Category Archives: Worst to First
Next Friday, Superman and Batman will appear on the big screen for the first time. Leading up to the release of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, we’ll be looking back at the cinematic history of the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight. Last week, we ranked the Superman movies. So now it’s Batman’s turn.
On the whole, Batman has fared better than Superman at the movies. But overall, most of his movies still aren’t very good.
Later this month, Superman and Batman will appear on the big screen for the first time. Leading up to the release of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, we’ll be looking back at the cinematic history of the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight. To kick things off, we’re going to rank the Superman movies from worst to first.
Let me start off by saying something that is very hard for me to say as a lifelong Superman fan. Most of the movies featuring the Last Son of Krypton aren’t very good. There’s really only two that are worth watching. For the rest of the bunch, we’re splitting hairs to determine which belong at the bottom of the barrel.
As classic as the original trilogy of Star Wars movies was, who are we kidding? The lasting love many of us have for George Lucas’ space opera series has at least as much to do with the associated toys we managed to get our hands on. After all, Star Wars and its immediate sequel The Empire Strike Back, were released at a time when home video had not yet become prevalent. Even when Return of the Jedi hit theaters in 1983, mainstream U.S. consumers were still a year or two away from thinking of watching movies at home as something that could be a common occurrence. Without the ability to constantly revisit the movies, we reinforced the existing stories we’d seen on the big screen and invented more stories of our own through the time-honored tradition of play.
George Lucas famously held onto licensing rights when his contract was written up for the making of the first movie, and we all helped to make him a very rich man. In a sense, we are guilty of creating the circumstances under which the reviled prequels happened. But nobody was actually prepared for how popular Star Wars would become. The movie opened as a ‘B’ feature and got kicked out of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood after just two weeks because of a pre-existing contract. Kenner secured the licensing for creating toys, but couldn’t produce them fast enough, leading to kids going to Sears and coming home with a piece of cardboard promising them a set of action figures once the darn things got made. My parents wouldn’t buy us a piece of cardboard, but as soon as the figures were actually in the store they happily let us choose one. I don’t think they quite understood at the time that wouldn’t be close to the end of it.
For several years these were some of my favorite and most coveted toys. I didn’t come close to collecting it all, but I sure feel like I got my share. Join me as I rank my favorites!
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Today is the opening day for Creed, a spin-off from the long-running Rocky franchise in which Sylvester Stallone plays Rocky Balboa for the seventh time. That’s a lot of “Yo Adrians!” As the Italian Stallion passes the baton to the next generation, I’m going to rank the Rockies from worst to first. And of course readers will get a chance to do the same.
This week, the latest Terminator movie, Terminator Genisys, was released to video. Based on the movie’s underwhelming domestic grosses, a lot of you probably decided to skip Genisys in theaters. Now that everyone can run out to Redbox to pick up a copy, I thought it would be a fine time to see where the fifth entry in the Terminator series fits in. First, I’m going to rank the Terminator movies from worst to first and then you will get a chance to do the same.
With the arrival of a new James Bond movie, it’s time to reevaluate my rankings of the actors who have played 007. I haven’t seen Spectre as of this writing (it opens in theaters today), but if advanced reviews are to be believed the latest Bond movie counts as another win for current 007, Daniel Craig. Will that be enough of an edge for him to challenge Sean Connery for the top spot?
Let’s rank the James Bond actors from worst to first and find out
One of the quintessential elements of the James Bond series is music. Of course, you have John Barry’s classic theme song:
Additionally, each entry in the series has its own theme song. Many of those songs have found life outside of the movies they accompanied. But like the 007 features themselves, these songs vary in quality. Some of them have held up quite well over the years while some have faded as fast as Paris Hilton after getting a dip in Blofeld’s shark tank.
So which Bond themes stand as good to great and which reside in the category of mindless caterwauling. Read on to find out!
