Friday, 19 December 2008

The great comic book character face-off

It appears that every comic book has an infinate amount of lives when it comes to cinematic incarnations. So many of our beloved characters see many intepretations from various actors, and the time has come to say which ones are better. So, to conclude this comic posting trilogy, here it is. The comic book Character face-off.

Michael Keaton vs Val Kilmer vs George Clooney vs Christian Bale - Batman

Ignoring the joke Adam West Batman, these are the four guys who've taken up the mantle to play everyone's favourite masked vigilante. So in Chronological order then, Keaton nobly underplayed his Batman and in both Batman (1989) and Batman Returns allowed the respective villains to steal the show. He had his moments nonetheless. Kilmer and Clooney both dealt with this same problem, only magnified to an extreme degree. Both Batman Forever and Batman and Robin portrayed the Bat as an impossibly 2D hero, who was just simply there to fight the villain. In a way this was a partial truth in The Dark Knight also. The only time a movie has truly been about Batman is Batman Begins, in which Christian Bale puts in the only real great performance as Batman. In that film he is treated as a character, and comes across as such.

Winner: Christian Bale

Christopher Reeve vs Brandon Routh - SupermanThis is an interesting one. This maybe the only time in recasting history that the new boy was cast pretty much only for his similarity to the orignal A.K.A Christopher Reeve. This may have been why Superman Returns sucked so much ass, because its director Bryan Singer was simply to much in awe of the original and thus directed a movie that belonged in the 1970's. So given that Reeve actually created his own character rather then copy someone else's, there can only be one winner.

Winner: Christopher Reeve

Eric Bana vs Edward Norton - The Hulk

To put a too finer point on it, The Hulk is an impossible role. Any cool thing you character does, he does it as a huge green monster inevitably done out of CGI. This is perhaps why two A-list high quality actors have both at least in part failed to bring Bruce Banner convincingly to the screen. Similarly, both films had their faults, but whereas Louis Leterrier's played safe at every opportunity, Ang Lee's did something unexpected and crazy at every turn, with decidedly mixed success. In the actor battle though, I think Norton wins it by a whisker, but Ang Lee's Hulk is the better film

Winner: Edward Norton

Jack Nicholson vs Heath Ledger - The Joker

The Joker has had two astoundingly entertaining peformances in his name, and although you can probably guess which one is the winner, the race is closer than you might think. Nicholson's Joker is broader and more entertaining, without the complexity or the danger of Ledger's. But in the end Ledger edges it out for the sheer electrifying nature of his performance.

winner: Heath Ledger

Michelle Pfeiffer vs Halle Berry - Catwoman

Michelle's Catwoman may have been a supporting role in comparison to Halle's lead, but watching the two performances there is a clear and undeniable winner. Pfeiffer's is darker, more tongue in cheek and definately more entertaining. This contest definately proves that villains are much more interesting when you don't make them wuss out and become good guys. The more evil the better.

Winner: Michelle Pfeiffer

Gene Hackman vs Kevin Spacey - Lex Luther

Both Superman films portrayed Luther as somewhat of a comedy villain. Still both did some evil shit too, so all is not lost. I'd say that Hackman's Luther is more memorable, what with Spacey's being in a worse film. But both interpretations are almost irritatingly slight.

Winner: Gene Hackman

Tommy Lee Jones vs Aaron Eckhart - Two Face

Hmm. One is an over the top camp villain with no depth and gets blasted off the screen by Jim Carrey. The other is a deep, characterisation of the inevitability of corruption, feautring a career best turn by the often under-rated Aaron Eckhart. Tight, but I'm calling a winner

Winner: Aaron Eckhart

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