Yes yes yes, it’s May, it’s the summer, it’s exciting. But before all that, let’s take a little peek at how 100 Films’ seventh year fared in April…
It was bound to happen eventually: I didn’t see a WDYMYHS film this month. It just never panned out, especially over the last few days. The aim is to watch one in the early days of May to make up for it, and then of course another later.
So moving on:
#38a Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Extended Version (2001/2004)
#39 The Last Boy Scout (1991)
#40 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, aka 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
#40a Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Extended Version (2002/2005)
#41 The Dinosaur Project (2012)
#42 Ted (2012)
#42a Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
#43 Man on a Ledge (2012)
#43a Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
A slow month this one, as you can see, though with five brand-new films watched (alongside four already-seen Harry Potters), it’s far from my worst ever. And that’s with the first week given over to Game of Thrones season two, too. And it’s not even my worst April: 2010 only had three films. Plus, ending at 43, I’m marginally ahead of this time in 2010 and 2012, only a little behind 2007 and 2011, and at double (or more) where I was in 2008 and 2009. Also, as April is precisely one-third through the year, the target number is 33, and I’m well ahead of that.
As you may have guessed, I’ve mounted a re-watch of the Harry Potter series, one every Sunday. This was started almost on a whim, but rather neatly I’ll be watching one on every Sunday in April and May (if it continues to plan). As I’ve never reviewed the first four, I’ll be covering them with full-ish reviews (the first two definitely count as extended cuts anyway, and those pieces are already up — see above); and for the sake of completeness, I’ll attempt some kind of overview on the final four too.
Inspired by Fantastic Four 2… which then wasn’t that bad so didn’t make its own list. There are too many awful alternatives.
I was going to go with “comic book movies”, but then you really have to broaden the remit. I imagine the results are more or less the same anyway. As ever, there’s the caveat that I haven’t seen loads of films, so these are the worst I’ve seen (so no Catwoman, The Spirit, never-released Fantastic Four, etc).
- Superhero Movie
You might have expected Batman & Robin to top this list. It would be a fair choice. But, believe it or not, it actually has some redeeming features. Not many, but some. This woefully unimaginative spoof has none whatsoever. I’m not even sure it had any laughs. OK, it might not be a ‘real’ superhero movie… but then again, look at the title. It counts.
- Batman & Robin
These days, it’s difficult to imagine Hollywood managing to kill off a franchise they didn’t want to. Even those which are consistently a bit rubbish. I imagine this is where they learnt their lesson, turning a reliable cash cow into a despised monstrosity. How the genre got back on its feet just a few years later (and grew stronger than ever) is a minor miracle.
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
I really wanted to like this — a great concept, based on a great comic, with great people involved in the film — and on its release, I convinced myself I did. But it’s a bit of a mess really, isn’t it; and the needs of being a PG-13 blockbuster wrecked a lot of the comic’s best ideas. Shame. (It has left me always abbreviating the comic’s title as LXG too, though.)
- The Punisher (1989)
I don’t actually know that much about the Punisher, but I don’t believe this is a very good rendition of the comic (where’s the skull emblem?!). And even if it is, it isn’t a very good film. I’ve largely wiped it from my memory, but I recall it being the twin sins of boring and amateurishly made. The two ’00s movies starring the character didn’t go down well, but I can’t imagine they’re worse.
A lot of people didn’t like Daredevil. I did. It has flaws, certainly, but it got a lot right. Nonetheless, I had no particular hopes for this spin-off featuring a fan-favourite character who had been mediocrely rendered on screen first time out (and not recast). Low expectations were good, because it’s a mess that doesn’t deliver in any notable respect.
And one I do like…
- Mystery Men
There are many great superhero movies, but this is an undervalued one. Coming in the genre’s quiet period, between the death of the Batman franchise and the rebirth afforded by X-Men, I think this all-star comedy would fare better today. That said, I’ve not seen it for years, and sometimes comedy dates badly, so maybe I should’ve re-watched before putting it here… But I definitely did love it.
There are plenty more films that deserve a place on this list — what should I have made room for?
Can I post more reviews?!
Can I watch two WDYMYHS films?!
Can I reach the month’s aim: #41?!
…which I’ve already passed. Tension, deflated.