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Author Archives: Bubbawheat

Men in Black International

Things have been slowing down a bit here, but I’ve still managed to make it to the theaters once again to catch the latest non-Disney Marvel movie that wasn’t Dark Phoenix. Ok, so technically it’s an extra step removed from being a Marvel movie since it’s the latest sequel in a series of movies that were originally loosely based on a Malibu comic that was purchased by Marvel comics. But this is kind of a rebootquel as it reboots the series with two new leads replacing Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, but still connects it to the previous three movies with references to Agents J and K as well as Emma Thompson as Agent O. The film was fun enough but it had a difficult time capturing the wonder of the first film while tossing in an undercooked mystery. And as this is a new release, I will be discussing the mystery in full so here’s your spoiler warning.

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Brightburn

Brightburn 2019

While much of the marketing of this movie focused on the well known director of Guardians of the Galaxy James Gunn, it was actually from two of his relatives who wrote the screenplay and it was given to director David Yarovesky, friend of the Gunns who directed the 70’s inspired music video for Guardians of the Galaxy starring David Hasselhoff and not a whole lot else. The movie itself is quite obviously a “What if?” story as in “What if Superman didn’t grow up to be a hero, but grew up to become a villain?” It’s a story that has been done before in the comics, and to a certain extent Chronicle also covered similar ground, but this takes it into full blown horror movie territory. That turns the movie into something quite different, and yet it was still relatively predictable as to what direction it was going. Despite that, it was still a creepy, fun ride.

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Rendel

Rendel: Dark Vengeance 2017

This post partially came about as voted by members of my Patreon. Each month, I offer four movies and it’s up to the patrons to help decide what I get to watch. If you would like in on this, all I ask is just $1 a month to help this site continue and to grow. This movie is hailed as Finland’s first superhero movie, and while I can’t verify that statistic myself, I do know that it’s the only one that I’m aware of. At least until the sequel comes out. It’s a lower budget film, but one that really uses the budget quite well. And while the popular opinion on it is fairly low to middling, I actually quite enjoyed this take on more or less the Punisher with a few other odds and ends thrown in as well as a couple nice expectation subversions. There were definitely some storytelling and pacing issues, but overall it was quite violent with a touch of very dark humor.

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Star Kid

Star Kid 1997

Once again I’ve come across a film that straddles the line of what would be considered a superhero movie. I think the biggest argument that I could make in favor of this film being a superhero movie is partly based on something that I read in the IMDb trivia section that I completely agree with. Apparently, this was inspired by the Guyver and if that movie series is considered a superhero movie, than this kid version of the Guyver definitely should be as well. It’s basically a 90’s era typical kid wish fulfillment fantasy that contains pretty much all the tropes. And similar to the Guyver in general, pretty much everything about the movie is pretty bad except for the creature effects.

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Batman Unmasked: The Psychology of The Dark Knight

Batman Unmasked: The Psychology of The Dark Knight 2008

This is the second to last documentary style special that’s available to watch on the DC Universe streaming app, two of them were connected to Superman Returns and this was the second one that was attached to the Dark Knight. One of the interesting things that I noticed about the three that I’ve watched so far, and I believe it continues onto the last one, is how differently they handle their source material. In the Superman special, it embraced all sorts of different variations of Superman across movies and television. But the two Dark Knight specials seemingly prefer to completely ignore Batman’s past outside of the comic books and only show clips from Batman Begins and the Dark Knight. Just like the previous two specials, this has a mix of interviews, clips from the first two Nolan movies, and comic book style graphics as they discuss different aspects of Batman’s personality as well as some of his villains and how they relate to psychology. It’s fun, but similar to Batman Tech, it felt less like a stand alone documentary, and more like just promotion for the Dark Knight.

