Category: Superhero Movies on Steroids Series

Superhero Movies on Steroids Series: Movie #119

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Plot: Eight years after the death of Harvey Dent, Gotham City has enjoyed a period of peace. Still distraught by the death of Rachel Dawes and Dent’s turn as Two-Face, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) hasn’t been Batman in all this time, becoming a total recluse. When a violent mercenary known as Bane (Tom Hardy) threatens Gotham, it forces Wayne to don the cape and cowl once more.

It was arguably the most anticipated movie ever made other than Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.  I know for me, I had never analyzed and thought about a film more than this one prior to its release.  I could go on all day reflecting, contemplating, and talking about how much this film means to me, but screw it – let’s just get into the movie itself:

While the Dark Knight Rises wasn’t everything I hoped for, it’s still one of the greatest cinematic achievements I have seen in the last few years.  I usually have this type of assessment every time I see a Christopher Nolan movie.  The two elements that stand out most to me in this film were Christian Bale and the development of the John Blake character, played wonderfully by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  Even though this movie is stockpiled with a shitload of characters, this is Bale’s show.  He has to play so many different emotions and personalities in this film, but what he does best is that Batman voice.  I don’t care what people say, Bale sells that voice.  This is an Oscar worthy performance.  But my favorite story arc may have been with Levitt’s John Blake, a young idealistic cop in Gotham City.  I really can’t say too much about this character without spoiling anything, but what they did was absolutely brilliant, and for die hard Batman fans like me, it couldn’t have gone any better.

With a Nolan Batman movie, there also comes a great villain.  Bane is awesome.  And ironically, the best part about his character was the thing everyone was nervous about: the voice.  Actor Tom Hardy does a marvelous job of crafting this character’s speech.  He reminded me a lot of Darth Vader in not only his voice, but also in his personality, and that’s saying something.  It also helps that Christopher Nolan and his brother Jonathan wrote superb dialogue for him.  This is especially apparent in the first fight between Batman and Bane in which Bane’s dialogue is addictively quotable.  This fight scene in general is the definition of heart pounding.  It’s filmed perfectly, and is as brutal as you can get in a PG-13 rated movie.

The rest of the acting is through the roof as you can probably imagine when looking at the cast involved.  Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman are Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman.  What else is there to say?  Michael Caine was a real stand out here though as Alfred, and has moments that will make you want to unload an entire box of tissues.  Anne Hathaway is a perfect Catwoman, and Marion Cotillard is a great addition to the Bat cast as well.

As much as I love this movie, it’s not without its flaws though.  The editing seems rushed at times, it’s almost too predictable, and the plot is sort of a re-hash of Batman Begins.  But at the end of the day, this completes the second greatest trilogy ever made.  The last thirty minutes of this movie is bat shit crazy in terms of the action, and I can’t think of a better last shot to end the trilogy with.  We’ll get a new incarnation of Batman sooner rather than later, and the character will continue to live on because he’s that great.  But I promise you, we will never get a better interpretation of this character than what Christopher Nolan gave us…period.

P.S. Hans Zimmer’s score is amazing.

Rating: 9 out of 10 (OMG)  

Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout):

Best Performance: Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman
-Out of all three movies, this was Bale’s best turn as the character.  Bale’s Bruce Wayne was always a multi-layered performance, but this time around even his Batman added some new dimensions.  My favorite moment of Bale in this film is when he screams ‘WHERE’S THE DETONATOR’ at a beaten down Bane towards the end.  Like I said…Bale sells that Batman voice.

Worst Performance: Daniel Sunjata as Captain Jones
-This is the Special Ops Captain that gets smuggled into Gotham City after it’s overtaken by Bane.  This guy was in about three scenes, but I don’t know, I just didn’t like him.  Yea, I had to dig deep for this category.

Best Line: “Oh, you think darkness is your ally. But you merely adopted the dark…I was born in it, molded by it.  I didn’t see the light until I was already a man.  By then it was nothing to me but blinding!” –Bane to Batman as he beats him down
-Are you kidding me!?  Just read the damn line…awesome!  It’s Tom Hardy’s delivery though that makes it that much more special.

Worst Line: “So that’s what that feels like.” –Batman after Catwoman leaves the rooftop while his back is turned
-This line is just a miss.  And as much as I love Bale’s Batman voice, it’s not really joke friendly.

Best Fight:
-The first fight between Batman and Bane in the sewers is really one of the greatest superhero fights I’ve ever seen.  Even though it’s one-sided, watching Batman not being able to do anything against this guy is so shocking, you can’t look away.  And the dialogue throughout this scene is beautifully written.  And all Batman fans know the iconic shot of Bane breaking Batman’s back in the comics.  When this happens in the film, it genuinely surprised me.  Once Bane repeatedly punches him in the face cracking his cowl, I thought that was it.  Kudos to Nolan though for catching us off guard, because the back breaking moment comes out of nowhere, and it’s so quick, which is a good thing.  I also love that it’s filmed at this odd sort of faraway angle.  It’s just a great scene, albeit a little hard to watch if you’re a Batman fan.

WTF Moment:
-I have to admit, the one silly moment is when the bridge in Gotham is lit up, and it makes a fiery bat symbol.  Yea, it looks cool, but come on?  The Dark Knight Rises is probably the most nit-picked film in existence, which annoys me to no end, but this is the one nitpick I will agree with.  How did Batman find time to do this while his city was under sieged…was this really necessary?  It reminded me of the Robin symbol Robin makes in Batman & Robin when he crashes through the museum wall.  Are the two really that far off?  Okay, I went too far there.

Best Scene:
-There’s plenty to choose from, but for me, it’s not even close.  I don’t care if people say it’s cheesy, but when Bruce Wayne climbs out of Bane’s prison as all the prisoners chant ‘rise,’ and the bats fly out, I got chills.  That scene is the Rudy moment of superhero movies.

Worst Scene:
-For the most part, the ending is great, especially when Blake rises on the platform in the last shot.  But I have to disagree with the decision to keep Bruce Wayne alive, which means my least favorite scene is him showing up at the Café at the end with Selina.  I buy that Bruce no longer needs to be Batman.  But if we consider Blake will need years of training to become the next Batman, I don’t buy that if in a year or two, a new threat comes to Gotham where Batman is needed, and Blake isn’t ready, that Bruce is just going to stay in Europe sipping lattes with Selina.  He’ll want to save the city not because of a need to be Batman, but because he cares about Gotham City too much.  That’s why I feel Bruce should have actually died, or have been severely injured that he could no longer physically be Batman, but he would still be around to train Blake.  At the end of the day, this is open for debate, and it’s not something that derails the movie or anything, but just my own personal opinion.

Funniest Moment:
-I love the guy in the bar wearing the Hawaiian shirt that gets shot, but is still able to muster to Selina, ‘call me’ as she walks out.

Bad Ass Moment:
-The Bat.

Superhero Movies on Steroids Series: Movie #118

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Plot: When high school loner Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) uncovers information about his now lost parents, it leads him to Oscorp, a high profile science and research facility.  There he gets into an accident with a spider, leaving him with strange new super powers.  Peter must adapt to his new abilities as he continues to uncover more about his parents’ research, while also facing the trials and tribulations of high school.

*Warning: If you really like the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies, this article is going to make you very upset.  I spend most of this review ripping those films…fair warning.

Let me say off the bat that I am not a fan of the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies.  So when people were complaining about how it’s ‘too soon for a re-boot,’ my response was ‘this re-boot couldn’t come fast enough.’  One of the biggest criticisms of this film is specifically the origin: ‘been there, done that.’  And I say ‘like hell we did!’  This is an origin that needed to be re-told.  Let’s revisit how Peter Parker got his abilities in the 2002 film, shall we?  He’s standing in the science museum taking lame pictures of Mary Jane as actress Kirsten Dunst giggles horribly.  Then a random spider dangles down and bites Peter…yay.  Let’s take a look at how it’s done in this movie.  Peter cleverly and amusingly sneaks in as an intern to Oscorp, wanders off from the group, intelligently figures out how to get into this high tech research room, observes this fucked up cold environment with all these genetically enhanced spiders, and then almost goes into a seizure after getting bit.  And that right there in a nutshell is why this version of Spider-Man is 900 times better than the dumb, big cartoon that was Sam Raimi’s 2002 lackluster original.

What speaks to this film the most is that the relationship between Garfield’s Peter Parker and Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy is so damn good, I didn’t even need them to get to the superhero stuff.  In fact, the superhero action is almost a distraction to all the great character moments going on.  But comparing Garfield and Stone to Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst is like comparing the Dark Knight to Batman & Robin.  This relationship is charming, funny, and you immediately buy their bond from the first meeting.  You also buy Garfield as Peter Parker right away.  What I loved here is that in the first scene, Parker is shown standing up to the bully, even though it means getting his ass kicked.  The problem with Maguire’s Parker is that he only gains confidence after getting bit by the spider.  Garfield already has it.  But aside from the two leads, the supporting cast is just ridiculous.  Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Uncle Ben and Aunt May…awesome!  Sally Field may be my favorite performance of the movie.  Whereas Rosemary Harris was annoying and cold in the Raimi films, you really feel for Field’s Aunt May.  When Peter comes home late, beat-up, and doesn’t tell her anything, you really want to berate Peter along with Aunt May, because you really feel for her character.  It also helps that the writing for Uncle Ben and Aunt May is so much better than it was in the original trilogy.  Denis Leary was also surprisingly entertaining as Captain Stacy.  He really sold you on why Spider-Man was a menace to his city, even though we have a natural inclination to side with the hero.  One of the weaknesses of the film though is the villain, Dr. Curt Connors/Lizard played by Rhys Ifans.  Ifans is fine in the role, and I really liked him pre-lizard, but once he becomes the bad guy, it’s pretty standard.

At the end of the day, I tend to elevate this movie a lot more because of how much I detest the previous series.  This is just so much damn better.  The biggest difference aside from the acting is that I simply cared about these characters as opposed to the Bugs Bunny cartoons from the original trilogy.  We also get a real guy in the Spider-Man costume as opposed to the atrocious CG mess flying around New York.  I can’t wait to see how this series progresses now that the origin is out of the way.

Rating: 8 out of 10 (Great)

Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout):

Best Performance: Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy
-This was a legit three horse race.  I considered Sally Field, but she’s just not in it enough.  As awesome as Garfield is, Emma Stone just brought something to this movie that not many superhero films can say they have: a female lead you care about.  I thought her writing was strong, but I can’t envision anyone else in this role.  She elevates every line of dialogue.  She’s funny, compelling, and most importantly, she’s a strong character.  She’s willing to make the antidote in the heat of battle, or walk right up to the lizard in the school hallway to try and save Peter, whereas Mary Jane would have screamed a lot before getting kidnapped.  This movie doesn’t work without Emma Stone…period.

