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My good friend Ethan, of Extremist Movie Debate, asked me to fill in for his regular movie-sparring partner Joe last week. We went head-to-head over the recent release of Justice League. If you’re unfamiliar with the format of their series, they flip a coin to decide which stance that they have to take on their chosen movie (love or hate) and then must argue their point through a series of questions and discussions. I’ll let the video show where I came down. Regardless, this was an incredibly difficult film to to get passionate about. There are plenty of movies and shows that I’ve loved or hated and enjoyed fiercely debating but Justice League is so incredibly, inoffensively average that it took every ounce of my amazing acting talent to muster even the slight enthusiasm I have here. Read the rest of this entry »

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X-Men: The Film Timelines

Posted: October 11, 2017 in Uncategorized
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Since hitting theatres in the early 2000’s, the X-Men film franchise has become the longest running comic-based series to keep the same continuity. Unlike Spider-Man or Fantastic Four, this series has continued to maintain the same singular universe for over 15 years. Much like the Homo Superior of the comic series that said films are based upon, the films have undergone their fair share of evolution in those years. With shifting creative teams covering ten films (and a couple of television series that recently premiered) it’s no surprise that there have been vast changes in the tone and story of the films as they’ve progressed. However, those changes also brought an equally vast number of issues regarding the continuity and consistency of the story.

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It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these! I think the main reason behind that is that it’s been a long time since I’ve played a comic book related game that has made me want to discuss it at length. Sure, I’m a sucker for the Lego Batman or Lego Marvel series, but there’s not exactly much to say about them other than, “There’s a lot of characters. You collect stuff.” Luckily, we have a developer like Telltale Games that crafts interesting, character-based narratives that invite discussion from players.

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It seems like network television has a fair amount of difficulty adapting comic books to television at the moment. Sure, there are notable exceptions (Fox, somehow, has two bona fide hits with Gotham and Lucifer) but by and large, if you want a comic adapted successfully, you have to look to The CW. Just a few months ago, Black Lightning was moved to The CW before production even started! NBC already had one failed adaptation under its belt (pour one out for Constantine, mates) when it went to series with Powerless, a workplace comedy set in the DC Universe.

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Netflix continues to push forward with assembling its own team of Marvel heroes, The Defenders. Two years ago (seriously? It’s been that long?) when Daredevil premiered, there were equal parts anticipation and trepidation in seeing this new iteration of empowered heroes brought to the small screen. In the years since, we’ve had entries from the aforementioned Devil of Hell’s Kitchen as well as Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. Now, the final Defender has been brought to life in the form of Danny Rand, the champion of K’un Lun and the wielder of the Iron Fist.
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Look at that, it’s nearly March 2017 and we’re just now getting around to the “best/worst of” for 2016! What happened there? Too much to list, really. I apologize for the delay and take a majority of the responsibility for it. One person who is certainly not to blame, however, is Brian C. Baer. He is a writing machine. So, without wasting another second, here is Comic Book Media’s annual look at the best and worst of comic based movies and television by Colby and Brian, The Moderate Fanboys. Enjoy!
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Cannon Film’s Spider-Man

Posted: February 9, 2017 in Baer
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Hey! It’s been a while. I haven’t been updating much lately due to life and other things getting in the way of talking about comic book movies. Luckily Brian C. Baer has no such concerns. Here, he brings us this look at the adaptation of Spider-Man that we may have had in the late 80’s had things taken a different turn. Enjoy!

Spider-Man had an amazingly, sensationally, spectacularly troubled path towards the big screen before Sam Raimi’s 2002 adaptation. While the end product would help usher in the modern superhero movie genre, there were several near-misses that sounded much less promising.

Between projects planned by Roger Corman in the early ’80s and James Cameron in the early ’90s, the rights to the character belonged to Cannon Films. The movie studio was already infamous for its schlocky output and questionable accounting at the time. After they were convinced that Spider-Man should not be a monster movie like The Wolfman, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, the Israeli cousins who owned Cannon, hired screenwriters Ted Newsom and John Brancato.

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COMMENTARYCAST: Hellboy

Posted: December 8, 2016 in CommentaryCast
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bprdI still cannot believe that this movie is 12 years old. Argh! Where does the time go?! Anyway, you’ve likely seen this movie. It’s awesome. I stand by my statements about both Ron Perlman and Doug Jones. Both are amazing actors and insanely cool people. Hellboy is a rare adaptation that doesn’t necessarily go with any particular story from the comic but absolutely nails the universe, tone and characterization of the comic series. Director Guillero Del Toro’s love for the source material is clear in every second of film and the personalities of all of the cast comes through wonderfully even when covered with layer upon layer of prosthetics and make-up. The follow-up film, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, continued that tradition and created an even richer world of fantasy. Sadly, at this point, there is no third film to complete the trilogy. Hopefully (but doubtfully) that’ll happen some day since this series is so much fun that a continuation seems both necessary and logical. Read the rest of this entry »

Dr. Strange (1978 TV movie)

Posted: November 21, 2016 in Marvel
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Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is currently hip-deep into its third phase of films with seemingly no end in sight. The next film to be released in that increasingly fleshed-out universe is Doctor Strange. As mentioned previously, the character is no stranger (oh god, I’m so sorry for that) to adaptation, however few seem to remember the first time he graced screens. And those who are aware (usually by screenshots or on-set pictures) tend to regard the original film with snickering animosity.
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**Author Brian C. Baer braved the world of 90’s direct-to-video horror to review this adaptation of horror vixen Vampirella. The things he does for you people…**

Compared to most of her four-color competition, the classic horror heroine Vampirella is perfectly suited for the big screen. She debuted in Warren Publishing’s Vampirella #1 in 1969 as a jokey, Crypt Keeper-style host for various short stories, but she was also featured in solo adventures to explain her origin and power-set.
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