Top Ten Moments That Make Me Believe in the X-Men Franchise

By:

Matthew J.R. Kohler

10.) The Cast of Characters

It’s usually hard to cast a superhero character.  X-Men succeeded at this with most of the original cast and its reboot cast.  Have you ever heard anyone say that Hugh Jackman or James McAvoy were miscast?

09.) The reason they are fighting

X-Men is one of the few superhero series that has a strong reason for the action.  Unlike most Marvel films, X-Men is straight forward.  Magneto wants to protect the mutants through violence and Professor X wants to protect mutants by protecting humans.  Each film built on this idea.

08.) It’s more than action

The best X-Men films are dramas first and action movies second.  Look at the first two films and First Class.  The climactic moment in First Class is not dozens of superheroes and super villains attacking each other, but simply three people standing, and one of them screaming.  By the way, I love this!

07.) The Villains are Bad!

Stryker, Kevin Bacon, and Stryker!  All of these characters are just bad people.  None of them have any redeemable characteristics.  Both experimented on mutants.  In their movies, you want them to get their comeuppance.

06.) Nightcrawler was epic!

X2 is probably the greatest X-Men movie.  One reason is the opening scene that introduces a new character…Nightcrawler.  Nightcrawler was one of the best parts of that movie.  And you know what…it left me wanting more.

05.) When Toad Actually Mattered

Toad is a small character in the first film, but boy did he shine in the final action scene!  He faced the entire X-Men (besides Wolverine) and held his own.  Toad was made special for that reason.  Also, he was given great energy by Ray Park who at that point was a fanboy favorite thanks to his turn as Darth Maul.  It’s awesome to see how such a minor character brought so much fan service.

04.) Magneto!

Magneto might be one of the best villains created by Marvel, so it’s almost impossible for them to get him wrong.  Not only did the great Ian McKellen play him, but he was also played by the brilliant Michael Fassbender.  Both actors brought new ideas to Magneto, which has made the character endure through all of these years.

03.) The tone is perfect

For the most part, the franchise is dead serious, but every once in a while they slip in a joke.  The best of the X-Men series has been a breath of fresh air because most superhero films now are more about making jokes than telling a thought-out story.

02.) It has a purpose

When “X-Men” first started in the comics, the idea was based on the African American movement with Malcom X (Magneto) and Martin Luther King Jr. (Professor X).  In 2000, Bryan Singer used these characters to talk about a new topic—homosexuality.  The franchise started with a fresh take.  As a result, this is one of the few superhero franchises that has brought relatable topics to the mainstream audience.

01.) The reboot was a success

First Class was amazing!  This scene explains it all.

Top Ten Star Wars Moments

by: Matthew J.R. Kohler

Over the last four decades, Star Wars has penetrated numerous media.  From the big screen to your PC, here are the ten greatest Star Wars moments every fan should know about.  By the way, SPOILERS!!!!

 

10.) Star Wars: Dark Forces

darkforces

Many probably have not heard of this game. Its popularity didn’t last long due to Goldeneye‘s release around the same time.  Dark Forces is a FPS game in which you play as Kyle Katarn, and your objective is to take on the Empire.  During your journey, you encounter Boba Fett, storm star destroyers, and uncover the dark troopers.  For the FPS, this game pioneered AI that was actually intelligent, and the 360-degree camera view.  Most games up to that point did not have such features (except for Doom).  Dark Forces also has great replay value because of its engaging levels.  A brilliantly designed game, it is no surprise that it was one the highest-grossing games of the 90s.  If you play the game for context and not graphics, it is a true masterpiece.

 

09.) Star Wars: Clone Wars

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When I was 11, I thought this show was dumb.  I asked myself, “Why would I want to wait each week to see only ten minutes of television?”  (This was the 2003 version, not the 2008 version).  Now, having re-watched the entire show, I have to say it is one of the best Star Wars stories.  Throughout the series, the art direction feels like a martial art movie, what with the widescreen look, the silence before the battle, and the crazy action sequences.  Plus, this show follows the movies closer (if that changes things for you).

 

08.) The Return of Darth Maul

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Not many revivals of characters work out well (I’m talking to you Marvel and DC), but Dave Filoni’s story about the return of Maul was nothing short of excellent in Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008).  Not only does Maul return as a stronger and more proactive character, but also we see him grow from a half-robot/spider to a true dark lord.  Darth Maul’s revival is what cemented him as an iconic character of the series.  Although Darth Maul does meet a harsh end in the show, it was remarkable to see him rebound from being tossed away in the first prequel.

