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May 8th, 2002

Comic Book Movies

This weekend, Spider-Man opened to boffo box office sales. It set an opening weekend record, and yet it’s a movie with Toby Maguire. Who ever figured that would happen?

I really don’t have an interest in seeing the movie, but that doesn’t mean I’m opposed to comic book films. I’ve never been a comic book fan, so I imagine I’m lumped in with millions of other people. But there were two movies I can remember that were based on comic books but stood out as good films in and of themselves.

First, X-Men. I’m pretty sure I just let TiVo record this at some point, but I watched it and was hooked. The story isn’t all hokey and is done in a very realistic modern world. There seem to be a number of in-jokes for comic book fans, but they’re offset by genuine humor, action, and special effects for everyone to enjoy. I became involved with the characters instead of their gimmicks, and that’s a good thing. I’m looking forward to next year’s sequel.

The other great, classic comic book movie was the first – and best – Batman. First, what a cast: Michael Keaton is superb at playing the lead role. Nicholson as the Joker is brilliant. Even Kim Basinger turns in a decent performance! The entire setting of the film seems plausible, but just a bit outside of our own reality… yet it doesn’t feel any more fake than the lead villain. The dark edge the movie held was never duplicated by any of the sequels, and that’s a shame, since they made so many of ’em.

As I said, though, I’m not a comic book fan. These two movies were so well done that I could forget I wasn’t a fan and enjoy the heck out of them.

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

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