Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Top 10 Marvel Movies

So, this list doesn't simply refer to the movies that Marvel has produced, but I'm also including any movie featuring a Marvel comic book character.  X-Men are welcome here, as well as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and Blade.  I am excluding Conan, but that's pretty much it, and I think it makes sense to leave Robert E. Howard's beloved barbarian out of the mix.  Additionally, I'm not looking at box office results or other people's reviews.  These are my personal favorites and I'm sure that many people will see things differently.  I'm aware that I'm pretty heavy on the new stuff when we get to the top of the list, but I think that Marvel has recently upped the ante in a big way.  I'll also point out that if I felt that the Daredevil series on Netflix was eligible for consideration, it would surely own a spot on this list.  Please check that show out if you haven't already done so.

Verily, I say unto thee, these are my Top 10 Marvel Movies:

10 - Blade (1998)
I think a lot of people have forgotten about Blade.  This movie was a big hit and it totally rocks.  When I hear people talk about how either the X-Men or Iron Man started this current comic book movies craze, I wonder if they've seen Wesley Snipes killing it as Marvel's premiere vampire slayer.

9 - Spider-Man (2002)
I'm a big fan of Sam Raimi's work with your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.  More on that later.  Like many, I wish it would have been possible to utilize the Green Goblin's classic look from the comics, but Willem Dafoe was amazing in the role despite a clunky outfit.  Great story, great effects--great movie!

8 - Iron Man (2008)
Hello there, Robert Downey Jr., welcome to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  This perfect exercise in casting brought these movies to another level.  Having Jeff Bridges along for the ride was a pretty good call as well.  Fun, quirky, and action-packed, this one definitely paved the way for the movies sitting at the top of my list.

7 - X2: X-Men United (2003)
X-Men was cool.  X2 is amazing.  I love the villains, I love the script, and despite numerous attempts to do more with the character, this is the best representation of Wolverine that we've seen on the screen to date. 

6 -Spider-Man 2 (2004)
It is entirely possible that the big brawl pitting Spidey against Doc Ock atop a moving train is still the finest fight scene that we've seen in any comics-inspired film, but that's not the only reason I put this one on my list.  The story is first-rate, the acting is spectacular, and this is one of Raimi's best features.  That's high praise.

5 - X-Men: First Class (2011)
Incredibly cool, riveting, and witty, this is the best X-Men movie we've gotten thus far.  I know that a lot of you enjoyed X-Men: Days of Future Past a lot more than I did (don't get me wrong, I liked it a lot) but it just didn't do as much for me as this thought-provoking and ass-kicking thrill ride. 
Bonus points: Michael Fassbender is superb.  I love Magneto's storyline in this film.  Ian McKellan was also incredible in the role, but Fassbender absolutely steals the show in First Class.

4 - The Avengers (2012)
If you didn't experience a nerdgasm while watching Earth's Mightest Heroes join forces in 2012, you're not a true nerd.  At the time, I thought there was no way that Marvel could top this magnificent blockbuster.

3 - Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Then we got this splendid thriller.  The plot is wicked, the action is relentless, and somehow Marvel found a way to improve upon The Avengers.  This feat grows even more impressive when you consider that they managed to do so with Captain America front and center.  I love Cap, but I thought that his first film wasn't one of Marvel's elite productions.  It was good, but it wasn't in the same league as many of their other efforts.  Then they brought in the Winter Soldier and blessed us with this gem.

2 - Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Last week, Marvel hit us with their second Avengers movie, and they somehow crafted a sequel that was bigger and better than the first one.  This is officially the first Marvel movie that I watched twice on opening day.  I've watched several of these flicks more than once in the theater, but this one was so awesome that I went back for a second helping. 
Bonus points: the second time out I got to enjoy Avengers: Age of Ultron in IMAX 3-D.  Holy wow.

1 - Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
When this film was first announced, I was curious.  When they named James Gunn as director, I figured it would be pretty cool.  Yet I never expected it to emerge as Marvel's coolest cinematic offering.  Truthfully, Guardians of the Galaxy is about as entertaining as movies get.  It's energetic and joyous, and it somehow topped everything else on this list while drawing from an obscure property. 

. . .

Please feel free to chime in on my choices and offer up your own.

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