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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.

The Elephant Is Dealt With

Tom Holland does a fantastic young Peter, and is a great Spider-Man, so I am taking the newest iteration off the table for these reviews. Spider-Man and Peter Parker are two sides of the same coin. Spider-Man is quick witted, very loose-lipped and also just fun to watch in a fight. Peter Parker is more of a nerdy guy, less confident in himself and more concerned with how his alter-ego is perceived than himself. The first 3 films has a fantastic portrayal of Peter. Tobey Macguire, in my opinion, was a brilliant Peter. He summed up what I understood Peter to be from what I’d read and watched before I saw the film. Andrew Garfield, however, is awesome as Spider-Man. He’s got the swagger, the quick quips and the physicality. But they both failed to accurately portray the other sides. If you could give me Macguire as Peter while Garfield played Spider-Man, I think you’d have the ultimate combo. That being said, back to the review.

Back To The Review!

See! So, I watched this film once when it came out. And my first rewatch happened about 2 days ago. This film left no real impression on me. I didn’t think that the actors did a bad job, I just thought that the choices they made were kinda dull. The villain could have been handled in a much more interesting way, rather than having him be the guy who just gets overtaken by the experiment that he created (sound familiar, Spider-Man 2 fans?). It might have been cool to see him intentionally turn himself into a part-lizard. That way, he has to choose between his job and his arm, leading him to overdose and turn permanently into The Lizard. The finale could have been a full fight with Peter desperate to get through to his father’s colleague but with his mind finally unable to fully comprehend his actions, Peter was forced to subdue him and then look for a cure. You’ve then got a villain that could be in the background for the next one. But hey, I don’t write the films. I just review them. I also admired the filmmakers going with Gwen as the love interest, following the comics more closely. However, I felt that she didn’t really add much other than to be possibly in danger or to give Peter someone to share his whole self with. And that’s not a bad thing, but in a film like this it’s mostly a trope. And one I’d like to see vanish. Ah well.

Another thing was that we had to follow several plot-lines in the film that kinda muddied the water. You’ve got Spidey starting out, you’ve got Lizard, you’ve got Peter and Gwen getting together, you’ve got Peter finding out about his father’s work. On top of that, you’ve got an (albeit marvelous) Uncle Ben storyline. That was my favourite part of the film. Which was a shame because it was in the first 40% or so of it and kinda sloped downhill from there. And then end of that story-line was a bit poor, especially since rather than directly not stopping the man who killed his uncle (as in the first trilogy), he just stands there. That’s it. Anyway, especially for the first film in a hopeful franchise, you really should stick to a couple of plots and tighten up the writing. OK, griping over!

Things I Did Like!

Before I hop on over to Bubbawheat, here’s a few things about the film that I really did enjoy. That way you don’t think I’m just a grumpy old man. I’m simply a grumpy young man right now…

I did enjoy Spider-Man. He felt more in tone with what I think of when I imagine him interacting with his foes and the general public.

I quite enjoyed Uncle Ben. I felt like he was closer to a realistic father figure than the super-sweet man from the original run.

I liked that Peter had to build his own webbing. I’m sure you can guess why by now.

Ok Mr Wheat, it’s your time to shine!

Bubbawheat here, I also watched this movie when it first came out, but I think I’ve seen it a couple times since and I go back and forth between how much I enjoy it. I remember when it first came out, I placed it just below Spider-Man 2. After watching it again just now it’s gone down quite a bit but I still enjoy the first half of this movie. That’s mostly because that’s where all the best characters and relationships are. Emma Stone and Martin Sheen are the two highlights of this film. It helps that Gwen Stacy is an intellectual equal to Peter and makes more sense that she is attracted to Peter, not only that but the chemistry between the two actors is fantastic. Sheen as Uncle Ben is also great, especially with his interactions between himself and Aunt May. He’s very much the more authoritarian of the two, but you can definitely see that it comes from a place of love. This time around, I actually like how they show Peter breaking the rules early on which is a contrast with how he views things after Ben dies. Things really fall apart in the latter half and Rhys Ifans’s ugly Lizard with poor motivations. There are still good moments here and there, but it’s a poor villain with middling action.

As for the importance to superhero cinema as a whole, this was more or less the first big controversial reboot as it came out a mere 5 years after the latest Sam Raimi Spider-Man 3. They brought in a director who was best known for a genre-stretching romantic comedy (500) Days of Summer and had an overly fitting last name. It was initially considered to be a reboot more true to its comics origins, but ultimately the only real changes that were made were having Gwen Stacy instead of Mary Jane and having his web-shooters be external rather than organic. It’s close proximity to the Sam Raimi films probably led to its less-than-stellar box office where it made less than all three previous films, but still made $757 million worldwide, enough to warrant a sequel and discussions of further expansions of the Amazing Spider-Man cinematic universe with plans for a Sinister Six movie being teased within this movie’s sequel. It was generally well received by critics despite not having the iconic Uncle Ben line “With great power comes great responsibility”.

Alrighty then. On to the sticky business of figuring out the answer to my main 2 questions:

  1. Would I recommend this film to others?
  2. Does it deserve a place on this list?

Well, here we go…

Wait! Before you answer those questions, I’ve thought of a third question to ask for each of these movies moving forward. 3. How would you rank the movies thus-far?

