Thursday Movie Picks #17: Superhero Movies

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After the 3-week absence from Thursday Movie Picks series, Sinekdoks finally returns. The theme for this week is quite actual—in conjunction with the early release of Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. So, here comes Superhero Movies.

In case you, fellow bloggers, wanna participate; this series is powered by Wandering through the Shelves Blog and the details of it can be seen on this page.

For the last decade, there have been a lot of superhero movies and, obviously, franchises released by studios. However, appreciation towards superhero movies has always been low; critics regard them merely as studios’ money-mining or blockbuster wrappers. Seemingly, this sub-genre is a bit out of class; although, I always believe that this sub-genre is a revolutionary step for cinema to expand itself. Who knows in years this genre will be the leading powers in award season for the contribution to visuals and, perhaps, story-telling.

But, here comes my picks for this week.

01. The Dark Knight (2008)

Batman Begins (2005) was always a perfect setup for the new Batman trilogy initiated by Nolan. It’s responsible for toning the titular superhero to the darker side of the genre—and more, gave Batman a quality that made him more vulnerable but realistic—the quality of being an ordinary man.

Yet, The Dark Knight was the peak of Nolan’s excellent plot for Batman. The conflict was lethal and complex, the action packs was brilliant, but the highlight was the villain. There’s no villain as complex as Ledger’s Joker, by far. That’s enough to make The Dark Knight, a perfect prototype of superhero movies to follow.

02. Watchmen (2009)

It was always visually beautiful and striking as it is presented in a dark, dim atmosphere that brings sorrow for the whole film. Watchmen might be difficult to follow with such pace, but how Snyder crafted the narrative structure and filled it with sufficient amount of political and social conspiracy was a perfect deal (to compensate the complex structure). However, I always loved Watchmen for its treatment to the superheroes not as an absolute figure of saviors.

03. Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (2008)

Such a vibrant superhero comic book and Guillermo de Toro’s vision of it was a perfect combination. Hellboy 2 works well as a sequel and as an art exhibition. The set designs, the costumes, the make-ups and all the art directions were as imaginative as it can be. This film set a high bar for superhero (or anti-hero) franchises of similar origins in terms of details and Doug Jones.


Well, that’s my picks for this week. Care to hit the comment?

19 responses

  1. I haven’t seen Watchmen; I was told to read the comic so I would understand the story. Loved The Dark Knight and while I have seen Hellboy 2, I have yet to watch the first movie.

    1. Watchmen was a very faithful adaptation, therefore, it’s difficult to follow the narrative in the beginning if you’re not familiar with the source.

      You must watch the first Hellboy if so, there’ll be a helluva fun!

  2. yeay, I’m kinda glad that your picks are not on my list, haha.

  3. The Dark Knight is a superb film, shame about the third one. It wasn’t bad but just didn’t match the level of hype.

    Despite loving Pan’s Labyrinth I have to see yet much of Del Toro’s work, Hellboy among them.

    I haven’t seen Watchman, but I know it’s got a song from one of my favourite musicians (Leonard Cohen) playing over a sex scene. One of the few times the song is used correctly…

    However, I take exception when you say critics regard superhero movies negatively. Marvel movies in particular have all been highly praised, and the genre has never been more popular with both audiences and critics..

    1. I just dont see the genre is well-appreciated. That’s all.
      Glad that you liked TDK! I feel the same too on TDKR, though it’s still a great film for me
      Hellboy is kinda lite but it’s great!

  4. Only watch The Dark Knight from your list *cue the ugly sob* I saw bits of Hellboy and they didn’t impress me. Perhaps that caused my disinterest toward the sequel.

  5. Haven’t seen Hellboy, didn’t think it would appeal to me, but maybe I’ve sold it short. The Watchmen is my favourite read – don’t know how many times I’ve read it through now, so of course the movie didn’t quite live upt o it, but I never thought it was as bad so some suggested.

    1. Hellboy is a lite kovie as well as the sequel; only GdT’s treatment to it as a superhero film is a master class for me!
      While Watchmen as usual can always be a hit or miss to people!

  6. Brittani Avatar

    Yes!! I love these picks. I also picked The Dark Knight. Hellboy 2 was so much better than the first one. I loved Nuada, that guy was just interesting. I think Watchmen gets way too much hate. Sure, some parts were cheesy, but I thought the movie in general was excellent.

    1. Glad you liked it! And glad you picked The Dark Knight, too!

  7. Andrew Avatar

    I’ve only seen The Dark Knight of your picks, but I really want to check out the other two…and I’m with you on the genre being under-appreciated, but I do feel like Nolan, in a way, helped to change that a bit. It’s steadily being more and more respected.

    1. True! Nolan has brought this genre to a recognition—as a future genre!

  8. I love this list. The Dark Knight is my favourite of all time. Watchmenreally was an impressive adaptation of something that most considered unfilmable. And Hellboy 2 was so much better than I thought it would be.

    1. I agree, Watchmen filmed something which people said unfilmable. Glad you like them too

  9. TDK is brilliant. Not big on Watchmen, but I’m already planning on giving it a rewatch soon. Perlman is great as Hellboy, but both movies were kind of “meh” to me. I did like the second one better, though.

    1. Great you liked TDK! I’m aware of that feeling when watching Hellboy as well

  10. Nice to see Hellboy 2 on someone’s list, it’s one of my favorites. It’s so great partly because that film does a great mix of computer graphics combined with actual practical effects, like that troll’s arm is almost completely practical. And Watchmen also made it as one of my picks, really great film.

    1. So glad that you liked both of them as well! I always love superhero movies with concerns in visual details—’cause that’s what enhances the whole viewing, imo.

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