2011 was the year for Comic Book Movies, volume wise. 2012 was the year of Comic Book Movies, quality wise. 2011 saw a slew of films hit the theaters. Some were good, some were disappointing, and some surprised us. In 2012 we got a lot less, but the quality was above and beyond what many expected. I am not rating these per se, though I will give a little note to how much I liked them, but this is a list for those who may have somehow missed one of these gems. I am placing these in two categories, Live Action and Animated.
This year started off with a bang with the record breaking blockbuster “The Avengers.” This film could’ve been a disaster but with Joss Whedon behind the lens and his skill with ensemble casts and love of the genre he really did a fantastic job with this film. It takes everything that we loved about the films that led up to it, smashed it together and turned the dial up to 20! And what a wild ride it was. Whether it was seeing the team fully assembled, New York City amidst an alien invasion, or Hulk whipping Loki around like a rag doll, the movie gave just about everyone something to cheer for. And the final scene was a true geekgasm for comic fans everywhere and set the stage for what is looking to be an even better Phase 2. The sting of the Blu-Ray special addition being pushed back is still fresh, but as we draw closer to April, it fades and my hands are anxiously waiting to hold my own version of the Tesseract.
The Amazing Spider-Man
Spider-Man has always been one of my favorite characters. Partly because of his everyman status, partly because he was an outsider, but mostly because of his wit and charm, and next to Batman he’s got one of the coolest and largest rogues galleries. The Sam Raimi films missed that part of the character, but Marc Webb’s reboot of the franchise got that and a lot more right in my opinion. From well developed characters that we honestly care about, to a New York that was as much a character as Spidey himself, Webb’s version of Spider-Man definitely evoked some feelings of Nolan’s “Batman Begins” but with more heart and fun. Andrew Garfield nailed the role of both Peter Parker and Spider-Man and Emma Stone was a great Gwen, showing strength and vulnerability. The cast was well rounded out with Rhys Ifans and Denis Leary. A great start to a new version of the franchise.
The Dark Knight Rises
There is no getting around this 300 lb elephant in the room! Nolan’s trilogy was an amazing interpretation of the Batman universe, which had everyone on board…until this film. Love it or hate it, it was a divisive film for fans of comics and the films alike. But whether you liked the ending, hated it or just like debating whether Bruce lived or died, the film broke every expectation we had and is still the topic of conversation months later, the mark of a great film. “Rises” to me was the penultimate chapter on what could possibly happen to a Batman in a real world setting. Anne Hathaway was great as a different take on Catwoman, and though I missed the whip, she still manages to make her way into the company of Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt, and Michelle Pfeiffer. Tom Hardy’s Bane was also a good foil for Batman both physically and mentally. But we all know it was the ending that got us. Now, talk amongst yourselves some more.
Judge Dredd is a character that has to be taken seriously, and done right. The Stallone version got the look of the character and world right but not much else. The lower budgeted Pete Travis-directed version starring Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, and Lena Headey got it completely right. Sure the super futuristic look was gone. But it was replaced by a futuristic and real dystopia. This version of Mega City 1 was impressively bleak, and breathtakingly large. One can definitely feel a sense of hesitance and taking on day to day crime in such a massive city. And day to day crime here is murder, mayhem, drugs, dealing and more. Urban embodied the role perfectly, bringing Dredd’s scowl to life but imparting the character with just enough personality to evoke memories of a young Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry. Olivia Thirlby did a fine job shouldering most of the characterization and development, as Dredd is basically the face of the Law. Lena Headey is just a great character as the ruthless Ma-Ma, and seems to relish the chance to play such a character. Comparisons to “The Raid: Redemption” are valid but this was a whole different beast, with a slight sci-fi feel. A great first installment to what I hope becomes a franchise.
CONTINUE TO THE ANIMATED COMIC BOOK MOVIES OF 2012
Pages: 1 2