Up until the last week of 2015, I had intended to craft a “From Worst to Best: Comic Book & Superhero Films in 2015” list to accompany the one I had written for TV shows. Why did I ultimately not whip one together? I haven’t seen enough. Sure, I reviewed the likes of Ant-Man and Fantastic Four as they came out. I also caught Avengers: Age of Ultron, Kingsman, The Peanuts Movie, and the SpongeBob sequel*. Still, six films are not enough to craft a “Best of 2015” list from, especially when two of them aren’t good. I absolutely loved Kingsman, really enjoyed SpongeBob, and liked both Marvel films to varying degrees, but was left cold by Peanuts and outright disliked F4.
There’s also the simple fact that there were countless other applicable releases in 2015 that received little to no attention. In addition to Marielle Heller’s widely acclaimed indie effort, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, there are over two dozen releases from overseas. There’s France’s Paul a Quebec and Spain’s Anacieto: agente secreto. There’s also China’s Go Away, Mr. Tumor and the Danish film Far til fires vilde ferie. Naturally, there’s also about 25 live action manga adaptations hailing out of Japan.
Realistically, a great majority of these films will never make it over here, so expecting to see (and rank) them all is folly, unless you are super diligent and own a region-free player. That said, some have seen release here and/or are easily attainable. Films such as Cannes Palm d’Or nominated drama Our Little Sister, the post-apocalyptic science fiction film The End of the World and the Cat’s Disappearance, the Attack on Titan duology, the Parasyte sequel, the “Yokokuhan” adaptation Prophecy, and Assassination Classroom. Two of the latest from Takashi Miike (As the Gods Will) and Sion Sono (Shinjuku Swan) are also manga adaptations.
In the coming months I will do my best to catch up with many of these films and share my thoughts on them. We at Villain Smash will also strive to keep on top of such foreign releases as the come down the pipe, so as to offer you a more diverse smattering of reviews and end-of-year lists in 2016. Until then, since you’ve (hopefully) been kind enough to read this far, below lies my current ranking of the six comic book adaptations of 2015 that I have seen to date…
- Kingsman: The Secret Service
- The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
- The Peanuts Movie
- Fantastic Four
I guess I made one after all, though it is terribly incomplete. Perhaps I’ll toss out a more fleshed-out one after I catch a few more films. I’ll chime back in soon with a look at what 2016 has to offer in terms of superhero and comic book film.
* – Believe it or not, SpongeBob Squarepants qualifies as a comic book character. While best known as the star of the popular Nickelodeon animated series that has shared his name since 1999, the character actually began life as “Bob the Sponge”. He was the host of a comic strip that creator Stephen Hillenburg wrote in the 80s called “The Intertidal Zone“, which was created for the Ocean Institute to help teach marine biology to visitors. That makes “SpongeBob Squarepants” a comic book TV series and it makes the two existing films comic book movies.
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