VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Superman: Unbound (2013)

Claire: 4.4/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.4/10 IMDB.

This one was still good, but it didn’t seem as good as the last movies. This wasn’t Bruce Timm’s work.

But it’s still pretty damn good, because we love us some superhero cartoons! Especially ones not made for TV.

That being said… How many times do we have to watch Superman fight off Braniac? It seems to have happened like 5 times now. I’m getting a bit tired of it.

This was still pretty solid, though.

Directed by James Tucker (5 eps of Batman Beyond, 5 eps of Static Shock, 4 eps of Legion Of Super Heroes).
Written by Bob Goodman (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns 1&2, 51 eps of Batman Beyond, 51 eps of Superman, 2 eps of The Batman, 4 eps of Justice League, 8 eps of The Zeta Project)

Matt Bomer (In Time) as Superman / Clark Kent.
Stana Katic (3 eps of 24, 2 eps of Heroes) as Lois Lane.
John Noble (The Dragon Spirit in The Last Airbender movie, 100 eps of Fringe, 3 eps of Transformers Prime, 3 eps of 24) as Brainiac.
Molly C. Quinn (105 eps of Castle, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story) as Supergirl / Kara Zor-El.
Diedrich Bader (Batman in Batman: The Brave And The Bold, Guy Gardner in The Green Lantern-TAS, Kraven The Hunter in Ultimate Spider-Man, 2 eps of Gravity Falls, 3 eps of King Of The Hill) as Steve Lombard.
Jason Beghe (X-Men: First Class, Thelma & Louise, Maid To Order) as Terrorist Leader.
Frances Conroy (the mom from Six Feet Under, The Wicker Man remake) as Ma Kent.
Melissa Disney (Blade in Batman Beyond) as Thara.
Alexander Gould (Shane Botwin from Weeds, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim) as Jimmy Olsen.
Sirena Irwin (Persephone in Striperella, 3 eps of Adventure Time, 80 eps of Spongebob Squarepants, 3 eps of Batman: The Brave And The Bold) as Alura.
Andrea Romano (voice actress casting director) as News Anchor #2 / Superman‘s Ship.
Stephen Root (Bill Dauterive in King Of The Hill, Office Space, NewsRadio, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, The Men Who Stare At Goats, Penguin in Batman: The Brave And The Bold, 4 eps of Gravity Falls, 2 eps of The Legend Of Korra, 1 ep of the new Thundercats) as Zor-El.
Wade Williams (Harvey Dent in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Part 1, Black Mask in Batman: Under The Red Hood, The Dark Knight Rises) as Perry White.
Michael-Leon Wooley (Twayne Boneraper in Ugly Americans, 2 eps of Batman: The Brave And The Bold, 1 ep of Delocated) as Ron Troupe.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2617456/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: DOCUMENTARIES: REVIEW: Superheroes (2011)

Clint: 5/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 6.2/10 IMDB.

That was pretty awesome. (For a documentary.)

Pretty goddamn motherfucking awesome. I don’t usually mention stuff I watch during dinner…. This documentary probably took us about 10 meals.

Real life super heroes! I knew they were around, but I’d never had such an insightful glimpse into the phenomenon

Carolyn’s reluctance at believing this was real astounded me, and was a hilarious source of entertainment to me. She had to look it up on HBO and such. I had thought the RLSH (real life super hero) movement had been around long enough to at least have become common knowledge in the circles I run in. Like, the spousal circle, at the very least :D

And police Lieutenant Andra Brown: What a fucking bitch! She sits on her ass in an office and complains about the people actually doing something, all too often in situations where the cops can’t even bother to show up, as was demonstrated in the movie and experienced by myself and others.

Her responses may as well have been written by a robot. Was that really the best the police could do, when confronted with people more heroic than themselves? Throw a bunch of FUD* into the equation? Pathetic.

*(Fear, uncertainty, and doubt.)

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1792621/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Superman vs. The Elite (2012) (animated)

5/5 stars, 9/10 from both of us.
Native rating is 4.0/5 stars, 7.2/10.

Pragmatism clashes with idealism in a battle that is as much about current-world 2012 politics as it is about superheroes.

When the hell did Superman become politically relevant in a post-911 world?

Among other things, Bialya == Libya, and The Elite are pretty much a direct metahpor to the post-911 way of thinking and handling criminals, while Superman represents the pre-911 way of handling criminals.

The so-called Bruce Timm-verse of animated DC comics has been an amazing thing to experience over the past 20 years, but he is only one of 4 executive producers. He didn’t get directly involved with this one, and it has a very different (incongruous to Timm’s direct productions) feel because of that. THIS IS A GOOD THING. Variety is nice.

Seeing a whole new team of superpowered individuals that I’d never heard of was pretty cool too. The character design for Managerie was awesome!

It’s hard to fail us with these animated comic movies. They are a good substitute for the three superhero cartoons we miss the most: Batman:TAS (1990s), Superman:TAS (1990s), and Justice League (2000s).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2224455/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance (2011)

3.6/5 stars, 7/10 from both of us.
5/5 stars,   8.4/10 was what we gave the first movie:
So this one’s worse.
Native rating: 3.7/5 stars, 4.6/10 (ouch) on IMDB:
So the public agrees.
Netflix’s guess for us was 3.8 which is pretty damn close.

It wasn’t as good as the first one, but it was still entertaining.

It was a very over-the-top with the comedy/Nic Cage acting. I wonder if he was still using Brian Bates’ Way Of The Wyrd (basis for Sabbat’s Dreamweaver concept album, which I wrote a 5900 word post about) as the basis of his acting. Maybe not. These are the Crank / Gamer directors now, and maybe they directed him to be more Nic-Cage-over-the-top.

