I am honored to be selected by J.D. Durran from InSession Film to be part of The 10 Best Superhero Films of all Time Blog Relay. It is a fantastic idea that was a lot of fun to be a part of.
The rules for this blog relay are simple and by simple we mean, they’re not. They’re a bit more complicated but it is all in an effort to make a rock solid, high-flying, objective/subjective list. That being said, here are the rules:
- The list of movies will be passed to another blogger who will post their list within a week.
- The blogger will take their list, remove 3 movies – with explanations, and replace with 3 new movies – with explanations.
- If a movie lasts five rounds without being removed, it is locked into place.
- If a movie is removed three different times, it is locked out and can no longer be chosen by someone else.
- Once four movies are locked into place, bloggers will replace 2 movies.
- Once eight movies are locked into place, bloggers will replace 1 movie.
- Once all ten movies are locked into place, the relay will be complete.
If you’re still confused, here’s a little more to help sum it up.
Bubbawheat from Flights, Tights & Movie Nights began with a list of The Avengers, Batman Returns, The Dark Knight, Hellboy 2, The Incredibles, Iron Man, Spider-Man 2, Superman, X-Men,Unbreakable, Batman: Under the Red Hood & Blade 2.
Andrew from A Fistful of Films rearranged things by removing Batman: Under the Red Hood, X-Men and Hellboy 2 and adding Chronicle, Mystery Men and The Rocketeer.
Ruth from FlixChatter yanked Blade 2, Chronicle and Mystery Men, and replaced them with Batman Begins, X-Men 2 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Terrence from The Focused Filmographer pulled out The Incredibles, Batman Returns and X-Men 2, before adding Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, V For Vendetta and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Jay from Life Vs Film dropped Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Superman, and Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm then put back in Incredibles and X-Men 2.
DJ from Simplistic Reviews then chopped out Batman Begins and X-Men 2, while adding in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Batman (’89).
JD from InSession Film then removed V for Vendetta and Watchmen and added X-Men First Class and brought back in Batman Begins.
This genre is a lot of fun to write about and what makes a lot of these films great, is that they aren’t just good “superhero” films, but they are just good films in general that most audiences can appreciate. In the end, the final ten films on this list will represent that and that was our main criteria when looking at this list.
So, here are the current films on the list:
The Avengers (Locked)
The Avengers is on this list and locked for a very good reason. It’s the quintessential superhero movie and was executed almost flawlessly. Sure, there’s a few nitpick things here and there if you want to be an a-hole, but for the everyone else, this is just pure fun and easily one of the best of the genre. I can watch the New York battle a thousand times and still geek out every time.
The Dark Knight (Locked)
What Heath Ledger did as the Joker was just incredible and deserved his Oscar regardless of the circumstances. His performance was incredibly menacing, powerful and even very funny at times. But let’s not forget Christian Bale either, who I like in this series and Nolan’s take on the genre is not one simply forgets.
Spider-Man 2 (Locked)
Andrew Garfield may be my Spider-Man but very few superhero films are on the level of Spider-Man 2 in my opinion. Easily one of the best and perhaps my personal favorite when it comes to the genre. That train sequence
Iron Man (Locked)
The pedestal has been set my friends. Tony Stark and his Iron Man suits are icons and while Iron Man 2 andIron Man 3 haven’t been on the same level, the first Iron Man film set the bar and the character has never wavered.
Believe it or not, M. Night Shyamalan has made good movies. Bruce Willis seemed to work well within his system too. For a superhero film, this one is truly unique and deserves to be in the conversation. Man, what happened to M. Night?
The Rocketeer (Locked)
The Rocketeer is one that can get lost in the shadows of today’s films but this one still packs a punch. Before director Joe Johnston brought us Captain America: The First Avenger, he was at the helm for this one and it satisfied on a lot of levels.
This is easily, in my opinion, one of the best superhero films out there. It should be on the final list of this blog relay. It’s a great film with fantastic family themes that everyone can relate with and enjoy, regardless of age. Finally, a sequel is coming!
The Guardians Of The Galaxy
One of the riskiest films any studio has ever put out there and it paid off in huge ways for Marvel and Disney. Guardians is easily one of the best films of the summer and arguably the best stand-alone Marvel film. Either way, it’s terrific.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Now, earlier I said Guardians is arguably the best Marvel stand alone film. Arguably. However, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, in my opinion, is the one that takes that title crown. From beginning to end, it’s thorough, thrilling and is the same fun you’d expect from Marvel. It’s layered well and introduces a great villain, an element that lacks in most Marvel films.
This film is iconic for many reasons and today’s superhero films better be at the doorstep thanking Tim Burton and what he did with this film. It set the stage for what we see today and for good reason. Michael Keaton is great as Batman, and of course, Jack Nicholson’s Joker is even better.
X-Men: First Class
X-Men: First Class is the best film and gives us some of the best character moments in that franchise, if you ask me. Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy’s chemistry is impeccable and bring us some of the best moments we’ve ever seen in a superhero film. Fassbender’s Magneto destroying Nazi’s all while McAvoy’s Xavier is trying to teach others to fight in a different kind of way is super compelling. Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique is another added element that works really well, despite some continuity issues with the other X-Men films. It’s not a perfect film but Matthew Vaughn creates something really solid here. Also, one of my favorite scores in the genre by Henry Jackman.
The timing of this film was perfect as the genre was slipping a bit and it set a new standard, especially regarding the DC franchise and this character. People can say what they want about Bale, but he made the character his and he owned it. For me it worked really well, given the tone Christopher Nolan was going for. The build up of this character was paced well, something a lot of films in the genre struggle with mightily. This character needed a reboot, desperately, and Nolan gave us something great. Ahem, unlike another character that may share the same universe that we won’t mention that maybe he had his hands in. Ahem.
What am I dropping:
I hate to play whack-a-mole with Batman Begins but I don’t see it as a top 10 Superhero movie. It has its merits for sure, but it’s perhaps the 3rd or 4th best Batman movie. While it’s a great warm up act to Dark Knight, it’s still a warmup act. Not a top echelon superhero movie.
This second one was rather tough. All the films left are deserving in some way or another. I know this move is not going to make me the most popular person, but when it came down to it I took out Guardians of the Galaxy. I greatly enjoyed Guardians, but did not enjoy it as much as others. It was a lot of fun but suffered from some narrative issues and had one of the more disappointing villains.
What I am adding:
I am kneeling before Zod and adding Superman 2. Christopher Reeve set the bar for playing Superman, and no one has come close to matching him yet. Terrance Stamp gave one of the most memorable Supervillain performances as he chewed up the scenery in the best ways possible. Superman 2 took everything that made the first Superman a hit and did it bigger and better.
I questioned if Kick-Ass would even be considered a superhero movie, but at the end of the day the answer was obvious. Matthew Vaughn took Mark Millar’s story about a young teenager trying to become a superhero in the real world and made it better by sharping its satirical edge. Chloe Grace Moretz was endlessly hilarious as the fowl mouth Hit-Girl, and even Nicholas Cage decided to show up to prove he is still capable of a good performance. Fun, fast, and full of life Kick-Ass is a unique beast in the world of superhero movies.
Now that my turn is down I will be passing it to Whit from whitsmovies.blogspot.com. You have one week! Or…you know…else.