The ComingSoon.net Forums  

Go Back   The ComingSoon.net Forums > FRANCHISES & GENRES > Comic Book Adaptations

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-20-2012, 11:12 PM   #26
JBond
Beyond
 
JBond's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Sol
Posts: 71,075
Send a message via AIM to JBond
Default

Batman has the ability to know exactly how many coins you have in your pocket. Every time.

It doesn't come up much.
__________________
The due date for Round 155 of the CS Film Club is Monday, July 28th, 2014.

60 out of 65 Hugo Award winners completed.
JBond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2012, 04:26 AM   #27
bbf2
IT'S A TRAP(ezoid)!
 
bbf2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Yes
Posts: 14,335
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyldstaar View Post
While Superman and the Mole Men may be the oldest superhero film on your list, or even the oldest one listed on Wikipedia, it's not the first superhero film ever. That would be The Mark of Zorro, 1920.

There were plenty of others that followed which came before 1951 too, such as a whole string of films (not serials, although some of those would come as well) featuring The Shadow.
You mean Wikipedia lied to me?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...uperhero_films

__________________
A signature
bbf2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2012, 09:30 AM   #28
Wyldstaar
Executive Producer
 
Wyldstaar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,174
Default

No worries. Your character reviews are restricted to Marvel and DC, so you're unaffected. It's reasonable to assume you are omitting the numerous unauthorized Marvel and DC movies that have been released as well. The trash from Turkey, The Phillipines, etc. isn't worth noting here.
Wyldstaar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2012, 08:30 PM   #29
bbf2
IT'S A TRAP(ezoid)!
 
bbf2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Yes
Posts: 14,335
Default

The decent, mostly positive tier (continued)

38. The Punisher/Frank Castle (Ray Stevenson, Punisher: War Zone, 2008)



In order to talk about this character, I’m going to have to describe what the movie is. This movie is literally nothing but non-stop, over the top, ridiculous violence to an insane degree. It really never stops with the constant gore and death. The Punisher’s confirmed kill count in the movie (not counting people who have even a slight chance of surviving and only being maimed) is 81. 81 for the character alone, not the movie itself which is also filled with other characters killing people constantly.

It’s not even an origin story – even though it doesn’t keep continuity with either of the previous two Punisher films, Stevenson starts out as already being the Punisher, and the killing starts right from the get go. There is a brutal decapitation in the first few minutes of the film. People are dismembered by grenade launchers. Kidneys are yanked from people’s bodies. Faces are blown off in graphic detail. Elderly, innocent old women get their heads blown off. It is a bloodfest, and more or less violence porn. It is, by far, the most brutal, violent and gruesome movie included in this entire list. The last line of the film is “Oh god, I’ve got brains splattered all over me.”

A lot of people absolutely hate this film. Thomas Jane left the franchise when he read the script. However, it has become a bit of a cult movie, who appreciate the fact that it knows exactly what it wants to be, takes it to extremes, and causes you to stop and say “I can’t believe what I’m seeing right now.”

A little back story: when Lexi Alexander was signed on to direct this film, she had little knowledge of the Punisher and sought out to obtain as much information as possible. She ordered box loads of Punisher
comic books to read, and the first comic she picked up depicted a character having his testicles ripped off and fed to him in graphic detail. Thus, she decided to go with that for the tone for the movie.

Personally, I was never a huge fan of the Punisher in the comics. I understood the appeal, but considered him a bit of a one-note character. I knew that at a few points that he was given titles that were able to work around the Comics Code and get away with more violence, but when I saw this movie I had absolutely no idea that there was a period of time where the Punisher comic was allowed to get away with such incredibly gruesome detail like showing a person getting their testicles fed to them, so I was pretty shocked by this film.

Another note of backstory: When Alexander first met with the studio executives to discuss the potential of her directing the film, it was only a few days after the Virginia Tech shooting spree that claimed the lives of 32 people. To all of their horror, it was discovered that the Virginia Tech killer, Seung-Hui Cho, had a poster of the Punisher in his dorm room and was inspired by the character.

Largely due to that fact, Alexander decided that all of the violence in this movie would be absolutely off-the wall absurd and ridiculous. She set out to make the violence so ridiculous, implausible, and absurd that psychos like Cho couldn’t even come close to recreating it in real life in their wildest dreams.
In that sense, she succeeded.

Like I said, this movie is absolutely off the wall and ridiculously violent in the most absurd of ways. When I first saw this movie in theaters, I wasn’t entirely aware of all of the Punisher’s history so I had a mostly negative opinion of it as I thought that it was mostly ridiculous violence porn that went way beyond the parameters of the Punisher character itself. I knew it was trying to be ridiculous over-the-top schlock, but I didn’t think much of it.

A lot of that, however, was largely because I was completely unaware at the time that at a few points the Punisher comics were given the liberty of being just as ridiculously violent and brutal. I knew about the character and his history in the comics and various cartoons, but didn’t realize that at a few points, despite being a part of the Marvel superhero universe, he was given the liberty of appearing in comics that were so absurdly graphic that it was allowed to show a man having his testicles ripped out and fed to him in graphic detail.

With that said, here’s another important thing to know about the film: according to Alexander, every single action, gore and violence sequence except for one is lifted directly (shot for shot in many cases) from the comics. I can’t verify this, but Alexander states that the scene where Punisher shoots the parkour guy with a heat seeking missile is the only original concept she came up with, and all the others are taken directly from the comics. Over the top gore and violence isn’t my cup of tea, but I absolutely have to respect that meticulous effort.

So, while I did find this movie a bit over the top and a little ridiculous and it wasn’t my cup of tea, I can respect what it was going for, and I understand why the film deserves to have picked up a cult following.

That being said, this is a ranking of characters, not movies. And as a character, The Punisher in this movie mostly exists as a mindless killing machine. We do get some back story as to his wife and children being killed and his motivation, but it’s mostly glossed over. For the most part, he goes into rooms, kills lots of people in gruesome ways, and then moves on to the next room to kill other people in gruesome ways. He has very little emotion or character development besides a half-hearted "contemplating hanging it up" story…and hell, I don’t even think he even has that much dialogue in general. Jigsaw probably has more dialogue than him. The Punisher just goes in and does his thing, and doesn’t even open his mouth for long periods of time. Which, for the purposes of an all out gorefest, I understand is what they were going for and they wouldn’t change anything. But from the purposes of a character, even if I understand the reasoning, I can’t rank the character when taken on his own any higher.

On a final note, knowing about the movie and its history, it is absolutely hilarious that Stevenson later went on to reprise the role of the Punisher one other time….as the voice in a G-rated Marvel superhero Saturday Morning cartoon show.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XoRGgpF2qc


37. Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansen, Iron Man 2, 2010; The Avengers, 2012)



In case you couldn’t tell from my Invisible Woman entry, I’m not exactly a huge fan of female characters who exist solely to be sex appeal.

Black Widow, for the most part clearly fits that role – in every bit of Avengers promotional material, the other five heroes are in some sort of heroic or epic pose, while Widow is, invariably, posed in some sort of position that shows off her ass.

If this character only appeared in Iron Man 2, she would be much lower on the list. In that movie, she had no character or development whatsoever, and was pretty much just blatant sex appeal with a Mary Sue complex. She comes in, does her job effortlessly, and shows all the other characters how awesome she is at everything. Ho-hum.

In the Avengers, however, the character is given more depth. Likewise, if she only appeared in the Avengers and not Iron Man 2, she would be higher on the list. She displays some self-doubt and complexity, and is certainly given justice in the movie. To be sure, Johansen’s sex appeal is put on display in a very blatant manner, both in the film and in all promotional material, but at least she has a character that works quite well in the movie. Despite not having powers she more than holds her own in the battles. I liked that they gave her a bit of wit, tricking the mob guy in the beginning into revealing his plan and information and then pulled a similar trick with Loki later to get him to reveal his plan. So for that, she works well and is a good character in a great film. Still, the blatant sex appeal and the appearance in Iron Man 2 bring her down a bit.

36. Phoenix/Jean Grey (Famke Janssen, X:Men, 2000; X2, 2003; X-Men: The Last Stand, 2006)



Man did I have a difficult time choosing where to place this character.
On one hand, her portrayal in the first two films is spot on. Jean is obviously not the flashiest character and doesn’t exactly have the juiciest stuff to work with, but Janssen does a very good job. Jean is a calming presence, she is obviously intelligent, and Janssen has a good performance. With a lesser actress, Jean could have been forgettable and bland like Storm, but Janssen gives her enough personality to make her likable. Her chemistry with Wolverine is also pretty good.

I especially like that she isn’t used as sex appeal – I don’t remember any gratuitous shots of her ass anywhere. I also like that she is a solver, that she is smart, and never gets kidnapped, instead being the one to do the rescuing in the first two movies. Also, it’s not too often you see a female character be the one to pull off the big heroic sacrifice to save the day at the end of a movie.

Overall, if she was only in the first two movies, she would be much higher. But, unfortunately, X3 exists.

There are some entries on this list where the character appears in both good and bad movies, and I cut them some slack for appearing the bad ones, especially if the good movies come to the forefront when thinking about that character.

That’s pretty hard to do with Jean, however, considering that the third film retroactively changes everything you thought you knew about the character from the previous movies.

Now, I understand the need for a change in the Dark Phoenix storyline. No doubt introducing the cosmic entity element would have been a very poor choice that would have baffled readers. And, in all fairness, I can’t think of a very good alternative way to do the Dark Phoenix storyline myself (in retrospect it probably would have been better not to touch it at all, although most fans including myself didn’t realize this at the time of X2, excited by the hints towards it like her glowing red eyes and the Phoenix symbol at the end).

