31 December 2009

Evolution of the Batman (and Robin) - Batman: Sub Zero

After a delay resulting from Batman and Robin fallout, Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero was released direct to video in early 1998. There were a number of parallels between this and Batman and Robin, but this animated and short (67 minutes) movie is vastly superior. Set in the continuity and style of Batman: The Animated Series, the story focused more on Robin and Batgirl and involved Mr. Freeze's great lengths taken to save his dying wife from a rare disease. Definitely worth checking out, even if its not quite as good as the Mask of the Phantasm.

Up Next: Batman Beyond

30 December 2009

Retrospective 2009 - Part 3

We have reached the culmination of our look back on 2009. If you missed them, check out Parts 1 and 2.

Green Lantern: First Flight

July brought one of the years best efforts in the form of the animated Green Lantern: First Flight DVD. It was about time that Green Lantern got his own movie and this origin story will hopefully pave the way for future entries.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

You pretty much know what to expect from a GI Joe movie. This movie is basically what you expect, though pleasantly better. Somehow with tempered expectations GI Joe ends up a more enjoyable movie than Transformers 2, even though it made a lot less. Its $150 million may not be enough to greenlight a sequel, unless of course there were ample toy sales- which there very well may have been.

Zartan, Snake Eyes, Destro, Stormshadow. They are all here.

Super Hero Squad

Marvel's Super Hero Squad debuted in September and has been a big hit. I for one can't get past the high pitched voices and manic stories, but some people love it. I think the idea is cool- throwing in pretty much the whole Marvel Universe sans Spidey- but it just a little too juvenile for me (and I still watch Super Friends).

Superman Batman: Public Enemies

Near the end of September, DC released their third DTV of the year featuring everyone's favorite team-up. This movie was a pretty straight forward adaptation of the Superman Batman comic book issues #1-6. Though not as good as Wonder Woman or the Green Lantern movies, this was still a solid entry, providing one more take on Power Suit Luthor.

Much like Hulk VS, this movie was made up of a bunch of showdowns. Batman and Superman took on Hawkman, Captain Marvel, DC's ice-themed villains, Major Force, Black Lightning, Captain Atom, Solomon Grundy, and a bunch of other costumed "supers."

Of course, during the year a number of other superhero TV series continued to air.

On Smallville, Clark Kent took on Doomsday in the season 8 finale. In season 9, Major Zod and Metallo have become new threats. In the meantime, Clark has teamed up with the Wonder Twins and will meet the JLA early next year.

Highlights of the team-up series Batman: The Brave and the Bold, saw Batman teaming with the Boy Wonder, The Joker, Bat-Mite, and Aquaman to take on such epic threats as Owl Man, Crazy Quilt, and of course the Music Meister.

The fantastic series Spectacular Spider-Man ended its second season (which sadly due to business related decisions may be the final season) with the identity of the Green Goblin being revealed. Hopefully there will eventually be a season 3 since this is pretty much the definitive Spider-Man series with so many stories yet to tell.

On other channels... Heroes continued to air, writing plenty of new twists for Sylar and killing characters on screen months before they were revealed to be dead. It seems Heroes days are numbered in spite of an overall improvement in the quality of season 4. Wolverine and the X-Men also continued to air on the elusive Nicktoons channel, though I will be waiting to catch the show on DVD.

And that my friends was 2009 in a nutshell. Superheroes continued to be prolific and 2010 doesn't look to slow down.

29 December 2009

X-Men: Beyond Good and Evil (1995) - Film Capsule

Heroes: The X-Men (including with Cable and Bishop)

Villains: Apocalypse, Magneto, and Mr. Sinister

Diabolical Scheme: Apocalypse wanted to simultaneously kill a bunch of psychics to reshape time for his own purposes.

Coolest Moment(s): The Magneto Wolverine team-up at the end was nice. It was also good to see Angel and Psylocke in on the action.

Worst Moment: Cables son was a major wuss and the time stream custodian / inventor AKA Bender AKA Immortus in disguise was one of the most annoying characters ever and a major detractor from the story.

Review in 50 Words or Less: Apocalypse finally got his big story in an event that probably could have been told in fewer episodes. Even still, it was jam packed with X-Men and villains and plenty of smack downs. Too bad Bishop was so poorly used; his stories are usually my favorites.