What's new

Entertaining movies based on comic books (1 Viewer)

Carl David

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
549
Real Name
Carl
A genre all on its own where anything goes. Comic book movies have been produced at least since the 1960s (possibly earlier?).

However, despite a plethora of films based on comic books since its infancy very few have managed to entertain or engross me. The majority very much leave me disappointed.

It's got to a point where usually if any new film gets released be it Marvel or DC comics or any other I won't bother going to see it at the cinema or even at home. The majority that have been made over the last decade have been skipped on my part because up-to then all seemed repetitive and lacked any imagination.

Recently, an exception was made and decided to watch "The Batman" starring Robert Pattinson which I found deeply underwhelming and quite frankly it bored me to death.

Although to be honest most of the Batman movies never really appealed to me apart from the Jack Nicholson Joker one which was okay despite that being a long time ago when I saw it.

In my youth, "Dennis The Menace" was viewed at the cinema and found it immensely enjoyable and very funny. Not certain that same experience would be repeated if it was re-watched today.

Off the top of my head probably somewhere between 20 - 40 movies based on comics have been seen and only a few were appealing.

Very much thought "MIB" and "MIB 3" were fun movies with some nice touches and despite the ultra violence "Sin City" was a unique experience and enjoyable affair. Superman too managed to strike a good balance of humour with Christopher Reeve excellently cast as Clark Kent.

But those were exceptions from my experience.

Clearly, many cinema goers have a very deep fondness for films based on comic books especially over the last 10 years where many have been released and to favorable box office results hence the continued output to the present day.

Would be interesting to read other members opinions on this topic to see what their personal tastes are.

Any recommendations on what you think is a well made, intelligent, original and entertaining movie based on a comic book where it's evident (in your opinion) that much creative energy and artistic input has been applied resulting in a movie actually worth watching?

This IMDb list shows well over 100 movies based on comic books to refresh your memories:

 
Last edited:

Walter Kittel

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 28, 1998
Messages
9,793
There are bigger titles that I could list, but I will mention a few from the linked list that I've viewed multiple times over the years...

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World - For me, the style and energy that director Edgar Wright brings to this film makes it very entertaining. I love the clever visualizations and the gaming aspects presented by the film. It finds a tone right at the outset and is consistent through the run time. The film is really well cast and some of the characters do a fine job of lampooning certain personality types. Chris Evans in particular. Really a creative film.

The Crow - Another film that gets big style points from the cinematography, set design, costuming, and a terrific soundtrack. Like the first film I mentioned it has a strong, consistent style that makes it very entertaining. A strong early feature from director Alex Proyas who next helmed Dark City. I'm not certain I enjoy it as much these days, but it is worth mentioning for the overall visual design of the film. The film has a pretty interesting array of supporting characters including Jon Polito, Ernie Hudson, and the always entertaining David Patrick Kelly.

Dredd - A film that thankfully erases the memory of the awful Stallone version. Pure comic book action in a dystopian future. I have a lot of respect for lead actor Karl Urban staying faithful to the comic and never removing his helmet during the entirety of the feature. While not credited with directing the feature, I believe that Alex Garland had a fairly large role in getting this to the screen. If not my favorite comic book feature, it is on the short list. Another film with a strong, visual component in terms of the production design and cinematography. There are some terrific shots in this film including some very stylized slow motion sequences. It features a strong driving bass track that really keeps the viewer energized and maintains the pace of the feature. One of those films I can pretty much watch anytime. Top notch in my opinion.

- Walter.
 

JohnRice

Bounded In a Nutshell
Premium
Reviewer
HW Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
18,928
Location
A Mile High
Real Name
John
I’ll toss in A History of Violence as especially good.

FWIW, I think The Batman is quite good.

And yes, my understanding is that Alex Garland, who wrote the screenplay for Dredd, essentially ended up being the actual director, uncredited.
 
Last edited:

Carl David

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
549
Real Name
Carl
There are bigger titles that I could list, but I will mention a few from the linked list that I've viewed multiple times over the years...

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World - For me, the style and energy that director Edgar Wright brings to this film makes it very entertaining. I love the clever visualizations and the gaming aspects presented by the film. It finds a tone right at the outset and is consistent through the run time. The film is really well cast and some of the characters do a fine job of lampooning certain personality types. Chris Evans in particular. Really a creative film.

The Crow - Another film that gets big style points from the cinematography, set design, costuming, and a terrific soundtrack. Like the first film I mentioned it has a strong, consistent style that makes it very entertaining. A strong early feature from director Alex Proyas who next helmed Dark City. I'm not certain I enjoy it as much these days, but it is worth mentioning for the overall visual design of the film. The film has a pretty interesting array of supporting characters including Jon Polito, Ernie Hudson, and the always entertaining David Patrick Kelly.