Still, what they chose did not work at all. As you know, it turns out that Jean had a buried split personality the whole time, which is dubbed as “The Phoenix” for some reason even though it has little to do with Phoenix’s. Oh, and by the way, it turns out Phoenix is the most powerful being on Earth. By far, not even close. The super duper ultra god level mutant.

The split personality wasn’t with her since birth, but actually created by Xavier when he put blocks into her mind as a child in order to limit her powers since he didn’t trust her. This pushed her elite-level powers into her subconscious mind, which Jean’s conscious mind didn’t have control of , and thus created an alternate personality. Good old timey comic book nonsensical pseudo-science babble for ya.

There are two major problems with this concept. First off, is the fact that Jean’s growth as a character is slightly hindered from the first movie in retrospect. Oh, to be sure, X2 had tons of hints that something like this was going on as her powers rapidly increased. X1, however, had a nice little arc for her where she doesn’t fully trust herself or her powers and doesn’t want to use Cerebro, but she bravely agrees to stretch her powers to the limit and use it in a time of crisis to help save the day. In retrospect, now we know that there was this unlimited source of power in there that was simply being blocked, and using Cerebro helped break through a barrier made by Xavier. Second problem is that it requires a series of bafflingly stupid decisions by Xavier, but I'll get into that in his section.

Now, that being said, this concept in and of itself COULD have been good if it was used well, in the right hands. Hands that didn’t belong to Bret Ratner. Check out this quote from X2 screenplay writer Mike Daugherty (who left X3 with Bryan Singer for Superman Returns) on how he and singer were planning on handling it:

Quote:
“The idea – you open up with Alkali Lake but it’s completely barren and dried up and there are these odd reports of strange phenomena going on around the world accompanied by bright lights in the sky.”

“The idea would be that both the X-Men and the Brotherhood realize that essentially a very god-like force had entered their reality and that it was causing disruptions around the world – mutant prisons being decimated. I had pitched an idea about a fleet of cargo ships getting torn apart in the Atlantic and you found out that they were shuttling mutants as slave labor.”

“So basically you found out was that Phoenix was going round the world taking things into her own hands and that she had basically returned as a god, which they did touch upon in X3. She had viewed herself as above the conflict, that she was here to end things on her terms, she was basically sick of the fighting and she was going to take things into her own hands and she didn’t give a **** what the X-Men or the Brotherhood had to say about it.”
You can see storyboards for this here:
http://io9.com/5400510/x2-screenwrit...n-x3/gallery/1

We would to have to see how they pulled it off in practice, but that could have been pretty cool, right?

Instead, we got a bizarre plot element that really seemed rushed and stupid. What we got was a Phoenix who...stands around. Stands around and stares, and occasionally has moments where she destroys things around her when the plot needs her too.

The character has no real clear motivation or purpose, which I guess could be attributed to the fact that it’s a manifestation of a subconscious, but in reality it just seems like a cheap device to have Phoenix factor into the plot when needed, and stand around and do nothing when needed. The film should have either focused on the Phoenix storyline OR the mutant cure storyline, not both. Or at least, incorporated them together better. This results in a baffling ending where Phoenix stands around doing nothing while the mutant cure storyline resolves itself on Alcatraz – Magneto doesn’t use her to break in or do his bidding or tie into that at all, she just stands around waiting for that storyline to finish, and then once it’s done she decides it’s time to start doing her psychic rage stuff. Baffling, lazy, and stupid.

Like I said, I had a hard time placing this character, especially because it’s a superhero ranking and the film she’s being penalized for is one in which she mostly functions as a villain. Still, as a character ranking, I have to penalize the character for her most defining arc in the comics being an absolute disaster onscreen. Still, she does end up in the “Good” category, as the first two films gave us a rare example of a female superhero who is smart, competent, likable, and isn’t used as a sex symbol.

35. Daredevil/Matt Murdock (Ben Affleck, Daredevil, 2003)



The movie that was released in theaters was okay. I enjoyed a lot of it, but I wouldn’t call it a “good” movie at all. It had lots of issues, especially with pacing, editing, and tone. It had a lot of bad looking and unnecessary CGI, the fight scenes were a little out of whack and filmed weirdly.

Most of the movie is decently enjoyable, but there are two scenes that bring it down. The fight between Matt and Elektra on the playground, in broad daylight, was unbelievably stupid and hard to watch. The ending is a bit of a mess – despite recently being wounded by Elektra, he defeats Bullseye, and then IMMEDIATELY goes on to fight the Kingpin in hand to hand combat. (which he is able to do as the Kingpin sends away all of his security because he wants to face Daredevil one on one.) That’s idiotic, the Kingpin’s reasoning is really dumb and is only there to pretty blatantly tell the audience “eh, we’re just about ready to end this now.” It really makes the audience scratch their heads. Wouldn’t it have been much better to have a scene where Daredevil takes down a bunch of Fisk’s bodyguards and cronies in order to get to him? That would have been much more satisfying, and we wouldn’t have had the redundancy of the fact that there are two one on one battles with the main antagonists back to back.

As I’m sure most of you know, there was a director’s cut of this film released that was a HUGE improvement. 30 minutes were added, but it also deleted and replaced scenes from the theatrical release. However, the director’s cut was never released in theaters, so I’m not taking it into account here. This ranking is based only on what we saw in theaters.

Still, even though I wouldn’t quite call the theatrically released movie good, I’m able to put the character himself in the overall “positive” category. Affleck’s acting performance is pretty good, not fantastic or anything but he is effective. A lot of the character building scenes are pretty decent. There are a bunch of moments where he gets morose and introspective and I thought those were alright, but is also able to show a decent amount of likable humor when he’s in his everyday life as a lawyer. In costume, he gets to do a few cool things, and I liked him overall. The costume I also thought was pretty good. Overall, I wasn’t blown away by him and the movie has a bunch of flaws, but I still liked the character overall.
__________________
A signature

Last edited by bbf2; 12-23-2012 at 02:21 PM.
bbf2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2012, 09:08 PM   #30
Wyldstaar
Executive Producer
 
Wyldstaar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,174
Default

I liked Affleck's portrayal of Daredevil/Murdock as well. While it wasn't as good as what he delivered in Good Will Hunting or Argo, Ben didn't exactly have material of the same quality to work with. He gave it his all, regardless of how stupid some of the set-ups were. That absurd fight sequence with Elektra in the playground didn't make the slightest bit of sense, but he went for it anyway.
Wyldstaar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2012, 02:22 PM   #31
bbf2
IT'S A TRAP(ezoid)!
 
bbf2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Yes
Posts: 14,335
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyldstaar View Post
No worries. Your character reviews are restricted to Marvel and DC, so you're unaffected. It's reasonable to assume you are omitting the numerous unauthorized Marvel and DC movies that have been released as well. The trash from Turkey, The Phillipines, etc. isn't worth noting here.
Actually, the fat and inexplicably evil Spider-Man from 3 Dev Adam is number one!
__________________
A signature
bbf2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2012, 04:40 PM   #32
bbf2
IT'S A TRAP(ezoid)!
 
bbf2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Yes
Posts: 14,335
Default

Decent, overall positive tier (continued)

34. Superman/Clark Kent (Brandon Routh, Superman Returns, 2006)



Another entry that I had all over the map at certain points.

There were some characters on this list, like Jean Grey for example, who are part of both good and bad movies, and I had a hard time debating the excellent high points in the good movies and the horrible low points in the bad ones.

Brandon Routh’s Superman is similar in that I am having a hard time finding a settling spot for him as I have to consider some attributes that reach very high peaks, and attributes that reach some low valleys. Only difference is, the attributes of Routh’s Superman reach these extremes within the span of one single movie.

The highs: I mean, my god, look at him, he’s Christopher Reeve’s Superman reincarnated. He fills out the suit extremely well and looks natural. He has a commanding presence and you really feel like you’re watching Superman when you see him. But perhaps just as importantly, he also (albeit all too briefly) does a fantastic job as Reeve’s bumbling, charming Clark Kent. He doesn’t get much to work with, but I think Routh kills it. I totally understand why people wanted him to return for Man of Steel, even though it would have been confusing to have the same actor play the same character in different continuities. Some of the action scenes are great, especially the one with the plane, and give you an exhilarating sense of watching Superman in action.

The lows: He is the deadbeat dad of a bastard child. The movie itself and its plot aren’t very good. His chemistry with Lois is low, even though I think that’s largely Bosworth’s fault. He is the deadbeat dad of a bastard child. He doesn’t get all that much depth or character development, and it seems like he’s used more of a Christ analogy than an actual character, and doesn’t even seem to have all that much dialogue. The movie is more or less devoid of any sense of fun or adventure. How in the hell did people not think anything of it when Superman and Clark Kent both return from a 5-year hiatus on the exact same day? He is the deadbeat dad of a bastard child.

OK sorry to keep harping on that child point. I know that he wasn’t aware that he impregnated Lois, but still, he obviously didn’t use protection or anything so one would think he might check up on her or at least wait before departing on his oh-so-important space mission. Also, I’m going to bring up a point that Kevin Smith made in his stand up routine where he talked about the movie, in the fact that Superman apparently erased Lois’s memories of having sex with him, so when she realizes that her son has Superman’s powers she is going to think that Superman raped her at some point. Also, Bosworth was 22 when the movie was made, and he apparently had sex with her five years ago…yeah.

All in all, I think Routh himself did a great job and there were moments that elicited exuberance. So much so that I can’t help think back on the character as overall positive. However, I cannot ignore all of the negative points, especially the fact that the paragon of Truth, Justice, and the American way is a deadbeat dad of a bastard child, so I have him here as the last member of the “Neutral but Mostly Positive” tier and can’t quite move him up into the “Good” tier.

