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Life is only what you wonder.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Look! Up In The Sky!

I've always been a big fan of comic books and superheroes.
Courageous men and women in tights with fantastic powers (or gadgets) who fight evil.
So it stands to reason that I also love superhero movies.
These are my favorites.
The New, Original Wonder Woman (1975) - Lynda Carter plays the Amazing Amazon in this ABC-TV movie which is very faithful to the comic book version. Watch the movie and then read All Star Comics #8 (December, 1941) and Sensation Comics #1 (January, 1942) and see if I'm not right.
Paradise Island, the contest, bullets and bracelets, the invisible plane, the magic lasso -- it's all there.
Wonder Woman was always at her best when she was fighting the Nazis. ("Mein Gott! Ist ein Vunder Fraulein!")

Superman - The Movie (1978) Christopher Reeve plays the Man of Steel in his first major motion picture. Even after 20 years the special effects still stand up nicely.
You will believe a man can fly.

Superman II (1980) - Superman (Reeve) battles not only the evil genius Lex luthor, but also three exiled Kryptonian criminals, all three with the same powers as Superman.

Batman (1989) - Michael Keaton (Mr. Mom) as the tortured vigilante Bruce Wayne / Batman? I was skeptical at first, but he made it work. Gotham City looks as bleak and dangerous as I imagined it from the comic.
You couldn't have found a better Joker than Jack Nicholson.

Spider-Man (2002) - Tobey McGuire is the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler.
The scenes where Spidey is web-slinging through Manhattan is simply amazing.

X-Men (2002) - A genetic mutation gives certain people amazing powers. Even though they are feared, hunted, and persecuted they use their powers to help mankind.
The parallels between the mutants struggle for basic human rights and the real-life struggle for gay rights make this a favorite.

Dardevil (2003) - He's kind of like Batman, except he's blind and possesses a "radar sense". Ben Affleck plays the title roll in skin-tight red leather, prowling Hell's Kitchen quashing evil wherever he finds it.
Jennifer Garner makes an amazing Electra and Colin Farrell is roguishly handsome as Bullseye (even with that ugly scar on his forehead). A special treat: Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile) as the Kingpin.

Honorable mentions: X2: X-Men United, Superman III, Hulk, Blade, Spawn, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman and Robin.

Avoid at all costs: The Punisher (the straight-to-video version), the Phantom, Superman IV, Swamp Thing, Supergirl, Masters of the Universe

Superhero movies I'd like to see: Wonder Woman (she's long overdue), The Flash, Green Lantern, The Fantastic Four, The Avengers (the superhero team, not Steed and Mrs. Peel), and Captain America.