Superhero Movies: The Good, the Bad, and the Cheesy

The Top Ten superhero films

1. The Incredibles (2004)
This should be the example every new superhero movie-maker watches before beginning their own film. It’s the closest to perfection, I think, that any superhero movie will reach.
2. Superman (1978)
Set the standard for the modern, big-budget superhero epic. Christopher Reeve is who I see in my mind’s eye when anyone mentions a new Superman project.
3. The Dark Knight (2008)
The best Batman movie yet. And not just due to Heath Ledger’s terrific performance as The Joker.
4. Iron Man (2008)
Who knew Jon Favreau had this in him? And who knew that Robert Downey, Jr., would make a pitch-perfect Tony Stark?
5. Spider-Man (2002)
The director of the Evil Dead movies gets a big-ass budget to turn that kid from Snow Falling on Cedars into Stan Lee’s iconic creation of teenage angst. And gets it right.
6. Batman Begins (2005)
The choice of Christian Bale was almost as inspired as the casting of Liam Neeson as Ra’s al Ghul, one of Batman’s most interesting villains.
7. X-Men (2000)
Will X-Men: First Class finally sink the franchise? Go back and remember how fresh and exciting the first movie, now over a decade old, was.
8. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Alfred Molina as Doc Ock. Spider-Man stops a speeding subway train with just his webbing and spider-strength. Sam Raimi makes the romance between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson touching and believable.
9. Batman (1989)
Tim Burton’s gothic reconstruction of Gotham City. Michael Keaton surprising all of us with his intense performance. Jack Nicholson chewing the scenery like me at a buffet. There’s a lot to disagree with in Burton’s second outing directing the bat, but not with the first one.
10. (tie) Watchmen (2009) and Kick-Ass (2010)
The only R-rated movies on the list, both controversial in their own ways. I say they both kicked butt, as long as you disregard the existence of the source material.

Then 10 cheesiest superhero films
1. Batman (1966)
Holy Bat Shark Repellent, Batman!
2. The Green Hornet (2011)
Seth Rogen has trashed any chances for this hero to become a franchise.
3. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)
Speaking of franchises, this was the franchise-killer for Superman. Such a waste of Christopher Reeve and Gene Hackman’s talents.
4. Batman and Robin (1997)
The less said about rubber Bat-nipples, the better.
5. X-Men 3 (2006)
So much promise gone to such waste. The best part was the opening sequence in the Battle Room.
6. My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006)
Uma Thurman, superhero. Sounds like dream casting, doesn’t it? Throw in Luke Wilson and a silly romantic comedy plot and things go to hell rather quickly.
7. Infra-Man (1975)
Cheese from Hong Kong. Long before Japan’s Ultraman and the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers, there was Infra-Man. Absolutely none of you have heard of him. Take my advice and keep it that way.
8. Catwoman (2004)
The supervillain runs a women’s cosmetics company. Way to set liberated superheroines back thirty years! The only saving grace? Halle Berry.
9. Fantastic Four (1994)
You haven’t seen this, because it was never released. Bootlegs are available at conventions and probably online. Please don’t seek it out. You’ll thank me.
10. Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Tobey Maguire as a hipster douchebag. Topher Grace (That 70s Show) as Venom. No, no, no, no, NO!

Let the debate begin.


About Bruce Diamond

Despicably proud old man. Text-extruding asshole (thank you, John Scalzi) with a skewed vision on life, pop culture, writing and general assholiness. Not a scholar, not a gentleman, not Martin or Lewis. But still trying to make life fun and funny.
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