DC/Marvel Films Ranked: 12 through 7

A reminder: these rankings reflect a snapshot of a moment in time and should be considered only one man’s opinion. The films listed below swayed like a tay in the wind up and down the list as I wrote and edited this post.

Below represent my 12 favorite Marvel/DC films as of right now.

12. Blade II

Three reasons it is in the top twelve:

  1. The Reapers have a great design (see below), knocking vampires off the food chain. Normal vampires are so freaked out by this new menace (which have a taste for vampire blood); they set a truce with the Daywalker to eliminate the new menace.

blade2reaper

2. Great action sequences. I am particularly fond of the nightclub scene where the newly formed cohort face the Reapers and find they underestimated the threat.  There is a wonderful tension as the crew searches the club while the Reapers gather beneath in the sewers.

3. I am a huge Guillermo del Toro.  His films are visually dynamic, and filled with tension. Side note: Watch Mimic.  Great film.

11. Iron Man

Three reasons it is in the top twelve:

  1. Robert Downey Jr. owns the role.  I could not imagine a better Tony Stark.
  2. This open:

3. The film set the table for the MCU as we know it.  Without Iron Man, there is no Avengers..

10. Ant-man

Three reasons it is in the top twelve:

  1. The underlining thread of the film is what can go wrong when fathers’ disappoint their children. While 6 year old Cassie only sees her father as an ideal, we are shown what can be through a story line featuring Hope Van Dyne and her father, Hank Pym.
    This emotional thread even bleeds into the villain’s arc.  Darren Cross is a former apprentice of Pym’s whose emotional wounding by his mentor feeds his villainous plans.
  2. The film is filled with great action:

3.The film is a smaller scale than other end-of-the-world Marvel films.  My son James and I left the theater and almost bought another pair of tickets to see it again.   It was the fun we hoped to have with Age of Ultron. Ant-man is another 2 hour film that doesn’t feel its length, a modern cinematic miracle.

9. Spider-man 2

Three reasons it is in the top twelve:

  1. The defining scene of the film is a small one. After dinner, Otto shares with Peter how much his wife Rosalie means to him and his work. It is a wonderful note that informs Otto’s descent into villainy.  Otto is not merely a power-mad villain.  He is heartbroken.  And that is Peter Parker’s legacy and identification, heartbreak.  Octopus is given a great arc, the wounded man. It all plays off due to that “small” scene.
  2. The action scenes are wonderfully choreographed, especially the birth of Dr. Octopus, which is done in classic Raimi style.

3. The film also builds on the tension between Peter and Harry (just like in the comics!) and offers a wonderful easter egg at the end. (That they botch in Spider-man 3)

I LOVE THIS FILM.

Why is it not higher?

And it is almost all undone by an awful miscalculation, the only reason it is not in the top five:

This is not to say Peter would not walk away from being Spider-man.  He has done it several times in the comics, including the matched iconography below:

spider-man-no-more-107893-spider-man-no-more-or-is-there-still-a-future-jpeg-150022

spiderman2trashcan

But to have his say “that is yours Uncle Ben, not mine” seems so off to me.  He could forget, because young men and their hormones and narcissism suck all too often, but to look Ben in the face and walk away…it is too much, too awful, too-not Peter Parker for me.

Damn that Uncle Ben scene.

8 . The Dark Knight Rises

Three reasons it is in the top twelve:

  1. I love Bane.  In a vacuum (or meme) the voice is silly.  Here: chilling.

2. The first Bane/Batman battle is incredible.  Its brutality is underlined by the absence of a score.  Every impact is heard.  There is a whisper of music towards the end, but it is broken along with Bruce’s back.

3. This scene:

3.5. The score – it is, as throughout the trilogy, flatout amazing

7. Captain America: The First Avenger

Three reasons it is in the top twelve:

  1. Pre-Cap Steve Rogers

2. Pre-Cap Steve Rogers #2, my fav:

3. In the comic books he often comes across as too earnest or as enticing as patriotic cardboard. But Captain America: The First Avenger gives us a reason to root for Steve.  He is the underdog; the runt with the big heart who finally gets the body to match.

All of this, and we get a wonderful period piece about the birth of Hydra, Red Skull and Zola as well some personal favorites in Dum Dum Dugan and the Howling Commandos.

My next post ties this list up, along with some loose ends.  I look forward to some feedback on the list.  I think my top six will definitely provide that.  Thanks for reading.

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