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 411mania » Movies » Columns

Alternate Takes 12.08.13: Comic Book Movie Knockout Week 8
Posted by Shawn S. Lealos on 12.08.2013

Welcome to Week 279 of Alternate Takes, my name is Shawn S. Lealos and you have entered my world.

Here is a look at last week's winners:
Dark Knight Rises beat 30 Days of Night, 287-44
Watchmen beat The Rocketeer, 244-64
300 beat Blade, 161-156
V for Vendetta beat Oldboy, 187-98

On to this week's matchups, 2 SEEDS vs. 15 SEEDS…

Superman II vs.

Superman II - The second Superman movie was actually shot at the same time as the first one, although the studio took it away from director Richard Donner and given to director Richard Lester when Donner's vision was getting to be too costly for the producers. However, we can now luckily see the Donner cut, which adds back in Marlon Brando's Jor El and remains a very enjoyable movie over 30 years later, with Superman meeting his match in General Zod and his partners.

Surrogates - Based on the Top Shelf graphic novel by Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele. The story is a sci-fi tale of a futuristic society where people plug into a module and control an android surrogate to perform all their duties through the day – from working to play. This is a way to keep everyone safe from contracting diseases, dying in accidents and more, although the sensation of what they are doing remains. One day, a person dies while operating a surrogate and a detective hits the beat in his real body to find out who has developed the ability to kill people through their surrogates.

Batman vs.
Dick Tracy

Batman - This is the Tim Burton Batman with Michael Keaton as Batman and Jack Nicholson as The Joker, and was the first non-Superman movie to actually work on a mainstream level for the mainstream public. Keaton remains many people's choice when talking about their favorite Batman while many still argue over who was the best Joker, Nicholson or Heath Ledger.

Dick Tracy - Coming out the year after Batman, Dick Tracy shares a lot of the visual synthetics of Batman, but on the opposite level. While Batman was dark blues and grays and very gothic, Tracy was all bright colors and comic book-ish in its visuals, the two movies combining to show both sides of the comic book movie spectrum. Unlike Batman, which lived mostly in the comic book world, Dick Tracy was a comic strip hero, with Warren Beatty directing and starring in the movie.

Spider-Man II vs.
Green Lantern

Spider-man II - The second movie in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy remains the best of the three, with Spider-Man facing the most sympathetic villain in that trilogy in Doc Ock. While that is a far stretch from the comics, where Ock was a dick pretty much throughout his career, Raimi made it work here to perfection and the movie was just pure entertainment. Raimi also revived some of his Evil Dead gimmicks, including the chainsaw and first person POV from the evil's point-of-view. I'm not a fan of Tobey Maguire's work as Peter Parker, but this movie was great.

Green Lantern - I have to admit – I still have not seen Green Lantern. Ryan Reynolds plays Hal Jordan, which still seems strange to me, as Jordan finds his ring and becomes the greatest Lantern of them all. From what I have heard, the problem isn't that this was a horrible movie, but it was the fact they tried to do too much and it was a jumbled movie with no direction. Hopefully, they can turn things around in the future because Lantern is a great hero.

Iron Man vs.
The Hulk

Iron Man - I find it funny that people complain that there is not enough Iron Man in the third movie, while it was the scenes before he became Iron Man in the first movie that made it so great. The first half of Iron Man is some of the best storytelling of any Marvel movie, as Tony Stark is kidnapped and has to learn to become a hero. The final battle was a bit of a mess, but the movie remains a benchmark for Marvel and set the bar very high for every movie that followed.

The Hulk - This is Ang Lee's version of The Hulk, a movie that is nowhere near as bad as people act like it is. There are problems (the Hulk Dogs, the Absorbing Man) but there are also a lot of positives. Lee took the comic book aesthetic and brought it into the movie in some of the most creative edits and cuts in any comic book movie. Also, the casting of Betsy Ross (Jennifer Connelly) and Thunderbolt Ross (Sam Elliott) was much better in this movie than in The Incredible Hulk.


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