We have, at this point, dozens and dozens of superhero films. I think you could stack the overall quality of the genre against any other in filmdom, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t had our share of devastating missteps along the way. Watch Mojo has two videos categorizing the most egregious times comic book movies deviated from the source material or were poorly received by fans. The greatest hits are here: Spider-Man 3’s disco striding evil Peter, Iron Man 3’s Mandarin switcheroo, Superman II’s amnesia kiss, and Batman vs. Superman’s Martha madness. Some of their entries feel like stretches. Yes, The Killing Joke was an abomination, but were people overly upset Thor: Ragnarok was funny? X-Men Origins: Wolverine’s treatment of Deadpool was awful, but did anyone actually expect more than what we got out of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (the Bay edition)? What moments are missing from WM’s lists?
Even if I don’t always agree with their actual choices, I admire the ability of WatchMojo to churn out list topics like fortune cookies. Character deaths are tricky. On one hand, a great character death can be a defining moment not just for the story arc of the deceased character but also for every character around them. On the other, if you botch it, people get maaaaaad. WatchMojo hits a number of them in their Top 10: Movie Deaths That Pissed People Off. The list is too heavily weighted toward recent films, and has some duds (is anyone really super incensed over Mortal Komat: Annihilation, Pacific Rim: Uprising, or Godzilla?). It does also make the long-overdue argument that all Kate Winslet had to do to save us from one of the most annoying deaths of all time in Titanic was haul to Leonardo Dicaprio out of the water and spoon. No matter what side of the debate you are on, you have to admit that the deaths of Luke Skywalker and Captain Kirk deeply peeved people. What makes me maddest about character death is when characters die just to fill an unspoken death quota in bigger films. I love Joss Whedon, but he is the absolute worst at this. Whedon blood rage is the only explanation for why Quicksilver had to die in Age of Ultron or, even worse, why Wash & Shepherd Book were slaughtered in Serenity. Which character deaths made you throw things for weeks?
Kevin Costner didn’t turn out to be the second coming of Gary Cooper that some people thought he would be in the late 1980s to early 1990s. A champion of sports films and westerns (genres he’s continued to revisit over and over during his four decade career), Costner’s meteoric rise, which peaked with the success of Dances With Wolves ended with legendarily horrific production nightmares on subsequent directorial efforts like Waterworld and The Postman. Costner’s star fell and fell hard. However, the actor has-in the past decade-reinvented himself as a supporting character actor and done better work there than he ever did as a leading man. Hidden Figures, Man of Steel, Molly’s Game, The Company Men, and more all feature Costner in strong supporting roles in ensemble films, and he’s become so good at it that his appearance in a film’s credits makes a film more appealing than it does when he was one of the biggest stars in the world. Continue reading Kevin Costner’s 10 Best Movies
For comic book characters, death isn’t quite the final condition it is for the rest of us. It’s more of an annoying flu that sidelines them for a few years at most before they find a way to kick it. WatchMojo has put together a list of the 10 saddest superhero deaths in which the condition stuck (it also included supporting characters on the list, and given the subject matter it goes without saying that this is a SPOILER intensive list.
Most of the entries come from films outside the MCU and DCEU, both of which have been pretty merciful to characters so far (unless they were underdeveloped villains). I have a feeling that the MCU’s mercy, at least, is going to change with Avengers 3 & 4 in a big way, but most of the entries on this list come from X-Men, Spider-Man, and pre-DCEU Batman installments. While I agree with a lot of the choices (and the rule that no one resurrected should be included), choosing The Amazing Spider-Man 2 or X-Men: Apocalypse over Watchmen struck me as a particularly grievous oversight. I definitely agree with #1, but I think there should be two entrants from Logan on the list. What traumas did you find left out? Let’s grieve together, people!
Russell Crowe had about as good a five years as any actor has in the late 1990s – 2000s with films like The Insider, LA Confidential, A Beautiful Mind, and Gladiator. Not only is Crowe a chameleon as a dramatic actor, he’s an outstanding action star, and if the sometimes temperamental star is in the right setting, he has a very sardonic, dry comedic prowess. He helped kick off the DC Extended Universe, doing a better Jor-El than Marlon Brando (granted it helped that no one ever cared less about a part than Brando did being Jor-El) in Man of Steel, but aside from that and 2016’s The Nice Guys, good parts have been rare for Crowe in the last decade. I’m not sure if the Australian star has lost his desire, or if he’s burned too many bridges, but when you can light a fire under him, he’s one of the best actors alive, so hopefully the right part will come his way soon. Continue reading Russell Crowe’s 10 Best Movies