Dr. Strange

Dr. Strange 1978

One thing that I find somewhat interesting when comparing this film to the Marvel animated film that came out almost 30 years later is that this film is almost always referred to by the abbreviation Dr. Strange. Meanwhile, the animated version and the upcoming live action film are both referred to in the long form Doctor Strange. I mainly reference this random fact because there is not really a whole lot to discuss when it comes to this failed pilot turned made-for-TV movie. It was produced a year after the successful Incredible Hulk pilot films which went to series and the limited series The Amazing Spider-Man. But when this pilot movie aired, it didn’t get nearly enough ratings for it to transition to a full series. Watching it now, the biggest problem seems like during the entire run time of the movie, nothing really happened. It’s extremely slow and very boring. I watched it over two sittings and found it hard to pay attention it was so dull, though I did happen to catch a little Easter egg where at one point Dr. Strange pulls out an Incredible Hulk comic. I would easily say that this is the worst movie based on a Marvel property that I’ve seen so far.
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Model By Day

Model By Day 1993

Every once in a while I run across a movie that I don’t really know anything about aside from the title, the year it came out, and the fact that it’s related to superheroes or based on a comic book. That’s all I knew about this film, and after watching it, I suddenly wanted to know a lot more about it, but couldn’t find anything else. All I know is that it’s supposedly a TV movie and the only air date I could find was on the Fox channel March 21, 1994, as well as vague (USA) release date of October 11, 1993 via IMDB. But the kicker is that this is very much an R rated film with a not-insignificant amount of nudity, some swearing, and noted Cinemax queen Shannon Tweed in a minor role. This would lead me to believe that it originally aired on Cinemax or a similar station, but I can’t find confirmation of that anywhere. This film is also noteworthy as the lead is an early role for Famke Janssen who would later go on to play Jean Grey in the X-Men films. I went in expecting a pretty bad film, and it was actually a lot more enjoyable than I expected. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a cheezy, slightly sleazy, made-for-TV movie made in the 90’s, but I had a lot of fun watching it, and Famke Janssen had a lot of charisma even back then.
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Filmwhys #56 Goodfellas and X-Men

Episode #56 of the Why Haven’t You Seen This Film Podcast where my guest is Nick Rehak from French Toast Sunday who asks me why I hadn’t seen Goodfellas, the quintessential Martin Scorsese film that makes the life of a gangster look almost glamorous. And in return, I ask him why he hadn’t seen the superhero film that really kicked off the modern era of superhero movies, Bryan Singer’s very first X-Men from 2000.
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Mr. Freedom

Mr. Freedom 1969

In my search for 100 of the most important and influential superhero movies, this is the last of those films that I’ve sought out to watch. I gave it a certain measure of importance mostly due to the label that released it on DVD. When a film is released under the Criterion label, it gives it an extra bit of prestige as they don’t just seek out any films to release. Instead, Criterion is generally known for releasing films that a cinephile would be most interested in. And considering that Mr. Freedom is the single, solitary superhero film released under the Criterion label, I assumed that it’s a mark of quality. I won’t go so far as to say that I was completely mistaken, but this was not the film I expected it to be by a long shot. While there is still a hefty amount of social satire and striking visuals, it’s marred by quite a bit of heavy handedness, low budget, and a nonsensical nature.
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The Posthuman Project

The Posthuman Project 2015

Even though I try to keep myself up to date on superhero movies coming out, I rarely search out indie projects and obscure films anymore. Instead, I rely on my social networks and newsfeeds to point them out to me as they show up on other people’s radar, which is why I didn’t find out about this film until a few short months ago when it had its wide release through digital outlets. I’ve watched a fair number of low budget, indie superhero films and I do find myself coming at them from a different perspective. The acting won’t always be there, and neither will the special effects, but there’s usually something in the writing or direction that I can grasp onto and see what the filmmakers were going for. There is some of that here in the Posthuman project, but not quite enough for me to love this film in the way that I have with All Superheroes Must Die, or Squid Man. It’s got some good ideas, and a couple good characters, but it suffers in several places from trying to reach beyond its limitations.
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I’m hosting #MTOS this Sunday – Comic Book Adaptations

