Category Archives: DC
Welcome to another edition of Superhero Shorts, where I feature a superhero themed short film and ask a few questions of its creator. This time I’m talking with Jesse V. Johnson and his Wonder Woman concept trailer. It’s been a long time since Wonder Woman has really made a good live action presence, and he made it look like it could work in a high action concept with actress/singer Nina Bergman. You can watch it below as usual, or you can check out the short at Jesse V. Johnson’s Vimeo page, Nina Bergman’s official website or YouTube channel.
Superman Unbound 2013
This is the latest DC Animation home video release coming May 7th. I’ve been a fan of every one of these movies that I’ve seen and I’m still dying to get around to the handful I haven’t seen yet. This one continues their run of quality releases following the Dark Knight Returns, though it didn’t quite win me over as much as that one did. This follows Superman and his cousin Kara and their struggle with the Brain Interactive Construct that’s going through collecting the information of the universe as well as cities he keeps as souvenirs including Krypton’s capital city of Kandor, and now he has his sights set on Earth. Superman is the only one that can save the planet and he needs the help of his cousin. The quality of animation and voicework were spot on as usual, but there was just something in it that just wasn’t quite the story I was interested in.
Batman Forever 1995
It’s been a while since I’ve seen this movie, though I remember loving it when it first came out. I was 15 at the time and remember going to Six Flags that summer and getting that question mark logo you see in the poster below on a t-shirt that I wore quite often for probably a year or more afterwards. I also find it somewhat interesting that there are actually several inside jokes that I don’t think I ever got when I was younger because I wasn’t that knowledgeable about the Batman universe outside of the movies or the animated series. There’s a brief reference to Nightwing, and at the end the psychologist’s name is Burton. After the very dark and gothic version of Gotham from Tim Burton, Joel Schumacher took over the reigns and lightened it up both in terms of his garish neon lighting as well as his pun-filled humor. None of this really sat well with me and it only portends things to come in the next movie Batman and Robin. It was filled with too many jokes and silliness that it barely felt like a Batman movie. While there are still some decent action sequences and other moments here and there, it’s a far cry from the quality seen in the Burton movies previously.
Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroes 2013
You can watch this doc for free until June 14th at PBS’s website.
Wonder Women is more or less a documentary about the history of Wonder Woman and her effect on feminism in America. It’s interesting how closely Wonder Woman has been connected to the feminist movement throughout the years. The documentary is presented as a series of interviews with both figures connected with the Wonder Woman character, like comic writer Gail Simone and actress Lynda Carter, as well as figures prominent in the feminist movement like Gloria Steinem and the lead singer of Bikini Kill. All of the people represented in this doc are interesting to listen to and presented a lot of information I never knew about. And all of it is connected with plenty of artwork from Wonder Woman comics animated in a somewhat motion comic-esque way.
All Star Superman 2011
One thing that I enjoy about this site is when I go into a movie completely blind. I’ve done a bit of research and have had help to create a very inclusive list of comic book and superhero movies, and yet when I actually choose one of the movies I’ve never seen before, I don’t seek out synopses, or watch trailers, I like to go into the movies completely blind, and this was the case with All Star Superman. Many of the Superman stories I enjoy the most are the ones that try to get to the heart of his humanity, and yet All Star Superman really embraces his alien nature more than just about anything I’ve seen before. I have to admit that at first it was quite offputting, but by the end of the movie there was enough heart in it to win me over.
Superman and the Mole Men 1951
Whenever I see lists of superhero or comic book movies, typically the first movie on that list is this one. Superman and the Mole Men is generally considered the first full length superhero movie even though there were serials for both Batman and Superman before this one. I knew practically nothing about this movie before I watched it other than it was in black and white, it starred George Reeves as Superman as it was essentially the pilot for the television series, and it had Mole Men in it. I was expecting a cheesy, old timey movie with bad fight scenes between Superman and some Mole Men. What I got instead was something a little closer to the Twilight Zone where the Mole Men aren’t actually the antagonists and there is a lot more morality issues going on than I would have first expected. It did have some goofy old timey qualities to it considering that I rarely watch a black and white movie. In fact I can count them on one hand. But it was a lot better movie than I expected it to be. It’s worth a watch if you’re a fan of Superman and you enjoy the occasional classic movie.
Jonah Hex 2010
I hadn’t heard anything very good about this movie, it pretty much tanked at the box office, even my wife didn’t really like it very much. I don’t watch too many westerns, but I do occasionally enjoy them, especially westerns with a slight sci-fi twist, something along the lines of the rarely duplicated Brisco County Jr. So my expectations were fairly low coming into this movie and I was not let down. I was surprised that it wasn’t a horrible movie by any means, it was just mediocre. There weren’t any laughably bad scenes with cheesy acting nor were there any edge of your seat action setpieces. The concepts were far-fetched, the humor was uneven, and the action was nothing special. I didn’t hate it, but I won’t be eager to watch it again anytime soon.
Even though I have seen this movie before, about the only thing I remembered about it was that it couldn’t be called Hellblazer because it sounded too similar to Hellraiser. Now, I’m not a very religious person, I was raised Christian and went to church every Sunday, and even as a young adult I would go to a weekly church group, though more for the people than the religious aspect. I think a lot of what the church teaches is total nonsense, but there’s a lot to be learned in other ways. I mention that because this movie has a strong relationship to religion, specifically Catholicism. It also approaches it much more closely to Kevin Smith’s Dogma, with a healthy amount of irreverence, but much less comedy. I enjoyed it quite a bit with all the interesting characters.
The Dark Knight Returns part 2 2013
It’s early into the year, and already time for the first superhero movie of the year, and it’s a doozy. I’ve mentioned time and time again how much I enjoy DC’s animated features, and the part 1 was quite good. Part 2 surpasses it in every way and easily overtook Under the Red Hood as my favorite of the bunch, and may even go up a couple notches on my overall top 10. Even though it’s an adaptation of a known comic book story, it’s one I hadn’t read and I was glad I hadn’t because it went to so many places I would have never expected for a Batman story. It’s the bloodiest DC movie I’ve seen aside from Watchmen, but it’s used in all the right ways. If you’re a fan of Batman at all, you must check this movie out, and while part 1 sets things up for what happens in this part, it can easily be watched as a stand alone piece with little confusion.
This is a very close adaptation of one of the most revered and acclaimed comic book that I have never read. For the longest time, it was thought that an adaptation could never do the original source material justice without cutting out a lot of the good stuff, or making compromises to make the film more marketable to the mainstream. I can’t say for certain, but I believe Zack Snyder did neither. And on top of that, he made a damn entertaining movie for those of us who have never read the comics. It is by no means a perfect movie, there are still some flaws to it, but every time I’ve watched this, I’ve remained almost transfixed by the combination of striking visuals, complex characters, and interesting storylines.
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