Dredd - A film that thankfully erases the memory of the awful Stallone version. Pure comic book action in a dystopian future. I have a lot of respect for lead actor Karl Urban staying faithful to the comic and never removing his helmet during the entirety of the feature. While not credited with directing the feature, I believe that Alex Garland had a fairly large role in getting this to the screen. If not my favorite comic book feature, it is on the short list. Another film with a strong, visual component in terms of the production design and cinematography. There are some terrific shots in this film including some very stylized slow motion sequences. It features a strong driving bass track that really keeps the viewer energized and maintains the pace of the feature. One of those films I can pretty much watch anytime. Top notch in my opinion.

- Walter.
Found all 3 to be mediocre at best but did like The Crow when I was young but watched that recently and found was not as good as I remembered it to be.

But Dark City by the same director was excellent and definitely an improvement over The Crow.

Watched Dredd with high expectations as a few recommended it but wasn't impressed. I think that comic book as huge potential for a brilliant movie but none yet have managed to achieve that in my opinion.

The Stallone picture was awful beyond comprehension.

Scott Pilgrim is way over rated in my opinion but it is different so it gets bonus points there.
 

Carl David

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
549
Real Name
Carl
I’ll toss in A History of Violence as especially good.

FWIW, I think The Batman is quite good.

And yes, my understanding is that Alex Garland, who wrote the screenplay for Dredd, essentially ended up being the actual director, uncredited.
"A History of Violence" is a good movie.

Was going to mention that and it's definitely a strong contender for one of the best comic book movie adaptations.

But is that much of an accolade?
 

TravisR

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
42,458
Location
The basement of the FBI building
My favorites are Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and Ghost World. Off the top of my head, I'd follow those with Batman: The Movie (1966), Batman Returns, A History Of Violence, Road To Perdition, Sin City and Watchmen. And to include two amazing TV shows- Batman: The Animated Series and Watchmen.
 

Carl David

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
549
Real Name
Carl
My favorites are Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and Ghost World. Off the top of my head, I'd follow those with Batman: The Movie (1966), Batman Returns, A History Of Violence, Road To Perdition, Sin City and Watchmen. And to include two amazing TV shows- Batman: The Animated Series and Watchmen.

Ghost World was okay.

Thought that was a bit better than the standard comic book movie churned out over the last 10 years.
 

jayembee

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2020
Messages
6,712
Location
Hamster Shire
Real Name
Jerry
Dredd - A film that thankfully erases the memory of the awful Stallone version. Pure comic book action in a dystopian future. I have a lot of respect for lead actor Karl Urban staying faithful to the comic and never removing his helmet during the entirety of the feature. While not credited with directing the feature, I believe that Alex Garland had a fairly large role in getting this to the screen.
And yes, my understanding is that Alex Garland, who wrote the screenplay for Dredd, essentially ended up being the actual director, uncredited.

 

jayembee

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2020
Messages
6,712
Location
Hamster Shire
Real Name
Jerry
A genre all on its own where anything goes. Comic book movies have been produced at least since the 1960s (possibly earlier?).

Definitely earlier. In the 1940s and early 1950s, there were several movie serials based on comics: Captain America, Captain Marvel, Batman (two of them), Superman (two of them, plus a feature film), and Blackhawk. And that's not counting the insane number of ones based on newspaper comic strips.

Clearly, many cinema goers have a very deep fondness for films based on comic books especially over the last 10 years where many have been released and to favorable box office results hence the continued output to the present day.

Would be interesting to read other members opinions on this topic to see what their personal tastes are.

Any recommendations on what you think is a well made, intelligent, original and entertaining movie based on a comic book where it's evident (in your opinion) that much creative energy and artistic input has been applied resulting in a movie actually worth watching?

Personally, I love them, but I have been a fan of comic books for most of my 70 years of existence. But I won't try to convince you to change your mind. It looks like comic book movies just aren't your thing, and there's nothing wrong with that. But without knowing why they don't appeal to you, it's hard to suggest ones that you might like.

One of the problems with this category is that not all "comic book movies" are the same. I think that when most people think of "comic book movies", they're thinking of specifically superhero comic books. It's worth noting that some of the titles suggested here are not about superheroes, such as Ghost World, The History of Violence, and Road to Perdition. One not mentioned already that sits on the border is V for Vendetta, which is really a dystopian science fiction story, and is only superhero-ish in that it involves a masked/costumed character (but, then, so do films based on Zorro, or the Scarlet Pimpernel). And while I wouldn't recommend the movie, Luc Besson's Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is based on a French comic album series, as was his fantasy film The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec.