This coming Sunday, August 23rd I will be hosting #MTOS Movie Talk on Sunday. It’s a weekly Twitter conversation where ten questions are asked, one every ten minutes starting at 20.00 GMT, or 2pm US Central time, I’m not quite sure how that conversion works, but any time I’ve joined in it’s started at 2pm Central. Of course, if you want to prepare yourself ahead of time, I have conveniently prepared the questions for you right below so you have time to think about your answers. Otherwise, just follow me @Bubbawheat and answer the questions as they come, don’t forget to use the hashtag #MTOS, and also follow #MTOS on Twitter and the founders, @raghavmodi and @askimrach.
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Lego Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom

Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom 2015

I’ve been a big fan of the Lego brand for ages, along with their video games since the Lego Star Wars games and their movies from last year and this year. They came out with their Lego Batman straight to home video movie last year which essentially followed the plot of video game Lego Batman 2. There was another one that came out earlier this year which had the Justice League fighting Bizarro characters and Darkseid, and this continues that story where Darkseid is using Lex Luthor for revenge while Cyborg is the new member of the team. It’s a little bit funny that two animated films released within a week or so of each other both feature Cyborg as the new member of the team, with this film and Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem which I watched and reviewed a few days ago. Doing a brief comparison of the two, even though they are both essentially used to help sell toys, this Lego movie uses humor much better and doesn’t feel quite so shameless or formulaic. Instead, it brings the humor that the brand has become known for and is generally hilarious from start to finish.
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Book Nights: Overtaken

Overtaken by Mark H. Kruger

After finishing up the first book in this series, Overpowered I was very excited to move onto the sequel. Even though it took me a bit longer to get into the book, once I got about halfway through I really wanted to rush through to the end. I’m glad that I was able to dig into this series which has really brought me around on the superhero novel, as the first couple I read were bad to mediocre, but these last three have all been a real treat to read. Not quite enough for me to go seeking out more on my own, but I won’t be turning down any future offers to review if they come my way. Here, Kruger is able to take the hero that he built up in Overpowered and change the situation in an unlikely and fascinating way. As usual, there will be some spoilers in this review so fair warning.
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Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem

Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem 2015

It was only a few months ago that the first Batman Unlimited movie came out to home video and it’s already time for the sequel. It’s a little tough to get behind this kind of movie that is inherently designed to market their toy line, and watching it with that in mind, it does exactly that in spades. With just two films, they introduce a large number of heroes, villains, and accessories. The first film introduced all the animal themed villains, while this one introduces all of the monstrous themed villains. Though the problem that I had with the first film carries over just as much with this film. I.E. there are no women outside of a single villainess Silver Banshee who I was never familiar with before seeing this film. Like Animal Instincts and last year’s JLA Adventures, this is very kid friendly and lighthearted as opposed to the typical hard PG-13 DC animation with their other Batman and Justice League animated films. Taken at face value, it’s harmless and entertaining enough, it’s just the whole concept surrounding it that rubs me the wrong way in more ways than one.
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The Death of “Superman Lives”; What Happened?

The Death of “Superman Lives”; What Happened? 2015

It seems that I’m finally getting around to some of the backlogged non-theatrical releases that have come out this year. This film was originally launched as a kickstarter by John Schnepp a couple years ago to chronicle his quest to find out what happened to this multi-year project that ended up never getting made. He gets interviews with many of the major players including all three script writers, producer Jon Peters, director Tim Burton, and plenty of concept artists. Enhancing the interviews are snippets of the film recreated in animation or in a couple cases live action as well as plenty of concept art and behind the scenes archival footage. It’s not really an investigation of how this film got cancelled, instead it’s more like a look back on the making of the film that ends just before they would have started filming. As someone who has heard a little bit about this project, and probably from the source that most people would have heard it from: Kevin Smith, I thought it was generally fascinating, though it did run a bit too long for my taste and especially for my wife’s taste.
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