 

07.) Star Wars Fan Films

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If you actually love Star Wars, then you’ve seen the Star Wars fan films and their often unique perspectives on the franchise.  With classics such as Troops, Pink Five, Gangsta Rap, Kit Fisto Lives, and, of course, the web series Chad Vader, Star Wars fans clearly know how to do something completely different with the universe.

 

06.) Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

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How do you expand Star Wars?  Easy; you go back 4,000 years and create a unique game and gameplay for a Star Wars RPG.  KOTOR is one of my favorite games and has one of THE best twists ever.  KOTOR was able to create new and interesting characters that fans would remember.  At the same time, it stayed true to what makes Star Wars so beloved.

 

05.) Star Wars: Battlefront

Battlefront instantly became my favorite party game.  Playing the greatest battles from the movies, with the addition of maps from other stories, this third-person shooter took you on the ride of your life through the Star Wars universe.  It defined what fans expect from an action packed Star Wars game.

 

04.) Ahsoka Tano leaves the Jedi Order

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The protagonist of Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008), Ashoka Tano had to prove herself to fans because she wasn’t one of the original characters.  When I first watched the show, I couldn’t stand her because she seemed one-dimensional.  After five years of watching her grow up, however, I grew to be attached to her, and realized that she was one of the best characters in the Star Wars universe.  Needless to say, I was sad to see her exit the show.

 

03.) Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope

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What better way to start off your Star Wars fanboy love than with the film that started it all?  Sure, a lot of movies age badly, but this story doesn’t.  One of the best parts about Star Wars is its universe.  If the movie was good solely because of its mind-blowing effects, people wouldn’t watch it today (with a straight face, anyway).  The movie has what movies are missing nowadays: a unique universe that tells a simple, familiar story.

 

02.) Grand Admiral Thrawn

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The best character was created after the original saga, and was part of the first trilogy after Return of the Jedi.  Grand Admiral Thrawn’s trilogy is the best set of books I’ve ever read.  If you want to know what the best non-movie Star Wars story is, then read Heir to the Empire.

 

01.) Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

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The look, the story, the characters, the music, and the tone were just right in this film.  When I watch it, I can smile the entire time.  The movie is too perfect.  It set the bar sky high for anything called Star Wars.  The Empire Strikes Back will always remain my favorite sci-fi film, and will always be revered as one of the greatest movies ever.

 

Top 10 Star Wars Villains

 

by: Matthew J.R. Kohler

In ten days, Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be released.  This makes me wonder: Will the villain be any good?  Throughout the Star Wars films, one of the things that people always looked for was how cool the villain was. The quality villain is an essential part of any Star Wars film.  The same rule applies to Star Wars stories in other media as well.  From the original films to the books, here are my ten favorite Star Wars villains.

10.) Darth Revan – Knights of the Old Republic

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SPOILERS: If you have never finished playing Knights of the Old Republic, DO NOT READ MY DESCRIPTION OF DARTH REVAN.

 

One of the greatest twists in video game history is when you find out that you, the protagonist, are the very villain you are searching for—Darth Revan. Yes, the entire time you’ve been playing Knights of the Old Republic, you’ve been the great Sith Lord that everyone fears and respects.  From the iconic mask to the mystery behind him, Revan has become one of the fan favorite villains.

 

09.) The Emperor – Return of the Jedi

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He is someone that even Vader fears, and is the one who introduced us to Sith lightning.  The Emperor is most interesting when you don’t see him a lot.  The mystery behind him is far more frightening than the constant sight of him, as the prequels sadly demonstrated.

 

08.) Asajj Ventress – Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)

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Apprentice to Dooku, and betrayed by Dooku. Asajj Ventress is one of the best parts of Star Wars: The Clone Wars because of how much her character grows.  Throughout the series, she was one of the top-tier threats.  But, by the end, she has grown to be similar to hero Ashoka Tano, in that she firmly believes in her own way, and is betrayed by the people she cares about, but still is able to overcome all opposition.

 

07.) Savage Opress – Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)

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If you never have seen Star Wars: The Clone Wars, then you should at least watch the episodes the feature Savage Oppress. At first, I didn’t like the idea of Darth Maul’s brother being a main villain, but series director Dave Filoni changed my mind.  Savage was tortured by the Nightsisters and was their new weapon to defeat Count Dooku, and the Emperor.  Once they failed, Oppress went on to search for his brother, Darth Maul.

