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Officer Downe

Officer Downe 2016

Even though this is seemingly a regular occurrence for me, I’m still surprised when I find new, low budget superhero or comic book movies that had slipped under my radar in the previous few years. This one came out late last year, produced by one of the directors of the Crank movies and directed by a member of Slipknot and was recently made available on Netflix streaming. It’s based on a short lived and lesser known comic from Image comics and the film itself is a colorful, kinetic, ultraviolent, grindhouse-esque movie with a lot more tongue-in-cheek humor to it. The set up is a lot of wacky and bloody fun that doesn’t entirely make sense, but takes you along for the ride until things get a little too self-serious towards the end as the joke starts losing its effectiveness. But I still had a blast with it.
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The Phantom

The Phantom 2009

This is one of the very few superhero miniseries that I know of, it aired on the Sci-Fi channel back in 2009 in two parts. While it was initially conceived of as a backdoor pilot it never actually materialized into a series. There are extremely loose ties to the 90’s Billy Zane Phantom movie, but for the most part this updated the Phantom into the 21st century as a teen aged, parkour loving douchebag with an updated costume that gives him a few extra super powers. But as a miniseries, it takes way too much time trying to set up all the relationships and the new Phantom as a character, but that ultimately makes most of this miniseries uninteresting. There are only a few action set pieces, the villains are uninspired, and there’s a plot twist that I saw coming the moment the character stepped on screen. It’s not awful by any means, but it’s just incredibly mediocre.
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The Legend of the Lone Ranger

The Legend of the Lone Ranger

This is the third Lone Ranger movie that I’ve seen so far from this site. I went from the most recent one with Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer in 2013 on back to the original feature film spun off from the TV show back in 1952. Out of the three, this is definitely the worst, and surprisingly it follows a few of the same beats as the 2013 movie as it covers the origin of the Lone Ranger since it was essentially supposed to be a reboot of the story from the 50’s. The big difference is that this film runs an hour shorter. It cast two unknowns in the roles of Tonto and John Reid as well as Christopher Lloyd as Butch Cavendish who was also a character in the 2013 film, likely because they both pull from the same sources. This film also ends with a train heist, though it’s much more truncated as the plan is more interested in kidnapping the president than anything else. But the film lacks action, acting, even much of a score, not to mention that it opened just a month before Raiders of the Lost Ark which was far and away a much better film than this one.
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Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues

Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues 2016

There’s a few reasons why I haven’t covered any motion comics on this site before now. The biggest reason is that every motion comic that I’ve looked into is presented more like a TV season, with each issue of the comic that it’s adapting is its own episode and there tends to be a half dozen to a dozen episodes. Queen of Plagues is presented as a single movie that runs just over an hour, but the animation style is still much more like the typical motion comic style where the comic book art is translated almost exactly to screen with only minor changes to remove text boxes and animation based on moving and stretching the original art elements. While the voice work and animation – specifically the lip synch – fall in line with my limited experience with motion comics, it is much better than some of the lower budget ones that I’ve heard about with only a single voice actor and no lip synch animation at all. The film itself was a nice story even though it took a little while to get going.
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Darkman 3: Die Darkman Die

Darkman 3: Die Darkman Die 1996

After watching the second Darkman movie, I didn’t exactly have high hopes for the third entry in the franchise and while most of it faced the same mediocrity as the second movie, it went a few places in the second half that I didn’t quite expect and surprisingly enjoyed. What helped the most was that this film didn’t try and just re-do what the first film did with a slightly different premise, but it actually took the character in a new-but-believable direction. There are still plenty of mistakes along the way, but it was a worthy attempt.
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Darkman 2: The Return of Durant

Darkman 2: The Return of Durant 1995

Darkman is a movie that I’ve actually seen a surprising number of times considering that I’m someone who rarely re-watches movies unless it’s for a reason. In the past five years writing for this site, I’ve watched it four times. Once for the initial review, once for an episode of Filmwhys, once because someone was doing a group livetweet of it, and I rewatched it again because I borrowed the entire Darkman trilogy from the library so why not? I never knew much about the sequels other than they are obviously not as good as the Raimi original and they brought in Arnold Vosloo to replace Liam Neeson. The first sequel was ok, but nothing really stood out to keep my attention. Just a lackluster pseudo-revenge tale where the revenge wasn’t even that important and had a hard time keeping my interest.
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Teen Titans: The Judas Contract

Teen Titans: The Judas Contract 2017

It actually feels like a fairly light year for DC animated movies when compared to last year when there were quite a few movies from various different DC properties while this is only the fourth animated movie counting the theatrical Lego Batman movie and the latest DC Superhero Girls movie. Even so, I feel like I’ve fallen behind on these as this came out a couple months ago and I’m only just now getting around to watching and reviewing it. I did quite enjoy Teen Titans vs the Justice League and this movie does feel like a step up from that one. This also seems to do a good job of including more social relationships within the story instead of just focusing on the plot and action which helps differentiate itself from other superhero stories to a certain extent. There were a few too many attempts at maturing the story by including sex jokes, but overall this was an enjoyable continuation of the animated Teen Titans storyline. And as usual with all my reviews and especially recent releases, I will be discussing the movie in full including any potential plot spoilers.
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Gantz: O

Gantz: O 2016

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to keep up with anime. There was a time when I was a big fan and would keep track of every new release and would follow certain series releases on DVD. Nowadays, there’s too many for me to keep track of, but every once in a while something comes my way that piques my interest. Gantz was one of those series that I followed on DVD. It’s a bizarre series about people who have died and are then resurrected by a giant black orb and sent out on missions slash games to kill aliens with high tech weaponry where they will most likely die. After the anime series came a few live action movies, and this most recent film is a CGI rendered anime that follows likely a few months to a year after the series left off. It’s been a while since I’ve watched the original anime and even a while since I watched the first live action movie (and haven’t gotten around to the live actions sequels), but while this was so different that it barely felt like it was still Gantz, it’s still a bizarrely enjoyable ride.
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Krrish 3

Krrish 3 2013

It should be little surprise that after watching Koi… Mil Gaya and Krrish that I would finish up the trilogy by watching Krrish 3 as the final movie in this trilogy. That is, until a potential fourth movie is made. It still baffles me as to why they went against a traditional numbering system as Krrish is only a character in the second two movies but the decision was made to give this film the number three instead of the number 2 or even just a different subtitle all together. And while this is really the first film in the series to start things off and spend almost the entire run time as a superhero movie, that doesn’t make it a stronger movie. It borrows heavily from X-Men and Spider-Man and only has a handful of moments where it really makes a name for itself as a unique superhero movie. It’s still decent fun, but it didn’t live up to the playfulness of Krrish and the overly CGI action was a step down from the mostly wire work action of the previous film.
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Krrish

Krrish 2006

Continuing on after watching Koi… Mil Gaya I finally watched the first actual superhero part of this Bollywood trilogy. But even then the film surprised me to a certain extent as it is still mostly a romantic comedy with a supernatural angle to it where the actual superheroics don’t come into play until around the two hour mark of a three hour film. But where Koi… Mil Gaya had some problematic elements with its romance, there was none of that here and while it also fell into a few sitcom-esque cliches, it was a whole lot more fun to watch. It ultimately turned into an odd combination of Tarzan, Superman, and Spider-Man but it all somehow worked well together. Even the musical numbers were less distracting and felt fewer and further between as well.
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