FILMS - Superheros
Some Superheros - some nearly Superheros but I'm counting them anyway - Please let me know if i've missed any out!
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|SirPant's Rating||My Rating|
Superman 1978, PG)
Superman is by far the best Superhero movie of all time. Sure the new Batman films are excellent but they're not a touch on Donner's classic. Reeve is the quintessential Superman, even though he the 3rd (or is it 4th?) person to play him. I just can't express how much I adore this film, it has been my favourite since childhood and I must have watched it over 100 times. I love everything about it and can find no faults with it. Brilliant!
Superman II 1981, PG)
Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut 2006, PG)
Superman III 1983, PG)
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace 1987, PG)
Superman Returns 2006, PG-13)
I hate this film, I don't know what gave Bryan Singer the audacity to sat 'Forget the last 2 films, I've got a better idea'. How dare he! Start again, you wont be able to top the first film but put your own mark on it! Its just so painfully crap, Singer is very overrated and the actors all do a pretty lousy job with their characters (apart from Spacey who is the only saving grace). My biggest problem with it is the storyline. Suddenly a whole continent of Kryptonite can't stop Superman ever though a pebble of the stuff nearly kills him. Don't get me started on the whole 'Superboy' scene. At least Superman fans are united in condemning it, I just hope it has not killed Superman's chances in the future. I'm watching Smallville from now on!
Man of Steel 2013, PG-13)
The original 1978 Superman film is my favourite film of all time. It's the film that made me into the film obsessive I am today. I'm not just a fan of the film though, I am a collector of Superman comics and TV series. To look at the 1978 films and the 3 sequels in a critical and technical way is pretty tough for me to do, that old lady called nostalgia will always tell me those films are brilliant no matter how good or bad they really are. Superman Returns was awful - see my review for why I think that. It was time for a change and I welcomed a new beginning and quite looked forward to one. They took various ideas from contemporary Superman graphic novels but without using one directly which I thought was a great idea. The casting was great, Henry Cavill did well and I thought Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner were brilliant as the two fathers. I expected more from Michael Shannon if I'm being honest and I'm afraid I don't really see anything special about Amy Adams. She, I'm afraid to say, was totally wrong for the part. I also didn't like this version of Lois Lane, they got it totally wrong in every way in my opinion and I found her (and the fact she'd just pop up out of nowhere, sometimes even though she was 50 miles away in the last scene) annoying. I was also surprised by the inclusion of all the spaceships. Fights and spaceships. That, I'm afraid wasn't really Superman for me. Maybe in some of the comics but I thought it was too much on screen. Apart from those few things I found no fault with it other than it didn't quite feel like Superman. The absence of Clark Kent was probably the biggest reason why but as we saw towards the end, this will be rectified in the sequel. The blink and you'll miss it Lex Luther reference also makes me think that now that they have got the origins out the way, the real return of Superman can begin, albeit in 3 years time.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 2016, Unrated)
Superman 1948, Unrated)
Fifteen glorious 17min serials, I can only imagine how excited young boys of the 1940s would have been to go see each weekly instalment. The acting is crummy, the effects pretty bad, most of the action scenes are repeated again and again, the story makes no sense, the props are the same in every shot, you can see the reflection of the camera man, you can see the shadow of the boom stick, Superman looks directly into the camera when he changes, I could go on and on about the problems with this series but it would take a whole lot longer to tell you why I love it so much. Might be quicker to just watch it for yourselves. You can quite clearly see Richard Donner was a fan and where he got a lot of his ideas from. I'm so grateful that this is available on DVD and has been reproduced so well. The Spider Lady was quite the vixen, she could definitely be updated and brought back for the new films. A must for Super fans!
Atom Man vs. Superman 1950, Unrated)
The second Superman mini-series is just as cheesy as the first, nothing much is new as far as the characters, pace, story etc is concerned but it does feel like Kirk Alyn has toned it down a bit, maybe a sign he didn't want to do it again quite early on. Noel Neill and Tommy Bond are still on form as annoying sidekicks though. The only thing that puts this series slightly higher than the first is the introduction of Lex Luthor (Atom man) played rather well by Lyle Talbot. The repeat of old footage does get annoying but it's B-movie making at its best.
Superman and the Mole-Men 1951, Unrated)
Obviously Superman fans and fans of the old Cinema reel series are going to love this but others may be disappointed. The Mole-men (although they are only ever referred to as the 'strange creatures') aren't exactly Superman's biggest foe (excuse the pun). This tale is more about acceptance and understanding over violence, which to be fair has always been Superman's biggest opponent. Dated for sure, but a great short film. Phyllis Coates was a great Lois Lane, I think I preferred her to Noel Neil if I'm being honest.
Supergirl 1984, PG)
Batman 1989, PG-13)
Batman Returns 1992, PG-13)
I think Batman returns is a little bit better than Burton's first Batman movie, although Batman seems to take a back seat, the Penguin and Catwoman are far more interesting, possibly Burton's only flaw in the franchise and thankfully, one Nolan hasn't repeated. For me though, it's Walken who steals the show in this one!
Batman Forever 1995, PG-13)
Batman & Robin 1997, PG-13)
Batman Begins 2005, PG-13)
The Dark Knight 2008, PG-13)
A fantastic sequel that is better than the first! Believe the hype! Bale, Ledger, Caine, Gyllenhaal & Freeman are fantastic but for me Oldman & Eckhart steal the show! The Joker was a much anticipated villain and fantastically executed by Ledger but the Harvey Dent story line is the one that really got my heart beat going. The evolution of the Batman story goes from strength to strength. Nolan knows what he's doing, thank God, his political statements (The patriot act) are handled well too, raising debate without bias. This is the best Superhero/Comic adaptation since 1978's Superman! Fantastic! I can't wait until the next instalment but I'm puzzled about how the Joker character is going to continue without Ledger.