Worst Performance: Chris Zylka as Flash Thompson
-I couldn’t really find a performance I disliked.  I even felt this guy was okay, but he did seem like someone who could morph into the Raimi movies, so that loses some points.

Best Line: “I’ve got to stop him, because I created him.” –Peter Parker
“That’s not your job.” –Gwen Stacy
“Maybe it is.” –Peter Parker
-The reason I went with this exchange is because it sums up Spider-Man so well as opposed to repeating, ‘With great power, comes great responsibility’ 500 times.

Worst Line: “Oh no.  Somebody’s been a bad lizard.” –Spider-Man
-Spider-Man’s quips and lines are usually pretty funny in this movie, but this sounded more like a Tobey Maguire Spider-Man line.

Best Fight:
-The fight between Spider-Man and Lizard in the high school was pretty solid.  There’s a lot of web shooting, some jumping around…it’s all good.

WTF Moment:
-I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I HATE THE STAN LEE CAMEOS.  And this was the worst one!  We’re in the middle of this cool fight between Spider-Man and Lizard, and all of a sudden it has to get goofy and silly as they fight in the background while Stan Lee listens to classical music on his big head phones.  Oh, isn’t that funny?  He can’t tell what’s going on.  How hilarious.

Best Scene:
-I like when Peter Parker comes home after one of his early nights as Spider-Man, completely bruised and messed up.  The look of horror on Sally Field’s face is heartbreaking.  This is a dynamic we’ve never really seen in superhero movies.  The worried mother (because that’s what Aunt May basically is) scared shitless of what this guy is doing.  It was very well acted between both Field and Garfield.

Worst Scene:
-I absolutely hate when Curt Connors talks to himself as the lizard, ala Willem Dafoe’s Norman Osborn with Green Goblin.  This makes no sense, and is just one of those, ‘Oh, we have to pay tribute to the 2002 film somehow.’  No you don’t!

Funniest Moment:
-There’s a lot to choose from, but for some reason the way Peter wakes up and immediately smashes his alarm clock with his new powers gets me every time.

Bad Ass Moment:
-After Peter gets shot, he has to whip around the city and get to Oscorp.  For some reason, these web slinging shots were the best I’ve seen in all four Spider-Man movies.  Maybe it’s because Spider-Man had to fight through some pain, but they just looked awesome and heart wrenching.

Superhero Movies on Steroids Series: Movie #117

Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)

Plot: When the Asgardian Loki (Tom Hiddleston) steals the Tesseract Cube, S.H.I.E.L.D. calls together a group of heroes to get it back, and to stop the impending alien invasion Loki has threatened.

The best way I can describe the Avengers is that it’s an awesome Transformers movie.  It has action where you can actually tell what’s going on.  It has much better acting.  And the humor is actually funny, as opposed to the Jar Jar Binks level comedy of Michael Bay.  While I prefer my superhero movies to be in the vein of the Dark Knight, I’d be lying if I didn’t say this put a big smile on my face.  There isn’t anything in this film that blew me away, but there aren’t many flaws either.  The cast is pretty damn good all around.  Robert Downey Jr. is Robert Downey Jr., Jeremy Renner does a lot with a little as Hawkeye, and even know my favorite Avenger Thor gets a little short changed, Chris Hemsworth gets a lot of meat in terms of his conflict with Loki, a role in which Tom Hiddleston knocks out of the park once again, and who was a perfect villain for this movie.  While I liked Black Widow’s story, Scarlett Johansson just can’t hold a candle to these other actors.  A better actress could have really taken this part to better places, but she’s okay.  The two standout performances though were Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, and Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner (Hulk).  I liked Evans a lot in Captain America: the First Avenger, but I got even more on board with him in this film.  Evans just has this aura around him that makes it so easy to get emotionally invested in his character, and you totally buy why he’s the leader of the team.  And even though I would have preferred to see Edward Norton back as Bruce Banner, Ruffalo is no slouch.  Even though his character is a walking time bomb, you easily believe this guy can get along with everybody on the team.  While everyone bickers throughout the team, Banner just wants to focus on the task at hand, even more so then Rogers.  But as great as the cast is, the MVP goes to director Joss Whedon.  This was a tough movie to pull off, but Whedon really does give everyone their moment.  Even in a giant action fest such as this, the movie still has great character moments, and that’s what really surprised me about the Avengers.  One of my biggest problems with the film though is that it’s just kind of a blur.  When thinking about what my favorite scene was, everything just kind of ran together.  I can’t pinpoint that one ‘wow’ moment, even though Hulk was pretty bad ass.  And as good as the humor is, the film’s biggest flaw is that it gets way too jokey.  Whedon had a major hand in the script, and he comes dangerously close to making this a comedy.  Every scene has to have a clever quip.  And it’s not that the humor is bad, ala a Peter Parker Jazz Club dance, or an Iron Man spinning records/drunken brawl scene, but the comedy really needed to be trimmed down.  As much as I like this movie, the jokes almost make it a parody of itself, and that really keeps it from reaching the upper echelon films of this genre.  Oh, and the aliens who invade Earth, and the ones who show up at the beginning of the film are terrible.  I’m sorry, but this was Power Rangers level voice acting and aesthetics.  Yea, I said it.  The Avengers: it’s a great movie…but let’s calm down.

Rating: 8 out of 10 (Great)

Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout):

Best Performance: Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America
-From the first moment we see him boxing quietly in a gym, there’s just something about Evans’ laser like demeanor where you instantly sympathize with him.  And even though he’s not the Hulk, or has Thor’s hammer, or Iron Man’s weaponry, I found him the most compelling in terms of the action scenes.  He also had the best moment in the film, but more on that later.

Worst Performance: Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
-It’s not that her performance is bad, it’s just frustrating because there is actually some really good stuff written for her, and Johansson just can’t deliver.  If this was somebody like Anne Hathaway, it could have significantly elevated the movie.

Best Line: “That’s my secret Cap…I’m always angry.” –Bruce Banner
-Bruce Banner/Hulk has been in three movies now, and this is the best thing he’s ever said.  I love that he says this as he’s transforming into the Hulk, and Ruffalo nails the delivery.  We are all salivating to see what the Hulk was going to do in this last action scene, and this line was the perfect way to transition into that.

Worst Line: “I don’t think we should be focusing on Loki.  That guy’s brain is a bag full of cats.  You can smell crazy on him.” –Bruce Banner
-This line just doesn’t work.  Maybe it’s because I can only think of the crazy cat lady from the Simpsons when I hear it, but regardless, it’s a dumb line.

Best Fight:
-Well, there are about 20 to choose from, but I got to go with Thor Vs Hulk, because if for nothing else, watching Thor strike Hulk for the first time with his hammer was just glorious.  The complexion on Hulk’s face was damn good CG, and I’m not one to compliment CG a lot.

WTF Moment:
-I may be the only person on the face of the Earth who hates this moment, but I did not like when Hulk punched Thor after they destroy a bunch of aliens.  Maybe it’s because Thor is my favorite Avenger, so I didn’t like him getting humiliated, but the real reason is because we are at the final action scene of the movie, and we just saw Thor and Hulk tear apart this room, posing in bad ass fashion.  I just think this punching moment cheapened it…WTF.

Best Scene:
-Cop to Captain America: “Why should we take orders from you?”  Captain America’s answer to that question is the best moment of the film.

Worst Scene:
-One joke that I just hated is when Agent Coulson calls Black Widow, but he has to hold the line while she takes out some bad guys.  Watching Coulson wait on hold during this scene, you can almost hear the elevator music playing.  These are the types of things I can’t stand in superhero movies, because it takes away a level of seriousness that these movies should have, and almost turns it into a Bugs Bunny cartoon.  In fact, a lot of the humor with Coulson just didn’t vibe with me in this movie.

Funniest Moment:
-It’s obviously a Tony Stark line, and I choose this one: “Phil?  Uh, his first name is Agent.”

Best Bad Ass Moment:
-Hulk smashes Loki…the end.

Superhero Movies on Steroids Series: Movie #116

Justice League: Doom (2012, animated)

Plot: When the immortal super villain Vandal Savage (Phil Morris) obtains Batman’s (Kevin Conroy) secret files on how to defeat each member of the Justice League, he and the Legion of Doom implement a plan that will destroy more than half the world.

This might be the best of the superhero team-up movies.  It opens with some pretty epic music, and lives up to it for the most part.  But what makes this movie so good is that it further shows us why Batman is the most bad ass superhero, despite not having any super powers.  Now we’ve seen this song and dance a hundred times, but what’s especially cool about this movie is that we see part of Batman’s brilliance that we were never meant to see: his contingency plan for immobilizing the Justice League.  Now that’s interesting!  This film shows us just how dangerous Batman would be if he ever became evil.  But there’s more to this film then just Batman.  We get to see all the Justice League members in their element, going up against some of their fiercest villains.  I definitely can’t complain about not seeing enough super power awesomeness.  We get plenty of bad ass Green Lantern constructs, a robot breaks his hand against Superman’s forehead, and the Flash runs a lot…so there you go.  In fact, Flash’s match-up with Mirror Master was probably the most fascinating.  That’s a bad ass villain, and really makes me want to see a live action Flash movie where he’s the villain.  I even liked Cyborg, the newest member of the Justice League.  Although I still think Aquaman should have been there in his place.  Poor Aquaman…no respect.  Now I can’t say I was in love with all the characters though.  Martian Manhunter was pretty underwhelming, and Wonder Woman seemed kind of like a dumbass in this one.  I also can’t get over the villains calling themselves the Legion of Doom.  I get this is what it is in the comics, but it’s time to change the name.  Justice League is hard enough to buy as it is.  But what makes this movie work is just watching the brilliance of Batman’s plans come to fruition, even though they were never meant to happen.  The way Superman was taken down was brilliant.  Although the one I have the biggest complaint about is Green Lantern, which just seemed confusing and really far-fetched.  Bane also shows up, which was pretty cool, as he’s one of my favorite Batman villains.  What he does to Bruce Wayne in this film is pretty sick.  But aside from all the action, the movie manages to build a strong camaraderie among the Justice League.  There’s a great moment where they all surround Superman as they try and save him.  All in all, this is a very solid team-up movie, and even though I haven’t been a big proponent of a live action Justice League film, there really is a lot of potential for it to be absolutely incredible…but time will tell on that one.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10 (Very Good)

Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout):

Best Performance: Nathan Fillion as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern
-I could have easily given it to Kevin Conroy again, but for some reason Fillion’s voice just represented the character of Green Lantern so well.

Worst Performance: Carl Lumbly as Martian Manhunter
-I couldn’t understand him at times, and he just kind of seemed like a dick.

Best Line: -“If you people can’t see the potential danger of an out of control Justice League, I don’t need to wait for a vote.  I don’t belong here.” –Batman
-Wow, what an epic Batman line.  Batman could potentially get kicked out of the Justice League, and when asked to defend himself, he doesn’t flinch once.  He’s not at all sorry for what he did, and he basically gives a big ‘FU’ to the whole League.  I love Batman.

