m. brown over at Two Dollar Cinema is hosting a blog-a-thon. In honor of President's Day, we have the Mt. Rushmore of Movies blog-a-thon. The premise is pretty simple (I like simple!) - pick a top four of anything movie-related (if you want more details or want to participate, click here. Otherwise, just roll with it). Now to come up with a theme, which involves the old thinking cap as this blog has been a little book-heavy lately (not that there's anything wrong with that). But now it's time to go back to the movies.
I sit here, trying to come up with a theme that calls out to me, but also something that would be slightly out of the ordinary. Yes, I love comic-book movies. But that seems too easy. Batman, Iron Man, Spiderman, yeah-yeah-yeah. We all know those and there's oddly quite a bit of agreement within the community on what has been good or not in the genre. So, let's try to avoid those mainstream Marvel/DC flicks. My theme...
Top Four Lesser Known (or Underrated) Super Hero / Comic Book Movies
(not in any particular order)
Defendor (2009) - Mt. Rushmore head goes to Woody Harrelson
A comedy centered around three characters: an everyday guy who comes to believe he's a super hero, his psychiatrist and, the teenager he befriends.
I believe this would fall into the "lesser known" category. That, by the way, is a rather terrible synopsis. On the first hand, it should really use the word "comedy" lightly. It has a few moments (yes, that is a jar of bees Defendor is using as a weapon in the picture), but the movie has a lot of pretty serious undertones to it. It is not the fast-paced action/adventure a la the current comic book movie onslaught being released by Marvel and DC. This is slow, thoughtful, and utilizes Harrelson's ability to play crazy.
Unbreakable (2000) - Mt. Rushmore head goes to Samuel L. Jackson
A suspense thriller with supernatural overtones that revolves around a man who learns something extraordinary about himself after a devastating accident.
Underrated. Before he was the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. and before he was a jedi knight, Samuel L. Jackson was Elijah Price in M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable. Like Defendor, Unbreakable is a movie that plays off of comic book mythology in the real world. It's another slower paced character study with an M. Night Shyamalan twist.
The Crow (1994) - Mt. Rushmore head goes to Brandon Lee
A man brutally murdered comes back to life as an undead avenger of his and his fiancee's murder.
This probably needs the least introduction of any I've mentioned so far. However, with all the flashiness of modern comic-book movies, The Crow from 1994 still holds its ground as an exciting tale of supernatural revenge (I'm a sucker for revenge stories). Just ignore the sequels and pray to the god of gothic stuff that the reboot is good.
Chronicle (2012) - Mt. Rushmore head goes to Dane DeHaan
Whilst attending a party, three high school friends gain super powers after making an incredible discovery underground. Soon, though, they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker side.
This is a movie that took me by surprise. It was not what I was expecting at all. The trailers had always shown it as a bunch of kids goofing off with newfound telekinesis powers. It starts off rather slowly and seems to play into that goofy high school kids pulling pranks. But this movie gets DARK. It gets incredibly tense. It's worth a watch (keep some Xanax handy).
Not everyone can win, and there are just so many movies I want to put up on that mountain. Some runner-ups: The Rocketeer, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Sin City...
I'm sure there are plenty I'm missing. What would be on your mountain?