The Dark Knight Rises 2012, PG-13)
*Spoilers* It's pretty much faultless. It's the perfect way to leave it for now, Nolan has been completely unselfish unlike his predecessors and has left the story open wide for who ever takes over to continue the story. I think it's safe to say that people like myself who are into the comics and understand the different threads of the Batman universe are pleased with this conclusion, this Batman isn't really for kids and neither is this film. I like so much of what he's done here, I even liked Anne Hathaway as Catwomen! I especially liked the fact she wasn't a ridiculous character, she's very much a Frank Miller version of Catwoman although she is never referenced as such which I thought was also a great move.I don't want to spoil the story for anyone so I will just say Joseph Gordon-Levitt was brilliant and I'm glad he was in it, Tom Hardy was good although his Sean Connery/Darth Vader voice made me laugh and all other supporting cast where on good form. i liked the Ra's Al Ghul connection, the Dr. Jonathan Crane cameo and most of all, I liked the fact this was a Batman film. The last film was The Joker movie, nothing wrong with that, the Joker is as big as Batman with the fan-base but it didn't make it a 100% bat film unlike this episode. I'd love another one from Nolan but it's always best to quite while you're ahead but the good news is it doesn't look like it's the last we hear of the Dark Knight and that's a good thing.
The Batman (An Evening with Batman and Robin) 1943, Unrated)
An interesting historical piece of Propaganda from the 1940's but not really Batman at his best. In fact Batman is a bit of an arse in this mini-series film and he gets knocked out an awful lot to the point where you have to ask 'Is he really a Superhero'? Oh, and it's pretty racist too. Apart from that it's quite good fun, the cliffhangers are often quite good if not over the top silly. The 'Gangster' scenes are pretty good too, I liked it a lot when Bruce Wayne played his other alter-ego, the big nosed 'hoodlum for hire'. Alfred is a bit crap in this version too and the Bat-mobile and Bat-cave a little dodgy. The original Superman film had worse acting but far more charm and also benefited greatly from an origin story. I do love these old Mini-series though.
Batman and Robin 1949, Unrated)
Batman: The Movie 1966, PG)
Batman - Return to the Batcave 2005, G)
The Wild World of Batwoman (She Was a Hippy Vampire) 1966, Unrated)
Strange and relatively painful 'Beat' film that has absolutely nothing to do with Batman. There is lots of dancing, more dancing than there is crime fighting, although never without the 'Magic soup'. It really isn't as good as it sounds but it is so bad it's good although only just. I suggest giving the Mystery Science Theater 3000 a go, it makes it just that little more bearable in places and I like the Crow.
Catwoman 2004, PG-13)
Catwoman is a sultry, sexy and above all cool character...except in this film. It is as awful as everyone says it is. I wonder how much screen time the real Halle Berry actually has because most of the film seems to be of a poorly animated bobble-headed cartoon of her. Compare it to Nolan's Batman films and obviously it fails miserably, compare it to a piece of rotting cat food and still it doesn't compete! Avoid, even and especially if your a Batman fan!
Spider-Man 2002, PG-13)
Spider-Man 2 2004, PG-13)
Spider-man 2, I feel, was much better than the first. Alfred Molina was a fantastic Dr. Octopus and the story progressed quite nicely. It also stuck close to the comic which was appreciated by us comic fans (Who knew quite quickly, and got over the fact quite quickly, that the film was never going to live up to what we'd hoped for).
Spider-Man 3 2007, PG-13)
After the fairly decent Spider-man 2, I had high hopes for this film, especially when the villains were announced and the fantastic looking poster/Trailers were released. Unfortunately, it turned out to be all gas and no fire, and possibly the biggest disappointment in the last 10 years of cinema. I did like this Bruce Campbell cameo though!
The Amazing Spider-Man 2012, PG-13)
I thought Marc Webb's version of Spiderman brought a lot to the story that was lacking in Raimi's version but I also think Raimi's version better represented the character of Peter Parker. They are pretty much equal because they are pretty much the same film. Thus, Raimi's version is better because it was the original, Webb's version is already a bit tired and feels like a bit of a cash in, neither have got it spot on in my opinion. It also slumps in the middle massively, and the beginning of the film takes ages to get going but the transformation sequence happens within minutes. Overall I was disappointed, Killer Croc was a bit of a disappointment too, everyone has their favourite Spiderman baddie (mine is Mysterio) but I thought he looked a bit rubbish. He also didn't wear his lab coat long enough. Andrew Garfield has yet to convince me either. More action in the 2nd film please, I guess it can only get better.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 2014, PG-13)
The Amazing Spider-Man 3 2016, Unrated)
The Amazing Spider-Man 1977, Unrated)
The theme of mind power techniques was quite prominent in most of the episodes of the short lived Spider-man series starring Nicholas Hammond. The origins of Spider-man aren't explored particularly well here and Peter Parker is more of a scientist than a news paper photographer but the special effects are pretty good considering the low budget and era. I think Nicholas Hammond was a pretty decent Peter Parker too although he looked more like a children's entertainer that had just soiled his costume when in Spider-man mode. It's not very good but I love it, old American 70s/80s TV shows are awesome.
Spiderman: The Deadly Dust 1978, Unrated)
The deadly dust is by far the better of the two films compiled from the original series. I think replacing David White with Robert F. Simon was a big mistake but Chip Fields and Robert Alda more than made up for it in their respective roles. Mr. White is an excellent bad guy, would have been nice to see more of him.
Thor 2011, PG-13)
I was a big fan of the Thor comics when I was younger, before I discovered 2000AD. It's because I'm so familiar with the comics that I can appreciate that this was never going to be able to be the new Batman. That's the thing with the Avengers films, the comics are a bit crap. Ironman did so well because the comics were improved on in the film - something that most superhero films born from comic characters fail to do. Seriously, who read the Ironman comics? Thor had a little bit more to prove as he has a bigger fan base; he is a great character but with a very difficult story as far as tying in with the other characters/films. Based on that criteria, they did well. It also warranted the humour it contained but I can see why some didn't favour it. The problem is that the story is so simple, there really isn't anything to grab you. The acting was pretty good, Chris Hemsworth was perfect casting as Thor but for me Portman grated a little. I'm not sure all the CGI suited Kenneth Branagh's directing style either and as for the editing, it's very obvious that a lot made it to the cutting room floor as to much of what we don't see is referenced. Thor - directors cut anyone? Anyway, it did the job and set the scene. It was entertaining enough and I'm sure the second one will be better. Captain America and the Avengers had better be good though because to be brutally honest, this should have been better considering all the hype!