 

06.) Grand Moff Tarkin – Star Wars 

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Grand Moff Tarkin was a villain that you loved to hate.  He told Leia that he would blow up her home planet if she did not reveal the location of the Death Star plans. Even when she gave a believable answer, he blew it up anyway!  In many ways, he is as evil as the Emperor.  Tarkin was such a force in this movie that not even Vader wanted to do anything against him.  That says a lot about a guy.

 

05.) Darth Bane – Darth Bane Trilogy

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Darth Bane created the “Rule of Two,” a philosophy that there should only be two Sith lords in the galaxy. As a result,  he also wiped out most of the Sith in the Old Republic days.  In other words, he is one of the few Sith that no one wanted to cross.  In his eponymous trilogy, Bane rises from the ranks of a Sith trooper to one of the elite Sith.  When he created the “Rule of Two,” he realized that the Sith were too weak, but knew that one day they would have their revenge when the two strongest of Sith would grow in power.

 

04.) Mara Jade – Star Wars Legends Universe

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She was assigned to kill Luke Skywalker in Heir to the Empire.  Mara Jade is strong in the force (like Luke), and cunning like Han Solo. She is able to fight against, or with, the best of the best.  She also was the Emperor’s Hand, and blamed Luke for the death of the Galactic Empire. Admiral  Thrawn uses her thirst for revenge as a way to get rid of Luke. She later leaves the dark side, becoming a Jedi Master, and marries Luke Skywalker.

3.) Boba Fett – Episodes V & VI

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Though he is my favorite Star Wars character, even I have to admit that there are other villains that are more threatening than him.  Sure, he was able to help the Empire get Han Solo.  But if it wasn’t for the fans, Boba wouldn’t be remembered except as the guy who gets blindsided by Han.  Nevertheless, Fett has always been a cool villain, and is one of the few that stood face to face with Vader and didn’t seem threatened.

02.) Darth Vader – Episodes IV –VI

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The first and only reason you need to love Star Wars.  If you cannot enjoy Darth Vader, then you will never like this franchise.  Vader was the first threat in the universe, for he killed all of the Jedi (except for two). He killed Obi-Wan Kenobi in the first movie, and cut off Luke’s hand and told him a shocking truth in The Empire Strikes Back. In Return of the Jedi he had the best redemption ever.  Ever since I was a kid, Vader was one of my favorites, and him killing his own men to get to Luke has always been enjoyable to watch (I mean that in the most non-weird way possible).

 

01.) Admiral Thrawn – Heir to the Empire Trilogy

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It is no small feat to top one of the best villains in movie history, but Thrawn does just that.  He isn’t like Vader at all, in terms of strength, or cocky like the Emperor, or Grand Moff Tarkin. Instead, he is very honest.  In the opening chapters of Heir to the Empire, he explains why the Empire lost–Vader’s pursuit of Luke, and the Emperor’s cockiness.  He also figured out how to defeat Jedi without using the force—the Ysalamiri. In my opinion, Thrawn is a legend that true Star Wars fans will never forget, and is the greatest Star Wars villain of all time because he used brains over brawn.

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Star Wars Bounty Hunters

by: Matthew J.R. Kohler

10.) Jango Fett

jango

Jango Fett had a rough time.  The only two Jedi we see him fight are Obi Wan and Mace Windu, and we all know how that turned out for him.  Jango is the design of the clones and an ideal solider.  Loyalty to the payer, and the willingness to get the job done no matter what, are the qualities that made Dooku see Jango as the man to destroy Mace.  It would have been nice to see more from the father of Boba.

09.) IG – 88

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A droid in the IG series, IG-88 was introduced in the universe in Empire Strikes Back.  He was one of the bounty hunters who tried to capture Han Solo.  In the extended verse, there are multiple IG-88s.  After Han was frozen, the IG’s assaulted Boba Fett, but lost in the end.  He is one of the most interesting bounty hunters, for he became the Death Star II after his brain was uploaded into the ship.

08.) Durge

Durge

One of the main antagonists during the Clone Wars.  He and Obi Wan would battle against one another several times.  This would end when Dooku assigned Obi Wan once more to face off.  Durge would lose in the fight after being blown to shreds.  Durge has the unique ability to regenerate and to track Jedi with ease; he is the terminator of Star Wars.

07.) Bossk

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One of the bounty hunters on The Executor, he was also assigned to track down Han Solo.  During the Clone Wars, Bossk guided Boba Fett after his father died and brought him to Jabba the Hutt.  There, both of them worked together for several years until they become rivals.

