Legends of the Superheroes 1979
Batman’s 80th anniversary just passed yesterday and in celebration I finally gave in and signed up for DC Universe’s new streaming app with their 80 cents for the first month sale. The main reason why I wanted to get the app was to watch this DC oddity that I had heard about but never got around to watching until now. It’s not quite a movie, not quite a miniseries, but it’s a two-part TV special that honestly feels like DC’s answer to the Star Wars Holiday Special. It’s ultra-low budget, it feels like a sketch comedy show with superheroes, and it’s difficult to tell what they really wanted to do with this property. It’s one of the very few Hanna Barbera live action properties and was tied into the Superfriends cartoon, but they couldn’t use Superman or Wonder Woman due to their rights being tied up in other places at the time. It’s pretty much one of those so-bad-it’s-good, but it did catch a couple genuine laughs out of me.Read the rest of this entry
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.
So far I’m 2 for 2 in the new release camp, let’s see how long I last as this is one of the biggest years for major superhero movie releases. Even so, I imagine that the combined total between big releases, indies, and non-superhero comic book movies that the total number will be roughly the same as the past few years. And while I never got around to reviewing Split last year, I did watch it. Glass is the third film in an oddly connected movie series that started with Unbreakable. It does a good job of tying the two films together though it feels slightly more in line with Unbreakable as the horror element is much more muted. Overall, it was quite enjoyable but didn’t quite reach the same quality as either of the two previous movies and the twist was lacking and came out of nowhere. And since the twist is a big part of the movie, it will be discussed in this review so be warned.
The Death of Superman 2018
This was actually my first theater visit of 2019, second Fathom Events superhero film as I watched this in a double feature with the sequel The Reign of the Supermen. This is the second two-part animated movie in the DC Animated Universe after the Dark Knight Returns. This is also the third adaptation of the Death of Superman after what’s generally considered the first DC Animated Universe film release Superman/Doomsday and the much looser adaptation in the live action Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It was one of the few major comic books that I actually read when it was released as my friend had a couple copies and I remember skimming through the Doomsday fight but only vaguely remember the latter half of the story. Where this film really shines is not just the fight with Doomsday, but it really gets to the human heart of the story and is one of the most touching versions of Superman’s death that I’ve seen.
The Immortal Wars 2018
One thing I don’t talk about too much on here is my local library. Ever since video rental stores have all but died out (there is a Family Video nearby but we don’t go there), aside from streaming I source most of the movies I watch for this site lately from my library. This is not the first time that I happened across a movie at that library that I had never heard of before but I could tell from the cover and back of the box that it was a perfect fit for this site. This is a combination of X-Men, Hunger Games, and a little bit of Gladiator, only the weakest bits of all of those movies along with some poor special effects, weak acting, and a bland script. It’s not quite Captain Battle level bad movie, but it’s right alongside some of the Asylum films that I’ve seen and I’m actually a little surprised that the sequel is already being made for a planned trilogy.Read the rest of this entry
Batman: Gotham by Gaslight 2018
I’m not exactly the biggest fan of Jack the Ripper, generally the most I know of him are when various TV shows that I watch have the random episode where they go back in time or something along those lines to have a Jack the Ripper episode. Aside from that, there’s also the mediocre comic book movie From Hell. And on top of that, I actually went into this movie knowing nothing about the background of the comic aside from the fact that it’s basically Batman if he existed in the early 1900’s. It is actually the first Elseworlds style story that even pre-dated the Elseworlds title. It basically comes from the question “what if Batman tried to solve the Jack the Ripper case?” only instead of random people asking the question, it’s asked by comic book writer Brian Augustyn and drawn by Mike Mignola. I thought it was pretty entertaining but I wasn’t fond of the final reveal, which I will be discussing so here’s your spoiler warning.
Thor: Ragnarok 2017
Surprisingly, as much as I enjoy the MCU, over the past year and a half I hadn’t been keeping up with every release like I might have expected to despite all the rave reviews I had heard for this one as well as Ant-Man and the Wasp. The MCU has always been about making action comedies, though most of them have been heavy on the action and light on the comedy. This time director Taika Waititi turns things on its head and gives practically a full blown comedy with some action elements. It might initially seem like an odd choice for Thor to be the property to transition from a more Shakespearean action/fantasy to an action comedy, but it really works. Especially with Chris Hemsworth’s charisma and the addition of Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster. The more dramatic stuff still works, but through and through it’s a comedy with plenty of laugh out loud moments.
Justice League 2017
I’m not entirely sure what bug got into me, but I’ve been full speed ahead trying to catch up on the year (more or less) that I’ve missed writing on this site. This is one of the biggest films that I missed from last year and while it made a decent amount of money, it was a pretty big disappointment for what a Justice League movie could have made. Out of the major superhero movie releases of the year, it was the second lowest grossing film just above Logan which was R-rated and it was the lowest grossing film of the entire DCEU. It was plagued by some behind the scenes nightmares like the tragic loss of Zack Snyder’s daughter midway through filming so that the film was finished by Joss Whedon. There was also the well documented issue with Henry Cavill being unable to shave his mustache for reshoots while filming the latest Mission Impossible which created some unnerving scenes of CGI hair-removal. The resulting chaos resulted in a rather chaotic movie that shifted in tone from the more serious and dramatic Zack Snyder films that came before it, and the more irreverent humor associated with Joss Whedon with a lack of overall cohesion. Some moments worked, but the team never quite came together as a whole.
100 Essential Superhero Movies: 2016 Edition
It’s been quite a while since I’ve updated my 100 Essential Superhero Movies. I initially made the list in 2014, and then I updated and ranked them to include the previous year’s movies in 2015 with the intention of updating the list each year; adding the most important and/or best movies of the year and removing some of the movies that only just barely made the list, or ones that have been eclipsed by newer movies for one reason or another. So here I am to update this list of the 100 superhero movies that I think are essential to understanding superhero movie history. These aren’t the 100 best superhero movies, each one is included because it contributes in some way to superhero movie history.
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It’s the beginning of a new year and for most movie blogs that means the year-end wrap-up list. And even though it took me a couple extra days, I once again managed to watch every superhero and comic book movie released in the US (that I’m aware of). The only other film that I haven’t watched was the bollywood superhero film A Flying Jatt which I don’t believe ever got a US release where I could watch a subtitled version. And instead of merely going through some number of my favorites, I decided to do something just a little bit different and go ahead and rank every single comic book film of this year from worst to best. And one quick disclaimer, while the title reads “Comic Book Film”, as I always do for this site I include superhero films that were never based on comics as well as comic book adaptations that aren’t about superheroes.
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