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BlokeBusting The Essentials #49: The Amazing Spider-Man

Your deep dive into the top 100 Superhero films of all time!

#49: The Amazing Spider-Man

Or

We’re Sorry For Emo Peter…

Well, we’re back once more to talk about a film from Bubbawheat’s list. This time we’re focusing on the reboot of Spider-Man featuring Mr Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans. There’s a few things that I will need to bring up here, so I think it’s best if we speed right along!

First Impressions

This film was one that I wasn’t excited about the first time I saw it. Despite the issues most people had with Spider-Man 3, I had no real problems with it other than agreeing that there were too many villains and that Venom was poorly used, so I could have left the Spider-Man films alone and been fine until Tom Holland arrived. However, this film was made and I did end up watching it. And I shall air my issue with how Spider-Man has been portrayed now, since otherwise it’ll simply be an Elephant in the blog.

The Elephant Is Dealt With

Tom Holland does a fantastic young Peter, and is a great Spider-Man, so I am taking the newest iteration off the table for these reviews. Spider-Man and Peter Parker are two sides of the same coin. Spider-Man is quick witted, very loose-lipped and also just fun to watch in a fight. Peter Parker is more of a nerdy guy, less confident in himself and more concerned with how his alter-ego is perceived than himself. The first 3 films has a fantastic portrayal of Peter. Tobey Macguire, in my opinion, was a brilliant Peter. He summed up what I understood Peter to be from what I’d read and watched before I saw the film. Andrew Garfield, however, is awesome as Spider-Man. He’s got the swagger, the quick quips and the physicality. But they both failed to accurately portray the other sides. If you could give me Macguire as Peter while Garfield played Spider-Man, I think you’d have the ultimate combo. That being said, back to the review.

Back To The Review!

See! So, I watched this film once when it came out. And my first rewatch happened about 2 days ago. This film left no real impression on me. I didn’t think that the actors did a bad job, I just thought that the choices they made were kinda dull. The villain could have been handled in a much more interesting way, rather than having him be the guy who just gets overtaken by the experiment that he created (sound familiar, Spider-Man 2 fans?). It might have been cool to see him intentionally turn himself into a part-lizard. That way, he has to choose between his job and his arm, leading him to overdose and turn permanently into The Lizard. The finale could have been a full fight with Peter desperate to get through to his father’s colleague but with his mind finally unable to fully comprehend his actions, Peter was forced to subdue him and then look for a cure. You’ve then got a villain that could be in the background for the next one. But hey, I don’t write the films. I just review them. I also admired the filmmakers going with Gwen as the love interest, following the comics more closely. However, I felt that she didn’t really add much other than to be possibly in danger or to give Peter someone to share his whole self with. And that’s not a bad thing, but in a film like this it’s mostly a trope. And one I’d like to see vanish. Ah well.

Another thing was that we had to follow several plot-lines in the film that kinda muddied the water. You’ve got Spidey starting out, you’ve got Lizard, you’ve got Peter and Gwen getting together, you’ve got Peter finding out about his father’s work. On top of that, you’ve got an (albeit marvelous) Uncle Ben storyline. That was my favourite part of the film. Which was a shame because it was in the first 40% or so of it and kinda sloped downhill from there. And then end of that story-line was a bit poor, especially since rather than directly not stopping the man who killed his uncle (as in the first trilogy), he just stands there. That’s it. Anyway, especially for the first film in a hopeful franchise, you really should stick to a couple of plots and tighten up the writing. OK, griping over!

Things I Did Like!

Before I hop on over to Bubbawheat, here’s a few things about the film that I really did enjoy. That way you don’t think I’m just a grumpy old man. I’m simply a grumpy young man right now…

I did enjoy Spider-Man. He felt more in tone with what I think of when I imagine him interacting with his foes and the general public.

I quite enjoyed Uncle Ben. I felt like he was closer to a realistic father figure than the super-sweet man from the original run.

I liked that Peter had to build his own webbing. I’m sure you can guess why by now.

Ok Mr Wheat, it’s your time to shine!

Bubbawheat here, I also watched this movie when it first came out, but I think I’ve seen it a couple times since and I go back and forth between how much I enjoy it. I remember when it first came out, I placed it just below Spider-Man 2. After watching it again just now it’s gone down quite a bit but I still enjoy the first half of this movie. That’s mostly because that’s where all the best characters and relationships are. Emma Stone and Martin Sheen are the two highlights of this film. It helps that Gwen Stacy is an intellectual equal to Peter and makes more sense that she is attracted to Peter, not only that but the chemistry between the two actors is fantastic. Sheen as Uncle Ben is also great, especially with his interactions between himself and Aunt May. He’s very much the more authoritarian of the two, but you can definitely see that it comes from a place of love. This time around, I actually like how they show Peter breaking the rules early on which is a contrast with how he views things after Ben dies. Things really fall apart in the latter half and Rhys Ifans’s ugly Lizard with poor motivations. There are still good moments here and there, but it’s a poor villain with middling action.

