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Our Favorite Comic Book Movies — Part 4




Posted on 4/8/2014

This is the fourth and final installment in our comic-related movies series. Check out which picks made the cut!


Hellboy (2004)

Helmed by visionary director Guillermo Del Toro, takes Mike Mignola's dark fantasy epic into a surreal world of sci-fi / fantasy / comedy. Hellboy, played perfectly by master thespian Ron Pearlman, plays the adopted demon who has grown into a red hulking monster near impervious to damage — though ultra sensitive and almost adolescent with his feelings towards the sultry, flame-conjuring Liz Sherman (Selma Blair).

The success of the film led to a sequel and await a long-rumored end to a trilogy. Mignola himself stated that the public wouldn't take to the death of the character well, as he planned to do a third film. Ron Pearlman did, however, don the Hellboy garb and makeup — not for film purposes, but solely for the satisfaction of an idolizing fan and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Fans of the franchise cross their fingers in anticipation of the rumors to turn into an actual third film. Mignola continues to add to the Hellboy universe in his Dark Horse Comics with exploits of the B.P.R.D. and Hellboy partner Abe Sapien.

Michael Balent, CGC Signature Series Coordinator





Watchmen

We are living in a golden age of comic book–related movies, my friends. Our favorite characters are springing off the pages and coming to life in worldwide blockbusters helmed by today's leading directors and starring household names, while successfully capturing the spirit of the very books from which they were created. We, the fans, keep asking for more, and Hollywood obliges with one right after the other.

It's a tough task to attempt to pick a favorite considering the volume of these films being made, and so many of them being made well. But the task is mine, and if I must choose today, I choose Watchmen.

Debuting in 2009, director Zack Snyder masterfully captures the mood and tone of the book by the same name, written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons. While watching the film, so many scenes are taken directly from the panels of the comic book masterpiece. When you have such great source material, why fool with it?

But the director did not always stay true to the script. Many fans of the original story written by Moore were upset with how Snyder changed the ending of the film from the book. Myself, on the other hand, feel the change was needed to maintain the realistic feel created by Snyder and stayed true to the motives of the characters.

There are many excellent comic book movies out there today, but to me, Watchmen comes as close as any to successfully creating a living, breathing world out of the words and illustrations of a modern-day comic book classic.

Andrew Palmer, CGC Customer Service Representative


30 Days of Night

I am first and foremost a lifelong horror fan, in film, books and art. I have always liked things a little on the dark side, so my favorite comic-inspired movie would have to be 30 Days of Night.

Steve Niles is brilliant. He takes the simple idea of Alaska's long night and turns it into the most compelling vampire story since Interview with a Vampire. The film does his story justice with its violent and depraved vampires more true to the vampire myth than Twilight and its sparkles. The film has a great mix of blood and guts and genuine scares to satisfy any horror fan.

The entire cast does a great job portraying the characters from the comic and it stays close enough to the source to work for me. Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, and Eben and Stella Oleson work perfectly in the lead roles. Danny Huston as Marlow, the de facto head vampire, takes the show for me, however, stealing every scene he is in. Also, fans of Arrow, take a good look at Eben's deputy, Billy Kitka, for a glimpse at he who would be Deathstroke.

All in all, 30 Days of Night is not only a great adaptation of one of Steve Niles' best works, but it is also a great horror film in its own right and easily one of my favorite comic-inspired films of all time.

Eric Downton, CGC Customer Service Representative


Heavy Metal

One winter's eve, sometime in the mid-'90s, I discovered that really late at night, there is some awesome television on. On one of these insomniatic ventures, probably around age 13 or so, I stumbled across Heavy Metal. Not my first adult-oriented cartoon, but still to this date my favorite. The art was masterful, worthy of any '80s power van, and the soundtrack was one that would blow the T-tops off any IROC-Z. It would be a few years before I got to see it again. Due to music licensing issues, it wasn't released on home video until 1996. In 2000, I was fortunate enough to see it on the big screen at a local indy theater in Pittsburgh. That same day though, I was unfortunate to see Heavy Metal 2000, which played immediately afterward. Word is there is another sequel in the works — hopefully it takes after the original and not 2000. What I feel caught my attention with the original was that it was an anthology, much like my favorite comics at the time. Once I realized Heavy Metal was a magazine, I started picking it up on a regular basis until I went off to college. I never saw them after that, I think my mom threw them away, along with my Playboys. Little did she know that such things are collectible.

Tyler Gingery, CGC Quality Control




Watchmen

I’ve always thought that the biggest problem with movies based on comic series has been trying to develop the characters and their back stories in just two hours — and still have an intriguing plot that holds true to the essence of the original comic. I thought Zach Snyder’s 2009 interpretation of Watchmen was fantastic in this regard. The cinematography was gorgeous and the effects stunningly well executed, while still maintaining an overall look that mimicked the comic panels. The soundtrack was amazing as well, with each song perfectly placed. I also loved that the casting was mostly all lesser-known actors; I didn’t have any prior typecasting to base their performances on. Yes, there are some aspects of the comics that were left out that I would have really enjoyed seeing, but the director’s cut added a lot of extra scenes and footage that made up for it.

Scott Davis, CGC Shipping / Receiving



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