Just A Thought | My Favourite Comic Book Films

As I’ve mentioned, this summer is yet again chock full of comic book based movies. Some I’m looking forward to (Captain America), others not so much (Green Lantern). For the record, the film I’m looking forward to more than anything this summer is Kung Fu Panda 2. Seriously. The first Kung Fu Panda was not only well written but the animators did their homework on Asian cinema and made the fight scenes amazing.

But in all these columns I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned what comic book films are my favorite. There are quite a few and some of them aren’t the typical flicks you find on these type of lists. So I felt that I’d share my choices in no particular order…except for number one. The top film on my list has never moved but the others tend to rotate. Here we go, my top 10 comic book films.

Sin City

Sin City is not only a great adaptation but it’s just a solid, interesting film. From the look to the multiple stories to the way this thing was filmed. There is not a piece of this movie I’d do differently or re-cast. Many people look at The Wrestler as the re-introduction of Micky Rourke but Sin City was the start of his return and man is he awesome as Marv.

Daredevil

Man I can feel the heat on my already for this choice. I love Daredevil. So sue me. It’s not particularly accurate to the character but it does have a lot of good points and on a whole, I think it’s well shot. That is not to say the film isn’t without its issues. Affleck isn’t particularly awesome as Daredevil but he isn’t incredibly horrible and anyone who gripes about Colin Farrell as Bullseye might want to rethink their love of Tim Burton’s batman because he is no worse than Nicholson’s Joker. Put the two together in a film, there wouldn’t be any scenery left. Can’t really explain why I like it so much but much like drinking or over eating, sometimes we love things we shouldn’t.

Watchmen

Both the theatrical cut and the complete version are revelations to me as far as films go. The theatrical cut not only felt true to the source material to me but the tweaks to the look and story were alright. I thought Zack Snyder built a solid cast that much like the X-Men films, were built on solid actors as opposed to huge stars which works in the favor in the characters. I also love the production design of Watchmen from top to bottom. The complete version works in an entirely different way. While Warner Bros did put out a Watchmen motion comic (which also comes with the complete version) the complete/ultimate version of Watchmen is more so. The bits with the animated Black Freighter, the film, the additional scenes, it feels like the book come to life.

Unbreakable

Another choice that might get me a little bit of flack due to not being based on an actual comic but I remember when I saw it in the theater (there was three people besides my than girlfriend and I) that it felt like a comic book origin story more so than any other comic book film and was done better than most. I’d love to see a sequel to this but it stand up so well that if it never happens, I’d be okay with that.

X-Men 2 / Spider-Man 2 (tied)

While the first X-Men film is good it suffers from trying to cram in a lot of origin (much like Spider-Man) as well as a big action storyline. The second film cuts right into the meat and does a great job of it. Characters are well-balanced, the story is solid and the film is pretty awesome. The same can be said for Spider-Man 2 but if one thing that might make it stand out a little more over X-Men 2 is that fact that Sam Raimi made Doc Ock cool. That’s a pretty solid accomplishment.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

This is the closest we’ve seen to the comic book Turtles I love and after re-watching the film a few weeks ago, it more or less holds up. Amazingly the suits are still pretty spectacular the story is simple but still works and I can still quote it almost line by line. True story, my best friend and I have this thing where if we’re out at night and the weather is reasonable one of us will say “Nice night.” to which the other replies “Pizza dude’s got 30 seconds.”

Hellboy

It may just be my undying love for Big Red but I love this flick so much. Even when it’s on regular tv I’ll usually stop and watch a bit of it. True to its comic roots but made into a film, Ron Perlman was born to play Hellboy and god willing we will see a third chapter at some point…or do I want Del Toro to do Mountains of Madness first? Can’t he shoot both at the same time?

The Dark Knight

Funnily enough, I don’t have Batman Begins on the list. I did love the film but it just seemed like something was missing. Whatever that something was, The Dark Knight finds it in spades. Heath Ledger is the second best Joker (I’ll get to who’s the first best in a moment) and the film finds such a groove that you barely notice the runtime. It also has one of the most intriguing use of score in a film. Oh who’s my number one Joker? Silly question, he appears in…

Batman: Mask of The Phantasm

One of my favorite things featuring Batman ever. Based partially on Batman Year Two, something strikes a chord in me whenever I sit down to watch it. The animated series saw the Batman character at his best and cranked it up with Mark Hamill as the best Joker, bar none, ever. Solid script, solid voice work and beautiful animation.

So I mentioned that none of the previous films were in any sort of order but my favorite comic book film/s of all time was. Number one on my list has never left my heart and it is…

Superman 1 and 2

They are essentially one film so I include them as one. Yeah, I know they’re a little hokey now but the original two Superman films will forever be my favorites because it just seems like everything in them was meant to be. The story was ok but something just seemed so right about the film from casting to the effects to…well…everything. The multi disc version of Superman 1 is one of my favorites in my dvd collection. And I’ll be honest, a lot of my love for this film is sentimental. When I was around 3 or 4, my mom went to my Aunt’s for the weekend and brought my sister (who was brand new to the world at the time), leaving my Dad and I alone for the weekend. My Dad rented a laser disc player along with Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Arc and the first two Superman films and he sat me down on the couch with him and we spent the whole weekend watching them. Ever since those films always rank among my favorites whenever asked but I do distinctly remember cheering when Supes finally starts kicking Zod’s ass all over Metropolis.

So there you have it. I know more than one person is going to rip my choices to shreds but that’s the great thing about the internet and comment boards. Mine’s open right down below there so feel free to post about some of your favorites that I’ve missed.

Brent Chittenden Written by:

Brent Chittenden is a Canadian freelance writer currently writing for alancross.ca, geekhardshow.com and his own pop culture podcast, TATANS. He is readily available for writing and speaking gigs. Brent like sandwiches.

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4 Comments

  1. March 10, 2011

    Should be noted, despite the picture I meant the first Turtles flick as opposed to part 3.

  2. March 10, 2011

    Won’t get any heat from me Brent, I too thought Daredevil was a good flick. Of all the superhero movies I’ve seen the first Superman movie is my favorite.
    Does the the first Conan count as a comic book movie? I absolutely loved the first hour of that. As soon as the chick and sidekick showed up it turned into a buddy movie and wasn’t as good the rest of the way (except near the end when Arnold says “..I see … infinity”. Great stuff. 

  3. March 11, 2011

    “Of all the superhero movies I’ve seen…” which I am pretty sure is only Daredevil, Conan, and Superman.

  4. Ed
    March 12, 2011

    You’ve got a bunch of good ones on here Brent.  I didn’t even think of TMNT as a comic book movie, since to me I always felt it was an action figure movie (ie: Masters of the Universe, Transformers and G.I. Joe Rise of Cobra).

    Daredevil is one of those movies that I hated when I first saw it, but I appreciate it more everytime I watch it.  I think the director’s cut should have been released in theater.

    The other ones I would add as my favorites are The Punisher (Tom Jane), Batman, Fantastic Four (1&2) and The Losers

Make It Good.