Thor: The Dark World 2013, PG-13)
Thor: The Dark World improves on the original vastly, as it needed to do. I still don't like Natalie Portman's character much but I can live with it. Apart from there not being enough Jaimie 'Should have been cast as Wonder Woman' Alexander screen time, it was pretty much spot on. The character has really captured the essence of the comic and has improved on it. The final showdown was intelligent and breathtaking, not since the grand finale of Superman 2 have I been more thrilled at the end of a Superhero film. Marvel really are on a roll, I'm a DC man myself and I'm hoping my team will sort themselves out and give them a run for their money (but out of passion rather than financial one-upmanship. Loved that Cameo!
Iron Man 2008, PG-13)
This is a pretty good comic book movie. Much better than a lot of the crap that's been made from comic/video game franchises. I can almost forgive Mr. Favreau for Daredevil now! One thing though, film makers, please warn us if there is something at the end of the credits! That was a very nice surprise!!
Iron Man 2 2010, PG-13)
'If it ain't broke don't fix it' seems to be the motto here but unfortunately I wanted a little more or should I say, a little less. There were too many sub-plots going on here and as much as I'm looking forward to The Avengers, i found this to be more of a franchise set-up than the sequel Iron Man deserved. I hate it when an actor is changed too, although I did like the way Don Cheadle was introduced to the film. I also really liked seeing Iron Man drunk. Not as good as the first but then again, are they ever? This is still a very entertaining film that does exactly what it sets out to do. Bring on Thor!!!!
Iron Man 3 2013, PG-13)
*This review may contain spoilers* Handing over Iron Man to Shane Black was a good move. The Batman films have forced the Superhero film to grow up somewhat, The Avengers took it that bit further and found the perfect balance and the rest is history. Iron Man 3 is a grown up Superhero film that some might find hard to adjust to. Tony Stark the Movie might have been a better title but then when you have Robert Downey Jr. as your lead, you don't want to see just 5 minutes of him and then a whole load of CGI. I have to say though there were elements I didn't care for, the whole 'Starting again' story-line I thought was a bit tired and also the inclusion of a Child just for the sake of it (or to appeal to a younger audience - like they're not already interested). Mostly though I found it to be a breath or fresh air. Keeping the action to a minimum and then including all of the Iron Men in one big fight was a brilliant idea. Saving the falling people was also pretty cool, as was Iron Potts. Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall provided some excellent supporting characters with Kingsley just edging ahead and nearly stealing the show. I really hope we see more of him, I'm sure we will. The big question is What happens now? Is Iron Man just going to be in the Avengers now or will he get another film, it is hard to see where he can go from here.
Captain America: The First Avenger 2011, PG-13)
I'm more of a DC nerd to be honest but I'm really enjoying the build up to the Avengers film (although I bet the individual films turn out to be better). The Hulk was good, Iron Man was very good, Thor was good and now Captain America is good. Not great, but still pretty good. They have kept pretty faithful to the origins too, something film makers often get wrong. The cast were good too - although I guess the Fantastic 4/Avengers cross-over film has been ruled out due to the casting of Chris Evens?. It's an all round does-exactly-what-it-says-on-the-tin action adventure superhero film - innocent fun, entertaining enough - will never match the new Batman films or the old Superman films but then nothing ever will in my mind. As long as they keep on trying I'll be happy.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier 2014, PG-13)
Captain America has never been a comic book character that has ever really appealed to me. This is because I'm not American. I'm not anti-America, I just wonder how many American boys read Captain Britain? And yes, Captain Britain does exist, he is even a member of The Avengers but I'm not going into that now. It is fair to say that Captain America was always going to have less global success than the other Marvel Avengers. Marvel know this and so they upped the game accordingly. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is more a Nick Fury/Black Widow/Captain America film to be fair as the other two Avengers get just as much screen time but it works to the film's advantage. If you're one of the few people who are watching Marvel's TV series Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D then your enjoyment will be even more enhanced. It's rare that a franchise actually gets better with each film but that is exactly what is happening here and long may it continue. The Winter Soldier is action packed but it does stop occasionally for intelligent story telling, strong performances and interesting ideas. Superhero films aren't supposed to be this good, thank you Chris Nolan! Favorite scene: Jenny Agutter kicking ass!
Captain America 1990, PG-13)
Captain America 1979, Unrated)
Captain America II: Death Too Soon 1979, Unrated)
Captain America 1944, Unrated)
Hulk 2003, PG-13)
The Incredible Hulk 2008, PG-13)
The Incredible Hulk 1977, Unrated)
The Incredible Hulk Returns 1988, Unrated)
The Trial of the Incredible Hulk 1989, Unrated)
The Death of the Incredible Hulk 1990, Unrated)
Nick Fury: Agent of Shield 1998, Unrated)
Marvel's The Avengers 2012, PG-13)
I have to say I was impressed with The Avengers. I honestly thought they were setting themselves up for failure but hiring Joss Whedon was the best decision they could have made. He adds depth to the characters, keeps with the comics and injects just enough of the right humour to make this film work well. Everyone gets their fair share too, including Hawkeye and Black Widow who could have been side-lined. They also got the Avenging part right, how could they be avengers without having something to avenge. Spot on. This one was good but I have a feeling the next one is going to be better and I for one can't wait. Finally, good superhero films that live up to the hype! Please let next years Superman be this good!
The Avengers: Age of Ultron 2015, Unrated)
Guardians of the Galaxy 2014, PG-13)
It is fair to say Marvel have gone from strength to strength in the last few years. They realised, after years of making mediocre to just plain dreadful films, that maybe they needed people with new ideas that have actually read a comic to come up with some ideas. Quite simple really when you think about it. Iron Man was an easy character to bring to life, get a good actor and you're halfway there. The same applied for the other Avengers but what of Marvel's lesser known comics, or at least lesser know to non-comic book readers? The Guardians of the Galaxy not only have a large fan-base but they are, and have been associated with the Avengers for quite some time. This is why this film is Marvel's biggest risk so far and it's also fair to say it's their biggest success because of it. It is beautiful to see the producers, who have said for years "People won't accept a film with a walking Tree and a Gun-totting Raccoon in it" proven incorrect by the public and talented film makers alike. Seriously, what's not to love about a walking, talking (and dancing) tree? The story is brilliant and the casting of lesser known actors with big name voices works very well. The whole package is good from start to finish, it's fresh mix of chaos and irreverence is just what the Superhero/Comic book genre needed, hell it's just like it is in the comics and that's a first for a comic adaption! Hats off to Marvel on this one, and that post-credits one shot, wow!