Worst Line: “That’s three you owe me.” –Green Lantern
                            
“We keeping score?” –Batman
                            
“Not literally.” –Green Lantern
                             
“Because if we are, it’s 8-7, my favor.” –Batman
-This is just a little too jokey for Batman.  Plus it’s during a battle, and Batman would never engage in these conversations during a fight.

Best Fight:
-The overall brawl between the League members and their villain equals was pretty awesome, although Batman defeats Bane by snapping his venom wire with a batarang.  How many times have we seen that?  Lame.

WTF Moment:
-This is a double entry.  There are a couple of Batman lapses here that I just don’t buy.  In the first action scene, Batman is seen standing on a high pillar by one of the bad guys.  That wouldn’t happen.  Later, Batman gets into the batmobile and definitely notices a flash of Mirror Master sitting behind him.  He looks back again, and nothing is there.  Batman ignores it.  No way!  Batman would have torn that batmobile apart to make sure no one was there.

Best Scene:
-Building off of the best line, it’s Batman defending himself to the Justice League on why he kept files on how to neutralize everyone.  I also love his ‘whatever’ attitude, like he doesn’t care if the League kicks him out.  But the real heart of this scene is later when Superman talks with him privately.  They come to an understanding, and Superman gives him a piece of kryptonite for safe keeping if he should ever get out of control.  It’s a great moment between the two greatest superheroes of all time.

Worst Scene:
-This goes back to my worst line, but Batman gets a little too jokey for my liking in that scene with Green Lantern.

Funniest Moment:
-After Batman explains what happened with his secret files, Superman says, “None of us would ever do that to you.”  Batman calmly retorts with “Then you’re damned fools.”  It’s just funny, because you think this is going to be a Superman one ups Batman moment, but Batman hits him right back instead.  And I’m not saying Superman is a fool, but it sums up both character personalities perfectly.

Bad Ass Moment:
-Green Lantern creates a giant sling shot construct…awesome.

 

Superhero Movies on Steroids Series: Movie #115

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012)

Plot: Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) continues to struggle with his inner demon, the Ghost Rider. When he is called upon by Moreau (Idris Elba) to save a boy (Fergus Riordan) who the Devil (Ciaran Hinds) wants to use to return to power on Earth, Blaze accepts his role as the Ghost Rider, with the promise of Moreau taking away his curse.

You know, I thought this would at least offer some fun action, and a few chuckles here and there, but Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance failed to do even that.  I didn’t think it was possible to get worse then the overly serious, yawn inducing original, but directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor managed to pull it off.  I can’t believe this is worse then the first Ghost Rider!  Look, I get the film is about a guy who rides around on a motorcycle with a flaming skull head, so I’m not expecting the Dark Knight here, but what I did expect was at least some cool action…it couldn’t even do that!  The action is filmed horribly.  It’s a bunch of awkward edits, silly close-ups, and my dreaded enemy, the shaky cam…ugh.  And the worst sin this commits is that it’s boring.  This movie needed to go all out crazy, with nothing but explosions, and take it completely tongue and cheek.  But instead, they actually pretended like there was a real plot going on, and it’s just painful to watch.  The script is a mess.  I don’t even understand what’s going on until about 45 minutes in.  The dialogue is atrocious, and it doesn’t help matters that Nicolas Cage is delivering most of it.  He’s being the crazy Nicolas Cage you would expect, and maybe this would have been funny five years ago, but we’ve seen it enough times now that the novelty has worn off.  It’s not funny…it’s just bad.  There were a couple solid performances (Idris Elba and Violante Placido), but that’s it.  This movie is nothing more than a relic of the Batman & Robin days: No story or character development whatsoever, just dumb fun, but it couldn’t even deliver on that…wow.  I’m pretty sure we’ve seen the last of Ghost Rider on film.

Rating: 3 out of 10 (Really Atrocious)

Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout):

Best Performance: Idris Elba as Moreau
-Elba did everything he could with what he was given.

Worst Performance: Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider
This might be the worst I’ve ever seen him.  I’m not laughing with him, I’m laughing at him.

Best Line: “You were the worst fucking deal I ever made!” –Roarke
-‘Roarke’ is of course the Devil in human form.  I don’t know, I felt like that was a pretty interesting thing for the Devil to say.  I would imagine that 99.9% of the time in these Devil-made ‘I want your soul’ deals, that it would work out well for him.

Worst Line: “You’re the Devil’s baby mama.” –Blaze to Nadya, referring to her son Danny
-I think I actually saw the Devil when I heard Nicolas Cage utter this line.

Best Fight:
-Ghost Rider and Carrigan (who turns into decay villain guy or whatever) have a decent fight in the back of a truck.  Unfortunately, this fight leads into the worst scene of the film, which we’ll get to soon…

WTF Moment:
-Johnny Blaze loses the Ghost Rider curse by sitting on a big holy rock while Idris Elba talks to him…lame.

Best Scene:
-When Moreau meets Johnny Blaze for the first time, there’s a decent back and forth, as Moreau tries to recruit him for his mission.  It’s not so much the writing as it is Idris Elba elevating the material.

Worst Scene:
-Ghost Rider throws the decay villain guy off the truck and onto the road, at which point he says, ‘Roadkill.’  Like I said, it’s a relic of the Batman & Robin days.

Funniest Moment:
-When Johnny Blaze is giving a narration of his back story during an animated sequence, it’s the one time Cage has charismatic delivery, and it reminded me a lot of Kick-Ass, as he narrates during a similar animated sequence.

Bad Ass Moment:
-I can’t remember what it was, but at one point Ghost Rider touches a large piece of machinery and sets it on fire…the movie needed more stuff like this.

Superhero Movies on Steroids Series: THE FINAL RANKINGS

On February 7th 2011, I watched 1951’s Superman and the Mole Men.  That was the day I embarked on my superhero journey of watching every single superhero movie ever made (according to Wikipedia’s list).  I can honestly say I am now an expert in this subject.  And while this series will never be finished and always on going, I am officially up to date with superhero movies.  I could sit here and reflect for another ten paragraphs, but let’s just get to it.  I’ve seen a lot of crazy crap the last few months, but now the time has come to finally rank every single one of these movies from worst to first.

But before we do, just a quick little spiel on how I ultimately ranked these movies.  Bottom-line, I mostly went on gut feeling: Would I rather watch this movie as opposed to this other one on a given day?  That’s basically the question I asked myself.  The general overall quality of the movie was certainly the most important factor I considered though.  Also keep in mind that I changed my mind on some of these films from the original post.  After thinking about it, maybe I liked it less, or maybe I liked it even more.  I’ll also admit that there’s a little bit of personal bias with some of these movies that’s based on nostalgia or just a preference for some characters over others.  And sometimes I may rank a movie with a lower score higher than a movie with a better score.  This is prevalent with a lot of the animated movies.  The fact of the matter is that the animated movies are on a smaller scale than the live action ones.  And that leads me to another determining factor: Expectations.  There may be certain movies you see here that are probably better quality wise to some of the films they lost out to, but that’s because I was probably expecting a lot more from them.  For example, if you expect a football team to go 14-2, but they go 8-8, that’s a lot worse than a team that was supposed to go 7-9, and they go 7-9.  That’s how I justified it.  And don’t forget, after the rankings, I also break down the overall category winners I did throughout the series, including some new ones…

And remember, this list is always changing.  Whenever a new superhero movie is released, the list will be adjusted.  But enough rambling, it’s finally time…

MOVIE SHENANIGAN’S OFFICIAL SUPERHERO MOVIE RANKINGS:

117) Batman & Robin (1997)

-It’s funny, because I can look back at Batman & Robin now as a blessing.  Without it we don’t get the Nolan Batman movies.  But at the time, this was an abomination.  Maybe in terms of quality it’s not the worst superhero movie ever made, but because it’s a Batman film, it ripped my heart out.  Congratulations Batman & Robin:  You are the 117th greatest superhero movie ever made.

Original Rating: 1.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The same

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116) Son of the Mask (2005)

-This is simply one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.  It’s not funny, it’s unsettling, and it was the hardest movie for me sit through out of this entire series…enough said.

Original Rating: 2 out of 10  Revised Rating: The same

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115) Catwoman (2004)

-All you need to know about this movie is that it’s edited and shot in such an awkward and uncomfortable manner, that it even makes Halle Berry look unappealing at times.  It’s just an ugly film to sit through. Halle Berry’s performance is deserving of the Razzie she won.

Original Rating: 2.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The same

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114) Spawn (1997)

-I just hate the tone of this film.  It’s one of the most obnoxious movies I’ve ever seen.  I detest the Clown character.  He’s repulsive, and not in any kind of amusing way.  The tone is all over the place.  It’s just a complete mess.

Original Rating: 3 out of 10  Revised Rating: The same

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113) The Phantom (1996)

-I can safely say this is the most boring film on the list.  Man, this was a struggle.  Billy Zane stinks.

Original Rating: 4 out of 10  Revised Rating: 3 out of 10

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112) Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997)

-This is television level production.  From the acting, to the music, to the special effects, it just screams television.

Original Rating: 3.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: 3 out of 10

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111) The Spirit (2008)

-This is another one where the tone was all over the place.  It would be lower on the list had it not made me unintentionally laugh here and there.  The direction by Frank Miller is a complete disaster.

Original Rating: 3 out of 10  Revised Rating: The same

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110) Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012)

It tries to be a pre-2008 superhero movie, but can’t even get that right.  The action is bad, it’s boring, and Nicolas Cage is just cringeworthy.  How hard is it to at least have cool action when your protagonist has a skull head made of fire, and carries around a giant flame chain whip…Come on!

Original Rating: 3 out of 10  Revised Rating: The same

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109) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)

-Much like Batman & Robin, this pulled out my heart and stepped on it.  This movie takes a giant shit on everything I love about Ninja Turtles.  Shredder is gone.  The villains blow bags.  And for some reason, the Turtles have the measles.  Usually I can at least rely on the Turtles to make me laugh, but here they just make random pop culture references out of no where.  I hate this movie.

Original Rating: 4.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: 3.5 out of 10

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108) Fantastic Four (2005)

-What makes this movie even worse than the 1994 unreleased version is that it actually had money behind it.  There’s nothing here.  It’s campy, uninteresting, and just sucks the energy out of the room.  I can barely remember this film, and I’ve seen it twice.  Chris Evans has one funny moment with Michael Chiklis, and that’s it.  Oh, and Jessica Alba is a bad actress.

Original Rating: 4 out of 10  Revised Rating: The same

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107) Lightspeed (2006)

-Talk about another movie I don’t remember at all.  This was just some random TV movie, so whatever.  Although, there is one moment I remember pretty well, but more on that later…

Original Rating: 4 out of 10  Revised Rating: The same

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106) Condorman (1981)

-While this one had a couple decent performance and some cool gadgets, it’s ultimately a comedy that’s not very funny.  The biggest issue was the lead actor Michael Crawford, who’s really relied on to sell his charisma, but it just wasn’t there.  The theme song was kind of funny though.