06.) Embo

Embo

Very similar to Boba Fett, he does nothing special but look sweet!  Embo reminds me of Kung Lao from Mortal Kombat—quiet and throws a hat that can kill people.  Embo was one of Clone Wars director Dave Filoni’s favorites, and it shows in his series.  And seeing what he did in Clone Wars made me believe he is one of the coolest.

05.) Greedo

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No, Greedo isn’t the greatest bounty hunter, but he sure has had his share of controversy.  If it weren’t for Lucas, I don’t know if this character would be as memorable.  Greedo’s only job was to take down Han Solo in a bar, and he failed.

04.) Aurra Sing

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Aurra Sing played an important role in the Clone Wars, from aiding Cad Bane, having a sexual relationship with Hondo, and raising Boba Fett for a while.  Aurra’s ultimate doom in the Clone Wars was underestimating Padme and Ashoka.

03.) HK 47

HK-47

Originally a Sith Assassin droid programmed to take out Jedi.  Now, he works for the Jedi to stop the Sith.  HK 47 was the best side kick in the KOTOR games and had some of the best lines in the game.  If you love straight-to-the-point dialogue, HK is your man…droid.

02.) Cad Bane

Cad Bane

Created for the Clone Wars after the creative team did not want to use Durge, Cad Bane did a lot of work during the Clone Wars and was among the few who did not fear Jedi or Sith.  Cad Bane was one of the main antagonists of the show and the main reason to watch seasons one and two.  Bane was a formidable foe, in that he controlled most of the underworld, he knew what was going on at all times, and always wanted to get paid.

01.) Boba Fett

Boba Fett

It’s really hard not to put my favorite Star Wars character at number one.  Boba Fett has that aura that most villains lack.  He just had to stand upright and not fear Vader, the baddest Sith of all.  Boba Fett not only did not fear anything but also took on anything, even if it cost him his life.  Even after Lucas “killed” him in the dumbest way possible, Fett has endured the test of time, unlike any of the others who have not gone through such a trial.

Top Ten Star Wars Fight Scenes

by: Matthew J.R. Kohler

For almost forty years, the Star Wars franchise has produced several iconic fight scenes.  From the original trilogy to Star Wars: Rebels, we dive into ten the ten best fight scenes.  Enjoy!

10.) Jedi versus Sith (Star Wars: The Old Republic)

One of the best video game cutscenes I’ve ever seen, and a main reason why I picked up “The Old Republic”.  This scene demonstrates that the battle between Sith and the Jedi is ongoing.  The difference (difference from what?) is that both sides are in control.  For the first time, we got to see what The Old Republic wars were like.  If only the rest of the game were as good as this.

09.) General Grievous versus Ki Adi Mundi and Shak Ti (Star Wars: Clone Wars)

If you feel that Grievous was too weak in Revenge of the Sith and the newer animated show Star Wars: The Clone Wars (I know, it’s confusing), then this is the fight scene for you.  In this version, Grievous was a force to be reckoned with.  Not only is he able to take on four Jedi at once, but later is able to stand toe to toe with Mace Windu (that is until Windu destroys his voice box).  This fight might not be enjoyed by the masses, but this scene was a unique take on the Grievous character.

08.) Kit Fisto versus General Grievous (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

The first fight scene in Star Wars: The Clone Wars that made me a believer of the show.  Beforehand, we had never seen Fisto fight (except for briefly in Revenge of the Sith), but now we not only see him in action but also take total control over Grievous.  From death traps to fighting five opponents, the true extent of his skills is on full display here.

07.) Darth Maul versus Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon Ginn (The Phantom Menace)

The only good (and saddest) thing to come out of the prequel trilogy.  From the awesome shot of the doors opening to reveal Darth Maul, to his absolute domination of the two Jedi, you get to see other styles of the Sith at work here.  The best part of the fight scene is when Obi-Wan and Maul face off.  The speed heightens to an edge-of-your-seat level, and shows off the two young warriors’ skills.  The only thing that falls a little flat is how much better Maul actor Ray Park clearly is than the others.  At certain parts, he is so much faster that he, without a doubt, could have killed them.  (Or maybe Maul was there to never kill, and only stall?)