Routh’s superman is the end of the “Neutral but Mostly Positive” tier. Now we have the “Good” tier. These characters I would all legitimately consider “good.” I’ll still have criticisms for quite a few, but some of the descriptions will have nothing but positive elements in them, and the only reason they’re lower than other entries is because the positive elements of the characters ahead of them were stronger.

The “Good” Tier

33. Rogue/Marie D'Ancanto (Sookie Stackhouse, X:Men, 2000; X2, 2003; X-Men: The Last Stand, 2006)



As much as I love the confident, sexy southern belle Rogue from the X-Men comics and cartoon and would have loved to have seen that character in cinema, I thought the X-Men movies’ portrayal of her as the scared and unsure younger protagonist was quite good as well. It probably has a basis, as this portrayal can likely be surmised that this is what Rogue was probably like as a younger girl.

The character is definitely likable, as we see and understand the problems and struggles she has as a person who can’t physically touch others. We definitely empathize with her, and her romantic relationship with Bobby and daughter-like relationship with Wolverine are quite well established. She doesn’t get involved with too many action scenes, but we do see her powers used effectively at certain points.

Like so many other characters on this list, however, she is brought down by her appearance in X3. I didn’t really have a problem with her accepting the mutant cure – it seemed like the natural choice based on what we learned about her in the previous two films (although, bizarrely, she rejects the cure in the deleted scenes and in the novelization). Instead, I find it a bit baffling that despite all the character development and importance she had in the first two movies, that she is cast aside as a minor character in the third and doesn’t get involved in the action and is only in a few scenes, having her role more or less replaced by Shadowcat. It would have been pretty effective storytelling to have her powers put to good use during the final showdown after two films of buildup. As weird as that is, it’s not like her limited scenes in X3 were bad or anything, and she was pretty good in the first two movies.

32. Nite Owl II/Daniel Dreiberg (Patrick Wilson, Watchmen, 2009)



Everything about this character, his role in the film, and Wilson’s portrayal is good. I wouldn’t change anything about it. (Well, maybe the “Hallelujah” sex scene was a bit much. Also his chemistry with Ackerman isn’t all that fantastic, but I put 100% of the blame on Ackerman for that one)

Still, no one came out of Watchmen and listed Nite Owl as their reason for enjoying it. People want to talk about all the awesome eccentric characters and all the awesome stuff that happened, they don’t care about the out of shape guy and how he overcame erectile dysfunction.

Which is a bit of a shame – he has a very important role in making the film better. In order for extreme, unusual characters to be effective, we need to see them interacting with a straight man, someone who is more or less a regular guy. Dan fulfills that role. If the movie was just filled entirely with characters like Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan interacting with each other, two extremes against each other, their characters wouldn’t stand out as much and we wouldn’t have as much of an appreciation. In order for Rorschach to be effective, we can’t just see him interacting with a detached machine weirdo, we need to see him interacting with a regular dude who would react the way a normal person would to a crazy old friend breaking into his house and silently eating cold beans. Silk Spectre also is supposed to play that role to some degree, but Ackerman’s acting isn’t that great as I previously mentioned. Wilson, however, does a very fine acting job, and is very affable and we like the guy.

His character journey is pretty basic – he pines to return to being a superhero, and pines for Laurie, and eventually gets both. Good for him.

As I said earlier, his role in the film is important, he’s likable and I wouldn’t really change anything about how the character was portrayed, but in a list of greatest movie superheroes, the likeable but mostly forgettable straight man can’t rise up too high.

31. Iceman/Bobby Drake (Shawn Ashmore,, X:Men, 2000; X2, 2003; X-Men: The Last Stand, 2006)



I was pretty surprised at how much justice this character was done throughout the three X-Men movies. They could have easily cast him aside or ignored him, but he was a relatively important supporting character in the films who is portrayed quite well.

Bobby was a pretty minor character in the first film, but got a chance to shine in the second. He’s the only X-Men member with whom we get to see his family, and it’s relatively effective. He reveals that he’s a mutant to his parents in a pretty obvious analogy of a “coming out” scene, giving his character plenty of depth. His casual scene where he freezes the soda for Wolverine in the kitchen is a great small character moment for the two of them. His powers are put into use and effective and look pretty cool.

I do have one issue with him, from the third film of course. We don’t really get a chance to see what’s going on in his mind regarding his feelings for Kitty, and it’s pretty unclear. It seems that his devotion to Rogue is sincere, so we aren’t sure if he’s having second thoughts and likes Kitty romantically or if he just thinks of Kitty as a friend and she’s misinterpreting it. For example, in the scene where he freezes the fountain for her and they frolic for a bit, is he just doing that strictly platonically to cheer her up or is he stifling romantic interest? If it’s the former, that’s pretty dumb on his part, as it could pretty obviously be misinterpreted as romantic interest. If it’s the latter, we don’t see a look on his face indicating anything like that, and he’s an idiot for doing it in a place Rogue can see, and they could have pulled it off much more effectively. We’re never really given his side of the story, a telling close up where we see a conflicted look on his face could have done wonders. There’s a deleted scene where he kisses Kitty that was cut, so we’re sort of left in the dark.

Other than that, he’s a character comes out pretty clean in the third film. He gets an arc where he proves himself to the older members and proves effective in battle, and his long building rivalry with Pyro comes to a satisfying head as we see him overcome his foe by unleashing his full body ice form in a pretty cool moment.

30. Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner, Thor, 2011; The Avengers, 2012)



Like Nite Owl, I don’t think I would change anything about this character, how he’s portrayed, and his role in the film, and everything about it is good.

Still, he’s too minor and doesn’t have enough development to be any higher. In the group of six Avengers, he’s the bottom of the totem pole, and it’s not close. He spends the majority of the movie brainwashed and out of commission, and doesn’t get much of a chance to interact with anyone other than Black Widow, so we don’t really get a sense of what makes him tick, and he doesn’t have a personal story arc or much character development or growth. Which is totally fine and justified from a film perspective and isn’t a flaw of the film at all, it just means his character ranking is a bit stunted.

Still, what we do see is quite good. He does get a short humanizing moment when he’s talking to Black Widow, even if it’s more about her feelings. And his skills are displayed in cool and clever ways in the final battle, and he gets some moments to shine.
__________________
A signature

Last edited by bbf2; 12-27-2012 at 01:01 PM.
bbf2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2012, 04:57 PM   #33
JBond
Beyond
 
JBond's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Sol
Posts: 71,075
Send a message via AIM to JBond
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbf2 View Post
Ice to see you!
__________________
The due date for Round 155 of the CS Film Club is Monday, July 28th, 2014.

60 out of 65 Hugo Award winners completed.
JBond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2012, 09:54 PM   #34
PG Cooper
Nixon's back, baby!
 
PG Cooper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 7,282
Default

These are awesome.
__________________
PG Cooper's Movie Reviews

CS! Recod Holder: Quickest Review in the Film Club (2 hours 19 minutes).

April 18th, 2013, 9:24 PM-????

"Terminator 2's a pretty awesome movie."- Paul Thomas Anderson
PG Cooper is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2012, 10:52 PM   #35
Dracula
Bloodgod
 
Dracula's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 16,036
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doomsday View Post
I was actually reading your previous villains thread and found this quote from Drac over 4 years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
I think bbf2 was dead on about catwoman, easily the best thing in Batman Returns, I could easily picture the Joker being Nolan-ized, but I can't think of a better version of catwoman, Pfiffer's catwoman IS what I would picture a Nolan version of the character to be.
I wonder now that Catwoman's character has actually been utilized in a Nolan movie if his (or anyones) thoughts have changed at all.
Well, over all, no my thoughts haven't really changed that much. I think Phiffer's take on Catwoman remains the most interesting potrayal of the character that I've seen. That's not to take too much away from Anne Hathaway, I liked her a lot in TDKR, but her take wasn't as unique or memorable.

Obviously I was wrong in thinking that Phiffer's character WAS exactly what Nolan would have been like, but when I said that I was thinking more of Catwoman the villain than Catwoman the anti-hero. If anything the Hathaway character is more comperable to what they were trying to do with the Halle Berry Catwoman than what Phiffer was up to.
__________________
Check out my review blog
Dracula is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2012, 11:26 PM   #36
Neverending
sex
 
Neverending's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 22,123
Default

Catwoman's main purpose in Dark Knight Rises is to lighten the mood. Even Chris Nolan admits this during interviews. Hathaway practically disappears from the movie during the 2nd act. Phiffer's Catwoman, on the other hand, is actually important to the plot of Batman Returns.
__________________
"Would you like some boob action?"
-Conan O'Brien
July 13, 2004
12:55 AM

^ 10 years. LOL.
Neverending is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2012, 03:15 AM   #37
Tolkien
LOTR Junkie™
 
Tolkien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Minas Tirith
Posts: 15,360
Send a message via AIM to Tolkien
Default

I see I have accidentially stumbled into an awesome thread. I don't usually do that. Thanks for the read!
__________________
“When you want something you've never had, you have to do something you've never done.”
-- The Truth.

