Category Archives: Top Ten

Top Ten…Animated Disney/Pixar Films!~

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Top Ten … Animated Disney/Pixar Films!~

This is a personal list, so it is not my view what should be seen as the end all be all for Disney animated films, just my personal viewing.

10) The Little Mermaidthe_little_mermaid

Now if this list was created by my Disney-Fanatic girlfriend, The Little Mermaid would rank as #1, but this isn’t her list, it’s my list. Speaking of her…in case any of you would like to read about her love of Disney and running you can do so at The Final Forty [/ShamelessPlug] But for me The Little Mermaid was the first Disney film I ever saw. It came out in 1989, making me around 3 years old and my parents took me to see it, cause it’s a cartoon and I’m a little kid, so that math equals success for parents looking for an hour and half of rest. I didn’t get the meaning of the film; the only thing to resonate with me was the color, the animation and amazingly catchy songs.

9) Beauty and the BeastBeauty_and_the_Beast

Starting to catch a trend with these early two films? I’m a child of the 90’s, more so, I’m the generation of the Disney Renaissance. The time period of when Disney came back into prominence and regained control of being THE cartoon film company. Not only where their films making big money, but also putting out hit soundtracks, critical praise, and countless merchandise. Beauty and the Beast was the FIRST and still ONLY 2D animated feature film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. There is no mistake in that nomination, the film might be looked back at a story of Stockholm syndrome, but the music is fun, the story is engaging, and at the end of the day, Beauty and the Beast is a timeless classic that got the Disney treatment, which will live on and be the measuring stick of that classic tale.

8) Wreck-It RalphWreck-It Ralph

If there is anything that defines a little boys childhood, or at least the little boys childhood that I once knew of and grew up with, it was cartoons and video-games. They didn’t always go hand in hand, sometimes they did, where there were some awesome video-games based off of cartoons, but rarely are there great video-game adaptations. But who knew the key was to adapt a fake game with hints of real ones to unlock the secret. Wreck-It Ralph is a simple story about a villain that wants to be a hero and his journey of getting that medal of success and the different style video-game characters along his journey.

7) UpUp

That is all that needs to be said. That nearly ten minute love story about Carl and Ellie is probably the greatest example of Pixar’s talent at its absolute best. Smart, funny, touching, beautiful, and ultimately heart breaking.

6) A Goofy MovieA_Goofy_Movie

This one stands out, because its not really a timeless classic like Beauty and the Beast, nor is it a Pixar classic, but this film to be was both in the sense classic Disney animation, mixed with new life. You had Goofy, a staple of Disney animation for over nearly 50 years at the point when this film came out and his son Max. This film ties in with the greatly underrated Disney cartoon series Goof Troop in terms of nostalgia overload for me. You have the simple story of a dad trying to relate and connect with his teenage son on a road trip, while the son is just trying to impress a girl. Disney takes the simple stories and make them great by the characters. Throw in a few catching songs, this is a very overlooked treasure hiding in the Disney vault.

5) Toy Story 3Toy_Story_3

What Toy Story meant to the 9 year old version of me, Toy Story 3 meant just as much to 24 year old version of myself. I knew from the get go because its Pixar, because its Toy Story, because its Woody and Buzz…this film was going to get to me on a personal and emotional level. It was about Andy growing up and leaving for college and leaving that part of himself that use to play with toys and …I know that. We lived that. Where at one point, playing with your toys just isn’t the priority anymore in life like it was when you were a kid. But it was much more, it was about how serious this film was, how when a bunch of CGI created characters come together, hold hands in the face of death and accept it…accept their fate and demise…and this happened in a “kids” film. That’s what Pixar does, they let you think you know what you want and then kick you in the stomach and tell you what you will accept and when you will cry like a baby.

4) The Lion KingThe_Lion_King

For the longest period of time The Lion King was the highest grossing film out of all its animated features. By now you should be tired of hearing me saying “amazing songs” but during its renaissance period of the late 80’s to early 00’s, it felt like every animated movie came along with a hit soundtrack and amazing songs. Lion King is no different, but what I think separated TLK from all the other films was the story, an unique adaptation of Hamlet told with lions. Everyone shed a tear at the death of Mufasa. Everyone was talking about “Hakuna Matata” and how it meant no worries on the playground. And everyone secretly loved evil and devilish (and slightly gay) Scar and his Nazi-hyena army.

3) Wall-EWall-E

I was almost in awe after watching Wall-E in the theater. I knew instantly that I saw something that was not only creative film-making at its most imaginative, but something special that connected with me. I always wonder how people realize when a film is special enough to be their “favorite of all time” is it after one viewing? After many? Is it the characters or the writing? It was all of it for this film. This movie is 50% silent film and 50% futuristic robotic love story and it shouldn’t work, but it does. A mostly silent animated film shouldn’t work in today’s quick cutting world of film-making, but it does and it will live on for its beautiful imagery and characters.

2) Toy StoryToy_Story

Toy Story was my introduction to Pixar and I feel like that makes it even more special. Kids no a days have a catalog of about 12-13 Pixar films to watch at any given time. You grow up during the 2000’s when Pixar was hitting their stride of film-making, you could be introduced to any of the great ones…but my first introduction to Pixar and CGI animation was the measuring stick…it was Toy Story. It’s the most simple idea in the world and the one that resonates with kids and adults, what if your toys came to life when you weren’t around? That’s it, you didn’t need some over the top plot to pull the people in, just great writing and great voice acting. Woody and Buzz will live beyond the lives of the people that created them, because they are timeless characters.

