It’s almost here! Warner Brother’s Watchmen will finally see the light of day this weekend, and we will get to see if all the Hollywood hoopla is justified. I’ve got a good feeling about Watchmen, and I’m hoping its a movie that lives up to all the hype. Therefore, in honor of the film’s release I’ve decided to compile a list of my top 10 comic book adaptations. Some may be expected, while others may come as a surprise. Either way give me your two cents on who you think should or shouldn’t be included.
10. Hellboy (2004)
Even though he’s not as popular as most mainstream heroes and comic books the red demon, with the sawed off horns finally came to the big screen in 2004. I enjoyed Hellboy and the snarky performance given by Ron Perlman in the title role, and the ever formidable Doug Jones as Abe Sapien. Due to Director Guillermo del Toro‘s amazing creative ability, this film spawned a sequel in 2008, and has shown audiences that it is a legitimate comic book franchise that’s here to stay.
9. Blade II (2002)
One of the most underrated comic book franchises ever! I loved the first Blade, but I really loved it’s sequel. This time Guillermo del Toro took over the directing reigns and you could tell. The directors visual imprint is all over the movie. With far superior action than the first, Blade II is hands down the best in the trilogy. Wesley Snipes actually suplexes a guy in this one! )That’s a wrestling move in case anyone was wondering)
8. X2: X-Men United (2003)
These days it’s hard to find sequels that actually improve on the original. On this list you will notice several that have actually pulled off the task, maybe action films just need time to breath. X2 was the second and final X-Men film that was directed by Bryan Singer. Even though I don’t fully agree with the changes Singer made to the X-Men universe, he gained some redemption with this one. Easily, the best addition to this series was Alan Cummings as NightCrawler. His make-up, his accent and his shy, yet endearing personality was the perfect representation of the blue demon with a soul.
7. Superman: The Movie (1978)
One of my earliest encounters of a superhero film had to be with 1978′s Superman. A fresh faced Christoper Reeve embodied everything I thought and wanted Superman to be. I always had my reservations about Margot Kidder as Lois Lane, but what can you do? With Reeve, Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor, and who can forget Marlon Brando as proud papa Jor-El? It’s no wonder this film still stands the test of time.
6.V for Vendetta (2005)
This isn’t just another movie where a chick shaves off her hair, V for Vendetta means business. Based off of the graphic novel by Alan Moore (Watchmen, From Hell) Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving star as Evey and V, two individuals who are effected in one way or another by their corrupt government. Nothing like a man wearing a mask, and a cape to get me interested. Did I mention that he has wicked aim with those daggers?
5. Spiderman 2 (2004)
Another good sequel to throw onto the fire is Spider-Man 2, which fans and critics agree out shined the original and definitely the third. With far better graphics, and a natural maturation of it’s main characters it won it’s spot on this list fair and square. The inner conflict of Peter vs. Spiderman was a well written story that made you feel sorry and almost anxious about the decision that he’d eventually have to make.
4. Batman Begins (2005)
Daring to go where no one would ever go again after 1997′s Batman and Robin, Christoper Nolan resuscitated the shamed Batman franchise in 2005 with Batman Begins. He constructed a strong cast that included Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer, and Sir Michael Caine. When you can get a knighted, two-time Academy Award winner to play a butler you know the movies going to be good.
3. Iron Man (2008)
I was pleasantly surprised by Jon Favreau’s summer blockbuster Iron Man. When I first heard the film was getting made, I wasn’t particularly interested. I was never really into Iron Man or any of the Avengers, but this movie changed my tune. Robert Downey, Jr.’s quick wit, and carefully manicured goatee had me glued to the screen. Good job Favreau, good job!
2. Sin City (2005)
In my opinion without this film there would definitely be no 300, or Watchmen in terms of visual style. This adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name was co-directed by the books creator, Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez. This was a huge ensemble piece that included all the characters you know and love. There’s only one Sin City, often imitated but never duplicated.
1. The Dark Knight (2008)
This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. The legendary relationship between Batman and The Joker parallels the traditional conflict between good and evil. With an Academy Award nominated and winning cast which included 2009 Best Supporting Actor winner Heath Ledger it’s no wonder this film earned the top spot. With a complex script, beautiful direction, and an amazing score The Dark Knight is one of the the first comic book adaptations to stay faithfully true to the source material. TDK has set the bar pretty high and let’s other comic book filmmakers know that this is how it should be done!
- Batman (1989)
- Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (1980, reissued 2006)
Where will Watchmen fit on this list? Will it be able to knock DC alum The Dark Knight out of it’s top spot?
What do you think?
For further reading:
- Interview with Jeffrey Dean Morgan
- Interview with Jackie Earl Haley
- Watchmen Review
- Win a Free Watchmen T-Shirt