lexThis week, we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Superman Returns. In many ways, this movie is the complete antithesis of the current slate of DC’s films. It’s a quiet, somber story about a hero trying to find the MAN amid the SUPER. Director Bryan Singer famously stepped away from the X-Men franchise in order to direct it and his love for the character shines through. At the time of it’s release, it was a critical darling but a point of contention among fans. Some saw it as a suitable love-letter to the Richard Donner age of Superman past while many viewed it more as a boring slog without enough punching. Well, now we have a meat-headed, murderous Superman, so be careful what you wish for. While underperforming at the box office, a lot of that had to do with expectations derived from past, scrapped attempts at  this iteration of Superman which cost the studio up to $200 Million. Both Brian and I (as well as Quentin Tarantino) agree that is probably the best take on Superman that modern audiences are likely going to see and a well-crafted, poignant, heart-felt film. Now enjoy listening to us curse through watching it.
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With a year and a half until it’s release date, the filmmakers behind Justice League have made the unprecedented move to roll out a full blitz of information and interviews regarding the not-so-coming-soon feature.
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This television season saw some great strides in comics on TV, but also a bit of stumbling. New series, for the most part, premiered strong while many of the returning shows seemed to have a bit of trouble maintaining their footing. Without going into it too much, here’s my ranking for this year’s comic book television shows: Read the rest of this entry »

Preacher has spent a longer amount of time being adapted than it has as an actual, ongoing comic series. Running for 66 issues (plus a few specials) the series is a go-to for people as an example of the best of the medium. Along with Starman, it’s a seminal book of the 90’s and helped to shape and define the culture of comics at that time. Created by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, it’s one of the most insanely violent, blasphemous, shocking, and funny comic series to ever exist. That’s made all the more interesting by how popular it has become. There are people of all walks of life who absolutely love this book. As such, it’s without no small amount of trepidation that many have viewed any attempt at adaptation.
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grTo a lot of people, this movie is probably the definition of “superfluous sequel”. It sure seems like very few people wanted to see it, or even noticed when it was released. Hell, less than a year after it came out, I was on a radio show discussing comic book movies and the host had never even heard of it. That said, I think it’s actually a surprisingly decent film. The Neveldine/Taylor brand of kinetic action works well for a character like Ghost Rider. It features surprisingly strong performances from the principal actors and a tone that is much more in-line with how a character like this should be portrayed. In fact, it seems like the only major failing of the film is that it wasn’t pushed further into weird Neveldine/Taylor territory (which is a struggle that is well documented in the film’s “making of” feature). Regardless, it’s miles above the original film.
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Catwoman (1995 Script)

Posted: May 18, 2016 in Uncategorized

 **Brian C. Baer tracked down this unproduced Catwoman spin-off script from the 90’s. It certainly sounds like it would’ve been far better than the film from 2004, which is literally the faintest praise you can give anything. Enjoy this look at what could’ve been!**

The Halle Berry adaptation of Catwoman was released in 2004 to near universal distain. It was a disaster, both critically and commercially, and when she collected her Golden Raspberry award for Worst Actress that year, even Berry called it “a piece of shit, god-awful movie.”

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What is largely considered the worst comic book movie was not actually as slapdash and rushed as it appears on-screen. The project had been spiraling throughout various circles of development hell for a solid decade before then. It began its life as a sequel to and spin-off of Catwoman’s appearance in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns (1992). A solo Catwoman film was first announced in 1993, with Michelle Pfeiffer returning to the title character, and with Burton set to direct. It would stand apart from the lighter cinematic Batman fare that Warner Brothers had planned for the caped crusader. However, like many Burton projects from the era, nothing much came of it. Read the rest of this entry »

Night Man (1997 TV Series)

Posted: April 4, 2016 in Uncategorized

**Frequent collaborator and friend Brian C. Baer has taken some time out of his busy schedule writing about the history of He-Man to inform and educate us about WGN’s secret Marvel / DC crossover from the late 90’s. Oh, you weren’t aware of any official crossover? Well, get ready to learn about the strange world of Night Man…**

Before we get started, I just want to warn you that this article discusses a forgotten/forgettable ‘90s TV series called Night Man. So, go ahead. Get it out of your system…

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Man of Steel (2013 film)

Posted: March 15, 2016 in DC, Uncategorized
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**This piece was originally published on the website Action A Go Go, but it originated as something on here, so I reposted. Enjoy!**

I try to steer clear of movies or shows that are considered “controversial” in fan circles. I mean, we can all (mostly) agree that Jonah Hex is pretty crappy and X2 is pretty sweet, right? That being said, there’s one movie that I continually see as a point of contention in the comic movie fan community. The film Man of Steel has become somewhat of a lightning rod for fandom’s worst qualities. I see people attack it for every reason under the yellow sun. From the color of Superman’s costume, to the fact that it doesn’t use the John Williams score from the Donner series. And I also see people defend everything about it, even things that wouldn’t be acceptable in other movies, like shoddy CGI or obvious plot-holes.

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Pictured: SUBTLETY!!!!!!!!

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The age of cross-promotional foodstuff is seemingly in decline. Sure, there are some properties that are immune to that (like Star Wars, which is apparently immune to decline in general) but we’re a far cry from the heady days of the 80’s and 90’s when nearly anything that could be vaguely marketed toward children got a delicious confection to go along with its action figure line. These days, it seems like only the biggest names in entertainment are given any sort of extended promotion. Movies, by and large, still get their requisite toyline, but even those tend to be far more collector driven than kid-centric. Maybe a shift in the public’s spending money has to do with it. I don’t know, I’m not a socio-economic guy. What I do know is comic book movies and their tie-ins. And, aside from The Avengers, Batman V Superman seems to be the only comic book movie within the last several years to have a breakfast cereal.

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**It’s been a while since we’ve looked at a property that needs adapting here at Comic Book Media. However, with the recent release of Deadpool and the massive success it garnered, we’re guessing that Hollywood is going to be looking for another humorous and violent book to turn into an R-rated feature. So, here’s Brian Sea Baer with a look at a wildly off-kilter comic that would make for one hell of a fun movie.**

2010 saw the release of Sea Bear & Grizzly Shark, an absurd and absurdly funny one-shot from Image Comics. The double-sized issue was split in half: the first half tells a tale of revenge, cyborgs, Dr. Moreau-style animal hybrids, and a murderous aquatic bear; and in the second, a shark flies through a forest and devours the oblivious people who accidentally cut themselves, since everyone knows a shark can smell blood from a hundred miles away. It makes perfect sense.
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