Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Favorites? - Nine Disappointing Casting Decisions in Comic Book Movies

This may come as a shock, but he's not on the list. There are worst ones after all.

When it comes to comic book movies, casting is key for success. While other factors can play into that success (writing, directing, etc.), a good cast is at least needed. A good cast can even help elevate a bad movie. At least a crappy movie can have someone who is giving a good performance. Most movies don’t get that. Even pretty good movies have some disappointing casting as well. While there are movies I really like that have good casting, there is usually one choice that baffles me at times.

Since we’re in the year of Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice (the casting is interesting), here are my nine disappointing casting decisions for comic book movies. Yeah, I’m using “disappointing” instead of “bad” or “worst.” I would go to ten but I just want to get to the good list quicker. I’m lumping all factors together for this one even if the actor is pretty good everywhere else. Sometimes, it’s not an actor’s fault that the role ends up being terrible. The list is not in order. I’m also only listing movies that I’ve actually seen fully, so no Green Lantern here. First, here are a couple of “honorable” mentions:
  • Halle Berry as Catwoman – I’m giving this a break for two reasons. First, I actually haven’t seen all of it. I’ve only seen it in clips and do you really think I could sit through it all? Next, Halle Berry isn’t actually playing Selina Kyle. Yeah, that can be a thing against it, but at least the actual character isn’t associated with the movie. Besides, this one’s too easy for me to put on the list. 
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze (Batman and Robin) – It’s the Austrian Iceman himself. While it was one of the weirdest casting choices ever, Batman and Robin is so bad that it makes Mr. Freeze one of the high points to me. Seriously, the ice puns are so over the top, you kind of have to laugh at them. If you take the movie strictly as a comedy, his antics work. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about other actors in the movie… 
  • Halle Berry As Storm (The X-Men films) – Man, I’m hating on Ms. Hotness today, ain’t I? While I like most of the X-films, I always thought her version of Storm came off as weak to me. It’s really jarring when you look at the rest of the cast. If there’s one character that should never come off as weak, it’s Storm. It could have been her, the direction, or both. I will say that she’s a little better in X-Men: The Last Stand… the one I kind of loathe. I just can't win with Halle. 
With those out of the way, let’s get done with this!

1. Topher Grace as Eddie Brock/Venom (Spider-Man 3) – Yes, it’s that dude from That 70’s Show. I don’t know his character’s name since I never watched it. Spider-Man 3 is far from good and Venom is one of the bad things about it. The character just felt shoehorned in. It didn’t help that Topher Grace didn’t suit the character either. I don’t know if you can pin it on him or the direction. Since the direction for other stuff in that movie wasn’t good, maybe you can give Grace a pass. Either way, Venom still wasn’t good in that movie.

2. January Jones as Emma Frost (X-Men: First Class) – This is probably one of the better X-Men movies out there. So many things are done well with it. Unfortunately, it had a couple of problems and January Jones was one of them. I haven’t seen her act in anything else, but she seemed almost lifeless in the movie. The only good thing I can say about her role is that she at least looked good but that was it. Her portrayal was far from the Emma in the comics as well. While I know the movies may divert from the comics a bit, this was one character someone should have looked into.

3. Tommy Lee Jones as Two Face (Batman Forever) – While I do like Batman Forever (it’s not that bad, guys), the thing that really hurts it is the campy villains. Jim Carrey’s Riddler was somewhat entertaining (it’s Jim Carrey), but Tommy Lee Jones’ Two Face wasn’t good. It sucks because he’s a good actor. It was possible he could have played the character that was similar to the comics. Heck, Batman: The Animated Series did Harvey awesomely, so it’s not like nothing was out there for the character. Unfortunately, the direction was going for light-hearted camp. Still, you’d think someone could have written Two Face to be the straight man to the Riddler’s craziness.

4. Jessica Alba as Sue Storm (Fantastic Four) – I haven’t seen “Fant4Stic “(the reboot) yet, but I doubt anyone can blame its performance on the casting. The Tim Story movies were okay. They had some good spots as well as some pretty bad spots. The casting wasn’t all bad but Jessica Alba felt the weakest out of the main cast to me. It was obvious that she was brought in for the hotness and not much else. Her acting wasn’t all that great either. Could have she (and the rest of the cast) been better remembered if the direction and story was better? I’m not actually sure. At least she looked good in the suit but I’m not sure about the hair…

5. Most of the cast of Batman And Robin – While I can at least laugh at Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy to an extent, the rest of the main cast is pretty dreadful. Once again, the direction rears its weird, garish head again. While Chris O’Donnell was fine in Forever as Robin, he comes off as annoying here. Also, what was up with Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl? While she did look okay in that costume, who thought that was a good idea? Then, we have George Clooney as Batman. He definitely didn’t fit the role of Batman. His Bruce Wayne was a little poor as well. Heck, the whole movie was poor, so what can you do?

6. Christopher Eccelston as Maliketh (Thor: The Dark World) – The Ninth Doctor can’t catch a break, can he? First, it was G.I.Joe: Rise of Cobra, and now he has this on his resume. At least it’s a little better but not by much. Yes, Thor: The Dark World isn’t a bad movie but it's one of the lesser Marvel movies in my opinion. The lackluster villain was just one of the reasons I didn’t like it much. You think they would have given him a bit more to do than just be menacing. At least he looked good as a Dark Elf. That mask he wore was freaky.

7. Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane (Superman Returns)Superman Returns is a mixed bag for me. I did feel that most of the casting was pretty good. Yes, I still think Brandon Routh would have made a good Superman if given better material. The only person I didn’t feel was all that great about was Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane. She just didn’t feel like Lois to me. I think the fact that she looked like she hadn’t graduated high school yet didn’t help. I also think the direction didn’t help since the story wasn’t really good.

8. Shaquille O’Neal as Steel (Steel) – Sorry, “Diesel.” Yes, someone made a Steel movie in the 1990’s and it did star Shaq himself as John Henry Irons. I haven’t seen this movie in a long time but that casting still feels weird to me. I guess they couldn’t find a tall brother who could act well or something. It’s also possible that some of the brothers saw the script (as well as that costume!!) and said “Nah!” Maybe I could do give this movie a watch again and see how bad it really was. At least it has Shaft in it!

9. Justin Chatwin as Goku (Dragonball: Evolution) – I know there’s probably some unwritten rule that manga and comic books don’t mix, but I don’t care. Now, this was a weird one. This movie has already been lambasted as being horrible and I know because I rented the thing one weekend. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know. I think I may had rented this and The Last Airbender on that weekend, so I don't know what was going on. You can look at Chatwin and tell he wasn’t a good pick for Goku, a guy who probably should have been Asian. Honestly, I doubt we could blame Chatwin for this since the whole movie was pretty dreadful. Even if they had picked someone who looked right for the role, it would have sucked.


I have to stop here. Thinking about these weird/bad decisions is a little depressing. Besides, I need to get to the good list a little faster. I’ll get that out soon. I hope BVS: DOJ is good, but I’m not going to get too hyped up for it. I do think the casting decisions they made can work, but we just have to wait. I just hope they don’t end up on this list. Until then, Peace, God Bless, and here’s hoping Bennie the Cumberpatch Kid will work out as Doctor Strange.

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