Best superhero actor?

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Best superhero actor?

Post by ShyViolet » August 31st, 2014, 3:13 pm

Which actor or actress do you feel was the best representation of a superhero in all movie history?
My choice is Michael Keaton in Batman, hands down. The range of emotion he was able to express even through his mask was truly incredible. Hugh Jackman's Wolverine is a close second.
What's your take? :)
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Re: Best superhero actor?

Post by Randall » August 31st, 2014, 4:59 pm

Keaton surprised, and he did a very good acting job... but he doesn't come close to physically filling out the batsuit.

Jackman is just about perfect... except that he's a foot too tall.

For me, Chris Reeve remains the perfect actor/hero combo. He looked the part, and conveyed both aspects of 1970s-style Clark/Superman to perfection. Anyone playing brooding or angry has it easy. Reeve had to play earnest and pure, and made it look believable.

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Re: Best superhero actor?

Post by ShyViolet » August 31st, 2014, 5:12 pm

Yeah, I had a feeling you'd pick Chris Reeve Rand...I bet Ben will too lol! :)
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Re: Best superhero actor?

Post by Ben » August 31st, 2014, 7:10 pm

Who...me? ;)

Without question, Reeve is the benchmark...I'd bet most other actors playing superheroes today would cite him as an influence on sincerity, too.

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Re: Best superhero actor?

Post by droosan » September 1st, 2014, 6:05 am

It's a subjective question, with no actual 'correct' answer ..


As I think I've stated before elsewhere on this forum, I was actually not fond of The Rocketeer upon its 1991 release. The movie made several changes to the comic-book's narrative which my 'twenty-something' self found unforgivable; not least, swapping-out Doc Savage for Howard Hughes as the inventor of the rocket (and a distinct lack of Bettie Page).

.. but, even at the time, I marveled at Billy Campbell's portrayal of Cliff Secord. Beyond merely nailing the character's impetuousness and enthusiasm in his performance -- the guy was Dave Stevens' drawings, incarnate:

Image

As also related elsewhere: I saw the film again many years later, after the comics had faded a bit from my memory .. and found the movie quite enjoyable, on its own terms. It now ranks highly among my favorite comic-book film adaptations. :)

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Re: Best superhero actor?

Post by Ben » September 1st, 2014, 8:06 am

In terms of an actor nailing a part and being a "photo-double" for the character as originally drawn, I think Chris Reeve hits the mark again here too. I agree on Campbell, though...funny enough I recently got a projector hooked up in the space where my home theater eventually will be and we've been running some movies just on the plasterboard walls (talk about impetuous)!

When Rand was over around a month ago we played a couple of films (Frozen was the "theater" "inaugurator", with Jaws - which unbelievably and unallowingly Rand had never seen - being the second). After that (and although I should be striking the current set up so that we can get on and build out the place properly!) I keep finding myself running older films I haven't seen in a while, and some new ones that I haven't gotten to watching yet!

Anyway, we had a mini-Disney marathon of Dick Tracy (quite an excellent film despite some flaws, and technically dazzling in the pre-CG age) and The Rocketeer, which was just so fun to see again. I've always loved Campbell in the role, although I get why Disney had to make other character changes (presumably because Doc Savage, although not referred to by name, was under someone else's movie copyright and there were probably potential tanglements with Bettie Page's estate).

To be honest, since Dave Stevens' originals were not widely available in the UK until even quite a while after the movie came out (I remember how hard it was to find the CD soundtrack too), I didn't know about the changes until much later. I had a crush on Jennifer Connelly at the time, so that was fine by me, and at least they gave her long black hair and she, ahem, certainly looked the part, while I loved the joke about Howard Hughes creating the rocketpack...even if not true to Stevens, it at least followed some kind of witty logic.

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Re: Best superhero actor?

Post by ShyViolet » September 1st, 2014, 11:13 am

Warren Beatty as Dick Tracy was excellent, even though some said he was too old at the time. I thought he was brilliant: ridiculously straight arrow but not up to the line of parody. His best scene was IMHO the end when (spoiler) he proposes to Tess. So sweet. :)

Loved the Rockateer although unfortunately can't remember too much from it...will have to see it again.
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Re: Best superhero actor?

Post by EricJ » September 1st, 2014, 6:30 pm

As I think I've stated before elsewhere on this forum, I was actually not fond of The Rocketeer upon its 1991 release. The movie made several changes to the comic-book's narrative which my 'twenty-something' self found unforgivable; not least, swapping-out Doc Savage for Howard Hughes as the inventor of the rocket (and a distinct lack of Bettie Page).
I LIKED Terry O'Quinn's Howard Hughes, but felt Campbell's performance was just good Joe Johnston direction rubbing off on him.

