Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights is on Patreon

If you listen to podcasts, you’re likely to be aware of Patreon, it’s a platform for creators to have paid subscriptions to help support their creative endeavors. And just the other day, I decided to branch out into the world of Patreon myself. As of right now, there are just two tiers. The first tier – Vigilante – will allow you to participate in a monthly poll to help me decide one of the movies that I watch and review for that month. The second tier – Hero – will allow you to more directly encourage me to watch a specific movie and review it here on this site. The reason I’m doing this is to allow me to watch and collect more of the movies that aren’t as easily accessible to watch. I will be 100% transparent as to the costs and revenue that I make through Patreon. If you’re someone who enjoys reading what I do here on this site and would like me to continue, please consider contributing even just a single dollar a month to help cover digital rental fees and possible online purchases in the future for the more obscure movies. There is a link in the sidebar, or you can visit https://www.patreon.com/FlightsTightsAndMovieNights to become a patron. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War

It seems like we’ve been in the era of this interconnected for a good long while. It was kicked off with the events in the Flashpoint Paradox back in 2013 but really started with Justice League War in 2014 with the biggest connective tissues being Jason O’Mara as the voice of Batman and a similar visual style in the animation. The DC Animated Movies have also crossed the line from PG-13 to R several times and this is one of the bleakest and most violent animated movies in quite a while yet there’s still enough humor to keep things entertaining without completely going off the rails. It also brings together several of the spin-off-yet-still-connected movies like the Teen Titans, Suicide Squad, and Constantine that feels like it’s following a loose parallel to Avengers: Endgame without feeling derivative. Like always, this was fun and it really builds on everything that came before it to make a fitting end to this little corner of the DC Animated Universe. And as this is a recent release, I won’t be shying away from story details so this is your spoiler warning.

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Red Son

Superman: Red Son 2020

It’s still been difficult to try and get back into any sort of normal rhythm for this site, but I haven’t yet abandoned it. In fact, the site reached a major milestone the other day. We’ve reached 1 million total views! Thanks everyone for the continued support and visits. As for new movies, it seems like it’s mostly streaming and home video, including the DC Animated movies. I’ve always been a fan of alternate realities/Elseworlds stories, especially when it comes to superheroes. These characters have been around long enough that their origin stories are going to be multiple choice anyway. Why not allow writers to take things into more extreme directions if it’s going to tell an interesting story rather than just a slightly different shade of the same thing over and over. This takes the Superman origin story and turns it on its head. It’s similar and yet very different from the Batman Elseworlds story Gotham by Gaslight, turning Superman into a very different character rather than just injecting him into a different setting.

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The Other Side of Adaptation: Labyrinth Coronation vol 3

The other day I finally got around to finishing the three volume TPB of Labyrinth Coronation, the graphic novel continuation of the story begun by the 80’s movie Labyrinth. This is a prequel with a framing device that keeps it fully connected to the events of the original movie. The third volume wraps things up a little too neatly, but continues the story in a way that nicely mirrors the original movie. And as this is the final volume, there will be spoilers so be warned. As a whole, it’s definitely something that I enjoyed enough to want to finish the story, rather than having the feeling that I needed to finish the story for completion sake. I didn’t quite enjoy it as much as I did the manga style sequel, but it was a nice diversion.

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Project Power

Project Power 2020

It’s already August and I’ve only just been able to watch the second 2020 superhero movie of this year. Of course it’s from a combination of things, both from lack of actual movie watching as well as lack of actual movies. This brand new movie was released straight to Netflix this past Friday and it’s a different take on superheroes and super powers, taking a more visceral approach with drugs and crime in a backdrop of New Orleans. For its part, it takes an interesting approach to the material and while it was lacking in a lot of areas, it handles things well enough to be an entertaining distraction in this absence of entertainment.

