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Antboy 3

Antboy 3 2016

Continuing on in my catching up of the last few 2016 films that have slipped past me is the latest in the Danish superhero Antboy franchise. I thought the first Antboy was ok, the second one was a lot of fun, so I was excited to finally get the chance to watch the third and supposedly final entry in this series. Not to mention that all three are currently available to stream on Netflix in the US. Since they are still marketed as kids movies, they are dubbed in English, but do yourself a favor and if you’re watching it because you’re a fan of superhero movies, do yourself a favor and watch it in the original Danish audio. Typically I tend to watch dubs over subs, but that’s usually due to one of two reasons: either it’s a cheesy film to begin with and the bad-to-mediocre dubs add to the camp factor, or it’s a newer animated feature and the dub is done in a highly professional manner that’s a similar quality to the original performances. This one falls between the two, what little I listened to of the dub is very mediocre in quality so it really detracts from the overall film. That said, I did think that this was a fitting end to the trilogy and quite possibly the best of the bunch.
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Veggietales: The League of Incredible Vegetables

Veggietales: The League of Incredible Vegetables 2012

Coming into the home stretch for this month of kids’ superhero movies is what is likely to be the youngest skewing movie I will ever cover on this site, unless I run out of other movies to review. I’m not interested in reviewing something intended for preschoolers like Dora the Explorer: Superbabies, but even this is probably stretching what passes for an actual movie. For one thing, it only runs for about 48 minutes: the length of an hour TV show minus commercials. The target audience is also for around 5-10 year olds, but that’s not too far from the target audience for other superhero shows like Superfriends. And also, it’s part of the dreaded Christian propaganda machine. Not that I have anything against Christians in general, I still vaguely consider myself to be one, but their idea of entertainment usually falls more on the side of being preachy than being entertaining. But I have had my experiences with Veggietales as both an uncle and a father so I more or less knew what I was getting into, and I have to admit that I do enjoy the sense of humor that goes into these films. It’s just that message crammed into the end that sours it a little for me.
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Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie

Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie 1997

When I was watching the original Power Rangers movie I was coming at it from a place of half-remembered nostalgia. Even though I didn’t remember it, I still remembered a large portion of the cast. And even though Turbo follows the format of the show much more closely, it suffered from a severe lack of fight scenes and had it even worse with the lack of connection or explanation of the new villainess. It served as essentially the pilot episode of the new season of the show as they transitioned out some more of the cast and a new set of costumes and robots likely pulled from a completely different Japanese series. And yet, even though it mirrored the actual television episodes more closely, it was even less satisfying than the first movie as an actual film.
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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie 1995

This is a film that I’m certain that I saw when I was younger, quite possibly in theaters. In fact as I was tweeting about this movie while watching it, my longtime friend reminded me that we actually watched it together back in ’95. I do remember watching those first few seasons of the Power Rangers, probably up until Amy Jo Johnson left as the Pink Ranger. But watching this movie again, on a DVD I rented from an actual video store no less, I remembered absolutely nothing about it. Not the villain aside from a few recent meme comparisons to the forthcoming Apocalypse, I didn’t even remember that three of the Rangers had been replaced. Heck, I didn’t even remember the name of the big red villain with the exposed brain and I’m pretty sure they never actually mentioned it during the entire course of the movie. It was essentially what I expected it to be: a bunch of cheesy one-liners with some 90’s teenage style and a little bit of good martial arts action mixed in.
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Sharkboy and Lavagirl

The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D 2005

I’m continuing on in this month of kid’s superhero movies with probably the biggest one on the list in terms of the amount of people who are aware of this film, even though it’s not exactly thought of as a great movie. The story behind the film is that writer/producer/director/composer/all-around-filmmaker Robert Rodriguez decided that he wanted to make a film for his kids, specifically that he wanted to bring the characters created by his son Racer to life in this film. In fact, Racer even gets an official “Story by” credit in the film and the main character is named after Racer’s middle name. And as for the general conceit of this film, I’m generally a big fan of these types of dream worlds or fantasy worlds along the lines of Wonderland, Oz, and the like, but for many reasons I just didn’t care for this one at all. While it’s a nice legacy for Racer to have this physical incarnation of a story he thought up when he was around 6, it just doesn’t hold up as a very cohesive film.
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Filmwhys Extra #11 Superheroes and Our Kids

Episode #11 of Filmwhys Extra where my guest is Julz Hendricks who contributes to many sites including Bleeding Cool, Chickcast, but you can probably best find her on Twitter. Both of us have young children who love superheroes and love to watch them on TV and in movies. But this is a world full of PG-13 superhero movies that often have more death and violence than R-rated movies with only the blood removed. She has a 3 year old and a 9 year old while I have a 7 year old and we discuss what they enjoy and how we decide what’s appropriate for them to watch.
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Super Buddies

Super Buddies 2013

Since started this site, I’ve expanded my focus quite a bit. For the first half of the first year, I was limiting myself to only theatrically released superhero movies. I quickly included home video releases so I could review the great DC Animation titles and my list of movies to watch is always growing. And while I doubt I’ll ever expand it so much that I end up watching and reviewing Dora the Explorer: Superbabies, I did decide to watch and review this movie. It did help quite a bit that my daughter is already a fan of the Buddies series of movies and I realized that I haven’t really watched a lot of movies with her lately even though I would almost always mention Jena in the early days of this site. Now, this movie has a few things going against it right from the start. It’s a Disney, straight-to-home-video movie, it has talking puppies, and it’s somewhere around tenth in the long running series of Air Bud and later Buddies movies. I’m not going to go out and say that this is a good movie by any means, but when I look at it from the perspective of being aimed towards younger kids, you could do a lot worse than Super Buddies.
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Avengers Redux, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Try the Theater

It may sound odd, but I haven’t been to a theater in about four years. The last movie I remember seeing was Wall*E, back when Jena was too young to really enjoy or remember it, shortly afterwards we ran into some major money troubles and have only recently gotten to the point where I think we’ve just about fully recovered. I was originally going to title this blog “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Theater” so that should give you a little preview of how things went. We went down to the local AMC twelve screen, the only theater in our relatively small midwest town outside of a single screen theater that shows mostly independent movies so we could watch the Avengers.

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