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Old 09-17-2012, 03:54 AM   #41
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Default Re: Superhero Film of the Year - 2012 Edition

The Avengers: A
The Amazing Spider-Man: B+
The Dark Knight Rises: C+
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance: D

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Didn't expect to place it at the top, but Avengers was pretty much everything I wanted out of the movie and more. I didn't go in expecting it to be that good or work very well at all, it defied my expectations. The chemistry between the actors was great, there was just enough of the main characters to balance the focus out, and it handled all of the plotlines left from each solo movie very cohesively. Not only that, but I felt like it was the most successful at adapting the actual feel, the scale, and the excitement of reading a comic book and translating it onto the screen without feeling forced, something I felt really hindered more direct adaptations like Sin City and 300. This felt like... well, a movie worthy of a team of superheroes.

The Amazing Spider-Man has some pretty heavy flaws, but I felt that when it worked, it really worked. It was a movie that showed real potential for future installments, despite being hampered by having to sloppily retell the origin story in the midst of trying to tell their own story, which also suffered as a result of it. In some ways, Garfield's performance as Peter easily saved the movie and made it able to stand on it's own. Whenever it hit the right beats it became the best realization of Spidey on film yet, but once again, it was the story that really threw it off balance. The structure of Connors' plot depleting as the movie went along, to the point where he ended up little more than a stereotypical villain by the end, comes to mind as one of the many missed opportunities. It was nice to see Spidey finally wisecrack, but there's more to the character than that. I hope sequels expand on it, because they set a really solid foundation in place.

The Dark Knight Rises... I hate to say it, but despite leaving the theater having enjoyed it, it hasn't sat nearly as well with me in the time since. Even after repeat viewings. The movie honestly felt kind of lacking, rushing along just to get to a place that I personally feel wasn't deserved in it's own narrative and didn't feel like the Batman I knew from any medium. Even beyond that, the story itself rushes by so fast that questions are left hanging over some sequences, something that neither Batman Begins or The Dark Knight made nearly as obvious. Truly important things were left as an afterthought, which is particularly baffling when you consider the movie's runtime. The performances were great. Bale gave perhaps his finest turn as Bruce Wayne, Hathaway nailed the Selina of the comics, Hardy blew me away as Bane despite the character's incredibly lackluster motivations, Levitt's part was nicely interwoven up to a point, and the usual suspects like Caine and Oldman faired well. But given the other two installments' roster of talent, that wasn't a surprise. The way that the movie felt so poorly put together was. It's easily the weakest of the three, despite the occasional spectacular moment, and just it barely manages to keep it's head above water. Honestly, looking at it in retrospect, I'm disappointed.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance had some interesting ideas and an improved CG head for it's main character. Little else left an impression on me. Cage felt bored half of the time, so whenever he really got into it, it was great. But the villains were terrible, the action sequences forgettable, the plot was pretty standard... really, there's just nothing there to gravitate to beyond a couple of moments. I thought it did some things better than the first movie, but overall, it wasn't really the movie it could've been.

Despite that I keep hearing good things for Dredd, I doubt I'll get to see it in theaters. Which is a shame, because I like Urban as an actor and the movie seems to be a very faithful iteration of the character.

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"Needless to say, no one could ever replace Heath Ledger as the Joker," Nolan added, "but I have to say that Rob Schneider stepped up like a pro."
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