Hip-hip Hooray! Part three of my four-part saga got greenlit and published. I must be special. Anyway, here’s where we get into the nitty-gritty, cracking the TOP 10. EVER (canon). At least until “Untitled Deadpool Sequel” comes out. But, until then, let’s keep the Hype Engine going!
About that giving-it-some-time thing, you might be thinking, “Isn’t it too early to tell if ‘Wonder Woman’ is a top-10 contender?” The answer’s definitely no. This is the ultimate DC movie so far.
Entering the shiny halls of Perfectly-Casted Characters, Gal Gadot IS Wonder Woman and Hans Zimmer’s theme for the heroine is also one of the very best themes in cinema history, let alone superhero history. Remember how people were signing petitions to get Gadot fired back in 2015? Hindsight is 20/20. Awesome action, beautiful costumes, gorgeous cinematography, a rousing musical score, confident direction, and a great villain prove to the non-believers how Team DC rolls. Extra points for finally having a superhero film ask if humanity is even worth saving.
Scott Pilgrim vs the World
Before 2016’s “Deadpool” and 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Scott Pilgrim vs the World” was a truly bonkers comic book adapted faithfully to film. It’s also really good, too. Featuring a killer cast of super alumni like Chris Evans, Brandon Routh, and Brie Larson, this flick is brimming with great characters, especially a shining performance from leading man Michael Cera.
Not only is this a great comic-book movie, it’s the only unquestionably good video game movie we have (I think it counts), while also featuring sly nods and even jabs at underground pop culture references. Incredible aesthetics, great stunts, irresistible humor, gorgeous sound design, and taut direction from Edgar Wright make “Scott Pilgrim vs the World” one of the overlooked gems in the comic-movie genre.
X-Men: First Class
I know, I know. Audiences don’t like period pieces anymore. Especially with their superheroes. But “First Class” is a fantastic origin, and (*gasps*) prequel story.
This movie had the hefty task of recasting most of the X-Men we know. Matthew Vaughn did that and showed the beginning of Charles’ and Eric’s friendship spectacularly. The cast has electric chemistry and the villains have real presence. The attack on the manor and especially the beach fight are heart-wrenching. Who knew Kevin Bacon could be that good of a villain, or that a coin could be one of the most brutal murder weapons in cinema history?
Yep, I most definitely said that last part. I also love that someone finally gave us the classic yellow and black costumes from the comics. Remember, mutant and proud.
The reason why cinematic universes are hip, why studios are vomiting three superhero movies a year every year, but also sort of the reason why people don’t see other kinds of movies anymore: this one started a lot, because, frankly, it’s got a lot.
Despite having a fair amount to do, along with the extra task of doing what we wanted it to do, you might be surprised how simple it is. But that balance is what I think makes “The Avengers” special. With an ‘80s action aesthetic, smashed into a “Seven Samurai”-style ensemble flick, and the tonal foundation from “Iron Man,” I’m still surprised how a movie focusing on this many characters can make each of their arcs and introductions serve as fluid vignettes, while still working for the rest of the movie. Overall, the story wraps up nicely, and the action is exhilarating.
X-Men: Days of Future Past (Theatrical Version)
Who needs to join the MCU when you can make a Marvel movie this good without them? Still featuring the obligatory mutant chatter about equality and acceptance, this movie also branches out. There are weighty discussions about the right to choose, predestination versus free will, action versus inaction, the right of power, self-sacrifice, cautionary measures, and the consequences of these ideologies throughout.
“Days of Future Past” also doesn’t really have any bad guys, just scared and confused people who don’t want to be killed by the other side. Overall, with the cathartic action of “The Avengers,” and the moral intrigue of “The Dark Knight,” this movie’s more than mutant and proud. “The Rogue Cut” is pretty good too, but I didn’t want to put (virtually) the same movie on here twice.
Keep your eyes peeled for part four, the conclusion!