X-Men 2000, PG-13)
X2: X-Men United 2003, PG-13)
X-Men: The Last Stand 2006, PG-13)
After Singer left the franchise in the lurch it was all downhill (Superman was shit by the way). Brett Ratner didn't do too badly but the biggest crime was to kill off some of the much loved characters. X4 looks unlikely, which is a shame because after X2 I was getting quite excited about the whole thing. never mind, I'll get over it!
X-Men Origins - Wolverine 2009, PG-13)
I think this was a wasted opportunity. The film flashed past the interesting bits in the opening credits, it would have been great to have seen a little more of the brothers at war and then to see more of the special team of mutants on a few more missions. There was a trilogy here but now there isn't even enough for a sequel. Gambit, my favourite of the comics, was also a let down. There were a few nice surprises though and Hugh Jackman is always a joy to watch, not bad but should have been much better! 9The SFX were for the best part quite good but the scene were he's looking in the old folks mirror is truly awful!) They can't mess up on the story of Magneto though, that has to be done well!!!
The Wolverine 2013, PG-13)
The Wolverine is clever in that it continues on from where X-Men: The Last Stand left off and although it doesn't ever say X-Men origins: Wolverine didn't happen, it chooses to forget about it. A reboot without actually having to reboot if you like, an opportunity so that they could forget about the less than adequate first solo-outing and make a really good film worthy of the character. Unfortunately this isn't the case. It's painfully predictable and makes the first film look like a masterpiece. It's woefully dull, charmless and forgettable. The big Robot Samurai ending is a particular kick in the teeth for Wolverine fans, Marvel is doing well with its other films, why can't it get it's most popular character right?
X-Men: First Class 2011, PG-13)
As an origin movie X-Men: First Class is pretty impressive. Apart from a couple of factual errors regarding dates, it's pretty solid. I liked the fact that they didn't get ahead of time with their technology, it was very fitting with the classic comics of the time. There was also an element of tongue in cheek about it that I think only an Englishmen could deliver, I think it worked rather well here when more than often it doesn't. The cast is ace, McAvoy and Fassbender are brilliant, the only bit of re-casting I would do would be to replace January Jones but only because I can't stand her and the character of Emma Frost deserved better. Twenty something Beast was a bit of a let down too, he looked like one of the monsters that would always be in the back ground in The Muppet Show. Also, and I'm a full on comic nerd so bare with me, if Magneto and Mystique know where the X-Men base is having trained there, how do they spend the best part of the first and second films looking for it? I'm sure all will become clear in the many sequels this films deserves. If you really have to re-boot a franchise, this is how you do it!
X-Men: Days of Future Past 2014, PG-13)
Fantastic Four 2005, PG-13)
The Fantastic Four 2015, Unrated)
The Fantastic Four 1994, PG)
Apart from the advance of special effects, the new films and the 1994 film are equal. Equally bad. To be fair to the 1994 version though, they weren't really trying. It was a legal thing, they had to make the film to retain the rights, so it goes. Roger Gorman is a genius though, he makes not a lot of money go a very long way. The Thing is quite good and Mr. Fantastic's stretching scenes are worth watching the film for alone. The last scene where he waves goodbye to his wedding guests had me in stitches. It's awful but charming, which is more than can be said for the new ones. Maybe I've been a bit harsh on the 2005 version on retrospect but overall, the Four deserve better.
Blade 1998, R)
Blade II 2002, R)
Blade: Trinity 2004, R)
The Crow 1994, R)
The Crow: City of Angels 1996, R)
The Crow - Salvation 2000, R)
The Crow - Wicked Prayer 2005, R)
Darkman 1990, R)
Probably my favorite 'alternative' superhero movie so far. It's Sam Raimi back when he was allowed to do his own thing, Batman mixed with The Phantom of the Opera in a noir comic book style, a cult classic. I love it. Like Evil Dead and Crimewave, Raimi does horror/thriller/action with a brilliant undercurrent of humour like no other director. It's cheesy and it's fun, not really what you expect from a horror/thriller but it's thoroughly entertaining and saddens me that films like this aren't made anymore. I'd watch this over Spiderman any day! Only gripe - not enough Bruce Campbell!
Darkman II - The Return of Durant 1994, R)
I really wanted to like the sequel as I loved the original but I can't kid myself, this was bloody awful. There isn't even the slightest hint of what made the original great here, Bradford May's direction is shoddy, he tried to imitate Sam Rami's style of film making but was too lazy to see it through and just used a 7 second 'rage montage' recapping the anger felt by Darkman from footage from the original film. Rubbish and pointless. Why doesn't Darkman just get a skin graft? They did have skin grafts in 1995. Huge waste of time and money.
Darkman III - Die Darkman Die 1995, R)
I didn't think it could get any worse than Darkman II but I was wrong. For a Doctor, he's isn't very clever, just get a skin graft dude! The bad guys are pretty bad here, 1996 was pretty late in the day for the big-suited, shoulder-padded pony-tailed villain, no? Again, Bradford May relies on old stock footage from the first film and decides to shoot before actually writing a script. It's terribly dull and a shadow of the original.
Ghost Rider 2007, PG-13)
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance 2012, PG-13)
Mark Steven Johnson was an odd choice of director for the first Ghost Rider, I suppose Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor were more obvious choices but they've not come a long way since Crank, they now seem to be the go to guys for 'in your face effects at the expensive of any real substance'. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is a better film than the first due to its better effects and darker character. The skull looks better. The story is however and 50/50 balance of ridiculous and dull. Dare I say it, the first film had more going for it story-wise. The only bits of this film I really enjoyed were the comedy moments but then I'm not sure they were intentional. The ending got so stupid and confusing that I just didn't care anymore and I wanted it to end. One star for effects.
