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?
Vulture scored a new summary of the plot of X-Men: Days of Future Past as well as confirmed that Peter Dinklage HAS been cast as Bolivar Trask (creator of the mutant-hunting Sentinels) and Josh Helman will be playing a younger version of William Stryker (whom Brian Cox played so well in X2). This comes on the heels of Bryan Singer confirming that Lucas Till will be returning from X-Men: First Class as Havok. Vulture’s plot summary:
“Ellen Page returns as Kitty from the Brett Ratner–directed X-Men: The Last Stand, but this time she uses her powers to send Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine back into the past, where he encounters the younger mutants played by James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, and Michael Fassbender. However, something bad happens to Kitty during the time-travel trance, and while Wolverine is still under her spell, the other X-Men must race to find a mutant who can siphon Kitty’s powers and bring their friend back to the future.”
Whahuh? This hurts my mind. I’m also still kind of freaked out by how many mutants are in this cast. How can you do justice to this many characters? There are over 20 confirmed! Bryan Singer’s got a juggling act on his hands. We’ll see the results when X-Men: Days of Future Past opens next summer.