Tolkien is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2012, 11:00 AM   #38
Henri Ducard
Executive Producer
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 970
Default

That's Rogue in name only. Bryan Singer didn't want Jubilee because her superpowers are fireworks. So he put Rogue instead and stripped her of everything that made her cool including her relationship with Gambit.
Henri Ducard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2012, 05:46 PM   #39
Wyldstaar
Executive Producer
 
Wyldstaar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,174
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henri Ducard View Post
That's Rogue in name only. Bryan Singer didn't want Jubilee because her superpowers are fireworks. So he put Rogue instead and stripped her of everything that made her cool including her relationship with Gambit.
Rogue was a great character long before she met Gambit. She was a member of the X-Men seven years before Gambit's first appearance. The movie version of the character was more reminiscent of the early days of the Rogue immediately after joining the X-Men. Young, unsure and terrified of her powers, although I suspect that was due more to the needs of the movie's story than any attempt to stay true to the comics. Still, by the time Rogue met Gambit in the comics, she had changed a great deal.
Wyldstaar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2012, 07:26 PM   #40
bbf2
IT'S A TRAP(ezoid)!
 
bbf2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Yes
Posts: 14,335
Default

29. Beast/Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult, X-Men First Class, 2011)



A good portrayal that gets a chance to shine in a good movie. A young Hank McCoy is mostly a character that we haven’t really seen, he starts out young in the 60’s comics but for the most part he’s portrayed as older and wiser than his comrades. Hoult does a good job showing us Hank’s struggles with his appearance, and he sells his pathos about it quite well. His chemistry with Mystique is also pretty good, so we feel bad for him when she goes to sleep with Erik. His intelligence is displayed, and he’s given a lot of development and justice.

However, he's brought down a lot by the fact that his furry form at the end looked really bad.

Another issue, I know he was eager to change his feet to be normal, but shouldn’t he have had at least enough self control to wait to take this unproven serum which might affect his powers AFTER the team has dealt with Shaw threatening to start World War 3? He takes it the night beforehand!

28. The Silver Surfer/Norrin Radd (Doug Jones, voiced by Laurence Fishburne, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, 2007)



Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer isn’t a good movie (it’s not terrible), but that has little to do with the Silver Surfer himself, who is handled quite well for the most part.

His personality, origin, and powers are spot on. This is the Silver Surfer of the comics brought to the big screen, and it’s pretty cool. When we see him rampaging and doing his thing on Earth, it’s relatively impressive and looks pretty awesome. We also get to see his personal side as he explains his origin, and it’s effective, and his arc as he learns to respect the humans is relatively well done (on his end, at least, the parts that rely on Jessica Alba’s acting ability not so much) . Fisburne’s voice works here, and Doug Jones proves once again that he’s a master of motion capture. Jones’ lanky frame was perfect in bringing the Surfer to life.

The movie overall is kind of dumb, not really the Surfer’s fault, although he is involved in a pretty dumb moment at the end. After Doom is defeated and the Surfer’s powers restored, the Surfer defeats Galactus by flying straight into him and doing…something. I’m not sure how, exactly flying straight into Galactus caused Galactus to be destroyed, or put into a cosmic rift or whatever it was. First off, he gets his powers FROM Galactus, so this really doesn’t make too much sense, Galactus is much more powerful than him. And if he had a move like that in his arsenal that could destroy or incapacitate Galactus, why didn’t he try that ages ago? Why did he let all those other alien worlds be destroyed first if he had a technique that would destroy or hinder Galactus the whole time? The film already had its big action scene where they took down Doom, it might have been better to end the threat of Galactus by having the Surfer convince him to spare Earth, like in the comics.

So despite that dumb moment, the Silver Surfer is a cool comic book character and there aren’t many complaints to be had in the way he was pretty faithfully portrayed on screen.


27. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson, Iron Man, 2008; Iron Man 2, 2010; Thor, 2011; Captain America: The First Avenger, 2011; The Avengers, 2012)



I wasn’t sure whether to include this character or not, unsure of whether to classify him as a hero himself or if he was more in the Commissioner Gordon-esque “supporting character who works with the heroes” role. Ultimately, however, the fact that Nick Fury in the comics had a bunch of his own series and is usually ranked in “Top Comic Book Hero” lists, so I’ll include him here (but not Coulson or Robin Sparkles).

Appearing in five films total, this character is in the most total movies out of any character on the list. Obviously, however, he only has a brief cameo in three of them, serving as the bridge between these movies and making it clear they’re in the same universe. Therefore most of the analysis has to come from Iron Man 2 and the Avengers, where he played large roles.

Because of the fact that the Ultimate universe version of Nick Fury was directly inspired by Samuel L. Jackson, fans were thrilled when Jackson himself signed on for the role, and we were happy when he popped up at the end of Iron Man.

That being said, in Iron Man 2, I was a little cold about him in his extended role. He kind of acts like a disapproving jerk to Tony the whole time, and I couldn’t help be reminded a bit of Mace Windu. His subplot of evaluating whether Tony would work in a team setting seemed a little out of place and too much of a call-forward to the Avengers movie, distracting the audience from what was happening in this one. I also didn’t like how his favoritism of Black Widow and the fact that he considers her a superior hero to Iron Man helped set up her Mary Sue-ness in the film. It wasn’t horrible or anything, and Jackson does a good job acting, he just left me a little cold for those reasons.

The Avengers, however, is his real chance to shine, and he does it well. As the person in command of the group, Jackson comes off like the badass we know Jackson can be, and the character is done a good deal of justice. I especially like the moment where it was revealed that Coulson wasn’t actually carrying his Captain America cards when he was killed, and Fury took them out of his locker and covered them in blood to help motivate the team. A nice little character moment for him that shows the audience Fury isn’t above somewhat tasteless machination to help get the job done.

If he was only in Iron Man 2 and the Avengers and didn’t have the three cameos on top of that, the character would probably be lower. But it was really cool and somewhat revolutionary seeing the character used to bridge the gap between all the movies and really helped give the movies a distinct feeling and amped up the hype for the Avengers movie (which then delivered). So really, Nick Fury was the reason the Avengers could happen, not only as a character within the universe of the film; but as a film element, the reason for the movie to happen. And you have the awesome element of a character inspired by Samuel L. Jackson, who then is played by Samuel L. Jackson, and well. That being said, there are only two movies where he actually makes meaningful appearances and can actually be considered a character (rather than a cameo), and in one of those two, he isn’t horrible but detracts from the film overall, so he can’t rank higher than this.


26. The Punisher/Frank Castle (Thomas Jane, The Punisher, 2004)



This film works quite well as a throwback to the 70s and 80s action revenge movies. It starts off a little slow and uneven – a few plot holes and things that make no sense. The action is pretty good, especially the scene with the Russian, and it ends up being a pretty good film in the end. Very few of the flaws of the film come from the character himself or Jane’s portrayal, which were very good.

First of all, it was a little strange that they decided to change it so that, instead of just his wife and son being killed, it’s his entire extended family. Over 20 relatives who have gathered at a family reunion. That seemed a little bit like overkill – surely having his wife and son die would be enough motivation? Why do Aunt Martha and Cousin Jimmy have to bite it as well? I guess having his parents killed on top of that could be okay, but why did we need to add to that the death of several extras that were never introduced to us who were related to him in some way that we don’t even know about. He emotionally reacts when seeing his wife and kid die, he doesn’t even get too broken up about the random relatives, so I’m not really sure what the point was of upping the ante to this degree, the scene seemed a bit ridiculous.

I did like the character and Jane’s portrayal quite a bit. We get some decent establishing time with his wife and son beforehand, and Jane is likable, and gets some badass scenes. There are some weird moments and plot holes, though. Some of them are solved with the director’s cut (most notably being why he outs himself to the media when people think he’s dead if he’s about to engage in a revenge mission – in the director’s cut its part of his plot to find out who betrayed him, in the theatrical movie it just seems baffling) but like I said with Daredevil I’m judging based on what was shown in theaters. That being said I don’t think the character would have moved up much because of the director’s cut, unlike Daredevil who probably would have raised up a decent amount.

Thomas Jane does a good job showing that there’s a little bit of the Punisher’s trademark deranged-ness and extremity in his actions. Script wise, there isn’t quite as much of a trace of the extremes that make the Punisher the Punisher in this one. A lot of the comic Punisher’s appeal is the fact that you can see that he’s unhinged and extreme – other heroes are wary of him, and a good deal of them think that the Punisher should be locked up. The reader is supposed to be somewhat conflicted and on the line (in a good way) about whether the Punisher’s war on crime is worthy of praise or if it’s far too brutal and extreme and is going too far. There’s real grey in his actions, and that’s part of his appeal.

Plot and script wise, Thomas Jane’s Punisher is less of that and more of a protagonist in a standard 70s or 80s revenge flick. Every single character he kills in this movie, he is 100% justified in doing so. Almost every single person he kills for the most part is a mobster that works for the guy who killed his family, and most all of them were actively seeking him out to kill Castle first. There is no extreme renegade tone, no real grey in his actions – the audience is not conflicted about him, we’re on his side beyond any shadow of a doubt (especially as he also has several moments of altruism). He definitely uses some quite brutal methods, but everyone he uses them on completely deserves it and then some – it’s not like in the comics where he uses brutal methods against people who commit somewhat lesser crimes like drug dealers and money launderers (that aren’t trying to kill him first, and had no part in killing his family) who probably deserve to be sentenced to prison instead, leaving you a bit conflicted about him. The only things that comes close is his initial torture of Eddie Jemison’s character (as the character, despite being a weasel, is obviously pretty helpless, and eventually comes to help him later) and his killing of the former partner who betrayed him, but he’s justified in both those actions when they happen.

That isn’t a flaw of the film at all, I’m just making an observation. It makes perfect sense – this is an origin story, a revenge and survival tale. He doesn’t come into accepting the role of the Punisher and figure out what he wants to go out and do in the world until the very end.

Thomas Jane’s portrayal is what really sells it, though, and we can see plenty of traces of what makes the Punisher the Punisher in his words and actions. The way he seems to get pleasure out of some of the torture and methods he used were sold quite well. I especially liked how he killed Saint’s son by making him hold up an 8-pound trigger bomb with an outstretched hand when he was stuck.

A lot of the reviews for the film said that the film and the character himself were too grim, dark, and humorless. Umm, his ENTIRE family was just killed, I think I can cut him a break for not making wisecracks the entire time. Besides, the film does have some humor, as there are two comic relief neighbors, and the fight with the Russian has several humorous tongue-in-cheek moments in it.

