Blog Archives

The Shadow Returns

The Shadow Returns 1946

Getting back into watching these superhero movies and writing reviews again definitely makes me realize how much I missed going back into some of the older superhero movies. This was available on Amazon Prime which I currently have so I figured I’d give it a shot. I had already reviewed the first full length Shadow movie a while back but that didn’t really feel too much like the Shadow from that 90’s that I’ve been more familiar with. Just nine years later, this feels like a giant step towards the more familiar Shadow with the addition of Margo and his personal cab driver though there are still some discrepancies. This also feels more like the later Shadow movie with the addition of plenty of humor where this is almost more of a sitcom murder mystery rather than a serious detective movie. There were plenty of fun moments throughout the movie despite the plot being overly weak and convoluted. It also didn’t help that the version showing on Amazon Prime does have some sound issues where the sound completely cuts out in a few places so I missed a little bit of the dialogue. Not enough to get lost, just enough to be annoying.

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Thunder Force

Thunder Force 2021

The year is almost halfway through and while most of the 2021 films keep getting pushed back there have been a small handful that have released on streaming services. This one came out just a few weeks ago on Netflix and while it has gotten some pretty poor reviews, it managed to tickle me quite a bit while I was watching it. Unfortunately, those moments of hearty laughs were interspersed with heavy moments of eye rolling so it’s ultimately a mixed bag. There aren’t very many instances of good superhero comedies, there are plenty of good superhero movies with a lot of comedy, but not the other way around. When the superhero element isn’t taken seriously, the entire movie generally suffers. Everyone in the cast plays their parts well, but the action is dull and the comedy is very hit and miss. And since this is still technically a recent release, here is my obligatory spoiler warning as I will be discussing potential plot twists as I see fit.

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Supervized

Supervized 2019

Even though I still have quite a few relatively major movies that I’ve missed out on the majority of the past year, one of the things that I enjoy the most about working on this site is finding these smaller and lower budget superhero and comic book movies. And trying to get back into the reviewing swing of things I didn’t just want to immediately tackle all the bigger releases, I wanted to seek out some of these smaller flicks that I do enjoy watching. This one was on my radar last year though I wasn’t able to get things lined up with a screener or the correct streaming service. But as of this writing it is streaming on Amazon Prime which I do have for the time being so I checked it out. There were actually a surprising number of parallels to Sky High only at the other end of the spectrum as this takes place at an old age home for superheroes rather than a high school for superhero kids. It’s rated R, has several familiar faces, but it still has a low budget feel in terms of the writing and special effects. The comedy is just a notch above fart jokes, the plot gets interesting towards the third act, but it all fizzles out at the end.

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Bloodshot

Bloodshot 2020

It’s been quite a year, right? But I’m not here to talk about that, instead let’s try to get right back into catching up with the handful of releases that actually made it out into the wild. This was actually the last theatrical release before things went to hell but I didn’t quite get around to seeing it back then. And based on the reviews it got, I wasn’t that enthusiastic to catch up with it. Even borrowed it from the library a couple times. But I finally checked it out once again, watched it, and you know what? I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the best example of a comic book/super powered character movie. It suffers quite a bit from a first time director who came from a visual effects background, an early-but-significant twist that was spoiled in the trailers, and extremely forgettable dialogue coming from one-dimensional characters. Despite all of this, I’m a sucker for an interesting concept and that’s the best thing this movie has going for it. It won’t be enough for a lot of people, but it was just enough for me.

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Captain Underpants: Mega Blissmas

FTMN Quickie: Captain Underpants: Mega Blissmas 2020

Merry Christmas Everyone! I thought I’d take a little time out of my day to write about the latest superhero Christmas special that’s come out this year on Netflix. It’s not quite a TV episode but it’s not exactly a full movie. It clocks in at just under an hour but it feels more like a double episode of the Captain Underpants cartoon that’s also on Netflix. So much so that I’m not going to add this to my big list of Superhero movies, but I watched it, and I haven’t been that active here lately so I figured I’d still write about it. I watched the Captain Underpants movie a little while back but I never watched any of the TV series. This definitely has the same type of humor that mixes a typical 9 year old’s imagination with some meta humor, but it rehashes a very similar Christmas theme about how getting exactly what you want isn’t always the best thing.