Original Rating: 4.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The same

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105) The Fantastic Four (1994)

-I don’t want to pick on this too much.  It was never officially released, and it’s just a rushed mess.  But…there’s decent comedic value to it, i.e. the look of the Thing.

Original Rating: 4 out of 10  Revised Rating: The same

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104) Steel (1997)

-It’s Shaquille O’Neal in a superhero movie.  What else is there to say?  I was actually very kind to this movie when I first watched it, probably because I was expecting the worst movie ever made.  It boggles my mind that Steel got a live action movie before Wonder Woman or the Flash…ugh.

Original Rating: 5 out of 10  Revised Rating: 4 out of 10

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103) Superman Returns (2006)

-Out of all the movies on this list, it’s the most disappointing.  That’s why it’s so low.  I was so jacked up for this film, but I left nearly in tears at how bad it was.  While we have two great Superman movies in existence, they came out before I was born.  I had been waiting for this film for years, and all I got was a worse version of the original.  I hate this movie with all my heart.  I’m still waiting to experience a great Superman movie in the theater.  I’m hoping 2013 will change that…but I’ve been burned before.

Original Rating: 4 out of 10  Revised Rating: The same

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102) Spider-Man 3 (2007)

-This is probably where the list starts getting a little controversial.  I’m sure a lot of people would look at Spider-man 3 and say, ‘Yea, it was disappointing, but this low?  Come on!’  But it goes back to what I said before: the expectation factor.  After Spider-man 2, I was expecting something pretty special with this movie.  Instead, I got emo Peter Parker dancing around like a cartoon character.  And everything else was just bland and uninteresting.  I like Eddie Brock/Venom, but that’s it.  And here’s the thing:  The production budget on this movie was ridiculous…there’s no excuse here.

Original Rating: 4 out of 10  Revised Rating: The same

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101) Hulk (2003)

-If you look up the word ‘pretentious,’ you’ll find the movie poster for Ang Lee’s Hulk.  I just can’t believe they tried to make an artsy picture with the fricking Hulk!  What a terrible idea.  There are a few good moments, and the score is solid, but the insane run time for this film wipes a lot of the great moments away.  Oh, and let’s not forget the lame comic style panel editing technique.  Why don’t I have this film ranked lower?

Original Rating: 4 out of 10  Revised Rating: The same

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100) Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl (2005)

-Taylor Dooley as Lavagirl was good, but that’s it.  This is just a mess of a film, and it looks cheap as hell.  It’s decent for kids I guess, but I’m being kind.  Taylor Lautner takes acting to a whole new low in this movie.

Original Rating: 5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The same

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99) Supergirl (1984)

-This movie felt like the studio wasn’t ready to make Superman IV, but they needed a quick stop gap: enter Supergirl.  While I appreciated Helen Slater’s effort as the lead, I couldn’t help but watch this and think to myself, ‘Why am I not watching a Superman movie instead?’

Original Rating: 4.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The same

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98) Hellboy: Blood and Iron (2007, animated)

-Totally boring and totally uninteresting.  The Hellboy universe has great characters, but they are completely wasted here.  I remember nothing about this film.

Original Rating: 4.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The same

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97) Ghost Rider (2007)

-I think there was a ten minute stretch where Nicolas Cage actually calmed down and was half way decent, but other than that, his performance was a complete train wreck, as was Eva Mendes.  Peter Fonda was pretty solid, but that’s about it.

Original Rating: 4 out of 10  Revised Rating: The same

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96) Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)

-This is close to television level, but the one thing that saved it was the fighting.  The fighting is actually fairly entertaining, and there’s also a lot of action that spares us from the horrible acting for the majority of the film.

Original Rating: 5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The same

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95) Underdog (2007)

-This may have been a good movie if Jim Belushi wasn’t around and they got a different voice actor for Underdog (Jason Lee).  Peter Dinklage and Patrick Warburton as the villains are legitimately funny.  I’d love to see a buddy comedy with just those guys.

Original Rating: 5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The same

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94) The Invincible Iron Man (2007, animated)

-Much like the Hellboy animated movie Blood and Iron, there’s just nothing here.  Visually it looks pretty solid, and there were at least some decent fights, but nothing more.

Original Rating: 5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The same

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93) Elektra (2005)

-I give Jennifer Garner credit for giving it her all, but other than that, this is pretty poor.  What a waste of Terence Stamp.  The worst part about this movie is how everything is so poorly explained.  From Elektra coming back to life, to random tattoo people, it’s just stupid.

Original Rating: 5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The same

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92) The Rocketeer (1991)

-I could see people liking this, and there’s even some solid acting, but it’s fairly boring and ridiculously cliché.  And at the end of the day, I just don’t find a guy with a jet-pack all that interesting.  Well, not when it’s the basis for an entire movie.  Boba Fett is pretty awesome.

Original Rating: 5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The same

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91) The Meteor Man (1993)

-Robert Townsend directs, writes, produces, and stars.  Clearly he was passionate about this, and it shows in his performance.  There are some funny moments, and you can never go wrong with James Earl Jones.  But at the end of the day, this was nothing more than a low budget Superman, and only slightly funnier.

Original Rating: 6 out of 10  Revised Rating: 5.5 out of 10

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90) Superman: Brainiac Attacks (2006, animated)

-Brainiac was awesome, and there are plenty of cool fights between him and Superman.  But this movie pissed me off with how much of a campy goofball they made Lex Luthor…lame.

Original Rating: 5 out of 10  Revised Rating: 5.5 out of 10

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89) The Punisher (2004)

-This was way, way, way, way, way too serious for a Punisher movie.  Maybe this could have worked if they got a better actor, but Tom Jane just sucked the life out of the room.  Some solid elements, but ultimately it’s underwhelming.

Original Rating: 5.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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88) Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009, animated)

-The Batman/Superman relationship was there, but there were too many dumb elements.  Batman in space made me uneasy, and once again Lex Luthor was a goofball.  There’s also this really annoying super genius kid at the end that brings it down significantly.

Original Rating: 5 out of 10  Revised Rating: 5.5 out of 10

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87) Jonah Hex (2010)

-This was a movie I was expecting to be in the bottom five.  While it’s certainly not good, I guess I was pleasantly surprised.  Josh Brolin carries the entire thing on his shoulders, and he succeeds for the most part.  Megan Fox…Wow, she’s a bad actress.  The good thing about this though is that it’s short.

Original Rating: 5.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: 5.5 out of 10

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86) Hellboy: Sword of Storms (2006, animated)

-Significantly better than Blood and Iron, but still nothing special.  Hellboy is still a strong character, and the animation was gorgeous at times.  The story just isn’t there though.

Original Rating: 6 out of 10  Revised Rating: 5.5 out of 10

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85) Spider-Man (2002)

-This is probably a controversial one with how low it is, but looking back on it, I really don’t like this movie at all.  The acting is terrible. Kirsten Dunst stinks, and she and Tobey Maguire had zero chemistry.  The costume looks fake as hell, and I really hate the Macy Grey music video in the middle of the movie.  But the thing that really irked me about this movie was Green Goblin.  This villain is Mr. Freeze Batman & Robin level, I’m sorry.  There are some cool fight sequences, and I like Willem Dafoe when he’s out of costume, but that’s it.

Original Rating: 5.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: 5 out of 10

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84) Thor: Tales of Asgard (2011, animated)

-Completely boring and uninteresting.  The last ten minutes are cool, and I like the dynamic between Thor and Loki, and Sif was also a pretty strong character, but there were too many slow parts for a movie this short.  Plus it’s Thor without his hammer…lame.

Original Rating: 5.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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83) Zoom (2006)

-This is pretty much just a rip off a much better movie (Sky High).  But there are some solid veteran performances by Tim Allen and Chevy Chase.  The real issue though are the child/teen actors…just terrible performances there.

Original Rating: 5.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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82) Superman III (1983)

-This was Christopher Reeve’s best performance simply because there is absolutely nothing else going for this movie.  He does a great job playing the evil Superman, especially when he has to fight himself.  But here’s the bottom-line: The plot for this movie is Superman fighting a computer…yay.

Original Rating: 5.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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81) Superhero Movie (2008)

-90% of this film is terrible.  I have to admit though, there were about three or four moments where I laughed my ass off.  The five to ten minute sequence where it’s an X-Men parody at the X-Mansion is pretty damn funny.

Original Rating: 5 out of 10  Revised Rating: 5.5 out of 10

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80) The Green Hornet (2011)

-The first half is terrible, but it got better.  This has no idea what genre it wants to be.  It leans mostly towards comedy, but it’s not very funny.  It had potential if someone else was in the lead role and not Seth Rogen.

Original Rating: 5.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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79) All-Star Superman (2011, animated)

-A great idea, but poorly executed.  There’s way too many stories and plot elements introduced that don’t get the time they deserve.  It needed to focus more on just Superman himself.  The last ten minutes are great, but everything that came before it is fairly weak.  And here’s yet another Superman movie where Lex Luthor is a goofball.

Original Rating: 5 out of 10  Revised Rating: 5.5 out of 10

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78) Mosaic (2007, animated)

-Anna Paquin does a good job voicing the main character.  Her dialogue is bad, but she sells it well.  The story is a little silly, but it had me somewhat intrigued.

Original Rating: 6 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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77) My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006)

-This is a weird one.  With a few tweaks here and there, this could have been pretty solid.  The concept isn’t bad, and I like Luke Wilson, but the Uma Thurman casting and the depiction of her character just doesn’t work.  She’s way too unlikable, as is Rainn Wilson’s character who’s just a complete douche.  The one thing I’ll say for this movie though is that we get to see Uma Thurman throw a giant CG shark into Luke Wilson’s apartment…that was funny.

Original Rating: 6 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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76) The Condor (2007, animated)

-This was the random animated skateboard movie.  I actually liked the story quite a bit. There are a lot of solid characters, and the action was stellar, but what brought this movie down significantly was the horrible voice acting of Wilmer Valderrama as the main guy Tony Valdez.  If you don’t remember Wilmer, he was Fez on That 70’s Show, which is a much better performance to say the least.

Original Rating: 6 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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75) Captain America (1990)

-I know it looks cheap, the acting leaves a lot to be desired, but at the same time, I had some fun with this.  And the hero/villain relationship is fairly decent here between Captain America and Red Skull.  I agree this feels like a TV movie, but its heart was in the right place.  Leave this movie alone, it’s not that bad.

Original Rating: 6 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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74) Megamind (2010, animated)

-While the film offers a fleshed out performance from Will Ferrell, the idea here has boundless potential, making the villain the hero of the movie.  It touches on some good things, but ultimately it’s a silly kid’s movie, and way too long for its own good.

