Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. 1998

This is one of those movies that I’ve heard about since the start of this site, and not in a good way. This was a TV movie made for the Fox network starring Baywatch’s David Hasselhoff as Nick Fury and written by prolific superhero screenwriter David Goyer with as many hits to his name as misses. It has a very 90′s generic action feel to it with a ratio of pithy one-liners to actual action scenes at around 20:1. Everyone on screen really hams it up from the Hoff himself pretending to be the hardest hardass that ever lived, his ex-girlfriend Val who’s just as tough as he is, the over-confident fledgling British recruit, to the always-angry executive who thinks Nick Fury is the biggest mistake that S.H.I.E.L.D. Has ever made. And I haven’t even gotten to the villains yet! The special effects look 90′s TV cheap, the fights look like they were done by actors who have never taken a martial arts lesson in their lives, there is more talk about the threats than there is actual action against any threats, but as usual with these kinds of movies, there is plenty of laughable cheesiness to get some enjoyment out of watching this movie.
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TV Nights: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #18

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Week 18

Episode: Providence
Original Airdate: 4-15-14

I think it’s time for a quick recap, obviously spoilers if you haven’t caught up to this point in the show, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues the course laid out by the events in Captain America: The Winter Soldier where the agency has crumbled due to a long-gestating Hydra infestation, but Coulson’s team is still intact for the most part. His trust in his longtime friend Melinda May has been dealt a blow after finding out that she had been reporting on their goings on to Nick Fury in secret, his trust in his other old friend and newcomer to the show Agent Garrett has been shattered after finding out he has been the Clairvoyant the entire time and is a high ranking member of Hydra, his trust in Agent Ward is in doubt as his loyalties are in question as he appears to be siding with his former SO Garrett, and finally his trust in Garrett’s current recruit, or at least current before his turn, Tripplett is being withheld due to his affiliation with Garrett. And on top of all this, S.H.I.E.L.D. Itself is in question as it is unknown what facilities are held by Hydra and what are held by those loyal to Nick Fury, and the US government is starting to come in, take everyone out of the picture, and ask questions later. To make a long story short (too late), things are continuing to ramp up towards the season finale and I’m enjoying most every minute of it.
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Sparks

Sparks 2014

This is a movie that completely escaped my attention as it made the festival rounds last year and it even played near me in Chicago last April, but I did notice it when it came out on DVD as it appeared at my local Wal-Mart. Since it was a lower budget indie movie I had to look farther into it and contacted the writer/director and got to interview William Katt who is the executive producer and plays the main villain in the movie Matanza which you can view here. But aside from that, it is another different take on the superhero movie. It’s a film noir thriller set in the 20′s & 40′s following the story of Ian Sparks and his descent into the underbelly of the superhero culture. There’s plenty of twists and turns and things don’t turn out quite the way one might expect. It has a bit of a slow start, but once the action starts happening it goes on right through the end.
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Filmwhys Extra #7 Sparks

Filmwhys Extra #7 Sparks

Welcome back to another episode of Filmwhys Raw, I mean Filmwhys Extra. I do plan on bringing back a regular episode soon, but in the meantime I was privileged to have the chance to talk with William Katt who is probably best known as the lead in the 80′s superhero TV show The Greatest American Hero and is now working with writer/director Christopher Folino on his recent film Sparks: The Origin of Ian Sparks which is currently out on DVD, and my review of the movie will be posted soon.
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The 100 Essential Superhero Movies project needs you!

Just after finishing up my last blogathon this past March, I stumbled upon an idea that I really wanted to do for yet another blogathon here at Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights. When I first started this site I had a list of 100 theatrically released superhero movies that I wanted to cover in that first year, and while I did reach my goal of watching and reviewing 100 movies, I didn’t stick to that list because there were some other direct-to-DVD releases that I wanted to watch and in many cases they are just as good and often better than the theatrically released ones. So what I wanted to do was to come up with a list of 100 superhero movies that are essential viewing for a superhero fan up through the end of 2013. This isn’t just a list of the 100 best superhero movies because that might be an easier list to come up with, but these are 100 movies that are important to the category of superhero movies as a whole. Some of the choices are quite easy to make, but I’m down to the last 20 movies and this is where I need your help.
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Graphic Horror: Afflicted

Graphic Horror: Afflicted 2014

Even though my blogathon is over, I like the tag “Graphic Horror” enough that I’ll be keeping it and using it right alongside “Almost Super” for horror movies that aren’t quite superhero movies, even if they are based on graphic novels and therefore included in my big list of superhero and comic book movies. When I saw the trailer and early promotional tweets about this movie I was very interested. It was a found footage movie very similar in style to Chronicle only with a horror twist to it, where these two friends go on a world trip and one of them catches something that starts to make him sick, but then gives him superpowers before taking a much darker turn. There was another element to the story that the PR wanted to keep a secret, but I didn’t go digging into what it was until they decided it wasn’t that big of a secret to keep once it hit its wide release and I found out that the superpowers were brought on because he is becoming a vampire. This actually made me a little bit more interested in the movie because I’m always a fan of vampire movies and I thought this would do for vampire movies that Chronicle did for superhero movies and I think I was right.
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TV Nights: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #17

TV Nights: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Week 17

Episode: Turn, Turn, Turn
Original airdate: 4-8-14

Once again, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has a tie-in with a currently released Marvel movie, and once again I was able to catch it so I was aware of the connections, and this time around it’s not just the fact that they’re cleaning up in the same location that the movie’s climax took place in. This time around the movie changes everything and going into the episode with that knowledge actually takes away some of the tension that the show tries to present. There’s also a few extra references, like knowing the fate of Nick Fury, the allegiance of Agent Sitwell, and who is the driving force behind the Clairvoyant whose identity goes through plenty of twists and turns in this episode and leaves you guessing until the very end. Things are changing and this episode brings a major shake-up which the show really needed. Fair warning: spoilers abound.
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Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier 2014

This year is reminding myself of how much different the superhero movie schedule is compared to last year when there were about a dozen movies packed between the end of May and the middle of August, while this year has the movies much more spread out closer to one every month with Captain America kicking off the more traditional superhero fare as early as April (as opposed to the few comic book movies like 300 & I, Frankenstein and the few movies with a less direct superhero connection like Robocop and the Lego Movie) and yet this is also more of a far cry from a traditional superhero plot and instead feels much more like a conspiracy thriller along the lines of a dozen or so great movies whose names I can’t recall at the moment. There’s also a bit more of Captain America adjusting to life in the 21st century which I have been wanting to see ever since the first movie. In short, I loved every minute of it. Also, as a warning, I don’t always tread lightly around spoilers, though most of the spoilers I already knew or assumed before seeing the movie.
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Filmwhys Raw #6 Play Ball!

Episode 6 of Filmwhys Raw where my guests are John LaRue from The Droid You’re Looking For and Todd Leibenow from Forgotten Films, and this was my chance to participate in Todd’s blogathon going on right now, the Big League Blogathon and since it was difficult to fit a baseball movie into the focus of my superhero site, I decided that we would spend this podcast talking about any and all things related to baseball in the movies.
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Superhero Shorts: Batman Evolution

Welcome to another edition of Superhero Shorts where I take a look at a superhero themed short film and ask a few questions of the creator. This time around I have the fun short Batman Evolution where Eric Gable used his martial arts training and love of both the classic and modern styles of Batman to create a short that shows how Batman changed from the comedic and campy Adam West style Batman to the grittier modern Batman started by Tim Burton and taken even further by Christopher Nolan all while using authentic Ninjutsu techniques during the fight choreography. As always, you can watch the video below or you can visit their YouTube channel.
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