Now, Chris Evans as Captain America, that was good in-character role and good Joe Johnston influence.
ShyViolet wrote:Warren Beatty as Dick Tracy was excellent, even though some said he was too old at the time. I thought he was brilliant: ridiculously straight arrow but not up to the line of parody. His best scene was IMHO the end when (spoiler) he proposes to Tess. So sweet. :)
Beatty as Dick Tracy was SO good, you wish it didn't have Beatty the Director to keep the visual style but take away all the action. (And keep cutting away to musical montages every third scene.)

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Re: Best superhero actor?

Post by Ben » September 2nd, 2014, 5:27 am

There *is* action in the movie, but it's drowned by the songs: for instance, the big montage in the middle of the movie is almost crushed by Madonna's slow and sultry Sooner Or Later playing over the top of it. This moment needed a big Danny Elfman score riffing over it, or even just a brassier song like Back In Business or the proper version of More that doesn't really get played in the movie (then again, neither does Back In Business...for some reason it's not the soundtrack version but a more authentic period piece that I don't think is even written by Sondheim, who, I forgot, did actually already win an Oscar for Sooner Or Later from this movie).

Still pretty incredible to watch, though, especially doing what Sin City basically did over ten (and twenty) years later, but in a pre-digital age when everything was mattes, opticals and incessantly perfectionish color timing!

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Re: Best superhero actor?

Post by EricJ » September 2nd, 2014, 1:14 pm

Ben wrote:There *is* action in the movie, but it's drowned by the songs: for instance, the big montage in the middle of the movie is almost crushed by Madonna's slow and sultry Sooner Or Later playing over the top of it. This moment needed a big Danny Elfman score riffing over it,
In the trailers and ads, we kept seeing colorful period action scenes of police radios ordering "All units, move in!", and the newsboy pitching "Extra, extra, Tracy battles mob!"...Both of which end up sultrily crooned over in the final movie.
Normally I'd think it was the studio trying to condense deleted scenes with a musical montage (like half of Inspector Gadget ended up "condensed"), but....no, if you watch Heaven Can Wait, director Beatty liked falling back on musical action-drowning montages there, as well.

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Re: Best superhero actor?

Post by ohmahaaha » September 2nd, 2014, 5:12 pm

I'm going to go old school and say George Reeves. He will always be THE Superman in my book. That's not to say that all the others mentioned here were excellent, but I think these things are kind of like "Doctor Who" - you tend to have a special fondness for the first one you saw. Michael Keaton I will say was a good Batman, but IMO a terrible Bruce Wayne - just did not fit my image of Wayne at all.

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Re: Best superhero actor?

Post by Dacey » September 2nd, 2014, 6:05 pm

After giving this a lot of thought, I had to go with Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. There have been a ton of great casting choices over the years, of course, but Downey took a mostly unknown character and just made him into the coolest guy ever. Disney practically owes their entire Marvel movie empire to that guy.
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Re: Best superhero actor?

Post by ShyViolet » September 2nd, 2014, 9:39 pm

ohmahaaha wrote: Michael Keaton I will say was a good Batman, but IMO a terrible Bruce Wayne - just did not fit my image of Wayne at all.
Just curious but why did you feel this way? I know some people thought he was too low-key and not "potent" enough to compete dramatically with Jack Nicholson's joker who was so brilliantly over-the-top, but I think that was the point. I know Tim Burton said he wanted Wayne to be someone you would never think could be Batman, and I agree--as Bruce Wayne Keaton had so much hidden depth underneath the layers of shyness and a soft but sardonic sense of humor. ("Because I bought it in Japan."--love that line.)

It's the stark contrast between Bruce Wayne and Batman that makes Burton's films so brilliant.
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Re: Best superhero actor?

Post by Randall » September 2nd, 2014, 11:27 pm

I thought Keaton's performance was great, and he gave us a Bruce that surprised me, but I liked it. He just looks so small!

Downey created the screen Iron Man, and did it to joyful perfection, but I'm not sure the screen version truly embodies the comics version. Of course, I haven't read much Iron Man, so I can't say for certain. But it seems that Downey's version, while a delight unto itself and certainly a HUGE reason for Marvel Films getting off to so great a start, is a little more of a smarta$$ than the comics guy originally was. Even Tony Stark from The Ultimates (a big inspiration for the Marvel movies) was more of a sleazy womanizer. Still, Downey owns the role.

Oh, and I love George Reeves too. He embodied the 50s Supes very well, complete with winks to the camera. I was going to say he was "only" on TV, though, but then I remembered Superman Vs. The Mole Men!

And I can't argue with Droo on Billy Campbell, either. Great choice! I never much cared for Jennifer Connelly, though, so I found her Betty lacking. (Incidentally, I loved the Howard Hughes switch-out for Doc Savage, given that Doc's rights were tied up elsewhere.)

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Re: Best superhero actor?

Post by Ben » September 3rd, 2014, 5:43 am

Randall wrote:I never much cared for Jennifer Connelly, though...
Okay, I knew it...and there comes the deal-breaker... ;)

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