Blog Archives

American Hero

American Hero 2015

This post came about in part from my Patreon where each month patrons can vote on a movie (or movies) that I review here each month. This has been sitting on my list for a while, it’s an indie film from 2015 starring Stephen Dorff and Eddie Griffin. It is currently available to watch free with ads on Vudu. There’s a bit of a documentary feel to it, but that mostly feels like an excuse for the overall low budget nature of the film. It reminds me quite a bit of Sleight, though there’s a touch more of a superhero narrative in this film, enough for it to cross the line into actually being a superhero movie. Unfortunately most of the characters aren’t all that likable and they all end the film more or less where they started without much real growth.

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Wonder Woman: Bloodlines

Wonder Woman: Bloodlines 2019

It’s time to check out the latest movie from DC Animation. This one takes a slight curveball as it doesn’t really continue the previous continuity though there’s a couple references so that it could still be a part of the major continuity despite being a stand-alone story. It’s also notable for nearly having the entire voice cast be female characters outside of Steve Trevor and a Minotaur. For the most part it follows pretty well in line with the rest of the DC animated movies. It’s a lot of fun to watch with some good action sequences and some nice character beats mixed in here and there. It’s also worth noting that the DC Showcase short packaged with this home video release: Death, is quite excellent as well.

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Dark Phoenix

Dark Phoenix 2019

This is apparently the swan song for the Fox version of the X-Men that really started the modern era of superhero movies and re-started with 2010’s First Class, and is now lumped into the Disney conglomerate so future cinematic X-Men will likely be tied into the MCU. It’s also one of the few 2019 releases that I wasn’t able to make it out to see in theaters even though this was a generally lighter year for superhero and comic book movies, or at least the year was heavily front loaded with several releases in the early months of the year. In general, I’ve been a fan of nearly all of the X-Men movies aside from the ones everyone hates. But I’ve also generally enjoyed the more recent ones that have been pretty middling to most audiences. I don’t think they handled every character very well, but they did do a few things right in this movie and I enjoyed more than I disliked. And while this is still a relatively new release, I will be discussing the plot in its entirety so there may be spoilers.

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Inspector Gadget

Inspector Gadget 1999

This movie was chosen as part of a monthly poll over on this site’s Patreon. For just $1 a month you can help choose one of the movies I review here as well as early access for certain articles. It helps cover the cost of running this site and will hopefully help expand it in the future. As for the film, I was a fan of the Inspector Gadget cartoon back in the 80’s when I was a kid but by the time the live action film had come around I was pretty much an adult and had outgrown it. Besides the fact that it looked like it barely had anything to do with the cartoon at all and just took the facade and made it into a cookie cutter live action Disney family flick. And that’s pretty much what this is. It has all the bits and pieces of Inspector Gadget aside from completely changing absolutely everything about Dr. Claw, but it barely resembles the whole of the cartoon and was not entertaining or well made at all.

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LEGO DC Batman: Family Matters

LEGO DC Batman: Family Matters 2019

It’s time for yet another LEGO DC animated feature and it pretty much follows the same overall formula with the typical LEGO style humor focused on the different DC characters. This also loosely follows a variation on the Bat family plot involving many different Bat-family characters including three of the four main Robins (Tim Drake always seems to get left in the cold in these animated movies). And for a change of pace it actually takes a bit of a look at not just the exploits of Batman, but also the importance of Bruce Wayne and his position of wealth and power within the context of Gotham City. Not exactly something that you would expect in a LEGO movie though it definitely keeps the irreverence to keep things light and not overly deep.

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Teen Titans Go! vs Teen Titans

Teen Titans Go! vs Teen Titans 2019

At my latest trip to the local library, I picked up the latest DC Animated movie with the Teen Titans. I probably said this before when I reviewed the theatrical Teen Titans Go! movie but I’m generally a fan of Go! It makes me laugh, I like the meta humor that comes with it, and there’s plenty of other superhero properties so in general the humor that exists in Go! is different than pretty much anything else in DC. I’ve also more recently been able to go through some of the old episodes of Teen Titans and actually noticed that it was generally a lot less serious than I thought it was going to be. It’s much more serious than Go! but it has plenty of humor to go around. I also love alternate universe stuff and this takes things to an utterly chaotic and ridiculous level that I absolutely loved and I had so much fun watching this. And while there’s not really much of a surprise twist, this is a recent movie so here is your spoiler warning.

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Graphic Horror: Cemetery Man

Cemetery Man 1994

I had heard about this movie a while back when I watched the Brandon Routh Dylan Dog movie, found out that they were basically based on the same character, and then promptly forgot all about it until looking it up again. There’s actually a weird and interesting connection between the comics and this movie. There was initially a novel called Dellamorte Dellamore which is also the Italian title of this movie. The author then went on to create the Dylan Dog comics which follow a similar style as the original novel and the main character of the novel shows up as basically the Italian analogue to Dylan Dog. When the comic was originally drawn, the artist drew inspiration from Rupert Everett and drew the main character to look like him. This movie then starred Rupert Everett as the main character who wore an outfit that resembled Dylan Dog.

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The Shadow Strikes

The Shadow Strikes 1937

Even though a lot of people point to Superman and the Mole Men as the first theatrical superhero movie, there’s a few others that came before it that aren’t quite what we think of now as superhero movies, but share enough similarities and/or the main character in other materials would be considered more of a superhero. This movie is definitely not a superhero movie in its own right, but the Shadow is definitely a superhero in other incarnations. This movie and a few other Shadow movies have been sitting at the top of my list for many years now and I only just now decided to check them off. It wasn’t exactly what I expected, but I think that’s why I enjoyed it so much. It’s not really that great, but it was a nice change of pace for me.

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Jane and the Lost City

Jane and the Lost City 1987

After watching the Jane movie from the 1940s, I just had to follow it up with what would probably be called a reboot today. Nearly forty years later (after a couple television series) they made another Jane movie only this time it felt much more like the spirit of the comic, at least how it’s described in Wikipedia articles. When compared to the classic movie, this has a lot more humor and actually gives Jane a bit of agency here and there. And while it had a lot more moments of clothes ripping off of Jane, it still retained the comical spirit and never really veered off into creepy exploitation. Overall, it was a lot of fun to watch.

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The Adventures of Jane

The Adventures of Jane 1949

I’ve gotten another free month of Amazon Prime and I thought I’d put it to good use to watch a couple movies based on a serialized comic strip that I knew very little about. Really the only thing I knew about it was that it was serialized, and that the main character Jane often had her clothes ripped off of her body, leaving her in her underwear. It very rarely or only just once went fully nude, it was generally just slightly bawdy for that era and treated with a Benny Hill-esque sense that the nudity was intended more for comedy and embarrassment rather than eroticism. This was the first adaptation and it was apparently made quick and cheap and it really shows. There wasn’t a whole lot going on for this movie other than a couple cheap laughs and the bare minimum of a story to it.

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