Teen Titans Go! vs Teen Titans

Teen Titans Go! vs Teen Titans 2019

At my latest trip to the local library, I picked up the latest DC Animated movie with the Teen Titans. I probably said this before when I reviewed the theatrical Teen Titans Go! movie but I’m generally a fan of Go! It makes me laugh, I like the meta humor that comes with it, and there’s plenty of other superhero properties so in general the humor that exists in Go! is different than pretty much anything else in DC. I’ve also more recently been able to go through some of the old episodes of Teen Titans and actually noticed that it was generally a lot less serious than I thought it was going to be. It’s much more serious than Go! but it has plenty of humor to go around. I also love alternate universe stuff and this takes things to an utterly chaotic and ridiculous level that I absolutely loved and I had so much fun watching this. And while there’s not really much of a surprise twist, this is a recent movie so here is your spoiler warning.

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Graphic Horror: Cemetery Man

Cemetery Man 1994

I had heard about this movie a while back when I watched the Brandon Routh Dylan Dog movie, found out that they were basically based on the same character, and then promptly forgot all about it until looking it up again. There’s actually a weird and interesting connection between the comics and this movie. There was initially a novel called Dellamorte Dellamore which is also the Italian title of this movie. The author then went on to create the Dylan Dog comics which follow a similar style as the original novel and the main character of the novel shows up as basically the Italian analogue to Dylan Dog. When the comic was originally drawn, the artist drew inspiration from Rupert Everett and drew the main character to look like him. This movie then starred Rupert Everett as the main character who wore an outfit that resembled Dylan Dog.

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BlokeBusting The Essentials #41: Men in Black

I don’t think the title is obvious enough…

#41: Men In Black

Or

Don’t Be A Menace To New York While Chilling With Aliens In HQ

There’s waaaaay too many Will Smith references that we could start this one off with. Nah, forget it. Yo homes, to the review!

First Impressions

I recall going to see this film with a friend of mine, my family and his. We took the train there (since that’s a thing that you can actually do if you live in the UK), we watched the film and I’m moderately confident that I spent the majority of the train ride back talking about various things from the film. So I think it’s fair to say that I enjoyed this film the first time. Did it hold up? Let’s find out…

The Characters

  • Agent J/James Darrell Edwards III: Will Smith

    So here’s the thing. There was a show called The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air. It starred a young, fairly unknown guy (at least in TV/Film-land) called Will Smith. Then he basically managed to become known as the king of Blockbusters by starring in Bad Boys, Independence Day and MIB. Was his character in this fairly similar to what we’d seen before? Yep. Does that matter? Not at all. Will Smith can play these characters perfectly, and does so here too. He’s shown to have the right kind of thinking but also has that overconfidence that is kinda fun to see burst by the genuinely experienced K as he’s being shown the ropes. He’s also amazingly charismatic, which always helps! And besides, the two other main choices for this role were Chris O’Donnell and David Schwimmer. Yeah, THAT would have been something to see…

  • Agent K: Tommy Lee Jones

    Do I really need to explain just how good this character is? Not only does he manage to balance Will Smith’s presence on screen, he’s able to PERFECTLY counterweight everything that is Agent J. And TLJ is so much fun to watch here. His delivery is brilliant, his facial expression (for there is only one) is on point and he’s clearly been around for a loooong time. Yeah, he’s great!

  • Edgar/The Bug: Vincent D’Onofrio

    Yeah, this guy. For starters, D’Onofrio is a bloody chameleon. I’ve seen him in several roles now and I can never recognise him without looking up who plays the role. And Edgar is just great to see on screen. You’d think it would be difficult to portray something 3 times the size of you wearing your skin, but he manages to pull it off. It’s actually astounding that he’s not been given more accolades. But anyway, he’s as much fun to watch as you can have watching a giant bug wearing a human skin!

  • The Rest

    There’s too many other characters to give them their own sections, so let’s just do a quick run-down here:

    – Zed: Rip Torn. He’s delightfully dour here!
    – Dr Laurel Weaver: Linda Florentino. Not bad, but I feel like she wasn’t given that much to do. Though she does get the kill-shot!
    – Jack Jeebs: Tony Shaloub. “Do you have any idea how much that stings?” Enough said.