Outlaw Vern, who I usually agree with, liked this better than the original:
http://outlawvern.com/2012/02/21/ghost-rider-presents-spirit-of-vengeance/
His review includes a big quote from Nic Cage about Brian Bates’s book, as well as some mentions of Vampire’s Kiss. Outlaw Vern is right about the CGI being worse. What used to be a cool transformation is now kind of comical at times.

So yeah… This was worth seeing because we love the superhero genre, but it wasn’t good as the original.
Though apparently, some liked it better!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1071875/

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Doctor Strange (2007)

Doctor Strange – The Sorcerer Supreme (2007) – 
Clint: 4/5 stars, 8/10. 
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10. 
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

Carolyn: This was a good animated Marvel movie.  I am not as familiar with Doctor Strange in the comic book realm, so it was interesting to see his origin story.  The Marvel animated movies rarely disappoint, anyway.

Clint: I have to agree. This is the type of stuff we like. This isn’t one of the best, but I suspect it’s the only feature-length Doctor Strange origin movie that’s worth watching. 

I wasn’t as wow’ed by it as Carolyn, as I’m starting to get jaded from watching so.many.movies lately. I’m starting to get to that age where you notice stories are becoming less unique: This felt like a combo of the origin stories of Batman (in Batman Begins) and Green Lantern (in terms of ancient leaders and their corrupt inner circle members), combined with the latest season of Avatar:The Legend Of Korra (in terms of demonic gods trying to break through to our realm). I should probably take a break from watching movies for a bit, to become less jaded. (But I really want to watch one tonite!)

One interesting thing: The sound mix was excellent. 

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0910865/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

Clint: 4.4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, 6.8/10 IMDB.

Hilarious, but still with a dark edge like the original. But not as dark, and seemingly not as serious.   We missed Nic Cage, though.  We wish he could have been in this.  We got Jim Carrey, though!  Carolyn didn’t recognize him until Clint pointed out who he was. Good makeup. And it’s okay if the makeup doesn’t look realistic, because that’s just comic book aesthetics. It actually opens things up for more creativity, versus the less-creative, more-common goal of making everyone look “realistic”.

But anyway… Super heroes in real life (i.e. *our* version of Earth) is an awesome genre, considering we have hundreds of known *real* costumed heroes in real life.

Written & directed by Jeff Wadlow.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson (he’s going to be Quiksilver in The Avengers: Age of Ultron) as Dave Lizewski / Kick-Ass. Hmm, I guess he didn’t end up being Cyclops in X-Men: First Class
Chloe Grace Moretz (Let Me In, The Amityville Horror, Movie 43, 1 ep of American Dad) as Mindy Macready / Hit-Girl.
Jim Carrey as Colonel Stars and Stripes.
Morris Chestnut (Ryan Nichols in the new V series, Identity Thief, 1 ep of American Dad) as Detective Marcus Williams, who is now the guardian of Hit-Girl.
Clark Duke (Hot Tub Time Machine, Kick-Ass, Sex Drive, Superbad, Clark on the last season of The Office, 5 eps of Robot Chicken) as Marty / Battle Guy.
Augustus Prew as Todd / Ass Kicker.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin from Superbad, How To Train Your Dragon, The To-Do List, This Is the End, Kick-Ass, Movie 43, Fright Night, Year One) as Chris D’Amico / The Motherfucker.
John Leguizamo (Ice Age movies, Luigi in Super Mario Brothers, uncredited in Repo Men, 1 ep of American Dad) as Javier, The Motherfucker’s butler.
Donald Faison (Bartik in TRON: Uprising, Can’t Hardly Wait, Clueless (also in the TV series), 8 eps of Robot Chicken, 3 eps of The Boondocks, 1 ep of Adventure Time, 1 ep of Titan Maximum) as Dr. Gravity.
Lyndsy Fonseca (Hot Tub Time Machine, 1 ep of Heroes, 1 ep of Malcolm In The Middle) as Katie Deauxma.
Yancy Butler (Hansel & Gretel Get Baked) as Mrs. D’Amico, The Motherfucker’s mother.
Lindy Booth (Detroit Rock City, Wrong Turn) as Night Bitch.
Benedict Wong (Prometheus, 2 eps of Look Around You) as Mr. Kim.
Andy Nyman (1 ep of Holliston where he apparently plays Axl The Cat) as The Tumor.
Garrett M. Brown (Uncle Buck) as Mr. Lizewski.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1650554/combined

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The Avengers (2012)

5/5 stars from Clint & Carolyn
4/5 stars from Eli
3/5 stars from Parthena.

10/10 from Carolyn,
9.6/10 from Clint,
8/10 from Eli,
6/10 from Parthena.

IMDB overall rating is 8.6/10, making it the 65th highest-rated movie of all time. 42% of people rate it 10/10, and only 1/6th of people rate it less than 8+/10. The median rating is 9/10.

No real need to say much about this. Everyone saw it, and it was as awesome as it promised to be. The clashing of egos was hilarious, and it was great to see this epic heroes — built up over the last 5 Marvel movies or so — finally all together on screen at once.

And of course we’ve been watching the cartoon, Avengers:Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, so we’ve been pretty immersed in these characters on a very regular basis.

Eli: “As long as it stands on the other movies I think it was awesome. That being said I could have had a bit more about Hawk. But for pulling together so many heros’ backstories I thought it did a really good job. Plus it was really funny :)”

Carolyn: “I’m leaning towards 10/10, because it had funny banter and good battles. I can’t think of a reason not to give it a 10.”

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0848228/