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BlokeBusting the Essentials #98: Batman & Robin

Batman and Robin

#98: Batman & Robin

Or

The Dark, Dark, Dark Night Before The Dawn

Ok. This film has quite a few things that we can talk about, right off the bat (no pun intended). I’ll try to keep from jumping around too much, since I’m sure you already know what I’ll be bringing up. So this review will be a little different. I’m going to try and review it as if the last 20 years haven’t happened. This film is VERY much a product of its time and I think it needs to be viewed as such. So without further ado, here’s my take on this piece of Batman history.

First Impressions

This film was not one that I really cared about seeing at the time. I don’t recall if I’d seen the first instalment beforehand, though I’m fairly confident that I’d seen Batman Returns & Batman Forever. However, given that I was just under 10 years old when this one came out, I was clearly their prime audience. Well, that’s not true. I still don’t know who their audience was supposed to be, though I have a hunch that if I’d been about 6 years older I’d have been more interested in certain parts of the film. I remember not hating this film when I first saw it. I wasn’t really invested in the characters, I kinda enjoyed Arnie as Dr Freeze (mostly because he was a one-trick character that slotted into the film setting perfectly) and I didn’t mind Clooney as Wayne. But now that I’m older, a little wiser and way more invested in film, I have a few things that REALLY bothered me.

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Deadpool 2

Deadpool 2 2018

Generally, the two most difficult types of reviews to write for this site are comedies and films that I enjoy. To put it mildly, Deadpool 2 is both of these things. When the first movie came out, it was a surprise hit and quite possibly rejuvenated the R rated superhero movie despite Watchmen’s mild success back in 2008. Deadpool’s comedy was something that hit in just the right way for audiences that were nostalgic for 80’s music but also current internet memes and Ryan Reynolds has the right kind of passion to get the film into the right people’s hands to make it something that does justice to the character that it previously lacked. The sequel ups the ante with a better story, better characters, a bigger budget, and keeps the humor intact for a ride that’s more enjoyable than the first movie as long as the humor hits you in the right way.

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Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War 2018

While I’m a bit late in writing this as I did actually watch it on opening weekend and even recorded a Lambcast on the movie, and even though I wrote most of this first paragraph back when I saw it the first time, it took me quite a while to revisit it as I am catching up on the films I missed reviewing over the course of 2018. The movie bills itself (or at least many others have billed it this way) as a movie ten years in the making since the introduction of the MCU proper with the first Iron Man movie. This brings together nearly all of the heroes that we’ve seen in the previous movies to come together to fight their greatest foe yet with the power to destroy the universe with the snap of a finger. It’s difficult to fault this movie much as it follows a similar arc as the first Avengers movie only on a much larger scale. There’s higher stakes, more characters, more action and death, but it balances them all just as well as the first team-up movie and much better than the second. And while most anyone interested in seeing the movie at all has already seen it, there will be spoilers from here on out.
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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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Howard Lovecraft and the Kingdom of Madness

Howard Lovecraft and the Kingdom of Madness 2018

This is the third movie in a trilogy from comic studio slash low budget animation studio Arcana. The first movie felt a little overly kiddish, the second was a little darker and a little better. The third movie finishes out the trilogy and ends up falling somewhere inbetween the two. This has always been a lower budget animated series, but somehow the lower budget is felt a lot more in this final chapter. And I’m still not overly familiar with the mythology behind HP Lovecraft but of the three, I think I’ve either just started to get the hang of it after watching it over the course of three movies, or it was less dense this time around. It’s still an odd choice for what appears to be a children’s film but it’s not a bad ending to the trilogy. And even though this is a less popular film, it’s still a fairly recent release which I will be going into full spoilers so here’s your warning.

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Teen Titans Go! to the Movies

Teen Titans Go! to the Movies 2018

I’ll be honest: I’ve only seen a couple episodes of the original Teen Titans cartoon, but I’ve seen a much larger handful of Teen Titans Go! And on top of that, I’m someone who generally champions different takes on properties so I do quite enjoy the wacky sitcom-esque basis for Go! so I was actually quite excited to see this film even though I missed out on watching it when it was in theaters. This is a property that doesn’t take itself seriously and it often uses self-deprecating humor, there’s also quite a bit of background details that cover the breadth of DC comics knowledge though there’s not quite as much background details as something like a LEGO Movie, but for someone like me who has a lot of DC movie and TV knowledge, but not a lot of comics knowledge, there were a lot of deep cuts that I recognized, and plenty other deep cuts that were too deep for even me.

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Split

Split 2017

Even though I watched this for the first time last year after I heard about the final twist that connected it to Unbreakable I never got around to writing about it until now. And honestly, I’m glad I did as I was able to watch a video showcasing some of the extra good parts that I missed the first time around and I also saw more things that I hadn’t quite noticed on a first watch. This was a great return to form for Shyamalan after a series of disappointments and even though Glass didn’t quite resonate with many of his fans, I think that this is a great trilogy with a very similar style. Where Unbreakable was the first act of the origin story, this is the second act where it showcases the origin of the villain. It also has a similar slow pace and real world explanations for the powers. Not only that, but it also holds its own as a stand-alone horror suspense movie.

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BlokeBusting The Essentials #49: The Amazing Spider-Man

Your deep dive into the top 100 Superhero films of all time!

#49: The Amazing Spider-Man

Or

We’re Sorry For Emo Peter…

Well, we’re back once more to talk about a film from Bubbawheat’s list. This time we’re focusing on the reboot of Spider-Man featuring Mr Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans. There’s a few things that I will need to bring up here, so I think it’s best if we speed right along!

First Impressions

This film was one that I wasn’t excited about the first time I saw it. Despite the issues most people had with Spider-Man 3, I had no real problems with it other than agreeing that there were too many villains and that Venom was poorly used, so I could have left the Spider-Man films alone and been fine until Tom Holland arrived. However, this film was made and I did end up watching it. And I shall air my issue with how Spider-Man has been portrayed now, since otherwise it’ll simply be an Elephant in the blog.

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The LEGO Movie 2

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part 2019

It’s been an interesting year so far for me, and while it’s only February, I’ve actually been doing quite well at keeping up with the new releases that I cover here on the site. And while LEGO Movie may have been a bit of a stretch to consider as a superhero movie at all, the sequel is even slightly moreso. But it still has LEGO Batman as a main character and the heroic characters are busy saving their world, so I’m rolling with it. As far as how it stacks up to the previous two movies, the humor is still the same but this one builds on the live action reveal of the first movie in a way that’s predictable but still enjoyable. And as I tend to mention with any new release reviews, I discuss the movie in full so if you’re worried about spoilers, here’s your warning.

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FTMN Quickie/Almost Super: Sexina

Almost Super: Sexina: Pop Star P.I. 2007

A little while ago I was cultivating some lists of movies that I still need to review that are on various streaming services. One of those services is Hoopla which is free through most local libraries. I did a basic search for “Superhero” and this was one of the movies that came up. I ran a poll on Twitter, and this is the movie that won. I knew I was in for a bad movie from the start just based on the description and cover art, but I was in the mood for a bad movie and this scratched that itch perfectly. The only problem was that I didn’t quite read the description carefully enough because I quickly realized that this wasn’t really a superhero movie at all, but a private eye detective style movie. Not only that, but it was also a parody film though the line between the movie trying to parody its subject and the movie just being funny because it’s so bad is a very thin line. Honestly, the film did eventually get some genuine laughs out of me but it was also halfway between laughing with it and laughing at it.

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