Original Rating: 6.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: 6 out of 10

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73) The Batman vs. Dracula (2005, animated)

-As a Batman fan, I just can’t get on board with this one.  Batman fighting Dracula just doesn’t work for me.  I think there are some solid Joker moments, but the Penguin was treated like a complete buffoon.  It doesn’t do a disservice to Batman, but it’s pretty forgettable.

Original Rating: 6 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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72) Justice League: The New Frontier (2008, animated)

-It aims high, and it’s got a great ending, but this one is excruciatingly boring.  This is paced like a baseball game.

Original Rating: 6 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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71) Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003, animated)

-This one isn’t bad.  I love Bane’s role, it’s a solid Batman mystery, and the voice acting is pretty good.  I don’t like Robin though, who was a little too chipper for my liking.  The music also sucks.  It sounds like Kenny G/elevator music…not the right mood for a Batman movie.

Original Rating: 6 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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70) Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)

-It’s far from the first two, but I give it credit over Superman III for the following reasons: First of all, Gene Hackman is back as Lex Luthor.  The scenes he has with Superman are worthy scenes that feel like they belong in the first two films.  And while the concept of Nuclear Man is incredibly stupid, I at least appreciated seeing an entertaining fight between him and Superman as opposed to Superman fighting a computer.  And it’s a guilty pleasure of mine, but Jon Cryer as Luthor’s ‘surfer dude’ nephew made me laugh.

Original Rating: 6 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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69) Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow (2008, animated)

-While I would have preferred another Avengers movie, this one was alright.  The action was good, and the voice acting was solid, even though I hated Pym (Giant Man’s son), who was pretty darn annoying.  Old Man Hulk was pretty cool though.

Original Rating: 6.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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68) Darkman, 67) Darkman III, 66) Darkman II (1990, 1996, 1995)

-Yup.  I’m putting all three back-to-back-to-back.  Why?  Because they are the same movie.  Darkman is isolated in his lab trying to find a cure.  He eventually fights generic Mafia guys by tricking them with his fake skin faces.  In the end, he always stays Darkman.  All these movies are incredibly mediocre.  I do like Arnold Vosloo’s performance of the character better than Liam Neeson in the original though.  Although, I think that’s more director Sam Raimi’s depiction and direction.  The first one was too goofy, and stretched across too many genres.  At least the sequels were consistent.

Darkman: Original Rating: 6 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same
Darkman III: Original Rating: 6.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same
Darkman II: Original Rating: 7 out of 10  Revised Rating: 6.5 out of 10

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65) The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)

-I’m not going to sit here and say this is a great piece of film, but the shit this movie gets is way over blown.  It’s not that bad.  Granted I haven’t read the graphic novel, which I know people love to death, but just looking at it as a movie, it’s a lot of fun.  If Sean Connery wasn’t there, the movie probably would be a disaster, but he carries it pretty well.  The action is entertaining, and I don’t mind any of the performances.  It’s a really dumb and ridiculous movie, but at the end of the day, it’s okay.

Original Rating: 6.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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64) The Shadow (1994)

-This is one where I liked it a lot more when I first saw it, but after thinking about it later on, it’s not very good.  I do love Alec Baldwin’s performance though.  Much like Sean Connery in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, he completely carries it.

Original Rating: 7 out of 10  Revised Rating: 6.5 out of 10

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63) Punisher: Warzone (2008)

-You can’t walk out of this movie and not at least be entertained.  This is a hysterical film.  The action is cartoonish, and the villains are a laugh riot (especially Loony Bin Jim).  If you’re a die hard Punisher fan, I could see your frustration.  But they tried to go serious with him in 2004, and it just wasn’t there.  This isn’t great either, but at least it’s a fun time.  What really brings this down though is Ray Stevenson as the Punisher.  He’s the one guy who’s not on the same page as everyone else.  Everyone else is acting silly and campy, but he’s playing the role like it’s the 2004 version…that’s a problem.

Original Rating: 6 out of 10  Revised Rating: 6.5 out of 10

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62) Superman and the Mole Men (1951)

-I have a certain affection for this one because it is the first movie I saw for the Series.  It is what it is: A black and white bad special effects laden film.  George Reeves is a very good Clark Kent/Superman though.

Original Rating: 7 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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61) Planet Hulk (2010, animated)

-‘Planet Boring’ for the first fifteen minutes…’Planet Not Bad’ for the rest.  The thing that gets me about this one is how the Hulk can suddenly talk in complete sentences.  Also, the Avengers ship him away because he can’t control himself, yet Hulk seems like he has complete control over all his actions.  I don’t get it?

Original Rating: 6 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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60) Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

-Whether it be live action or animated, the Hellboy universe is full of interesting characters, but they are always involved in lack luster stories.  While not to the extent of the animated adventures, Hellboy II once again suffers from the same fate.  I enjoy the acting.  I enjoy the characters.  But this story is just to slow, and not all that interesting.  I do love Johann Kraus (the dude made out of gas) though.  He does some pretty bad ass things.

Original Rating: 6 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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59) Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)

-What makes this far superior to the horrible original is that it’s at least entertaining.  It still has many of the flaws from the first one such as Jessica Alba and bad jokes, but there’s at least some meat to the Silver Surfer character, and he was pretty cool to look at too.  Chris Evans carries himself well again, but ultimately the film is still brought down by lame sub-plots such as Sue and Reed’s wedding hoopla.

Original Rating: 6 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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58) Mystery Men (1999)

-This is a great idea, but pulled off better in a later movie on the countdown.  The cast really saves this film.  The script is fairly poor, but the acting elevates it significantly.  I chuckled here and there, but this movie is far from what its potential is.

Original Rating: 6.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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57) Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo (2006, animated)

-The camaraderie among the Teen Titans is the best aspect to the film.  It’s a lot of fun, and there is some legitimate character development going on with Robin.  The animation gets a little too goofy though, and it’s a little too underwhelming for me to say its good…its okay.

Original Rating: 6.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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56) Hancock (2008)

-I can’t imagine what this movie would be like without Will Smith.  The first half is pretty damn good.  Will Smith is funny, and even though Hancock is a complete asshole, he’s an engaging character.  I don’t love Jason Bateman here, and to be honest, the rest of the cast leaves a lot to be desired.  Hancock is also the one movie in existence where you can pin-point the exact second where the film goes bad.

Original Rating: 6.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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55) Batman Forever (1995)

-There are a lot of good things about Batman Forever.  Val Kilmer is a solid Batman.  They handle the Dick Grayson/Robin character very well.  And even though it’s not the Riddler I want to see, Jim Carrey is too damn talented for me to fold my arms about it.  He’s the only one who could have pulled off goofball Riddler.  I love the story involving the Riddler as well, and his hideout is bad ass.  But the seeds of Batman & Robin are present.  Two-Face is a complete disaster.

Original Rating: 6.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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54) The Punisher (1989)

-This is the best Punisher movie.  It blends the ridiculous action of Punisher: Warzone and the serious elements of the 2004 version pretty damn well.  I think this movie is a lot of fun, and the action is legitimately intense.  Unfortunately, like the other two Punisher entries, the guy playing the Punisher sucks.  Dolph Lundgren is just plain bad.  What is so difficult about casting this character?

Original Rating: 7.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: 7 out of 10

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53) The Mask (1994)

-If you really want to understand how talented Jim Carrey is, go watch the Mask, and then watch Son of the Mask.  The tone and style of the character are very similar, but the results are dramatically different.  Carrey does a great job as the reserved lovable loser Stanley Ipkiss and his alter-ego the Mask.  Carrey is a cartoon character come to life in this movie.

Original Rating: 7.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: 7 out of 10

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52) Green Lantern: First Flight (2009, animated)

-They packed a lot into this movie, and that ultimately hurt the film.  But the fight between Green Lantern and Sinestro at the end is pretty bad ass.

Original Rating: 7 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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51) Ultimate Avengers (2006, animated)

-A solid introduction to the world of the Avengers.  Solid action, solid voice acting, and a good character focus on Steve Rogers.  The beginning especially with Captain America in World War II is pretty stellar.

Original Rating: 7 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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50) Daredevil (2003)

-The elements to a great superhero movie are present.  Unfortunately, Ben Affleck was just a total miscast.  He’s fine as Matt Murdock, but horrible in the costume as Daredevil.  He’s not the only one though.  Colin Farrell as Bullseye was also pretty lame, but the idea of the character is really strong.  I think there’s enough to like here though to call it a good movie.  The drama and visuals are definitely there, and Michael Clarke Duncan as Kingpin was awesome.  In the flashback scenes, I actually felt a slight Batman Begins feel, it really had that potential.  The heart was in the right place, but it just missed the mark in terms of casting.

Original Rating: 7 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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49) Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (2011, animated)

-Basically, this is a better version of First Flight.  The tall tale story element works well.  Some of the stories were certainly better than others, but when they hit, they hit pretty hard.  I really enjoyed the story of Laira, which was truly heartbreaking.  What really missed in this one though was the character of Sinestro.  He sounded like he belonged in a Country Club and not a bad ass space cop.

Original Rating: 7 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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48) Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010, animated)

-It’s a little clunky at times, but the fights are awe-inspiring.  Plus, it’s always good when Batman one ups super-powered beings, and it happens all over the place in this one.

Original Rating: 7 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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47) Doctor Strange (2007, animated)

-This definitely got me intrigued with the character of Doctor Strange.  There are a lot of cool origin moments, and it’s a great character focus filled with some poignant subtlety.  The film moves fairly slow though, and the villain was kind of lame and painfully predictable.

Original Rating: 7 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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46) Ultimate Avengers 2 (2006, animated)

-Basically, this is Ultimate Avengers, but a little bit better all around with a good dynamic between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark.

Original Rating: 7.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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45) X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

-I’m sure many believe this should be a lot lower.  This is a decent movie.  I get its flaws, but it moves at a good pace, the action is thoroughly entertaining, and there’s still a good character conflict between Wolverine and Sabertooth.  It’s certainly the worst live action X-Men related movie, and I expected a lot more.  But just because it didn’t live up to my expectations, I’m not going to completely shit on it.

Original Rating: 6.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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44) Iron Man 2 (2010)

-The good stuff is really good.  The bad stuff is really bad.  It’s the exact opposite from Iron Man in that this one had great villains, but I really didn’t like the Tony Stark character at all.  And let’s not forget the infamous drunken brawl between Iron Man and War Machine…ewwww.

Original Rating: 6 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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43) Green Lantern (2011)

-With the exception of Superman Returns, this fails to meet its expectations the most.  It’s just an underwhelming effort.  All the acting pieces were there, but a lack luster script, crappy editing, and a minimal effort by director Martin Campbell make Green Lantern the epitome of mediocrity.  It’s not deserving of the venom it received from critics, but it’s not good either.  If they cut out Hector Hammond, it could have been a lot better.

