned out to be.

Number Three

The Dark Knight debuted with more pre-release hype than any other superhero movie ever had and also had a lot to live up to given the legacy of the caped crusader's previous incarnations on film from the classic Adam West movies to Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins which introduced Christian Bale as the one and only caped crusader.

A lot of the hype was also due to the untimely death of actor Heath Ledger who gave a performance for the ages as the iconic Joker, but passed away just a short time before the movie's release. This was such an unfortunate tragedy, yet also seemed to make his performance even that much more impactful when you consider the character he painstakingly re-defined.

The Dark Knight is truly a great story with a hero who remains conflicted about who he is and what he is doing and a villain who, as Bruce Wayne's loyal butler Alfred put it, just wants to watch the world burn. Christopher and Jonathan Nolan managed to deliver an amazing comic book movie that was placed in a real world setting with a truly mind bending story that still has people talking about it to this day.

Number Two

The Avengers is a completely satisfying conclusion to what is now known as "Phase One" of the Marvel cinematic universe. Director Joss Whedon masterfully brought together a star studded ensemble cast and created a story that entertained on every level. Not only is this movie a stunning visual spectacle with some very impressive effects sequences, but each of the characters is fun to watch and you don't feel like any of them needed any more or less screen time compared to the others. I dare you to try and watch this movie without being thoroughly entertained.

To read my full review of the movie CLICK HERE.

Number One

Directed by Richard Donner and starring Christopher Reeve as the title character, Superman gets absolutely everything right in an era where this type of movie was unheard of and thought to be impossible to make. Reeve is so good in the dual role of Superman/Clark Kent and when you throw in Margot Kidder as sassy reporter Lois Lane and Gene Hackman as the diabolical genius Lex Luthor, you have three amazing performances that are truly the heart and soul of this movie. As a child every moment of this movie was so fascinating and when I take the time to watch it again, every bit of it hold up just as well as it did back then.

As the story unfolds, you really do believe that a man can fly and you easily get drawn into the brilliantly entertaining story that knows exactly when to take itself seriously and when to lightheartedly poke fun at itself. We also had the pleasure of hearing one of John Williams' most iconic scores just a year after he introduced us to the soundtrack for a galaxy far, far away. Superman is filled with so many memorable scenes and lovably iconic characters that you simply can not deny that it will always be what every other superhero movie is judged against.

There you have it folks, my top five superhero movies of all time! Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more exciting stories and reviews from the creative team (see: still just me!) at!

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