24 July 2009

Holy News Batman

Batman 3 is coming. Gary Oldman revealed at Comic Con that Batman 3 shoots in 2010 and will be released in 2 years (2012?). I think this is news we can all get excited about.

23 July 2009

Hex Poster Fails to Dazzle

Sure Marvel has Hulk, Iron Man, X-Men, Spider-Man, Thor, Captain America, and Avengers movies in the works, but take a look at what DC is working on...

I hope this poster is not the beginning of a horrible marketing campaign for Jonah Hex because it looks like an ad for a soon to be canceled show and the now defunct WB network. You guys can do better. By the way, where is Superman?

The Justice League: A Super Friendly Tour (Part 12)

Justice League Unlimited on Batman Beyond

In 2000, the Justice League reunited once again in a two-part episode of Batman Beyond titled The Call.

One catch, because the series was set in the future, your typical Leaguers couldn't be used. This incarnation, dubbed the Justice League Unlimited consisted of Superman, Micron ( a flying Atom type), Big Barda (one of the New Gods), Warhawk (Hawkman with metal wings), a Green Lantern kid, and Aquagirl (daughter of Aquaman). Through the course of the episode, Batman joins the League.

These episodes served as a test run for a Justice League series which later came into being. Member of this future League joined by Static Shock would reappear as guest stars in the Justice League Unlimited series episode The Once and Future Thing: Time Warped.

Availability: On DVD

Up Next: Justice League

22 July 2009

Retrospective 1980

Superman II

Although Superman II was released in the summer of 1981 in these United States, it debuted overseas in 1980 and considering how sparse the rest of 1980 was, Supes it getting his highlight in this 1980 edition. The movie was a near disaster. Initially being filmed at the same time as Superman 1, the movie was put on the back burner to finish the first pic. In the meantime, in spite of the huge success of the original, the producers sought to cut costs. The director was replaced, and some of the actors ceased participation. Many scenes were reshot to legitimize the new director's title and the film was released.

General Zod and his crew were a viable threat for the Man of Steel. They easily stole the show from Lex Luthor and gave audiences a reason to cheer for dude that is practically perfect in every way. The movie had an interesting story as well with Superman deciding if he really wanted to be a the hero (a model for the also popular Spider-Man 2 perhaps?). The fight on the Streets of Metropolis was high stakes and my vote for the best Superhero fight on film. "Kneel Before Zod" is an all-time great movie line and seeing Zod bested is a delight every time. So in spite of some flaws, it really was great villains and action that made this movie. And let me restate, Superman threw actual punches! Sure he did in Superman 3 and 4 as well, but the problems in those films go far beyond anything salvageable. Imagine Superman Returns with a General Zod. Box office gold.

Although it wasn't as big a hit as Superman 1, this film earned $108 million equal to nearly $300 million in today's dollars. As it stands, Superman 2 is the best Superman film out there.

Hero at Large

Also in 1980 was a lighthearted little film called Hero at Large. Though this wasn't truly a superhero movie, it was about a made up superhero, Captain Avenger. The film is set in the real world, and essentially concerns Steve Nichols, a hard up for work actor disguised as Captain Avenger to promote the Captain Avenger movie, who foils a real life robbery. There is much public interest in this real life superhero which the New York Mayor's public relations team hopes to cash in on by staging crimes to be busted up by the "hero at large" to build public good will and earn the mayor a reelection.

They don't make feel good movies like this anymore, though I wouldn't be surprised in today's supersaturated comic book market to see a remake, maybe staring Steve Carell (not that I am lobbying for it).

Along with the continued airings of Super Friends and The Plastic Man Family and Baby Plas which began the year prior was what graced the screens in 1980.

20 July 2009

Hero at Large - Film Capsule (1980)

Heroes: Steve Nichols in the guise of Captain Avenger

Villains: The New York City Mayor's PR team

Diabolical Scheme: After Steve, disguised as Captain Avenger to promote the Captain Avenger movie, foils a real life robbery, the New York Mayor's PR team wants to recruit Steve to bust up staged crimes and receive a key to the city to boost the Mayor's popularity during election time.

Coolest Moment(s): Seeing Steve regain his reputation by braving a building fire.

Worst Moment: Steve's girlfriend is a real B.

Comic Book Logic
: There was no way the staged crime would ever be considered by anyone as believable. No one ever really believed he had super powers, so why would he be hanging out outside a moving train to bust up a mugging?

Opening Weekend: $1,850,725

Total Domestic Box Office: $15,934,737

Review in 50 Words or Less: It would be easy to believe a film with this exact premise could be released today, though the product would lack all of the charm and feel-good innocence of the 1980s. Not much big budget action or any special effects, but John Ritter is just so darned likable.