Cranky Hanke’s Screening Room: The moviegoingest time of the year

OK, so it’s December and that means it’s the fast-track to Christmas (or whatever you choose in terms of the holiday season. When I was a kid – having had no luck connecting to religion even at an early age – this meant trees, lights, presents, food and the annual run of Christmas movies on TV. Now, my childhood was It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) was a requirement, but there was a deep suspicion that not observing the ritual of watching Miracle on 34th Street (1947) at least once could cause Christmas not to happen at all. You could also anticipate the Alastair Sim A Christmas Carol (1951) and maybe Bob Hope in The Lemon Drop Kid and a double dose of Bing with Holiday Inn (1942) and White Christmas (1954). It was restful and pleasant. Even bum films like White Christmas (come on, this is not a good movie) had that old friend patina.

These days the onset of the festive season means one thing – movies. Movies I haven’t seen and movies I need to see again. They come to me in various ways – mostly these days in the form of screeners, which are less expensive than setting up theatrical screenings. (In fact, this year the only films being brought in for critics’ screenings locally are Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones and Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air.) Without getting into the seriously esoteric, I’ve received 22 titles so far with more showing up every day. Rumor has it that District 9, Coraline, A Serious Man, Taking Woodstock and 9 have been received by other critics, but they’ve not landed on my porch yet.

The trick to all this is that the SEFCA (South East Film Critics’ Association) voting is next weekend. That means that somewhere between now and then there are at least seven films I really ought to see and another half a dozen I’d like to look at a second time.  Plus, there’s a good chance that more are on their way.And, of course, all of this has to be sandwiched in with the usual run of reviews of movies that aren’t likely to get any kind of vote – well, any kind of positive vote – this season or this lifetime. In the case of Transylmania – which I slogged my way through last night – I might consider voting for a proposal that a moratorium be placed on all film production until we can be assured that nothing like this ever happens again.

Some of the second-look titles don’t require serious consideration. Seeing The Proposal once was certainly sufficient for one lifetime. While I liked Star Trek a lot more than I’d ever expected, I know it’s not getting a vote from me in any capacity. I might give a nod to Paul Schneider for his supporting role in Bright Star, but I don’t need to see the film again in order to make that decision – and I really have no desire to see the movie again. I pretty completely hated Humpday the first time I saw it. A second look would do neither it, nor me any favors.

On the other hand, I was glad I did take the time to give Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince another viewing. I’d forgotten how good it was – and am inclined to think it’s actually better than I originally thought. I don’t think seeing (500) Days of Summer a second time secured it a berth in my year’s pantheon, but it got it nearer – and may cause me to create a new category in the year-end best list. I tried Where the Wild Things Are again. It’s not happening, but I didn’t mind having the opportunity of giving it a shot. The Blind Side would, I’m quite sure, only lessen on a second look. It’s just that kind of movie. A few are, of course, just pure pleasure. Seeing Up again wasn’t work, and surely no one is likely to think I had the least objection to seeing Fantastic Mr. Fox again. Actually, it presents a problem of a different kind in that I don’t want to take it out of the DVD player.

A couple titles –  The Damned United and Invictus – are serving double duty, since they’re in need of regular reviews. The same will hold true this coming week of Precious, which I do want to see a second time even if I didn’t like it as much as I’m apparently supposed to on my first viewing.

The SEFCA vote, however, is only part of the picture for me. Voting next weekend very probably precludes taking a few titles into consideration. I like to think that Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes is going to find its way to my mailbox in time, but I’m not holding my breath. Ritchie just isn’t considered an award-bait filmmaker. (Then again, someone decided that Anne Fletcher’s The Proposal merited a screener.) I don’t expect to see The Road by then either, but I might see it before the year ends. With this sort of thing in mind, it’s worth noting that my Ten Best list will differ from my SEFCA one – nor does SEFCA allow for a Ten Worst list. In short, the journey isn’t over after the vote.

Plus, this is an unusual year in that it’s the end of the decade – and that calls for special treatment. After much discussion on the topic of just what to do in honor of the event, Justin Souther and I opted to undertake something that at least verges on – and possibly crosses over into – insanity. Yes, we’re going to try to run down our 100 Best of the decade. Granted, I could take the easy way out on this where my list is concerned and simply combine Ten Best lists for 2001-2009 (there wasn’t one in 2000), but some of those lists don’t entirely hold up for me. There are clear omissions on them – at least from this vantage point – and there are, yes, titles on those lists that shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Not only that, but there wouldn’t be much challenge or much fun in simply combining nine years of lists.

