April 2013 + 5 Worst Superhero Movies

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…


What Do You Mean You Haven’t Seen…?

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:


April’s films

Ted#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)Harry Potter x4
#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)


Analysis

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.


5 Worst Superhero Movies

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).

  1. Superhero Movie
    Superhero MovieYou 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.
  2. Batman & Robin
    Batman and RobinThese 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.
  3. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
    The League of Extraordinary GentlemenI 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.)
  4. The Punisher (1989)
    The PunisherI 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.
  5. Elektra
    ElektraA 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
    Mystery MenThere 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?


Next month on 100 Films in a Year…

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.

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6 thoughts on “April 2013 + 5 Worst Superhero Movies

  1. Superman 3, surely, deserves to be on the list (never seen Superman 4 though and that looks even worse). What do you think are the 5 best Superhero films? I’d nominate Superman:The Movie and Watchmen for two titles on that list.

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    • I’m not sure I’ve even seen the final two Reeve Supermans, and if I have I’ve forgotten them (perhaps deliberately). This summer would be a neat time to revisit the lot I suppose, especially as I haven’t seen the first two since I was young, and I’ve never seen Returns.

      As for the best, or perhaps my favourite… Watchmen is a definite contender. In a similarly deconstructive vein, Kick-Ass. Got to include at least one Batman, probably The Dark Knight, but I also love Returns and Mask of the Phantasm. I have a real fondness for the first X-Men, though I know most fans & critics prefer X2; and First Class was excellent as well. I used to rate Spider-Man 2 too (and Spider-Man), but I’ve not watched either for a good long while. The first Iron Man was fun but, weirdly, the thought of watching it again is putting me off mounting a re-watch of Marvel’s Phase One. I think Thor was my favourite from that lot, though I need to give The Avengers a second chance.

      Well, I count 13 there…!

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      • Agree on Kick-Ass, have only watched my Blu-ray once, really need to watch that again. Do give Superman Returns a go, I really enjoyed it and its a great sequel to Superman:The Movie.. Not very much action surprisingly but a thoughtful attempt. I would have preferred a follow-up to it rather than a complete reboot (Man of Steel).

        And Dredd is a pretty damn good superhero film. Not the usual heroics but damn good stuff. Like Returns though, another flop that stopped a franchise dead in its tracks, so what do I know!?

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        • Ah yes, I thought Dredd was great. I never really think of him as a superhero, though I suppose it fits into that genre as well as any.

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  2. Pingback: Maniacs, Zombies & Billionaire Playboys | filmhipster

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