KINKER KORNER’S TOP 35 LIVE ACTION COMIC BOOK MOVIES #20-11

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Baaaaack where weeeeee belong. It’s Kinker Korner in full effect, bringing part two of the best comic book movies list. If you haven’t checked out part one then go see what you think…..there’s also a worst comic book movie list for you negative Nancy’s out there. Without further blethers…..here we go.

 

20. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret Of The Ooze- 1991

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Rushed out only a year after the original movie, Vanilla Ice performance and dance scene, more toned down violence with more kid friendly content, less impressive puppetry…..and Cathy Dennis according to the poster. So going by all that it should be garbage eh? Well….no I love this movie clearly and although I would prefer a darker tone like the original I still appreciate this for what it is. It’s a perfect kids movie and that’s needed in the world. Judith Hoag being replaced as April O’ Neil by Paige Turco is a big downer for me though as ….let’s just say Turco hadn’t quite found her acting style yet and I know her from nothing else so I’ll assume she found it later…..because I’m nice. Tokka and Rahzar being created as villains instead of having Bebop and Rocksteady infuriated many but they were fun characters in their own way. Also…….Kevin Nash as super Shredder. Oh ad of course Vanilla Ice is in it at the height of his fame…..I was 7 and pure loved old Robbie.

 

19. Sin City: 2005

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Whatever your thoughts on the content in Sin City it’s surely undoubtedly one of the most stylish movies ever made. Painstakingly shot to frame for frame accurate to it’s comic book counterpart. Frank Miller who created the neo-noir pulp comics the movie is based on overlooked the filming as he has had poor experiences with his material being used for films (Robocop 3) but Robert Rodriguez was the main director. Just as well if Miller’s own directorial disaster The Spirit is anything to go by. There was nothing that looked like this out there when this came out and it was mesmerizing as the cartoonish violence and hilariously stiff dialogue made for compelling and enjoyable viewing. A heavy dose of dark humour, hyper violence and stunning use of colour helped Sin City become about as close to source material perfection as has ever been managed.  Oh and that Jessica Alba strip scene left the cinema nice and quiet.

 

18. Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut- 2009

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The one shining light that made it seem as if Zack Snyder was going to be great…..oh well we’ll always have Watchmen. Beautifully shot and mostly close to the source material but many complained that certain parts were missing and changed ending irked people a lot. Not me as look, if everything from the comic had been included it would have been a ten hour movie and the ending being changed was not my favourtie thing but it also came as a shock as I knew almost every scene I was watching off by heart. It was the only real surprise in the movie for fans of the comic. Alan Moore’s greatest work, in my opinion is Watchmen and there had long been talk of a movie happening against Moore’s wishes because let’s be honest he hates everything ever made by anyone ever. Snyder’s film is flawed but strangely beautiful, trippy and surprisingly subversive for a major motion picture. One of the best movie intro sequences of all time too.

 

17. (tied): Captain America: The Winter Soldier- 2014

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A surprisingly intelligent and politically charge sequel that took a solid first movie and built upon it with emotion and action in abundance. Cap’s former ward Bucky, thought to be dead, has been secretly experiment on and brainwashed since his capture during ww2. It’s the classic “I won’t fight you!!” storyline but with many more nuanced subplots and intricacies going on. Big shoutout to the stunt men on this flick as it bravely eschews an overload of cgi for Hong Kong style action and it’s breathtaking at times.

 

17. (tied) Deadpool-2016

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A film years and years in the making finally came out this year and boy it was worth the wait. I’ve grown slightly tired of Deadpool in the comics as he’s gone from an interesting character with funny quirks to a pure slapstick joke machine that just doesn’t work well on the page. After the baffling use of the character in Wolverine: Origins fans were furious and campaigning for a movie that utilizes him to his to his full potential. Ryan Reynolds was always a great choice to play him as he has the charisma and likeability to pull it off and the character suits him well. Director Tim Miller made the wait worth it as the film is a lot of fun with hilarious violence, good use of fourth wall breaking and most surprisingly of all, the beautiful relationship he shares with Morena Baccarin’s Vanessa. Reynolds and Baccarin’s chemistry is excellent and the writing is so warm and funny that you actually care about the characters. Like most Marvel movies these days the only bad point is the lame villain but Deadpool himself makes up for it by carrying the movie. The use of Colossus as the straight laced hero trying to keep Deadpool on the right path is inspired. Impossible to watch the movie without a smile beaming across your face.

 

 

16. Weird Science: 1985

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Certainly one of the more odd and outlandish entries in John Hughes’ catalogue but Weird Science is the result of a director stepping out of his comfort zone and getting it spot on. Other than the film involving teens this is a mile away from the likes of Pretty In Pink and Sixteen Candles but Hughes always manages to tap into the insecurities and quirks of teenage life. Two introverted geeks are sick of being bullied and so in true Frankenstein style decide to design their own perfect woman in digital form. By hooking up the computer to a doll they somehow bring their creation to life in the form of Kelly Lebrock’s Lisa. One of those movies I would catch on late night tv every so often when I was young and always had a fun time watching.