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Garfield’s Pet Force

Garfield’s Pet Force 2009

I was doing a random search on Netflix trying to find something that I hadn’t covered yet and didn’t have to pay for and one of the movies that came up was this straight-to-video kid’s movie. And one of the biggest selling points for me was that it was just over an hour long. Now, when I was a kid I liked Garfield pretty well, it was the era when Garfield and Friends played on TV and I typically watched it every time it was on, but ever since I was an adult and the seemingly awful live action Garfield movies came out, my opinion of Garfield has gone way down. So my expectations for this movie were pretty low. There was a small amount of interesting meta humor, but for the most part it was a pretty dull and uninteresting take on superheroes with Garfield characters, including several that I had never heard of before.

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Marvel Then and Now: An Evening With Stan Lee and Joe Quesada

The Hero Initiative Very Very Live: Marvel Then and Now: An Evening With Stan Lee and Joe Quesada Hosted by Kevin Smith 2007

In honor of this month’s Patreon poll, since I wasn’t able to borrow any of the titles I chose for March’s poll since they were all chosen from my local library’s shelves, I decided to pick a similar non-fiction title that I haven’t covered here yet. I plan on watching the winning title Crumb as soon as the library re-opens. I’ve had this on DVD for quite a while but never got around to watching it before now. I’ve seen a few different Stan Lee interviews and was able to see him live once, I’ve also been a big fan of Kevin Smith and have enjoyed a lot of his speaking engagements whether it’s his podcasts or other things similar to this. Unfortunately, this was filmed mostly live with several technical difficulties, low sound quality for most of the run time, and poor editing with some repetition thrown in. Not nearly the best way to watch an interview with these two about Marvel.

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Homemade Vigilante

Homemade Vigilante 2009

I’m way late to the party on this but a lot of things have been going on, both in my personal life as well as the whole virus scare in the US. But I’m still trying to keep things running here on this site and I made it around to watching the movie that won February’s Patreon poll. It’s a 2009 extremely indie film and if you’re curious about it, you can also watch for yourself as it’s currently streaming on Vimeo. This movie actually predates the trend that happened around this time with lower budget (but much higher budget than this one) films focused on self-made superheroes that don’t exactly know what they’re doing. This falls much more in line with the comedic side of things like the first half of Super without ever really going into true superhero territory while also falling back on rather dry British style humor that doesn’t always mesh with wider audiences.

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The Other Side of Adaptation: Labyrinth Coronation vol 2

Labyrinth Coronation vol 2 2018

This is the second edition of my new series where I take a look at comic books and graphic novels that were adapted from movies rather than the other way around as I typically cover here. I’m continuing through the Labyrinth prequel mini-series that I started in the first edition. This will likely be a shorter article as the overall presentation of the story remains the same and I’ll just be focusing on how this volume furthers the story. There are still some nice moments that echo the original Labyrinth movie, but it feels like it’s starting to veer farther from the source material into something new yet still familiar. And as I will be discussing the story of this volume, there will be spoilers ahead so be warned.

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BlokeBusting The Essentials #88: Green Lantern

Ah yes, with that mask you can rest assured that nothing will damage your face and NOBODY will recognise you. Well done.

#88: Green Lantern

or

They Made The Supersuit Green. And Animated…

Wow, that was the longest time-out ever! I do apologise for the delay, but things got a bit hectic and erratic for a while. I hope you are all keeping as safe as possible, wearing your superhero masks (because they look cool, if nothing else) and not going too stir-crazy. Anyway, on with the show. We’re here. We knew this one would turn up eventually. Oh boy…

First Impressions

This film was something that kinda came out of nowhere and I went into knowing next to nothing about the Green Lantern canon. My memory of the outcome of the first watch (and only until last month) was: “That was…… a thing.”. I recall that I didn’t mind Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, but the rest of the film was not very good (or even borderline terrible). Did the film get better over time? Let’s find out!

