Look, Up in the Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman 2006
I just recently mentioned that many of these comic book documentaries all felt the same, with plenty of comic book illustrations and talking head interviews with artists and writers. This one is actually quite a notable step up and part of that comes with the pedigree. At least in part, it was created to tie in with Superman Returns, which brought about plenty of Superman nostalgia as it was basically created as a sequel to Superman II. It also helped bring about the Richard Donner cut of that movie, and as a result, this has a lot of star power in terms of its interviews. It also has a large amount of varying media depictions of Superman starting from the early radio programs all the way up through Smallville and Superman Returns. But similar to my recent viewing of the Shazam DC Spotlight, this didn’t feel like it was just a promotional vehicle for Superman Returns, it was a full fledged Superman documentary that gave equal weight to the new movie as it did every other part of Superman’s history. And it did such with a fair amount of interesting and entertaining information.Read the rest of this entry
The Science of Superman 2006
One of the shows that I used to enjoy when I was a kid was the early programming of the Discovery Channel and the Learning Channel back before they became the go-to channel for reality TV freak shows. There were plenty of shows on those two channels that were full of cutting edge technology and the like and in a way, this special follows that format. And while it does remind me of the Batman Tech special that I watched on the DC Universe app a couple weeks ago, where that felt very much like the promotional material for the Dark Knight that it was, while this was released in a similar way as Batman Tech, being shown on the National Geographic channel the day after the theatrical release, it really spread out the clips used between all sorts of Superman shows and cartoons alongside a fair amount of Superman Returns clips. It also helps that it was inspired by an actual book of the same name and they included the author alongside several of those interviewed for the special. Overall, it was a pretty good doc with a lot of interesting information and theories backed up by the shows and comic books of Superman that weren’t just Superman Returns.
Your deep dive into the top 100 Superhero films of all time!
#50: Batman Vs Superman
What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate…
We’re back! And I bet many of you are wondering how we went right from #100 to #50. Well, there’s a perfectly good explanation. This list’s only 3 films long! Ok, not really. Really we wanted to give you guys a taste of the whole list without you needing to wait until mid-year before hitting any of the films that you’re waiting to hear about. Essentially, moving forward, we will be going back and forth in the list. Our next (re)review will be #99, then #49, and so on. So don’t you worry, we’ve got this!
Right. This film was covered by myself and my podcasting partner on my podcast when it originally came out. At the time, we did not care for it. The plot holes were many, the acting felt “meh” (with a couple of glaring exceptions) and we left the cinema feeling very let down. For this list, we’re reviewing the Ultimate Edition (the 3 hour Director’s Cut), so I sat down to watch it once more. Did it change my mind? Well…
Reign of the Supermen 2019
This is the second half of a two part DC Animated film that follows directly after the Death of Superman. Several years after Batman got his two-part animated movie based on one of his most famous comics, Superman got his two-parter and it was released in theaters through Fathom Events. Not only that, but I was able to see the double feature in theaters myself and I was glad that I did. While I would give the edge to Death of Superman for being the better movie, Reign of the Supermen was an excellent wrap up and a part of the story that I hadn’t really experienced before as Batman v Superman went a different direction aside from the inclusion of Apokalips in Justice League and Superman/Doomsday was an extremely truncated version with a completely different latter half. Similar to Death of Superman, I vaguely remember bits of the original comic story, but not nearly enough to notice major changes and I’ve never been one to believe that movies should adhere strictly to the original comic. And as I mention with all new releases, I will be discussing this film in full including any potential spoilers.
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.
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.
It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman 1975
Now that I’ve finished watching every major comic book movie, it’s time for me to spread out once again to some of the lesser known films and I’m starting with the last couple DC movies that have nearly been buried to time. This was a made-for-TV musical production based on a Broadway show that was released near the same time that Batman premiered on TV in 1966. Even though this was just a few short years before Richard Donner’s version of Superman would start to take comic book superheroes more seriously, this musical is just as full of the camp and humor as Adam West’s Batman that came before it. It even includes fight scenes with visual onomatopoeias. It was a very low budget production and doesn’t even live up to an episode of Batman, but despite the awfulness or possibly because of it, the movie tickled me in just the right ways to have a ball while watching it. Except for the songs.
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Batman v Superman Ultimate Edition 2016
Once again my movie viewing was decided via a Twitter poll which resulted in the mixed bag of revisiting the epic superhero film of the year made even more epic-er with about 30 minutes of footage so it now clocks in at just over three hours. Now, if you recall my original review for Batman vs Superman, I’m not one of the haters of this film, I thought it was just fine and I have been fully expecting that this extended cut makes some improvements. It’s just so difficult for me to put three hours into a movie, especially when I know that it’s just for one of these two paragraph quickie reviews looking specifically at an alternate cut of a film that I’ve already reviewed. But I did split the viewing up over about three nights and I did still like more than I didn’t like. But boy did those moments I didn’t like stick out like a sore thumb even more this time around. Is the Ultimate Cut really the best way to view this movie? A loose maybe is really the best I can do for that question right now.
Superman: Braniac Attacks 2006
I’m down to the second to last DC Animated movie and I hope the last one doesn’t end up on a down note like this one did. This came out in a bit of an odd timeline. It was six years after the end of the Superman animated series and right around the end of Justice League Unlimited, and while they brought back Tim Daly and Dana Delaney as the voices of Superman and Lois Lane, they replaced Clancy Brown’s Lex Luthor with Powers Booth and brought in Lance Henrickson for Brainiac. Overall, the movie felt like it was intended for a younger audience and spent much of its hour and seventeen minute run time packed with fight scenes. There were a few moments here and there that made me laugh or surprised me, but overall it felt like a bit of a letdown.
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Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League Gotham City Breakout 2016
This is the latest in one of the many DC animated series that have been coming from Warner bros, typically all focused on either Batman or the Justice League. It follows the same general pattern where it’s much more kid friendly than the Warner Premier PG-13 movies, but it also has a lot more humor that adults will get a kick out of unlike the Batman Unlimited series. It seems like this one really cranked the jokes up to 11, especially if you’re a longtime fan of Batman with several references to the Adam West series and two plots going on at once which keep things going at a near breakneck pace. So far, this has been my favorite of all the Lego DC movies and a lot of fun, especially if you have kids.