01) AladdinAladdin

Aladdin will always be my number one and it is just because… it was the first Disney film I remember connecting with. Aladdin came out in 1992, making me six years old and just the perfect age to watch (of the time) cutting edge special effects blended into traditional animation. Watching a flying carpet, a pop culture spewing genie and one of many Disney timeless love stories between a street rat and a princess. The songs are catchy; Princess Jasmine is unlike other princess where she strong female character that isn’t in desperate search of love, but just wanting freedom. Aladdin is the first time that young boys watching Disney films really had a true lead male character to connect with. I even dig the direct to video sequels that followed.

Top Ten…Comic Book Characters that NEED a big screen adaptation!!

Top Ten…Comic Book Characters that NEED a big screen adaptation!!

This year alone, we have seen the likes of The Lizard, The Avengers, and Talia al Ghul make their live action first apperance on film. There are thousands upon millions of characters gracing the pages of comic book from Action Comics #1 till today. But there is rare air for those that DESERVE to be seen in live action on the big screen…at least once. This is my personal opinion on the top ten that NEED to be adapted to the big screen one day soon. I don’t count television live action appearances either…because come on.

I’m also leaving out certain characters that have already been announced to be adapted soon or look to be in the works of adaptation to film.

10) The Black Cat

This is more personal than necessity. The Black Cat in my opinion is one of the better supporting characters in Spider-Man’s books. Throughout his fictional life, Peter Parker has had always a strong list of woman by his side, Aunt May, Mary Jane Watson, Gwen Stacy and… Felicia Hardy aka The Black Cat. She was Catwoman before Catwoman knew how to be Catwoman that we all know today. Black Cat was the first of the two to wear black revealing leather, be a cat burglar, and have the hate/love romance with their more famous superhero. So why does she need a big screen adaptations…well I’ll give you TWO reasons….1) change of pace and 2) love/hate. Because when it comes to Black Cat she is in love with Spider-Man, but not Peter Parker and as much as she tries, its very hard for Cat to turn her back on her criminal ways, something that would lead to a very interesting live action dynamic between her and Spider-Man.

Who would I see playing her? Elisha Cuthbert.

09) Iron Fist

Better known as half of ‘Heroes for Hire’ along with Luke Cage aka Power Man, Iron Fist is both one of the most unique and powerful characters in all of the Marvel Universe. You could almost call him the Bruce Lee of Marvel, although Fist known as Danny Rand is a white boy, he packs a powerful punch known as literally the Iron Fist, powers given to him by the K’un L’un. What I think Fist brings to a live action film is something new a martial art superhero. We haven’t really seen that yet. We know Batman can fight, we have seen Captain America brawl, but we never seen a man with the deadly hands of kung fu kick some ass. Bring along Luke Cage for the ride, but we definitely should be treated by the martial arts master himself one day.

Who could I see playing him? Ray Park.

08) Mr. Sinister

In the X-Men film universe we have seen the likes of Magneto, Sentinels (briefly), William Stryker, Dark Phoenix, Mystique, Toad, Sabertooth, Blob, Emma Frost, Sebastian Shaw and even Azazel. Besides the ultimate mutant known as Apocalypse…the next viable villain that should be seen fighting the team of mutants (be it current day for the First Class crew) should be Nathaniel Essex himself; Mr. Sinister. Known primarily for his dedicated rivalry against Cyclops, Sinister has have the mutant ability of longevity, telepathy, molecular manipulation, healing factor and a genius level IQ. He gives you the best of all the other X-Men villains in one, plus a damn awesome look. How can you hate a man that wears a cape so well? Sinister might not be as well known as Magneto, but is just as dangerous to the children of the Atom. With a red diamond forehead piece to boast, Sinister needs to be seen in the living flesh one day soon.

Who could I see playing him? Bryan Cranston.

 

07) Darkseid

The world was introduced (all but briefly) to Thanos during the end of The Avengers. But before there was Thanos, there wass Darkseid. He is the definite Justice League bad guy, the man that makes it seem reasonable that you need to see Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern and Aquaman all team up to fight him. He is an alien. He is powerful and he is a goddamn badass. Smallville tried their best with their moderate budget to do Darkseid, but…he is not a character meant for live action television. He is meant for the big screen. He is meant for widescreen depth. He is meant to be seen in Imax smashing Superman through a building, or towering over the team of the JL with those ominous red eyes.

Who would I see playing him? Michael Ironside w/ some heavy-duty makeup.

06) Harley Quinn

Iconic comic book characters come from … well comic books, right? But not Harley Quinn. The Jokers sidekick/lover/whore/victim whatever you want to call her was first shows and became famous from the cartoon show “Batman: The Animated Series.” Harley Quinn should have been a forgettable character, why does The Joker need a sidekick? But she works. Her character, her backstory, her look, her voice…it just was a great mix of a character you can believe would support The Joker, but also Harley works well on her own. She became famously paired with Poison Ivy as a fem-fetal duo of their own. It feels that film has been the only medium where we haven’t seen Harley shine in yet, but most likely that wont be for long.

Who would I see playing her? Kristen Bell.

