Top 10 lists are pretty much the ultimate cliché when it comes to ranking items. No matter if it is movies, TV shows, books, comics, music, or hot chicks the instant a list is compiled it is ripe for debate and just as quickly labeled out-of-date.
I wanted to put out a list of my TOP 10 SUPERHERO MOVIES in the spring. Three things prevented me from doing it: THE AVENGERS, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, and THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. At the time, none had been released and based on previews I expected a few to possibly muscle their way into my work-in-progress list. So I waited…then the movies came out…then I pondered.
Starting below and continuing over the next several posts I will countdown my personal TOP 10 FAVORITE SUPERHERO MOVIES. Each entry will come with the various reasons why it made my list. My primary focus were comic book superheroes that were successfully transferred onto the big screen. In determining my 10 rankings (and I made sure there would be no cheating “ties”) the following criteria was used: my personal entertainment, repeat viewings, the need to own the movie on DVD, and what I deemed a successful move from comic-book to screen. Critical ratings and box office were not items I cared about, since when I watch (and rewatch) a movie at home I never worry about what other people thought of the movie or how well it did at the box office.
A fairly thorough list of every superhero movie ever made can be found by CLICKING HERE. Keep in mind I only counted films that had their origins as a comic book/pulp magazine first (sorry Meteor Man...like you had a chance).
As I wrote down and eventually crossed off all the entries that didn’t quite merit a Top 10 ranking, I found things becoming more difficult as my list was soon narrowed to 20 titles. All of these offerings were excellent choices and this is where my quest for my personal Top 10 begins. I am listing them in alphabetical order and then the countdown fun (and debate) begins.
SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE
THE DARK KNIGHT
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
THE GREEN HORNET
THE INCREDIBLE HULK
THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
Ok, already I’m sure someone is bellyaching that Superman IV: The Quest for Peace or X-Men 2 aren’t on my list. At the conclusion of my countdown I’ll address those films that didn’t make my list as well as those that made the Top 20 but were axed as things start being sorted out.
Time to get things rolling…(drum roll)
#10 – X-MEN FIRST CLASS
I was a huge fan of the X-Men comic back in the 80’s when Chris Claremont and John Byrne produced some epic storylines. Then the “X” became more of a franchise label and everyone on the planet jumped on the bandwagon. That’s pretty much when I jumped off.
The casting of this movie was spot on and the pace was perfect. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender (outstanding in his scenes in INGLORIOUS BASTERDS) own this movie as Professor Xavier and Magneto. In fact, if the entire movie had simply revolved around Magneto hunting down and killing war criminals, that would have been fine with me. X-Men:FC made Magento what he should be…a powerhouse bad ass! In the first movies, he’s too old and too fragile to really command fear. But here, his actions (and they are brutal) set the tone of who exactly the other characters are dealing with. The partnership of Professor X and Magneto is a great deal of fun to watch, between their chess, verbal spats, and training of the younger mutants.
The time period of the 1960’s is also fully realized in this movie. Everything builds to a nice climactic battle between the good and evil mutants during the Cuban Missile Crisis. That’s very important! In any superhero movie, if the final battle isn’t worth the ride, then too much is missed as viewer expectations dwindle (a major stumbling point of movies like Fantastic Four and Iron Man 2).
X-Men: First Class holds up well on repeat viewings and has me excited for the sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past. Maybe the movie should have been a bit higher on the list, but the sheer disappointment I had for the other entries in this franchise (and the fact that the box office of this superior movie, wasn’t as strong as the other three) weighed it down a bit.
#9 and #8…soon…