Hellboy 2004, PG-13)
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Hellboy 2) 2008, PG-13)
There was something not quite right with Hellboy 2. I can't put my finger on it, I can't seem to find any fault, it just didn't feel right, a little disjointed perhaps. That said, I loved the end scene and the creatures etc. Having been a fan of the comics for many years, I can say that it's a brilliant adaptation, I guess I just didn't enjoy it as much as the first!
The Punisher 2004, R)
The Punisher isn't all that bad but it isn't great. As an avid comic fan I have to say Punisher was one of my least favourite characters. The cast are pretty good here but ultimately wasted, it was a pleasure to see Roy Scheider as Daddy Punisher but I'm just not sure it was worth the five seconds he was in it for. The story is based on the original story of how Frank Castle became the Punisher but it is full of holes, there are hints of great ideas (Harry Heck was ace but again, only in it for 5 seconds) but there are just too many awful ideas. Why was so much time spent with his stupid neighbours? Should have been a lot better but it could have been worse. I'm not to bothered though as I said, I was never a big fan in the first place and it was entertaining enough for a bit of silly action.
Punisher: War Zone 2008, R)
Wait a minute, the original Punisher was a cheesy 80's action film that had little to do with the comics, the remake had a big name cast but a terrible story and again, had little to do with the comic. Punisher:War Zone, the sequel to the remake should be worst of all right? Well, it's not. Not at all in fact. It's got the story right, it's got the feel right. Ray Stevenson is a believable Frank Castle. Wayne Knight looks just like Microchip! (It's also great to see him in film again). Dash Mihok is Martin Soap, Doug Hutchison is great as Loony Bin Jim but it is Dominic West who steals the show as Jigsaw. He relishes the the opportunity and the freedom that wearing a mask can give you. The film is action packed and quite violent and gory, just like the comics. It's a pretty good adaptation and I'm sure hard core fans must be happy. I thought it ticked all the boxes for what it is and then some. More please.
The Punisher 1989, R)
The Original Punisher film is a cheesy 80's action film, who would have thought with Dolph Lundgren in the lead role! Lundgren is Frank Castle, a cop gone rouge, how can you tell he's bad-ass? He's got stubble on his earlobes, that's how! It's the 80's, cue rock-synth music, a grunting muscleman, Jeroen Krabbé being villainous, Louis Gossett Jr. being cool, comedy side-kick (Barry Otto in a very curious role), Yakuza's in suits, in depth explanations of what Yakuza means, etc etc. It's love and hate really, I love the cheese but hate the adaption.
Spawn 1997, PG-13)
Spawn 2 2010, PG-13)
Spawn 3: The Ultimate Battle 1999, Unrated)
Abar: The First Black Superman 1977, R)
Adventures of Captain Marvel 1941, Unrated)
The Adventures of Food Boy 2008, PG)
Ant-Man 2015, Unrated)
Astro Boy (AstroBoy) 2009, PG)
For everything I liked about Astro Boy there were three things I didn't. I hated the choice of voice casting and the story was pretty horrible when you break it down, it's like Pinocchio but without the charm (and with Child death which never goes down well in cartoons). The animation was very nice though and you could still see its Manga roots - albeit only just. Not good enough to warrant a sequel though, not by a long shot.
Black Scorpion 1995, R)
Black Scorpion Returns 2001, PG-13)
Sting of the Black Scorpion 2002, R)
Blankman 1994, PG-13)
Bolt 2008, PG)
I absolutely adored Bolt. It's one of the few animated features I've seen lately that can actually boast the cliched line 'A film the whole family can enjoy'. It's not particularly predictable either, which is often the flaw of these films. The animation, story, script, voice talent and physical comedy are all very well done. It is one of the few really touching animated films out there, in fact only Toy Story 3 and Up have made me well up before this. I thoroughly love it, I'm perplexed as to why it isn't that popular!?
Catalina: A New Kind of Superhero 2009, Unrated)
Chronicle 2012, PG-13)
'Found footage' is overused in horror films these days, it was clever at first but then got annoying and some are barely watchable. To use it in what is essentially a Superhero origins story is original and a great idea. Unfortunately it fits into the barely watchable category as it just doesn't work - this is ultimately down to the poor direction. The story is excellent and I totally respect the fact that this film had a low budget, it's all the better for it many respects but there is no excuse for hiring 3 bad actors and giving them horrible scripts. This film is a huge wasted opportunity that would have been something very special had it been in the hands of a capable director and production team. It's such a shame, as this should have been the ultimate superhero film, if it were a horror film it could have been Halloween but instead it's Halloween resurrection. It honestly pains me to give this such a low rating.
Comic Book - The Movie 2004, PG-13)
Condorman 1981, PG)
Not exactly the best Superhero film ever made, more Pink Panther meets Some Mothers do 'ave 'em. It actually starts off ok when the film is basically a spy spoof, it just gets stupid when 'Condorman' suddenly becomes 'our only hope' and designs his slightly cooler looking Batman/Chitty Chitty Bang Bang style mod cons (and gets them made in a day). This looks like your typical Disney 'made for TV' film that they made in the 60s and early 70s. At 1981 is was already looking a bit dated and don't get me started on Michael Crawford's accent. What was Oliver Reed thinking? Or was he drunk?
Daredevil 2003, PG-13)
Defendor 2009, R)
First thing is first, Defendor is not a copy of Kiss-ass because it was made first. Also, apart from one obvious similarity, they are actually completely different films with very little in common. Thirdly, if you view Defendor as a 'superhero' film you will obviously be disappointed because it's not, it's about a man with learning difficulties. I think this film has been totally overlooked for something it isn't which is a terrible shame because what it is is actually something quite special. The whole superhero philosophy is that these characters become who they are, whether they are heroes or villains, due to mental issues - Childhood traumas/schizophrenia/psychosis etc. so having the lead with a very ordinary mental illness is quite a clever idea. Woody Harrelson is brilliant as Arthur Poppington aka Defendor, playing it subtle when necessary but always convincingly. The message is heartfelt but is never preachy, the subject of mental illness is handled respectfully and it is genuinely funny. For me Arthur Poppington/Defendor has to be one of my favourite film characters I've seen for a long time, this is a misunderstood gem of a film.
