The Losers

The Losers 2010

I’m continuing my journey to watch the last of the most major comic book films that I’ve missed these past five years and it’s almost astonishing that I’ve put this film off for so long. While it wasn’t a big hit in 2010 when it was released, it is one of the many comic book films featuring Chris Evans in a major role. It’s somewhat surprising that it has such a low rating, and I’m curious if any of it has to do with the marketing or just the time it was released as I watched this film with little to no expectations and absolutely loved the hell out of it. It reminded me a little bit of a combination between Tropic Thunder with less comedy and Two Guns with more coherence.
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Push

Push 2009

I’m continuing on my quest to finish off the last few popular superhero and comic book movies that I haven’t gotten around to yet, going by a reasonable metric of 50,000 IMDB user ratings I should have them covered by the end of this month at the rate I’m going. And somewhat surprisingly two of these films have Chris Evans in them. Push was one of those films that went past me in theaters. Honestly, there was a big gap in my theater movie watching from 2007 to about 2010 as when my daughter was born at the end of 2006, we stopped going to the theater until she was about 4 or 5. Judging by the trailers, it looked like a generic action movie about pared down X-Men and as little as I had paid attention to it, I always assumed it was Selma Blair in the Camilla Belle role. But when I actually sat down and watched it, it was like a pared down version of X-Men that focused on the characters and had a fascinating plot device that it was built around. By the time it was over, I really enjoyed this film and I’m disappointed that it seems to have faded into relative obscurity with only a small cult of fans who really enjoy it.
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Cowboys & Aliens

Cowboys & Aliens 2011

Now that I’ve finished watching every comic book movie of 2016, my latest quest is to finish watching every major comic book movie ever made. And while this may have been a large task a few years ago, depending on what metric you look at, I only have six movies left that have had a significant box office take and have more than a few thousand user ratings on IMDB. This movie, the Losers, Red, Red 2, Blue is the Warmest Color, and Push. So my goal is to finish off these last few films during the rest of January and all I’ll have left is the obscure and new releases left to cover. Coming back to today’s film, I pretty much skipped over this film when it was released in theaters. It wasn’t on my radar at all, and afterwards it pretty much fell off the face of the internet. It’s an odd mix of genres, a sci-fi western works better when there’s western elements in a sci-fi setting rather than vice versa. Though I suppose I was a fan of Brisco County Jr. But this film did not work for me or my wife whatsoever. It just never felt quite right and we couldn’t get past the incredulity of cowboys fighting highly advanced aliens.
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Ranking every Comic Book Film of 2016

It’s the beginning of a new year and for most movie blogs that means the year-end wrap-up list. And even though it took me a couple extra days, I once again managed to watch every superhero and comic book movie released in the US (that I’m aware of). The only other film that I haven’t watched was the bollywood superhero film A Flying Jatt which I don’t believe ever got a US release where I could watch a subtitled version. And instead of merely going through some number of my favorites, I decided to do something just a little bit different and go ahead and rank every single comic book film of this year from worst to best. And one quick disclaimer, while the title reads “Comic Book Film”, as I always do for this site I include superhero films that were never based on comics as well as comic book adaptations that aren’t about superheroes.
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Max Steel

Max Steel 2016

I’m a few days behind, but after watching this, I have covered every single comic book and superhero movie released in the US in 2016. I missed it in theaters because everyone else did. It was only in my area for one week and I was busy that week, but it’s out on home video now so I reluctantly caught up with it. I knew nothing at all about Max Steel the toys, or the cartoon, but based on the trailer it looked like a lesser version of Power Rangers without the giant robots and only one teen. And that’s pretty much what I got out of it. This is really the definition of standard teen superhero origin story that hits all the markers and never really makes a name for itself to stand out in the crowd. It’s not an awful movie, but it’s so mediocre and unoriginal in nearly everything it does that it’s a complete bore. And even though it’s unlikely that it matters, since this is a relatively new movie, here’s your warning that I will be discussing the movie in full, including potential spoilers.
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Art School Confidential

