Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Does IGN have a point?

A little while ago IGN created their list of the top 25 comic book movies ever made.

Here is their list:

1. Batman: The Dark Knight
2. Spider-Man 2
3. Superman: The Movie
4. Road To Perdition
5. Batman Begins
6. Iron Man
7. X-Men 2: X-Men United
8. Spider-Man
9. Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm
10. A History Of Violence
11. 300
12. Kick-Ass
13. Watchmen
14. American Splendor
15. Sin City
16. Dick Tracy
17. Ghost World
18. Superman II
19. Men In Black
20. Batman Returns
21. Blade
22. Hellboy
23. The Crow
24. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
25. The Rocketeer

From my perspective: The list is tragically flawed, with way too much credit being given to camp & childhood entertainment (Dick Tracy is in, but The Incredible Hulk isn't?!?) , and not nearly enough credit being given to the achievement of staying true to the source material and reflecting on the silver screen the very things that made the character(s) popular enough to merit being 'green lit'.

Notable Absences: The Incredible Hulk. Blade II. Mystery Men. Akira. 30 Days Of Night. Wanted. All the Alan Moore story-based movies aside from Watchmen. Plus, do we count books or toys that became comics that became movies? In that case we have to look at Transformers or Tomb Raider or Mortal Combat.

My biggest issues: First of all I don't understand the love that so many people have for Spider-Man 2. I don't really care all that much about running it down for featuring Spider-Man (surprised?) but I do find it confusing that it's widely regarded as better than the original. I thought Spider-Men presented a strong case for the superior of the two movies because it did an exceptional job of laying down the groundwork for any Spider-Man that wanted to follow it. As introduction movies went, it was actually solid with few glaring errors, and only a few notable but acceptable liberties being taken. I was equally unimpressed with X-Men 2, and find it's position (and these two positions are reflected on other blogs and lists all over the web) ahead of X-Men to be tenuous at best. X-Men 2 butchered two sensational X-Men stories by trying to cram them into the same book and giving us a bastardized and unsatisfying version of Logan's origin, while setting up the equally abysmal interpretation of the Dark Phoenix Saga. Neither would make my top 10.

300 and Watchmen both deserve more love than they got on this list, and the fact that other fans don't admire them (and Sin City) for their efforts to better convey the medium of comic books in a visual form is surprising to me. All three are terrific movies, but even more notably they work hard to reflect the core material effectively and without too much compromise (although Alan Moore might disagree with me strongly!) Would I consider bumping Superman II a little bit higher? Surprisingly, I would. Maybe just for the fan-boy enjoyment of 'Come, son of Jor-El....kneel before Zod.' It amuses a lot of people that I think so highly of the 20+ year old Superman & Superman II and so lowly of Singer's effort to recreate them with Superman Returns - which was terrible.

So what would my list look like in comparison? Admittedly a little more slanted towards modern action, and a lot more titled towards reverence for the source material. I'll share my Top 15:

15. V For Vendetta
14. The Crow
13. X-Men
12. Blade
11. A History Of Violence
10. Watchmen

9. Superman: The Movie
8. Batman Begins
7. Sin City
6. Spider-Man
5. The Road To Perdition
4. Iron Man
3. 300
2. The Incredible Hulk
1. Batman: The Dark Knight

I have issues with Moore's other adapted stories as well, but certainly some, if not most of them would have made an appearance in my Top 25. While they fail in most cases to properly convey the source material, movies like From Hell, V For Vendetta and even The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (with a nod to his role in creating Constantine as well) certainly surpass the entertainment value of Dick Tracy of Ghost World (which is a great drama, but slow time that I'll never get back!) If it qualified, Transformers would have shaken my list up some, and given the recent releases like Red and The Losers, there may be more adjustments coming.

Hell, I'll bet some of you can make a case for movies I've forgotten about.

So who wants to try?

No comments: