FEATURE: Josh Wilding's Top Ten Comic Book Movies (Mostly) Of 2012
10. Rise of the Guardians
Happy New Year! To celebrate, here are my top ten comic book movies (well, mostly...) of 2012. With big releases like Marvel's The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises and Skyfall all hitting theatres, what came out on top for me? Find out here!
I'm not a lover of animated movies on the whole, but this one was a very pleasant surprise. With a fantastic voice cast which included Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman and Alec Baldwin, first time feature director Peter Ramsay found the perfect blend of action, humour and heart. It's just a shame that it didn't perform all that well at the box office, as I for one would most definitely enjoy returning to the world of Rise of the Guardians!
9. The Amazing Spider-Man
In many respects, Marc Webb really did manage to bring us the perfect Spider-Man. Unfortunately, the screenplay let the film down (the plot holes in particular), meaning that not only did Sam Raimi's Spider-Man deliver the better origin story, but Spider-Man 2 remains the best big screen adaptation featuring the iconic Marvel character. Regardless, this was a solid enough outing for Spidey and I can't wait for the sequel!
Another film which deserved to earn an awful lot more at the box office was DREDD; an action-packed and superb take on the beloved 2000AD character (though I have admittedly never read a single comic book with him in). Despite some unfortunate similarities to The Raid Redemption, this really was a fantastic film that deserves a sequel, especially when those who made it have such great ideas. Sadly, it's not gonna happen!
Released way back in February, it would be easy to forget Josh Trank's superb take on the found footage/superpower genre. So impressive a debut was this for the director, that he is now signed up to helm The Fantastic Four for Fox. With three superb performances from its leads and a final fight sequence equally as good (if not better) than superhero blockbusters with much bigger budgets, this really is a must-see!
It was a film that split audiences and critics alike, but I definitely came down on the side of "love" in the love/hate arguments which surrounded the (sort of) Alien prequel from Sir Ridley Scott. Regardless of whether it was Michael Fassbender's superb performance or the stunning visuals, there's a lot to love about Prometheus, and if you stop looking for the connections to the past movies, you might just find them too!
5. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
After seeing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that 48 Frames Per Second (HFR) is the future of cinema. The film looked incredible, but despite this experimental new format, Peter Jackson's return to Middle-Earth was still a soaring triumph, even though he may not have had the same sort of epic material to work with as he did with The Lord of the Rings. Bring on the sequel(s)...
4. Django Unchained
Although it's not actually released here in the UK until a little later this month, I was lucky enough to see Django Unchained in December, so it definitely deserves a place on this list! Quentin Tarantino's highly quotable and unique take on the Spaghetti Western genre is packed full of incredible performances from the likes of Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio, and tells one hell of an epic story of revenge.
As a Brit, how could I not include the first billion Bond? Sam Mendes' take on the iconic Ian Fleming creation really is one of the best movies of 2012. Casino Royale may have reinvented 007, but it is Skyfall that truly delivers the BEST take on the character yet. As if that wasn't enough praise to heap on this movie, the first confrontation between Bond and the villainous Silva may be the best scene of the year!
2. Marvel's The Avengers
It was a hard decision when it came to which film deserved the top spot, and I only wish I could have taken the easy way out by giving this and The Dark Knight Rises joint first. Still, don't let the fact that Joss Whedon's epic superhero ensemble ended up at #2 fool you into thinking that I didn't love each and every second of it. To put it simply, it was damn near perfect and there are too many marvellous moments to mention!
1. The Dark Knight Rises
That's right, Christopher Nolan's incredible finale to his Batman franchise was my favourite comic book movie of 2012! It didn't quite meet everyone's tastes, but for me, this was almost everything I could possibly want from the visionary director's take on the iconic DC character. Tom Hardy's Bane made for one hell of a villain, while Christian Bale never failed to convince as the Caped Crusader who came out of retirement for one last adventure. Of course, we can't forget Anne Hathaway's sultry take on Catwoman or the numerous other excellent supporting performances...it just delivered in every respect for me. Throw in the stunning IMAX format and as that cop say, "Boy, you're in for a show tonight, son..."
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