05) Mysterio

Another Spider-Man villain that I feel especially in today’s heavy 3D age should be given a chance on the big screen…because who would not feel more at home in the movies than Quentin Beck himself. His backstory tells us that Beck was a former movie special effects man, before a horrible accident left him damaged and scared, leaving him to dawn a fishbowl for a helmet and theatrical tricks for his weapons. He might have one of the most …unique attires in all of villainy, but just imagine having Mysterio unleash his barrage of tricks, illusions, and magic in a 3D film, where it feels like it is happening to you as much as it’s happening to Spidey as well!

Who could I see playing him? Bruce Campbell.

04) Brainiac

In the Superman movies, we have either seen Superman face only two WORTHY challengers: Lex Luthor and General Zod. That’s it. Five features films, two worthy baddies, how does that math work out? Not to mention besides from Zod, Luthor has never been a worthy fist-a-cuffs style foe for The Man of Tomorrow, so that is where Brainiac comes along. He is alien. He is smart. He is powerful. He can push Superman physically and intellectually. And there is a long list of Brianiac storylines from the comics, that you can draw from. We have been waiting years to see Superman throw a fist and fuck some shit up and maybe he will do that against Zod in Snyder’s Man of Steel next summer, but Zod and Luther have been done to death. Bring us some Brianiac!

Who could I see playing him? Daniel Day-Lewis.

03) The Black Panther

Of all the characters that Marvel Studios currently have control over, a lot of them have found their way to the big screen. But there is one very important character and property that still hasn’t and that is the King of Wakanda himself, The Black Panther. Panther wasn’t the first black superhero, but he is one of the most important ones. He is the ruler and king of his own country, the most forward thinking, advance technology country in the Marvel universe. In the comics he is married to Strom from the X-Men, obviously that isn’t a possibility for film, but the African country side, his acrobatic skill and diversity does suggest that The Black Panther should find his way to the movie theater one day VERY soon, especially with MCU Phase 2 in currently progress. Do we really have to wait till phase 3 for Panther? I hope not.

Who could I see playing him? Djimon Honsou.

02) The Flash

The fastest man alive. Even faster than Superman, the Scarlett Speedster has NEVER seen the green light of a feature film, even though his characters history is as rich as Batman and Superman. Maybe it is because of his rogues gallery? Maybe it’s the fright of having a superhero who’s power is super speed? Maybe it’s the costume? Who knows, but this has to stop immediately. The Flash not just one of the most famous characters in all of comics, its also one of the funniest, especially if you are talking about the Wally West version, which is my particular favorite. With the write writer behind the project, we could get a film that packs as much action and enough humor to bring in the audience, but until WB bites that bullet, Flash will just forever be seen in the pages of comics and in animation on Television, never getting the chance to show off how fast he truly is in live action.

Who could I see playing him? Bradley Cooper.

01) Wonder Woman

There is no fuckin’ answer to why Wonder Woman has NEVER been adapted to the big screen. In the world of DC comics there are three iconic characters: Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. In the world of comics itself she ranks in probably the top then of characters and there is no doubt that she is the most recognizable and famous female comic book character. So what is the deal? No studio will bank on a solo female comic book adapted film. The last three times it happened (Catwoman, Elektra, and Supergril) they bombed at the box office. But those three characters combined don’t have the clout of Wonder Woman among the world. She has a story that is worth telling, a defining style and character, not to mention one of the few that can translate to the female gender as greatly as the male gender of audience goers. The closest WB/DC came to green lighting a WW film, was when Joss Wheadon (the man that made Buffy the Vampire Slayer and delivered the 1.4 billion dollar Avengers for Marvel) attached, but WB decided against the director known for his empowering female leads and the mystery still continues to when the woman with the lasso of truth will finally hit the big screen.

Who could I see playing her? Olivia Wilde.

Honorable Mentions: Aquaman (Chris Pine), Dr. Strange (George Clooney), Electro (Aaron Paul). Green Lantern John Stewart (Common), Cable (Michael Biehn).

Top Ten…Most Overated Films* (Guest Commentary!~)

Top Ten… Over-Rated Movies of All Time:

*You see that awesome looking banner at the top of my page? That is all due to the great kindness and amazing ability of a good friend of mine named Kris Style. I’ve known Kris for a long time and he is a great graphic artists. After making me the banner he asked if he could make up one of his own top ten lists for my blog and I was more than happy to oblige. So this is all of the opinion of Kris Style!

10. Friday Night Lights

I’m a big sports guy and a bit of a movie guy so when this was recommended to me by a friend I thought that it would be worth a watch. Bad idea. This movie draws out longer than any that I have seen up until then and anything I’ve seen since. It felt like time had slowed down to the point of almost stopping during this thing. I only managed to make it through an hour or so of the movie and it still remains the only movie that I literally asked for my money back as I was leaving the theater.( I didn’t get it, but I did get a free pass to another movie.) And anything that same friend recommends, movie wise, I rent or stream just in case.

9. Good Will Hunting

While it does have a pretty good story and I will watch it from time to time, I think that the movie itself has some scenes or parts of scenes that should have hit the cutting room floor as they aren’t really needed to keep the story moving and just seem to make the movie longer than it needs to be.

 

 

 

8. Avatar

As a fan of professional wrestling there are wrestlers that are often called “Spot Monkeys” and Avatar is basically the movie equivalent… a “3D Monkey.” In pro-wrestling a “Spot Monkey” is not a racial slur and has nothing to do with a person’s appearance. What it means is that you can’t execute a proper arm drag or headlock to save your life and are average at best, but you’re willing to do crazy, over-the-top spots (usually involving ladders or other crazy jumps) to try and make yourself look good to the crowd. That’s what Avatar is in the movie world. A movie that’s just pretty good in terms of story, but made a huge amount of coin because of the awesome 3D it had on the big screen. Is it a bad movie? Absolutely not. It’s still an enjoyable watch, but is it worthy of being considered great movie? Absolutely not.