There are also a number of films -- both animated and live-action -- based on manga (Japanese comic books). The best known probably being the Lone Wolf and Cub series and Oldboy.
 
Last edited:

Bryan^H

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2005
Messages
9,527
This is a long shot, and may be out of bounds for the question, but "The Whole Wide World" is one of my favorite films of the 90's. It is based on the life of Robert E Howard (creator of Conan the Barbarian, and Red Sonja) The film is from the book Novellyn Price wrote. She dated him on and off in the 1930's.

Tragic and sad sure, but fascinating.
The Blu-Ray (Multicom Entertainment) released a few years ago is absolutely gorgeous.


 
Last edited:

jayembee

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2020
Messages
6,712
Location
Hamster Shire
Real Name
Jerry
Speaking of French comic album series, has anyone seen Jan Kounen's Blueberry (US title: Renegade)? It's based on the French comic, by Jean Giraud (aka Moebius) and Jean-Michel Charlier, which I love. But I've never gotten around to seeing the film, of which reception is, let's say, mixed.

It's one of only a few Westerns based on comic books that I can think of at the moment. The others: Cowboys & Aliens, Jonah Hex, and (also not seen by me) a few European-made films based on the French Lucky Luke comics.

On edit: I just discovered that Bull Moose has copies of the DVD.
On further edit: It's apparently available for streaming on Prime.
 
Last edited:

jayembee

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2020
Messages
6,712
Location
Hamster Shire
Real Name
Jerry
And while I can't say I'd recommend it, I didn't find Whiteout to be nearly as bad as its reputation would have it. It's a murder mystery set in Antarctica, starring Kate Beckinsale and Tom Skerritt. Based on a comic by Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber. For the record, Rucka didn't like it.

For a solid action/fantasy movie based on a Greg Rucka comic (and, like Atomic Blonde, starring Charlize Theron) try the Netflix movie The Old Guard.
 

Sam Favate

Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
12,971
Real Name
Sam Favate
I’ve enjoyed a good number - but certainly not all - movies derived from comics. Sometimes it’s a familiarity with the source material, and sometimes it’s just a well made movie.

The best one IMO is Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie (1978). It’s got enough of the original comics storyline, some Biblical allusions, beautiful widescreen Americana, some of the most thrilling music in any movie, some truly great performances, and a very healthy dose of humor.

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 (2004) is another truly great comic book movie. It’s gets the action and humor right, but it also nails the sadness that’s so essential to the character.

Obviously, Marvel Studios has built an empire on the comic book movie, and many of their films are excellent. The first Iron Man, the first three Captain America pictures, the Guardians of the Galaxy series, the first Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok, the Spider-Man trilogy are all examples of quality film making from comic sources. Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame are true cinematic epics - but are only as effective as they are if you’ve seen what came before. Marvel owes its success, IMO, to making each film as different as possible.

DC tried to duplicate Marvel’s success, but really only hit a few out of the park. Wonder Woman (2017) is a great film, but not much else in the DC shared universe measures up. Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy (2005-2012) is excellent, albeit somewhat humorless.

Fox’s series based on the X-Men was hit and miss, but some films like X-Men 2 (known as X2) are great. I’d also say X-Men First Class, Days of Future Past, The Wolverine and Logan are worthwhile.

There was an adaptation of The Phantom in the 90s, with Billy Zane and Treat Williams, that’s an enjoyable romp, in an Indiana Jones spirit. Disney’s The Rocketeer (1991) is a terrific film, with an old school spirit of adventure. Also Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy (1990) is a wonderful full color detective story.

Non-superhero film derived from comics can also be very good. Others have pointed out A History of Violence, which is indeed excellent. I’d also mention V For Vendetta (2006) which is as poetic a tale on anti-fascism as you will find.

Like any genre, there are good and bad films. Comic book movies have been at the top of the box office for more than 20 years, and I doubt they’re going anywhere.
 
Last edited:

Sam Favate

Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
12,971
Real Name
Sam Favate
By the by, in my opinion, the absolute best superhero movie ever -- but not one based on a pre-existing comic book -- is Pixar's The Incredibles.
Oh yeah, The Incredibles is just about perfect. It’s not from a comic book, but it surely wouldn’t exist without them.
 

Walter Kittel

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 28, 1998
Messages
9,793
Reading some of the comments regarding works derived from French sources and Moebius I sort of feel obliged to mention Metal Hurlant and the film Heavy Metal. The film is definitely not for everyone, but I've always enjoyed it since a theatrical viewing in 1981. Partly due to the fact that I hadn't seen any animated work in that fashion up until that point in my life, a flat out, star-studded Rock soundtrack that still gets a lot of play from me, and being a lifelong fan of SF literature. Structured as a series of vignettes this helps the film by not staying too long in any segment of the story as they are kind of a mixed bag. The fact that The Fifth Element feels like it was inspired by the Harry Canyon segment in Heavy Metal, just adds to my overall positive impression of the film.