Original Rating: 6 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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42) Batman: Year One (2011, animated)

-It’s definitely unlike any other Batman movie that came before it, and the animation really overpowers you.  I love everything going on with Gordon, and the voice acting is truly terrific.  Catwoman is a waste of a character though, and at times, it just doesn’t feel like a movie, but rather really cool individual moments.

Original Rating: 7 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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41) Batman: Gotham Knight (2008, animated)

-Just like Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, this is another tall tale stories film.  This is a hard one to get into at first, but once you get past the horrible first story, it’s gloriously gritty with some awesome visuals of Batman.  This might be Kevin Conroy’s best turn as the character.

Original Rating: 7.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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40) Hellboy (2004)

-It’s the first Hellboy, and the one that blends a good story with the good characters.  While I love the performances, this does get a bit repetitive at times.  How many times do we need to see Hellboy fight a monster?  But regardless, this is truly a lot of fun.  Ron Perlman’s great.

Original Rating: 7.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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39) The Specials (2000)

-The best way to describe this is that it’s a better version of Mystery Men.  Jamie Kennedy is really funny, the action figure commercial is hysterical, and I love the dialogue.  I wish there was someone else in the Thomas Haden Church role though.  Check this out if you’ve never heard of it.  It’s really funny.

Original Rating: 7.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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38) Blade: Trinity (2004)

-It’s the worst of the trilogy, but still very good.  At the end of the day, it’s another Blade movie, and Blade kicks ass.  Ryan Reynolds is fricking hysterical in this film, I cannot stress that enough.

Original Rating: 7.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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37) Sky High (2005)

-Just like the Specials being a better Mystery Men, this is a much better Zoom from earlier in the list.  The best way to describe this movie is ‘clever.’  It’s got a lot of great little bits, and the actors all really put in a great effort.  I love the ‘Save the Citizen’ game, and it’s a movie that just puts a big smile on your face.  This is a perfect film to introduce kids to the world of superheroes.

Original Rating: 7.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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36) Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (1998, animated)

-I’m grateful for this movie because it reminded us that Mr. Freeze is a great character despite what happened in Batman & Robin.  A couple of the chase scenes go on too long, but it’s just a very strong Mr. Freeze story with great voice acting by Michael Ansara.

Original Rating: 7.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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35) Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010, animated)

-Everything about this movie is mediocre, except for one thing: Owlman.  As I described in my original review for this, he’s a Batman without limitations.  That’s a scary villain.  I found Owlman fascinating, and not only that, James Woods does an incredible job with the voice.  The movie is worth it just for this character, and the conflict between him and Batman at the end is riveting.

Original Rating: 7.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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34) Iron Man (2008)

-I’m sure this is a controversial one.  Look, Robert Downey Jr. is great, and the first twenty minutes are pretty awesome, but other than that, this movie has nothing to offer.  I could care less about any of the other characters, and the third act is a complete joke.  It’s a good movie, but far from great, I’m sorry.

Original Rating: 7 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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33) TMNT (2007, animated)

-After Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, I pretty much moved on with my life with regards to the Turtles in movies, but this film brought me back.  The characterization of the Turtles might even be the best they’ve ever been here, especially with the legendary conflict between Leonardo and Raphael.  If only Shredder was the antagonist, this could have been something really great.

Original Rating: 7.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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32) Justice League: Doom (2012, animated)

While it’s an all around solid team-up movie, the reason I really love this Justice League entry is because it continues to show just how bad ass Batman truly is, and how dangerous he could be if he ever turned evil.

Original Rating: 7.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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31) Hulk Vs. (2009, animated)

-This is a pretty bad ass movie.  Split in two parts, Hulk fighting Thor was good, but when Hulk and Wolverine go at it, oh man.  It was brutal, bloody, vicious, and just a thunderous battle that could pretty much go on forever.  They also manage to fit in other great X-Men characters like Deadpool.  It’s one of the better Hulk related movies.

Original Rating: 7.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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30) Spider-Man 2 (2004)

-It’s by far the best Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie.  Alfred Molina is a good villain, and the story is more intriguing.  I think the jokes also work better in this one as well.  But it still has a lot of issues.  Kirsten Dunst is just horrific.  Tobey Maguire and James Franco improve…but they are still lacking a lot of energy.  Spider-Man 2 is a good movie, but this is as high as it goes.

Original Rating: 7.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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29) The Incredible Hulk (2008)

-In the year of Iron Man and the Dark Knight, poor Hulk got lost in the shuffle.  It also had to deal with the stink of the Ang Lee atrocity.  Edward Norton put his heart and soul into this movie, and it shows.  Mark Ruffalo is good, but it’s a shame Norton wasn’t in the Avengers.  This is a perfect blend of character and action.  It’s also got a great score.

Original Rating: 7.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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28) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991)

-I’m aware of its silly and ridiculous flaws, but this is one of those personal bias movies.  I’m a die hard Ninja Turtles fan, so deal with it.  This movie will always put me in a good mood.  It’s pure Ninja Turtles, except for the fact that they change the names Bebop and Rocksteady to Toka and Razar.  This also has one of the greatest moments in the history of cinema: the Vanilla Ice Ninja Rap.

Original Rating: 8 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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27) X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

-Here’s a controversial one, but for different reasons.  I don’t understand the hatred for this movie.  It’s a very strong X-Men film.  What is so bad about this movie?  Yea, Angel sucks, and Juggernaut has a couple bad lines.  I guess it detracts from the source material a bit, but I’m sorry: as a movie and an ending to a trilogy, it works really well.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  I like the movie a lot.

Original Rating: 7.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: 8 out of 10

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26) Superman: Doomsday (2007, animated)

-It’s the Superman movie I pray to see someday in live action.  Superman goes toe to toe with his physical equal: Doomsday.  It’s a glorious fight.  They absolutely rip apart Metropolis.  The only problem with this film is that after the Doomsday fight, it just isn’t as good, but it’s still very solid.  I just wish once again that Lex Luthor was a stronger character.  Bottom-line with Superman: Doomsday: If you hate Superman Returns like me, you’ll love this movie.

Original Rating: 8 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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25) Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993, animated)

-I like this movie a lot, but it’s a tad overrated.  As far as Batman goes, it’s certainly not the best, but it’s up there.  The way the Joker gets into the story is pretty good, and with the exception of maybe Batman Begins, this is the most we’ll see of Bruce Wayne.  It interweaves a lot of good flashbacks, and the voice acting by Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill is just stellar, but what else is new?

Original Rating: 8 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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24) Kick-Ass (2010)

-I usually don’t like it when movies mix two genres, let alone about five.  But director Matthew Vaughn blends them so well, I’m okay with it.  This is a great movie all around.  It’s funny, bad ass, and incorporates great character development.  Nicolas Cage and Chloe Grace Moretz certainly steal the show as Big Daddy and Hit Girl respectively.  The brilliance of Kick-Ass is that it’s a great parody of the genre, but also works just as well as a normal superhero movie.

Original Rating: 8 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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23) Blade II (2002)

-Blade is bad ass, but we also get introduced to a lot of other cool supporting characters such as Ron Perlman’s Reinhardt who’s a real dick bag.  They also introduce some really awesome weapons in this one.  I appreciate how bad ass the fighting and action is in the Blade movies, but they also offer legit character moments.  Blade is just a solid series all around, and Blade II represents the franchise very well.

Original Rating: 8 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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22) The Incredibles (2004)

-I originally had this film a lot higher, but after thinking about it for a while, I pushed it down significantly.  Don’t get me wrong: This is a great movie.  I think it runs way too long, but my main issue is that the Incredibles is merely just one clever moment after the other, and at the end of the day, the film just lacks as a whole.  It’s insanely clever, but when I really reflect on this movie, a bunch of clever moments can only get you so far.  I don’t think there’s a lot there after that.  Like I said…this is a great film, but I think people regard it way too highly.

Original Rating: 8.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: 8 out of 10

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21) Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)

-This is a great superhero movie.  There’s a lot of great fights, there’s a lot of solid character moments, but at the end of the day, it’s exhausting, and it all just kind of runs together.  There’s also just too much humor.  Like I said: it’s a great movie, but a tad overrated.

Original Rating: 8 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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20) Watchmen (2009)

-This film never had a chance.  If the graphic novel never existed, this would have blown people’s minds.  The reason why it’s so high on the list is because I can point to multiple OMG moments.  The Dr. Manhattan back story sequence is incredible.  Rorschach in prison is pure bad ass.  The Comedian was always a compelling figure.  It’s not a perfect film, but it’s a damn good one.  I hate how Watchmen was tossed aside because of unreasonable expectations.

Original Rating: 8 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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19) Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010, animated)

-This is a gut wrenching take on Batman’s biggest failure, and how it comes back to haunt him in heartbreaking fashion.  The way the story plays out is perfect, but it’s the last scene with Batman, Joker, and the Red Hood that really showcases the best aspects of the character and his world.  There are a couple useless characters like Black Mask, but that’s not nearly enough to detract from its greatness.  This is a must see for Batman fans, and the last shot of the film really hits you hard.

Original Rating: 8.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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18) Wonder Woman (2009, animated)

-This was probably the biggest surprise of this whole Superhero Movies on Steroids Series.  Wonder Woman is a truly epic movie.  The opening is insane.  There was a lot of ambition in this project, and for the most part, it reaches what it wants to do.  It was interesting to see Wonder Woman on her home world of Themyscira, but even more compelling to see her interact on Earth.  You don’t have to be a Wonder Woman or superhero fan to appreciate this: it’s just an awesome movie that delivers on everything you’d want a great movie to deliver on.

Original Rating: 8.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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17) X-Men (2000)

X-Men is an important film in superhero movie history as it revitalized a genre that was really hurting after Batman & Robin.  As expected, Wolverine steals the show.  If anything, this movie is awesome just because it introduced us to Hugh Jackman.  Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen were also stellar as Professor X and Magneto respectively.  Unfortunately characters like Cyclops, Storm, and Jean Grey kind of get pushed to the side, but at least the film remained consistent in making it a clear conflict between Professor X and Magneto with Wolverine wandering around in the middle.  This is a great introduction to the world of X-Men on film, and it also has one of the best introductions to a character of all time.

Original Rating: 8 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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16) Superman II (1980)

-This was nearly a perfect sequel.  The original introduced us to who Superman is and how powerful he can become.  The sequel pitied him up against equal, if not tougher competition.  That’s what a sequel should do: up the ante.  The battle between Superman and the three Kryptonians looked pretty good considering when this came out.  Also, Terence Stamp as General Zod is a real treat: ‘Kneel before Zod!’

Original Rating: 8 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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15) Unbreakable (2000)

-I love this superhero movie because you don’t even really know it’s a superhero movie until late in the film.  This is definitely one of Samuel L. Jackson’s better performances.  And what’s so great about the ending is that it doesn’t get full blown comic book until the last seconds.  Bruce Willis could have done a better job, and his kid is kind of crazy, but Unbreakable is a great movie with a magnificent ending.  I kind of want to see a sequel, but then again, I think that would defeat the purpose of this film.  Also, M. Night Shyamalan forgot how to direct, so there’s also that.

