Comics & Superheroes

Comics & Superheroes: Introduction

Posted by on Dec 31, 2011 in Comics & Superheroes | 0 comments

Comics & Superheroes: Introduction

“In this world, there is right and there is wrong, and that distinction is not difficult to make.” – Superman “The whole world is watching us now. We must be nothing less than fabulous.” – X-Men Ever since the overwhelming success of Superman in 1978, Hollywood has been bursting at the seams with adaptations of comic books, graphic novels, and cartoon strips. And it seems they’re showing no signs of stopping. Superheroes, quite simply, have a formula that has proven successful at...

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The Incredibles (2004)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Comics & Superheroes | 0 comments

The Incredibles (2004)

Disclaimer: Some violent attacks against robots, villains, and middle class mediocrity. While kids can sit back and enjoy the funny and thrilling barrage of action sequences and chase scenes in Pixar’s The Incredibles, on a deeper level parents will realize its subtle references to Bond films and superhero serials, not to mention its bold analysis of life in the working class. We follow Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), a traditional superhero who will just as quickly fetch a cat stuck in a...

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Batman (1989)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Comics & Superheroes | 0 comments

Batman (1989)

Disclaimer: Let me tell you about the villain: mean kid, bad seed, hurts people. Some kids prefer superheroes like Spider-Man or Superman. Superheroes characterized by special powers that make every youth swell with envy. But my favorite has always been Batman, a superhero unlike so many others in that he has no special powers. If kids see Batman as I did, they’ll notice an imperfect human not unlike themselves and think they can be a superhero, too. Born in an era of fascism, from the pen of...

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Superman (1978) & Superman II (1980)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Comics & Superheroes | 0 comments

Superman (1978) & Superman II (1980)

Disclaimer: The wholesome love story has some surprising sexual references (not to mention Valerie Perrine’s cleavage). This ridiculously high-budget blockbuster with a star-studded cast and revolutionary special effects not only highlighted one of America’s most beloved icons, but also was the impetus for an entire sub-genre of films that have never been more prevalent than today. Though movie, television, and radio studios had adapted comic books before, Superman soared Warner Brothers to a...

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Spider-Man (2002) & Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Comics & Superheroes | 0 comments

Spider-Man (2002) & Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Disclaimer: Spidey’s web catches a few flying swears, snags a tad bit of violence, and nets Peter Parker in some sticky sex life predicaments (not literally). For the past eight years or so – because I no longer fit into costumes and adults no longer tolerate persons my age going door to door – I’ve collected candy into a large bowl, accentuated my creepy facial hair, and put on a properly stained T-shirt to give children (and their parents) a good reason to be frightened on Halloween. Every...

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X-Men (2000) & X2: X-Men United (2003)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Comics & Superheroes | 0 comments

X-Men (2000) & X2: X-Men United (2003)

Disclaimer: Some mild language and sexuality, intense discrimination, and violence, including socio-political jabs. Unlike most comic book series that pit one superhero at odds with a handful of villains (one at a time), this hugely successful franchise for Marvel and Stan Lee involves about a dozen heroes and villains. Also unlike most other comics, which have a hero preventing a villain from destroying the world, this one has mutant heroes and villains striving toward the same goal...

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Dick Tracy (1990)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Comics & Superheroes | 0 comments

Dick Tracy (1990)

Disclaimer: Some sexual content. Nothing too bad, it’s just that Madonna heard “acting role” and translated it as “porno acting role.” This budget-busting project (it went from $25 million to $101 million) that changed more hands than a cheating poker player (bad, I know) wound up with star/director/producer Warren Beatty, who in turn created a highly stylized picture with a star-studded cast, kitschy colors, over-the-top makeup, and “slap/pow” violence like a comic strip. The end result is...

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Army of Darkness (1992)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Comics & Superheroes | 0 comments

Army of Darkness (1992)

Disclaimer: This one, like the other Evil Dead films, has a significant amount of violence and some swearing. And beware of Bruce Campbell’s chin. Army of Darkness, or Evil Dead III, is another installment of the 1981 horror film that was so deliciously bad that it rose to cult status almost overnight. So much so that, ridiculously, they remade the original with Evil Dead II and purposely made it funnier to lavish the original’s failure to be taken seriously (aka: success with a capital B)....

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Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Comics & Superheroes | 0 comments

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

Disclaimer: Some sexuality and alcohol, not to mention glorified stupidity. This movie is radical, totally bodacious, and most triumphant. Bill and Ted began as a stand-up comedy act, created and written by Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon, that positioned two surfer youngsters on stage to talk about current events with very little knowledge of the subject. After it became a movie and swept the nation, it led to an underrated sequel, animated TV series, and rumored third installation. It’s also...

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Comics & Superheroes: Other Recommended Titles

Posted by on Dec 21, 2011 in Comics & Superheroes | 0 comments

Comics & Superheroes: Other Recommended Titles

Bolt (2008): A dog that plays a superhero on TV goes on an Incredible Journey-style adventure full of self-reflexive wit. Chalk it up to the newly appointed chief creative officer at Disney: Pixar’s John Lasseter. Despicable Me (2010): Nothing about the plot is original (it’s basically Annie with a supervillain), but it’s in the particulars that it succeeds. Witty comedy, great kid characters, and Twinkie-resembling minions. Flash Gordon (1936 and 1980): The original serial is a shade less...

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Comics & Superheroes: For Adults Only

Posted by on Dec 20, 2011 in Comics & Superheroes | 0 comments

Comics & Superheroes: For Adults Only

Akira (1988): Violence and recreation drug use abounds in this action-packed anime classic catered to the thinking viewer. The Avengers (2012): Superhero movies are inherently violent, and the Marvel universe movies are fairly tame, but this—arguably the best so far—is a bit more adult than, say, Spider-Man. It also requires some depth of knowledge of their universe and characters, so save it for the ultimate kiddo fans. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) and Iron Man (2008) are other...

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