7. Any Bond Film*

I put an asterisk on this one because there are only two exceptions, so far, that I would make to this listing and those should be pretty evident to most of you, but I’ll list them for those of you that don’t know and they are: Dr. No and Goldfinger. James Bond fanboys (and girls to less extent) are really annoying. Every time there’s a new Bond movie announced they lose their damn minds and act like it’s the best thing since sliced bread before the thing is even made. Thing is though… they’re all the same damn movie. They change the villain, the girl (or girls is some cases) and the location, but well it comes down to it they’re all the same plot with basically the same ending.

6. Rocky

Yeah. I said it. Rocky is over-rated. In all, I’d rather watch any other movie in the series (except the flaming pile of crap that is 5) than the first one. It’s in no means a horrible movie, but it won the Academy Award for Best Movie for crying out loud.

5. Training Day

Denzel plans an evil mo-fo which is out of character for him which he was actually pretty at. (The man can act, what can I say?) He gives a great performance, but Oscar worthy? Nope. I think Peter hit the nail on the head with #3 on his Top Ten All Time Academy Awards Mistakes list.

 

 

 

4. Titanic

I have a feeling that about half of the money grossed (probably more) by Titanic was based mostly on guys taking their girl (or girls in some cases) to see it hoping that they’d see DiCaprio and get all worked up and mount them right then and there. There are probably a few instances where it worked, but most times it likely ended with a guy leaving the theater with a crying girl and feeling like he just wasted three hours of his life (minus the 2 minutes of Kate’s boobs).

 

3. Brokeback Mountain

The only reason most critics buzzed about this movie was because it was one of the first times two known Hollywood actors where willing to kiss each other full on the mouth. The story itself is average, at best.

2. Scarface (1983)

I’ve only seen this once and that was enough for me… and I like these type movies. Rappers and wannabe rappers are seemingly all about this movie and the only reason I can think of for that is because a majority of them come up in bad neighborhoods and think to themselves: “I can do that. I can sell all kinds of drugs and guns and become the biggest badass in history and no one will ever mess with me.” Problem is I think they just see the green and never see the end.

 

1. Lords of the Rings (All of them)

I know I’ll probably get flamed all over the web for this, but I don’t care. For those of you that haven’t seen any of the three LotR movies, let me save you a long, boring experience with this brief synopsis:

To be totally honest with you, I’ve only seen
the first hour and 45 minutes of the Return of the King, but I couldn’t stand it anymore. And there are a few parts I enjoyed in their journey, but the entire thing draws out to the point that you begin to think that you’re in some sort of government mind-control, torture beta test to see how long it takes you to run screaming into the streets, hoping to get hit by a car. In a nut shell Clerks 2’s Randal summarizes my feelings on the entire LotR trilogy when he said: “There’s only one Return and that’s …of the Jedi.”

Top Ten…Superhero Casting Decisions!

Top Ten…Superhero Casting Decisions!

*If there is one thing I love more than talking about movies, its making lists ABOUT movies…or anything in general. No greater good in this world (bar my g/f) gives me more pleasure than an awesome top ten list.

With The Avengers coming out this week, there was a lot of talk about it being the greatest superhero film of all time…that’s a list for another time, but the film does hold one of the most impressive casts that ever has been put together for a Comic Book Film. Names like Sam Jackson, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johannson, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Hemsworth…so in this top ten list we look at ten of the greatly casted superhero characters of all time…well at least for now.

10) Michael Chiklis as The Thing

With a film as flawed as the Fantastic Four films, they manage to get one thing right and that was casting the great Michael Chiklis as “The Ever-Lovin’ Blue-Eyed Thing” In the comic books, Ben Grimm aka The Thing is a man from Brooklyn and that’s all you need to know, because even after his transformation into a rock like creature, he keeps his Brooklyn accent and attitude. That is exactly what Chiklis brought to the role, with a character that could have been done in CGI like The Hulk, Chiklis sat through the makeup process to be put in a prosthetic Thing like costume with gravely skin and big teeth and even with that and some spotty script writing, Chiklis shines through as Aunt Petunia’s favorite nephew.

09) Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus

There are only three villains represented on my list, and Doctor Octopus is the first to show up and rightfully show as the talented Alfred Molina plays him. In the comics Doc Ock was always seen as the second biggest foe in Spider-Man’s rogue gallery, but in the films is where Ock took center stage. Spider-Man 2 is considered one of the greatest superhero films of all time, thus meaning at this moment the greatest Spider-Man film and that has a lot to do with Molina’s both monstrous and heart breaking role as the tortured Doctor Octopus. Alfred Molina as the great Doctor provided so many classic moments in the one film, the fight on the train with Spider-Man, the awaken of his metal arms, the mid air fight, and the bank robbery. While I’m not a fan of seeing villains killed off, Doc Ock went out on his own terms something you don’t see very often and that has a lot to do with the motivation and acting ability of Alfred Molina behind the role, making Doc Ock both murderous man and a sympathetic character at the same time.

08) Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach

Watchmen the graphic novel is a piece of literature, yes comic books can be determined as literature. Watchmen the film is a pretty good movie, that like most comic book films has been overrated by it’s fan base. But something that the two have in common is the portrayal of the hardnosed; make no bones about it style “hero” known as Rorschach. He is famous for his mask that has an every changing and moving portrait of rorschach images going across it, but what made him stand out in the film amongst his other Watchmen is the actor Jackie Earle Haley. Former child star, Haley came back into prominence for his role as child molester in Little Children, which in some sick way perfectly was the stepping-stone to play the demented and righteous Rorschach. He took the character over, even though for 90% of his screen time you never see his face, but you forever feel his emotion and anger behind every spoken word. He is the driving force of the film and a wisely chosen central character perfectly played by a gifted actor.

07) Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury

Some might think casting Sam Jackson as the famously white Nick Fury was just a stroke of genius by the casting agents…they are half right. It was a stroke of genius, but the casting agents weren’t the one to do it, Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch, creators of Marvel’s Ultimates (aka The Avengers in another Universe) did when they asked Jackson for permission to draw THEIR Nick Fury as a bald, black, “motherfuckin’” spewing S.H.I.E.L.D director…well maybe not “motherfuckin’ spewin’, but the rest is right. So when it came around to casting Fury for live action…they could of called David Hasselhoff up again, but they instead went for the baddest man on the planet, Mr. Mace Windu himself, Sam Jackson. And it worked time and time again. From the moment he shows up in Tony Stark’s house in Iron Man to him greeting Captain America in today’s world, Fury is an important piece of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and a lot of that stands on the shoulders of Sam Jackson.

06) Heath Ledger/Jack Nicholson as The Joker

Heading into The Dark Knight before Ledger died, it was all about “Can Heath top what Jack did in Batman ‘89” After Heath decided to go and overdose, all the talk was about “Oh my god, can you believe his last and full performance as The Joker is so breathtakingly amazing.” Both had their own mark on the character. Jack was more in line of the late 70’s/early 80’s style Joker, while Heath embodied what Allen Moore created in The Killing Joker graphic novel. Neither performance is alike, and neither is worse than the other. Both stand on the mantle of amazing comic book casting decisions.

05) Ron Pearlman as Hellboy

When you think of Ron Pearlman, you think of a man’s man, a drinker, cigar chomping badass, gravely voice, tall, frightening, yet charming all at the same time. So when you think of Hellboy, just take all those qualities and add red skin, tail, and giant fist and boom you have great casting. Pearlman IS Hellboy. Even if you know nothing about the characters comic history beyond his look, you can tell from the first 15 minutes of seeing Pearlman in that Hellboy makeup and outfit that he fits, you might not know why, but you just have this tingling feeling down in you no-no parts that tell you that nobody else but Ron Pearlman could pull this character off.  If you never seen either Hellboy film’s before, take your time go order it on Netflix, or see if its on VOD, or just illegally watch it online, either way take in some devilsh good time with the only superhero that could look like the devil, but still love kittens.

04) Michael Fassbender as Magneto           

You are not suppose to dethrone Sir. Ian McKellen in a role that he seemingly made famous for all viewing eyes…but relative and not such more now, new comer, Michael Fassbender did. While McKellen had three films to perfect the villainous ways of his Magento, Fassbender just needed one, X-Men: First Class. Every time I try to describe what Fassbender did in that film, I always come around to saying…it is what X-Men character would be like if written by Quentin Tarantino for a PG-13 film. Fassbender perfectly portrays the hurt and anger all at once as Magneto, with so many stand out scenes you lose count of.

03) Hugh Jackman as Wolverine

Who is Hugh Jackman? That question was all over the comic chat rooms back in 1999, when his casting of famed and overly popular mutant, Wolverine, was announced. Nobody knew who this tall …(tall? Wolverine is suppose to be short, he’s going to suck.)…Australian…(Aussie? Fucken’ hell he’s Canadian, not some silly down under kangroo rauncher.)…singer (What? He dances and sings in musicals? Wolverine is not a FAGGOT!!)…was until X-Men came around in 2000 and shut all the fanboys the fuck up. Not one more word was mentioned about any of that stuff after Jackman wowed and countinuely amazed audiences with his bezerker rage and his physical apperance as a muscled up Canadian mutant who can kick your ass even without the claws in his hands.

02) JK Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson

Surprised to see Simmons ranked so high and above the likes of Jackman, Ledger, Jackson, and Haley? … well don’t be, cause Simmons in my minds eyes the most perfectly casted actor to a role in a superhero film there is. Yes, you read that correctly. While Ledger got an Oscar, while Jackman has his own franchise and while Jackson has acted as the character for four films…its Simmons who completely embodies the character into his performance. Anyone who knows Spidey knows J. Jonah Jameson …the sometimes evil owner of the Daily Bugle. The man the hate Spider-Man, but pays Peter Parker to take pictures for his business ….of Spider-Man. JK Simmons has played both JJJ on the big screen in Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy and on the small screen in the latest Spidey cartoon, Ultimate Spider-Man. He was so significantly perfect for the role, they didn’t even both casting for a new JJJ in the new Amazing Spider-Man film out this summer. Its that much of a burden people. JK Simmons hands down in the best man for the job…and that job was to bring to justice that menace known as Spider-Man!!!!

01) Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man
I don’t think you can underestimate how important this casting is to an entire brand, let alone a franchise. Without RDJ as Tony, we don’t get the charismatic Tony Stark that pops on the screen in the first Iron Man. Without that Iron Man film not blowing away expectations and doing BIG business, we don’t get a sequel and the Marvel brand name doesn’t go along with the likes of Thor and Cap. Without Iron Man being the success it was, we don’t get The Avengers…or at least don’t get the Avengers that WE got and god damn that was a pretty amazing Avengers movie we got. Robert Downey Jr. in some ways was the homerun swing by Marvel and Jon Favreau that helped transcend superhero films into the next decade as an even bigger medium then it was before.

Honorable Mentions: Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker, Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne, Christopher Reeve as Superman, Chris Evans as Human Torch AND Captain America, Tom HIddleston as Loki.

Top Ten…Movie Trilogies!

Top Ten…Movie Trilogies!

*If there is one thing I love more than talking about movies, its making lists ABOUT movies…or anything in general. No greater good in this world (bar my g/f) gives me more pleasure than an awesome top ten list.

 

I’ll get it out in the opening here…Lord of the Rings is not on this list. It’s not because it’s not a good movie or well acted or great looking, its because I haven’t seen any of the films past the first one, which I fell asleep during…TWICE. So no dice on the hobbits. The only other rule is that no film series can have a sequel to it and still be a trilogy on this list, so that means no Indiana Jones or Scream.

10) Chris Nolan’s Batman Trilogy                                                                 (Batman Begins –Rating: 85% The Dark Knight –Rating: 94% The Dark Knight Rises –Rating: ???)

Alright…so I am starting my trilogy top ten list with a trilogy that hasn’t even been completed yet. Alright, but it’s my list, so go fuck yourself. It’s Batman, I dare you to go and tell Batman his films don’t belong on top trilogy list and see if he doesn’t hold you off a building and make you pray to him. The only reason it’s number 10 is because only two films have come out, but they both are amazing films and it’s REALLY hard to imagine that Nolan will fuck it up with a horrible third outing, especially with the key players they have in place with Bane, Catwoman and Ra’s Al Ghul returning. Two amazing films that are both completely different from each other, the amazement and wonder to what The Dark Knight Rises will bring is eating me alive.

09) X-Men Trilogy                                                                                                 (Average RT Rating: 75%)

The X-Men trilogy is the lowest ranking percentage-wise bunch of films on this list and a lot of that has to do with the beating that X3 took by critics and most fans. I’m on the other side of the fence when it comes to X3, found it to be a fun action flick that takes major liberties with characters, but that doesn’t bore you. X1 is a standard jumping off film that really spends all of it delving into the origins of these mutants and their roles in life. X2 is the finest of the bunch, one of the all time great opening film moments with Nightcrawler in the White House and one of the best endings of the Phoenix rising.

08) The Evil Dead Trilogy                                                                                   (Average RT Rating: 89%)

While there are talks of remaking the first Evil Dead, there will never be another experience like seeing that original, gritty, and raw film for the first time. Our hero Ash and camp of clueless kids open up a book in a cabin…and all hell breaks loose. It’s not so much about its story, because Raimi does a better job of re-doing the film in his sequel, but it’s about the love of slapstick comedy and horror that Evil Dead gets right. Ash is one of those great protagonists that has the attitude of an antagonist. He’s badass, he has one normal hand and one chainsaw hand, he carries a boomstick and when he finds a situation to be exciting, it is in the best sense of a word…”Groovy.” That is why these films are groovy, because you can sit back with popcorn and an open mind and watch a filmmaker have fun.

07) Spider-Man Trilogy                                                                                   (Average RT Rating: 81%)

Is it pure coincidence that Sam Raimi holds back-to-back spots on this list? Probably not…but could these two trilogies of his be any further a part…or maybe they are closer than you think.  Ok, so I might be more unbiased when it comes to Spider-Man just because of my personal feelings toward the character and the films, but I have always thought that the first film, along with X-Men, helped set the comic book boom of the 00’s. Spider-Man 2 in my mind is still one, if not the greatest comic book film and that the third film, while not on the level of excellence of the first two, still is more of a “Spider-Man Film” than just a “Spider-Man Film” The moment with Spidey and Green Goblin fighting from the Brooklyn Bridge to the warehouse in the first film, Doc. Ock vs. Spidey on the train from the second and well the birth of Sandman in the third are all really fantastic and stand out moments for me. Tobey Macguire brought something equally important to both the roles of Peter Parker and Spider-Man; hopefully we get more of the same from Andrew Garfield and his portrayal.

06) The Dollars Trilogy                                                                                  (Average RT Rating: 96%)

This would probably be higher on most people’s lists, but for me the ones that out rank these films are for a more personal reason. But out of respect to Clint Eastwood’s amazing portrayal of “The Man With No Name” and the superb direction Sergio Leone, I have to give The Dollars Trilogy its due at number six. If you don’t like westerns, you wont like these movies, but if you have any inkling of a love for the Italian west than you are in store for a treat. This film is a big inspiration for the great directors of today like Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. To watch these films is not so much to enjoy a western movie, but to partake in film history and experience the knowledge of excellent film making on its highest level.

05) The Jason Bourne Trilogy                                                                                     (Average RT Rating: 86%)

Won’t make any friends when I say this, but fuck it, Jason Bourne movies are better than James Bond films. There, I said it. In three progressively great films, Jason Bourne played by Matt Damon gives something to the spy genre that its been dying of for ages…a shot of adrenaline, hand-to-hand combat, and car chases that don’t need rockets or parachutes to make them exciting. In Identity, we are introduced to Bourne, in Supremacy we up the ante with a pissed off Bourne looking for answers, and in the supremely Ultimatum, we find Jason Bourne getting those answers and making people pay for turning him into a killing machine. Three movies rejuvenated a dead genre in such a way that even good ol’ 007 had to take the formula and run with their new films.

