Posts Tagged ‘CommentaryCast’

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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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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punI have gone on record, time and again, defending this film. I feel it is the most true representation of The Punisher that we’ve ever had in expanded media. And, when it comes to film, this is likely the as close to the comic as we’re ever going to get. It wisely accepts his origin as read and crafts a narrative around his obsession with punishing evil-doers. Ray Stevenson’s stoicism as Frank Castle is dead-on and is a nice counter-balance to the rambunctious ridiculousness that is Dominic West’s Jigsaw. While I find that each adaptation of the character has some merit, this is the one that I consistently go to when I need a real Punisher fix. Director Lexi Alexander also ensured that the film retained the palette and many characters from the comic. In the past, Baer has been less complimentary of the film, but I think some of my enthusiasm rubbed off on him during this recording.

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batjoke

It’s very hard to really appreciate what a momentous film Batman was without actually living through it. In 1989, I was in kindergarten and was completely caught up in the Batmania that was gripping the world. For the first time in my life, I could go to the store and find an entire row of toys based on Batman (and Joker and…Bob the goon?) and every kind of tie-in and cash-grab imaginable. These days, that sort of thing is common place, it’s even strange if a comic book movie doesn’t have a bunch of advertising. In that way, Batman was very ahead of its time. In many, many other ways it’s still a product of the late 80’s. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s fairly dated and not nearly as beholden to the character as modern interpretations. As such, it’s kind of fun to look at it from a historical perspective and see just how much the character has changed over the course of two and a half decades. With that, enjoy Brian and I talking through Batman. Also, don’t forget the trivia question! Or do…I’d rather not have to come up with a prize.

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hex

Here’s a rare behind the scenes photo of Colby forcing Baer to watch this movie.

Here’s a little clip from the most recent CommentaryCast in which we watch Jonah Hex. This is what it’s like if you listen and watch the movie at the same time…

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Jonah Hex is an absolute failure of a movie on nearly every level. Directed by Jimmy Heyward, there are numerous anecdotes of how troubled the production was. The fact that there was barely 80 minutes worth of usable footage of a character that should be pretty easy to adapt is a decent indication of how much of a mess the filming and editing of said film was. This CommentaryCast features a distinctly different style than the last, since I had done research by reading the original script and Brian wasn’t three beers deep when recording started. This also marks the first contest we’ll be doing, but not the last . Listen along and see if you can answer the trivia question! With that, enjoy the ineptitude that is Jonah Hex

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Blade is the first new CommentaryCasts to be posted in this new format. Starring Wesley Snipes, this 1998 film is the first to kick-off the modern “Golden Age” of comic book films. That’s especially interesting since the studio that released it, New Line, didn’t promote it as such. It’s not too odd considering the cinematic pedigree of movies based on comics at the time (and let’s not forget that this was only a year after the Great Bat-Implosion…also called Batman and Robin). But it’s cool to see the cinematic juggernaut that comic book movies (and Marvel especially) have become, with much thanks going to the strong foundation that Blade laid. Brian and I discovered that even with dated cgi, it’s still an incredibly entertaining action flick. (more…)