by Jake Ramos
2017 has been a great year for comic book movies. With hits from Marvel and DC and far in between, here's my list of the top ten comic book movies of 2017.
10. GHOST IN THE SHELL
One of the most visually stunning films I've ever seen. The Neo-Tokyo/Dystopian-Punk set pieces played well in IMAX 3D. If there is one thing the movie got right, it's the look. Unfortunately it lacked the heart and soul of its source material. The film would have benefited from a longer running time that could be used to flesh out the story and character development. There was some controversy regarding the casting of Scarlett Johansson. Many felt an Asian actress should have been casted. I didn't mind so much and I get the studio chose to go with a bigger name to cater to a western audience. But I do feel that it's time for Hollywood to break out of their shell and give others a chance. There are many talented Asian actors and actresses that are leading role material that Hollywood can capitalize on. As far as Scarlett's performance goes as the Major, she actually did pretty well given the material she had to work with. She shined even more during the action sequences. With better direction and a better script, she would have been amazing. Speaking of action, I wished there was a bit more of it. I'm a huge fan of the original anime (1995) and I did appreciate some scenes being shot for shot. If you’re wondering why this film is on the list, it’s because Ghost In The Shell was originally a Manga (Japanese comic book) first published in 1989.
9. JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK
Even though NBC cancelled Constantine, it’s still great to see Matt Ryan return to the role whether it’d be a cameo in the Arrowverse or in animation. Justice League Dark sees Batman team up with Constantine and his band of supernatural misfits to take on a dark threat. It’s refreshing to see the mystical and supernatural side of the DC universe and here’s hoping we get to see a live action version in the near future.
8. ATOMIC BLONDE
Based on the graphic novel by Antony Johnston in the Cold War espionage genre, Atomic Blonde stars the beautiful Charlize Theron as the ass-kicking MI-6 agent Lorraine Broughton. The story revolves around Broughton who is tasked to find a list of double agents who are being smuggled into the West, on the eve of the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Stunt coordinator and John Wick director David Leitch directs this action packed espionage thriller. Theron has clearly put a lot of work into getting herself physically capable of handling the fight choreography. Oh, and did I forget to mention how beautiful Charlize Theron is? Despite all the make up to make her look battered and bruised, she still manages to look so stunningly gorgeous.
7. JUSTICE LEAGUE
Justice League was fun, entertaining and had heart, but not without flaws - don't get me started on the underwhelming CGI! The film definitely fixed some issues established in the previous films. However, it could have also benefited with a slightly longer running time. At just a little under 2 hours, certain scenes needed some more time to breathe. The team dynamic was good. Everyone had their moment to shine. Ezra Miller's Flash and Henry Cavill's Superman were the highlights for me. YES, the REAL SUPERMAN is finally here and not Kal-El the god-like alien messiah that everyone either fears or are unsure of - and NO, that's not a spoiler, we all knew the world's greatest superhero was coming back. This may not be the Justice League movie I dreamed of as a kid. It's far from perfect, but a step towards the right direction. The film starts and ends with HOPE. And here's hoping the films get better from this point on. Please give us a Man of Steel sequel already! Supes deserves it.
6. SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING
Spiderman Homecoming breathes new life into the Spiderman franchise. A nice blend of fun, excitement, and a good dose of teenage angst. The film stays true to its title - Spiderman is finally home (with Marvel Studios!) Looking forward to seeing Peter Parker growing into the web slinging hero he was meant to be. 2004's Spiderman 2 is still my favorite.
5. THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE
Who doesn’t love Batman? Who doesn’t love Legos? The best of both worlds collide in this fun, entertaining and action packed film about family and friendship. If you loved The Lego Movie, you’ll love The Lego Batman Movie.
4. THOR: RAGNAROK
Thor Ragnarok was a fun and colorful adventure that had me laughing and cheering for joy from beginning to end. It’s definitely the best of the Thor trilogy in terms of story but I was a bit let down certain characters important to the Thor mythology either met their doom or were a no show. It also featured surprising and humorous cameos by Sam Neill and Matt Damon.
3. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: VOL 2
These little rascals are at it again! The Guardians are back and this time they take on the rest of the galaxy consisting of a band of Ravagers, a genetically advanced galactic race, and an entire planet. Volume 2 was a lot of fun - although at times I think they had a bit too much fun and kind of went off the rails with the humor. But overall quite entertaining with a great message about fatherhood.
Hugh Jackman’s swan song as the titular character. Logan was action-packed, gritty, and very emotional. A mix between an old school western and a dystopian noir film with a breakout performance by Dafne Keen. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to a character Jackman has portrayed for 17 years. I honestly can’t think of a better actor to fill in his shoes. Logan was a beautiful way to hang up the claws. But now that Disney has bought Fox and the rights reverting back to Marvel, is it truly over for Jackman’s Wolverine? Only time will tell.
1. WONDER WOMAN
Gal Gadot's inner and outer beauty charms the screen in Wonder Woman. It's fun, emotional and action packed. Director Patty Jenkins (Monster, The Killing) captured the true essence of the character from a naive princess of Themyscira to an inspiring superhero tasked to save what's left of humanity in the midst of a "War To End All Wars". The tone and feel was very reminiscent to Christopher Reeve's Superman The Movie, Christian Bale's Batman Begins, and Chris Evans' Captain America: The First Avenger - all films led by male superheroes portrayed by actors whose names start with Chris (Whoa!). But Gadot truly stands triumphant as she makes this character her own in the very first BEST female led superhero film. Themyscira was beautiful, the Amazons are fierce, and Chris Pine was funny and had great chemistry with Gadot. After 3 attempts (Man Of Steel, Batman Vs Superman, Suicide Squad), DC finally has a hit in their first superheroine outing. The Amazonian Princess' time has come.
Be sure to check out my main top ten list of 2017 here.
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