I should note that, no, we’re not planning on a 100 Worst list for the decade. That would, I think, be just too depressing. More than that, it’s a recent and painful enough memory that re-watching Pootie Tang (2001) conjures up. It’s a memory that advises against going back to bad movies for another look. If you really disliked a movie one time – and had no trouble understanding why – chances are you’ll only be opening an old wound. There’s also the old bit of wisdom that, I believe, dates back to ancient Greece – the one that says, “Life is too short to watch a Michael Bay movie twice.” I think Aristotle said that. The man was ahead of his time.

However, we may offer some ammendments. In discussing this undertaking, we’ve made a few pleasant discoveries. One of these came when I asked Justin if he could come up with a Ten Best list of horror movies for the decade. Much to our combined surprise, we found we could name more than ten. Chances are we’ll do something with that. And there are a few other notions that may find their way into our round up of the decade. I’ll say no more about that for the moment, since it’s still in flux – and anyway, you’ll find out soon enough. The one thing I’m fairly certain of in all this is that by the time SEFCA, the Ten Best, the Ten Worst, the 100 Best and whatever else is behind us, our eyes will bear an alarming resemblance to those of the fellow to the right of this paragraph.

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About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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48 thoughts on “Cranky Hanke’s Screening Room: The moviegoingest time of the year

  1. Sean Williams

    I’m looking forward to reading all of your lists. I was hoping that you’d compile a 100 Best of the Decade but wasn’t sure if you’d have time. Since Tom and I frequently refer to your old lists when we don’t know what to rent over the weekend and you’ve never yet led us astray, I’ll be interested to see what titles you add and omit.

    Tom and I are trying to compose our own lists (best movies and novels plus my list of best graphic novels). Obviously, our lists will be rather less authoritative than yours, but we’re having fun.

    I admit that I’m very pleased that you liked Half-Blood Prince so much on the second viewing. For some reason, it always struck me as your sort of movie.

  2. Sham69

    I’m kind of bumming out. My somewhat cosmopolitan town has turned out to be really rinky dinky, if not podunk. It is not showing The Road yet. It’s been out in the big cities for 10 days already…
    Why is it that such a well thought out film (held back for a year), culled from a Pulitzer prize winning novel, hasn’t hit the streets yet?
    I am ready to be bummed out…come on>?????

  3. Vince Lugo

    If you’re compiling a “best of the decade” list, I would argue that Sin City deserves a place in there somewhere. Not only is it a great, fun movie in itself, but it’s also a marvel of modern filmmaking. Think about this: there were only two or three actual sets built and the entire rest of the movie was shot against a green screen with the backgrounds created digitally, but it’s so seamless that if you didn’t know that, you would hardly be able to tell. That kind of thing impresses me and is part of the reason I consider Robert Rodriguez one of the best people in the industry.

  4. Ken Hanke

    I’m looking forward to reading all of your lists. I was hoping that you’d compile a 100 Best of the Decade but wasn’t sure if you’d have time

    I’m not sure we really do have time, but neither of us is smart enough to admit it, so we’re going to do it anyway.

  5. Justin Souther

    f you’re compiling a “best of the decade” list, I would argue that Sin City deserves a place in there somewhere.

    While I have only a rudimentary list and Ken has even less than that, I can guarantee you that Mr. Rodriguez will be more than represented.

  6. Ken Hanke

    I’m kind of bumming out. My somewhat cosmopolitan town has turned out to be really rinky dinky, if not podunk. It is not showing The Road yet. It’s been out in the big cities for 10 days already…

    You don’t really think it has much to do with the desires of your town, do you? Nearly everything that happens with the way the release of a film is handled is a call of the studios. It reflects not at all on your town. It reflects on what the studios think about your town. They’ve decided that this platform release approach is the one they’re taking and that’s how they’ll do it. I don’t know how much it expanded this week, but it was only in 111 theaters last week. I am told it will open here later in December, but that’s as much as I’ve heard.

    Why is it that such a well thought out film (held back for a year), culled from a Pulitzer prize winning novel, hasn’t hit the streets yet?

    My guess — since they’ve moved it around so much — is that it hasn’t lived up to expectations. The fact that its per theater average on 111 screens was $13,500 and its “Tomatometer” rating is only around 72% positive suggests much the same. Those are respectable figures, but they’re not the kind that set studios into a frenzy of promotion. This in no way reflects on the quality of the movie.

