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.

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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Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn 2020

It’s the start of a new year and I was able to see the first theatrical superhero release of the new decade. It’s also the first film in what may or may not come to be known the year of the woman. At least in theatrical superhero movies. After this Harley Quinn movie, there’s Wonder Woman, Black Widow, and an Angelina Jolie-led Eternals movie on the horizon before the year’s out. Harley Quinn has been one of my favorite DC characters for a long time ever since her debut in Batman: The Animated Series. Quick personal note, I’m planning on getting a Harley tattoo this year. Margot Robbie was one of the best things to come out of the Suicide Squad movie and it’s great to see her get a turn to herself, in a slightly Deadpool-esque way. It’s unfortunate that it didn’t get the box office bump that was expected, but there’s still a chance that it will have staying power. Personally, I loved the film. I loved the characters, the humor, and especially the fight scenes. And as this is a recent release, I will be discussing the film in full so here’s your spoiler warning.

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BlokeBusting The Essentials #39: Thor

Stop, Hammer Time!

#39: Thor

Or

The Day The Earth Stood A Little Still

This will be a fun one to discuss!

First Impressions

This film was one that I remember not really enjoying that much on the first viewing. I had no real knowledge of pretty much every character and actor/actress in the film and I couldn’t fully embrace the Thor character because I felt he was a little stiff. Have I changed my mind? Let’s find out!

The Characters

  • Chris Hemsworth: Thor

    As we all know now, Thor becomes one of the best characters in the entire MCU by Endgame. And that’s not an opinion, he’s genuinely one of the best characters with some of the best character arc bits. And knowing that when re-watching this film can give you some real perspective on how naive the character is. I still stand by my initial assessment that the Thor we get in this film is very stiff (calm down ladies and gentlemen!), I can now understand what I wasn’t getting before. Maybe I just wasn’t ready to think of Thor as a character who had actual character depth (even if his character at the time was as shallow as possible). Ah well, now I know!

  • Natalie Portman: Jane Foster

    Um. She’s…. ok? To be honest, I never liked her in this and on rewatching I still don’t really see her as anything to write home about. Or write an article about. Personally I think that Kat Dennings is way more fun to watch as Darcy Lewis, even though she’s relegated to “sidekick” status here. So yeah, kinda dull.

  • Tom Hiddleston: Loki

    There’s not many characters in the MCU who start as they mean to go on. The actors get comfortable in their roles and can make them come alive more. I think that Hiddleston hit the damn nail on the head here and gave us a Loki who we KNOW will go bad and we also know that he actually has good reason to. The fine line of humour, drama and madness is there from the start and only gets better down the line. Well done Hiddles!

  • Everyone Else: Everyone Else

    As you may guess, there’s waaay too many people to list even all the main characters here without taking 90% of the article length. So here’s the ones I found fun:

    – Odin: A good character for this film but I’m glad he wasn’t on screen more, if that makes sense.

    – Heimdall: Idris Elba. Fun! Next!

    – Sif & The Warriors Three: Kinda fun but basically end up being time wasters by the end. Not a huge criticism, given the run time there was no more room, but still valid.

The Setting

This film was our first introduction to Asgard, the realm of Thor and Norse Gods, within the MCU. And they actually did quite well spending time there, given that tradition would dictate that you get an intro, maybe 20 minutes max, before Thor gets stuck on Earth with minimal screen-time for Asgard after that. At least, that’s what most comic book films did back then, because audiences wouldn’t want to see lots of stuff in totally fantasy realms that they can’t relate to. Or so seemingly ever single studio thought. Not Marvel though. We got LOADS of time in Asgard and even a fair share of time in Jotunheim, the realm of the Frost Giants. I really do appreciate how different this film was to others that came before.

Now the flip side is that I actually get kinda bored with the Earth stuff. There’s a fairly boring location, not really much that happens outside of “Hey, I want my hammer back!” and “Hey, they took my research!” until The Destroyer arrives (though surely simply yelling “Klaatu Barada Nikto” would have ended that fight really quickly!). So funnily enough the exact opposite of what most studios had feared occurs where we get bored with the stuff that should make us connect with the characters on a subconscious personal level and we enjoy more the stuff that we cannot begin to connect with in the same way. Who’d have thought it?