04) Back to the Future Trilogy                                                                                (Average RT Rating: 77%)

For the life of me I can’t understand how this trilogy has a low rating as a whole. I know the critics and some fans have problems with BTTF III, but out of the three movies, the second trip Back to the Future was the lowest rank, while I find it to be the second best of the film. It’s really hard for me to go and pick from the first two films, because the first film is so utterly classic with lines, moments, characters, and set-up, while the sequel comes and takes all that and adds to it and turns it on its head at the same time. The third film is just great if you like westerns and love foreshadowing, as everything you get in BTTF III you been told about in BTTF II. Marty McFly might be one of the best underachieving characters in film history, and even though he isn’t a mad scientist to the exact definition of the word, how do you not like Doc Brown?

03) The Original Star Wars Trilogy                                                                           (Average RT Rating: 90%)

Now in my introduction tot his list, I said no series that had four or more films to its name would be included…so I’m kinda bending my own rules here, so let’s say I don’t count prequels, because god knows nobody does when it comes to The Original Trilogy. Obi Wan, Yoda, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Luke, Chewi, Darth Vader, C3-P0 and R2-D2. These are all characters that have become so part of Americana and film history, and it were these three films that introduced them to the world. The first Star Wars was an Oscar Nominated Best Picture and probably right up there with 2001: A Space Odyssey as one of the pioneer and most influential sci-fi/space pictures of all time. And how do you follow that up? … with only one of the greatest sequels in cinema history, The Empire Strikes Back.  Maybe Return of the Jedi introduced us to Ewoks, but they are welcomed addition as long as nothing named Jar-Jar Binks is even mentioned in this trilogy. While Lucas has been altering and editing his original trilogy for the past decade or so to mixed reviews, it still holds up as one of the most important movie trilogies to one specific genre.

02) The Godfather Trilogy                                                                                (Average RT Rating: 88%)

Now as important as the Star Wars trilogy is important to a genre, The Godfather trilogy and films are cinema royalty. You want to know how important the first two Godfather films are? Ask anyone to rank the top 10 greatest films of all time, without a doubt The Godfather Pt. I and II rank in that top five…maybe even top three. They are that important to film. Not only did Godfather pt. I win Best Picture…Godfather Pt. II became the ONLY film sequel to win Best Picture along with its original. Now while a lot of accolade and acclaim goes to the first two films, many people love to over look the subtle greatness and pure agony of Pacino’s Corleone in the third film. We see a stripped down Michael with no more family to call his own, left with his own sins and just left to die a meaningless and lonely death. You can easily overlook Sofia Coppolla’s horrible acting for the poignant acting by Pacino and Diane Keaton.

01) Toy Story Trilogy                                                                                       (Average RT Rating: 99%)

How did a CGI animated film of a bunch of toys coming to life when nobody is around beat out Star WarsGodfatherBack to the Future and the rest of this list? Well, heart. It is because of the people that work at Pixar that Toy Story films are some of the most entertaining and heart-warming films there are. They are simple in concept — who as a child never thought that their toys came to life when they weren’t around? But the stories that are told — abandonment, feeling left out, feeling replaceable, and the overwhelming sense of your death — are all formulas of this trilogy. When the first Toy Story came out in 1995 I was hooked. A few years later I was more than ecstatic to see not only a sequel…but a rare Disney sequel that wasn’t horrible, but quite the opposite, extraordinary. Then I had to wait more than a decade for the third film, which by the end had me in tears. These films aren’t for kids, they are for all audiences of all ages, because Toy Story is more than just an animated film…and the trilogy is a collection of cinema art at its highest level.

Top Ten… All Time Worst Academy Award Mistakes

*If there is one thing I love more than talking about movies, its making lists ABOUT movies…or anything in general. No greater good in this world (bar my g/f) gives me more pleasure than an awesome top ten list.*

 

We just escaped yet another Academy Award ceremony. If there is one more remembered by who wins an Oscar…its who didn’t. Nobody but film geeks like myself love to bitch and moan about who didn’t win this, or who didn’t get nominated for that, or why the Academy are a bunch of old people who don’t understand the current generation! Well this is a top ten dedicated to the biggest (IMO) Academy Award Mistakes!

10) The Dark Knight is snubbed

Ok, off the bat The Dark Knight has become massively overrated by the nerd population of today. It’s not a perfect film, its not in the discussion as the greatest … or ONE of the greatest films of all time. Its just not the perfect film in terms of editing or pace…but one thing it did have for it is that it was much better than Frost/Nixon. Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan came together with a once in a lifetime performance by Heath Ledger as The Joker. There is no reason why this film shouldn’t been nominated, it had the reviews, box office and critical appeal on it’s side. It made such a stir it brings us to our next mistake…

09) Making the Best Picture Category up to 10 Nominations!

It’s the Batman effect. The moment the Academy saw the backlash from TDK being snubbed, they made the ridiculous rule of expanding their Best Picture nominations from 5 to 10. While that sounds great for some films to get recognition that wouldn’t before (Wall-E, Toy Story 3, District 9, Midnight in Paris)…but at the same time it gives recognition to films that SHOULD NEVER be in a “Best Picture” category (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Precious, The Blind Side) So many nominations delude the value of the category when you see amazing films next to mediocre ones. Learn your lesson Academy, stop this shit immediately.

