I’ve never seen a movie so apparently short on a script that it purposely pads the run time to compensate. I’ve seen movies waste time on screen, but director Virgil W. Vogel’s science fiction adventure obviously had a script comprised of maybe forty pages of actual narrative and writing. The rest of the seventy seven minutes is obvious empty filler, and padding that tries to run out the clock for the sake of the feature length credibility. Set in the general vicinity of Asia, we meet (two of the most grating heroes ever put to film) archaeologists Dr. Roger Bentley and Dr. Jud Bellamin, both of whom are dedicated to finding a mythical race of Sumerian Albinos living deep in the Earth.
It’s a very good element of animation that it is so accessible and can be fit to work in any story no matter how extraordinary it may be. Animation allows the creator to be as unique and individual as possible, while also conveying an important message that deserves to be heard now more than ever. I can’t say that I loved “Tito and the Birds” but I very much enjoyed it is an imaginative and entertaining adventure with an important message to give its audience about prejudice, xenophobia, the value of animals, and the irrational hysterical fear of the impoverished that’s become so common.
One of most controversial and divisive story arcs of the nineties is brought to the small screen in an epic fashion, and DC and Warner manage to adapt the final half of the “Death of Superman” storyline for a broader audience. While nineties kids will love to see the whole mystery of the Four Supermen once again, DC works within the limitations of the characters they’re allowed to use, and re-imagines most of the storyline of the Reign of the Supermen, right down the primary antagonist working behind the scenes.
Director James Yukich’s “Double Dragon” is a nineties anomaly that’s right up there with “Super Mario Bros: The Movie,” and “Street Fighter: The Movie.” It’s so deliriously awful and willingly misses the point of the source material it adapts, and yet it’s delightfully entertaining. As an artifact of the decade, it’s a fun tribute to everything 1990’s (Mark Dacascos and Scott Wolf!), as a video game movie it’s a fascinating example of what not to do, and as an action movie it’s a serviceable amalgam of martial arts, comedy, science fiction, post apocalyptic fantasy, and chop socky schlock. If you can divorce yourself from the video game, “Double Dragon” works as a fascinating but entertaining botched cash in on a video game series that was so much better.
Adapting the entirety of the arc of the Death, Reign and Return of Superman was always a heavy ambition for DC and it’s a shame that they never quite get it just right when it comes to putting it on the small screen. I loved “The Death of Superman.” And while I thought “Reign of the Supermen” was a pretty damn good movie all in all, it suffers from a lot of the major flaws most DC animated movies do. It rushes through so much important exposition, and doesn’t give its four main characters enough screen time to warrant caring a lot about them, or even rooting for them for that matter. When all is said and done, “Reign of the Supermen” is a very good follow up to “The Death of Superman” with some great action set pieces, and wonderful animation.
Opening in a limited theatrical engagement on January 16th – visit “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” for theaters & showtimes.
I haven’t kept up with “Dragon Ball Super” but thankfully the feature films don’t require a lot of catch up for casual fans. I went in to “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” basically without having known many of the characters, and had a good time just the same. While ““Dragon Ball Super: Broly” is a very good “Dragon Ball Z” film, it’s also a pretty darn good tale about the deeper back story of character Vegeta and Goku, and how deeply rooted their nemesis Frieza has been in their entire lives.
In a year where the inferior “Bohemian Rhapsody” promises to storm awards shows in 2019, “Heavy Trip” is a movie that’s far more deserving of audience attention. Like most of the best music oriented drama comedies, it’s an engaging, and very funny tale of a band with grand aspirations and have to literally fight to break out of their small home town in hopes of making it in the larger world they want to be a part of. “Heavy Trip” is centered on a group of aspiring death metal musicians from Finland, and you’d think a movie with a focus on that music genre would be more niche than anything, but Jukka Vidgren, and Juuso Laatio’s drama comedy is basically for everyone and anyone who has had a dream at one time or another.
I was never really sure what Robert Zemeckis intended with “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” Was he showing us the sheer mania that erupted with the arrival of the Beatles, or is he purposely exaggerating the mania of the arrival of the Beatles? That sense of confused tone tends to keep “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” from turning in to a great nostalgia time capsule comedy (Ironically the great nostalgia time capsule comedy would eventually become Zemeckis’ film “Back to the Future”). Instead it’s merely an okay nostalgia time capsule comedy that reaches for the heights of “American Graffiti,” but never quite touches that high bar.