Dollman 1991, R)
Dr. Strange 1978, Unrated)
Elektra 2005, PG-13)
Made by people who have never read an Elektra comic obviously. I'm glad Marvel have got their act together these days as no one wants to see this kind of drivel anymore. It is spectacularly dull. What was Terence Stamp thinking? Rob Bowman is also a better director than this, maybe he's just too used to being told what to do.
Elf-Man 2012, PG)
Christmas films are generally horrible, I know, I've seen many. Like I've said before though, there are good crap Christmas films and there are crap crap Christmas films. Elf-Man is actually not too bad and thanks to the original (if not a little bizarre) superhero side-story and the strange but welcome casting it is unlike all the other season films. I'm a big Jeffrey Combs fan but he overdoes it just a little bit here. Not great but a near masterpiece in Christmas film terms.
The Flash 1990, Unrated)
The Flash II: Revenge of the Trickster 1991, Unrated)
Flash Gordon 1980, PG)
Now and again I come across an old film I must have seen 100 times but have forgotten to review. Flash Gorden is the quintessential cheesy action-fantasy and that's saying something because most film in the split genres are very cheesy. It's very quotable, very laughable and very watchable, with an array of 'What ever happened to..' stars of yester-year. The ultimate 70s/80's crossover film too, I was going to say it's Barbarella for boys but Barbarella is kinda for boys anyway. Anyway - You have to see this film at least once, it's the rules!
Flashman 1967, Unrated)
The Green Hornet 2011, PG-13)
My expectations were low due to the negative feedback that this film received but by the end I found myself pleasantly surprised. Michel Gondry was an interesting choice of director but I believe his quirkiness works well here. I found no fault with the acting, Christoph Waltz I thought was a great villain, the set pieces were pretty good and I thought the script and story were very well thought-out and appropriate considering all the problems over the years, trying to get this film made. It breaks down like this, you won't like this film if you don't like Seth Rogen. I'm not his biggest fan but I think he's likable enough. You've got to hand to to him, without him The Green Hornet would have continued to float in the ether of film production hell. I think his story (he wrote and produced it) was the only logical way to go to keep it fresh and to not take it too seriously. It's no masterpiece and I expect more from a director like Gondry but it does the job, feels original and I found it entertaining throughout. I think time will be kind to this film and only time will tell.
Green Lantern 2011, PG-13)
I have a feeling that the makers of The Green Lantern sacrificed the story for a PG-13 rating - I guess they've got to make money, but the question remains, if you're going to do something, why not do it properly? I'm a big comic fan but not so much a fan of Green Lantern. He/they would pop up in other DC publication from time to time and I would buy a few just to answer a few niggling question and to complete various series - eek I'm a geek! I've always liked the idea of many different alien members of The Green Lantern corp and although I'm glad they featured here, they really needed more of them. The film could have been an introduction to the corp only. The sequel could have been the first fight - this just felt too formulaic, we've seen it all before, same film different uniform. The use to the green power here is also appalling, it felt like a cartoon, which is dangerous considering the less than brilliant CGI. Also, Ryan Reynolds is in it. Need I say more?
Griff the Invisible 2011, PG-13)
Like the tag line says: "The world can make us invisible. Courage can make us incredible. Love can make us invincible". This film should have been called Metaphor Man. Don't expect a Kick-Ass type of film or even Defendor, Griff the Invisible - while as good as these, is pretty original. Not easy in this now popular sub-genres. It is a little hard to get into at first but it is worth sticking with, once you have 'got it' it becomes a much more enjoyable film. It might sound funny but i wonder whether it could have been improved with a smaller budget. While Leon Ford told the story well, I can't help but think a more visually creative director would have been a better choice.
The Guyver 1991, PG-13)
The Guyver 2 1995, R)
Guyver 2005, Unrated)
Hancock 2008, PG-13)
Really liked the first half but wasn't that interested after the unexpected twist. I think they should have explored the fact that he was a homeless alcoholic superhero more rather than the romantic angel stuff. Imagine if the Coen Brothers had directed it, now that would have been a five star film!
Hero at Large 1980, PG)
The Incredibles 2004, PG)
Inseparable 2011, PG-13)
Inseparable is a nice idea but I'm afraid the contrast between comedy and drama are far too blurred for it to work successfully. It seems to have taken a page out of Fight Club's book and is also rather unfortunately similar to 2009's Paper Hero (AKA Unlikely Hero). I did like the 'double twist' but it was fairly obvious a little too soon for it to have full impact. It's quirky and I like quirky but throughout the film I was waiting for something big to happen but it never came. Pleasant enough but terribly anti-climactic. I do however feel that this is the work of someone who is likely to make great films in the future and I look forward to seeing more from Dayyan Eng.
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back 2001, R)
Jonah Hex 2010, PG-13)
When it comes to comics, I'm more a DC man (Vertigo) - until it comes to film adaptations that is. When reading my favourite comics, Transmetropolitan, The Boys, DMZ, 100 Bullets, The Invisibles...the list goes on, I think to myself 'They should totally make this into a movie' - then a film like Jonah Hex and Green Lantern come along and you think, actually some things are best left in comics. That said, I've never been much of a Jonah Hex or Green Lantern fan so I'm not that bothered. They messed up with Constantine which was pretty unforgivable, so for now I reckon comics like Scalped and Preacher are safe but Hex was expendable and worth the risk. For all it's negative reviews though, Jonah Hex isn't a terrible film, some parts were quite good and I especially liked the 'Talking to the dead' scenes. Unfortunately the entire film is just completely forgettable..what was I talking about again?
Jumper 2008, PG-13)
It's not awful but I do think they could have done much more with the interesting concept. I think too much was left for a sequel which feels a little presumptuous. It biggest flaws are Hayden Christensen & Rachel Bilson. They are both truly awful in their roles. Jamie Bell was quite good but what the hell is that accent all about? I lived in Middlesbough for 3 years and I can barely understand him!