So despite some weird plot holes (why can’t Howard Saint track him down if Castle has publically revealed himself on TV and isn’t hiding at all?) and the film overall is pretty good but not fantastic, Jane did a good job onscreen and made me feel like I was watching the Punisher in the flesh.
__________________
A signature
bbf2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2012, 10:15 PM   #41
Wyldstaar
Executive Producer
 
Wyldstaar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,174
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbf2 View Post
26. The Punisher/Frank Castle (Thomas Jane, The Punisher, 2004)

First of all, it was a little strange that they decided to change it so that, instead of just his wife and son being killed, it’s his entire extended family. Over 20 relatives who have gathered at a family reunion. That seemed a little bit like overkill – surely having his wife and son die would be enough motivation? Why do Aunt Martha and Cousin Jimmy have to bite it as well? I guess having his parents killed on top of that could be okay, but why did we need to add to that the death of several extras that were never introduced to us who were related to him in some way that we don’t even know about. He emotionally reacts when seeing his wife and kid die, he doesn’t even get too broken up about the random relatives, so I’m not really sure what the point was of upping the ante to this degree, the scene seemed a bit ridiculous.
This was the biggest problem I had with the movie. My issue was not that Frank's entire extended family was killed, but that the FBI did absolutely NOTHING about the fact that one of their own and all of his relatives were murdered. My suspension of disbelief doesn't go this far. The feds would not have let it go "due to lack of evidence" or whatever. The murder of Castle and his family is a declaration of war by the Saints of the FBI, and there is absolutely no way it would be allowed to stand. They would do whatever it takes to get a warrant, then use that as a pretext to storm the Saint mansion, the club, wherever and kill everyone. His entire criminal organization would be destroyed, with or without evidence.

Of course, the needs of the story demand that Castle have an initial, more personal target which drives him to become The Punisher. Maybe Travolta somehow manages to escape the FBI with one of his sons, so that by the time Frank heals up, he's still got someone to wreak bloody vengeance upon. He goes from one drug cartel to the next, tearing through their ranks to find someone who knows where Travolta is hiding.

As for the portrayal, I quite liked it too. I find it to be the best of the three as well. I'd really like to see Jane in the role again, whenever Marvel Studios gets around to him once more (they got the rights back a few years ago). He's obviously up for it-

VIDEO-CLick to Watch!:

Last edited by Wyldstaar; 12-24-2012 at 10:25 PM.
Wyldstaar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2012, 02:42 AM   #42
bbf2
IT'S A TRAP(ezoid)!
 
bbf2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Yes
Posts: 14,335
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyldstaar View Post
This was the biggest problem I had with the movie. My issue was not that Frank's entire extended family was killed, but that the FBI did absolutely NOTHING about the fact that one of their own and all of his relatives were murdered. My suspension of disbelief doesn't go this far. The feds would not have let it go "due to lack of evidence" or whatever. The murder of Castle and his family is a declaration of war by the Saints of the FBI, and there is absolutely no way it would be allowed to stand. They would do whatever it takes to get a warrant, then use that as a pretext to storm the Saint mansion, the club, wherever and kill everyone. His entire criminal organization would be destroyed, with or without evidence.

Of course, the needs of the story demand that Castle have an initial, more personal target which drives him to become The Punisher. Maybe Travolta somehow manages to escape the FBI with one of his sons, so that by the time Frank heals up, he's still got someone to wreak bloody vengeance upon. He goes from one drug cartel to the next, tearing through their ranks to find someone who knows where Travolta is hiding.
You know what else would have worked pretty well? If his wife and kids were killed during the crossfire of a mob shootout.
__________________
A signature
bbf2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2012, 07:20 AM   #43
Tornado
Mad Man
 
Tornado's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 32,720
Default

Great additions!
__________________
Let me tell you, I know you don't want to listen to your father, I didn't listen to mine, and I am telling you you gotta pay attention this time. When life reaches out at a moment like this it's a sin if you don't reach back, I'm telling you its a sin if you don't reach back! It'll haunt you the rest of your days like a curse.
Tornado is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2012, 09:19 AM   #44
Wyldstaar
Executive Producer
 
Wyldstaar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,174
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbf2 View Post
You know what else would have worked pretty well? If his wife and kids were killed during the crossfire of a mob shootout.
Well, there is that, yes.
Wyldstaar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2012, 10:35 AM   #45
Henri Ducard
Executive Producer
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 970
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyldstaar View Post
Rogue was a great character long before she met Gambit. She was a member of the X-Men seven years before Gambit's first appearance. The movie version of the character was more reminiscent of the early days of the Rogue immediately after joining the X-Men. Young, unsure and terrified of her powers, although I suspect that was due more to the needs of the movie's story than any attempt to stay true to the comics. Still, by the time Rogue met Gambit in the comics, she had changed a great deal.
It doesn't change the fact she's Jubilee-esque in the trilogy. If she had evolved like in the comics you would have a point.
Henri Ducard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2012, 02:52 AM   #46
bbf2
IT'S A TRAP(ezoid)!
 
bbf2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Yes
Posts: 14,335
Default

25. The Thing/Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis, Fantastic Four, 2005; Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, 2007)



Ah, the Thing. Another character who’s ranking I had to grapple with because attributes of the character achieved both high valleys and low peaks. Let me break those down for you.

The Highs: Michael Chiklis’s performance as The Thing
The Lows: Everything surrounding it

Okay, that’s not entirely fair. As I said in their respective entries, I thought Johnny was okay and Silver Surfer was pretty good.

Since this is a superhero character ranking and not a superhero movie ranking, you would think my breaking it down like that would mean that he should be higher. Still, I can’t help but penalize a character for embarrassing themselves by being actively involved in the wackiness and stupidity of the films and their plots.

That being said, Chiklis does a great job. He campaigned hard for the role, and also campaigned for the character to be portrayed through the use of suits and prosthetics as opposed to CGI. It works out quite well – we get used to the character and accept him very quickly, and it looks pretty good.

Chiklis does a good job in the second movie, but it’s the first one (although that film was overall weaker) that he really shines.

In fact, the performance was so good, that if the movie had chosen a different villain (I’m not even going to entertain the notion of “If the movie had portrayed Dr. Doom with justice” – that’s just asking too much from these people) I might have actually considered it an “overall, pretty good” film, largely based on the strength of this portrayal. (in fact, the people I saw it with who weren’t comic fans and weren’t familiar with Doom in the comics and therefore unaware of how much he was bastardized all thought that it was a pretty good movie, mostly due to Thing.)

Chiklis takes us through the emotions he feels at his transformation in a very natural and sympathetic way - we really like the guy and feel for him. The other three got nothing but positive abilities in the accident, but he got disfigured into a monster, and Chiklis sells that rage and pathos, and the tragedy of the character.

The scenes where Ben isn’t interacting with the other members of the Four and he’s contemplating his changes are great, and we feel like they were copy/pasted from another much better film into this one.

And then we cut from those great scenes into “OMG I can’t believe I’m somehow naked in public AGAIN, tee hee!” and “Rawr, I’m an evil businessman with electrical powers who has nothing to do with Victor von Doom” and feel sad.

His debate over whether to keep his inhuman form and whether to change back is also given a satisfying ending within the first film. Although we see all of his struggles, and his exhilaration at being changed back into human form by Doom, we are given the ability to appreciate the sacrifice Ben makes at being transformed back into The Thing at the end of the first movie in order to come in and save his friend. This however, is not accomplished without a massive plot hole. In order to change Ben back to human form, it is established that Doom uses Reed’s invention to reverse the effect of the galactic wave by giving it enough electricity to power it from within his newly acquired electrical powers. It has been established that Reed could not power it himself because he did not have enough of an electrical source. However, when Ben decides to change himself back into the Thing to rescue Reed, we are not given any description of how he was able to accomplish that. He just does it, despite the fact that in order to accomplish this feat he would have to be privy to an extreme electrical source (which he was not, at the time) and would also have to be able to operate the complex scientific machinery, which he would presumably not be able to do as he was inside it at the time. Ben is changed back into The Thing without any explanation at all for how it could be possible. Still, despite this plot hole, this moment is given appropriate weight, and we feel the burden of this decision had been earned.

As Gruffudd, Alba, and McMahon are quite subpar, Ben’s interactions with Johnny are probably the strongest interaction in the films from a character perspective. There are a few genuinely funny moments between the two of them, and the interaction between the two is definitely a highlight of both of the films. A pretty good capturing of the playful relationship between the two in the comics.

In the second film he isn’t done quite as much justice and doesn’t have as much to do, but Chiklis’s portrayal is still good. One one note, I took a little bit of issue with the whole wacky “swapping powers around because of the Surfer’s board” comedy routine nonsense. To start it off, Johnny touches Ben and they swap powers, so now Johnny is a rock monster and Ben looks normal and can control fire. This is played completely comedic. Now, even though Ben went through a process of accepting his altered state in the first movie, Ben should at least show SOME regret or genuine emotion at the fact that he can finally see and feel himself as a human with human flesh for the first time in at least a year. Instead it’s “Derp derp, hey look Johnny you’re the rock monster now LOL hey check it out I can control fire this is kinda cool” and then leads to a series of wacky hijinks (which of course ends up with Sue being naked.) That’s pretty weak.

Still, this is an overall good very good portrayal of a classic comics character, despite the fact that it’s an island in a sea of suck and the character can’t be completely exonerated for appearing in most of the ridiculous moments required by the plot. He’s the second highest rated character who only appears in films that are overall negative without actually appearing in one overall positively rated movie.

And the first, is the first member of the “Great” tier. This is where stuff starts to get really good.

