Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Top Ten Lucha Underground Matches of All Time! (through seven months)

After giving you guys a glimpse into Lucha Underground yesterday, I thought to myself, why not do more of the same today? That's exactly what I'm going to do, by counting down the ten best matches the LU has produced in its short, but excellent run. I can't promise that your favorite match will be on here, so please, don't take it as a slight if it isn't. Other than that, sit back, relax, pop open another can of Pizza Pringles, and refrain from watching that Angelico clip yet again. Don't worry, it's coming at some point. On with the show!

The Top Ten Lucha Underground Matches of All Time! (through seven months)


Fenix vs. Drago vs. Pentagon Jr. (11/12/14)

The main event of the LU's third episode, this match served as the first appearance in the Temple for three luchadores who are now top ten level stars. While Pentagon Jr and Drago merely impress though, the star of the show is Fenix. His performance in this match is reminiscent of WCW era Rey Mysterio; he literally jumps off the screen with almost everything he does. It's no surprise he got the win here and the two biggest spots of the match; a springboard cutter that turned announcer Matt Stryker into a fist pumping machine, and a falling cross body off Cueto's office. That's right, Fenix was jumping off the thing before Angelico made it cool. Here's proof.

Sick nasty


Last Man Standing: King Cuerno vs. Drago (1/21/15)

The final match of a brutal feud that saw both men trade wins, both men stalking each other, and Drago diving off Dario Cueto's office to splash Cueto through the table. He doesn't do anything as impressive here, but Drago is effective as the resilient babyface, while good old Deer Antlers provides his usual blend of psychology, methodical wrestling and his bad ass suicide dive (Daniel Bryan wishes he got the distance Cuerno does). The finish may be anti-climatic to some, but I thought they handled it well with Cuerno pulling Drago down with rope as opposed to just tying him up and leaving him to struggle. Even if you don't agree, the rest of the match deliver, and best of all it left both guys on a good path. Cuerno would use the momentum to head right into a strong feud with Johnny Mundo, while Drago moved on to his best of five series with Aerostar, resulting in a LU title shot for him this upcoming Wednesday.


Triple Threat Trios Match: Cage, Texano and King Cuerno vs. Big Ryck, The Mack and Killshot vs. Son of Havoc, Ivelisse and Angelico for the LU Trios Championships (4/22/15)

If the match that featured Angelico's "Death from Above" (that's what I'm calling it unless someone has a better suggestion) is the main feature, the one that preceded it is the short film. The funny thing is, this match is probably better than the now famous follow up from a moveset standpoint. Everyone delivers, whether it's Cage with a sick moonsault, Cuerno doing Cuerno things, The Mack continuing to make the WWE look stupid for letting him go, Killshot quietly nailing some impressive moves (the man is seriously underrated) and our future Trios Champions delivering like they always do. This match was incredibly fun; it just doesn't have the storytelling and the "HOLY GOD, DID ANGELICO JUST DO THAT?!" spot that the match that followed did.


Angelico vs. Aerostar vs. Argenis vs. Cage (1/14/15)

Much like Fenix vs. Pentagon Jr vs. Drago, this match served as an introduction for these four guys. Where that match was a bit slower than expected, this fatal four-way is straight up balls to the wall. In this match, Cage is the one who gets the spotlight, and doesn't disappoint while showing off his impressive poor man's Brock Lesnar routine. Anyone disappointed with Roman Reigns' lack of ability in WWE will find it refreshing to see such an impressive physical specimen like Cage be as good in the ring as he is. Of course, the star of this match in the long run may in the end be the current man of the hour Angelico. He doesn't do any death defying 30 foot leaps, but I'm pretty sure this move is no slouch.

That's right, he clears the turnbuckle!

 Seriously, have you ever seen anyone as athletic as this man? What can we do to get Angelico to play Superman one of these years? People will legit believe a man can fly then.

Son of Havoc vs. Angelico (3/25/15)

Since coming into the LU, Son of Havoc had watched his career nosedive from loss after loss, each defeat leading to a scolding from his girlfriend Ivelisse. Things would get worse when Angelico got involved, trying to further drive a wedge between the troubled couple. After helping Ivelisse defeat Angelico, only to get no credit, Havoc set out to defeat Angelico and prove his worth to himself, Ivelisse and the fans. The result was a tour de force match, with some of the best storytelling the LU has offered to date. Everyone played their role to perfection, whether it was Havoc as the desperate man going all out for victory, Ivelisse as the annoying, condescending girlfriend holding back or Angelico as the Evel Knievel of pro wrestling.

