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wonder woman

Movies, Special

The 5 Best Superhero Movies

When I grew up superhero movies weren’t something to be excited about. Most of them were mediocre at best and  “X-Men: The Last Stand” at worse – a movie so bad that 20th Century Fox decided to make “Days Of Future Past” a good movie that basically exists to erase the events of a bad movie.

But, around 2008 something changed in the genre. It became good. Suddenly the movies weren’t all about overused tropes and too tight costumes with clearly visible Clooney nipples. Suddenly they started asking real questions and portrayed real characters with real flaws.

 Tony Stark used to be an arms dealer with questionable morals building his fortune on the misery of war. Bruce Wayne had to face the concept of nihilism and The Joker actually had a point in his idea that if we take away a human’s comfort, they basically turn into wild animals. It was a massive step up from Toby Maguire’s dance in Spider-Man 3.

So with Marvel Comic’s 10-year anniversary officially over we felt it was a good time to take a retrospective look over the movies we’ve enjoyed the last decade.

These are my favourites and of course, my list is the objective truth. If you disagree let’s talk about it. Leave a comment somewhere and I will explain why you are wrong.

 

WARNING: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE ON THE LIST GO WATCH AND COME BACK! GOOD? GOOD! LET’S DO THIS!

 

Number 5: “Deadpool” (2016)

 

(Photo: www.telegraph.co.uk)

Finding the number 5 spot was arguably more difficult than the number 1 spot considering my massive man-crush on Ryan Reynolds and the fact that I have probably read Deadpool comics for 15 years. The movie shows amazing chemistry between Wade Wilson and Vanessa and the jokes are funny and hit 90% of the times. It showed you don’t need a huge budget for a great film and the passion behind the project is obvious.

However, the reason why I put it at number 5 is that even though the movie is amazing, it doesn’t work by itself. It serves as a massive satire of the superhero genre which only works due to the massive saturation of the genre. The movie feels like an inside joke in the ways it pokes fun of Green Lantern and licencing issues between studios jokes that you only pick up if you are “in the know” in the superhero universe. My dad with no relationship to superhero movies would not enjoy the film the same way I would.

It is one of the funniest movies I’ve seen and it was a massive breath of fresh air; it was just that, a breath of fresh air. It is the mate you hang out with once a year and have a great time with but if you were to hang out with him more it would lose a lot of the magic. And that’s why I put it at number 5. Still amazing, just not the best of the best. (Sorry Ryan, please respond to my love letters)

 

Number 4: “The Dark Knight” (2008)

 

(Photo: www.variety.com)

Another one that is probably one of my favourite movies of all time. The late Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the psychotic clown, prince of crime has made it into a modern classic. Its theme of order vs chaos is both interesting and thought-provoking.

What makes the movie interesting though is that Batman is not a hero; he is a necessary evil. Bruce Wayne really wants to be replaced by Harvey Dent – someone that can create real societal change in the dark pit of corruption and debauchery that Gotham City is. Wayne’s perfect world is one where he is not needed and it is a goal he actively seeks out to achieve and I feel that is an idea not widely explored in superhero movies. And of course Michael Caine as Alfred is amazing: I cried extremely manly tears during the “I failed you” speech in the sequel “The Dark Knight Rises”.

 

Number 3: Into The Spider-Verse (2018)

 

(Photo: www.whats-on-netflix.com)

The movie was just released but man, what a movie. A lot of charm, hilarious jokes and great animation. It also featured the movie debut of fan favourites Miles Morales and Spider-Gwen.

When I first saw the trailer I was a bit sceptical to the animation style, but it really does work and the movie ended up being both hilarious and heart-wrenching. Nicholas Cage as Spider-noir quickly became a favourite and I still burst out randomly overly dramatic quotes in the office: “Wherever I go, the wind follows…. and the wind smells like rain”.

The trailers also did a brilliant job hiding the reveals. I genuinely did not see the Doc Ock reveal coming and let out an audible “no way” in the theatre. John Mulaney does a surprisingly good job as Peter Porker – a character that proved to be more than just comic relief.

 

Number 2: Wonder Woman (2017)

 

(Photo: www.vox.com)

A movie that really surprised me was “Wonder Woman”. I recently re-watched the film to try to figure why a movie featuring an Amazon coming to Europe during the worst conflict in human history ended up blowing me away like that. I think a lot of it comes down to the movie asking the question “is humanity essentially good or evil”?

There is one scene in the movie where Diana gets ice cream from a vendor and is so excited about it and tells the owner to be very proud of their creation. There was a genuine wholesomeness where she sees one of the best qualities in humanity: just basic kindness.

But simultaneously it does show the brutal side of humankind with Dr Poison and her gas attacks. Ares explains that humanity is only capable of death and selfishness, yet Steve Trevor sacrifices himself to save London showing that humanity is way more complex. I think the movie’s message is that humanity is imperfect and that makes us perfect. And I love that.

 

Number 1: Logan (2017)

 

(Photo: www.livinghours.com)

Wolverine was probably my favorite superhero as a kid and “X-Men” was maybe the first comic I started reading. I always loved his character and I consider X-men 2 one of the few good superhero movies before 2008.

Full disclosure: I have a near and dear relationship to Jackman’s Wolverine and I loved the “Old Man Logan” comics (which the story is loosely inspired by). Yet, I was blown away. I don’t know if I can honestly say it is a superhero movie since (if we are going all movie technical) it checks off more boxes in the western genre. Watch the movie and imagine Red Dead Redemption 2’s Arthur Morgan saying the lines and it still fits.