The Characters

  • Ryan Reynolds: Hal Jordan/Green Lantern

    As I said before, I didn’t mind him as Hal when I saw the film. For all the film’s faults, Ryan always seems to be trying his best with what he has. The issue is that the film is on such a tight track that any of the things you’d like them to try (maybe showing him abusing the power a bit, learning that he can do anything and needs to overcome the human flaws to be a paragon or even just a scene where we really get to see him struggle with the “right thing”) are just not there because the bad guy has made another bad guy and the good guy must defeat the bad guy so he can then defeat the bad guy. I have to think that if the film was made now with the same cast, we’d see a vastly different film with more time for Ryan to flex both his acting and comedy chops. Ah well…
  • Blake Lively: Carol Ferris

    I do appreciate that this character is shown as a smart, forward-thinking woman who has moved on from their relationship and is not a typical damsel in distress. And then that all comes crashing down when she becomes a damsel in distress. And I’m not saying that she is transformed into the standard Daphne figure, but she’s thrust into a situation where the only way out is for Green Lantern to save her since she, you know, doesn’t have powers or anything. It’s kinda hard to keep a human relevant to the plot outside of a relationship of some kind when giant space magic is going on. So yeah, another “what could have been” moment thanks to the script.
  • Peter Sarsgaard: Hector Hammond

    This was probably the best character in the film, if only because it felt the most like he had an actual full arc. He starts out timid before growing into a villain that can be somewhat sympathised with. We see him drown in the villainy and we know that he will need to be defeated. So we’re really looking forward to seeing the final confrontation. And then….. he gets taken out by the above-mentioned space magic. (Yes, I know the character is Parallax but basically it’s Space Magic as far as the film’s creators seem to be concerned.) It’s such an anti-climax that I am genuinely surprised that nobody took the writer aside and explained what a boring way to remove a villain it was. Such a shame.
  • Mark Strong: Thaal Sinestro

    I like him. I could actually believe his character’s arc, his reasoning for his actions and his dislike for the Earthian Green Lantern. And there might be a reason for this. More than anyone else, this character is heavily based on the original comic character. So we do get to see what following the source material closely can do (I know, such a novel concept!). And this character really doesn’t get that much screen time, so there wasn’t much of a chance to see what happens when they move away from the stereotypical “I don’t like you but eventually I will work with you because I need to” mean superior. Which was probably good for this film as we really needed something good to grab from this film.

The Setting

Right. So, this film is set in modern times (or at least current times as of when the film was made) and has a fairly good amount of exposition for those new to Green Lantern. The problem we have is that most of the characters are so cookie-cutter that we’re often looking to the plot and background for any substance and…… it’s not really there. Now I’ll be the first to admit that a fair number of comic book narratives don’t hold up to much sustained critiques. There’s a lot of hand waving or “Obviously this couldn’t be done this way because…. squirrel!” in comics as some characters are too powerful for things to be an issue. And in this film we see plenty of hand waving. The main human bad guy is able to use his powers because….. his brain is connected to the space fog? The reason Hal’s ring constructions are sometimes broken immediately and sometimes stronger than anything else is….. he just thought a bit harder this time. The reason both Parallax’s host and Sinestro utterly believe(d) that the Yellow Fear force can be controlled despite every single piece of evidence stating otherwise is…… OK, that one is still a mystery to me.

And I feel like the film really does try too hard to answer all the questions in one go. If we got this film today, I honestly think they would have learned from modern films and known that we don’t need EVERYTHING explained and wrapped up in the first film. My take? I’d not have Parallax show up on Earth. He’d have escaped but we wouldn’t learn it until the middle of the film. We’d get more of the descent into madness from Hector so we can see the character really struggle with not wanting to lose his mind but slowly losing the fight to Parallax throughout the film. We’d see more of the viewpoints of the Lantern Corps and get to really understand the wide range of characters and viewpoints brought into the Corps while seeing the underlying x-factor that all members of the Corps have and that Hal obviously has even if he has trouble seeing it himself. And I honestly think that’s all we needed. More character depth and less “SHOW EVERYTHING!!” would really have helped this film. But obviously that’s not what we got. *sighs*

Ok, time to see what Bubba has to say about this film!