The best part? The ending.  After a quick battle for position atop the turnbuckle, Havoc knocked Angelico back into the ring. Instead of finishing him off however, Havoc grabbed a microphone, and proceeded to call out Ivelisse for holding him back. He then dumped her, and followed up with a shooting star press to Angelico for the win, getting one of the loudest pops in the Temple to date. On a night where both the Lucha Underground Championship and the AAA Championship were defended, it was Havoc, Ivelisse and Angelico who stole the show with storytelling and excellent action. It wouldn't be the last time.


Ladder Match for $100,000: Johnny Mundo vs. Prince Puma vs. Big Ryck

This match has gotten lost in the shuffle the past few months, likely because a) so many good matches have happened since then and b) Big Ryck, who isn't exactly Angelico in the ring, was involved. But even though none of their individual matches made the list, Puma and Mundo always have delivered against each other, and here was no different. Wisely, Ryck's involvement was kept mainly to brawling, while the major spots for him were taken by The Crew (still aligned with Big Ryck at the time). Combine all that, and you have yourself an excellent ladder match, as well as one of the longest non Aztec Warfare matches the LU has had. And honestly, when has there ever been a bad ladder match? Besides one that involved Kevin Nash.


Cage Match: Johnny Mundo vs. King Cuerno (3/11/15)

After a month long feud that included an ankle injury and a brutal no contest, Johnny Mundo and King Cuerno decided to settle their differences in the LU's first ever steel cage match. What you'd expect to be a brutal affair was instead more akin to the famous Bret Hart-Owen Hart cage match, with more technical, lucha libre action than blood. In the end, it was a wise decision, as both Mundo and Cuerno are able to play to their strengths. Also, Mundo does a sick corkscrew moonsault off the cage to win the match. Bring on the Wayne's World gif!


Aztec Warfare for the Lucha Underground Championship (1/7/15)

For the first show of 2015, Lucha Underground decided to crown its first ever world champion with a twenty man battle royal onscreen boss Dario Cueto called Aztec Warfare. Sounds a lot like the Rumble right? Not so fast my friend; whereas the rules of the Rumble have you winning by tossing your opponents over the top rope, Aztec Warfare required each combatant to be pinned until there was one man left. Talk about a way to crown your first LU champion. Taking the entire episode to complete, the mega battle royal lived up to the hype, featuring the usual great lucha action, the entertaining chaos that has helped make the Rumble so popular, and a final four that included the LU's four biggest stars at the time; Mil Muertes, Johnny Mundo, Prince Puma, and Sexy Star. That's right, a woman made it to the final four. Awesome. In the end, the LU made the correct call with the result, and Prince Puma would go onto eliminate Mundo to become Lucha Underground's first, and thus far only, World Champion.


Son of Havoc, Ivelisse and Angelico vs. The Crew for the LU Trios Championships (4/22/15)

You didn't think I was leaving this off did you? Yes, part of the reason is most certainly Angelico's "Death From Above." But you cannot deny the story this match tells. Picture this; a trio of enemies are forced to team together by their corrupt owner in order to win the newly created Trios Tag Team titles. When they somehow accomplish that goal, they are then forced by said owner to defend the belts immediately against the most destructive three man unit in the promotion, who are absolutely fresh. Oh, and one of the members of the team has blown out their leg for real, adding an inadvertent obstacle in the trios way. Now picture that team, despite all the obstacles and all the tension, fighting, scratching, clawing and yes, flying their way to victory against all odds. That, more than any dive Angelico, Son of Havoc or Ivelisse could've made, is why this match is here. It's the second best story Lucha Underground has told in their existence. Oh hell, let's show that gif again!

Grave Consequences: Mil Muertes vs. Fenix (w/Catrina) (3/18/15)

Only a special kind of match could knock the Trios match to second place. This match, a coffin match given the title of Grave Consequences, is that match. You have never seen a coffin/casket match quite like this one. The story leading in was to die for; a monster looking to get revenge on the woman he loved and the man that stole her from him, a hero looking to stake his claim as the next big star in wrestling, while also trying to survive. The match was even better. Blood was spilt and tasted. Masks were shredded. Risks were taken. By the end, Mil Muertes has beaten Fenix to the bloodiest of pulps, and yet it wasn't enough. Fenix kept coming and coming and coming, and ultimately he prevailed with the help of Catrina, Mil's former squeeze who till the end was as trustworthy to both men as Alex Rodriguez is to a drug test.

