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Alternate Takes 12.29.13: Comic Book Movie Fight Club, Week 11
Posted by Shawn S. Lealos on 12.29.2013

Welcome to Week 282 of Alternate Takes, my name is Shawn S. Lealos and you have entered my world.

Here is a look at last week's winners:
The Avengers def. The Mask, 424-39
Thor def. Batman Returns, 258-236
Sin City def. Hellboy II, 284-175
Batman def. Watchmen, 336-154

Remember, I realize how boring it can be when we do all #1 seeds in one week, so for this round, we will do the separate brackets each week to mix things up…

X-Men 2 vs.
Iron Man 3

X-Men 2 - The first movie introduced the characters and villains and set up the universe. The second movie amped up the action and set them in motion. The Bryan Singer directed movie took the X-Men and contrasted their lives with other persecuted people throughout the years, making it more than just another comic book movie. The attack of Stryker on Xavier's mansion was perfectly done and the movie set up what should have been the awesome Phoenix Saga (which Brett Ratner then shit on in the next movie).

Iron Man 3 - The third movie in the Iron Man series takes place after The Avengers. This means that this follows Tony Stark almost dying at the hands of invading aliens and his realization that there are a lot of things he can't control. This makes Stark suffer from PTSD and doubt himself. When an evil organization led by a terrorist called The Mandarin decide they want to cripple America, Stark challenges them. What makes this movie so impressive is that director Shane Black had Stark forced to stop the bad guys without the use of his armor for much of the movie, helping him realize that he is a hero not because of his weapons, but because he is a hero. It was a fantastic conclusion of Tony Stark's story.

The Wolverine vs.
A History of Violence

The Wolverine - I'll admit to it. I haven't seen The Wolverine yet. I spent the entire summer barely making ends meet, so if I didn't have press screening passes, I didn't see a movie. There was no press screening for The Wolverine, and feeding my son was more important than seeing the movie. It has come out on DVD, so I will at least rent it soon. So, was it as good as everyone says it was?

A History of Violence - Based on the Vertigo graphic novel by John Wagner and Vince Locke, A History of Violence tells the story of a man who lives a quiet life in a small town with his wife, running a diner. However, when he stops two men who try to rob the restaurant and the TV news promotes his heroism, it turns his life upside down. Viggo Mortensen stars in the movie by David Cronenherg as a former gangster who has tried to escape from his past only to find it ruining his new life as well.

Man of Steel vs.
X-Men: First Class

Man of Steel - People hated the twist at the end of Man of Steel, and while I can understand people not agreeing, I felt that it was a perfect conclusion to the movie considering this was Kal's story of becoming Superman. This was an origin tale and Superman was not born as Christ – he was born as a real person who had to learn lessons in life to become his God-like hero. People also complain that the movie is not a light hearted happy movie and is instead dark, but it was already proven that people hated the boring Superman from the comics. This was a re-invention and it works. Sadly, those same people who said they hated Superman before this movie didn't like to see him changed either.

X-Men: First Class - I still haven't seen this movie, despite comic book movies being my favorites. Basically, one of my favorite directors (Matthew Vaughn) took us back to the start of the mutant's story when Charles and Erik were still friends and before the X-Men actually existed, showing us the ultimate origin story. Heard it is one of the best of the entire franchise. I think I am determined to watch it, and hope to have seen it by the time the voting is completed next week.

300 vs.
Spider-Man 2

300 - Before making Watchmen, Zack Snyder adapted Frank Miller's 300. Unlike Watchmen, where Moore disavows anything made based on his work, Miller was onhand to help and was very supportive of the effort at making 300. The green screen style of filmmaking that made Watchmen so great was done to great effect in 300 as well, with most of the movie shot against a green screen. The story is about the 300 Spartans who tried to hold off the Persian King Xerxes and his army of 300,000 soldiers.

Spider-Man 2 - 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.


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