Oooh, that’s a good one! You know what, I’ll put that at the end of the questions. So, in order:

1) No. As it is probably clear from this review, I didn’t enjoy it much. What was there that I enjoyed didn’t save it for me and I wouldn’t tell somebody to watch it. However, I wouldn’t tell them not to watch it. This is one of those films that there’s no really strong opinions for one way or the other, which is a little sad given that the character itself is one of the most interesting characters you can make a film about! So yeah, watch this if you think you’ll enjoy it, but there’s no need to spend time tracking it down.

2) I’m not really sure. It’s an interesting one because I think it does serve as an example of a studio trying to reboot a franchise and not doing terribly at it. There have been some really bad reboots (looking at you Fantastic Four), so in that respect it’s worth a mention. At the very least I would not have this film this high on the list. Maybe mid 80’s would be closer to where I’d place it.

3) I’ll have to go with:

  1. The Amazing Spider-Man
  2. Supergirl
  3. The Wild Wild World Of Batwoman
  4. BVS: DOJ

Overall, this one still fared better than the other three, but I’ll be intrigued to see how it does over the next few reviews!

Well, that’s another review down! So make sure you watch for those Spidey-senses to start tingling. It probably means that you’re cold. What I’m trying to say is keep a jacket nearby, just in case!

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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Incredibles 2

Incredibles 2 2018

I’ve almost finished catching up with all the 2017 releases but I still have a ways to go with the 2018 releases. I actually watched this film with my daughter in theaters back when it first came out. I remember quite enjoying the film overall and hearing mostly positive praise for the film with a handful of complaints about how it was overly obvious and more or less mirrored the first film. Watching it again, I do see some flaws in logic, but for the most part it was great to see the family back together again and it felt just as good as it did the first time around. There’s a similar aspect of family difficulties right alongside some fantastic superhero action. There were a few questionable actions, but in general I was having too much fun just watching the movie that I didn’t really care.

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Top Black Superhero & Comic Book Movies of All Time *Updated*

It’s 2019 and while I wrote the majority of this post back in 2016, there have finally been a few new superhero movies that feature a Black protagonist. Not only that, but they have actually been quite good. Not only not only that, but two of them were nominated for Academy Awards including the first ever Superhero movie to be nominated for Best Picture. So this February, I decided to update this list to include the more recent Black superhero and comic book movies. Below is the original introduction.

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BlokeBusting the Essentials #99: Supergirl

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

#99: Supergirl

Or:

Why Women Superheroes Had Trouble Getting Films Made

This film took me a long time to watch. Seriously, and I wish I wasn’t joking, this took me 4 separate sessions over a couple of weeks to finish. I would press play, get about 25 minutes in and just have to pause it. What does that mean for this review? You’re about to find out.

First Impressions

This film was hard to watch, but maybe not for the reasons you might think. I’m sure some people will happily take it as a sign that women cannot helm a major film. They are wrong. Others might take it to mean that I have an issue with the character in general. They would also be wrong. My main problem with this film is one of pacing. It’s the same issue I have with some of the older superhero films, where some parts just take AAAAGGGEEESSSS to get going, while other parts are over way too fast. I have another issue with this film, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

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Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay

Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay 2018

I’m nearly caught up with all of my 2017 releases and now I just have one more DC Animated movie until I’m back to being fully caught up with all of their mainline releases other than the LEGO series. This continues the darker branch of animated movies that have gotten bloodier and this marks the fourth R rated feature. There’s plenty of blood, in fact this may be the highest on-screen kill count for any of these DC Animated movies to date and they’re typically bloody deaths and not just bloodless/faceless kills. It also brings in a handful of characters and ideas that are a little farther out there, and some that were very unfamiliar even to someone like me. But it all came together in an enjoyable way, there was even an interesting little twist that was unexpected but worked. It was totally a solid film.

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Polar

Polar 2019

Every year since running this site I’m constantly discovering new superhero and comic book movies that fly under my radar through most of the year. I discovered that this film was releasing on Netflix about a week before it came out. I didn’t hear very good things, but the trailer looked pretty stylish and it starred Mads Mikkelsen. It’s a hyper violent, sexed up action movie but the plot felt empty and hollow. I’ve seen plenty of these types of movies where there’s a career criminal that for whatever reason ends up on the wrong side of the organization that they work for and have to turn against the other criminals in order to survive. And while it does have some good moments here and there, it doesn’t add up to a very good movie. And as this is a recent movie, I will be discussing it in full so this is your spoiler warning.

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Batman Ninja

Batman Ninja 2018

I’ve been very curious about this title ever since the first trailers started being released. This is the first DC anime title since the anthology Batman: Gotham Knight that was released in the early days of the DC animated movies back in 2008. I’ve only heard a few things about the movie since, though what I had heard was mostly positive there were some warnings about how weird it was. Even with the warnings, I don’t think I was fully prepared for how far out there this movie goes. Aside from the out-there-ness of it, there are some great moments throughout and I quite enjoyed the majority of this film. If you haven’t seen it, I will be discussing how far out there this movie goes. So if you’d like to be surprised then here’s your spoiler warning.

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