And in the end, that's enough to make this Lucha Underground's best match. Yes, I will concede that the Trios match produced a better moment, and in the end may in fact be more memorable because of Angelico's dive. But even with that dive and that story, it's not enough. Grave Consequences was a brutal affair, the kind of wrestling match that sticks with you, the kind of match that pioneers future matches of its kind. This was by far the best coffin match I have ever seen, and it's by far the best match I've seen this year, with all apologies to Seth Rollins-John Cena-Brock Lesnar and the Trios match. That's enough for me. If it isn't for you, well, look at the other choices here. Each one is good enough to have us bowing down Wayne's World style. Don't believe me, just ask Vampiro.

We're not worthy! We're not worthy!

Watch all of the matches below!

Aztec Warfare

Son of Havoc, Ivelisse and Angelico vs. The Crew
Fenix vs. Mil Muertes

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Friday, April 24, 2015

The LU

You probably haven't heard about Lucha Underground, or as I like to call it, the LU. And why would you have; for one, it's a professional wrestling promotion, and wrestling is historically looked at the same way Principal Snyder looked at Xander Harris. Unless you are involved with Vince McMahon's WWE, being a promoter or even a wrestler isn't exactly living the high life. Lucha Underground aims to change that, while also aiming to misbehave, Malcolm Reynolds style. Not even a year old and armed with three mega backers and a roster full of WWE rejects and unknown Mexican stars, the upstart promotion has become a cult sensation, a punk rock alternative to WWE's mainstream pop. Producers of the LU have described it as part wrestling, part Fight Club. Aside from Edward Norton missing in action, that's exactly the case.

Lucha Underground Champion Prince Puma

In order to survive in the pro wrestling landscape these days, there has to be people with money to keep the show afloat. WWE has always had one McMahon or another providing funds, while the now defunct World Championship Wrestling (WCW) had media mogul Ted Turner. Lucha Underground is backed by two people and one entity; filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, reality TV super producer Mark Burnett, and Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA), one of Mexico's two top wrestling promotions (the other, CMLL, isn't involved unfortunately). Some partnerships are strange, but nothing beats this threesome; would anyone have ever expected a lucha libre promotion, the man who created Survivor and the director of Machete, Sin City and The Faculty (all great, by the way) to team up to start a wrestling promotion? Surprisingly, it actually makes sense. AAA has spent years trying to make inroads into the United States market, and Burnett, a man who has never been afraid to take risks, provided the perfect monetary partner for them. From there, all that was needed was a television station, and Rodriguez's brand new El Rey Network, a smorgasbord of kung fu/grindhouse/western movies and Dark Angel reruns, was a no brainer choice. It also helps that Rodriguez is an apparent fan, a harder find with TV execs these days than Salsa Doritos.

Why did you need to know this? Because the LU's weird, unconventional origin story only serves to highlight its weird, unconventional existence. There has never been a wrestling promotion quite like it. For starters, the Lucha Underground arena, called The Temple by onscreen owner Dario Cueto, isn't even an arena; it's a broken down warehouse located in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, California that barely fits 300 plus people. Not exactly Madison Square Garden. On top of that, showrunner Eric Van Wagenen (a long time co-producer with Burnett) and his crew have done away with traditional backstage interviews. Instead, the talent appear in segments that are shot like movie scenes, almost as if they were going to be used for Rodriguez' next film. It's almost unprecedented in wrestling, but it's was as risky a decision as it was bold. Historically, wrestling is as opposed to change as MTV is to good music these days. In order to succeed with a product that looks and feels like a low budget B movie, your product has to be top notch. And that is the rub that the LU has working in its favor. Observe.

