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Category Archives: 90’s movies

BlokeBusting The Essentials #93: The Fantastic Four (1994)

#93: The Fantastic Four

Or

The Not-So-Invisible Movie

Ok. Well. Right. Erm…

First Impressions

So this film exists. That’s a thing that happened. I’ll admit that I first heard about this film maybe 10 years ago and I had never once actually considered watching it. I went into this viewing totally blind (outside of my general knowledge of the characters and setting from other sources) and I think I made the right call. So, let’s dive right in.

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BlokeBusting the Essentials #45: The Crow

#45: The Crow

Or

Quoth The Raven…

Well, well, well. Here we have quite the interesting entry. It’s not everyday that you get to discuss a film that has such a morbid history and an almost literal cult following. So let’s get going while the night is still young!

First Impressions

This review gave me a reason to do something that I’d never done before and had never actually spent the time to try and do before. This was my first ever viewing of The Crow. I’d heard of the sad tale of Brandon Lee, I’d understood that many people quite liked the film and I figured that I’d eventually see it one day. And that day just kept bobbing away on the horizon year after year. So now I’ve finally seen it and I get to talk about it. This should be fun!

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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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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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Black Mask

Black Mask 1996

Still trying to get back into the swing of things with this DVD that I’ve had on loan from the library for almost a full month before actually getting around to popping it in the DVD player and watching it. It’s one of those films that I had known of for quite some time but never really looked into what it was about, I had always just assumed that it was a typical martial arts movie with a masked superhero aspect to it. And to a certain extent, that’s what it was though it was a lot gorier than I expected. Which is probably just on me as I’m not too familiar with a lot of martial arts movies of the era, instead just a handful of the watered down American knock-offs from the 90’s or so. There are a few versions of this movie, but the one I watched was the US home video version from Artisan where the main differences are the English dub, the hip-hop soundtrack, and a few scene differences. As far as the actual movie goes, it’s an odd sort of crime movie with the super-powered criminal organization that’s too powerful for the cops and so they need the help of an ex-member of this super-powered organization who has been reformed. The plot is rather complicated, but the action is great considering it’s from the fight choreography of Woo-Ping Yuen, likely most well known as the guy behind the Kung Fu of the Matrix.
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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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FTMN Quickie/Almost Super: P.U.N.K.S.

Almost Super: P.U.N.K.S. 1999

I have gone back and forth on whether or not to write something about this film here on this site, but since I had gone almost two weeks without writing anything here, I figured I might as well get something out of the time I spent watching this movie. Since this is a niche movie site, I have certain criteria on what films I review for this site, but the definition of “superhero movie” is nebulous at best so sometimes a short description of a movie sounds like it could fit this site, but when I watch it, it actually doesn’t. I was trying to start watching some kids movies based on a Twitter poll I posted a week or so ago gauging what I should watch next for this site, and P.U.N.K.S. is on YouTube so that’s what I went for. Needless to say, it’s a pretty bad film even if it does have the likes of Randy Quaid, Henry Winkler, and a young Jessica Alba.
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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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Robocop 2

Robocop 2 1990

It’s true that I don’t always go with the flow the way it was meant to be, though the last time I really remember doing this in terms of this site was way back during the first year when I watched the three Spider-Man films backwards so I could compare the original Spider-Man right against the reboot Amazing Spider-Man. This time is was mostly a case of laziness considering that I already owned Robocop 3 and it was sitting right in front of me even though I hadn’t seen Robocop 2 before. And I was completely right in thinking that it didn’t matter as the three movies have very little to do with each other in terms of continuity, they merely tell three different stories with several of the same characters. The original is important to have seen to set up the characters, but once you’ve got that, you’re gravy. This is also notable to have been directed by Ivan Kirshner who is most well known as the director of the Empire Strikes Back, widely considered to be the best Star Wars movie. The film itself falls somewhere between the ultra-violence and satire of the original and the pandering-to-the-audience comedy and low budget of the third.
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