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Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Kingsman: The Golden Circle 2017

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything down here on this site, but I still have a lot of comic book and superhero films to cover so I haven’t fully gone away. This weekend I was able to make it to the theater to see the latest comic book movie to hit the screen with Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle. I was a big fan of the first film and while I thought that they brought a lot of the same attitude and action of the original, once I left the theater, much of the character development and overall plot just didn’t hold up to deeper thought once I left. It’s still fun, but not quite as impressive as the first entry in the series.
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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets 2017

Ever since the first few trailers came out for this film I had certain expectations for how this film would turn out. The visuals immediately struck me as being absolutely gorgeous and showed me a world that I had never seen before filled with aliens that look unique but still familiar. My biggest concern from the very beginning were the two leads: Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne. DeHaan has had mixed success and Delevingne was by far the worst part of Suicide Squad and after watching the film my fears were confirmed. Valerian and his partner Laureline are the weakest spots in this fascinating and wonderful, fully realized universe. I just wish there was a better story and characters that I could explore this world without those two in it. And as is always the case in all movies, but especially recent movies I will be discussing the movie in full, including potential spoilers so here is your warning.
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Officer Downe

Officer Downe 2016

Even though this is seemingly a regular occurrence for me, I’m still surprised when I find new, low budget superhero or comic book movies that had slipped under my radar in the previous few years. This one came out late last year, produced by one of the directors of the Crank movies and directed by a member of Slipknot and was recently made available on Netflix streaming. It’s based on a short lived and lesser known comic from Image comics and the film itself is a colorful, kinetic, ultraviolent, grindhouse-esque movie with a lot more tongue-in-cheek humor to it. The set up is a lot of wacky and bloody fun that doesn’t entirely make sense, but takes you along for the ride until things get a little too self-serious towards the end as the joke starts losing its effectiveness. But I still had a blast with it.
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Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues

Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues 2016

There’s a few reasons why I haven’t covered any motion comics on this site before now. The biggest reason is that every motion comic that I’ve looked into is presented more like a TV season, with each issue of the comic that it’s adapting is its own episode and there tends to be a half dozen to a dozen episodes. Queen of Plagues is presented as a single movie that runs just over an hour, but the animation style is still much more like the typical motion comic style where the comic book art is translated almost exactly to screen with only minor changes to remove text boxes and animation based on moving and stretching the original art elements. While the voice work and animation – specifically the lip synch – fall in line with my limited experience with motion comics, it is much better than some of the lower budget ones that I’ve heard about with only a single voice actor and no lip synch animation at all. The film itself was a nice story even though it took a little while to get going.
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Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom

Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom 2016

I’ve never been a huge HP Lovecraft fan, essentially the only things I know about his writing are that it involves a lot of madness and tentacle creatures and gave some inspiration to the first Hellboy movie and In the Mouth of Madness. It seemed quite unusual that these kinds of stories would translate to a comic book made for kids and that comic would then be turned into an animated movie complete with the voice of Hellboy in a small role even. When I initially saw the box art for the film several months ago, I dismissed it as one of those cheap knock-off movies that tend to mimic a popular movie from a few years earlier like Karate Panda or Dragon Flight School. And to a certain extent, that’s exactly what this is only there’s not really any movie that it’s trying to cash in on, it’s just a lower budget animated film that managed to get a few medium profile actors to lend their voices. It wasn’t a horrible experience by any means, but there also wasn’t much enjoyment to be had outside of a couple brief laughs.
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Graphic Horror: Bad Kids Go To Hell

Bad Kids Go To Hell 2012

In yet another instance where I happen across a movie that I wasn’t aware of, this was brought to my attention due to a pseudo-sequel which came out earlier this year called Bad Kids of Crestview Academy which I will be watching at some point in the near future. But this was an odd concept of a horror comedy version of the Breakfast Club. It even has Judd Nelson in a small role as the principal or headmaster, whatever his title is. The movie was co-written by the original comic book author Matt Spradlin. Even though they added in an extra member to this horror Breakfast Club, it didn’t help to add much interest, and while it did get a few big laughs out of me, overall it wasn’t that interesting of a film. Either as a horror, mystery, or comedy.
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Bullet to the Head

Bullet to the Head 2013

One of the few things I remember about when this movie came out was that it was one of two very similar movies, at least in theory, that came out within a few weeks of each other. The other one was the Last Stand starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, his 80’s era action rival. I didn’t see either one at the time and it wasn’t until later that I found out that this one was based on a French comic called Du Plomb dans la Tete by Matz and Colin Wilson. Like many comic adaptations, it veered away from some of the basics of the source material and feels like a typical buddy cop slash odd couple slash revenge movie where they get ahead by killing their way up the crime ladder. But what sold me on the movie were all the little details that went into it, and especially Stallone’s character. It’s hard to put a finger on it, but it was a whole lot of fun to watch from start to finish, even if it took me four sittings to finish, through no fault of the movie.
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Justice League Dark

Justice League Dark 2017

While this isn’t the first comic book movie to be released in 2017, this is the first 2017 comic book movie that I’ve gotten around to watching. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of DC’s animated movies and especially those directed by Jay Oliva. There’s just something about his action and style that gets to me every time. This is also the next in the continuing series of movies loosely connected continuity surrounding the expanding Justice League. And this had the right amount of action, humor, and drama to keep me hooked from beginning to end. Even though I was only vaguely familiar with many of the characters in this film, I connected with them and enjoyed this from beginning to end. Especially with its connection to the unfairly cancelled NBC series Constantine. My only real gripe with this film is that once again it pushed Batman front and center when he had no real reason to be included in this story other than the fact that he is DC’s cash cow and has to be included in every possible thing they do.
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Blue is the Warmest Color

Blue is the Warmest Color 2013

As of this moment, this is what I will refer to as the final “major” superhero or comic book film that I had yet to watch and review since starting this site. It’s one that I’ve put off for a variety of reasons. One of which is the multiple, extended, and explicit sex scenes over the course of this three hour movie. Now, I’m not generally one to shy away from sex and nudity, but when you’re the father of a 10 year old girl who has a very bad habit of staying up much later than she should, you tend to be very careful about what you watch in the living room. But once I got past that hurdle albeit in shorter chunks over the course of four evenings, I did enjoy the extended and raw tale of a young woman finding herself through school, romance, and sexuality. And while I myself am not a teenager, a woman, or gay, there was still plenty about Adele’s journey that I strongly related to throughout the course of this film.
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Red 2

Red 2 2013

I’ve almost completed my recent goal of watching and reviewing the last few major comic book films I have yet to cover here. This film came out during the second year of this site and it was the first summer where I started to realize how many comic book films were actually coming out and how difficult it was for me to keep up with all of them. And since this was a sequel to a film that I had yet to see, it was one of those that fell through the cracks until now. I hadn’t really heard much about this film, and what little I did hear was generally mixed. But since I did enjoy the first one so much, I though I would enjoy this one as well. There is definitely a different tone to this film, and while the plot still isn’t much to speak of, I did laugh more often and harder than I did in the first film, so it’s got that going for it at least.
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