Original Rating: 8.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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14) Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000. animated)

-There have been a lot of animated Batman movies, but for me, this is the best.  Even though I’m not in love with the concept of watching a Batman who isn’t Bruce Wayne, the fact that he still mentors Terry McGinnis and is still heavily involved with Batman makes it okay.  But forget about that.  This is all about the original Batman and his last confrontation with the Joker.  The flashback scene is truly one of the best scenes in superhero history.  When you look at all the stuff the Joker has done, whether it is in movies, comic books, TV, or whatever, this is by far the most evil thing he’s ever done to Batman.  Mark Hamill gives the best Joker laugh of his career.  If you haven’t seen this movie, make sure you get the Unrated Version, it’s very important.

Original Rating: 8.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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13) Blade (1998)

-Blade is just a mesmerizing film.  Watching Blade fight is truly a spectacle to behold.  Not only does this film offer riveting action, Stephen Dorff plays a great villain.  Wesley Snipes isn’t the greatest actor in the history of acting, but for some reason he fits this role like a glove.  The only drawback to Blade is that you’ll want to go out and buy swords afterwards and hunt vampires.  Well, don’t go do that, but you should certainly see Blade.

Original Rating: 8.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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12) Batman (1966)

-If you haven’t seen this movie, I’m going to just rattle off a bunch of things that will spoil it for you.  Shark repellant bat spray.  ‘Wait a minute, it happened at Sea.  C…Sea for Catwoman!’  Crash landing your helicopter onto a foam rubber convention.  Robin’s little bike seat.  ‘Holy Heart Failure!’  The End?

Original Rating: 8.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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11) Batman Returns (1992)

-I think Batman Returns will always hold the title for most polarizing and controversial superhero movie.  When you look at this as just a film, it’s pretty damn good.  But it does veer far from the source material.  I consider myself a die hard Batman fan, and I’m fine with this movie because I do think it’s that good.  And I don’t think it’s so far off from the material that it’s unrecognizable.  At the end of the day, it’s still Batman.  The acting is great.  The cinematography is great.  The sets are great.  The music is great.  It’s a great movie…but unfortunately, it’s regarded as a bad Batman movie.

Original Rating: 8.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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THE TOP 10 SUPERHERO MOVIES OF ALL TIME

10) Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

-When I look at Captain America, I really can’t find many weaknesses.  It’s just awesome all around.  Great hero…check.  Great villain…check.  Great supporting characters…check.  Great action…double check.  I could watch Cap throw that shield all day.  It’s even got a strong romantic angle, which these movies rarely have.  Chris Evans really shines in the first half of the movie.  While he’s still great later on, he just isn’t given as much to do once he becomes Captain America.  This one really blew my expectations out of the water.

Original Rating: 8 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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9) X2 (2003)

-The brilliance of X2 is that it has about 500 things going on at once, but all the storylines come together seamlessly at the end.  You get your Wolverine back story moments, but they don’t dominate the film.  Magneto’s escape from prison couldn’t have been better.  And the villain is fantastic, despite the fact that he’s just an ordinary human.  Brian Cox does a great job.  X2 throws you in a lot of directions, but at its core, the characters and story are at the forefront.

Original Rating: 8.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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8 – Superman (1978)

-It’s the first real honest attempt at this genre, and it’s a damn good one.  The opening twenty minutes are ridiculous considering this came out in 1978.  And you know all the sets and effects are organic.  That’s really saying something.  The acting is off the charts.  Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, and of course Marlon Brando…that’s a stacked cast.  What’s so impressive is how it interweaves so many different environments.  We get the sci-fi nature of Krypton, the quiet farmland of Smallville, and finally, the city life of Metropolis.  It’s an epic film in every sense of the word.  Unfortunately, what hinders this from being top five, maybe even top three, is the disastrous and atrocious ending.  It’s probably the worst ending to any superhero movie.  Oh yea, and the music is amazing.  I can’t believe I almost forgot to add that in.

Original Rating: 8.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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7) Thor (2011)

-Director Kenneth Branagh could not have been a more perfect choice for this.  Dimensional portals, bi-frosts, rainbow bridges…this is all stuff out of a Saturday morning cartoon, yet Branagh took this and injected great acting and story telling.  Chris Hemsworth owns the screen as Thor, and even holds his own in some moments with Anthony Hopkins.  Tom Hiddleston as Loki plays one of the better superhero villains we’ve ever had.  This has everything you could ever want in a great superhero movie: Superb action, serious character development, and a marvelous hero/villain conflict.

Original Rating: 8.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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6) Batman (1989)

-Maybe its nostalgia, but this film will always hold a special place in my heart.  I know it’s hard to watch after the Christopher Nolan films, but I still think it’s legitimately a great movie.  Michael Keaton is an excellent Batman, and Jack Nicholson’s performance as the Joker still holds up as one of the best superhero performances of all time.  The look of the film is extraordinary, and the music is iconic.  It’s not the best Batman movie, but it’s still one of the best things the world of Batman has offered.  I’ll always love this film.

Original Rating: 9 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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5) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

-This is one where I admit it’s a 100% total personal bias.  But even looking past me being a die hard Ninja Turtles fan, it’s a damn good movie, alright!  The costumes in themselves are impressive.  And for a movie aimed at kids, it got fairly dark.  The violence is even brutal at times.  There’s some real character development going on, Splinter rules, and the Shredder was a big time villain.  While I admit putting it this high is a bias, even if I didn’t have a huge love for Ninja Turtles, it’s still a film worthy of being very high on the list.  It’s a classic…plain and simple.

Original Rating: 9 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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4) X-Men: First Class (2011)

-Similar to how the Tim Burton Batman movies lost a lot of their luster after Nolan came along, I got the same feeling when I saw X-Men: First Class.  As much as I love the original X-Men trilogy, this movie blows them out of the water.  Sure, there are continuity issues.  Is it a re-boot?  Is it a prequel?  I don’t know.  What makes this film so brilliant is that even though you know how it’s going to end, the movie almost makes you think Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr could still be allies at the end, which makes it that much more heartbreaking when their bond breaks.  James McAvoy (Charles Xavier) and Michael Fassbender (Erik Lehncher) are brilliant, and even out do Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen…that’s saying something.  But it also has a lot of great supporting characters like Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique and Nicholas Hoult’s Hank McCoy.  Kevin Bacon as the villain is also an added bonus. 

Original Rating: 9 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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3) Batman Begins (2005)

-Even though there were great superhero films before it, Batman Begins is the movie that opened the floodgates.  Christopher Nolan took this movie and told the world, ‘This is how you make a superhero movie.’  It was a film that nobody gave much thought to when it came out because the stink of Batman & Robin was still fresh in our minds even eight years later.  The first half with Bruce Wayne’s training was a remarkable sequence.  The film gave me two shocking twists that I rarely experience at the theater.  It’s also one of the best casts ever assembled for a film of this genre.  And unlike the previous Batman movies, this one was about Batman and not the villains.  The villains were still great, but Christian Bale put himself as the definitive Batman in this movie.

Original Rating: 9 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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2) Dick Tracy (1990)

-Not only is it the most underrated superhero movie of all time, but it’s one of the most underrated films of all time.  Its style is so distinct and can never be duplicated.  When you think of all the great movies and performances Al Pacino has given us, this is one of his best, and I will take that to the grave.  The character of Big Boy just fascinates me.  Warren Beatty’s acting and direction is near perfection.  But the real star of this film is the set design.  There have been so many movies that try and duplicate a comic book, but fail miserably.  This one succeeds.  And what’s so incredible about the sets is that we know they are real because this came out in 1990.  Avatar wishes it could look like Dick Tracy.  I’ve also never experienced a film that has such incredible montages.  I love this movie: it’s in my top 15 of all time.  If for some reason you haven’t seen Dick Tray, I beg you, please do.

Original Rating: 9 out of 10  Revised Rating: 9.5 out of 10

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1) The Dark Knight (2008)

-Before I started this whole Superhero Movies on Steroids Series, the one thing that almost kept me from doing it altogether was that there would be no mystery or suspense as to what the #1 film would be.  I have the Dark Knight rated #5 in my all time best movies list, but if someone wanted to argue it’s the greatest movie ever made, I really don’t have an issue with it.  This film is still talked about like it came out a month ago.  And right after the Dark Knight ended, speculation on the next film began immediately, and never slowed down till it was released.  The Dark Knight is so good, that to make the Category Winners more interesting, I’m just going to have to incorporate a non-Dark Knight winner for all the positive categories, because this movie is that far away from everything else.  The Dark Knight is the pinnacle of this genre…that’s all I have to say.

Original Rating: 9.5 out of 10  Revised Rating: The Same

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With the Official Rankings locked in, it’s now time for the Overall Category Winners, with some new ones added in as well…

The Overall Category Winners

*SPOILERS THROUGHOUT

Best Performance in a Superhero Movie:

Winner: Heath Ledger as the Joker (The Dark Knight, 2008)

The Non-Dark Knight Winner: Al Pacino as Big Boy Caprice (Dick Tracy, 1990)

Honorable Mentions: Marlon Brando as Jor-el (Superman, 1978)

Jack Nicholson as the Joker (Batman, 1989)

Liam Neeson as Ra’s Al Ghul (Batman Begins, 2005)

Worst Performance in a Superhero Movie:

Winner: Halle Berry as Patience Phillips/Catwoman (Catwoman, 2004)

Honorable Mentions: Taylor Lautner as Sharkboy (Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, 2005)

Jessica Alba as Sue Storm (Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, 2007)

Megan Fox as Lilah (Jonah Hex, 2010)

Best Line in a Superhero Movie:

Winner: “You see, madness as you know is like gravity…all it takes is a little push.  Hahahaha.” –the Joker (The Dark Knight, 2008)

The Non Dark Knight Winner: “You get behind me, we all profit.  You challenge me, we all go down.  There was one Napoleon!  One Washington!  One me!” –Big Boy Caprice (Dick Tracy, 1990)

Honorable Mentions: “Death comes for us all Oroko Saki.  But something much worse comes for you.  For when you die, it will be…without honor.” –Master Splinter right before Shredder falls to his death (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 1990)

“I’ll be standing where I belong: Between you and the people of Gotham.” –Bruce Wayne to Ra’s Al Ghul (Batman Begins, 2005)

“Charles Xavier did more for mutants than you’ll ever know.  My single greatest regret is that he had to die for our dream to live.” –Magneto (X-Men: The Last Stand, 2006)

Worst Line in a Superhero Movie:

Winner: “Do you know what happens to a toad when it’s struck by lightning?  The same thing that happens to everything else.” –Storm to Toad (X-Men, 2000)