The Great Tier

First, a note about this tier. I had a very hard time balancing out the positive attributes of the five remaining supporting characters (who in some cases are perfect, but don’t get nearly as much screen time and don’t have to carry the film) and the major characters (characters who are in the top three in terms of screen time and importance for their movies, who may actually have more flaws than the supporting characters, but shoulder the burden of carrying the film). Eventually, I came to the realization that the positive attributes of the lowest-rank top 25 “major” character probably overall relayed more positives than the highest ranked supporting one. Therefore, the next five characters to be listed are basically a list of the “top five best supporting Marvel/DC comic book characters,” and after number 20 it’s all major characters from that point forward.

The Great Tier
i. Supporting Characters


24. Beast/Hank McCoy (Frasier Crane, X-Men: The Last Stand, 2006)



I’ve written a lot about X3 and the problems therein in previous entries. X3’s Beast is not one of them, and is in fact the highlight of the film, by far.

When the casting of Kelsey Grammer was announced, a lot of fans were excited, thinking that his demeanor perfectly matched the Hank McCoy of the comics and TV show. And when the character appeared onscreen, we could tell our excitement was justified. Grammer nails the role, creating a Beast that is perfectly erudite, sophistical, and whimsical. He nails the Beast of the comics and cartoon to a T. He even gets a “Oh my stars and garters,” in there, which is a bit cheesy but I was happy they put it in.

It’s also worth noting how visually impressive they were able to make him. He’s a big furry blue guy, but he looks natural and doesn’t look silly, which makes it all the more perplexing why First Class couldn’t recreate it to any degree and made him look quite bad.

Beast’s best moment was when he visited the lab where they kept Leech, and we see his hand turn into a human hand as he nears Leech’s proximity. Grammer’s face tells you everything you need to know about his regret and thoughts, how it would be great to be human again, but he knows for the greater good that it can’t happen after everything he’s done as a mutant rights activist.

I mentioned in my Storm review that the lack of chemistry or any definable relationship between Storm and Logan was a major flaw that played a big role in causing the movie to fall flat. It’s a good thing that for most of the later acts that Beast is also along for the ride with these two. His chemistry with Wolverine is great. These are two men who have a very specific thing in common – their powers are both animalistic in nature, and cause both of them to have a feral side that they sometimes exhibit and sometimes try to suppress. Hence the exchange “Wolverine. I hear you’re quite an animal” followed by “Look who’s talkin’.” But other than that, their personalities couldn’t be more different. Logan is the blue collar middle class working man who speaks in a pedantic and straight forward manner, likes to relax by having a beer at a dive bar. By contrast, Beast behaves like a proper, sophisticated aristocrat with refined tastes, who speaks formally and relaxes by reading literary classics. The dynamic between the two and how they interact reflects this, as they tease each other and joke while at the same time developing a strong mutual respect.

I have a lot of problems with this movie, which I’ve written about at length, but I can’t think of any issues specifically related to Beast. He’s higher than the Thing even though we don’t get as much of him because, unlike the Thing, Beast doesn’t embarrass himself by appearing in ridiculous moments (although there is a deleted scene where he awkwardly recites Shakespeare before they go off into battle – if that had made the final film this ranking probably would have been lower). Also, if you aren’t a comics fan X3 is a poorly paced and flawed movie but not one that is embarrassing to watch at times like the Fantastic Four movies are.

So I don’t really have any specific complaints, this character being done so much justice was the best thing about the film, and the only reason he’s not higher is that he doesn’t really have much of an arc or character development, and the positives I experienced from watching a well-pulled off Hank McCoy in a supporting role in an otherwise bad movie weren’t as high as the positives of the characters in front of him.

23. Catwoman/Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway, The Dark Knight Rises, 2012)



A bit of a housekeeping note first: In the comics Catwoman has both been a hero (albeit maybe an anti-hero) and a villain and has filled both roles at various points. The Hathaway and (shudder) Halle Berry versions portray her as a hero so I’ve ranked those two, while the 1966 Batman and Batman Returns versions had her in the role of villain, so those two are excluded.

I remember that people were slightly apprehensive when they heard that Hathaway was cast as Selina Kyle in the third movie. A lot of people weren’t sure that she was right for the part, if she was a good fit for the Nolan universe, and why/how the character would even have a role in the movie. The first shots we got of her in costume from the set seemed a bit underwhelming as well.

The Dark Knight Rises turned out to be a flawed film that was more or less disappointing overall. Not a bad film by any means, but certainly flawed and a let down from the highs of Dark Knight. Hathaway’s Selina Kyle, however, was most certainly not a reason for that at all, and was called by many as the highlight of the film.

Her introduction tells you everything you need to know. The hobbled Bruce catches her thieving while posing as a maid, and then we see her drop the shy maid façade and smiles as with a well-delivered and insincere “Oops!” She then proceeds to incapacitate Bruce and make off with what she’s stolen. We see what we need to know about her, her chemistry with Bruce, her abilities and personality. And throughout the rest of the film, those are on display wonderfully. Our initial fears were put to rest as the movie continued. Hathaway’s performance was great, displaying all the confidence, ability and sexiness we associate with the character. She makes a great foil to Batman, and provides good comic relief and levity without becoming a joke herself.

Some people complain that her being the one to finish off Bane was cheap – but what would you have preferred? Bane HAD to die...and having Batman kill him would raise a whole bag of worms that the movie didn’t have time to get into. Would you have preferred to Bane to fall off a cliff or some other death of his own doing, like a cheesy Disney villain?

Also, I know there were a lot of complaints about her role the ending, and I do understand them. Bruce runs away to live a normal suburban life in Italy – with Selina Kyle? The woman who is also a criminal, who he’s fought with and is hard to predict? Is this really the type of girl to settle down to a normal life in the Italian suburbs and have kids with and whatnot? My brain raised this issue in my head and I understood how it could be kind of dumb, might not work out, and be somewhat nonsensical.

But, damnit, I loved the hell out of it. People complained that about the fact that we saw Bruce (and Selina) in the café after the shot of Alfred, how it ruined the scene and we should have ended it with Alfred smiling without being shown what he saw. But I wouldn’t have changed it for anything. – if we didn’t see it, we wouldn’t have known for sure that the woman he was with was Selina. I won’t get too much into detail about the ending since most of that will be saved for the Bale Batman entry, but I will say that after decades of seeing versions of the Bruce/Selina romance develop and ultimately not lead anywhere because of various circumstances, we finally got a version where the two of them got to ride off into the sunset together, and I found that incredibly cathartic and rewarding and loved the hell out of the fact that I got to see it.

I do have some complaints and concerns about this movie (although by no means is it a bad movie, just a disappointing one given previously set high standards) but Catwoman was portrayed fantastically and was not one of them.

22. The Comedian/Edward Blake (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Watchmen, 2009)



Another housekeeping note: I included the Comedian on this list and not Ozymandius because I think Ozymandius (regardless of what you think about his motives and whether his actions were justified) despite initially being a superhero, plays the role of the “villain” in the book and movie, so I classify him as a villain and would have put him in my super villain rankings had I made them after Watchmen came out. The Comedian, despite being a scum of the earth human being who does villainous things, is always still considered to be a “superhero” throughout his life – he does fight crime, and is on the same side as the protagonists and doesn’t fight against them. Oh, sure, you could argue whether anyone in the book/film is a hero, but within the context of the film taken as a superhero movie, Adrian is the villain, and Blake (despite probably being the most reprehensible human being in the entire piece) is not.

In any case, nothing but praise for this character and portrayal. I could sit here and wax poetic about the Comedian as a character, his “Life is a joke” view on life, and his importance to the film…but if I analyze him too much as a character, all I’m really doing is analyzing his character from the comic book, because really, it’s the exact same. Essays have been written about the philosophies and characters of the Watchmen comic, so I’m not going to get too much into that here. What I’m here to analyze is how the 2009 film adapted the character from the comics onto the silver screen.

And the answer is…pretty much perfectly. To start with, Morgan himself was a fantastic choice – he is the spitting image of the comics character, and his sneer demeanor perfectly encapsulates the selfish, nihilistic jerk who has a detached view of the world.

The Vietnam scene was a great capture of all of this. He shoots an innocent woman who is pregnant with his child, and then turns to Dr. Manhattan and chastises HIM for not stopping it…never mind the fact that Blake was the one who pulled the trigger. Morgan sells this completely.

The Comedian, in the film, comes off as a quite memorable and great character despite a low amount of screentime. There isn’t enough time to do him as much justice as in the comic series, of course, but what we do see matches up perfectly with what we already know about the character.

So, really, I enjoyed the hell out of this character and wouldn’t change a thing about the way he was portrayed in the movie. However, a character who was in only four or five scenes total and isn’t involved in the active storyline can’t be ranked too high. In addition, people who walked away from Watchmen probably thought that The Comedian was a highlight of the film, but not one of the two main highlights of the film. (Those two main highlights of Watchmen are the two most important characters, and I’m sure you know who they are, and they will obviously appear later). So he’s lower than the next two entries on the list, who were both by and large considered the highlights of their respective films, even in supporting roles.
__________________
A signature

Last edited by bbf2; 12-27-2012 at 03:56 AM.
bbf2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2012, 04:35 PM   #47
IanTheCool
Executive Lego Producer
 
IanTheCool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 14,329
Default

Oh, cool idea. Sorry, coming into it a little late.
IanTheCool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2012, 06:19 PM   #48
Tornado
Mad Man
 
Tornado's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 32,720
Default

Looking good.
__________________
Let me tell you, I know you don't want to listen to your father, I didn't listen to mine, and I am telling you you gotta pay attention this time. When life reaches out at a moment like this it's a sin if you don't reach back, I'm telling you its a sin if you don't reach back! It'll haunt you the rest of your days like a curse.
Tornado is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2012, 06:43 PM   #49
bbf2
IT'S A TRAP(ezoid)!
 
bbf2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Yes
Posts: 14,335
Default

21. Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner (Alan Cumming, X-Men 2: X-Men United, 2003)



X2 is one of the best comic book superhero movies, and Nightcrawler and his teleporting effects are generally considered the highlight of the film.

