Superhero Slobberknocker

Posted on May 21, 2014

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Because some of these movies are indie, and some had publicity problems (cough John Carter cough), I opted for video instead of still images this week. Easier to find trailers than to find free publicity stills!

Super Capers: The Origins of Ed and the Missing Bullion (2009)

Ed Gruberman (Justin Whalin) stumbles into a mugging and rescues the woman, but then gets sued by the mugger. Fortunately the Judge (Michael Rooker) used to be the Dark Winged Vesper, a superhero, who sees a chance to take advantage of Ed.

This movie also includes Ryan McPartin (who was Captain Awesome on Chuck, and we love him), Doug Jones (who was under all that Abe Sapien makeup in the Hellboy movies), June Lockhart (Lassie, Petticoat Junction, Lost in Space), Adam West (Batman), Tom Sizemore, Clint Howard, and Tommy “Tiny” Lister.

This is absolutely a silly movie that knows it’s silly and revels in it. I’ve called out movies for not knowing what they are or how to work within their budgets, but Super Capers knows exactly what it is doing and does it well.

 

All Superheroes Must Die (2011)

A supervillain (Rickshaw, played by James Remar) captures four superheroes and forces them into a series of rigged challenges that they can’t win.

This movie is ambitious but rubbish. Give it a miss.

 

Cross (2011)

Callan (Brian Austin Green) leads a team of vigilantes against criminals too heavily armed and too ruthless for the police to stop. Meanwhile, the mastermind behind those criminals hunts the ancient artifact that gives Callan his power and a police officer hunts the vigilantes.

I really enjoyed how much everyone in this movie committed to their parts and to the ideas behind it. The recognizable cast includes Michael Clarke Duncan, Vinnie Jones, William Zabka, Danny Trejo, Robert Carradine, Tom Sizemore, Jake Busey, C. Thomas Howell, and Lori Heuring.

This is a B-grade movie, at best, but it’s also fun.

 

The Avengers (2012)

The Avengers is a flawed movie, just like The Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel. However, it’s fast-moving and exuberant. If you haven’t seen The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, or Captain America, I hope you know who those characters are – because The Avengers won’t do much to familiarize you with them.

Fortunately, you don’t need much familiarity. If you know who they are from pop culture or the comic books, that’s enough to enjoy the film.

In its way, this is an origin story. It’s the story of how the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes come together and fight an alien menace that threatens the planet.

As a comic book fan, I love it.

 

Bad Ass (2012)

This movie stars Danny Trejo as a Vietnam veteran who stands up to some thugs on a bus. Now, that’s just the beginning of the movie. There’s a whole exaggerated plot about a flash drive and political plotting, but the movie excels when Trejo’s character meditates on how the world has changed in his lifetime. It deals with aging, and trying to stay relevant in a world where history doesn’t matter. Bad Ass also touches on the illusory and fleeting nature of Internet fame.

It’s a silly movie, but I enjoyed watching it. Be aware, though, that it is very violent.

 

Dredd (2012)

In a post-apocalyptic future, the police have been replaced by judges, those who enforce the law and mete out its punishments. People live in massive complexes that are part apartment building and part shopping mall. Into one such complex strides Judge Dredd (Karl Urban), the most famous judge in the megacity. Locked in a complex by the drug gang that runs the place, Dredd and his rookie partner (Olivia Thirlby) have to fight to survive and bring justice.

I used to read the Judge Dredd comic books, and I was delighted with how much of those the movie brought to the screen. I was also thrilled with how accessible it all was. My wife enjoyed it and she was aware of the comic books but had not read them.

This movie is as brutal and gritty as the comic books, so stay away if you don’t like that sort of thing.

 

John Carter (2012)

This movie is about a Civil War officer (Taylor Kitsch) who discovers an alien artifact while fleeing Apache warriors in the Old West. The artifact transports him to Mars, known by its natives as Barsoom. In the course of his adventures, John Carter finds love and something to fight for.

This is a much better movie than you’ve heard. I strongly recommend reading John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood to understand how this movie got made, what it meant to everyone involved, and how the publicity went so terribly wrong.

Much more of a fantasy adventure movie than Bad Ass or Dredd, this movie has very little gore, sex, or bad language.

 

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Posted in: Movies