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Chicken With Plums

Chicken With Plums 2011

It often happens that I chance upon a movie that I hadn’t heard of before that I feel like I really should have already known about. I was a fan of Marjane Satrapi’s first movie based on her comic of the same name Persepolis. But I didn’t realize that she made a second movie based on another of her graphic novels called Chicken With Plums a few years later in 2011 until very recently. Watching it, it reminded me quite a bit of a black comedy version of Amelie. There are plenty fantasy sequences and flights of fancy mixed into this relationship drama, but there’s a decided lack of whimsy in favor of a more darkly comedic tone.

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My Hero Acadamia: Two Heroes

My Hero Academia: Two Heroes 2018

I’ve been a fan of anime for a long time, back when it was referred to as Japanimation, and while I’ve heard of the series My Hero Academia, I’ve never watched an episode. Similar to Tiger and Bunny, the other anime superhero series that spawned a couple movies, this takes place in an alternate universe filled with people that have super powers. Similar to most anime movies that follow a series, this is more of a side story that brings in several of the characters. It took a little while to get into the world of the movie, and while I didn’t connect with all of the side characters, I really got into it by the end.

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Justice League vs the Fatal Five

Justice League vs the Fatal Five

I’m a couple weeks into my 5-week trial of DC Universe and it’s a nice benefit that at least some of their home video releases are also being released on their streaming app the same day as their physical release date. I was a big fan of the Batman animated series as well as Superman the animated series but I fell out of cartoons before I was able to follow them to Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. And it was nice as it always is despite repeated assurances that he will retire the voice to see Kevin Conroy back as the voice of Batman along with the Justice League animated series voices for Superman and Wonder Woman. I had a few doubts considering that the last time they redid this style of animation was the disappointing Batman and Harley Quinn, but I’m pleased to say that they got things right this time around. There was still just a slight disconnect because they moved away from the kids series tone and brought it into a much harder PG-13 in terms of the violence and language, but it also just felt like a slightly more grown up version of the animated series, serieses, series’s, the multiple series. And as with every film I review, I will be discussing it in full so here is your spoiler warning.

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BlokeBusting The Essentials #47: The Killing Joke

#47: The Killing Joke


The Day The Clown Died?

We’re back and ready to review another superhero film. And we’ve already covered 3 Bat-related movies, so naturally we’re on to another one! But this one is the first animated film we’ve covered, so let’s see if it holds up to the others (not a particularly high bar, but still)! And this, more than any we’ve covered so far, will have SPOILERS. So fair warning.

First Impressions

I knew a bit about this story before I hit play. I’ve gained a fair bit of comic knowledge through general osmosis, be it from friends or the inter-webs. So I came into this film already knowing the ending. I also know that the backstory that we get for The Joker in this film has been one of many woven throughout the years, and as such is not definitive canon. However, for the critique of this film, we shall assume that what we were shown is what the directors intended to be the truth for their characters. So, let’s see what’s what.

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The Darkest Minds

The Darkest Minds 2018

It’s been a long time since I’ve gone back and forth this much on whether or not I consider a movie a superhero movie or not, quite likely it wasn’t since Sleight which was actually also a movie with a PoC in the lead role. This is more or less a mix of Hunger Games and X-Men with a stronger lean towards the dystopian future over the super powers. It has a core group of kids with different super powers who band together except they aren’t there to save the world, they just want to find a place where they can be accepted. There’s a villain and a climactic battle between the heroes and the villain but there’s no real secret identities or super heroics. There’s even just a slight touch of secret identities as the main character Ruby hides the fact that she’s an orange. It’s close, but I’m falling just barely on the line that this is a superhero movie. It’s not a very good one by any means, but it is one.

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Lego Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis

LEGO DC Superheroes: Aquaman Rage of Atlantis 2018

I’m continuing my Aquaman month here by watching yet another Aquaman movie, this time around I’m watching the animated LEGO movie that featured Aquaman last year. I’ve seen several of these animated LEGO movies and they’re all pretty similar to each other. They’re not quite as funny or impressive as the theatrical LEGO movies, but they have a similar humor and they also seem to introduce a fair number of lesser known DC comics characters which is always fun for someone like me who doesn’t have an in depth knowledge of the comics. This movie also starts off with the premise that Aquaman is a pretty useless superhero but by the end, the team accepts him. It’s pretty much the same quality as the other LEGO home video releases. It’s fun, but it’s not extraordinary.

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Hellboy 2019

Reboots are often a dirty word in today’s movie community. Except in rare cases, they’re often seen as a cash grab in order to make money off a known property rather than give a chance to a new property. This is especially true when the original is beloved by many fans as is the case with Hellboy. While the first two movies didn’t garner huge box office numbers, they remain a well loved pair of films with plenty of support given to director Guillermo del Toro’s unique vision of the comic book world and the great cast. This time around the director is not nearly as much of a visionary and turns the interesting world of Hellboy into a world full of gore and swearing more akin to Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters than what you might expect from a Hellboy movie. And while I wasn’t expecting a whole lot considering the lack of early reviews and those that came out days before release were pretty awful, I still gave it a chance and while the movie as a whole failed, at least the heroes were characters that I could get behind and I still had fun with the movie. And as usual with new movies, this review contains spoilers so read on if you’ve already seen the movie, or don’t care.

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Jailbait 2014

This is another movie that I just happened to come across randomly where I saw the movie poster in a Facebook group and noticed the magic words along the top of it “Based on the graphic novel”. From the looks of it, it seemed like a modern version of the old women in prison exploitation genre, and while it took a little while to get there, that’s exactly what it was. I don’t have a whole lot of experience in that genre so if it was any sort of send up or honest to the genre I wouldn’t know it. And as for the graphic novel connection, I didn’t look up the info until after I watched it and it seems like The Asylum made a graphic novel tie-in to the movie and released it a few months before the movie came out. It’s difficult to determine for certain if the movie was actually based on the graphic novel or vice versa, but since the poster does have the magic words, I’ll stick with it. As far as the actual quality of the movie, the main character was uninteresting and it was overblown, overdramatic, and shifted gears on a dime. It was just too much and too little all at the same time.

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Aquaman 2006

As I continue my trial period for DC Universe, I noticed that they had the Aquaman pilot pseudo-spinoff from Smallville available to watch on there. And I also realized that even though it wasn’t a double length pilot movie, it does pass the 40+ minutes for my feature length requirement. And considering I recently watched the new Aquaman, I figured that I’d give it a shot. I was a fan of Smallville and watched it regularly through the first 7 or 8 seasons before dropping off just before the end. I remember hearing about this pilot when it was in the works but I never looked it up until just now. It has a surprisingly good cast in some of the minor roles and it also has someone who seems to be superhero pilot bad luck as Adrianne Palicki was in this failed pilot, the Wonder Woman failed pilot, and the Marvel’s Most Wanted Mockingbird failed pilot spinoff of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. As far as the actual Aquaman pilot goes, it’s a fairly standard origin setup for a monster-of-the-week first season. It doesn’t really do anything special or interesting. It’s just the same old format with an underwater theme to it.

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Superhero Inbetweeners

Over the last couple weeks or so I’ve caught a few superhero bits here and there that don’t quite fit my criteria for a superhero movie one way or another. So instead of just letting it all go by the wayside, I thought I’d collect my thoughts on them in a single post here while also including why I don’t quite consider them to be superhero movie material. Though a couple of them are pretty obvious as to why. And I should be catching up on a couple more movies in the near future.

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