Binge Watch This – Comic Book Character Edition

“The Dark Knight”

Streaming on Netflix, HBO and Amazon Prime Video

For anyone beginning their journey into comic book movies, Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” was considered the pinnacle of superhero movies. With a 94% positive review on Rotten Tomatoes, critics agree this movie is worth the watch. 

“The Dark Knight” is a great villain-based movie. Nolan encapsulates the audience in the crime-filled Gotham City by telling all sides of the story. The story focuses on Lt. Jim Gordon at the Gotham Police Department, the Joker trying to make a name for himself as a new villain and Bruce Wayne trying to protect the city he loves as the vigilante known as Batman. 

This thriller is filled with action, adventure and explosions. Viewers can set their expectations high as Christian Bale’s portrayal of Wayne is considered the greatest Batman of all time, according to Gamespot.com. The film was also a financial success, grossing over $1 Billion at the box office.  CE

 

“The Suicide Squad”

Streaming on HBO Max

From director James Gunn, 2021’s “The Suicide Squad” is superior to the anti-hero team in the 2016 adaptation. Both brought to life some of DC Comics’ craziest villains into one group. “The Suicide Squad” gets its name from explosives implanted in the base of teams’ skulls to keep them in line.

With an all-star cast including Margot Robbie, John Cena and Idris Elba, this movie is great for anyone who wants some genuinely laughable scenes mixed in with incredibly graphic action scenes from these villains and those who encounter them.

The squad is sent by the government to an island filled with enemies. They are on a search and destroy mission. If the mission is carried out successfully, the villains in the squad will enjoy a reduction in their prison sentences. 

While a fun movie to watch, Gunn is also introducing new villains during this movie. The character Peacemaker, played by Cena, now has its own binge-worthy series on HBO Max.  SR

 

“Black Panther”

Streaming on Disney+

When Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” hit theaters in 2018 during President’s Day weekend it set the box office on fire grossing over $240 million in four days. 

After the death of his father, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), returns to the fictional African country, Wakanda. T’Challa returns home to the isolated and technologically advanced nation to take over as king. 

When a powerful new enemy appears, T’Challa’s mettle as king – and Black Panther – is tested. He is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. T’Challa must release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life. 

Black Panther was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture and won Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Best Achievement in Costume Design and Best Achievement in Production Design.  MH

 

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” 

Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

There have been several iterations of everyone’s favorite web-slinging superhero from TV to the silver screen and from animated to live-action. However, one of the best yet is the computer-animated feature “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” This animated version is reminiscent of printed comic book panels that inspired the franchise. 

Directed by Peter Ramsey, Bob Persichetti and Rodney Rothman, this film has become a fan favorite. 

Full of laughs and intense action scenes, the movie’s plot concentrates on Miles Morales, a young protagonist and new-to-superpowers Spider-Man in this movie. With its beautiful animation style and great performances from the actors, it was easy for viewers to find themselves riveted by Miles Morales’ story, as well as how his Spider-Man version intersects with others in the Spider-Verse.  SR

 

 

“Joker”

Streaming on Hulu, HBO and Amazon Prime Video

Todd Phillips’ “Joker” may be one of the best stand-alone villain origin stories to date. Joaquin Phoenix portrays Arthur Fleck, an absolute nobody living in Gotham City with his elderly mother. Fleck is working as a clown to pay the bills. The audience slowly learns Fleck is mentally deranged as the film progresses.

As the film progresses, Fleck experiences a series of setbacks. One failure after another slowly inches him closer and closer to becoming the criminal mastermind known as the Joker. Phoenix’s portrayal shows how the mind can take over in an evil way. His commitment to the role helped Phoenix land an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.

This film is arguably the most dark and disturbing Gotham City we have ever seen on the big screen. It brings to life an alternate Joker backstory.  CE

 

 

“Logan”

Streaming on FXNOW and Amazon Prime Video

For viewers who prefer watching darker, more serious comic-book-inspired movies, “Logan” is filled with amazing action, colorful characters and suffering superheroes. 

Logan, based on the superhero Wolverine from the X-Men comics has much more of an adult tone than typical superhero movies. Stamped with an R-rating, this bloody and violent film is intended for mature audiences.  

This movie focuses on an older Logan (Hugh Jackman) who is taking care of an ill Professor X (Patrick Stewart). Logan’s plan of staying away from the public eye comes to a pause when he meets a young mutant who has similar powers. 

Director James Mangold, cinematographer John Mathieson, and film crew did a masterful job of bringing the comic book character to life. Filled with action, blood and gore, skilled acting performances, and even a few scenes bound to make many viewers tear up, “Logan” will change the perspective for many on how superhero movies can be made and how great they can be.  SR