What you have just watched is a 27 year old South African wrestler named Angelico (real name Adam Bridle) jump a good 20 to 30 feet (while getting as high as 20 to 30 feet in the air) from the top of an office to the ring below, taking out his opponents Bael and Cortez Castro (indy star Ricky Reyes). If you have the urge to watch that again, you should. Angelico's leap, which took place in a battle for Lucha Underground's Trios Tag Team Championships (another thing unique about the LU, as most promotions don't have a Six Man Tag Team Title) is easily the best wrestling spot of the year, a glorious combination of risk taking, athleticism and balls of solid rock. And yet, it's not an uncommon occurrence in the Temple. Even before his unbelievable leap this past week, Angelico has been amazing audiences with crazy, high risk moves almost every week. One of his partners, Son of Havoc (popular indy star Matt Cross), is equally impressive, and if not for Angelico's leap would've likely had the highlight of the night with a moonsault from the crowd. The rest of the roster is no slouch either; the talent remaining includes the LU World Champion Prince Puma (indy star Ricochet playing the role of an Aztecan descendant from Boyle Heights), former WWE stars Johnny Mundo, Mexican stars Fenix, Mil Muertes and Pentagon Jr, and Alberto El Patron, the current AAA World Champion, a former WWE Champion and the LU's top star. And that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the roster. 

It's also what separates the LU from everyone else in wrestling. Like I said, you can have a certain look and feel to a promotion, but without the onscreen product, it means less than an Orlando Bloom performance. Lucha Underground has all three, thanks to their excellent roster and their unbelievable creative staff. You will see any and every possible story told while watching the first 24 episodes. One week, you'll see Angelico jumping off the roof of Cueto's office (yes, that's actually his office. Great stuff right?), risking life and limb to get victory for him and his teammates, teammates he at first didn't even like. Another week you'll see the young Fenix fight for his life in a coffin match against Mil Muertes, a brutal, bloody affair that is one of the best wrestling matches of the past two years. One show was dedicated entirely to crowning the first ever Lucha Underground World Champion, a twenty man battle royal that was called Aztec Warfare. And perhaps the most brave decision made by the LU, women and men fight each other, an idea that looks bad on paper but is unbelievably pulled off. One of the female stars, Ivelisse, is the third part of the Trios Champions, and wrestled that match and the preceeding match with a broken foot. Meanwhile, Sexy Star regularly wrestles and beats the men, and is one of the most popular wrestlers in the Temple. You can't find that kind of in ring action anywhere else.

You also can't find the LU's type of storytelling anywhere else. Seriously, would WWE dare to tell the story of an Asian woman learning the art of lucha libre in order to get revenge against a mysterious monster locked in the basement of it's main arena? Something like that shouldn't work. But Van Wagenen and his crew wisely do something not even Vince McMahon does these days; take things seriously, but not too seriously. By embracing wrestling's B movie qualities instead of pushing them away, the LU allows itself to be in on the joke. In Lucha Underground, wrestling may be fake, but it can be fun, it can be funny, it can be dark, it can be can be anything you want. It's what separates them from everyone else.

Whether that matters in the end or not is the question. Money is a great concern for Lucha Underground; some sources say that the LU has spent more than $15 million in production thus far (although some of those sources also said former WWE writer Vince Russo was going to be hired, which proved incorrect). As good of a home El Rey is for the promotion, the network is still young and doesn't reach nearly as many homes as USA, WWE's primary network, does, limiting potential viewership. Perhaps most alarming is the fact that a second season has yet to be confirmed. In order to save money, Lucha Underground filmed the first 39 episodes over the course of a seven month span, with each episode being shown well after they were taped (historically, live TV has always cost more than taped). That now means the LU will be on a several month hiatus from doing shows, and that's if they are able to find enough sponsors and revenue for a second season. I'm confident they will, and reportedly, talent and fans were told there would be a season two at the end of the last tapings (set to be released in late July/early August), a great sign. But even the most optimistic person knows there is no guarantee, nor is there any realistic thinking that Lucha Underground can compete with WWE in the foreseeable future.

But so what. I learned a long time ago that getting disappointed in something not reaching unbelievable heights is a waste of time. What matters is that you enjoy what you're seeing, what you're doing. I enjoy Lucha Underground, more than I've enjoyed any wrestling related thing since WCW died. It's storytelling is sublime. The high flying, lucha libre action is something I have hardly seen before in the American wrestling landscape. It's unbelievably unique, unbelievably original, and worthy of its Underground title. Most importantly, the LU has made me feel like wrestling has mattered again. I've always bemoaned the loss of Mick Foley from wrestling so soon due to numerous injury. Watching Angelico fly through the air two nights ago brought up similar feelings I had watching Mick Foley fall off Hell in a Cell so many years ago. It wasn't just that I thought Angelico was crazy like Foley (although he most definitely is), but that like Foley, Angelico was willing to risk life and limb to put on a good show for the fans. That, more than anything, was Foley's gift to wrestling; the ability to go to limits no one had ever gone to in order to entertain someone. Lucha Underground has wonderfully carried on that legacy, and the legacy of lucha libre greats like El Santo, Blue Demon (whose son occasionally wrestles in the LU) and Patron's uncle Mil Mascaras. These people care about wrestling, they care about putting on a good show, and most importantly, they care about the fans. That's why I watch the LU. It's why you should too.