Honorable Mentions: “It’s the car, right?  Chicks dig the car.” –Batman (Batman Forever, 1995)

“Never leave the cave without it.” –Batman referring to his Bat Credit Card (Batman & Robin, 1997)

“You sold me out…making a perfect ass of yourself: A perfect ass.” –Sand Saref (played by Eva Mendes) as she makes a copy of her ass and stares at it (The Spirit, 2008)

Best Fight in a Superhero Movie:

Winner: Batman Vs the Joker (The Dark Knight, 2008)

The Non Dark Knight Winner: Raphael Vs Leonardo (TMNT, 2007)

Honorable Mentions: Doomsday Vs Superman (Superman: Doomsday, 2007, animated)

The Incredible Hulk Vs the Abomination (The Incredible Hulk, 2008)

Captain America Vs Red Skull (Captain America: The First Avenger, 2011)

The Biggest WTF Moment in a Superhero Movie:

Winner: Lacy Warfield is flown into space and is completely fine (Superman IV, 1987)

Honorable Mentions: Batman makes a house call to Dr. Chase Meridian to see if she likes him or Bruce Wayne (Batman Forever, 1995)

Robin drives through a wall on his bike and makes a Robin symbol imprint (Batman & Robin, 1997)

A good guy (Lee Majors) becomes a villain just for the hell of it, and also because he’s bored (Lightspeed, 2006)

Best Scene in a Superhero Movie:

Winner: The final exchange of dialogue between Batman and the Joker as he hangs upside down (The Dark Knight, 2008)

The Non Dark Knight Winner: The opening Krypton sequence (Superman, 1978)

Honorable Mentions: The montage in which Big Boy and his gang run the town as the song ‘Back in Business’ plays (Dick Tracy, 1990)

Wolverine’s introduction in a cage fight, and later in the same bar when he first unleashes his claws (X-Men, 2000)

The flashback of Batman and Joker’s final confrontation (Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, 2000)

Worst Scene in a Superhero Movie:

Winner: Superman circles the Earth and turns back time (Superman, 1978)

Honorable Mentions: Steel (Shaq) has to throw a grenade through a short window, ala a free throw shot. (Steel, 1997)

Peter Parker dances at a Jazz Club under the symbiote influence (Spider-man 3, 2007)

Iron Man has a drunken brawl with War Machine as the DJ spins music (Iron Man 2, 2010)

Funniest Moment in a Superhero Movie:

Winner: The Shark Repellent Bat Spray (Batman, 1966)

Honorable Mentions: “Bob…gun.”  Bob hands Joker gun.  Joker shoots Bob (Batman, 1989)

The Vanilla Ice Turtle Rap and dance sequence (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze, 1991)

Barry Bonds at Xavier’s School for the Gifted as he chugs a jar of steroids and screams, and then randomly shoots an optic blast (Superhero Movie, 2008)

Best Bad Ass Moment in a Superhero Movie:

Winner: The Joker’s magic trick (The Dark Knight, 2008)

The Non Dark Knight Winner: Dick Tracy punches a bunch of guys in front of a brick wall and they all go down at once (Dick Tracy, 1990)

Honorable Mentions: The Bat Plane (Batman, 1989)

Super Shredder (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze, 1991)

Magneto moves the Golden Gate Bridge(X-Men: The Last Stand, 2006)

Best Villain in a Superhero Movie:

Winner: The Joker (The Dark Knight, 2008)

The Non Dark Knight Winner: Big Boy Caprice (Dick Tracy, 1990)

Honorable Mentions: Ra’s Al Ghul (Batman Begins, 2005)

Magneto (X-Men: The Last Stand, 2006)

Two-Face (The Dark Knight, 2008)

Who Carried their Movie the Most:

Winner: Jim Carrey (The Mask, 1994)

Honorable Mentions: Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent/Superman (Superman III, 1983)

Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man, 2008)

Will Smith (Hancock, 2008)

Funniest Superhero Movie:

Winner: Batman (1966)

Honorable Mentions: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze (1991)

The Specials (2000)

Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)

Best Music in a Superhero Movie:

Winner: Superman (1978) (John Williams)

Honorable Mentions: Batman (1989)/Batman Returns (1992) (Danny Elfman)

The Dark Knight (2008) (Hans Zimmer/James Newton Howard)

X-Men: First Class (2011) (Henry Jackman)

Best Direction in a Superhero Movie:

Winner: Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, 2008)

The Non Dark Knight Winner: Warren Beatty (Dick Tracy, 1990)

Honorable Mentions: Richard Donner (Superman, 1978)

Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins, 2005)

Kenneth Branagh (Thor, 2011)

Best Ending in a Superhero Movie:

Winner: Batman rides off a fugitive as Gordon monologues (The Dark Knight, 2008)

The Non Dark Knight Winner: Batman and Gordon meet on the rooftop as Gordon shows Batman the Joker card (Batman Begins, 2005)

Honorable Mentions: Elijah Price reveals himself as the man behind numerous disasters in an effort to find his opposite, David Dunn (Unbreakbale, 2000)

Erik Lehnsherr sits alone at a chess board with a slight hint that his powers may still remain (X-Men: The Last Stand, 2006)

Erik Lehnsherr becomes Magneto and Charles Xavier sets up his school for the gifted (X-Men: First Class, 2011)

Best Character in a Superhero Movie:

Winner: The Joker (The Dark Knight, 2008)

The Non Dark Knight Winner: Big Boy Caprice (Dick Tracy, 1990)

Honorable Mentions: Master Splinter (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 1990)

Bruce Wayne/Batman (Batman Begins, 2005)

Dr. Manhattan (Watchmen, 2009)

Who Singlehandedly Screws Over their Movie the Most:

Winner: Ben Affleck as Matt Murdock/Daredevil (Daredevil, 2003)

Honorable Mentions: Tommy Lee Jones as Harvey Dent/Two-Face (Batman Forever, 1995)

Billy Zane as Kit Walker/the Phantom (The Phantom, 1996)

Jessica Alba as Sue Storm (Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, 2007)

Most Overrated Superhero Movie:

Winner: Iron Man (2008)

Honorable Mentions: Spider-man (2002)

Spider-man 2 (2004)

The Incredibles (2004)

Most Underrated Superhero Movie:

Winner: Dick Tracy (1990)

Honorable Mentions: Unbreakable (2000)

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Watchmen (2009)

Actor Who Won Best Performance Most Times:

Winner: Kevin Conroy (voice): Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000), Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003), Batman: Gotham Knight (2008), Batman/Superman: Public Enemies (2009)

Actor Who Won Worst Performance Most Times:

Winner: Halle Berry: X-Men (2000), X2 (2003), Catwoman (2004)

That’s everything.  Keep checking back to the list whenever a new superhero movie comes out and the rankings will be adjusted.  I have nothing more to say on Superhero Movies…The End.

Superhero Movies on Steroids Series: Movie #114

Batman: Year One (2011, animated)

Plot: Young billionaire Bruce Wayne (Ben McKenzie) returns to Gotham City after several years abroad.  Also arriving in Gotham City is Jim Gordon (Bryan Cranston), one of the last ethical cops in Gotham.  Both men fight corruption within the police force, Gordon as a cop, and Bruce as a fugitive in his first year as the legendary Batman.

It’s definitely got a style of it’s own unlike any previous animated Batman movie.  The very first shot of Gotham City is pretty amazing.  The animation all around is incredible.  While the film is entrancing at times with its short scenes and character voice-overs, the plot suffers, coming off as clunky and hard to follow.  So when Bruce Wayne dons the mantel of the Bat, he kind of goes after the mob, and then kind of goes after police corruption, and he kind of meets with idealistic District Attorney Harvey Dent.  It just tosses you in different directions, not really having a cohesive narrative.  I like this movie a lot for its great individual moments, but as a whole, it’s not strong.  The voice acting is pretty damn good though.  Ben McKenzie is perfect.  He sounds like a young Kevin Conroy.  I know this is Batman’s early days, but it was weird to see him struggle against random thugs and punks.  And as I mentioned before, I like the voice narrations, but it sounded like everyone was doing monologues in a play and not a movie.  Also, Selina Kyle/Catwoman was completely unnecessary.  She serves no purpose.  I do love the clear influence from Batman Begins, especially when Batman escapes from the Cops and the bats show up.  Even the music in both films is similar.  Although I completely understand that the actual comic book this movie is based on had an influence on Batman Begins, so there you go.  At the end of the day though, this is Jim Gordon’s movie.  He’s the main character.  He’s the type of protagonist you root extra hard for.  Although I’m not really a fan of the Sarah Essen relationship as I don’t think it fits Gordon’s character, but I don’t want to give too much away.  I like a lot of this movie.  There are plenty of bad ass and powerful moments, but at times it just doesn’t feel like a movie.  There’s no glue holding a plot together, which hinders it from being great.

Rating: 7 out of 10 (Good)

Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout):

Best Performance: Bryan Cranston as Jim Gordon
-Like I said, this is Gordon’s show.  He brings the perfect demeanor to this character: a man who’s fighting a war of corruption all by himself…until Batman shows up.

Worst Performance: Eliza Dushku as Selina Kyle/Catwoman
-It’s more so that the character just shouldn’t have been there, but she is annoying and mostly played for laughs, which isn’t really how I picture Catwoman.

Best Line: “Ladies…Gentlemen.  You’ve eaten well.  You’ve eaten Gotham’s wealth.  It’s sprit.  But your feast is nearly over.  From this moment on…None of you are safe.”  -Batman to Falcone’s family and friends
-Batman doesn’t really talk much, let alone give monologues, but this was AWESOME.

Worst Line: “Amateur…fucking amateur.” –Batman
-First of all, Batman saying ‘fuck’ just doesn’t work.  But it’s weird because I don’t even know if this actually happens.  He kind of mumbles it, but I’m pretty sure he says ‘fuck.’

Best Fight:
-There wasn’t much, and even know it wasn’t really a fight, Gordon taking Flass out to the woods proves Gordon is a huge bad ass.  Gordon even offers him a bat, yet he still kicks his ass!

WTF Moment:
-Batman nearly kills himself saving a cat?  I’m not going to say any more, because I don’t want to upset cat lovers.

Best Scene:
-Batman storming Falcone’s mansion and then scaring the shit out of everyone was epic.

Worst Scene:
-When Gordon and his wife interview Wayne as a possible Batman suspect, I get Wayne has to play up the idiot playboy thing, but did we really need the Basic Instinct bathrobe moment?

Funniest Moment:
-This movie wasn’t very funny, although a corrupt Police Commissioner having a toy collection in his office is kind of funny.

Bad Ass Moment:
-I love Batman’s escape from the cops.  It’s just one long endurance test.  And even though he’s Batman, the movie does a good job of making you think, ‘How is he going to get out of this one?’  He also hid under the stairs where you could only see his white eyes…that was cool.