A highly impartial and totally scientific list compiled by me, myself and I made by looking at my DVD/Blu-Ray collection.
6. 300 (2006): Yeah, Zach Snyder made the list twice as well. Again, it is for a visual faithfulness that brings a rather…uh… over the top take on a historical event. It’s flaws are not in Snyder’s direction or visuals-they are all in the story. I enjoy the work put into making the film look not quite real, but not quite “fake”.
7. Blade 2 (2002): This is really the film that introduced most of us to Guillermo Del Toro. He somehow managed to make an exciting sequel that, for every expectation should have sucked and just been another attempt to cash in on the first film’s success. But this is a great action film, full of adventure, cool effects, humor and really hints at the work yet to come from Del Toro. Yeah, it is no Pan’s Labyrinth… but it’s still worth watching.
8. Sin City (2005)- Frank Miller has issues…but I admit he made this list twice. The first is Sin City…his paean to thugs, corrupt cops and WHORES, WHORES, WHORES! But they sure could kick ass, eh? Honestly, based on story? This would never have made the list. It’s nothing special in that regard. And as much as I like seeing some actors stretch (Elijah Wood going creepy) and others playing the stuff we love to see them play (Bruce Willis)? The story easily is nothing we didn’t see in countless made more video/cable stuff over the years. But it was not the faithful to Miller’s Noir stories that made this hit the list. It was the faithful visuals. Miller has a really distinctive visual style…and the movie captured it. It was a sumptious visual feast…black and white with flashes of color. It looks fantastic.
9. Hellboy 2 (2008): Fun. Totally fun, with impressive visual style, Del Toro is a winner here. He tells a story of elves, fairies and trolls and a Golden Army. It helps that the cast really sells their characters. Ron Pearlman’s gruff demon raised to fight for good and Doug Jones’ aquatic Abe Sapien are charmers (especially when Abe becomes smitten with an ethereal Elven Princess). Action and fantasy, Del Toro shows he is a perfect choice for something like the Hobbit.
10. Watchmen (2009): Supposedly unfilm-able, Zach Snyder managed a pretty decent adaption of Alan Moore’s Opus. One of the better adaptions of the man’s work, with some solid casting, this was a visual feast that played off of over eight years of super-hero films.