The Top 10 DC Comics Films
Green Lantern looks as if it is going to light up the box office this weekend. Ryan Reynolds stars as the classic superhero from DC Comics. Could this be another big hit for Warner Bros. and DC? While we wait to find out, there have been a ton of other movies based off of characters and stories from DC Comics. Even if Green Lantern proves to be a flop, as many suspect it is going to be, DC has had a lot of success in the past with their other properties. Here are the top 10 movies based on DC Comics. (Note: I have not seen the supposedly spectacular A History of Violence.)
Ah, the first superhero sequel ever. Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder returned as Superman and Lois Lane respectively, as well as Gene Hackman as the the villainous Lex Luthor. Terrence Stamp joined the cast as the villain known as General Zod, and quite a villain he was. The special effects don’t hold up too well but for its time Superman fighting Zod was an awesome spectacle. There are some odd moments in this film, such as Superman’s chest logo turning into…shrink wrap? Is that what that was? Regardless this is still a very well done superhero film, even by today’s standards.
V for Vendetta has one of the most interesting plots of any comic book movie ever. The political issues that unfold before the society in the film cause for a fascinating look at how people can revolt against the oppression of a government. Natalie Portman beautifully plays Evey Hammond while Hugo Weaving makes you care about a man whose face we never see. The script and dialogue is a bit cheesy at times but other than that this is a fantastic movie.
Bryan Singer’s underrated Superman outing shows how the world would be if Superman was not around to save it. Frankly, not that different, but when Superman comes back, almost everyone finds reason to celebrate the return of the planet’s greatest hero. Kevin Spacey is the best Lex Luthor to ever hit the screen (sorry Gene Hackman). The story is a fascinating examination of Superman himself and what he means to the world. Just hope that in the future people stop assuming that Kate Bosworth is a good actress.
Face it, Batman is the best superhero ever. Sure Superman is classic and Spider-man is easy to relate to, but Batman is the epitome of heroism. Batman is effective at what he does, and the character is fascinating. The only problem with Tim Burton’s first Batman outing is that it focuses too much on Jack Nicholson’s brilliant turn as the Joker. Had Batman been fully developed this movie would have been perfect. An important note is that this movie has the best looking Gotham City ever seen on screen. It is dark, gothic, and a perfect playground for the Bat.
Sam Mendes beautifully directs this moody crime drama. The 1920s are clouded in constant rain that adds to the dark tone of the movie. Tom Hanks and Paul Newman are brilliant in this film. When you strip this movie down, it is a simple father-son story. Tom Hanks shines as a father who will do anything to protect his son. The few action set pieces in the film are beautifully shot. Road to Perdition is the best non-superhero film that DC Comics has ever done.
Who knew comic books and superheroes would make good movies? Apparently in 1978 Richard Donner did. If Superman had not been successful, we may not have any of the movies on this list or any of the movies that have come out of Marvel. Superman led the way for superheroes on the big screen, and it still holds up today. Christopher Reeve owns the role. This is going to be a hard one to top when Zach Snyder goes to make Man of Steel.
The 1990s were such a mixed bag for Batman, but this superhero Christmas hybrid works in almost every way. Some argue that this is a terrible movie. My reason for loving it is simple: it resembles everything that Batman has ever been since his creation in 1939. Gotham City has a 1940s film noir feel to it. Danny DeVito’s Penguin represents the goofiness of the Adam West era. Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman represents all the darkness that comes with some of these characters (Pfeiffer was a perfect Catwoman). Finally, Batman is given all the complexion and depth that made me fall in love with the character to begin with.
The Watchmen graphic novel is the best DC has to offer, and this film is a fantastic adaptation of it. The casting is great, particularly of Dr. Manhattan, Rorschach, and The Comedian. The film gets the ideas and the message of the novel down perfectly. The slightly changed ending might even be better and more believable than the ending to the graphic novel. There is one reason that I could not give this the number 2 spot: that painfully awkward sex scene half way through. Otherwise, this is a masterpiece.
Christopher Nolan’s reboot of the Batman franchise brings the hero back to his more realistic roots. Christian Bale is the perfect Batman, surpassing Michael Keaton’s solid performances in the Burton era. Nolan deconstructs the character and displays the origin in a unique, exciting way that makes this the definitive way to look at Batman. The excellent supporting cast helps to build Batman’s world and grounds the hero even further. There was no way it could have been topped…until…
Could it really have been anything else? Nolan surpassed Begins in every way possible. This is a perfect Batman movie. The opening scene grabs you by the throat, and it does not let go until the end credits. Heath Ledger’s Joker has become the new standard for movie villains. This is not only the best DC Comics movie, it is also the best comic book movie of all time, and one of the best movies ever made. Not that I don’t believe in Nolan, but there is no way The Dark Knight Rises can be better than this masterpiece. However, I welcome him to prove me wrong.
Will Green Lantern match up to any of these films when it premieres on Friday? Look for my review Friday morning.