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Bloodshot

Bloodshot 2020

It’s been quite a year, right? But I’m not here to talk about that, instead let’s try to get right back into catching up with the handful of releases that actually made it out into the wild. This was actually the last theatrical release before things went to hell but I didn’t quite get around to seeing it back then. And based on the reviews it got, I wasn’t that enthusiastic to catch up with it. Even borrowed it from the library a couple times. But I finally checked it out once again, watched it, and you know what? I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the best example of a comic book/super powered character movie. It suffers quite a bit from a first time director who came from a visual effects background, an early-but-significant twist that was spoiled in the trailers, and extremely forgettable dialogue coming from one-dimensional characters. Despite all of this, I’m a sucker for an interesting concept and that’s the best thing this movie has going for it. It won’t be enough for a lot of people, but it was just enough for me.

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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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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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The Kitchen

The Kitchen 2019

It’s the last month of the year and I was able to catch up with the last major theatrical release of this past year. There are still a few other home video and TV movie releases that I haven’t gotten around to, but I should get pretty close before the end of this month and will have a ranked list next month. As for this specific movie, I didn’t hear very much good about this when it was in theaters and while I strongly considered going out to watch it, I just missed it. I thought it was interesting that it was based on a comic and it was about Hell’s Kitchen which is usually associated with Daredevil, though it has absolutely nothing to do with any superheroes at all. Instead, it’s a period drama about the mob featuring comedic actresses. Unfortunately, the trailer featured pretty much all of the comedic bits in the mostly dramatic movie, none of the characters really had any strong personalities to draw me into their stories and by the time things got interesting in the third act, it wasn’t enough to save the film.

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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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Steam Engines of Oz

Steam Engines of Oz 2018

I wasn’t intentionally going down the Arcana studios rabbit hole, but I just happened to see this DVD at the library after returning Howard Lovecraft and the Kingdom of Madness so I decided to pick it up and get it over with. I didn’t have very high hopes for it even though I was about fifty-fifty with the Howard Lovecraft trilogy. In general, I’m a big fan of Oz adaptations and I do like it when they go away from the traditional Dorothy route and get into some of the extended lore even if I technically haven’t read any of it myself. But this suffered from many of the problems that existed with the Howard Lovecraft series, especially the low budget animation and limited quality for voice actors outside of a few notable characters. But this one also suffered from lack of interesting characters or a cohesive story and failed on almost all accounts.

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Ethel & Ernest

Ethel & Ernest 2016

I always enjoy getting around to watching comic book movies that aren’t just about superheroes. This is the second film that I watched based on a graphic novel by Raymond Briggs after the lesser known 80’s animation When the Wind Blows. Briggs is probably best known for his children’s book the Snowman and while children’s books do share some similarities with comic books and graphic novels, there’s enough of a difference that I don’t include any of them in my list. This has a somewhat similar style as When the Wind Blows except that the backgrounds in this film are gorgeous. The two main characters actually feel like they inspired the two characters in the previous movie but they are actually inspired by the author’s actual parents. This film chronicles the relatively basic life of two simple people living in London through the events of World War II as well as their years afterwards. It might be simple, but it’s a poignant look at these two people’s life from the perspective of their eventual son.

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The Immortal Wars

The Immortal Wars 2018

One thing I don’t talk about too much on here is my local library. Ever since video rental stores have all but died out (there is a Family Video nearby but we don’t go there), aside from streaming I source most of the movies I watch for this site lately from my library. This is not the first time that I happened across a movie at that library that I had never heard of before but I could tell from the cover and back of the box that it was a perfect fit for this site. This is a combination of X-Men, Hunger Games, and a little bit of Gladiator, only the weakest bits of all of those movies along with some poor special effects, weak acting, and a bland script. It’s not quite Captain Battle level bad movie, but it’s right alongside some of the Asylum films that I’ve seen and I’m actually a little surprised that the sequel is already being made for a planned trilogy.

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Wilson

Wilson 2017

I’ve almost caught up with the movies that I missed in 2017, but still have plenty to go from 2018. This is one that I heard about right around when it was released in theaters, but never got the chance to seek it out. It’s a dark comedy and the third movie based on a Daniel Clowes comic after Ghost World (which I loved) and Art School Confidential (not so much). I would rank it right in between the two films as it does have a handful of problems, but the comedy works well and it does a good job to make the audience feel for this quirky-but-obnoxious guy played by Woody Harrelson.

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Accident Man

Accident Man 2018

It feels like it’s going to take forever for me to catch up with the previous year and a half of superhero movies that I missed out on, but I’m continuing to inch my way through them. I had vaguely heard about this movie before going on hiatus but didn’t know anything besides the fact that it was an action movie based on a comic book before going into it, which is honestly always a treat. What I found was a stunt-oriented revenge movie involving hitmen that reminded me a lot of the movie Payback which I really love. The plot is honestly a relatively standard guy working his way up the chain of command with a bit of dark humor laced throughout since there’s plenty of killing going on. Not only that, but the director was Jesse V Johnson who directed a great action oriented Wonder Woman concept trailer way back in 2013.

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