Let's take a look at that dive one last time alright?

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Cult List: The Ten Greatest Superhero Films of All Time

Alright guys and gals, we're taking a break from reviewing Daredevil today. In its place? Let's take a look at the ten best superhero/comic book films of all time. This is all my opinion now, so don't think this is the definite list by any means. So sit back, open up that can of Pizza Pringles, and try to ignore the horrifying fact that Hollywood is trying to destroy comic book films by releasing too many every year. Man, it just got dark huh? ON WITH THE SHOW!

The Ten Greatest Superhero Films of All Time

Honorable Mentions

The Avengers: As much as I love Joss Whedon, The Avengers isn't quite as good as you remember it being when you first saw it in 2012. Still, it's entertaining as hell, features Whedon's masterful dialog and has some great action scenes. It just needed to be a little deeper to make the list.

X2: X-Men United: Of all the entries in the overrated X-Men film series, only X-Men: First Class, Days of Future past and this film actually stand out as beyond average. Despite being the oldest of the three, X2 remains the best (barely eeking out First Class), thanks in large part to Brian Cox's excellent performance as the villain William Stryker.

Spider-Man 2: It seems like yesterday everyone was hailing Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films as the first great superhero series. Looking back, none of the films are remotely close to being great, and Spider-Man 3 was so bad, a still unproven James Franco was the only good thing about it. Raimi's second film however still remains a fun watch, and like X2 greatly benefits from a strong villain performance by Alfred Molina, who crafts a brutal, yet sympathetic Dr. Octopus. 

It's never good when this guy is the best thing about your film

The Dark Knight Rises: The weakest of Nolan's Batman trilogy, Dark Knight Rises is a little too long, doesn't feature as tight a story as its predecessors, and is likely a little too big for its own good. Still, it's fine close by Nolan, and in any other franchise would likely be the best of the bunch.

Man of Steel: The only difference between this film and The Avengers is that Zack Snyder directed it, which was evidently more than enough for critics to lash out against this Superman reboot. Beyond that, Man of Steel features all the same pluses Avengers featured, only with a deeper story, better acting, and a better atmosphere. It's the second best Superman film ever made, and it's held out of the top ten only because of how deep the field is.

The Top Ten

10. Captain America: Winter Soldier: The best superhero films are the ones that aren't superhero films; rather, they take the form of another genre while also including a superhero in it. Winter Soldier, the sequel to the very good Captain America: First Avenger, is one of those films, abandoning comic book conventions for that of a political conspiracy thriller. It's not quite as hard boiled as the 70's thrillers it looks up to, and as usual with Marvel films, isn't exactly deep. But in the end, Winter Soldier features the right amount of action, a really good against type performance by Robert Redford and the best story in the MCU before Daredevil was released. Easily the best of the MCU's standalone Avenger films thus far.

9. Unbreakable: Remember when M. Night Shyamalan looked like the second coming of Steven Spielberg and Alfred Hitchcock? Pepperidge Farm remembers. So will you after you've checked out Unbreakable, which unbelievably has become the best film Shyamalan has ever made (don't give me Signs or the overrated Sixth Sense). Starring Bruce Willis as a security guard who realizes slowly realizes he's indestructible after a train wreck, Unbreakable is represents the most original film in this list (the only film not to be based on a comic book), built around bleak visuals, great performances and an outstanding score by James Newton Howard. I'll never understand why the sequel was never made. The world needed more of Mr. Glass!

They called him...Mr Glass

8. Batman Begins: The first film of Nolan's all time great trilogy is better than you remember it; Gotham City actually feels like Gotham City (something missing from far slicker sequels), Cillian Murphy is dynamite as Scarecrow and most importantly Christian Bale is allowed center stage as Batman. If not for Katie Holmes' misfiring as Rachel Dawes (she was so bad, Maggie Gyllenhaal replaced here in The Dark Knight), I bet this film's reputation is better. Alas, it's still a top ten film in the list, and the most underrated of Nolan's films. Who doesn't love watching Scarecrow atop a fire breathing horse?

