Toxic Crusaders: The Movie 1991
Just when I thought I was done with the Toxic Avenger I noticed that they had collected some of the cartoon episodes and made it movie length. Not only that, but it’s currently available to watch on YouTube on Troma’s official YouTube channel, though for some reason the four live action Toxie movies aren’t available anymore. It’s a weird concept to turn a campy movie with so much sex and violence into a children’s cartoon. Something similar had been done before with Rambo having been made into a cartoon, but this at least has a superhero angle going for it. The animation is typical low quality like many of the mass produced cartoon properties of the 80’s and early 90’s. The writing is very formulaic, the voice acting is generally below average, but it’s sprinkled with moments of humor that hit me in just the right way, and the formulas fell right along with many of the cheesy cartoons I grew up with and I didn’t hate watching it by a longshot.
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Last week I asked what your favorite X-Men was, this time around I’m asking who your favorite villain is? One great thing about the X-Men is that the villains are often just as interesting and complex as the X-Men themselves. Many times even becoming allies during different periods of time. Rather than just being evil for evil’s sake, though there are a few of those in there too, it’s their different ideologies that put them at odds with the X-Men. I pulled this list together mostly from my memory of the 90’s cartoon and the movies, if I left any biggies out please leave a comment telling me about them. Which one is your favorite? The all-powerful Apocalypse? The mysterious Mystique? Or one of the many government officials working to pass laws and public favor against mutants in general? Vote! Leave a comment! You know the drill. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.
Now that I’m getting around to watching the X-Men movies, I’d like to know who your favorite member of the X-Men is. One of the popular ones such as Wolverine, or one of the lesser known ones such as Havok or Jubilee. I’ve tried to include most of the major members from the movies and the 90’s cartoon that I’m familiar with, but I’m sure I’ve left some out. If your favorite’s not on the list, be sure to leave a comment telling me why I should have included him/her.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990
It’s Tuesday night and our stack of movies from the video store is not getting any smaller so I decided it was time to put in the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live action movie. I have seen all three turtles movies when they first came out, probably in theaters but I don’t remember for sure. I had also watched and loved the cartoon series, so the worse parts of this movie may very well get glossed over with nostalgia, just a fair warning to anyone looking for a hard hitting review. And this movie has a lot of nostalgia and some surprises to my less than stellar memory. It’s a lot more violent than you may first expect, but it still has a lot of that late 80’s and early 90’s style humor.
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths 2010
I’m writing this bonus review because my daughter picked out this movie when we were at the rental store through no provoking from myself, I was in a completely different section of the store at the time. It’s one of the DC Universe straight to DVD animated movies from producer Bruce Timm who was the big driving force behind pretty much all of the DC animated stuff since Batman: The Animated series. I’ve seen a lot of the movies and they’ve all been pretty fantastic and if I continue this blog into next year, I will definitely be adding them to the list. But like I said, she picked it out, I watched it and wanted to write about it so here it is.
This movie mostly takes place on an alternate Earth where the typical supervillains became the heroes while the typical superheroes became the villains, and once again the same people win. Lex Luthor and The Jester are the last of the alternate Justice League to still be alive and the Jester sacrifices himself so Lex can escape with a special power source. He escapes to our Earth to recruit the Justice League to help his Earth. In this point in the timeline Batman is just in the final stages of creating their space station base of operations. They agree to help but Batman stays behind to watch over Earth in the meantime.
One of the first things I noticed about this movie is I didn’t recognize hardly any of the voice actors, no Kevin Conroy, no Mark Hammil though that’s not a big deal since the Jester had a small part. After a while it wasn’t quite a big deal, but for most of the movie they just sounded a little off. Without going to too much more detail on the plot, when there’s a story like this you just know there’s going to at some point be a big fight between everyone and their double. And there is. And it’s pretty good. Superman’s double is Ultraman who’s more of a mob boss to the crime family. The Flash’s double is some british guy named Johnny and I don’t think I ever caught his superhero name. Wonder Woman’s double is some lesser character who she fights earlier but ends up being matched with Super Woman who seems pretty much on par with Superman, though she never uses any heat vision. Martian Manhunter’s double looks fairly similar in design, but has four arms, four eyes, and is taken out by the Jester in the beginning. Green Lantern’s double is also pretty similar and I never remember catching his name either. And Batman’s double is more or less the main villain even though he’s not the leader of the villains as Owl Man voiced pretty well by James Woods.
There’s also a lot of talk about the infinite Earths in this movie. I’m familiar with the comic book storyline Crisis on Infinite Earths, in fact my initial choice for the name of this blog was “Movie Night on Infinite Earths” before I settled on the current name. I’m familiar that the story exists, but that’s about it. This movie explains the concept pretty well including the concept of “Earth Prime”, the original Earth where all existences originated from, which thankfully is not the same as our Earth. And if Earth Prime is destroyed, then all other Earths are destroyed as well. My only problem with that theory is that Earth is in no way the center of the universe. It’s just a single planet. But aside from that quibble as well as one other, since when can Wonder Woman fly? It was kind of cute how they introduced this movie’s origin of her invisible jet. It was actually Owl Man’s jet which had a cloaking device that they used to escape the villains on the second Earth. While they were escaping, the villains created a lightning storm around them which fried the controls for the cloaking device, but the jet remained cloaked. And at the end, the Flash hits his head on it and Wonder Woman merely comments “Spoils of War”.
The animation was great as usual for these movies, and it was fun playing the guessing game when they were going around fighting the various lesser villains on the alternate Earth. Since almost all of the villains had anywhere from minor to major design changes, but there was still enough similarity that you could recognize them. I think my favorite was a huge bulked up Jimmy Olsen who was still good friends with Ultraman. That, and when Lex Luthor proves that he’s not a threat to the Justice League during their first introduction by being naked in the police station. It’s a fun romp if you enjoy these kind of parallel universe type stories. I hope you enjoyed this bonus review, Thursday’s review will be Super with Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page. Until then, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.