I often remember liking this movie more than most. I thought Ryan Reynolds was a decent choice for Hal Jordan, and I didn’t find the CGI costume as bad as others did. This time around, the flaws stood out a bit more than they did last time, but I still found enjoyment in nearly all of the scenes in space, there just wasn’t enough of it. I enjoyed Kilowogg, I thought Sinestro’s set up was great with a decent motivation and all the performances were well done. Where it fell apart was the follow through and the villains. Sinestro was set up great, then they just made him go “ok, now I’m evil for the sequel that we’ll never get” in the mid-credits sequence. Hal Jordan didn’t get enough training, he just sucked and then he was good. And the villains were awful. Parallax was a giant cloud that sucked out people’s fear in the form of a skeleton for some reason, and he infected some scientist who got a big head and telekinesis for some reason. It didn’t make sense and the giant cloud was ultimately defeated by a punch to the face. Just awful.

What’s more important about this film is where it falls in DC’s timeline. This was set up to be a start for the next Justice League. It was made inbetween the Dark Knight and the Dark Knight Rises, and it was obviously set up for Sinestro to become the villain for the next movie with the obvious potential to introduce other Justice League members to follow up on Marvel’s heels with their Avengers tease in Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk. Despite the negative reviews, it was a modest success with an opening weekend of $53M and a worldwide take over $200M, at least it would have been except for the fact that they sunk $200M into the film in the first place. This was really DC swinging for the fences and completely missing the mark. In a way, it was a good thing as Ryan Reynolds would go on to champion a faithful Deadpool movie and sequel, although DC’s extended universe has currently been met with very mixed results. And time will tell whether or not the rumored Green Lantern Corps movie comes to fruition as is successful.

Well put Mr Wheat, well put. And now, we move into the grand questions!

  1. Would I recommend this film to others?
  2. Does this film deserve to be on the list?
  3. If so, where does it appear on the list?

Shall we begin at the beginning? Why not!

1) I guess? It’s not terrible and some of the performances can be good. Ryan Reynolds does give a few great moments and Taika Waititi just exudes fun when he’s on screen (which isn’t much). But you really have to like and understand the trope-y comic book films of that era to get much from this film.

2) Yeah. It is the only live-action Green Lantern film we have and therefore does deserve a spot on the hallowed list. And so, the final question remains…

3) And the answer is:

  1. Hellboy
  2. Captain America: The First Avenger
  3. The Crow
  4. Men In Black
  5. Dr Strange
  6. Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
  7. Megamind
  8. Thor
  9. Batman: The Killing Joke
  10. Superman 3
  11. The Wild Wild World Of Batwoman
  12. The Meteor Man
  13. Supergirl
  14. Green Lantern
  15. Howard The Duck
  16. The Fantastic Four (1994)
  17. The Punisher
  18. Batman & Robin
  19. The Amazing Spider-Man
  20. Batman Forever
  21. BvS: Dawn Of Justice

    Potential Substitutions:

    Wonder Woman (replacing The Death Of The Hulk)
    X-Men: The Last Stand (replacing Catwoman)
    Turbo Kid (replacing The Incredible Hulk)
    The Incredibles 2 (replacing Fant4stic)

And there you have it! Now, I’ve recharged my ring and my sarcasm skills are back to full strength. I shall away to my penthouse apartment and prepare for the next instalment of BlokeBusting The Essentials. And if you see a weird man with only a small coloured bit of fabric over his eyes staring at you from your window, it’s probably not me. Promise. Ok bye!

Over the Hedge

Over the Hedge 2006

I vaguely remember watching Over the Hedge back when it was relatively new. I don’t think I made it to theaters to watch it, but eventually after it came out on home video. I mostly remember the fact that it starred Bruce Willis and Garry Shandling as the two main characters and at some point I got an Over the Hedge comic strip collection. I’m also reviewing this in part for Movie Rob’s Genre Guesstimation where he tasked me with deciding the genre for him to examine during February. I chose animated comic book/comic strip adaptations and while I’ve pretty much covered every American animated comic book movie, I thought I’d expand things to cover this movie based on a comic strip. And unlike comic strips like Peanuts, Dennis the Menace, or the Addams Family which are generally a series of stand-alone strips or panels, Over the Hedge is a serialized comic strip that you can read online here, which is close enough to a comic book for my purposes here on this site.

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