Sunday, December 23, 2012



Ok, so this wasn’t so “soon”…but never fear true believers I’m not bailing on the topic yet.  After all, anyone with not 1 but 8 framed superhero posters in his dwelling is so engrossed in the genre that it’ll take more than sloth and writer’s blog to derail him.

So let’s keep it going by continuing my personal picks for the best superhero movies of all time.


I love this movie!  I remember seeing it at a sneak preview back in 1991 and loving every moment of it.  A great moment was during the movie after Cliff dons the rocket for the first time to save Malcolm and then flies off into a montage of goofy moments, a patron in the theatre shouted, “Rewind that!  It was awesome!”  This brought out a loud cheer and immense clapping from the audience.  Seriously, there’s not enough clapping in movies anymore.  Still when my first viewing ended, I knew that the movie would fail to cross over into mass appeal.  Not sure why, because it’s essentially Raiders of the Lost Ark meets WWII Superhero.  Joe Johnston is a solid director and managed to mix the genres even more successfully years later with Captain America: The First Avenger (coming soon to my list).

The Rocketeer is probably overlooked by most superhero fans because of the era it takes place in, and that Cliff Secord is more of an adventurer than a superhero.  However, the character was created first in the comic books (thank you Dave Stevens for your stellar ode to Commando Cody and Rocketman!).

Watching The Rocketeer (and I just stumbled upon it on cable which is why I was inspired to return to the countdown) makes me smile.  There’s a simple purity to the action and the era.  Good guys were good.  Bad guys were Nazis and mobsters.  The only minor quibble with the movie is that it was 1-2 years before CGI really took off, so some of the FX is dated…but it still manages to add charm since the entire concept harkens back to the serials of the 1940’s.

Twenty five years later and the movie still is a gem.  If you have never seen it (or at the least in a decade) give it another viewing.  It’s exciting time well spent.


Let me make it clear that I did NOT enjoy 2012’s offering The Amazing Spider-Man (at all).  In my view it was a completely unnecessary origin story that fell so close to the first (superior) movie that they had to make changes and thus eliminate all the good parts and fill those gaps in with dreck.  Plus, I think Andrew Garfield (and his freakish head and hair) doesn’t look like Peter Parker…he just looks like Andrew Garfield…with poufy hair.

However, back in 2002 the first Spider-Man movie hit!  And it was amazing, spectacular, sensational, and ultimate!  Spider-Man looked like Spider-Man, Peter Parker looked like Peter Parker, and the entire cast looked like they came right out of the comic book…and the origin SPOT ON PERFECT!  Sam Raimi’s love for the character and the world he inhabits shows in every scene and montage.

So why doesn’t Spidey rank higher on the list?  Two reasons weigh this one down a few slots.  First, the Green Goblin’s studio enforced look…horrendous!  He looks like he fell out of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  Sad that such an iconic Spidey villain was made completely unrecognizable.  Thankfully everyone seems to have learned from their mistakes as all future villains are easily a match from comic-to-screen.  Second, the movie has one or two stumbling points of severely stilted dialogue -  Spider-Man’s conversation with the Green Goblin on the rooftop being a prime example.  It’s cringe worthy!
That aside, the rest of the movie is a hoot that culminates in one of the best superhero vs. supervillain battles in movies (Doc Ock’s future arrival will signal the best).  I still feel so sorry for the pounding that Peter Parker takes at the hands of the Green Goblin, especially that painful pumpkin bomb blast to the mask!  OUCH!

But, when all is said and done the movie delivers popcorn thrills and left audiences happy having learned that “With great power comes great responsibility” and “Who am I?  I’m Spider-Man!”

#7 and #6…before 2013…I promise.