Episode 15 – From the Page to the Screen: The Superhero Movie Review
Why Watch That
Superhero Movies have been increasing in popularity. People of all ages love to see how images from a page will be brought to life on the big screen. Listen to the Critic and the Referee discuss some popular and some not-so popular superhero films. We hope this helps you determine what to watch as superhero movie season kicks into gear!
Superman (also known as Superman: The Movie) is a 1978 superhero film directed by Richard Donner. It is based on the DC Comics character of the same name and stars Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Glenn Ford, Phyllis Thaxter, Jackie Cooper, Trevor Howard, Marc McClure, Terrence Stamp, Valerie Perrine and Ned Beatty.
Supergirl (“The Referee’s Childhood Favorite”) is a 1984 superhero film directed by Jeannot Szwarc. It is based on the DC Comics character of the same name and is a spin-off of Alexander and Ilya Salkind’s Superman film series. The film stars Faye Dunaway, Helen Slater as Supergirl, and Peter O’Toole, with Marc McClure reprising his role as Jimmy Olsen from Superman. The film was released in the United Kingdom on July 19, 1984 and failed to impress critics and audiences alike. It was released in the United States on November 21, 1984.
Superman Returns is a 2006 superhero film directed and produced by Bryan Singer. Based on the DC Comics character Superman, the film serves as a homage sequel to the motion pictures Superman (1978) and Superman II (1980), ignoring the events of Superman III (1983) and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987).
Man of Steel is a 2013 American superhero film directed by Zack Snyder, produced by Christopher Nolan, and written by David S. Goyer. Based on the DC Comics character Superman, the film is a reboot of the Superman film series that portrays the character’s origin story. The film stars Henry Cavill in the title role, with Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Michael Shannon as General Zod, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, and Russell Crowe as Jor-El.
The Dark Knight is a 2008 British-American superhero film directed, produced, and cowritten by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is the second part of Nolan’s Batman film series and a sequel to 2005’s Batman Begins. Christian Bale reprises the lead role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, with a returning cast of Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth, Gary Oldman as James Gordon and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox. The film introduces the character of Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Gotham’s newly elected District Attorney and the consort of Bruce Wayne’s childhood friend Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal replacing Katie Holmes from the first film), who joins Batman and the police in combating the new rising threat of a criminal mastermind calling himself “The Joker” (Heath Ledger). It preceded The Dark Knight Rises, the final film in Nolan’s Batman film trilogy.
Spider-Man 2 is a 2004 American superhero film directed by Sam Raimi and written by Alvin Sargent from a story by Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, and Michael Chabon. The sequel to the 2002 film Spider-Man, it is the second film in Raimi’s Spider-Man film trilogy based on the fictional Marvel Comics character of the same name. Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and James Franco reprise their respective roles as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Mary Jane Watson, and Harry Osborn.
The Amazing Spider-Man is a 2012 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man and sharing the title of the character’s longest-running comic book of the same name. It is the fourth to portray Spider-Man in film distributed by Columbia Pictures, Marvel Entertainmentand Sony Pictures Entertainment and a reboot of the film trilogy preceding it by 2002–07 that was also distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Catwoman is a 2004 American superhero film directed by Pitof Comar and stars Halle Berry, Sharon Stone, Benjamin Bratt, Lambert Wilson, Frances Conroy, and Alex Borstein. The film is loosely based on the DC Comics character of the same name, who is traditionally an anti-heroine and love interest of the superhero Batman. The plot features a completely new character, Patience Phillips, taking the Catwoman name, and viewing the traditional Catwoman as a historical figure. The film was poorly received by critics and audiences and is commonly listed as one of the worst films ever made.
Blade is a 1998 American vampire-superhero action film starring Wesley Snipes and Stephen Dorff, loosely based on the Marvel Comics character Blade. Snipes plays Blade, a human-vampire hybrid who protects humans from vampires. The film was directed by Stephen Norrington and written by David S. Goyer. Blade grossed $70 million at the U.S. box office, and $131.2 million worldwide. It was followed by two sequels, Blade II and Blade: Trinity, both written by Goyer.
Iron Man is a 2008 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It is the first installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Directed by Jon Favreau and written by Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum, and Matt Holloway, the film stars Robert Downey, Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Shaun Toub and Gwyneth Paltrow. The film is about Tony Stark, an industrialist and master engineer, who builds a powered exoskeleton and becomes the technologically advanced superhero Iron Man.
Hulk (also known as The Hulk) is a 2003 American superhero film based on the fictional Marvel Comics character of the same name. Ang Lee directed the film, which stars Eric Bana as Dr. Bruce Banner, as well as Jennifer Connelly, Sam Elliott, Josh Lucas, and Nick Nolte. The film explores the origins of the Hulk, which is partially attributed to Banner’s father’s experiments on himself, and on his son.
Marvel’s The Avengers (classified under the name Marvel Avengers Assemble in the UK and Ireland), or simply The Avengers, is a 2012 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sixth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is written and directed by Joss Whedon and features an ensemble cast including Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston,Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson. In the film, Nick Fury, director of the peacekeeping organization S.H.I.E.L.D., recruits Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, and Thor to form a team that must stop Thor’s adoptive brother Loki from subjugating Earth.
Thor is a 2011 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It is the fourth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film was directed by Kenneth Branagh, written by Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz and Don Payne, and stars Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Colm Feore, Ray Stevenson, Idris Elba, Kat Dennings, Rene Russo and Anthony Hopkins.
X-Men film series consists of superhero films based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. 20th Century Fox obtained the film rights to the characters in 1994, and after numerous drafts, Bryan Singer was hired to direct X-Men (2000) and its sequel, X2 (2003). Singer left potential third and fourth films, leaving Brett Ratner to direct X-Men: The Last Stand (2006). X-Men and X2 were met with positive reviews for their dark, realistic tone and subtexts dealing with discrimination and intolerance, while X-Men: The Last Stand was met with mixed reviews.
X-Men: First Class is a 2011 superhero film, based on the X-Men characters appearing in Marvel Comics. The film was directed by Matthew Vaughn and produced by Bryan Singer, and acts as a prequel to the X-Men film series. The story is set primarily in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and focuses on the relationship between Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Erik Lensherr (Magneto), and the origin of their groups—the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants, respectively.
Referee’s Word of Advice
Runaway from Xmen 3
Samuel L Jackson’s “Original” Capital One Commercial
“First Not-a-Joke Catwoman” Award
Halle Berry Catwoman Razzie Speech
Christopher Nolan Shoutout
Inception is a 2010 British-American science fiction heist thriller film written, co-produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars a large ensemble cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ken Watanabe, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine.