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Alternate Takes 3.01.14: Comic Book 2014 Oscar Winners
Posted by Shawn S. Lealos on 03.01.2014

Welcome to Week 290 of Alternate Takes, my name is Shawn S. Lealos and you have entered my world.

With the Oscars this weekend, I will go ahead and hand out my COMIC BOOK MOVIE awards for 2013. And, just for those who don't understand this, these are my choices and yours might be different. Because of that I want you guys to elaborate your picks in the comments where I hope you will elaborate on your picks.

Anyway, here we go…


Let the battles begin. Straight up, Iron Man 3 was the perfect conclusion to the Iron Man franchise, which was always about Tony Stark and not about people and villains with super powers. The first movie saw Tony Stark injured and he had to improvise to save his life. To do so, he created his Iron Man armor. In the second movie, he was a superhero in armor, showing off and had no real worries outside of saving people. In Avengers, he realized there were aliens and Gods and he suddenly realized that he wasn't so important after all. That brings us to Iron Man 3.

After Avengers, Tony was having some mental and emotional problems and realized that there were a hell of a lot of people out there more powerful than him. That meant that Tony Stark – not Iron Man – needed to learn how to be a hero again. That is why stripping him of his armor when he needed it the most was brilliant, it forced him to prove that he could be the same hero he was at the start of the first movie.

And what about that Mandarin twist? It was brilliant. Now, I agree that the Guy Pearce villain was pretty generic – not as good as Jeff Bridges or Sam Rockwell, which sucks since Pearce is a fantastic actor. However, Ben Kingsley in the small time that he was the main villain was better than Mickey Rourke from the second movie. But that twist was just damn brilliant and Kingsley sold it like a champ.

At the end of the day, this movie didn't need to be about Iron Man fighting a racial stereotype with alien technology. It needed to be about the Extremis virus because that put Tony Stark in a situation that gave him the perfect conclusion to his story. Besides, the people who hated the ending need to check out Hail to the King on the Thor Blu-ray that came out this week.


For lead actor, let's stick with Iron Man 3. While Robert Downey Jr. was playing the same character he has three times before, he really brought someone special to the performance this time. He wasn't just arrogant Tony Stark, he was someone who needed to find himself – someone who needed a cure. This might be the closest we come to the Demon in a Bottle styled storyline, except instead of booze driving him down, it was his own insecurity and inner pain.

You can thank Shane Black for this.

Jon Favreau was good with what he was given – an origin story and a big slam bam blockbuster. However, this movie needed a lot more character work and Shane Black excels in that. He directed Downey in his return from drug addiction and jail with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and the two share a great relationship when it comes to working together. Shane Black brought out Downey's best Tony Stark portrayal – not the funniest or coolest – but the most realistic. Think about what Black got Mel Gibson to do in Lethal Weapon and you can see the similarity here. Downey was so perfect this time around that Iron Man 3 could mark the end of his story and that would be just fine.


There was a big problem here that I discovered after I started researching this. There was NO female lead actors in any comic book movie this year (outside of the quirky ones like Blue is the Warmest Color, and I have not seen it yet). So, we get the one choice there is that I saw – Chloe Moretz as Hit Girl. She had a lot more to do in Kick-Ass 2 than she did in the first movie. That first outing was just her loving to kill bad guys and then going berserker at the end after her dad dies. In this movie, she had to relate to being "normal" and we saw how that turned out. Chloe Moretz was born to play Hit-Girl.


This came down to Ben Kingsley vs. Tom Hiddleston and either man could have fit here perfectly. However, I honestly believe that Thor: The Dark World was Loki's movie more than it was Thor's. Yes, Thor had to save Jane and Earth, but this was the conclusion to Loki's trilogy and it was perfect. It all started in Loki's jail cell where he still looked arrogant and evil. Then when he talked to his mother, he showed the pathos that made him the perfect villain in the first movie. Then, when Thor visited him and the switch flipped to show how Loki really looked, it was just flooring. That was perfect acting by Hiddleston.

His entire journey with Thor proved that Marvel cast both roles perfectly because they were just perfect together. I honestly believe that, without Tom Hiddelston as Loki, Thor would have been half as good and he proved once again in Thor: Dark World that he is the MVP of this entire movie series.


I had a lot more choices here than I did with Best Lead Actress. I had Gwyneth Paltrow, Mary Louise-Parker and Amy Adams, who all three did good jobs in their roles. I even had Natalie Portman in Thor: Thee Dark World, but no one was as impressive as Rene Russo in her small role. She got a great scene with Loki in his cell and a fantastic fight scene. She just sold the movie and it was her character that explained why Loki did the things that he did in the movie. Rene Russo needs to be in more movies.


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