We see this character in action right off the bat as the hypnotized Nightcrawler invades the White House and uses his teleporting power to take down several secret servicemen in order to get to the President – and it’s one of the best action scenes in the history of superhero movies. I would venture to say it’s probably the best action scene in the history of superhero movies that occurs early on in the film and not towards the end. The ways that he uses his teleporting power in creative ways to remain untouched as he goes through them and takes the men down is exhilarating.

The teleporting effects were so great and such a hit with the audience that two subsequent films made sure to replicating them despite the Nightcrawler character not being present. Using Wraith in X-Men Origins Wolverine made sense as Wraith was involved in Wolverine’s past, but having the character of Azazel (Nightcrawler’s father) in First Class was completely and blatantly shoe-horned in because they wanted to show off the teleporting abilities again. Azazel is an extra-dimensional being with lots of powers far beyond teleporting who was considered Satan himself for a long time, so having him be some Russian henchman for Shaw was a very blatant way of the producers telling the audience “Hey, you guys liked the teleporting, right? Here it is again!” Blatant as it was, we were totally fine with it.

Which is a testament to how well Nightcrawler’s abilities are used at the beginning of this movie. They are used to some degree later on a smaller scale, but not nearly as much. It would have been pretty cool to see Nightcrawler used them in a more all-out manner in the final battle to take people down.

But enough about his powers, what about Nightcrawler as a character? Well, he isn’t given all that much to do throughout most of the film besides provide them with the location of the base and a couple uses of his teleporting to save people and then get Storm into Dark Cerebro. The X-Men find him and then take him along for the ride, pretty much. There’s a pretty funny ongoing joke about how he keeps trying to explain his name and moniker but keeps getting cut off. But he still gets plenty of screen time and slow moments, and we’re able to see that the character himself is excellently adapted.

His defining trait is his faith, as a devout Catholic, symbolized visually by the markings he has put on his skin for every sin he has committed. His speech about how he pities humans because of their ignorance and how faith is needed to survive is definitely his best non-action scene, giving us really good insight into the depth of the character and why he acts the way he does. It’s especially impressive since he’s interacting with Storm in those scenes and not an actual character. He also gets a little bit of a character arc, as he adamantly refuses to teleport anywhere if he can’t see where he’s going at first, but then after Storm echoes “faith” to him, he does what’s needed.

All in all it’s really a huge shame that Cumming couldn’t stand the makeup and they weren’t able to get him back for X3. X3 didn’t even explain his absence, they put the explanation for his absence in a tie-in video game. It was bizarre that they never mentioned it in the film, as the reason given in the video game (after going on a few missions he realized that a life of violence wasn’t for him) actually makes a lot of sense, and I think the fans deserved to know why their favorite character from the last film is missing.

Overall, Nightcrawler is the highlight of a great film, as a character with awesome powers who was also done quite well from a character/personality standpoint. He’s the runner up in the contest of “best superhero in a supporting role” for this list. And number one is…

20. The Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo, The Avengers, 2012)



Pretty much everything about this portrayal is great, and is the source for a lot of the fun in the movie, and everyone considers it a highlight of the film.

First off, visually, he’s quite impressive. The decision to make the Hulk actually look like Ruffalo was a great decision by Whedon, and helps sell it a lot.

I’m sure you remember all the awesome scenes the Hulk had. The fight with Thor, going around and beating up all the space aliens with glee, the scene where Loki is talking about how great he is and then the Hulk just grabs him and throws him around like a ragdoll in a superb comedic moment that had the audience laughing and cheering so much that no one even heard him say “puny God” afterwards. My favorite moment, though, is when he teams up with Thor to beat up a bunch of aliens, the two of them stand together for a moment to admire their work – and then Hulk turns and punches Thor to the other side of the room. Just a small humorous moment to let him know there’s still a bit of resentment from their fight earlier.

In addition, Ruffalo does a great job playing Bruce Banner in civilian form. He’s a Banner who has, to some degree, accepted his lot in life and is a bit more relaxed and less brooding. You can’t help get the sense that he’s having a lot of fun interacting with everybody, we don’t see him ruminating about his condition. He’s hanging out on a spaceship having fun. His relationship to the other characters is pulled off quite well also – he and Tony are both scientists, so we see them bond and become buddies, and he gets some jabs in towards the others. The other characters besides Tony are cautious around him because they know what he’s capable of, and he actually has some fun with it, taking advantage of the fact that he’s a quiet scientist but all these powerful beings are constantly walking on eggshells around him.

Throughout the film, Banner brushes off the others’ concerns of a “Hulk out,” saying he’s in control. In the end, his reasoning for this (“I’m always angry”) is well earned and very clever and a great interpretation of the character.

So people rightfully called him the highlight of the film. A lot of people also said that it’s the best overall portrayal of the character so far, that Whedon is finally the one to get the Hulk “right.” And some even said “Wow, I can’t believe he finally pulled off the Hulk, and it was an even tougher, it was in an ensemble film!”

I can understand why people called it the best portrayal, but NOT the point of “I can’t believe the Hulk was finally done right in an ensemble film, which makes it even tougher.” No, no, no. The fact that he’s in an ensemble film makes pulling off a satisfying Hulk much, much easier.

In this film, Hulk is the “fun uncle.” He’s like a guy who comes by occasionally with presents to visit his nephew/niece, and the kid loves him because whenever the fun uncle comes by it always means presents and fun and never any discipline or other elements of parenting. Whether or not the “fun uncle” can support children of his own is up in the air – it’s certainly possible, but his role as the fun guy who comes around every once in awhile in his nephew/niece’s life is not necessarily indicative of it.

Similarly, the Hulk in this movie gets to do fun Hulk things and we don’t have to worry about too much character development, and he doesn’t have the burden of carrying the entire film. Whedon can pick and choose his spots when to use Hulk to make it the most satisfying. The Avengers had the built-in advantage of “Oh boy, I can’t wait for the Hulk to show up and smash stuff!” – if the entire film is based on Hulk and the film is filled with the Hulk showing up and smashing stuff from the early points of the film onward, it’s much, much more difficult to pull off a moment as satisfying and hilarious as the Loki smash. Now that isn’t to say that Ruffalo’s Hulk couldn’t be involved in a great solo film, it’s just not necessarily indicative of it. (and based on the fact that a certain other character hasn’t appeared yet, I’m sure you can tell that I think Marvel Studios is perfectly capable of making a great Hulk film).

Now that being said, this is not in ANY way a flaw in the film and I basically wouldn’t change anything about the way the character in the film (except some elements of the Widow chase scene, it had some unfortunate undertones). The Hulk is used almost perfectly, and gets a fantastic response from the audience. But I do feel that there may be a reaction of “Hey, this character made everyone in the theater stand up and cheer, the characters you’ve put ahead of him never did that!” (especially that aforementioned character in particular) and believe me, I struggled with that as well. But at some point there needs to be a distinction between great supporting characters, who are much easier to get right and don’t have to do as much, and great main characters, who have the burden of carrying the film.

Ultimately, after analyzing it a lot, I made this the distinction and cut off mark, and Ruffalo’s Hulk gets the honor of “best superhero in a supporting role in a Marvel/DC movie.” Nothing but major characters from this point forward.

The Great Tier
ii. Major characters


Now we're really getting into the best of the best. Some of these characters do appear in bad movies, but with the exception of one character who achieves very low depths in one of their films but is offset by the extreme highs in their others (take a wild guess who that might be) it's mostly nothing but praise from this point forward.

19. Robin/Dick Grayson (Burt Ward, Batman, 1966)
18. Batman/Bruce Wayne (Adam West, Batman, 1966)




First of all, I will take note that the television series version of the character takes no part here, and that I am only basing these rankings based on the theatrically-released film itself. They’re played the same way, definitely, so you might think that it doesn’t matter since the characters are exactly the same as the way they’re portrayed on the show. The only reason this makes an impact is the fact that the full impact of the TV show (its enjoyment, consistency, popularity, and historical impact) is not taken into account here, and if this was a ranking of “superhero portrayals in any medium” these characters would probably be higher based on that fact, but here I am only rating them based on their appearance in one singular 105 minute comedy film. I obviously can’t avoid talking about the show itself during this analysis, however.

Now, everyone loves to “make fun” of this movie. Everyone knows about the bat-shark repellant, about the running around with a bomb on his head, the “BAMs” and “POWs” that come up onscreen. So they mock it for its stupidity, and laugh at the movie. This always confused me. These people don’t realize that they’re not laughing AT the movie, they’re laughing WITH the movie.

It doesn’t get said enough – nothing about what makes this film (or the show) funny is unintentional. They knew exactly what they were doing. This is a comedy. They had Batman grab a can of bat shark repellent in order for you, the audience, to laugh at the fact that it’s ridiculous and implausible that he would have a can of shark repellent on hand!

There are a lot of parodies out there of this show/movie (especially, parodies of the visual sound effects). Like the “campy Radioactive Man TV series” shown in the Simpsons. I don’t quite understood this. You’re making a parody of something that was already a parody! The Batman series and movie were intended to be enjoyed in their own right, but also served as a parody of old serials, as well as comic book conventions that were occurring at the time.

I mean, just look at this part of the producer’s note in the opening sequence.