As for the importance to superhero cinema as a whole, this was more or less the first big controversial reboot as it came out a mere 5 years after the latest Sam Raimi Spider-Man 3. They brought in a director who was best known for a genre-stretching romantic comedy (500) Days of Summer and had an overly fitting last name. It was initially considered to be a reboot more true to its comics origins, but ultimately the only real changes that were made were having Gwen Stacy instead of Mary Jane and having his web-shooters be external rather than organic. It’s close proximity to the Sam Raimi films probably led to its less-than-stellar box office where it made less than all three previous films, but still made $757 million worldwide, enough to warrant a sequel and discussions of further expansions of the Amazing Spider-Man cinematic universe with plans for a Sinister Six movie being teased within this movie’s sequel. It was generally well received by critics despite not having the iconic Uncle Ben line “With great power comes great responsibility”.

Alrighty then. On to the sticky business of figuring out the answer to my main 2 questions:

  1. Would I recommend this film to others?
  2. Does it deserve a place on this list?

Well, here we go…

Wait! Before you answer those questions, I’ve thought of a third question to ask for each of these movies moving forward. 3. How would you rank the movies thus-far?

Oooh, that’s a good one! You know what, I’ll put that at the end of the questions. So, in order:

1) No. As it is probably clear from this review, I didn’t enjoy it much. What was there that I enjoyed didn’t save it for me and I wouldn’t tell somebody to watch it. However, I wouldn’t tell them not to watch it. This is one of those films that there’s no really strong opinions for one way or the other, which is a little sad given that the character itself is one of the most interesting characters you can make a film about! So yeah, watch this if you think you’ll enjoy it, but there’s no need to spend time tracking it down.

2) I’m not really sure. It’s an interesting one because I think it does serve as an example of a studio trying to reboot a franchise and not doing terribly at it. There have been some really bad reboots (looking at you Fantastic Four), so in that respect it’s worth a mention. At the very least I would not have this film this high on the list. Maybe mid 80’s would be closer to where I’d place it.

3) I’ll have to go with:

  1. The Amazing Spider-Man
  2. Supergirl
  3. The Wild Wild World Of Batwoman
  4. BVS: DOJ

Overall, this one still fared better than the other three, but I’ll be intrigued to see how it does over the next few reviews!

Well, that’s another review down! So make sure you watch for those Spidey-senses to start tingling. It probably means that you’re cold. What I’m trying to say is keep a jacket nearby, just in case!

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BlokeBusting The Essentials #50: Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

Your deep dive into the top 100 Superhero films of all time!

#50: Batman Vs Superman

Or

What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate…

We’re back! And I bet many of you are wondering how we went right from #100 to #50. Well, there’s a perfectly good explanation. This list’s only 3 films long! Ok, not really. Really we wanted to give you guys a taste of the whole list without you needing to wait until mid-year before hitting any of the films that you’re waiting to hear about. Essentially, moving forward, we will be going back and forth in the list. Our next (re)review will be #99, then #49, and so on. So don’t you worry, we’ve got this!

First Impressions

Right. This film was covered by myself and my podcasting partner on my podcast when it originally came out. At the time, we did not care for it. The plot holes were many, the acting felt “meh” (with a couple of glaring exceptions) and we left the cinema feeling very let down. For this list, we’re reviewing the Ultimate Edition (the 3 hour Director’s Cut), so I sat down to watch it once more. Did it change my mind? Well…

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BlokeBusting The Essentials #100: The Wild Wild World Of Batwoman

Your deep dive into the top 100 Superhero films of all time!

#100: The Wild Wild World Of Batwoman
or
Don’t Be A Menace To South Gotham While Taking Your Pills On The Beach

So, here we are. We’re starting our (re)reviews of every film on the 100 Essential Superhero Movies – Ranked (up to 2017) with number 100. And that is The Wild Wild World Of Batwoman, otherwise billed as She Was A Hippy Vampire. There are a few things wrong with all that, but we’ll get to them. Firstly, let’s cover my overall impression of the “film”:

This film is weird. Really weird. I’ve seen many strange films in my life, especially given that part of my Film Studies degree involved watching French Avant-Garde cinema, yet this is probably in my top 3. I knew nothing about the making of the film before watching it (or even that it existed before agreeing to review it), and even after reading up on it I am still no closer to understanding it. It seemed to be about Batwoman, though the character in question is both NOTHING like the Batwoman from the comics and surprisingly absent from large parts of the film. In fact, if I had to pick a leading lady from the film, it would be the “Batgirl” who gets kidnapped and put in a cage. She’s in a large number of scenes (though usually dancing around silently) AND she does more to influence the ending than Batwoman. And speaking of the plot….

