Though not as financially successful as the Disney canon of animated films (they did have a good 50 year head start)

“Hey, Ted, kids like verminous mice, right?”

I can’t think of another animated house that has as solid a portfolio as the WB Animated Premiere line. (The animated Marvel films are very hit or miss, more often than not in the miss category. How do you mess up the Ultimates? Twice, might I add.)

 

Pictured: Considerably less interesting than Wolverine.

 

For the intents and purposes of this article I will be talking about t only the related DC Comics based animated films (unless you really want me to talk about Cats Don’t Dance or Pebble and the Penguin. You don’t.)

Batman Mask of the Phantasm was originally intended to be a straight to video release. Warner Bros. fresh from seeing all those Dollar signs in their eyes from Batman and Batman Returns merchandising, apparently saw the possibility of a new Batman string of merchandising as a stop gap between Batman Returns and what would eventually become Batman Forever. The film was not a financial success. On a budget of 6 million dollars it only managed to recoup 5.6 million.

Very early in production, WB decoded that the film would be released in theaters. This unfortunately led to a very abbreviated window for the filmmakers. A traditional animated film is usually granted somewhere in the ball park of  two years or more. From inception to completion, the film took less than eight months.

Though many critics said that the film had a better narrative structure and even favored it over either of the Burton Batman films. But saying lack of narrative cohesion and Tim Burton films is redundant.

 

That isn’t a misprint. It says penguin commandos.

 

Go ahead. Say out loud the plot of Batman Returns.

I’ll wait.

You’ve either confused yourself or you think you sound like an idiot.

Granted, Burton’s films are lush, visual masterpieces, but that’s only half of the recipe. If I give you a hungry man dinner, but fail to heat it for you, your meal with be left with something to be desired.

Barely recouping its production costs at the theater, it would be the last of the animated DC films to be granted a theatrical release. Over its multiple releases over the years on DVD and VHS, the film has ended up turning a substantial profit and had two direct sequels, Batman & Mr.Freeze and Batman” Mystery of the Batwoman.

However, If Batman: The Animated Series owed its creation to the Batman films, Batman and Mr.Freeze was delayed because of Batman and Robin’s lack of success (and insuring wave of suck).

 

Artists rendering of wave of suck.

 

Financially, critically, microscopically and metaphysically a disappointment, the film’s performance so poorly, it caused the animated film, meant to tie-in to it’s eventual video release to be delayed another year.. The film was apparently completed sometime in 1997 but Warner, not wanting the stink to transfer, held the film off until 1998, hopefully improving its chances at success. And as they eventually went on to produce another Batman animated project, they were, by all accounts, correct.


supermanbrainiacattacksr

 

The first non-Batman animated Warner film was a little miss for me. They used all of the designs from the Superman Animated series that was produced from 1997-2000, but used none of the timeline or actor in their roles.

I’m not saying that you can’t recast or do another interpretation (as they did eventually with the Superman: Doomsday project) but why go to the trouble to reproduce so many details of the animated series and then ignore everything else about it.

Granted, I may have been out of the intended age range for the film, assuming that most 10 year olds wouldn’t remember a cartoon that was on television roughly the same time that they were born.

 

“Can someone flip it to Nick @ Nite. I loves me some Fresh Prince.”

 

Regardless, for us longtime fans, it was just kind of confusing and could have easily been solved but not having them look like their animated series counterparts.

After that slight misstep, the films have been bating 1000.

I don't know anything about sports. I can only assume this photo is illustrating the point that I just made.

I don’t know anything about sports. I can only assume this photo is illustrating the point that I just made.

Green Lantern’s likely reboot and Wonder Woman’s eventual live action interpretations will be doing well to reproduce the quality of these entries.

The Superman/Batman films (based on the comic of the same name) are probably my favorite of the DC animated films.

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, New Frontier and Batman: Under the Red Hood are also adapted from existing material and are more than worthy successors to their source material.

This only took til 2005 for a live action adaptation to think to use the 60 plus years worth of stories as the basis for the film, which resulted in Batman Begins. Good call, Nolan.

Batman: Gotham Knights had a very interesting premise, letting different anime directors creatively control the segments and allowing them to translate the Dark Knight as they saw fit. Not necessarily fitting anywhere as far as continuity is concerned, is never the less a fascinating exploration of Batman.

All-Star Superman, based on the seminal Grant Morrison miniseries, suffered from trying to place too much in a constrained time frame. As The Dark Knight Returns used a Part I and II to adequately cover it’s legendary source material, All-Star Superman could have used a similar treatment.