06.) Darth Maul and Savage Oppress versus Darth Sidious (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

This is the most emotional fight scene for me.  When Savage Oppress entered the universe in Season 3, I thought the show was ruined.  Then, I was blown away by the character.  When we first see Maul with Oppress, it’s very sad to see the state that Maul is in.  But, after one season, we see how much Maul has changed.  This arc explosively culminates when Maul and Oppress take on Darth Sidious.  What I liked about this fight was that they showed more of Sidious’ true power than ever before.  Oppress was very slow and technically choppy compared to the seasoned Darth Sidious.  This is shown at the end when Oppress meets his demise.

05.) Anakin Skywalker versus Asajj Ventress (Star Wars: Clone Wars)

The creator of Samurai Jack knows how to build up tension.  This fight scene does so perfectly.  From the rain hitting the lightsabers to the long anticipation for the next move, the suspense does justice to the final moments.  It was interesting to see Anakin turn more to the dark side in a battle.  Not only do you see him wield a red saber, but when he strikes down Asajj, images—in his mind—of Jedi are shown.  A fight scene should always have a point to it, and the one here is that Anakin had crossed the point of no return.

04.) Obi-Wan versus Darth Vader (Star Wars)

The most realistic fight scene in the Star Wars universe.  This fight makes sense because the two haven’t fought a formidable opponent in at least ten years.  Not only is Obi-Wan at a weaker state, but Vader is as well.  This is not about a lightsaber fight, but a duel they didn’t finish thirty years ago.  We all know if Obi-Wan was there for a duel, the fight would have been longer.  Obi-Wan had another plan, though.  He was there to say goodbye to Luke and Vader.  He knew that his time was up, and that it was time for Luke to take on the Empire.

03.) Darth Maul versus Pre Vizsla (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

This scene perfectly shows Maul’s ruthlessness, and how awesome bounty hunters are. Not only that, you get to see how a Mandalorian would fight a Jedi.  From the dark saber to flamethrowers, Pre Vizla shows he is the real deal.  The thing that I love most about this fight is how brilliant Maul is.  In the film, we only saw him fight.  In this show, we see him use his brains to take control of Mandalore.  And Maul’s rise is one of the best parts of Clone Wars.

02.) Darth Vader versus Luke Skywalker (The Empire Strikes Back)

It’s pretty easy to see why this fight is so high on this list.  (And it is not only because of its shocking moment and highly quotable lines.)  This fight also demonstrates how unprepared Luke really was.  At first, you think he might stand a chance, then you see that Vader is testing him, and is much more powerful than we thought.  The best part of the duel, however, is the suspense, something that the prequel fights generally lacked.  Vader vs. Luke was the first actual duel we ever got to see in the universe, and the suspense 100% emphasizes that.  Vader’s slow lightsaber draw, as well as his continual distraction of Luke with taunts, makes the clashing of their light sabers more and more exciting each time.

01.) Darth Vader versus Luke Skywalker (Return of the Jedi)

The scene that utilizes every element the best.  The music, lighting, and actions all sync up beautifully.  This fight tells the perfect story.  Actually, two stories occur here: the emperor is trying to convert Luke to the dark side; and Luke is trying to convert Vader to the light.  The stories climax when Vader tells Luke about his sister.  Luke explodes and beats Vader with rage.  Luke realizes his fault, and beats the Emperor by refusing the Emperor’s demands to kill Vader.  Like Episode V, the suspense is in full effect.  Everyone wanted to see the final duel between these two giants, but I don’t think anyone expected the Emperor to step in.  For the first time, we got to see the full power of the dark side!

Top Ten Underrated Movies That You Should Watch!

by: Matthew J.R. Kohler

Do you love a movie that is not loved by the masses?  Here is a list of films I think need to be watched by everyone, and that I think are underrated.

10.)      Prisoners (2013)

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Prisoners stars Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. The film explores themes of how much people are willing to sacrifice for those they love, and what they are willing to give up to protect them.  One of the most intriguing things about this film is its intensity.  I’ve never been a movie theater where the audience is breathing as one, until I saw this film.  Prisoners keep you guessing and keeps you asking, “Would I do this?”  I still can’t answer the question.  I consider it a must watch for anyone who or hasn’t seen it.

9.)      Rumble in the Bronx (1994)

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After Rush Hour came out, people didn’t pay attention to Jackie Chan’s early 90s films that got him into Hollywood. One of these films is Rumble in the Bronx. It is about an ex-martial arts champion who visits his uncle in Bronx.  Realizing how rough the underground gangs are, Chan’s character must stop an elite group of thugs with his fists!  The story is not really the point of the film. The action is what sets the film apart.  Not only does he jump from building to building, but there are several fight scenes in which Chan is surrounded by multiple people, and must fight his way out.  Chan’s fighting techniques are impeccable. Each move happens so quickly that it is no wonder why he is one of the best fight choreographers.

