Rat Pfink A Boo Boo

Rat Pfink A Boo Boo 1966

No, that’s not a typo in the title, the movie I’m talking about today really is called Rat Pfink A Boo Boo. Well, technically it very well could be a typo, but it’s one made by someone who worked on the film though the director claimed later on that it was intentional. Before I get to the actual movie, I do want to talk about the site where I watched this film. Which is appropriate as the film feels like about half filler anyway so you’re not missing out on much. Anyway, I found out about Fandor last year because they were promoting a meet and greet with director Jeremy Saulnier with his film Blue Ruin. While looking through their site, I also noticed that they had the Wild World of Batwoman streaming. The other day, I finally decided to watch that film and signed up for their 2 week free trial and tweeted, asking for suggestions on what films to watch during my trial. @Fandor actually responded the next day with a martial arts superhero film I hadn’t heard of that’s available at their site. I was just really impressed that they took that extra effort to check my profile and suggest an appropriate movie to me instead of just some random film. Then I noticed that they also had this film which I always assumed was going to be an obscure film that I would have to track down so I decided to go ahead and watch it. And even at just over an hour long, it felt nearly twice that, not to mention the jarring shifts in tone, both color and narratively.

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The Wild Wild World of Batwoman

The Wild Wild World of Batwoman 1966

This is one of the last couple films that I’ve put on my 100 Essential Superhero Movies list that I had yet to see. There are a couple reasons that I added this film instead of a more well known, or better film. One is that it was essentially one of the first fan films, or probably more accurately a mockbuster. It was made by Jerry Warren who didn’t have the rights to the Batman character, but wanted to capitalize on the TV show’s popularity and so he made this Batwoman movie. There were enough changes made to the characters that even though he was sued for copyright infringement, he actually won the case. It was also one of very few superhero movies that became popular as a cult film when it was featured on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Watching it today, it is very obviously along the lines of an Asylum mockbuster where the characters seemingly know that they’re in a parody of a film even though it’s all supposedly being taken seriously.
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Filmwhys #54 Surviving Desire and TMNT

Episode #54 of the Why Haven’t You Seen This Film podcast where my guest is Alia Miller from the Super Zero Podcast and What She’s Having Podcast who asks me why I hadn’t seen Surviving Desire, one of Hal Hartley’s early films that takes a unique look at a specific type of relationship. And in return, I ask her why she hadn’t seen TMNT, the 2007 animated film in between the original live action turtle films and the recent live action/CGI hybrid film-soon-to-be-films.
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Justice League: Gods and Monsters

Justice League: Gods and Monsters 2015

It’s time for me to catch up on some more slightly under the radar new releases that have slipped past me in the past couple months or so. The first one that I checked out is the latest in the neverending releases from DC Animation, this brings about the return of Bruce Timm as writer who was the head of animation during the days of Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League, and is more or less credited with making DC Animation the respected studio that it has become today. He has overseen much of the DC Animated universe as executive producer, but the last movie that was written by him goes all the way back to the first with Superman/Doomsday. Gods and Monsters takes an alternate universe look at what the Justice League could have been if things had turned out very differently for a lot of people. Here, the Justice League is a small group of superhumans who are respected to a certain extent, but mostly feared by the general public as a potential menace who destroys any enemies they come across. I’ve always enjoyed alternate universe stories, and while this one was fascinating, I often felt like I was missing something with my limited knowledge of the extended DC Universe.
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Captain America 2: Death Too Soon

Captain America 2: Death Too Soon 1979

I imagine the thought process at CBS or whatever studio financed the two Captain America films was that the first one would be so popular that people would be clamoring for a sequel and so it went into production before the first one aired. And however the ratings were for the first one, it was essentially either too late or the ratings had enough merit to continue the production. There’s even an unlikely chance that these films were produced back to back but the true details are a little bit too far buried than my ten minutes of internet research will allow. It is interesting to note that this film was aired as essentially a two part mini-series, airing the first hour – counting commercials one night, and the second hour the next. And similar to the first Captain America, that is honestly one of the most interesting things about the entire film next to the fact that the villain was played by none other than the late, great Christopher Lee.
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Captain America

