Friday, August 14, 2015

Marvel Movies: Best to Worst

I know, I know.  It's been awhile since I've "shared."  Hey, that's life for some of us.  However, after watching the latest "in-stall-ment" of the Fantastic Four movie franchise, I would offer my opinion on how it ranks against the 35 or so other Marvel films that I have seen.

Note to the Nerdlings: 1) I am actually a DC fan who enjoys Marvel films.  2) I have almost no stake in any of these films, except the Captain America and Cap affiliated films.  3) This is simply my opinion -- I am not Kevin Feige!

With all of this in mind, let's look at the list.  I have broken it down into chunks for readability.  I should note that I am using the list that is available on Wikipedia, and I am only ranking the films that I have actually seen (so there are a couple of early films, direct-to-video sequels, and some TV films that I am not including).

The Best of the Bunch (#1-10)
  1. Iron Man (2008) -- Yes, I said it.  It is the best stand-alone Marvel film.  It set the bar and is, therefore, the best.
  2. Spider-Man 2 (2004) -- This film proved that sequels can be better than the origin story, and is # 2 only because it is a sequel.
  3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) -- Absolutely better than the original...even "Rotten Tomatoes", "Cinema Score" and "Screen Junkies" thought so.  This is one that I will watch just because I own it.
  4. The Avengers (2012) -- Hands-down one of the best ensemble films around!
  5. Spider-Man (2002) -- Marvel learned that "With great power, comes great responsibility" when it comes to making comic-book movies.
  6. X-Men (2000) -- For better or for worse, Fox's only successful superhero franchise (to date) has been an important cultural, political and spiritual talking point.
  7. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) -- This one is just plain fun, and, I think, set some new standards for science fiction films.
  8. Ant-Man (2015) -- Surprise! Marvel took one their darker characters and stayed truthful to the origin and evolution of this character in a way that even my 9-year-old (non-comic-book fan) daughter absolutely loved.
  9. The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) -- After seeing it three times, I realized that while it is better than the other 25 films on this list, it just was not as good as the original films.  I liked the evolved interactions between the team, the James Spader-voiced Ultron was superb, yet it also came across at times at trying to be better than the original.
  10. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) -- Cap is essential to the Marvel Universe in so many ways.  And while the origin story was slow in parts, this was certainly a Joe Johnston film: it was respectful to the origin story, it was respectful to the "gosh, golly wilikers" era, and it told a decent story.  Yes, the "crashing the plane in the ice rather than landing it safely in NYC" rather silly, but the movie, overall, was great.
Not as Good, But Better than Others (#11-20)
  1. Iron Man 2 (2010) -- Better known as "Nick Fury: Origin Story"
  2. Thor (2011) -- Not bad...definitely better than several others...but not stellar either. 
  3. X2 (aka, X-Men 2: X-Men United) (2003) -- Foreshadowing...lots of foreshadowing.
  4. X-Men: First Class (2011) -- Post-Brett Ratner.
  5. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) -- Maybe my memory is starting to get a little hazy.  There have been so many X-Men movies.  It's almost like Fox is trying to milk this franchise for all it's worth...
  6. Thor: The Dark World (2013) -- Again, not bad...definitely better than several others...but not stellar either.
  7. The Incredible Hulk (2008) -- The non-Ang Lee one.  Pretend Bill Bixby is playing Banner and it's actually not bad.
  8. Blade (1998) -- Actually, not a bad film.  Mythology is about as bad as the Underworld mythos, yet watching Wesley Snipes go all Wesley Snipes on some vampires is pretty cool.
  9. The Wolverine (2013) -- Storyline aside, this is a decent stand-alone superhero film.
  10. Iron Man 3 (2013) -- Let's be honest...this was simply to pass the time until Cap and Thor got their sequels made.
When Executives Make Dollar-Based Decisions (#21-30)
  1. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) -- Did we really need a new Spider-Man this soon?
  2. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) -- Are we completely sure Brett Ratner didn't make this?  I mean, a Deadpool who can't speak?  Where's the fun in that?
  3. Spider-Man 3 (2007) -- It's got to go somewhere on the list.
  4. Blade II (2002) -- Fun fact: Guillermo del Toro directed this one.  *Ding*
  5. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) -- There was nothing "last" about this...Brett Ratner is still making movies somehow.
  6. Hulk (2003) -- The Ang Lee-directed one.  R.I.P. Bill Bixby.
  7. Fantastic Four (2005) -- Sympathy vote, plain and simple.
  8. Howard the Duck (1986) -- A really bad movie that we really like.
  9. The Punisher (2004) -- sigh
  10. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) -- Unnecessary hipster reboot.
Scrapping the Bottom of the Barrel (#31-37)
  1. Blade: Trinity (2004) -- When Ryan Reynolds actually steals the show (and not as Deadpool).
  2. Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007) -- So...who was the film actually supposed to be about?  And that's the best Fox could do with Galactus?
  3. Fantastic 4 (2015) -- The trailer was literally better than the movie.  Most of the scenes in the trailer weren't even in the movie...and they were better than what made the movie!
  4. Ghost Rider (2007) -- I still have not actually seen all of it...I can't force myself to finish it.
  5. Daredevil (2003) -- Hey, I hear the television series is excellent.
  6. Elektra (2005) -- Jennifer Garner grew up in West Virginia...I was born in West Virginia...that was my justification for seeing this and I then promptly repenting of my cinematic sin.
  7. The Fantastic Four (1994) -- I have only seen clips...and they are awful.
So, there you go.  My ranking of the Marvel films from best to worst.  Sorry about the numbering; code-writing is not my thing.  

Feel free to leave me a comment below!

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