8.)      Robocop (1987)

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Robocop might be the greatest misunderstood movie ever (which is part of the reason why some people leave it alone).  Directed by Paul Verhooven, this satire science fiction film delves into corruption of corporations, and is set in the inner streets of Detroit.  One thing I really like about this film is how well it has aged.  It is just as relevant today as the year it was made.  If it wasn’t for the mediocre sequel and the god-awful third movie, I think Robocop would have more acclaim.

7.)      Batman Returns (1992)

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I don’t think anyone was prepared for this movie.  Batman Returns did many things that made us question Burton’s sanity. Batman is different than we’ve ever seen him before. The character kills relentlessly. There is virtually no color palette other than black. The villains, Danny “The humping Penguin” Devito, and Christopher Walken as Max Shreck are also quite a departure.  I did not mind most of these changes.  If you remember that in Batman, the caped crusader killed Joker, one of his main enemies. His next move logically seems to kill his enemies, instead of turning them in to the police.  I felt Burton wanted to make Batman more alone than ever and the only thing that keeps him “normal” is a psychotic Catwoman.  I think that for the best viewing experience, viewers should probably leave a lot of their preconceived notions of the character behind, as this film is not a typical presentation of the Batman mythos.

6.)      The Longest Day (1962)

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In 1962 this was a big deal, but since Saving Private Ryan came out, interest has seemed to decline.  The Longest Day starred everyone famous from the 1950s to the early 1960s (Even Sean Connery had a little role in this film). It even had three directors from three different countries so as not to skew the different points of view.  The film tells the story of the American landing on Normandy Beach on D-Day.  Not only does it have some awesome action set pieces, but it really drives home why people were fighting.  To me, this is the original Saving Private Ryan.

5.)      Back to the Future Part II (1989)

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I know Back to the Future is insanely popular, but a lot of people believe the second film is not as great.  Back to the Future Part II is not only a lot darker than the first film, but it is a lot more complex.  The thing I love most about this movie is the alternative 1985 era. One of the best scenes in the trilogy comes from Doc Brown and Marty in the Brown’s garage.  The film also has one of the most talked about sets, the future 2015, which I love because the directors blew most of it out of proportion.

4.)      Unleashed (2005)

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At this point in his career Jet Li had been a staple in American theaters, but none of his American films really packed the punch as his Eastern films until Unleashed.  Not only does it have some of the best fight scenes, but some of the most heartfelt moments Li has put on the big screen.  Alongside Li was none other than Morgan Freeman. Freeman plays a blind piano player who aids Li’s character in becoming his own person. The piano music helps Li’s character remember who he used to be.  If you haven’t seen this amazing film, I recommend to any moviegoer.

3.)      The Warriors (1979)

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It’s safe to say that The Warriors is more known for its video game than from its movie.  However, I consider the film to be a true classic.  The film is about a gang who is framed for killing the Gang Leader.  Throughout the film the Warriors are on the run to head back to their home turf before its they are killed.  Not only does The Warriors have really iconic lines: “Warriors, come out to play!” and “Can you dig it?”, but it also had a unique look to it.  Before the term gritty existed, movies in the 1970s had a lot of the same elements that we now associate with a gritty film: chaotic violence, realistic characters, drugs, and lighting schemes.  The only thing that makes The Warriors a stinker is the ending.

2.)      Clue (1985)

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This film is a true cult classic.  I have never met a person who’s seen this film and hated it. The only problem is that many people haven’t seen it!  Starring Tim Curry, Christopher Llyod, Michael McKeen, and that one guy from Jingle All the Way, Clue puts seven people in one mansion trying to solve “Who killed Mr. Body?”  This is a film that you can either take seriously, or laugh all the way through.  One of the best things about the film is when Tim Curry retells the entire movie in Act III.

1.)      Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)

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Yes, this movie did go to theaters, and yes, this is the best Batman film ever.  In 80 minutes, the filmmakers are able to tell a better story than Christopher Nolan did over three movies.  Starring Kevin Conroy as Batman, Batman: Mask of Phantasm is a story about Bruce Wayne’s first love, and about him becoming the Batman.  It leads to the final confrontation between Batman and The Joker (played by the great Mark Hamill).  The film brings in the best elements from the 90s show, and contains (possibly) Mark Hamill’s best performance as The Joker.  If you love great cinematic experiences, then this is the perfect movie for you.