  7. Ken Hanke

    If you’re compiling a “best of the decade” list, I would argue that Sin City deserves a place in there somewhere

    It’s distinctly possible — even probable.

    That kind of thing impresses me and is part of the reason I consider Robert Rodriguez one of the best people in the industry

    I rate him highly myself, though not for that reason.

  8. Ken Hanke

    I suppose it’s too much to hope that THE SPIRIT might make the 100?

    The temptation is great. Now, if there was a “Most Misunderstood Film of the Decade,” it’d win hands down.

  9. Compiling a top 10 list for the decade for me had been a hard one. Some of my favorites have lost their luster over time and it is hard to remember great films from earlier in the decade like MEMENTO.

  10. it is hard to remember great films from earlier in the decade like MEMENTO.
    Is that meant to be a joke? It’s hard to remember the movie about memory loss…

  11. Ken Hanke

    Is that meant to be a joke? It’s hard to remember the movie about memory loss

    Joke or not, it’s not a title that will be on my list, I fear.

  12. Joke or not, it’s not a title that will be on my list, I fear.

    Regardless, I am considering a lot of Chris Nolan’s work for the best of the decade. THE PRESTIGE perhaps?

  13. Ken Hanke

    Regardless, I am considering a lot of Chris Nolan’s work for the best of the decade. THE PRESTIGE perhaps?

    That’s the most likely candidate for me. Memento is more gimmick than inspiration for me. It’s probably well known that I don’t think either of his Batman pictures are all that great. Insomnia I’d have to see again, but the fact that I’ve never felt compelled to do that weighs against it. The Prestige, on the other hand, improves every time I see it.

  14. I’d probably rank Nolan’s work (from best to worst):

    THE PRESTIGE
    MEMENTO
    INSOMNIA
    THE DARK KNIGHT
    BATMAN BEGINS

    I’m yet to see FOLLOWING, although by all accounts it’s very good. Both Batman films are incredibly uneven, but what works in THE DARK KNIGHT works extremely well and is more satisfying than what works in BATMAN BEGINS.

    I like MEMENTO more than THE PRESTIGE, but I’ll happily admit it’s not as good. INSOMNIA I’ve seen a few times and I love, but I don’t come back to it as often as I do the other films.

  15. The Prestige, on the other hand, improves every time I see it.

    Agreed. My top 10 is shaping up to be very different from everyone else.

  16. Ken Hanke

    I’m yet to see FOLLOWING, although by all accounts it’s very good.

    I saw it not long after Memento came out, which means it’s too long ago to make a firm assessment on. I remember it being good, however.

    what works in THE DARK KNIGHT works extremely well

    The further away I get from The Dark Knight, the less I can recall things that work in it — extremely well or otherwise. What I most recall now is that it’s extremely pompous and full of bargain basement nihilism. To me, it’s the epitome of the reason why a movie like The Spirit needed to be made.

  17. Ken Hanke

    My top 10 is shaping up to be very different from everyone else.

    I expect nothing less from you, but I do think you ought to allow yourself at least 20 titles from the decade.

  18. The further away I get from The Dark Knight, the less I can recall things that work in it—extremely well or otherwise.
    To me, the film suffers from being two films stuck together – one is a sleek, engaging crime drama about a colourful sociopath, a young DA and his relationship with the only honest cop in town. This movie’s great. The other movie is full of BIG IMPORTANT THEMES which the characters stand around talking about instead of having anything resembling actual conversations, and features a central character (Batman) who only seems to exist for his symbolic importance in the storyline, displaying no human characteristics across the whole interminable film. This is the movie containing every conversation between Batman and Alfred and the whole stupid bomb on the boats sequence. It’s a movie about THEMES not about people.
    What bugs me the most is that Nolan’s made two great movies that could be classified as ‘crime dramas’ – MEMENTO and INSOMNIA – that have strong ideas in them, but they’re kept at the subtext. The purpose of Guy Pearce’s character in MEMENTO isn’t to spend 90 minutes having arguments about the nature of memory, his purpose is to find out who killed his wife.
    That’s what I mean about it being uneven.

  19. Ken Hanke

    To me, the film suffers from being two films stuck together – one is a sleek, engaging crime drama about a colourful sociopath, a young DA and his relationship with the only honest cop in town

    See, I don’t even get that. I get a clunky movie where the last thing I’d call the action is sleek. I find it awkwardly staged and clumsily shot (something I expect to only get worse with Nolan till he gets over his love affair with Imax).