Kick-Ass 2010, R)
Kick-Ass 2 2013, R)
The original Kick-ass did indeed, kick ass. It was the perfect adaption of what made the comic so good. Kick-ass 2 is a continuation of that story and in my opinion is just as good. The initial impact has now past but the character development continues. I have to say this is a breath of fresh air in the comic superhero heavy climate. It's funny with serious notes and serious with funny elements. Essentially it is once again about all those problems superheros have; Identity crisis - are you the hero or are you the secret identity, superpowers - they don't exist, are you a hero or a vigilante? etc etc. What this film brings above the other is the exploration of the origins story. Every superhero has to have a cool origins story. For this reason alone, this is more a The Mother*ucker film than it is a Kick-Ass film. Christopher Mintz-Plasse is brilliant as the struggling super-villain. He and Chloe Grace Moretz's Hit-Girl rightfully get as much of the screen time as Kick-Ass. If you're a fan of the comics and a fan of comics in general you will appreciate this being one of the few adaptations that get it right. Jim Carrey is right, it is very violent - more than I expected but the it is called Kick-Ass and it does exactly that.
Koi... Mil Gaya (I Found Someone) 2003, G)
Krrish 2006, Unrated)
Krrish 3 2013, Unrated)
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 2003, PG-13)
Lightspeed 2006, Unrated)
Stan Lee? What? Lightspeed is basically the Flash but a really really crap version of. They obviously spent no money on this what so ever and instead attached Stan Lee's name to it to guarantee some kind of interest. If only 2 people went to go see it then they made even. It is dreadful, I repeat, Dreadful, avoid at all costs!!
Masters of the Universe 1987, PG)
I got very excited about this film when I was a child. I have still got every He-Man figure (apart from the yellow ?Evil? He-man). I don't have this film though and I doubt I will ever buy it, it?s too much of a disappointment still. I don't think I?ll ever get over how much they changed the characters! Dolph Lundgren & Frank Langella were good though! Watch this music video instead! - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZ1u2_PopPk
Megamind 2010, PG)
Dreamworks are getting better, that's for sure. I didn't like Shrek or Madagascar but Kung-fu Panda was pretty good, Monsters vs. Aliens was alright and now Megamind is pretty good. I've heard good things about How to train your Dragon too so fingers crossed. As good as Pixar are, it's always good to have some healthy competition. I liked the idea of Megamind more than I liked the film, certain characters got more screen time than they deserved and other better characters suffered because of it but I would like to see a sequel for sure. Maybe Monsters vs. Aliens vs. Megamind?
Mercury Man 2006, R)
The Meteor Man 1993, PG)
If only Robert Townsend had gone full on Blackspliotational with Meteor Man instead of playing it relatively safe this could have been something awesome. That said, it is still something special. It's badly acted, badly directed and badly written but a film about a Black Superman, starring James Earl Jones, Bill Cosby and Luther Vandross, featuring Cypress Hill and Naughty By Nature and an army of peroxyded midgets (or are they kids), it can't be bad can it!? If a film has charm, the rest don't matter.
Mr. Freedom 1970, Unrated)
Mr. India 1987, Unrated)
Mystery Men 1999, PG-13)
My Super Ex-Girlfriend 2006, PG-13)
Orgazmo 1998, NC-17)
The Phantom 1996, PG)
Aside from the bad script and the fact that the story doesn't really ever go anywhere, The Phantom wasn't all that bad. I thought Billy Zane was perfectly cast, as was Treat Williams. It was in essence a tribute to The Phantom series of 1943 starring Tom Tyler, doing all the things they couldn't afford to do rather than modernising the character and story for the kids. I think they made the right decision. It just needed a better story, a slightly bigger budget and a few tweaks here and there and it would have been great. I think it's time the Phantom was resurrected, I think Billy Zane would probably still do the role justice too but I doubt it will ever happen. Although these days you just never know...
The Phantom 1943, Unrated)
The Powerpuff Girls - The Movie 2002, PG)
Push 2009, PG-13)
The Continued Adventures of Reptile Man 1996, Unrated)
Ra. One 2011, Unrated)
Rat Pfink a Boo Boo 1966, Unrated)
The Rocketeer 1991, PG)
The Rocketeer fits into that early 90's 'They obviously spent a lot of money on it but not quite enough' category. That said, it's got a lot going for it and the parts that have aged haven't aged that badly. There are lots of plot holes, nonsensical happenings and things that just don't add up but nothing that can't be forgiven for being silly fun. The one big thing I would change if I could would be swapping Bill Campbell for Bruce Campbell. That would have been very cool and at least worth another star.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World 2010, PG-13)
Bloody hell, Ritalin anyone? Scott Pilgrim vs. the World has got to be the most original, fast-paced and successful adaptation of a comic in recent years. Wow. It was hard to keep up at times but as much as this film made me feel old, it was a real kick to the retinas - and I mean that in the best possible way. Edgar Wright very much doing what he does best, with a brilliant cast of young talent - I enjoyed it very much and is probably one of my top favourites of 2010.
The Shadow 1994, PG-13)
Sky High 2005, PG)
Anyone who thinks Sky High is the worst superhero film ever should watch Zoom. You'll probably change your mind pretty quickly. I thought it was actually very good. They understood the genre and played with it rather well I thought. Put in the likes of Bruce Campbell and Lynda Carter and you're on to a winner in my book. Good stuff!
Sparks 2014, Unrated)
Special 2006, R)
Michael Rapaport makes you believe in the character, this is one of the best performances I've seen from him. The story is actually brilliantly written although I don't think we should be told from the beginning that his powers are in fact in his conscious and not real until the end of the film, it would have certainly been a lot better than the rubbish last scene we where left with. I like the style, the effects and the overall feel to the film, a few tweaks here and there and it would have been awesome. Much better than Super and Griff the Invisible but still not as good as Defendor.