Art School Confidential 2006

2016 is almost over and I’ve come down to my last movie review of the year. I didn’t quite achieve any of my movie related goals that I had set for myself at the beginning of the year. I’ve only seen 9 movies in the theaters, one short of my goal. I haven’t watched every 2016 release, though Max Steel will follow shortly thereafter, and I didn’t get too far on my goal to watch every movie on my list from 2010 and later. But I have watched a large number of superhero and comic book movies. This one is one of those movies that I realized I knew nothing at all about. I knew it was about art school and it was based on a comic by the same author as Ghost World, even the same director. Somehow, I had the impression that it was a generally well-liked film, though when I looked up the various metrics, it actually has a mediocre to below-average consensus. And like several other movies that I’ve watched in the past couple months, it started out with an intriguing premise, but then faltered by the time it came to its conclusion. I tend to be a fan of coming of age movies, and I honestly saw quite a bit of myself in the main character, and then it went into a bizarre downward spiral that just didn’t make any sense any more. It made me laugh, but not enough to recommend it as a comedy.
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Silver Hawk

Silver Hawk 2004

I took a bit of an unexpected break over the holidays, but the other day I decided to pop in another movie that’s been sitting in my DVD collection for a while just waiting to be reviewed. I hadn’t heard much about this movie aside from the fact that it has Michael Jai White in a villain role and Michelle Yeoh in the lead. I also had a feeling that it was a bit of a cheesy action movie. I didn’t quite expect the level of humor that was present throughout most of the film, but especially in the latter half. There were some good elements, some familiar elements, but it could have been improved quite a bit with some better cinematography as much of the fighting was marred by poor camera work and odd moments of slow motion. It wasn’t quite the camp level of Batman 66, but there was some fun to be had here.
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Jumper

Jumper 2008

Every once in a while I still come across a movie that I have to make a decision on whether or not it falls into my criteria of a superhero movie. Sometimes, like with the film the Destructor, it falls just outside of that criteria for one reason or another. Other times, like in this case, it falls just inside. This is a film about kids with super powers, set in the real world in the current era, and it’s hard to think of another actor that could be a more theatrical villain than Samuel L. Jackson with stark white hair leading a group called “paladins”. There aren’t any costumes or alter egos, and it was based on a novel rather than a comic book, but I think there’s enough here for me to go on. Replace jumping with telekinesis and you’ve got Chronicle which very few people argue against it being a superhero movie. But as for the actual quality of the film itself, it stars a post-Episode III Hayden Christensen as a rather bland character, but at least the film does have quite a bit of fun with the teleportation concept.
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Doctor Mordrid

Doctor Mordrid 1992

In many ways, the early days of Marvel movies are quite fascinating with all the goings on when they were selling rights to characters to anyone who would give them a chunk of change it would seem. And Doctor Strange happened to be one of those properties. But where other companies would fight the deadline to go into production before losing the rights and win, this film fought the deadline and lost. But instead of scrapping all the work and whatever pre-production they had done, if any, they decided to simply retool a few names and plot elements and continue on with the completely “original” story that became Doctor Mordrid. While I still don’t know all that much about Doctor Strange as a whole, Doctor Mordrid is a very close approximation, in that he’s essentially an arrogant magician fighting demons in modern times with his cape and amulet. As for the quality of the film, it doesn’t rise too much higher than the 70’s TV film which is literally my least favorite Marvel movie, but there is some fun to be had with the performances and all of the glorious 90’s mullets.
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Almost Super: The Demolisher

The Demolisher 2015

I often find it fascinating where my whims take me. Lately, I have been making more of a point to borrow movies from my local library and I’m often surprised by the smaller, independent movies that they have available. During my last trip, I saw a blu-ray on their new release shelf that caught my eye. It was called the Demolisher, the font of the title had a comic book feel to it, and reading the back of the box it looked and sounded like a cross between the Punisher, and possibly Judge Dredd just based on the riot gear outfit. I didn’t pick it up right away, but I did check out the trailer and was impressed enough to check it out the next time I was there. While I ultimately decided that it didn’t quite fit my criteria for a superhero movie: there is a costume, but not really any alter ego, and it’s more about vengeance than vigilantism. But after watching it, I did find the film rather fascinating and well made enough that I wanted to talk about it here on this site. The cinematography is gorgeous in places, and the film doesn’t fall into the low budget trap of too much expository dialogue, instead it allows the scene to play out often silently, or near silently. It’s not a perfect film by any means, but it was quite fascinating.
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