Words by YoungHipHopNerd
Books have endured immeasurable trials & tribulations over the years from burnings to loss of credibility. However, in the modern age, comic books – or graphic novels – have received critically acclaimed recognition for their amazing art forms. Although, there have been some dope literature & ground breaking artwork since it’s beginnings, the film industry hadn’t taken comics seriously until after the year 2000.
The mainstream usually depicted comics as “campy” and “silly.” This made it hard to make movies based on comic books Oscar worthy. In this field, billions of dollars in gross revenue are accumulated in the box office each year. Hollywood had completely dropped the ball on how far the potential & the depth comics could actually ascend to at that time. Even today, the film industry has their hits & misses. Then again, on the other hand, fans of the material ranging from comic book collectors to film directors saw that the medium was just in a pre-patented state, waiting to be utilized correctly. After over a decade of boss movies, I had to make a top 5 list.
Cool back with some pretzel bites in the batcave because here are my “5 Comic Book Flicks That Changed The Film Industry” (in no particular orde)r!
X-Men was the first movie to fearlessly take comics to another spectrum in the film industry.This is it folks, the first of many classic comic book movies to span across the decade. Of course, there were classics such as “Superman“ (1978) & “Batman” (1989), but none gave the medium the same essence of realism.
Prior to 2000, any successful movies based on the comic genre were always promoted as original material, not comic book movies. Popular movies such as “The Mask” & “The Shadow” are of the comic book genre but didn’t get recognized as one because of fear of sales. Also, the creators felt it would not be taken seriously as well.
Brian Singer, the critically acclaimed director of “The Usual Suspects” was ready for the task at hand. A native New Yorker, Brian Singer felt it was time for comics to step their game up a couple notches. For his 2000 project “X-Men”, Brian wrote and directed this blockbuster film, putting comics in the forefront in mainstream media.
In 2003, Brian singer rose to the occasion of directing, producing and writing the sequel “X2: X-Men United.” More recently, Singer produced & wrote A prequel based on his previous franchise the “X-Men”. It seems like Singer has a good catalog when it comes to geek movies so whats the excuse for all the other 20th Century Fox movies being trash?
Whats sup, webheads? Thats right! Spidermans next on our little countdown and with good reason. After a mega blockbuster hit like “X-Men,” comic book movies (especially Marvel Films) needed a following hit.
This led to the inevitable film adaption of your friendly neighborhood Spiderman! With a darker tone & A-list actors, comic book movies were beginning to achieve the respect they always deserved. It was also the first time A comic book movie made me believe in the world they created because it was set in a more realistic environment. This gave the notion that comics didn’t always have to be buffoonery & underwear on the outside of their pants, pause! LOL!
Seriously, when Spidey was webslinging down around Brooklyn, tell me you weren’t blown away! With more lucrative budgets, the limits of what comic book movies could become seemed as infinite as the imagination.
Sin City is one of my all time favorites for stunning visuals and gripping storytelling. Based off one of the illest comic book legends, Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez directed A surreal neo-noir gem.
Even movie critic Chauncey Mabe of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel wrote, “Really, there will be no reason for anyone to make a comic-book film ever again. Miller and Rodriguez have pushed the form as far as it can possibly go.” Although, I still believe there can always be growth for better material, Sin City absolutely did raise the bar.
If that is not enough, rumor has it that a sequel is in the works with Robert Rodriguez (the original director) and Frank Miller penning the script. Any Frank Miller fan would be going ham the day this comes out & best believe i’m seeing the illuminati showing.
Only two more to go and I had to choose my favorite Zach Snyder movie. Director of “300“, Snyder used the same method & technology to make this controversial superhero movie. By sticking almost completely to not just the story but the stills shots in the graphic novel made a true chronicle out of this trippy flick.
Met wit mixed reviews, Watchmen still changed the game by showing the underbelly of crime fighting. Superheros raping team members and showing political social views was a great leap for films based on comics. Never before or since has the mainstream ever witnessed such a dark, in-depth and unique take on morals of right or wrong.
Ever since 1986, different various writers & directors have been attached to the project which seemed like it was doomed to fail. Suddenly, in 2005 the comic gods smiled down on us & signed Zack Snyder to the project. After a huge elongated battle over the rights of “Watchmen,” Syder filmed one of the most intriguing, accurately portrayed motion pictures I have ever had the pleasure of viewing.
You know those movies that you wished you could get the hours of your life back, this is not one of them! If you haven’t seen this flick, DROP EVERYTHING and watch this addicting & thought provoking film.
If your a comic book wizard like me, you probably have this movie on your top 3 superhero movies of all time. The Dark Knight, to me, is the “holy grail” of all comic book movies.
After Batman Begins, Nolan’s budding franchise had allot to live up to with Heath Ledger playing as the Joker. Previously, Jack Nicholson represented his rendition of the classic arch villain in the 1989 version of batman superbly getting the Oscar nod. However, in 2008 Ledger outperformed Nicholson and made history by being the first comic book movie to achieve that status. I have to admit before The Dark Knight, Ledger was known for teen throb type of movies, but when I saw the trailer I knew he was born for that role.
The director, Christopher Nolan, is a revolutionary film genius. Nolan has done what no one of the genre has done before; give an Oscar worthy performance with a beautiful script.
It still holds the record of #3 in the Box Office Top Grossing Movies Of All Time list. Need I say more? With the third and final movie dropping on July 20th, 2012, its bound to break more records.
In Case You Thought I Forgot About…
You know I couldn’t leave out my movie Kick Ass! LOL! This movie was very controversial at the time because how violent the movie was with the young actors. Specifically, Chloë Grace Moretz, aka Hitgirl, got most of the backlash for that but still managed to pull a A list performance.
Adult themes and Blankmanesque action helped give this film the charm it needed to be a comic book classic. It was also a movie that Nicholas Cage was good in because he has been slacking for a minute! Despite all its epic glory it didn’t make the list because it didn’t have as much of an impact. It was also a movie that Nicholas Cage was good in because he has been slacking for a minute!
These four titans have all contributed to some of the best usage of CGI to date, & all had well written stories. Admittingly, this still puts them behind the aforementioned impressive list of film mythologies. I will say this, with the build up of all the Marvel movies for “The Avengers,” it & “The Dark Knight Rises” are going be bumping heads in the theaters.
Avengers Assemble! •
Words by YoungHipHopNerd
Questions, comments? YoungHipHopNerd@gmail.com