08) Shrek over Monsters Inc. (Best Animated Film)

 In 2001 the Academy finally realized that this little thing called “animation” should get some creditability on their stuff award show. After years where the silver and golden era of Disney films were basically pushed aside for live action films and the only recognition animated films ever saw was in the “Best Original Song” category…we come to the millennium and see the Academy mess up the first time out. While Shrek has the money on its side and Hollywood names behind it in Myers, Murphy, and Diaz…. it is simply not a better film in tone, writing, humor, or heart than Pixar’s Monster’s Inc. If you give an award to best use of pop culture references, then yeah, Shrek is your winner.

07) Hoop Dreams snubbed.

Here is the simple back-story behind why this amazing documentary never got nominated for “Best Documentary.” The old white men who were suppose to see the film decided they would…but don’t, even though your SUPPOSE to see every film up for consideration. They didn’t think a documentary about young black males seeking to get out of the ghetto was worth their time. After the backlash, it became mandatory to actually VIEW the films that become considered.

06) Roberto Benigni over Tom Hanks (Best Actor)

Roberto Benigni captivated the Oscars with his victory. He ran up and down the aisle, jumping over seats…it was a great TV moment, but was it the right choice? Nope…not even close, when Tom Hanks was a nominee from his role in Saving Private Ryan. While its been many years since I have seen Life is Beautiful for which Benigini won for, I vividly remember Saving Private Ryan and Hanks’ performance in that film as a tragically broken man/solider who wants nothing more than to end his mission and make it home. Hanks was at the top of his game in this performance for one of the best war movies ever made…which might make a second apperance on this list.

05) Ordinary People over Raging Bull (Best Picture)

Trust me this wont be the last time Marty Scorsese shows up on this list. I’m going to make this short and sweet, Raging Bull is seen as THE film of the 1980’s. A decade that was right up there with the 70’s of producing classic cinema. So how does it lose to a Rob Redford film about family issues? Thankfully De Niro walked away with a trophy that night, but Bull falls along the likes of Citizen Kane, Casablanca and countless other “Greatest Films of All Time” picks to never win a golden statue.

04) Nominating Babe over Se7en and Toy Story

Between the amazing years of 1994 (Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump) and 1996 (Jerry Maguire, Fargo), they year of cinema of 1995 was sandwiched in there and was kind of a forgettable year. There were some big movies and big draws…but when you have one of your five slots in Best Picture going to a film about a talking pig…come on! Both David Fincher’s standout classic Se7en and the groundbreaking Pixar masterpiece, Toy Story for came out in 1995 and couldn’t be polar opposites in film style, story, or tone…but both share the common consideration of being snubbed by the Academy for a pig…named Babe…who would later be lost in a city. Name me another Academy Award nominated film that’s sequel would bare that subtitle? Godfather IV: Don in the City?

03) Best Actor Domino Effect. (Spacey over Denzel. Denzel over Crowe)

Like the title says, this is a domino effect. Most of the time the Academy understands their fuck ups. Like how they never rewarded Al Pacino for his greatness in the 70’s for countless roles and gave him a trophy for A Scent of a Woman. But at least that was separated by two decades, what the Academy did between ’00 – ’01 was just bind boggling. In 2000, Kevin Spacey won Best Actor for his role in American Beauty…a great role of course, but nobody that year was better than Denzel Washington in his critically herald performance in The Hurricane. But like the Academy…Denzel lost and Spacey won…but it doesn’t stop there. It was so obvious that Denzel should of won, they give him a pity Oscar for his good-but-not-great performance in Training Day, over the rightfully great Russel Crowe who should of won for A Beautiful Mind. You see Academy…if you just get it right the first time, we wouldn’t need to palm facing ourselves when you try to make up for your idiotic mistakes.

02) Shakespeare In love over Saving Private Ryan (Best Picture)

Where do you even fuckin’ start? Holy shit…the one time it would have been OK for the Academy to go for the obvious choice in a Steven Spielberg film and then they decided to get hip on us and go with the currently hip and happening (90’s lingo for you cool cats) Generation-X style Shakespeare rom-com. Shakespeare In Love at best is a marginally cute romantic comedy that plays well with a good script and nice cast of (at the time) young and coming actors in Hollywood. That’s good and all, but Saving Private Ryan is most likely at that time and today considered not one of…but THE greatest World War II or simply “War” genre film of all time. Haven’t seen a war film do what Ryan has done or even come closer to accomplishing what it did visually, acting, direction, writing, or dramatic feeling of realness from out of the gate to the final frame. Bad on you Academy, now go sit in the corner and stare at the wall.

01) Martin Scorsese not winning Best Director for Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Hugo, and pretty much all of his nominations.

Before The Departed and, Marty Scorsese and the Oscars has a very mob marriage like relationship. The Oscars were the gangster and Marty was the mob wife, where even though time and time again the Oscars would abuse, ignore and disrespect Marty…he just kept coming back with great film after great film. His win for The Departed while deserved, felt more of a “Here you go…” by the Academy to get all the flak off their back. Even as recent as…oh a few days ago at the 84th Award ceremony, Marty was once again ousted from a second statue for his 3D masterpiece, Hugo. The trend probably wont change, but who needs five Best Director awards when you already know you are the best in the business with just one.