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Introducing: BlokeBusting the Essentials with Paul

Bubbawheat here and I’m happy to introduce a new addition to Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights. A few weeks ago, I put out a call on Twitter for someone interested in joining the site to help give me some extra motivation to reinvigorate this site. And to my pleasant surprise, Paul answered the call. I knew him best from his podcast BlokeBusters, and my idea for him is to explore my list of 100 Essential Superhero Movies. It’s a list that I’m quite proud of, and I thought this would be a good excuse for me to revisit some of these movies as well and we will both reconsider whether or not these movies really do deserve to be included on this list.

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100 Essential Superhero Movies

After running this site for a few years where I have been trying to seek out, watch, and review every superhero and comic book movie that I can find, I decided that I wanted to make a definitive list of superhero movies that captured the essence of the range of superhero movies. Going through the decades and choosing the most influential, the biggest disasters, and simply the best superhero movies out there I hope to try and capture what I like to call the 100 Essential Superhero Movies. If you are a fan of superhero movies at all, these are the first ones that you should seek out. Not all of them are great, but when studying history it pays to not just look at the successes, but to also look at the failures. Also, as this list is being made in 2014, only includes movies made through 2013.

Superman Movies # 1 – 8

Marvel Cinematic Universe # 9 – 15

Comedies # 16 – 24

Batman Movies # 25 – 38

Early Marvel # 39 – 46

Animation #47 – 56

Original Heroes #57 – 65

Borrowed Marvel #66 – 72

Indie Comics #73 – 84

100 Essential Superhero Movies by Release Date

100 Essential Superhero Movies

  1. The Superman Animated Shorts 1941-1943
  2. Superman and the Mole Men 1951
  3. Batman: The Movie 1966
  4. The Wild World of Batwoman 1966
  5. Mr. Freedom 1969
  6. Super Infra-Man 1975
  7. Superman: The Movie 1978
  8. Superman II (The Richard Donner Cut) 1980
  9. Flash Gordon 1980
  10. Swamp Thing 1982
  11. Return of Captain Invincible 1983
  12. Superman III 1983
  13. Supergirl 1984
  14. The Toxic Avenger 1984
  15. Howard the Duck 1986
  16. Robocop 1987
  17. The Punisher 1989
  18. Batman 1989
  19. Return of the Swamp Thing 1989
  20. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990
  21. Darkman 1990
  22. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze 1991
  23. The Rocketeer 1991
  24. Batman Returns 1992
  25. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm 1993
  26. The Meteor Man 1993
  27. Fantastic Four 1994
  28. The Shadow 1994
  29. The Mask 1994
  30. The Crow 1994
  31. Tank Girl 1995
  32. Batman Forever 1995
  33. Men in Black 1997
  34. Batman & Robin 1997
  35. Orgazmo 1997
  36. Spawn 1997
  37. Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. 1998
  38. Blade 1998
  39. The Iron Giant 1999
  40. Mystery Men 1999
  41. X-Men 2000
  42. Unbreakable 2000
  43. Blade 2 2002
  44. Spider-man 2002
  45. X2: X-Men United 2003
  46. Hulk 2003
  47. Daredevil 2003
  48. Catwoman 2004
  49. Hellboy 2004
  50. The Incredibles 2004
  51. Spider-man 2 2004
  52. The Punisher 2004
  53. Constantine 2005
  54. Sky High 2005
  55. Batman Begins 2005
  56. Fantastic Four 2005
  57. Superman Returns 2006
  58. TMNT 2006
  59. Ultimate Avengers 2006
  60. Hellboy: Blood + Iron 2007
  61. Doctor Strange 2007
  62. Ghost Rider 2007
  63. Superman: Doomsday 2007
  64. The Incredible Hulk 2008
  65. The Dark Knight 2008
  66. Iron Man 2008
  67. Hellboy II: The Golden Army 2008
  68. Hancock 2008
  69. Batman: Gotham Knight 2008
  70. Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog 2008
  71. Green Lantern: First Flight 2009
  72. Watchmen 2009
  73. Wonder Woman 2009
  74. Defendor 2009
  75. Batman: Under the Red Hood 2010
  76. Megamind 2010
  77. Super 2010
  78. Iron Man 2 2010
  79. Kick-Ass 2010
  80. Planet Hulk 2010
  81. Gantz 2010
  82. Green Lantern 2011
  83. X-Men: First Class 2011
  84. Captain America: The First Avenger 2011
  85. Thor 2011
  86. All Superheroes Must Die 2011
  87. Chronicle 2012
  88. The Avengers 2012
  89. The Amazing Spider-Man 2012
  90. The Dark Knight Rises 2012
  91. Dredd 2012
  92. Justice League: Doom 2012
  93. The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 & Part 2 2013
  94. Thor: The Dark World 2013
  95. Legends of the Knight 2013
  96. Iron Man 3 2013
  97. Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox 2013
  98. The Wolverine 2013
  99. Lego Batman: DC Heroes Unite 2013
  100. Man of Steel 2013