 

 

15 (tied). Batman Returns: 1992

 

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Now THIS right here….THIS was my Batman film growing up. My brother got it on vhs and I must have worn that poor bastard out (the vhs not my brother) with constant replays. It drove my babysitters mad as all I would want to  do is put it on all the time. I’ve always enjoyed it more than the original 1989 film which (sacrilege time) which is not making the list because I’m just not fond of it anymore. If you’re playing Tim Burton bingo then you’re going to be busy. Snow? check always night time? check, gothic architecture? check. I’m not always a fan of Burton but everything falls into place nicely herewith perfect casting of Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman…..oh my how that was perfect…..sigh….ahem anyway I also liked Danny Devito as The Penguin and that’s the casting that’s usually criticised the most. It feels like a blend of the animated series, the first movie and the 66 series and it’s batshit crazy but all the better for it.

 

15. (tied). Batman Begins-2005

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This film means a lot to me as it’s my dad’s favourtie comic book movie. He was absolutely shocked and blown away by the mature and respectful treatment Christopher Nolan gave the source material. It really was a fantastic feeling as a comic book fan to see this movie and how seriously big studios were taking it and it’s pretty much the movie that sparked the whole revolution of the new generation of comic book movies. Cillian Murphy’s Scarecrow was great and I would have liked to see more of him but the main focus was on Ra’s al Ghul played by Liam Neeson which was great too. A lot of people see this as just a set up for the superior sequel but that does this movie a great disservice and I’m not having it. It earns it’s place tied with the classic Batman Returns. It took cinematic Batman out from the doldrums and made him a legit pop cultural phenomenon again.

 

14. The Avengers-2012

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Alost the perfect vehicle for a fanboy director like Joss Whedon as it brings most of Marvel’s biggest hitters together to share the big screen in a big, epic popcorn flick. It would be hard to miss with all the pieces in place but props still go out to everyone involved for one hell of a fun movie that’s not dark enough to put kids off but has enough action and in jokes to keep cynical adults entertained too. It ended up being the great ensemble  piece that everyone hoped it’d be and although there was the odd misstep ( Hawkeye heel turn etc) but all in all the breathtaking action scenes and comic book style action is fantastical and I would have been obsessed with it as a kid.

 

13..Guardians Of The Galaxy-2014

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I sure do love a poster homage. Ok so anyone who says they didn’t raise an eyebrow when Marvel revealed their plans to release this one is a liar…..I don’t think they’d sold a single copy of the series so it was a weird one. Then the casting started being revealed….Chris Pratt? oh cool he’s funny, Zoe Saldana? beautiful and talented actress, Karen Gillan? Scotland represent, and DAVE THE ANIMAL BATIIIIIIISTA. Then the trailers came….holy crap this looks really fun, the soundtrack is great. Then the movie came and it was an absolute blast. I’ve claimed it’s like this generations Star Wars in the sense it came out of nowhere and took kids on a space opera with crazy characters and quotable lines. Yes this generation also has new Star Wars but their parents and grandparents grew up on it already. James Gunn (a Troma graduate for god sake, good for him) has done a great job and it looks like his stock is wayyyyy up.

 

12. American Splendor-2003

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Based on the amusing autobiographical series by Harvey Pekar who passed away in 2010. Looking back at old appearances of Pekar’s on Letterman (infamous appearances to Americans I guess) it seems that there had been plans for a movie adaptation for many years before it came to fruition. Paul Giamatti plays the socially awkward and grumpy Pekar with warmth and biting social disdain in equal measure and for sure this isn’t for everyone but the film has some of the best quotes from a movie pitched towards social outcasts. Many have compared it to movies like Annie Hall and other self referential Woody Allen movies but no Allen movie has ever connected with me the way this one does…….and it doesn’t leave the sour taste that many Woody films do due to his propensity to  (at this point the writer was warned by Woody Allen’s legal team….in his head).

 

11.Punisher: War zone-2008

 

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The most underrated movie on the list and a case of not being able to please fans at all sometimes. Fans complained that the Punisher movies hadn’t been violent enough and then complained that this one was too violent, they complained that a woman was directing (I mean for fu….) they got all the ultra violence they asked for and still weren’t happy. Anyway I love this movie for it’s Verhoeven levels of silly violence and action and Lexi Alexander did a superb job of capturing the more base characteristics of Frank Castle and although there were some emotional moments in the movie it’s the over the top 80s nonsense that we’re here for. Dominic West’s hilariously exaggerated NOO YAWK accent is what helps the violence seem more cartoonish and makes it a good time rather than a difficult watch. Ray Stevenson as The Punisher didn’t get to flesh too much of the human side of the character out but did a great job as the actual Punisher. Love this film.

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That’s part two done and dusted then. Top ten next so keep tuned to see the cream of the crop (in my humble buymble of course) and as always thanks a lot for checking these out. I don’t get paid for any of this it’s just out of love for making these lists and the conversation that it generates so thanks a lot and keep the suggestions coming @swing_kinker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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