Thursday, 14 March 2013

Top 3: Comic book films

DON'T JUDGE ME FOR MY FIRST CHOICE OF GENRE.
It's not a proper-proper-genre, but I had a hard time choosing films so I've gone with really specific categories to ensure that all the best ones get a mention on here. Brilliant. Glad that that's out of the way.
Let us begin.

IRON MAN (2008)


This will probably be my favourite film in this category forever and ever. I have always had a soft-spot for Marvel (much to my friend Maariyah's dismay [she's a DC gal]) and have enjoyed every Marvel film I've ever seen. The fact that more are on the way this year makes me squeal with delight. The fact that the first of the lot is Iron Man 3 just makes me want to jump up and down and flail a lot until I've actually seen it.
The main thing about this film for me is how spot on the casting is. It's a widely accepted fact: Robert Downey Jnr is Tony Stark. The two are so interchangeable that sometimes I can't tell them apart. Or I choose not to. Gwyneth Paltrow stole my heart with her utter bad-assery and loyalty to Stark. I hated Obadiah (that's a good thing) - Jeff Bridges' over-charming-ness caused suspicion right from the start, and in the end was a pretty great protagonist. And if anything, the soundtrack to the film sold it to me. It's so fitting and appropriate and indescribably perfect...
One of the many things I loved about the adaptation of Iron Man was it doesn't appear to be a typical, clich├ęd superhero flick at first. The first minute of the film introduces the Tony Stark that fans of the comics are familiar with (a lovable knob, who's rich and up himself in an amusing way) and then they suddenly chuck him into a really grim situation. Following a quick how-he-got-there section we follow a his struggle to do the right thing and survive doing so, with a stranger and a weird sciencey thing plugged into his chest to keep him alive. Then he gets out and it's all heroic and he avenges the death of the aforementioned stranger who helped him through the hard times and blah-di-blah. Considering how dark that part of the film is - what with the imprisonment, torture and general they-might-kill-him-any-second atmosphere - it's really easy to watch. Injections of comedy, which is normally just anything that Stark says, are placed in the right moments, and even though you know that he's one of those people that most of us tend to despise you can't hate him. 
And then the rest of the storyline is generally awesome! And what really makes the film great for me is that it is a brilliant way to begin the whole Avengers storyline. All of the films of the Avengers are interlinked and it's so beautifully calculated and executed that it must be real. It's easy to get invested into this series of films, and Iron Man starts it all off.

WATCHMEN (2009)


This slightly underrated film is another of my favourites. Watchmen is unbelievably true to the original material, and deserves to be remembered as a classic comic book movie. I watched the director's cut, and it was so long and dense that I thought I'd probably have to watch it in parts. When I first watched it, it was completely new to me - I had never heard of it but the trailer had intrigued me so I sat down and gave it a go. I couldn't turn it off. I find it easy to get into a film, but this time I was really conflicted. I'd started watching it at midnight, thinking that I'd turn it off at 1am, but 1am came and I couldn't bring myself to it. I needed to watch it and fit the pieces of the story together and absorb everything to understand what was happening. The beauty of the characters is that they are all just human. They don't have special powers (with the exception of Doctor Manhattan who is the big naked blue dude in the image above) and are just extraordinary people. Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias is a super genius with a muddled past, Nite Owl is the geeky good guy who plays by the rules and Silk Spectre and Silk Spectre II (mother and daughter) are the brilliantly heroic, sexy BAMF-y female heroes who are the only women in this gang of beefy hero guys. Not all of the goodies are goodies, however. The Comedian is very dark and antagonistic, despite being on the good side, and Rorschach is a vigilante with a creepy ink-blot style mask, sinister voice and an unhealthy determination to fight crime. It's refreshing to have personalities on different ends of the spectrum all in one group, and makes for very interesting interactions between them.
Other things that make it awesome:
-the fighting/violence is good. That probably sounds a bit odd, and, of course, that style of fighting isn't to everyone's taste, but I thought it was pretty decent. It's more graphic than the comics but that's no issue, really. If it's not what you like then just skip over it.
-the visual effects are marvellous. They managed to DESTROY NEW YORK CITY. AND BUILD A THINGY (I don't really know what it's meant to be) ON MARS. THAT'S, LIKE, A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PLANET.
-one particular theme in the film made me think a lot about where I stand morally. Towards the end of the film the villain (I won't spoil the film for you) justifies his actions by saying something like "I've killed millions to save billions". I honestly couldn't say what my opinion on killing for the greater good is. It's tricky. Quotes like that made me question myself, and think WHAT IF THIS and WHAT IF THAT. It's really quite mind boggling. 
If you're willing to sit through 3 hours of intense crime-fighting drama and can cope with the flashback-ing then give it a chance. 
I'll end with a witty little quote.
"For someone that calls himself The Comedian, I can never tell when you're joking." - Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS 


This is just a film that I could easily watch over and over again without getting bored of it. (Although, one day I probably will get bored of it, due to the amount of times it gets played on Sky Movies...) It's a brilliant reboot of the X-Men franchise that I was brought up to enjoy. I loved all the other films. Even that one where they ruin Ryan Reynolds' face. (Why would you want to do that?) But, as a teenager, this one is my favourite because it's so fun and quick paced and there isn't a time where you would want to skip over to the next bit because it's all relevant and good and and and stuff.
I'm going to be honest with you, I'm a huge fan of the Cherik bromance. The chemistry between all of the characters good and makes it so much easier to like all the characters. The sense of community is great, and even though there are immature conflicts between them, which is bound to happen to a group of people thrown together at random, they all support each other right until the bitter end. Kevin Bacon (known to non-X-Men fans as "that bloke on the EE adverts") was great - a deliciously smarmy villain who is simply fighting for his cause; the cause that is justified rather well by the people who believe in it, even though to us simple non-mutants is just evil. Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence shine brightly in the film, really pulling off their characters well and making them their own, rather than just lifting things from the other films. Costume and make up and effects are all great and not overdone, making the film believable and modest while boasting a fantastic cast and beautiful locations. 
Little things about the film really make me giggle. Some of the jokes in the film are great tributes to the other films and comics if you know what they are, then you appreciate the film for what it is - it may be a reboot but it's not a mimic of the other films, it's different and original and new. Also, Michael Fassbender's accent is just as confused as Banshee is when it comes to women; his Germish accent (German/Irish) leans more to the Irish side, even though his character is German. But when you wouldn't have questioned it when watching it because his performance as Erik is just so damn gripping and moving, even though (in my opinion) he's quite a disagreeable character. 
What I can never forgive them for is the cutting out of this scene. It's not very long, and was so hilarious and helped me to appreciate just how powerful Charles' telepathy is, how funny he is, and - for the odd people out there - gives an indication of how close Charles and Erik are. Who knows?

{I realise that I got a bit lost when giving my opinions about the films, but I'll post it any ways. I'll get better with time, right?}

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