    I wouldn’t mind so much if it was a film about themes more than a film about people — if the themes had any actual depth to them, but they don’t, and the decision to ultimately play down the movie’s nihilistic tendencies with that unlikely — and echt-Hollywood — sop to the basic good in people (something the movie has barely suggested exists till this convenient point) only makes it all that much shallower. The world is a lousy place, but, look, here’s a nice bromide involving the criminal-with-a-heart cliche.

  20. I get a clunky movie where the last thing I’d call the action is sleek.
    I wasn’t speaking about the action sequences. I’d agree those are pretty badly staged. Actually, what brought that into focus was watching some episodes of the early 90s Batman animated series and seeing how cleverly and economically staged the action sequences were compared to the Nolan pictures.

    On the other hand, the opening bank sequence is absolutely masterful, and the rest of the film is unable to live up to it. That was shot on Imax cameras, and I can’t see that it suffers for it.

  21. Ken Hanke

    On the other hand, the opening bank sequence is absolutely masterful, and the rest of the film is unable to live up to it. That was shot on Imax cameras, and I can’t see that it suffers for it

    I suspect we will simply have to disagree on that. I might look at the opening again (they sent me a copy last year), but I’m not promising.

  22. Steven

    For me, [i]The Dark Knight[/i] gets significantly worse on repeated viewings.

    The opening scene – along with most of The Joker’s “set-ups” – annoys the living hell out of me. They’re so poorly set-up. I mean, seriously, the bus pulls out exactly between the bus behind it and in front of it (after it had been sitting there for at least two minutes), and the cops don’t notice a thing?

    The only thing that holds it up is Heath Ledger’s performance.

    Anyways, I hope to see [i]Mulholland Drive[/i] on the list.

  23. For me, The Dark Knight gets significantly worse on repeated viewings.
    I sort of agree with that. I find the more I think about between viewings the less I like it, but when I actually rewatch it I remember how much in it I like – and I like that stuff a lot. It’s certainly a failure, on balance, but not without some very redeeming qualities, Ledger’s performance chief among them.

  24. Ken Hanke

    I find the more I think about between viewings the less I like it, but when I actually rewatch it I remember how much in it I like

    This kind of gets down to the crux of my problem with the film — it fails an essential test for me in that I really have zero desire to ever see it again, and no one is making much of a case to make me rethink that.

  25. it fails an essential test for me in that I really have zero desire to ever see it again, and no one is making much of a case to make me rethink that.
    I understand that, and I’m sure much of desire to keep analyzing the film and popping it into the DVD player ever now and again is rooted in my investment in the characters as they exist in other media. If it was Christian Bale as Lemurman I doubt I’d give the film more though, other than to dismiss it as one of the lesser films in Christopher Nolan’s oeuvre.

  26. Ken Hanke

    If it was Christian Bale as Lemurman

    That might actually have some novelty value. Bale is probably the worst Batman ever, so far as I’m concerned — or as Ken Russell so succinctly put it in a conversation we had about the movie, “And that Batman — Ick!”

  27. Dionysis

    The further I get from The Dark Knight, the less I like it. I agree with the criticisms expressed here. As for Heath Ledger’s performance, yes he certainly was a memorial and quite scary psychopathic criminal, but for me, he was just on the screen too much. A little less would have been a lot more.

    I liked Batman Begins more.

  28. Vince Lugo

    I suppose I must be the only one here who really likes The Dark Knight. I love Batman and I think Christian Bale did an excellent job in both films (although I still don’t buy Liam Neeson as Ra’s Al Gul). They’re a tad on the long side, yes, but I feel that most of the runtime is used effectively so there’s very little checking your watch. I enjoy the Batman movies for what they are: entertainment, which, ideally, is what movies are supposed to be.

  29. DrSerizawa

    “My guess—since they’ve moved it around so much—is that it hasn’t lived up to expectations. The fact that its per theater average on 111 screens was $13,500 and its “Tomatometer” rating is only around 72% positive suggests much the same. Those are respectable figures, but they’re not the kind that set studios into a frenzy of promotion. This in no way reflects on the quality of the movie.”

    Perhaps some giant fighting robot footage should have been added. That may have encouraged the studios.

    BTW. Don’t bother with a worst movie list. First there are too many such lists already. Second, there are far too many candidates and who has that much time to spend? Maybe just write down “Wayans Bros” and leave it at that.