The Specials 2000, R)
The Spirit 2008, PG-13)
I understand why many didn't like The Spirit. It's fair to say it's not the greatest comic book adaptation ever made, surprising as it was directed by one of the greatest comic book authors of all time but I guess that answers the question 'Do great comic book authors make good film directors'. That said, it's not a bad debut for any director and it's certainly not the visuals that let it down. I think what really lets it down is that it is never clear what kind of film it's supposed to be. I appreciated the quirky humour but was this film meant to be serious with a few jokes or is it 100% spoof? I guess some things just don't translate well from comic to screen. Still, I quite liked it, it really isn't anywhere near as bad as everyone says, dissapointing because of what it could have been but give me this over The Fantastic Four any day of the week. Looking forward to Sin City 2 but my dream come true would be to see Martha Washington made into a film!
Steel 1997, PG-13)
Super 2011, R)
I've only just realised that it was that James Gunn of Troma fame that directed it and now it all makes a little bit more sense. I still didn't really like it though. Never before has a really wonderful scene been followed by such an horrific one. For me, Super misses the mark spectacularly - never quite being a comedy, never quite being a serious drama. I'm not sure it wanted to be taken too seriously but then again, it really wasn't very funny. There is a lot I love about it but equally there is a lot I hate about it. It's somewhere between Kick-ass and Defendor but not as good as either with Defendor coming out on top by a clear mile in my opinion. I'm right down the middle on this one.
Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 2004, PG)
The Superhero 2007, Unrated)
The Toxic Avenger 1984, R)
The Toxic Avenger, Part II 1989, R)
Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV 2000, R)
Ultraman 2004, Unrated)
Ultraman Tiga and Ultraman Dyna 1998, Unrated)
Unbreakable 2000, PG-13)
Underdog 2007, PG)
Compared to the charming little cartoons of the 60's, this is a horrible and unnecessary live action version. However, I like dogs and I like this Dog especially. It's a shame about the humans really, although Patrick Warburton is good, Peter Dinklage hams it up a bit too much and James Belushi displays none of the humour or likability that I'm sure got him hired in the first place. I don't blame the actors though, I blame the direction and the awful script. I'm not sure Jason Lee was the best choice for the voice of Underdog either, I kept thinking My Name is Earl throughout the entire film. For what its worth, there are far worse Doggy films out there.
Vs 2013, Unrated)
All praise I've heard for All Superheros Must Die has come from the 'I wanted to like it' camp. I watched the Toronto Q&A screening of the film, the presenter introduces the film as an example of the greatness that can be achieved with a low budget only for Director and lead Actor, Jason Trost, to prove him wrong by admitting that he got the money first and then just made it up as he went along. The premise is good but is one that can be seen in any number of average comics made in the last 30 years. I think that was my problem with it, if you want to tell a great story but don't have the money to do it justice then you should write a comic. If people like it they will pay and you can then make it into a movie. Ok, so it's never that simple but All Superheros Must Die is abysmal. James Remar is good despite is horrible script and some of the camera work is nice but on the whole the acting is awful, the script is worse and the production is so riddled with mistakes that I really can't be bothered to list them all. As a college project it's not bad but as a grown up movie it's pretty bad. Evil Dead had a lower budget, lack of money is no excuse.
Watchmen 2009, R)
If you have not read the graphic novel, you probably won?t like the film. You probably won?t really care or understand it! For those of us who have read and absolutely love the graphic novel, it?s a different story. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with how well Snyder handled it! I would say that 85% of it was spot on! The only real problem that I had was that so much of the good stuff was cut out. I know it would be impossible to adapt it properly into a film, I would have just liked it to have been made into a mini-series, a 12 episode series if you will. Also, the ending. well, that took a lot of balls changing that but I have to say, it was changed for the better!
Wonder Woman 2009, PG-13)
Wonder Woman is pretty good, not as good as the Batman animations but still pretty good. The story is strong but it becomes a little tiresome with regard to it's constant reference to sexism/battle of sexes etc. Most of the time it is actually quite sexy, I mean sexist.... but I digress. The story is so strong in fact that it is a little frustrating that they didn't make this a live action version, I guess they still can but I really wish they would. They could probably cast half of the voice actors too but only, and I mean only, if the beautiful
Zebraman 2007, PG-13)
Zoom 2006, PG)
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - The Movie 1995, PG)
Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie 1997, PG)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie 1990, PG)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III 1993, PG)
TMNT 2007, PG)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014, PG-13)
Confessions of a Superhero 2007, R)
Confessions of a Superhero is a unique and witty documentary that follows the paths of four Superhero lookalikes. Matthew Ogens quite cleverly shows the similarities that each person has to the Superhero they imitate, the obsessions and the pitfalls. Never are the people mocked though which I think would be a little too easy but does seem to happen quite often in these types of documentary. Christopher Lloyd Dennis doesn't just look and act like Superman, he lives his life like Superman and is an interesting case study as is his opposite, Maximus "Batman" Allen. Both are different in their approach, both are friends and both are like the real Batman and Superman. You couldn't make it up, I'd like a photo with these guys and I'd tip well.
Superhero Me 2010, Unrated)
Steve Sale has had a good idea here and considering the small (no) budget he achieves quite a lot. It's very British but only in the way British people would understand (eg. Drunks shouting at him late at night and rubbish school fates). It's an interesting insight into the lives of real Superheros. It would be nice if a big production company would give him a chunk of money to re-make it/make a sequel to further explore the Superheros of the world (if his wife lets him).
Wonder Women! The Untold Story Of American Superheroines 2012, Unrated)
Supermen of Malegaon 2008, Unrated)
Supermen of Malegaon is a great story of following your dream. A small group of passionate film fans living in one of the poorest parts of India try their hands at making a Superman picture with a budget of around $1,200. The results are amazing. Funny and heartwarming in equal parts and a must see. It's on youtube and is only an hour long, trust me, you'll be glad you watched, you'll believe a man can fly!
Superhero Movie 2008, PG-13)
Super Hero Party Clown 2012, Unrated)
Death of a Superhero 2012, Unrated)
Toxic Crusaders: The Movie 2002, Unrated)
Captain Planet and the Planeteers - Toxic Terror 1992, Unrated)
Captain Planet and the Planeteers - Mission to Save Earth 1992, Unrated)
Spider-Plant Man 2005, Unrated)
Rock & Roll Superhero 2003, PG-13)