Captain America 1979

There are only a small handful of Marvel movies that I have yet to watch, and they all happen to fall within the realm of the dark days of Marvel in the late 70’s when they first started shopping their properties around to other live action studios in order to make TV shows and TV movies. One of the first ones was the famous Incredible Hulk TV show with Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk and Bill Bixby as David Banner, and just one year after that came out, there was this attempt at turning Captain America into a similar television property just one year after a full slate of superhero television properties like the Six Million Dollar Man, the Bionic Woman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, and the Incredible Hulk. It started out with this introductory TV movie which aired in January and followed with a sequel that aired in two parts in November. Even though it’s called Captain America it barely resembled anything close to the Marvel comic, and changed nearly everything about his origin in order to help fit within a limited television budget. Not only that, but it barely made for an interesting TV movie regardless.
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Ant-Man 2015

It feels like it’s been a while since I’ve gotten the chance to see a new release in theaters, and there have been a small handful of new releases that have come out on digital and home video in the past few weeks that I plan on visiting very soon. But Ant-Man initially felt like Marvel’s first risky venture. Arguably last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy was also considered a risk, but the hype leading up to the release along with all the trailers were exceedingly positive the entire way through. Here, the fan reaction has been hit or miss with all the promotional materials leading up to the release, not to mention the backlash when Edgar Wright dropped out as director shortly before filming. Considering that Marvel has essentially become its own machine, with a similar tone in all of its movies with variations falling more on the drama half of the equation, I went in with moderate expectations and I really enjoyed myself. It was almost as funny as Guardians of the Galaxy, though it did have a slightly different style of humor, and the action was also quite impressive considering it generally involves the hero becoming really small and back again.
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Book Nights: Overpowered

Overpowered by Mark Kruger

My track record with superhero novels has been hit or miss, but somehow I keep getting asked to review them. If only filmmakers or studio PR were this forthcoming. But after my very pleasant experience with The Heart Does Not Grow Back, I was offered another opportunity to review a superhero novel. Largely because it was the same people I happily accepted, and since the book was the second in a series they graciously included this one which was the start of this series. There have been a lot of films centered around young adult book series lately and I have seen very few of them, at first glance Overpowered with its young heroine Nica front and center seems like it might just be another blip in a sea of similar books. But I really enjoyed this story about a small town with a sinister secret, it had elements of Disturbing Behavior (in a good way) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and after I finished, I’m glad I’ve already got the second book ready to go.
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Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome

Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome 1947

And here we’ve come to the final film in the Dick Tracy theatrical run in the mid ’40s which came out in the very same year as the previous film Dick Tracy’s Dilemma which was released in July where this one was released in September. This means it’s also still relevant to the 1947 Blogathon which is still going on through today at least. It again has Ralph Byrd in the role of Dick Tracy but brings in Boris Karloff to play the heavy named Gruesome. This film also brings back quite a bit of the humor and quirkiness present in the first two films to end on a high note. And, like the last three it is currently available to watch via Hulu. It’s well worth the still quite short sixty-odd minute runtime.
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Dick Tracy’s Dilemma

Dick Tracy’s Dilemma 1947

Over halfway through these Dick Tracy films I’ve finally hit the first of two released in 1947 which fit in with a certain 1947 blogathon going on. Dick Tracy’s Dilemma interestingly keeps much of the supporting cast of the first two films. But replaces Morgan Conway’s Dick Tracy with Ralph Byrd who actually was the original Dick Tracy in the earlier serials. With the change in leads came a slight change in tone, where Dick Tracy vs Cueball has been the lightest of the three films so far, this one would be the most serious in tone as well as the most suspenseful. Even with the more serious tone, it was still an overall fun watch with enough comic relief from the side characters to help lighten the overall tone.
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