  30. Ken Hanke

    I enjoy the Batman movies for what they are: entertainment, which, ideally, is what movies are supposed to be

    Even by that definition (which I don’t entirely or at least strictly subscribe to), that’s the one thing the Nolan Batman pictures aren’t for me — entertaining. To me they’re rather dull, humorless and mean-spirited — not to mention full of themselves.

  31. Ken Hanke

    Perhaps some giant fighting robot footage should have been added. That may have encouraged the studios

    Perhaps, but then again, has anyone here actually seen the movie? It is just possible that there may be a reason that they’re taking this approach. This past weekend it only went from 111 theaters to 128 and dropped 49% in ticket sales.

    Still it is supposed to open here this month.

    Don’t bother with a worst movie list

    There’ll be a yearly one, there always is, but we’re not doing a 100 worst list.

  32. DrSerizawa

    “My guess—since they’ve moved it around so much—is that it hasn’t lived up to expectations. The fact that its per theater average on 111 screens was $13,500 and its “Tomatometer” rating is only around 72% positive suggests much the same. Those are respectable figures, but they’re not the kind that set studios into a frenzy of promotion. This in no way reflects on the quality of the movie.”

    Perhaps some giant fighting robot footage should have been added. That may have encouraged the studios.

    BTW. Don’t bother with a worst movie list. First there are too many such lists already. Second, there are far too many candidates and who has that much time to spend? Maybe just write down “Wayans Bros” and leave it at that.

  33. LYT

    For what it’s worth, Ken, I haven’t yet gotten District 9, but have gotten all those others you mentioned people getting.

    And Sherlock Holmes actually is getting an awards push here in LA — they’re screening it nearly every day. No screeners as yet, though. Nor for The Road, but Weinsteins tend to be notoriously late every year. Out here they really do like to get us into a theater/screening room rather than send a DVD, and thus withhold screeners as long as they feel they can.

  34. Ken Hanke

    For what it’s worth, Ken, I haven’t yet gotten District 9, but have gotten all those others you mentioned people getting

    Actually, I think I’ve gotten everything but District 9 — and more than I cited above. For some mysterious reason, I got two copies of Sunshine Cleaning today.

    And Sherlock Holmes actually is getting an awards push here in LA—they’re screening it nearly every day. No screeners as yet, though.

    Well, if it doesn’t get sent to us this week, it won’t make the SEFCA voting deadline. It will, however, be around in time for Ten Best consideration.

    Nor for The Road, but Weinsteins tend to be notoriously late every year. Out here they really do like to get us into a theater/screening room rather than send a DVD, and thus withhold screeners as long as they feel they can

    I’ve been meaning to mention that the Weinsteins are yet another factor to consider in how The Road is being handled.

    Thing is, I would prefer to see the films on a screen in a theater — I even arrange that from the screeners whenever it’s practical — but apart from this double-header of Up in the Air and The Lovely Bones tomorrow, no one has scheduled any for Asheville. And we only got those because I told the regional distributor that I wasn’t driving to Charlotte or Atlanta to see these titles.

    Kinda surprised we haven’t been sent Inglourious Basterds.

  35. T.H.X. Pijonsnodt, Esq.

    The biggest problem that Sean and I have had is in deciding what constitutes the last decade. We’re inclined to include the 2008 Criterion Collection release of Medak’s Ruling Class (a.) by virtue of the fact that the previous home video release was badly abridged and (b.) because it is one of the ten best films ever made and anyone who thinks otherwise is — and my apologies in advance if you disagree, but my judgment in this case is absolutely authoritative — a goob.

    Now, if there was a “Most Misunderstood Film of the Decade,” it’d win hands down.

    Casino Royale‘s reputation has improved every year after its release. I kind of hope that the same thing happens to The Spirit.

  36. The Spirit is (at least as it appears to me) a fusion of two of Frank Miller’s preoccupations – trashy neo-noir (see also Sin City) and, more significantly, taking the piss out of his imitators.
    Miller’s
    The Dark Knight Returns kick-started the trend of turning Batman into a pompous, humorless bastard. He isn’t one in Miller’s work, but the gravity and import of TDKR was seized on by many an up and coming comic book writer and used as an excuse to strip the personality out of the Batman character and inject a strain of nihilism into a lot of stories. This comes from an extremely superficial reading of Miller’s story, which is fundamentally hopeful and features a cast of extremely human, flawed characters and a lot of humor (some pretty dark). This has led Miller to create what is essentially self-parodying works like The Dark Knight Strikes Back and All Star Batman and Robin, which take the popular interpretations of his writing to their logical conclusion.
    This interpretation has now traveled over to cinematic adaptations of the comics, so when Miller was given the keys to The Spirit, he committed a similar act of savage parody. Which sucks if you’re an Eisner fan who’s been hanging out for a straight adaptation of the comics for 40+ years, but for the rest of us it’s brilliant.