Alrighty, we’ve heard a fair bit from me but my partner-in-crime has yet to chime in. Let’s fix that right now! Take it away Bubba!

It’s been a while since I’ve watched this. In fact, I think I watched it once during the first year of this site and I don’t think I’ve re-watched it since. I do enjoy Thor as a character and a setting as I’m a fan of high fantasy and Thor is a mix of high fantasy and superhero, and this first movie has a touch of fish out of water with Thor coming to Earth. It’s interesting to look back at this origin story for Thor considering how much he’s changed over the course of three solo movies and four Avengers movies. It’s a bit of a backlash to see where he started, but it also makes his transformation so interesting. Plus, the chemistry between Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston is evident right here from the beginning. The only downside is that Thor spends half of the movie being the pre-heroic Thor who is a complete arrogant jerk, and director Kenneth Branah has a bit of an overuse of Dutch tilts during most of the scenes on Earth. Otherwise, it’s a fun action origin with a touch of romance.

During the first phase of the MCU, Thor was actually the highest grossing origin behind Iron Man. It was also part of the MCU’s ongoing goal to bring in relatively big named directors not known for doing superhero movies like Kenneth Branagh who was best known for his Shakespearean tendencies. And as of 2020 based on currently announced titles, Thor will be the only Marvel hero to have a fourth solo movie unless Love and Thunder becomes more of an origin story for Jane-as-Thor. As far as the MCU goes, it’s important as the origin for one of the original Avengers though it’s possible that it might be replaced by Ragnarok which was a big turning point for the character to bring him more into the comedy realm. But as for the list as it stands. I’m sticking by this one, especially over the less well received the Dark World.

Danke Mr Wheat. And so, we bring ourselves to the big questions. The questions that we must all ask ourselves from time to time. And those questions are:

  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?

Given that I seem to have developed a pattern of following the usual order of numbers, let’s go for #1 first.

1) Yes. I’d even recommend doing as I did, watching the film again after seeing the others. You get the full appreciation of the arc of Thor (and his washboard progression) AND I feel like I understood more of the film once I had more knowledge of the world.

2) Yup. See above & it’s the origin of an amazing Superhero!

3) Let’s see. Carry the 2, cross out the 9 and add Pi. So that puts it….

  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. Howard The Duck
  15. The Fantastic Four (1994)
  16. The Punisher
  17. Batman & Robin
  18. The Amazing Spider-Man
  19. Batman Forever
  20. 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)

Maybe a bit of a surprise for you guys there, but I feel that’s about right. And now we must draw this review to a close. As the Bifrost Bridge begins to spin up, I shall bid you Adieu and…………

Oh bugger, it missed me. Ah well, I’ll walk then. Toodles!

The Other Side of Adaptation: Labyrinth Coronation vol 1

The Other Side of Adaptation: Comic Books Based on Movies: Labyrinth: Coronation vol. 1

This is the start of a new series where I aim to actually start covering comic books little by little here on this site. But I wanted to do something a little bit different. Instead of looking at the comic books and graphic novels that inspired the movies that I’ve covered already on this site, I thought I would go in the opposite direction and take a look at comic books and graphic novel sequels, prequels, and adaptations where the movie became popular first and the comic was the adaptation or spin-off. I decided to start out with Labyrinth: Coronation for a few reasons. One was that I own and enjoyed the Labyrinth manga sequel Return to Labyrinth, I enjoy the movie, and it was the one that sparked my eye the most at my local library. In this review I’ll be covering the first volume of the collected work which collects the first three issues from a twelve issue miniseries. And for a bit of a spoiler to my overall thoughts on this volume: I already picked up volume 2 to read and review.

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Graphic Horror: Dollman

Graphic Horror: Dollman 1991

I’ve had this movie on my list for a long time as well as its sequel slash crossover Dollman vs Demonic Toys because I’ve seen it on various comic book movie lists throughout the years. But after watching the film, I did a little bit of light research and found out that while there was a Golden Age comic book character named Doll Man, this movie wasn’t based on that character. And there was a comic book miniseries based on this character, but it was a tie-in that came out after or alongside this movie. But there was so much bizarreness that I just had to write something about it. Besides, this was the winner of my Patreon poll and if you’d like to donate just $1 a month, you can help decide what I review on this site as well.

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