The Setting

If you don’t know the film by now, welcome! I’m glad you got this far! Sorry about that spoiler in the previous section…

Anyway, this film starts off perfectly. It sets the tone, it gives you just enough to know that the MIB are clearly both well equipped & well connected and it lets you know exactly who the main two characters are without a lot of exposition. Honestly a lot of modern films could learn a lot from this one. And the style works really well even now, so the film doesn’t really look or feel dated (outside of the obvious leap in technology since then). And I was unaware that this was based on a comic book until relatively recently, so bravo for managing to pull off a successful CB film in the 90’s!

The Effects

Ok, the CG is outdated. Anything that’s bigger than a dog REALLY looks bad compared to today’s graphics. But that’s to be expected. Everything else actually holds up really well. There’s plenty of practical effects that still look fantastic (looking at you, opening scene!) and the coffee aliens are always brilliant. Honestly the worst effects are when The Bug is actually out on screen. And, as I said, that’s no surprise. It’s a GIANT alien bug walking around on Earth in a film from the late 90’s. It was NEVER going to look realistic! So there.

Ok, now it’s time for Bubba to put on his suit and lay it all out for us. Take it away Agent B!

I watched this again pretty recently after the latest rebootquel Men in Black International came out on home video so I could make a list of top 10 aliens in the Men in Black series. There’s just so much that this film has going for it right out of the gate. It creates this world within our world full of aliens in plain sight. The chemistry between Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones is palpable and there cannot be enough said about Vincent D’Onofrio’s performance as Edgar. He just has this amazing physicality and voice that captures something completely otherworldly and not at home in its own skin.

While some may call it a stretch to call this a superhero movie, there’s no denying its importance in film history. It was a box office juggernaut with a massive $589M worldwide, it spawned two sequels, a cartoon, and a reboot, there were talks of a combined franchise with 21 Jump Street though that never materialized. It was ingrained as a part of Will Smith’s overall rise as the king of the summer blockbuster. It was a comic book movie that didn’t sell itself as a comic book movie, and it’s actually technically a Marvel movie. It was loosely based on a Malibu comic book series shortly after the Malibu brand was bought out by Marvel comics. It’s still typically regarded as the best of the four movies and it’s just all around fun.

So true Mr Wheat, so true. And now we must move into the last section of the review. Our big three questions. And for anyone suffering from a Neuralyzer blast, 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?

And in true MIB fashion, I shall answer them in the order received.

1) Hell yes. And not just for nostalgic purposes, this film is genuinely well made, well acted and just plain fun!

2) Despite the fact that I do think it’s stretching the definition of “superhero” a little past where it usually falls, yes. Because what is a superhero really, if not someone/something that does all they can to fight evil, right wrongs and protect the innocent? I’ll tell you what, a no good bum, that’s what!

3) Well, let’s see where it landed in our list:

  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. Batman: The Killing Joke
  8. Superman 3
  9. The Wild Wild World Of Batwoman
  10. The Meteor Man
  11. Supergirl
  12. Howard The Duck
  13. The Fantastic Four (1994)
  14. The Punisher
  15. Batman & Robin
  16. The Amazing Spider-Man
  17. 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)

Yeah, I think it’s that high. This film managed to do several things so well in a time when doing any of them is a tall order. It helped cement Will Smith’s legacy as a screen legend, it was a HUGELY successful comic book film and it managed to use a lot of CG in a way that honestly works WAY better than you’d expect from that time. So into number 4 it goes!

Well, that’s me done for another couple of weeks! And so, I should probably get out of here before Agent J realises that I took his Noisy Cricket. I’m sure that hole in the wall will patch itself right up…..

The Shadow Strikes

The Shadow Strikes 1937

Even though a lot of people point to Superman and the Mole Men as the first theatrical superhero movie, there’s a few others that came before it that aren’t quite what we think of now as superhero movies, but share enough similarities and/or the main character in other materials would be considered more of a superhero. This movie is definitely not a superhero movie in its own right, but the Shadow is definitely a superhero in other incarnations. This movie and a few other Shadow movies have been sitting at the top of my list for many years now and I only just now decided to check them off. It wasn’t exactly what I expected, but I think that’s why I enjoyed it so much. It’s not really that great, but it was a nice change of pace for me.

