When Robert Rodriguez is in kids movie mode, he tends to create some of the most syrupy sweet, loud, tepid movies for his intended audience that though they have a lot of the good intention behind them are pretty much destroyed by the climax. That’s the case with “We Can Be Heroes,” a movie so derivative and tired that it destroys a lot of the charming characters and conflicts in the process.
For the uninitiated when Scooby Doo was attempting a new formula, they turned “Scooby Doo” in to a series of movies where they solved crimes with big celebrities like Dick Van Dyke and Sonny and Cher. Among the most popular crossovers was Batman and Robin. For years Batman and Robin were the most consistent allies of Mystery, Inc. getting in to all kinds of scrape ups with them, and battling people like Joker and the Penguin. They just seemed to click. “The Brave and the Bold” continues the long tradition by teaming them together by pairing the modern iteration of Scooby Doo with the family friendly animated “Batman: Brave and Bold” and it works.
Leave it to Disney and Pixar. They have the stable of Marvel superheroes at their disposal and they approach “The Incredibles 2” not as a cash grab but a sincere look at the idea of superheroes in the modern era. Sure superheroes seem like a great idea in theory, but “The Incredibles 2” uses its concept as a means of exploring the world with superheroes and how it can have its definite upsides and crushing downsides. The first film had the concept of the idea of the meaning of being exceptional, our natural advantages, and how mediocrity has become the norm for society that only accepted stellar, once upon a time. “The Incredibles 2” takes it a bit further dissecting the need for heroes and whether self-reliance is the only thing we have in this world.
With superhero movies now bringing down box office records and garnering mass critical acclaim, the genre has transcended TV schlock and has now become a legitimate cinematic sub-genre. From it, auteurs all over Hollywood from Christopher Nolan to Taika Waititi have lensed some of the best superhero movies of all time.
But back in the nineties, Hollywood didn’t always want to put money behind a movie starring caped superheroes and crime fighters. A long time superhero buff, Felix Vasquez, editor of Cinema Crazed, takes a look at the decade where superhero movies were considered very risky gambles for FOX and Warner.
“Everyone knows Iron Man, Superman, Captain America, and Batman.
They are some of the biggest cinematic icons of the modern era.
But do you remember the technological hero M.A.N.T.I.S.? How about the super powered being known as Meteor Man? The Master of the Unknown, Doctor Mordrid? Ever met the super model crime fighter known as Lady X? How about the Roger Corman leather clad heroine Black Scorpion?
In the 90’s, the prospect of superhero entertainment was still in its infancy and considered a big gamble for major studios like FOX and Warner, thus superheroes were confined to television movies, and low budget films. Prepare to go back to a decade where the time of The Avengers, and Iron Man were still very far off.”
The nineties were a peculiar time. The comic book industry was coming out of the huge success of Alan Moore’s “Watchmen,” and Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns,” while a bunch of young artists formed Image Comics and gave us a slew of new superheroes and avengers, all of whom were dark, bloody, brooding, and hairy. All the clean cut awe of Superman and Captain America went out of style giving way to a decade of muscle bound heroes with pouches, giant guns, massive swords, and a lot of angst that came with their back story. Even a very nineties hero like Spawn was made even more nineties being transformed in to a gun toting bad ass in his own movie. For a decade where superheroes were all doom and gloom, Disney seemed to play off of that trend by offering up a goofy satire called “Darkwing Duck.”
I really enjoy it when Disney tends to think outside the box in the realm of a certain genre. While “Big Hero 6” is definitely a Marvel and superhero movie, it’s also a really bold and off the wall tale about revenge, family, and the very thin line between justice and pure evil. “Big Hero 6” is an underrated feature from the Marvel canon that I really hope garners a sequel because the material here is just too ripe for a one and done feature film. The characters are just too damn interesting and by the time the film was done I wanted more from this rag tag group of geniuses. And that’s what I also enjoyed about “Big Hero 6” is that our heroes have a clear moral code they operate by and they do it with their brains.
Part two of the Adam West Batman series is probably my favorite installment so far, as it includes the famed crossover between The Green Hornet and Kato with the Caped Crusader. I always considered Green Hornet to be the superior series, so it’s a blast watching the pair of superheroes team up to stop what is a considerably lame villain. Granted, I would have loved to see them tackle the Joker, but beggars can’t be choosy.
The alternative to buying the two hundred buck Blu-Ray set is back once again, as Warner releases Batman Season two, Part One on DVD. Same bat time, same bat channel, just with lesser definition. I can definitely tolerate it not being blu-ray quality, and for folks looking for a less expensive alternative to owning the series, Warner is ensuring that they get their money’s worth by releasing every season in two separate parts. The series is about as good as ever, and depends on two factors: Either your nostalgia for the show, or your threshold for camp.