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It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman

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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FTMN Quickie: Batman v Superman Ultimate Edition

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.

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Superman: Braniac Attacks

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 Justice League: Gotham City Breakout

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.

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June-ing the Cult: Trash Film Guru & Turkish Superman

Süpermen Dönüyor aka The Return of Superman 1979

Throughout the month of June I thought it would be a great time to catch up on some of the more obscure and cult superhero films out there. But instead of just randomly picking a few, I decided to reach out to some of my other blogger friends who blog on plenty of other cult films on their own and ask them for their recommendations. So starting off with this film today and over the next four weeks I’ll be tackling these cult superhero films. Some are older, all of them are foreign and it should be a lot of fun. And kicking it off out of the gate is Ryan C from Trash Film Guru with his choice best known as Turkish Superman.
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Justice League vs. Teen Titans

It’s time for another entry in the DC Animated canon and they are continuing their fairly recent connected universe of films that tie together Batman and Robin with the Justice League movies aside from Gods and Monsters. This film follows the recent trend of naming superhero films based on having the heroes fight each other. At least this time there’s an element of mind control rather than a difference in ideology. As for my own experience with the Teen Titans themselves, I’ve seen a few episodes of Teen Titans, plenty of Teen Titans Go, but I’ve only seen the Blue Beetle in a single episode of Batman: Brave and the Bold. It felt like an odd fit considering that in the universe of this story, the Justice League is still quite young but the Teen Titans is already established. Though it does seem to be even newer than the Justice League. But aside from the specifics, this is a much better tone than the live action DC Universe and aside from a few minor nitpicks, I enjoyed the hell out of this one.
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Batman vs. Superman

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

In the past couple years there hasn’t been many other films that have had the amount of buzz and hype that this film has had next to Star Wars and Civil War. And once the early reviews hit, they hit pretty hard. So even though I technically saw this film on opening day, I went in with a whole lot of trepidation. As far as my history with Zack Snyder, I’m generally more in favor of his films than against. While I haven’t seen his first feature film, Dawn of the Dead, I have enjoyed more than I haven’t. In fact the only film of his that I’ve actively disliked was Sucker Punch. And while Batman vs. Superman is weighed down by some of his shortcomings, there was enough mystery and nuance to the film that I enjoyed seeing where it was going. It mainly suffered from two things: it constantly mired itself in artistic flourishes to make it feel like it’s tackling serious topics rather than two guys in costumes fighting each other, and like Age of Ultron it had to spend a lot of time making it known that there’s connective tissue linking it to other films coming in the future. Finally, as is usually the case there may be spoilers ahead so tread carefully if you are worried about that sort of thing.
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Filmwhys #66 Cloverfield and Superman and the Mole Men

Episode 66 of the Why Haven’t You Seen This Film Podcast where my guest is James Thompson from the Meanwhile… podcast who asks me why I hadn’t seen Cloverfield, one of the first twists on the found footage style of filmmaking and an attempt to give the US a giant monster worthy of Godzilla from producer JJ Abrams. And in return, I ask him why he hadn’t seen Superman and the Mole Men, the first feature length superhero film ever made and the precursor to the long running Adventures of Superman starring George Reeves.
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The Death of “Superman Lives”; What Happened?

The Death of “Superman Lives”; What Happened? 2015

It seems that I’m finally getting around to some of the backlogged non-theatrical releases that have come out this year. This film was originally launched as a kickstarter by John Schnepp a couple years ago to chronicle his quest to find out what happened to this multi-year project that ended up never getting made. He gets interviews with many of the major players including all three script writers, producer Jon Peters, director Tim Burton, and plenty of concept artists. Enhancing the interviews are snippets of the film recreated in animation or in a couple cases live action as well as plenty of concept art and behind the scenes archival footage. It’s not really an investigation of how this film got cancelled, instead it’s more like a look back on the making of the film that ends just before they would have started filming. As someone who has heard a little bit about this project, and probably from the source that most people would have heard it from: Kevin Smith, I thought it was generally fascinating, though it did run a bit too long for my taste and especially for my wife’s taste.
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Justice League: Gods and Monsters

Justice League: Gods and Monsters 2015

It’s time for me to catch up on some more slightly under the radar new releases that have slipped past me in the past couple months or so. The first one that I checked out is the latest in the neverending releases from DC Animation, this brings about the return of Bruce Timm as writer who was the head of animation during the days of Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League, and is more or less credited with making DC Animation the respected studio that it has become today. He has overseen much of the DC Animated universe as executive producer, but the last movie that was written by him goes all the way back to the first with Superman/Doomsday. Gods and Monsters takes an alternate universe look at what the Justice League could have been if things had turned out very differently for a lot of people. Here, the Justice League is a small group of superhumans who are respected to a certain extent, but mostly feared by the general public as a potential menace who destroys any enemies they come across. I’ve always enjoyed alternate universe stories, and while this one was fascinating, I often felt like I was missing something with my limited knowledge of the extended DC Universe.
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