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Justice League Dark: Apokolips War

It seems like we’ve been in the era of this interconnected for a good long while. It was kicked off with the events in the Flashpoint Paradox back in 2013 but really started with Justice League War in 2014 with the biggest connective tissues being Jason O’Mara as the voice of Batman and a similar visual style in the animation. The DC Animated Movies have also crossed the line from PG-13 to R several times and this is one of the bleakest and most violent animated movies in quite a while yet there’s still enough humor to keep things entertaining without completely going off the rails. It also brings together several of the spin-off-yet-still-connected movies like the Teen Titans, Suicide Squad, and Constantine that feels like it’s following a loose parallel to Avengers: Endgame without feeling derivative. Like always, this was fun and it really builds on everything that came before it to make a fitting end to this little corner of the DC Animated Universe. And as this is a recent release, I won’t be shying away from story details so this is your spoiler warning.

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Red Son

Superman: Red Son 2020

It’s still been difficult to try and get back into any sort of normal rhythm for this site, but I haven’t yet abandoned it. In fact, the site reached a major milestone the other day. We’ve reached 1 million total views! Thanks everyone for the continued support and visits. As for new movies, it seems like it’s mostly streaming and home video, including the DC Animated movies. I’ve always been a fan of alternate realities/Elseworlds stories, especially when it comes to superheroes. These characters have been around long enough that their origin stories are going to be multiple choice anyway. Why not allow writers to take things into more extreme directions if it’s going to tell an interesting story rather than just a slightly different shade of the same thing over and over. This takes the Superman origin story and turns it on its head. It’s similar and yet very different from the Batman Elseworlds story Gotham by Gaslight, turning Superman into a very different character rather than just injecting him into a different setting.

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The Other Side of Adaptation: Labyrinth Coronation vol 3

The other day I finally got around to finishing the three volume TPB of Labyrinth Coronation, the graphic novel continuation of the story begun by the 80’s movie Labyrinth. This is a prequel with a framing device that keeps it fully connected to the events of the original movie. The third volume wraps things up a little too neatly, but continues the story in a way that nicely mirrors the original movie. And as this is the final volume, there will be spoilers so be warned. As a whole, it’s definitely something that I enjoyed enough to want to finish the story, rather than having the feeling that I needed to finish the story for completion sake. I didn’t quite enjoy it as much as I did the manga style sequel, but it was a nice diversion.

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Project Power

Project Power 2020

It’s already August and I’ve only just been able to watch the second 2020 superhero movie of this year. Of course it’s from a combination of things, both from lack of actual movie watching as well as lack of actual movies. This brand new movie was released straight to Netflix this past Friday and it’s a different take on superheroes and super powers, taking a more visceral approach with drugs and crime in a backdrop of New Orleans. For its part, it takes an interesting approach to the material and while it was lacking in a lot of areas, it handles things well enough to be an entertaining distraction in this absence of entertainment.

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Garfield’s Pet Force

Garfield’s Pet Force 2009

I was doing a random search on Netflix trying to find something that I hadn’t covered yet and didn’t have to pay for and one of the movies that came up was this straight-to-video kid’s movie. And one of the biggest selling points for me was that it was just over an hour long. Now, when I was a kid I liked Garfield pretty well, it was the era when Garfield and Friends played on TV and I typically watched it every time it was on, but ever since I was an adult and the seemingly awful live action Garfield movies came out, my opinion of Garfield has gone way down. So my expectations for this movie were pretty low. There was a small amount of interesting meta humor, but for the most part it was a pretty dull and uninteresting take on superheroes with Garfield characters, including several that I had never heard of before.

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