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Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame 2019

Even though it’s only been out for a little over a couple weeks, it feels like everyone has already seen this movie considering that it’s about to top Avatar to become the second highest grossing movie in the US of all time. The MCU in general has become the biggest franchise of all time in short order, offering up 22 movies over the course of only 10 years, and while most of the films follow a similar overall formula, the specifics of each film tends to vary wildly among secondary genres. The MCU films are safe, and yet they still manage to take chances, whether it’s giving unknown characters like the Guardians of the Galaxy a chance to shine, or what it does in this movie: it spends time to show the audience how the characters react to loss. This film feels like a culmination of all the previous MCU films in more ways than one, it revisits moments from earlier movies, and it generally offers closure for the majority of the original six Avengers in a rather satisfying way. And while the official spoiler has ended, I am still offering my typical spoiler warning from here on out.

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Graphic Horror: Hardware

Hardware 1990

This is another somewhat interesting story when it comes to comic book movies. When this film was released in 1990, the comic book publishers of 2000 AD which was the home of Judge Dredd noticed the striking similarities to a short story they published years earlier called Shok. It was a very short 7 page story but the similarities are striking. Both the movie and the comic feature a guy bringing home a robotic head that reassembles itself to terrorize a woman who is holed up in a highly secured apartment. There’s even a moment in both stories where the woman uses a freezer to disguise herself against the robot’s heat vision. As for the film itself, it’s very much schlock, ultra-violent horror which oddly enough reminds me of another comic book movie Virus that would come out 9 years later. Those two stories both have killer robots that reassemble themselves, have a slow start, are trapped in a relatively small space, and ultimately have a low body count. And while there are some major issues with this film, it’s actually much better than the latter movie.

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The Science of Superman

The Science of Superman 2006

One of the shows that I used to enjoy when I was a kid was the early programming of the Discovery Channel and the Learning Channel back before they became the go-to channel for reality TV freak shows. There were plenty of shows on those two channels that were full of cutting edge technology and the like and in a way, this special follows that format. And while it does remind me of the Batman Tech special that I watched on the DC Universe app a couple weeks ago, where that felt very much like the promotional material for the Dark Knight that it was, while this was released in a similar way as Batman Tech, being shown on the National Geographic channel the day after the theatrical release, it really spread out the clips used between all sorts of Superman shows and cartoons alongside a fair amount of Superman Returns clips. It also helps that it was inspired by an actual book of the same name and they included the author alongside several of those interviewed for the special. Overall, it was a pretty good doc with a lot of interesting information and theories backed up by the shows and comic books of Superman that weren’t just Superman Returns.

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Superhero Horror

With Brightburn coming out later this month, I thought it was high time that I wrote a blog post looking at a specific trend in superhero movies. And as Brightburn basically seems to be a movie that asks the question: what if Superman wasn’t raised in such a good home and turned out to be a person with good morals and great intentions. Instead, what if he was a more troubled child and used his powers to become more or less a horror movie villain. And while superhero horror isn’t a widely expansive genre within superhero movies, there are actually quite a few different superhero movies that could be considered horror, or at least have several horror elements within them. Some of the best ones are more within the action/horror genre or they play more like a monster movie, the few that fall more towards the thriller side of horror tend to be very light on the superhero element and the film itself focuses more on the circumstances rather than the super powers. Also, I will be steering clear of comic book based horror movies since they have nothing that restricts them in terms of story and can be as horror as they want to be.

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Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics

Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics 2010

There’s still a few more DC comics based documentaries on the DC Universe streaming app that I haven’t watched yet so I did a quick little Twitter poll to see which one I should check out next and this one won. I didn’t really know anything about this specific documentary but I pretty much assumed that it would cover the history of DC comics, which it did in a much better way than I anticipated. It was full of comics artwork, film and TV clips, and interviews and archival footage with many different important personalities in comics. The story that the film told was mixed with information that I already knew about sprinkled with some that I didn’t. It was interesting, informative, and entertaining. And even though it specifically calls him out on the poster, I didn’t realize that Ryan Reynolds narrated the doc until I saw his name on the end credits, and this film would be right around the time where he was filming Green Lantern.

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