The movie follows a lone gunslinger (just in this case the guns are claws) that roam around the wilderness just looking for peace after a life of brutality. This Logan isn’t the bulletproof god of X-men origins: this is just a broken dying man driving a fancy Uber so he and his surrogate father Charles that suffers from Alzheimer’s can buy a boat.

The movie portrays Logan as the last of his kind, after most of the others mutants got killed. He is a lonely alcoholic. But after meeting his “daughter” Lauren aka X-23, he does earn a higher purpose even though he originally did it for the money.

The movie isn’t a superhero movie and I guess in some way that’s what makes it such a great superhero movie. It’s less about the greatness of being superhuman and more the realization that nothing last forever; even the greatest stories have to come to an end – regardless of if you have got claws or just normal, boring human hands.

 

Well there you have it: my top 5 superhero films! What’s your top 5? Add a comment somewhere and I will explain why my list is better!

Have a great week/weekend/year/whatever.

-Alex Dante

Find all your Marvel and DC merch at EMP!

EMP, Movies, TV

Best of 2017: Entertainment

As the sun sets on 2017, we can’t help but sit back and reflect on what a year it’s been for the entertainment world: Stranger Things 2 turned our worlds upside down; Game of Thrones season 7 left us speechless and the new Star Wars movie hit our screens last week. Here we take a closer look at some of the most iconic moments of 2017.

 

Movies

 

DC Movies

Let’s kick things off with this Amazon warrior princess that took the box offices by storm: the one and only, Wonder Woman. 2004 being the last time we saw a female superhero lead (Catwoman), it was refreshing to see such a badass woman front and centre. Raking in almost 822 million USD, it beat Justice League (635) by a mile, another 2017 DC release, where Wonder Woman was joined by an entourage of fellow DC superheroes.  Whilst this didn’t receive the greatest of reviews, we could never not enjoy so many iconic characters on one screen! We have loads of DC merch for you to check out!

 

Photo credit: leonardmaltin.com

 

 

Thor: Ragnarok

Wonder Woman wasn’t the only hero to have a solo film: 2017 saw the release of Thor: Ragnarok, which was by far the funniest Marvel film there has been. His newly discovered super power – humour – had us gripped by the get go. For someone new to our world, Thor’s comic timing is on point!

 

Photo credit: wingsoffire.wikia.com

 

 

Despicable Me 3

But perhaps it would be more impressive to make people laugh when you’re speaking a foreign language? That’s where the Minions come in! This year, they were back on our screens in Despicable me 3 and funny as ever. Gru found out about his twin brother (who looked more like a cross between Richard Branson and Donald Trump) and returned to the dark side one last time… what could go wrong? Turns out a lot! But the staple moment of the movie was when Agnes found out that unicorns are actually FLUFFY! (Don’t die please). We have Fluffy the unicorn and lots more Minion merch perfect for any kind of fan!

 

Photo credit: pinterest.co.uk

 

 

Star Wars

We also saw great things from Disney this year with the release of Star Wars last week. One thing that is undeniable about this movie is the way it has brought generations together; you just had to look around the cinema to see children with their grandparents, groups of friends, people there for the first time and people by themselves feeling comfortable in their Star Wars family. Whatever your opinion, there isn’t any other franchise of films that could unite times quite like Star Wars does.

 

Photo credit: geekmom.com

 

 

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast was also released by Disney this year which didn’t disappoint! Whilst I couldn’t quite shake the feeling that Hermoine felt slightly out of place in it, it was a fantastic rendition of an Oscar winning timeless classic. The special effects were remarkable allowing us to connect with Lumière and Mrs Pots just as well as we did (eventually) with the Beast. Disney’s live action remakes don’t stop here with Cruella and Peter Pan due to be released in 2018.

 

Photo credit: pinterest.co.uk

 

TV Series

 

Stranger Things 2

2017 has also been a phenomenal year for TV series. We saw the release of Stranger Things 2 which definitely lived up to expectations. I was so pleased to have the gang back and be a part of their shenanigans again. The series didn’t come without its surprises (and I’m not just talking about Dustin’s hair at prom) but mainly by how much I liked Steve by the end of it! His transformation was nearly as drastic as Dart’s: from high school heart throb who’s a bit of a d**k to the secret hero of the whole series, taking on the Upside Down right at the source. I can’t help but think that their make shift solution will come back to haunt them though… cue series 3! Check out our range of Stranger Things Funko Pops!

 

Photo credit: dorkly.com

 

 

Rick and Morty

Rick and Morty has taken Netflix by storm this year with the release of the third season. More dark and ambitious than the previous 2 series, this series took the characters on even wilder adventures to more outrageous places and introduced us to even more bizarre characters like Cornvelious Daniel, Jaguar and Logic, to name a few. We can’t wait to see what season 4 will hold (in like, a really long time).

 

Photo credit: imgflip.com

 

 

Game of Thrones

I don’t know if you heard, I mean, it was kept on the DL and not many people were talking about it but this thing called Game of Thrones season 7 was out this year? Na, I hadn’t heard either. This was the first series without the influence of a book by George R. R. Martin and fans were very sceptical about this development. But it was still as gripping as ever leaving us with many questions on our lips but the main one being how are we going to wait till 2019 for season 8!?

 


Photo credit: me.me

 

2017 was a cracking year for entertainment and also hosted some interesting announcements like Tom Hardy as Marvel Comic character Venom and Tarantino potentially making a Star Trek movie (what?). We can’t wait to see what 2018 holds! But whilst we are waiting, check out our range of Entertainment merch – there’s something for everyone!