Monday, July 8, 2013

All Superheroes Must Die

I’ll confess that I’m very pleased to have lived to see that the genre known as ‘comic book movies’ have become part of the cultural mainstream. It is now a milieu as valid as science fiction or horror or action-adventure. My personal collection of the type is pretty extensive and a quick look at my shelf reveals over 40 titles.

In my recent post about Man Of Steel, I mentioned that I am not a fan of the Alexander Salkind Superman films of the 80’s. But when I found a copy of Supergirl for 3 bucks at Big Lots, I couldn’t resist a cheap opportunity to complete my collection. This was the first feature that I took in today. I can’t say that it is a very good movie but I was genuinely surprised that it was far better than I feared. It contains many of the elements that I disliked from the Superman series, things like high priced stars in roles better suited to actors than icons, monumental lapses in logic and unexplained details that the filmmakers felt no compunction to satisfy. But, I thought that the flying sequences were much better than those in the other films and Helen Slater was very easy on the eyes. I’d always heard it described as a debacle but it might just be my favorite from that group. 1st prize in an ugly baby contest I guess. 


Do you remember my describing Man Of Steel as dark? Well it’s a laugh riot compared to the next film I took in. The title gives it away; All Superheroes Must Die. With innocent lives at stake, a sociopath forces a band of champions to play a perverse game. He’s stripped them of their abilities and with each round somebody will die. They submit to this because that in failing to do so, the psychopath will slaughter bystanders. This movie is a very low budget affair, a fact that the marketers prevaricate upon with the cover art. But I was impressed on what they were able to accomplish within these limited means. I sensed intelligence and a genuine passion for the material. All in all calling it a poor man’s Watchman might be on the mark. 

Finally I come to a feature that may have already been discussed here, the 2012 Sci-Fi work Chronicle. I think this accurately describes it; the Blair Witch Project meets Heroes. A trio of high school students encounters an alien technology, which passes on to them telekinetic abilities. The entire movie is shot as if it was documented on the character’s camcorders or on other public recording systems. I was frankly blown away by this movie. I had high anticipation for it and it uniformly exceeded all my expectations. 


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