Elmore Leonard is one of the most iconic novelists of the second half of the twentieth century, so it’s natural that his work would be frequently adapted by Hollywood. However, many adaptations of his work fall short or even worse. The prime problem is that it’s easy to forget that Leonard’s novels and stories aren’t plot driven: the primary focus is on the characters, dialogue and overall attitude. Quentin Tarantino gets this. So does screenwriter Scott Frank and directors Steven Soderbergh and Barry Sonnenfeld. But many times, those adapting his work do not. Hence why of the numerous adaptations of his films, only a few truly succeed.
In keeping with the Halloween-y theme Lebeau has been fostering this month, I’ve decided to offer up another installment in the popular new “Worst to First” series. Although the Harry Potter series might initially seem to have a less obvious link to everyone’s favorite horror-themed holiday, if you take just a moment to tally its Halloween credentials you will likely be convinced that it is a pretty clear fit. In fact, I’d argue that any need to second think such a consideration only points to the unique and personal qualities J K Rowling’s world of wizards, witches, trolls, charms, hexes, and horcruxes possesses. After all, this is a series in which magical people wear pointy hats. That’s about as cartoon Halloween as you can get. Harry and friends became so famous of their own accord that they seem to exist outside of any reductionist genre.
The Harry Potter series began with the modest kids book Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone (The American release would be switched to Sorcerer’s Stone) penned by British author Rowling, but strong word of mouth and a few excellent reviews gradually transformed the bespectacled young wizard into a household name on both sides of the Atlantic. The film series was a foregone conclusion by the time the second book in the series was setting up shop in the NY Times best-sellers list. All seven books have sold more than 50 million copies and there are plenty of people out there who will do a double take if you admit that you haven’t read them yet.
So let’s get on with ranking the film versions!
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In the 1980’s, horror movies were dominated by the slasher genre. Michael Myers started a trend in the late 70’s and Jason Vorheese took it to the next level. For the most part, the killers in these movies were big, silent killing machines who walked slowly from the shadows. But Freddy Kruger was different. He was talkative. Funny even. And he didn’t have to sneak up on you. He was already in your dreams waiting for his next victim to fall asleep. Freddy gets you when you are completely defenseless.
Over the course of the decade, the lunatic with a scarred visage and knives for fingers became a pop culture icon. But as audiences moved away from the slasher genre, Freddy struggled to remain relevant. The last few Nightmare on Elm Street movies have relied on stunts to try to win back Freddy’s fans. Some have worked out better than others. So let’s rank the Nightmare on Elm Street movies from worst to first.
The 1970’s introduced horror fans to a prolific writer named Stephen King. You may have heard of him. In 1976, Brian DePalma adapted King’s first novel, Carrie, into a hit movie. The success of Carrie opened the floodgates. Ever since, audiences have been inundated with Stephen King movies. In the following decade, there were 14 feature films adapted from King’s works! Some were better than others and some weren’t very good at all. So as we get into the Halloween spirit, let’s rank the Stephen King movies of the 80’s from worst to first.
Before Fast And Furious or Michael Bay came along the original Die Hard set the standard for the action movie genre. It also introduced us to Bruce Willis as police officer John McClane, an everyman hero who stood in stark contrast to the muscle-bound action stars of the time. Although the series and the character are beloved, most of the Die Hard movies are really not all that great. Of them all, one stands as a classic, one’s pretty good, two are just okay and one’s quite awful. Let’s rank ’em and see which is which.
In the superhero genre, the Batman franchise stands out as one of the longest and most successful. With seven movies since 1989 (not counting old movie serials, animated films or the sixties TV-show tie-in), the series has featured an array of colorful bad guys to challenge the Dark Knight. In fact a common criticism of the series is that many of the movies belong to the villains while the hero disappears into the background of his own movie. With the coming onslaught of movies set in the new DC cinematic universe, the floodgates have been opened on Batman villains. Suicide Squad alone will feature several Arkham inmates. Before that happens, let’s rank the Batman movie villains we have so far.