Quote:
And to lovers of adventure, lovers of pure escapism, lovers of unadulterated entertainment, lovers of the ridiculous and the bizarre--- to funlovers everywhere---this picture is respectfully dedicated.
They call their own movie “ridiculous and bizarre” in the first few seconds!

And Adam West’s performance really is what sells most of it. Despite being faced with such ludicrous situations, he plays it completely straight. Everything that occurs is completely natural to him and he sells it with his conviction. Ward is good at this as well, but more enjoyment comes from West so he’s one spot higher.

Obviously, this is not the dark Batman. Not at all. The Wayne murder is not mentioned in this film (and was only mentioned once in the TV show, in the pilot). He’s Batman because, well, crime has to be stopped, doggone it, and he’s the one to do it!

There’s obviously been some backlash against this depiction of Batman. It’s obviously a completely different character than the brooding dark one a lot of people prefer, and people who love the dark Batman think that’s the only version that can possibly exist, they want “the true Batman.” They hate this comedic version and want to sweep it under the rug, so they decry it and want to pretend it never existed.

Since there are obviously two “dark” and serious versions of Batman that are ranked ahead of this one, I certainly am someone who appreciates the potential that Batman has as a serious character. However, I feel there’s room for this version of the character to exist as well, that real enjoyment (albeit a completely different type) can come out of it, and it’s a mistake to decry it and pretend it never existed.

One look at superdickery.com will tell you that, yes, there was a period of time where the Batman comics being released largely filled with somewhat campy and ridiculous romps. Some consider this a chicken and the egg scenario, blame the success of the TV show on helping perpetuate this period of camp in the comics and delaying a more serious dark detective interpretation in the comics, which they resent. In any case, you can’t deny the fact that this version of Batman does have a basis.

In any case, this is about the movie itself. The movie pretty much the same as the show, except on a larger scale. There are a few changes, however. There are obviously no cliffhangers, which the episodes frequently ended with. Another difference is that instead of the BLAMs and the POWs are shown full-screen, they become small bits of text that appear onscreen during the battle screens (so that more of the action can be seen, presumably). The film’s budget is a little larger, we get more vehicles, and the stakes are raised – this isn’t a small scheme that the episodes of the show would focus on. As Batman correctly deduces, the fact that FOUR villains have teamed up means that surely their minimum objective must be…the entire world!

Other than that, it’s the same thing as the show.

Obviously, I had a hard time ranking these characters. The parameters for what makes this movie good are wildly different than any other film on the list – this is the only film that is intentionally a comedy.

And what a comedy it is.

First off, I think my absolute favorite parts of the show are the way that they always correctly solve the Riddler’s riddles and then brush them off like they were easy. We get some good ones here. The best:

Commissioner Gordon (reading a note from the Riddler): What weighs six ounces, sits in a tree and is very dangerous?
Robin (almost immediately): A sparrow with a machine gun!
Gordon: Yes, of course.

And he’s correct! What?

The best scene in the film is the bomb scene. He grabs the bomb and looks for a way to get rid of it, but keeps running into people and things (nuns, a baby in a stroller), sometimes twice. As he is about to throw it into the water but stops because he sees some baby ducks, he stops and delivers a perfectly timed “Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb!” A brilliant piece of physical comedy. And the best part is, for the most part, people on the streets don’t even notice the fact that Batman is running around frantically holding a giant bomb over his head.

So as I mentioned earlier, these characters were difficult to rank because the parameters are completely different than any other film on this list. How can I rank the attributes of one-dimension characters from a 105 minute work of insane comedy against characters from serious films? West and Ward’s performances are great and carry the whole film, so ultimately I couldn’t have them below any supporting characters. But ultimately this is a character rank, and the portrayals of these two (while perfect) are fantastic comedy vehicles but don’t have anything resembling depth or emotion. And I wouldn’t want them to – it’s what sells the movie – but ultimately I have to respectfully have them below the serious major characters in the great tier even if you can argue that Batman 1966 does what it’s trying to do way better than some of the films later on in this list.
__________________
A signature

Last edited by bbf2; 12-27-2012 at 08:36 PM.
bbf2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2012, 02:38 AM   #50
bbf2
IT'S A TRAP(ezoid)!
 
bbf2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Yes
Posts: 14,335
Default

17. The Hulk/Bruce Banner (Edward Norton, Hulk form voiced by Lou Ferrigno, The Incredible Hulk, 2008)



I really, really, enjoyed this film and never fully understood why it didn’t get all that much credit when it was released. I never thought it got enough attention, and it’s treated like the black sheep of the Marvel universe films, probably because Norton is the only one who didn’t return for the Avengers. As much as I liked Ruffalo’s acting, having Norton return and then having the same Avengers script with Hulk being awesome in it I think really would have given people more of an appreciation for this movie.

Another reason is because there was another cinematically released Hulk movie five years prior. There had been some build up to Ang Lee’s Hulk, as people were excited to see a modern big budget adaptation of the green giant on screen. After that movie was so terrible, however, when this one came out it was kind of like “Wait, what, another one? Uh, okay.” Had this film been allowed to be the first real big screen interpretation of the character, I think people would have paid a lot more attention to it.

What we got was an extremely entertaining (but not dumb, and not campy) action movie that showed the Hulk in all his glory, doing things the Hulk should be doing. Hell, the movie ended with an awesome fight scene where he duked it out with the Abomination – pretty much the best possible ending fight scene to a Hulk movie. What’s not to like?

People probably would have appreciated it a lot more if this was also the first time they really got to see the Hulk onscreen. But since we already saw him relatively recently, people considered this more of the “Oh okay, this is the simple action one to counteract the weird one” and never appreciated the movie on its own. The excellently shot first Hulk-out scene in the bottling plant, where the Hulk starts out draped in shadows and hidden while taking out soldiers before finally having a dramatic reveal – as awesome as that scene was, how much more awesome and impactful would it have been if it was the first time we’ve ever seen the Hulk onscreen?

I remember there was a scene in the show 30 Rock where a comic book nerd character is explaining comic book movies to someone, and says “And then they kept re-making the Hulk, and it kept getting worse!”

What? Worse? Did they even see the Incredible Hulk? How on earth could anyone possible think that this movie is worse than starfish dad biting into an electrical cord and then thunderbolting around?

Anyway, let’s get into what I like about this movie, and character.

To start off with, this movie starts off in a way that I really, really wish other non-sequel superhero movies would do (especially if they’re rebooting a character that’s already had a film or films made about them): the movie starts out, and he’s already the Hulk! It’s not an origin story, so the film just gets going with its own plot right from the start.

This is a Banner at a point of his life where he’s been dealing with the Hulk issue for some time. We see how hard his life is because of this: that he has to take careful measures to monitor his heart rate, engage in meditation exercises, etc. He can’t accept a paycheck because he can’t risk his identity getting out there, so he has to be day labor only to get by.

He starts off the movie with a single minded determination to get rid of the Hulk entirely. He’s not conflicted about it – he doesn’t want to use the Hulk to potentially make a scientific breakthrough or anything like he intended for it to be when he created, doesn’t want to use it as a weapon. When Sterns talks to him about the potential to use the Hulk to cure diseases, Banner refuses – the Hulk is a problem, it has to be gotten rid of.

Banner is constantly in a struggle for control – not just his own control over the Hulk, but avoiding the other characters like Blonsky and Ross who want to control him and the Hulk as well. When he finally meets Mr. Blue, the person who he thought could help him, it turns out that Sterns is just another guy who wants to control him for personal gain. Banner just can’t catch a break.

By the end of the movie, however, with the Abomination loose, Banner undergoes a character arc, and he sees that the Hulk doesn’t necessarily have to be considered a negative thing only – he realizes that while he may not be able to control the Hulk, he can maybe hope to “aim” it and use the Hulk as a force for good.

So, in its own way, this actually DOES have elements of a superhero origin story – the story arc of the character is about Banner realizing that the Hulk doesn’t just have to be an unstoppable monster – it’s about him learning for the first time to use the Hulk as a superhero.

Norton did a great job portraying the character, and gives Banner a kindness and personality. We like him and we feel for all his struggles and problems. And even though there have been movies where Liv Tyler has fallen flat for me, I actually really liked her in this one and thought her and Norton had really good chemistry. You can tell that these are people who are familiar with each other and have been to war and back. I liked the moment where Betty got pissed and yelled at the cab driver – a moment that has nothing to do with anything but is just a nice touch to flesh out the character and have you see more sides.

The action the Hulk is involved in is quite good as well – the bottling scene and the ending slugfest with the Abomination were really good, but my favorite was the battle with Blonsky when Blonsky essentially was super-soldiered and was bouncing around everywhere with super agility. A great choice of foe for the Hulk – someone who is small and quick that is too fast for the Hulk to hit. Sure, none of these moments are quite as satisfying as Hulk smashing Loki in Avengers, but they’re all really good, and I have no idea why all those people came out of Avengers saying “Finally, the Hulk has been done justice, and we get to see him doing Hulk stuff on screen for the first time!” First time? Go watch this one! He does Hulk stuff the whole movie!

Overall, this movie is a very entertaining action film, and I really liked Norton’s portrayal and thought his arc and decision at the end were satisfying. I wouldn’t change too much of anything, and it definitely set out what it set out to do: make a fun action movie starring the Hulk. The only reason it’s not higher is that (although I liked the arc I gave him, simple as it was) the character and movie aren’t really all that ambitious.
__________________
A signature

Last edited by bbf2; 12-28-2012 at 11:00 AM.
bbf2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:40 AM.

Contact Us - ComingSoon.net - Superhero Hype! - Shock Till You Drop - Archive - Privacy Statement - Top - AdChoices


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
ComingSoon.net is a property of CraveOnline Media, LLC, an Evolve Media, LLC company. © All Rights Reserved.