  37. Ken Hanke

    The biggest problem that Sean and I have had is in deciding what constitutes the last decade. We’re inclined to include the 2008 Criterion Collection release of Medak’s Ruling Class (a.) by virtue of the fact that the previous home video release was badly abridged and (b.) because it is one of the ten best films ever made and anyone who thinks otherwise is—and my apologies in advance if you disagree, but my judgment in this case is absolutely authoritative—a goob

    Well, since it’s in the top half of my all-time 10 best list, I am free of goobdom by your definition, but surely the Criterion release is older than 2008. Or has there been some kind of upgrade/reissue of which I’m unaware?

    In any case, I have given consideration to a separate section of Best Films Seen in the past decade. That, however, probably has more impact on folks younger than I am. I mean, with the exception of the 1933 King Kong, I’d be surprised if there are any examples of classic cinema that Justin did see prior to this decade.

    Casino Royale‘s reputation has improved every year after its release. I kind of hope that the same thing happens to The Spirit

    The same can be said of The Magic Christian, so it’s not like such things are impossible.

  38. LYT

    “Kinda surprised we haven’t been sent Inglourious Basterds.”

    Same reason you don’t yet have The Road or A Single Man…WEINSTEINS!

    But I hear some of my colleagues got them all today. So I await the mail.

    And The Road is pretty good, but arguably not a big crowd-pleaser. It could almost work as a sequel to 2012.

  39. T.H.X. Pijonsnodt, Esq.

    Jeremy — Sean has a long, long rant about Frank Miller that is identical to your post in all its salient points. I can’t speak authoritatively to the quality of Miller’s comics, what Sean has shown me seems pretty transparently ironic, so I’m inclined to agree with the two of you.

    I am free of goobdom by your definition

    Consider yourself lucky.

    but surely the Criterion release is older than 2008.

    My mistake — it was in 2001. I was confusing it with the 2008 edition of Beauty and the Beast, which we’re also considering because the quality of the restoration and subtitles is much better than in previous editions.

  40. Ken Hanke

    Same reason you don’t yet have The Road or A Single Man…WEINSTEINS

    Were they this weird last year? I don’t remember waiting till the last minute for The Reader to show up.

  41. LYT

    LOL…I never even got The Reader last year. The year before, I got I’m Not There and Grace is Gone the day AFTER we voted.

    But I did get The Road/Single Man/Inglourious today. Along with District 9/Julie & Julia.

  42. brianpaige

    I’m glad that there’s some love here for The Spirit. I was one of the few people who went to see it at the theater last year and was highly amused.

    As far as The Dark Knight goes, I said it to friends last year and I’ll say it again: TDK is roughly the 3rd best comic book movie of 2008, behind both Iron Man and Hellboy 2.

  43. Ken Hanke

    That sounds about right.

    I’d put it behind The Spirit, too, but then I’d put Iron Man behind The Spirit. Does that cover all the comic book movies of 2008?

  44. brianpaige

    Hmmm…while I enjoyed The Spirit I’m not sure how to rate it exactly. As in was it a guilty pleasure or simply a pleasure? Either way I wouldn’t put Spirit ahead of Iron Man or Hellboy 2 simply because Gabriel Macht was a mediocre lead.

  45. Ken Hanke

    Hmmm…while I enjoyed The Spirit I’m not sure how to rate it exactly. As in was it a guilty pleasure or simply a pleasure?

    That’s a call only you can make.

    Either way I wouldn’t put Spirit ahead of Iron Man or Hellboy 2 simply because Gabriel Macht was a mediocre lead

    Perhaps because I have no real problem with Macht, that doesn’t enter into it for me, but at the same time, Iron Man struck me as a mediocre film with a really perfunctory ending that’s largely salvaged by Robert Downey Jr.’s performance. In that regard, it strikes me as at best a wash. Hellboy 2 is another matter.

  46. I’d put it behind The Spirit, too, but then I’d put Iron Man behind The Spirit.
    Actually, I’m with Ken. I’d forgotten The Spirit was an ’08 release, since I didn’t catch up to it until this year.

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