Albie's Top 5 Way-Too-Overlooked Superhero Movies
Alternatively Titled: Yeah, it's Just a Shitty List, But it's a Short One!, or: Yes, There's Spoilers. Oooooooooohhhhhhhh...
Well, everyone's gonna be doing lists soon with the new year, so I figured let's have something other than a top 10 of this past year. And here it is, straight out of left-field, my personal top 5 (read: disclaimer, disclaimer, disclaimer) way-too-overlooked superhero movies. Purely coincidentally, the first draft of the list ended up with every movie being from within the last 11 years, too, so I decided against doing further research and self-debate in the interest of focussing on movies that are easily found and enjoyed. Remember, this is a personal top 5 of way-too-overlooked superhero movies, that's the only criteria. So shut up.
5. Alter Egos (2012)
Alter Egos was produced by Kevin Smith and feels like it could easily have been written by him; it's a superhero movie that's almost entirely conversation-based, so take that as the recommendation and/or warning that it is. In reality, he had little to do with getting it made and more to do with getting it distributed after, so now that we're past that, I think it's a funny movie that's just not getting a big enough audience. It's not something to make you think much, though. The few turns that it takes are very predictable, so I won't bother spoiling them, but it's got that likable, worn-down, old, uncreative-comic-but-it-opened-your-eyes-up-as-a-kid feel to it, despite being way new. Just a nice, fun ride that makes good use of a superhero universe. Also, entirely random bonus (okay, one spoiler): Hyde from That '70s Show dies. Pretty grimly, too.
4. Pootie Tang (2001)
Pootie Tang speaks no English. Pootie Tang speaks no words, really. His super power is in the belt his daddy gave him, and he takes off said belt to whip people with it. It's a cult classic, written and directed by Louis C.K. before people gave half a shit about him (want some fun? Go on Youtube and search for Louis C.K. on Howard Stern talking about Pootie Tang. He recounts a great story about after Pootie Tang's release, being screamed at by the head of heads of Paramount or whoever because the movie made dick), and it's just about the dumbest thing you'll ever watch. With cameos from J.B. Smoove, Todd Barry, two guys whose names I always forget but then were later also in Oz together, plenty from Chris Rock, Dave Attell (as a white guy? Sure), and others, Pootie Tang may never have had a comic, but he's a hero of some fashion, and damned if anybody saw Pootie Tang, so he's my number 4.
3. Super (2010)
Super is a lot of things that are getting too common in movies: It's about a loser in the real world who tries to be a superhero because, really, he's just a bit unstable. It has Ellen Page as his way-too-goddamn-energetic-and-fuuuuuuuuck-what-a-grating-fake-laugh sidekick. It has Kevin Bacon being a smooth criminal. But, does that sound like I'm giving it a bad review? Because it also (k, spoilers now) has the best tentacle scene in a movie since the first Evil Dead. And Rainn Wilson's character's superhero's "weapon" is a goddamn pipe wrench that he breaks people's skulls in with. And Ellen Page dies. Watch it.
2. Tie: Four Lions (2010) & God Bless America (2011)
Okay, this one is the cheat one, so I figured I might as well cheat twice: Obviously, it's a tie, but less obviously (maybe), neither movie has superheroes. Four Lions is actually about terrorists who kill each other while training to become terrorists (think Al Qaeda/Spinal Tap), while God Bless America is about a guy in his 40s-50s and a teenage girl on a killing spree of vacuous American trend-whores. Both, however, perfectly fit the overlooked part, and don't both stories seem like comics to you? C'mon, (spoilers, kinda) quite literally, less than 3 minutes into God Bless America, a baby gets shot in the face with a shotgun, and in Four Lions, the terrorists-in-training blow up their own terrorist HQ by thoughtlessly firing a rocket launcher backwards. Excellent movies.
1. Defendor (2009)
If you haven't seen Defendor already, you have made a mistake. Defendor was never a comic book, either, but you wouldn't know it if someone just put this movie on in front of you. And Woody Harrelson should've gotten a shit-ton more recognition for his portrayal of the mildly-autistic (well, technically, they actually never say his mental condition, it's just very clear that he's not all there, so I'm assuming, for the record) Arthur Poppington. Seriously, though, people talk about Kick-Ass more than they talk about Defendor, which, I enjoyed Kick-Ass, but that was an okay movie, whereas this should've been the Oscar winning superhero movie.
This one, I also will not spoil. It's both simple and flawless from top to bottom, an incredible feat for both a very first screenplay and very first directorial effort from Canadian-born Peter Stebbings. This really does feel at times like it could be an adaptation of an as-yet-unwritten DC Elseworlds Batman comic, in a world where Bruce is very clearly mentally ill as opposed to only debatably ill, and gets raised by his grandpa after his dad left his mom, and his mom eventually got stuck on the streets. When he asks his grandpa who took his mom, his grandpa sarcastically (but also wanting to soften the truth a bit to a young boy) tells him she was taken by "captains of industry," and his ill mind doesn't read between the lines to figure he meant pimps; he figures there is a Captain Industry, and he has to be taken down.
Just see this movie.
(Post-Script: "Why wasn't like, Watchmen on the list?" Because it wasn't overlooked, ya dungus, people saw that movie.)
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