Filmwhys #52 Primer and The Punisher

Episode 52 of the Why Haven’t You Seen This Film Podcast where my guest is Jason Soto from Your Face! who asks me why I hadn’t seen Primer, one of the most realistic examinations of how time travel might eventually work in the real world. And in return, I ask him why he hadn’t seen the 1989 Punisher starring 80’s action star Dolph Lundgren that never really got released in the US. And in return, he asks me why I hadn’t seen Primer one of the most realistic examinations of how time travel might eventually work in the real world.
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American Splendor

American Splendor 2003

Before I decided to watch this film I didn’t really know much about it. I knew it starred Paul Giamatti playing a bit of an average schlub, and that it was based on an indie comic book. But aside from that I knew nothing else. Watching the film I found it to be completely fascinating and unique. To try and explain it, it’s an adaptation of a mostly autobiographical comic book that combines dramatizations with actors as well as brief interviews with the actual author and some animated flourishes. I had never really heard the name Harvey Pekar before watching this even though I was vaguely aware of the name American Splendor. I found that while watching the film I was completely drawn to this very average and somewhat depressed guy and his story of his minor success. It was funny, it was touching in moments, but most of all it just felt very real.
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Hulk vs. Wolverine

Hulk vs Wolverine 2009

After watching Hulk vs Thor I had to move right onto the second half of the double feature with Hulk vs Wolverine. And even though they are essentially two halves of a double feature, there is nothing connecting the two stories aside from the fact that Hulk is fighting another Marvel character. While I wasn’t all that fond of Hulk vs Thor I can’t say that I was impressed with Hulk vs Wolverine either. But I will say that between the two of them, this half of the double feature comes out on top, partly because of the surprise inclusion of Deadpool who I had completely forgotten was in this.
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Hulk vs. Thor

Hulk vs. Thor 2009

As you may or may not know, before Marvel Studios went on to make the first Iron Man film and start its path towards complete box office domination, they cut a deal with Lions Gate Films to make a large handful of animated films based on several different characters. This was a mini double feature produced towards the end of their run and the last ones that I have yet to review, though I do remember watching them around the time that they came out. It’s a title that makes sense on a surface level, one of the biggest things that any comic book fan comes around to at one point or another is the question “who would win in a fight?” and then proceeds to pit two characters up against each other in an imaginary battle. It’s also something that tends to happen every now and then within the comics themselves, so it makes sense that they would pit the Hulk up against two of the most powerful and popular Marvel heroes to see who would win. Today I’m taking a look at the fight between Hulk and Thor. Unfortunately, it’s not the battle royale that one might have expected, instead it’s a bit of a let down similar to the last big pay-per-view boxing event.
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Filmwhys #51 The Silence of the Lambs and the Death of the Incredible Hulk

Filmwhys has returned! The intended 1 month-ish hiatus stretched out into 3 months, but we are back and episodes will be coming on a regular basis. In fact, two more episodes have already been recorded and will be posting every other week. No Filmwhys Extras for now, though they may return sporadically in the future. But for now, episode 51 of the Why Haven’t You Seen This Film Podcast where my guest is David Babbitt from 24 Panels per Second who asks me why I haven’t seen the Silence of the Lambs, one of the few horror films that have won an Academy Award for Best Picture and introduced the world to Anthony Hopkins’ version of Hannibal Lecter. And in return I ask him why he hadn’t seen the Death of the Incredible Hulk, the last of the TV movies from the TV show with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno.
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Weird Science

Weird Science 1985

As things continue to slow down here despite my repeated assurances of getting back on track I have managed to watch another comic book film. I had seen this film when I was younger alongside several of John Hughes’ 80’s classics, I also became a fan of the Tales From the Crypt series several years later, and I also realized that there were several different variations of the Tales From the Crypt comic book including “Weird Science”, but I never made the connection that this was inspired by one of those EC comics until recently. I even remember watching the spin-off TV series for a while with Vanessa Angel replacing Kelly LeBrock. I do remember it being one of those early 80’s movies where computers can basically do anything even though 30 years later they’re still mostly just used for looking at cat pictures and writing about movies. While it was a fun nostalgia trip, I can say that it didn’t really hold up as being that impressive of a movie outside of Kelly LeBrock’s 80’s hotness.
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Josie and the Pussycats

Josie and the Pussycats 2001

One thing I continuously find fascinating is the year 2001. The year before had several superhero movies: Unbreakable, X-Men, even smaller ones like the Toxic Avenger 4 and the Specials. But just one year later there wasn’t a single superhero movie to be found, at least as far as I can tell, only a handful of non-superhero comic book adaptations covering a wide variety from the macabre From Hell, the teen angsty art film Ghost World, and this bright and cheery Josie and the Pussycats. Even though I never watched the cartoon when I was younger, I was aware of the show through the early days of Cartoon Network when they ran all sorts of Hanna Barbera classics that they likely got the rights cheaply. I don’t remember if I watched the film when it came out in theaters, but whenever I did see it I quite enjoyed it. And watching it again now, it still hits a lot of the right notes where it’s very self-referential with its humor which helps to hide the fairly mediocre and ridiculous plot. The music is fun and it feels very of its time without feeling dated in a bad way. My wife thought it was bizarre, and my daughter grew bored of it quickly, but I loved revisiting nearly every minute of it.
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The Death of the Incredible Hulk

The Death of the Incredible Hulk 1990

As is usually the case, life tends to get in the way of plans. And while I was planning on moving on into some comic book adaptations that weren’t superhero movies, I have yet to watch any of those. And instead, I ended up watching this made for TV pseudo series finale for the old Incredible Hulk TV show with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno for the return of Filmwhys here in a week or two. This film falls in a really weird space in time. It came out the year after Tim Burton’s Batman, but since it was still tied into the television series it retained all of the 70’s and 80’s style of special effects which make it look a lot more dated than a 1990 movie should look. And even though I haven’t watched the original episodes of the show, it really felt like just an extended episode with a tacked on ending to give it some finality.
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Thursday Movie Picks – Comic Book Movies

Once again I saw a very appropriate topic from Wandering Through the Shelves Thursday Movie Picks theme for this week. The last time I joined in the topic was superhero movies, and this time it’s the other end of the spectrum that I cover for this site: non-superhero comic book movies. Check out his picks as well as the other choices over there.
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Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts

Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts 2015

While I had initially only planned to do animation through April, May is almost over and I’m still sticking to the animated fare. And while I’ve just gone though catching up on a few Marvel animated films I hadn’t gotten around to yet, DC is still cranking them out on a regular basis. I hadn’t heard much lead up to this title so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect at all. I’m not familiar with any sort of Batman Unlimited universe whether in the comics or on TV. From what I can tell from this film it’s set in the future, kind of like Batman Beyond, but instead of it being a future generation, it’s just Batman and several of the less extraterrestrial Justice League set in the future. It also reminded me a little bit of last year’s JLA Adventures where this was a very kid friendly adventure as opposed to the increasingly darker PG-13 stories typical of recent DC Animated films. It’s also worth noting that this film is intended to help launch a new toy line of DC Unlimited characters which will also continue in shorts and future home video films which actually makes me think of the Monster High style of marketing. As an actual film it was a fun little adventure without too much real depth to it, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
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