- Walter.
 

Carl David

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
549
Real Name
Carl
Definitely earlier. In the 1940s and early 1950s, there were several movie serials based on comics: Captain America, Captain Marvel, Batman (two of them), Superman (two of them, plus a feature film), and Blackhawk. And that's not counting the insane number of ones based on newspaper comic strips.



Personally, I love them, but I have been a fan of comic books for most of my 70 years of existence. But I won't try to convince you to change your mind. It looks like comic book movies just aren't your thing, and there's nothing wrong with that. But without knowing why they don't appeal to you, it's hard to suggest ones that you might like.

One of the problems with this category is that not all "comic book movies" are the same. I think that when most people think of "comic book movies", they're thinking of specifically superhero comic books. It's worth noting that some of the titles suggested here are not about superheroes, such as Ghost World, The History of Violence, and Road to Perdition. One not mentioned already that sits on the border is V for Vendetta, which is really a dystopian science fiction story, and is only superhero-ish in that it involves a masked/costumed character (but, then, so do films based on Zorro, or the Scarlet Pimpernel). And while I wouldn't recommend the movie, Luc Besson's Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is based on a French comic album series, as was his fantasy film The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec.

There are also a number of films -- both animated and live-action -- based on manga (Japanese comic books). The best known probably being the Lone Wolf and Cub series and Oldboy.
I want to like them.

That's why I started this thread to get recommendations.

As I said I like MIB and MIB 3 and think they are more fun and enjoyable than most of the others I have seen.

Lone Wolf and Cub is brilliant. Did not know that was based on a comic so thanks for the info on that.

I will use that as my reference to compare against all others from now on because that surpasses almost all I have seen.
 

Carl David

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
549
Real Name
Carl
I found Atomic Blonde to be quite entertaining, and in a different vein, Bullet Train was also entertaining.
And of the Batman movies, Batman Begins is my fav.
Atomic Blonde bored me to death too.

I'm not cut out for comic based movies am I?
 

Carl David

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
549
Real Name
Carl
I’ve enjoyed a good number - but certainly not all - movies derived from comics. Sometimes it’s a familiarity with the source material, and sometimes it’s just a well made movie.

The best one IMO is Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie (1978). It’s got enough of the original comics storyline, some Biblical allusions, beautiful widescreen Americana, some of the most thrilling music in any movie, some truly great performances, and a very healthy dose of humor.

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 (2004) is another truly great comic book movie. It’s gets the action and humor right, but it also nails the sadness that’s so essential to the character.

Obviously, Marvel Studios has built an empire on the comic book movie, and many of their films are excellent. The first Iron Man, the first two Captain America pictures, the Guardians of the Galaxy series, the first Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok, the Spider-Man trilogy are all examples of quality film making from comic sources. Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame are true cinematic epics - but are only as effective as they are if you’ve seen what came before. Marvel owes its success, IMO, to making each film as different as possible.

DC tried to duplicate Marvel’s success, but really only hit a few out of the park. Wonder Woman (2017) is a great film, but not much else in the DC shared universe measures up. Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy (2005-2012) is excellent, albeit somewhat humorless.

Fox’s series based on the X-Men was hit and miss, but some films like X-Men 2 (known as X2) are great. I’d also say X-Men First Class, Days of Future Past, The Wolverine and Logan are worthwhile.

There was an adaptation of The Phantom in the 90s, with Billy Zane and Treat Williams, that’s an enjoyable romp, in an Indiana Jones spirit. Disney’s The Rocketeer (1991) is a terrific film, with an old school spirit of adventure. Also Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy (1990) is a wonderful full color detective story.

Non-superhero film derived from comics can also be very good. Others have pointed out A History of Violence, which is indeed excellent. I’d also mention V For Vendetta (2006) which is as poetic a tale on anti-fascism as you will find.

Like any genre, there are good and bad films. Comic book movies have been at the top of the box office for more than 20 years, and I doubt they’re going anywhere.
The Rocketeer was enjoyable but not seen it for a long time maybe over 20 years ago.

Might revisit that one.

Thought Spider Man 2 was the worst I have seen.

When I saw Willem Dafoe in that ridiculous green goblin outfit I turned it off half way through as it was just too silly for my liking.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Sign up for our newsletter

and receive essential news, curated deals, and much more







You will only receive emails from us. We will never sell or distribute your email address to third party companies at any time.

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
356,950
Messages
5,126,900
Members
144,213
Latest member
trishy!
Recent bookmarks
0
Top