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Jane and the Lost City

Jane and the Lost City 1987

After watching the Jane movie from the 1940s, I just had to follow it up with what would probably be called a reboot today. Nearly forty years later (after a couple television series) they made another Jane movie only this time it felt much more like the spirit of the comic, at least how it’s described in Wikipedia articles. When compared to the classic movie, this has a lot more humor and actually gives Jane a bit of agency here and there. And while it had a lot more moments of clothes ripping off of Jane, it still retained the comical spirit and never really veered off into creepy exploitation. Overall, it was a lot of fun to watch.

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The Adventures of Jane

The Adventures of Jane 1949

I’ve gotten another free month of Amazon Prime and I thought I’d put it to good use to watch a couple movies based on a serialized comic strip that I knew very little about. Really the only thing I knew about it was that it was serialized, and that the main character Jane often had her clothes ripped off of her body, leaving her in her underwear. It very rarely or only just once went fully nude, it was generally just slightly bawdy for that era and treated with a Benny Hill-esque sense that the nudity was intended more for comedy and embarrassment rather than eroticism. This was the first adaptation and it was apparently made quick and cheap and it really shows. There wasn’t a whole lot going on for this movie other than a couple cheap laughs and the bare minimum of a story to it.

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Joker

Joker 2019

It’s been a while since I’ve been to the theaters for this site, not since July for the latest Spider-Man movie. Now DC has had all sorts of different continuities through their animated movies, their TV series, and their live action movies. Honestly, that’s one thing that I’ve really appreciated about DC vs Marvel is that they actually don’t stick to a single shared universe. Instead, they go the much broader and more interesting multiverse route. This is an entirely different continuity version of the Joker’s origin story even though it does have some ties to other stories and it’s presented much more like akin to a drama and a strong homage to Taxi Driver. There was a bit of controversy due to some of the ways mental health was presented, but taken just as a movie I thought it was well written, well performed, and completely entertaining if still disturbing at times. And as this is a current movie, there will be spoilers so here’s your warning.

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RoboCop Prime Directives: Crash & Burn

RoboCop Prime Directives: Crash & Burn 2001

I’ve finally come to the end of this four part miniseries and it’s going to be difficult to really say too much that I haven’t said in the previous reviews. There were a few more ultraviolent moments as well as some entertaining bits. The interstitials felt almost nonexistent compared to the previous two episodes though they did have some good moments through the end credits. The budget really showed in this episode with the climax using the most of the extremely limited budget and without a great, compelling story and characters to back it up, it really fell pretty flat. There were some nice callbacks here and there but it was mostly just an uninteresting finale to a dull miniseries.

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BlokeBusting The Essentials #91: The Meteor Man

At least they worked in a good reason for the fact that that costume looks VERY cheap!

#91: The Meteor Man

Or

It’s a….. Middle-School teacher?

Given my (essentially) middle-class upbringing in the South East of England, I feel that I’m totally empathetic towards these characters!

First Impressions

The first time I ever heard of this film was when I was looking through the list of films that Bubba had put together. Watching the trailer didn’t really help either, since it comes from a time where you actually got a trailer that didn’t give away THAT much from a film. And I’ll be totally honest here and say that the majority of the cameos are totally lost on me. There were 2 that I knew (which I’m sure you can guess), Bill Cosby and Sinbad. Yes, that means I had no idea who the gang members were. Pretty much any of them. I’m not good with that realm of culture! Anyway, onto the main cast!

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RoboCop Prime Directives: Resurrection

RoboCop Prime Directives: Resurrection 2001

I’m continuing through the four part RoboCop miniseries that originally aired in Canada and I’ve noticed that it really is starting to feel much more like a series rather than four connected movies. In a way the actual story of the movie is getting better as threads are starting to thread deeper and the characters are getting farther along on their arcs. On a different day, I might actually not consider this on my list of movies, but today I’m feeling generous. The third part has a few less interstitial interruptions and the ones they have aren’t as entertaining as the one in Meltdown but I’m definitely ready for this series to be over with the next installment.

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