Now, let me be clear: I am not big on superhero movies, or even traditional comic books, for that matter. It's just not for me. I am not a fanboy as far as this sort of thing is concerned. And I honestly haven't seen a superhero movie pre-Tim Burton's "Batman" (1989).
I fell in with the wave of new special effects extravaganzas, starting with the franchises listed above. Singer, Raimi, and Nolan revolutionized the genre and have made it what it is today. I'm pretty sure every superhero will have had a movie by the end of this decade. Maybe that's good. I haven't liked much of anything outside of these three biggies, except for I sort of liked the original "Iron Man" (2008).
And so we're back with another week in Wandering through the Shelves Thursday Movie Picks Meme...
This time...Superhero Movies, or (How the second film in the trilogy is best).
Here are my super Thursday Movie Picks:
Spider-Man 2 (Sam Raimi, 2004)
Sam Raimi's second outing has proven among most to be the best of his trilogy. It really is better. It is darker, but not too dark like the third. It is funny, but not campy like the first. The special effects are grounded and realistic and fun as hell. Kirsten Dunst is gorgeous and incredible. Alfred Molina is perfect as robotic arm wielding mad man, "Doc Oc," the most human of the trilogy's villains. And the end of this movie is so pleasing it's ridiculous. Bringing in novelist Michael Chabon as a screenwriter was a genius touch. You can so tell this film was cared about by the people involved in its making.
The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008)
Christopher Nolan's second outing with The Bat Man has proven to be the best of this trilogy as well. It is of the best crime sagas ever made. Forget the superhero movie label. This is a real deal, serious piece of cinema. Heath Ledger's legendary posthumous Oscar-winning performance as The Joker will never be matched in any other movie of this kind. Christian Bale truly proved he IS the best Batman in this one. The replacement of Katie Holmes with Maggie Gyllenhaal as A.D.A. Rachel Dawes is the smartest move of this franchise. The Batmobile and Batcycle set pieces are thrilling as fun and dark and just fucking awesome (sorry for the language)! And that final shot with the Gary Oldman voiceover. Goodness!
X-Men: Days of Future Past (Bryan Singer, 2014)
In my review of last summer's latest piece in the newest X-Men prequel/sequel trilogy, I actually compared it, in my own enjoyment of it, to the previous movies I've discussed today. Despite a shaky, almost ugly, opening sequence, original X-Men helmer, Bryan Singer brings this thing back. Days of Future Past serves as the second part of a trilogy that sends the prequel element of 2011's X-Men: First Class on a collision course with the present-day characters originating in the first trilogy (2000-2006). This movie is fun! The casting is brilliant. McAvoy and Stewart. Fassbender and McKellen. Jackman. Lawrence. On and on and on. Then, there's Evan Peters as Quicksilver. His short appearance is the finest thing I've seen in an action movie in years. And, to top it off, all will be returning, plus more, for third installment, X-Men: Apocalypse. The one superhero movie I am truly looking forward to next summer. Suck on that, Zack Snyder!
The Incredibles (Brad Bird, 2004)
I recently re-watched this one. Man, it's great! I forgot how perfect it is. This is a case where animation really works for me. I am not much for animated movies. I wasn't even into them as a kid. Brad Bird is a genius. Shooting this animated film much like a live-action superhero movie. The voice work from Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jason Lee is top-notch. Plus, Sarah Vowell's odd voice is so good for the daughter character, Violet. The mid-century set design and horn-heavy score...perfect. Then, the wit! This is a smart comedy and action movie. Love it!