Top Five Comic Book Movies:
5. The Crow - I pretty much explained why here.
4a: Spider-Man II - Succeeds in being engaging, exciting and fun as well.
4b: Blade - Snipes mastered everything about this role - the movements, the darkness, the general badassery, the whole thing. The second one ain't bad either.
3: Superman II - Kneel before Zod!
2: Iron Man - Perhaps not the strongest film on the list (though still damn good), but Downey is note-perfect, possibly the best comic book character portrayal ever - yes, even better than Bale as Batman.
1: The Dark Knight - Holy shit. Holy shit. We saw it last night, and yes, it is amazing. It does not live up to the hype... it exceeds it. Also, Ledger really is that fucking good. Daniel Carlson gave it a splendid write-up here.
Yes, none of the X-Men movies made the list - the first two are wonderful, no doubt, but they really never made me feel like I was watching the X-Men from the comics. They always felt like a really, really good episode of "Mutant X" - with the exception of a couple of shots of Wolverine. They're still great movies, just not top five.
Also notably absent is Batman Begins, which is not at all fair. It belongs in the top five, but I cheated because I had too many in there (there's already six in my top five anyway). So consider The Dark Knight as the two rolled into one entry. Other honorable mentions: Spider Man I, The Incredible Hulk, Blade II, Batman (1989). Also, I have a bit of a soft spot for Superman Returns.
Top Five Comic Book Movies that spit in the faces of fans:
5: Batman and Robin - The worst of the original four by a long shot (although Batman Forever sucked big time as well. Completely missed the mark in every conceivable way, with every single actor in it over-acting. Interestingly, I've read that this movie served as a wake-up call for George Clooney, who started being much more serious about his role selection after this.
4: The Punisher (2004) - A miserable, cheesy, PG-13 shitshow of a movie. It felt absolutely nothing like a Punisher movie - the Punisher, one of the darkest, most violent and unhinged characters in the marvel universe... never actually punishes. He's no more than a prankster in this. Awful. I pray that Ray Stevenson's upcoming portrayal will salvage this character.
3: Elektra - Not even the hotness that is Jennifer Garner could salvage this mess.
2: X-Men III - I will never forgive Brett Ratner for this disaster. It completely throws the canon out the window, effectively neutered one of the best characters in the Marvel universe, killed off two key players, and basically just butchered the franchise forever.
1: Catwoman - Not content with being the worst comic book movie ever made, Pitof (note: never trust a director with only one name) succeeded in making one of the worst movies ever, in any genre, period.
Dishonorable mentions: Daredevil, Batman Forever, both Fantastic Four movies, Ghost Rider, Superman 3 and 4.
Listening to: Rancid - Side Kick