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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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Lego Justice League vs. Bizarro League

Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League 2015

Starting my unintentional batch of superhero movies intended for younger audiences with the latest home video Lego movie release. There’s been a small handful of these Lego home video releases, though many of them are extremely short. Even this one clocks in at just under an hour. If you’re familiar with the Lego brand of entertainment outside of just the Lego movie then you know that it is generally filled with a large number of rapid fire gags and jokes and Bizarro League is no different. It is a bit of a misnomer though, as the entire “vs” aspect of the movie is over within just a few minutes and instead the two groups spend most of their time working together to fight Darkseid. It’s by no means a great film that you should go seek out immediately, but if you have kids of your own, this is a great way to spend an hour together and I bet you will spend quite a bit of it laughing your minifig head off. There’s even a bit of a message buried under all the laughs.
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Justice League: Throne of Atlantis

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis 2015

And right onto the first new release of the year. This seems like it’s one of the first follow ups in the DC Animation home video releases as it almost directly follows last year’s Justice League: War. Even though Son of Batman was also part of DC’s New 52 continuity, that movie felt much more self-contained where this really felt like a sequel, especially when I did revisit War shortly before watching Throne of Atlantis. While Aquaman is often the butt of many jokes, he is actually a popular and powerful member of the Justice League and long since deserving of his own movie. There are a few jokes tossed at the king of the sea’s expense, but for the most part it’s a typical origin story with a very similar tone and feel to War, with a few of the same voice cast returning along with some new and familiar voices like Rosario Dawson who got upgraded from Artemis in the Wonder Woman movie to Wonder Woman herself, and Nathan Fillion returning to voice Green Lantern. I thought it was a decent sequel to War, but if there’s one aspect of superhero movies I have had my fill of, it’s origin stories and this didn’t really do anything different or interesting to set it apart from any of the dozens of other origin stories I’ve seen already.
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Filmwhys #33 The Graduate and All-Star Superman

Episode 33 of the Why Haven’t You Seen This Film Podcast where my guest is Bruce Leslie from the Heroes and Villains Podcast and the Hero Movie Podcast who asks me why I haven’t seen the Graduate, the classic comedy that gave Dustin Hoffman his breakout role and made the name Mrs. Robinson famous. And in return, I ask him why he hasn’t seen All-Star Superman, the DC Animation adaptation from a well known comic book story arc about Superman’s last days on Earth from writer Grant Morrison.
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100 Essential Superhero Movies – The Superman Movies

I decided that I wanted to make a list of 100 superhero movies that I thought were the essentials, the ones that everyone needs to see at one point in time if they want to be a fully fledged superhero movie afficionado, and while I am having guest bloggers this month help me fill out the list, there are many much more obvious choices that were easy to make and I’m here to share some of those with you now starting with the biggest superhero out there, the one that probably most people know of no matter what country they are in, and that of course is Superman. He’s been the star of many different movies through the years and while I haven’t selected every single one of them, I have picked most of them for one reason or another.
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