7. Hellboy II: The Golden Army: Guillermo del Toro is no stranger to comic book films; he's directed three, including this film, Blade II (best of that mediocre series) and the first Hellboy. Hellboy II works better than both of those, likely because del Toro found himself liberated creatively following his Spanish fantasy epic Pans Labyrinth. The world he creates is as imaginative as they come, has eye popping visuals, and once again has the right guy in Ron Perlman handling the title role. You won't be able to get Barry Manilow's "Can't Smile Without You" out of your head when the film ends, nor will you be able to shake your confusion over how the third film has yet to be made.

6. Batman: Seriously, you expected this to not make the list? It's Batman; regardless of how many great films Chris Nolan made on the caped crusader, there's just something about Tim Burton's original film that can never be duplicated. Yes, it certainly started the trend of superhero films as big blockbusters, but Batman is more than that. Burton's Gotham City is still the gold standard of Gotham City in film (a close second being his claustrophobic Gotham in the out of its mind sequel Batman Returns). Michael Keaton, doubted by many a fan boy prior to release, is perhaps still the best man to ever put on Batman's costume. And of course, Jack and the Joker. Is there a better dark comedy performance than that one?

5. Watchmen: Like Man of Steel, Watchmen was a polarizing as hell film that happened to be directed by Zack Snyder. Also like Man of Steel, I have no idea why so many people don't like this film. Perhaps the most faithful adaptation of a comic book, Snyder's Watchmen is fittingly retro, bleak and features the greatest opening credits sequence in the history of film. Seriously, you haven't lived till you've seen the history of costumed vigilantes play out in montage while Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are a Changing" plays. It's bone chilling, and more than enough to make you forget about the frequent shots of Dr. Manhattan's glowing blue penis. Yes, that was one of the complaints. Is there an anti-Snyder bias I don't know about? Was Sucker Punch that bad? Don't answer that.

4. Guardians of the Galaxy: The funniest superhero film ever made. I could pretty much just leave it at that, and no other justification would be needed. And hey, how can you hate a film that featured a talking space racoon, launched Andy Dwyer into superstardom, made Dave Batista look like an above average actor (which hey, he might actually be), featured a too cool for school soundtrack and the cinematic return of Howard the Duck? I'll always love how Guardians made the always underrated Howard look better in 30 seconds than George Lucas and co did in nearly two hours (which felt more like four).

3. The Crow: Remembered mostly for the fact that star Brandon Lee died on set, The Crow is perhaps the most underrated superhero film of all time. Alex Proyas' Detroit is one of the greatest realized cities in cinema, there's more meat to the story than you think, and despite being darker than the planet Pitch Black was set on, doesn't take itself too seriously. Of course, The Crow would be nothing without its fallen star, and Lee, in his last role, proves that he would've become a mega star if his life hadn't tragically come to an end. Arguably (and unfortunately), Lee's death helps enhance the film, adding to The Crow's already brooding feel and highlighting the tragic nature of his character's soul.

2. Superman: The original superhero blockbuster and still one of the two best (and other than Batman, still the most influential). Yes, there's a little more camp than one would like and there are certain aspects of the film (Marlon Brando,the dated effects, the weird ending where Superman spins the earth backwards and Marlon Brando a second time) that detract from the film. But it doesn't change the fact that there's magic in Richard Donner's film, whether it's in the form of John Williams' iconic score, the simple, but effective story or the pitch perfect casting of Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel. As much as I love Man of Steel and as much as I admire Bryan Singer's attempted homage of Donner with Superman Returns (a film that with a few more tweaks would've been on this list), this remains the definitive Superman film with the definitive Superman. I don't think we'll ever see the day where someone is a better choice for that role than Reeve was.

The greatest Superman. Case closed

1. The Dark Knight: What else could it be? In terms of quality, no other superhero film comes close to matching the prestige of The Dark Knight. The film contains an all time great performance by Heath Ledger as the Joker (good luck trying to duplicate that Jared Leto). The script, written by director Chris Nolan and his brother Jonathan, is absolutely brilliant, creating a story with surprising depth and memorable scenes. I could go on and on, and I'd probably forget to mention how good guys like Aaron Eckhart and Christian Bale are due to how large Ledger's shadow looms over the film. The Dark Knight is, in short, the perfect superhero film and the perfect crime film. It may not be my favorite of this list, but I cannot deny that it's the peak of its genre. 

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