Superman/Shazam is a collection on shorter subject, mini films, which was first for the series. This eventually led to shorts being included as bonus material on their full length disks (Green Arrow was the featured short on Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, for example.) I would honestly prefer the longer format, but seeing as how I have purchased and watched every other DC animated project over the last 17 years, you could guess that I probably invested in this release as well.

Of the more recent fare, which is mostly based on arcs started after the recent continuity reboot,  Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox is probably the best.I think when people look back on it, years from now, it may be looked at as the animated film that took the DTV  comic book movie market to another level of storytelling. The characters feel fully realized and I found an emotional connection I can’t say I’ve ever experienced with the Flash character in any of his various iterations.

As and addendum to what I mentioned in the previous paragraph, I stopped reading DC, consistently, after the reboot. It honestly just felt like a slap in the face to erase the Universe I had been reading since I was seven years old. I’ve enjoyed Morrison’s Batman Incorporated and his run on Action Comics, but have found most of the rest of the titles to be wanting. Even the usually consistent Jonhs’ work on Justice League was bland. The individual personalities, which were masterfully done in the 1997 relaunch of JLA, are all but gone here. The Justice League, save Batman seem to have been lost their sense of individuality.(And this time Ra’s Al Ghul or the Injustice Gang have nothing to do with it.) I have purchased Throne of Atlantis, but have yet to motivate myself to read it. Oh, and Superman is apparently a douche now. Thanks, DC.

If you haven’t spent the time to watch these films or Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League, JL Unlimted, Batman Beyond or Green Lantern: The Animated Series you legitimately have hours worth of entertainment at your finger tips.

Seriously, go search Netflix or Amazon Prime or whatever. They are remarkably consistent and feature quality storytelling that often overshadow their blockbuster, theatrically released counterparts.

If you do decide to dip you foot in the proverbial pool, make sure to check out the second season finale of Justice League Unlimited entitled “Epilogue”.

The producers were uncertain of whether or not the show would be brought back for a third season and used it as what they assumed would be a finale to the animated DC Universe. It’s one of the most touching and poignant explorations of Batman, ever. I’d place this story beside Alan Moore’s Batman: The Killing Joke or the aforementioned The Dark Knight Returns. For anyone that was previously unaware, it shows you why Batman is, and ever thus shall be, the greatest hero in the DC continuity (Or Marvel, for that matter.)

DC Comics Animated Films

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)

Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero (1998)

Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000)

Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003)

Superman: Brainiac Attacks (2006)

Superman: Doomsday (2007)

Justice League: The New Frontier (2008)

Batman: Gotham Knight (2008)

Wonder Woman (2009)

Green Lantern: First Flight (2009)

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010)

Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)

All-Star Superman (2011)

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (2011)

Batman: Year One (2011)

Justice League: Doom (2012) (Adaptation of Tower of Babel story arc.)

Superman Vs. The Elite (2012) (based on “What’s so funny about Truth, Justice and the American way?” )

Dark Knight Returns Part I (2012) (based on…wait for it…. Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns.)

Dark Knight Returns Part II (2013)

Superman Unbound (2013)

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)

Justice League: War (2014)

Son of Batman (2014)

UPCOMING ANIMATED RELEASE TITLES

Batamn: Assault on Arkham

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis

Batman vs. Robin

Justice League: Gods and Monsters

 

They say the suit makes the man, and in Superman’s case, I suppose it isn’t any different. Who has the best Superman costume. Superman Returns is probably my least favorite.

 

Milk still does a body good though.

 

There’s a lot of things that I think they did with the costume that were really just for being different than what came before it. Raising the S, the belt buckle bearing the symbol, No yellow sun the Cape and the Boots looking like Nike made them…

 

Unless Ma Kent owns a sweat shop, I don't see how we arrived here.

 

as well as the collar being so tight. I don’t hate costume, I just don’t think all of the decisions were made for the right reasons. The Cain costume I think actually made a couple of improvements over the Reeve costume, though the fact that it’s a television show and not a major motion picture really does show sometimes. The darkened colors look better than the lighter ones that are associated with the Reeve costume. There are some incarnations of the costume early on that I didn’t like but the one that the show eventually went with I really did like.

 

Too bad they didn't spend more money on Cain's acting lessons.

 

I also like the difference in the hair between Kent and Superman. The slicked back hair suited the character well (though really could we not have a spit curl up front?)

 

 

and in no surprise to anyone the Reeve costume is my favorite. Ive actually got to see the one used in the original up close (they wouldn’t let me put it on sadly) but its construction was obviously meant to hold up to greater scrutiny (and several films) and is my favorite incarnation in any form of the costume. The hair, the actor, the costume, just everything works here.

 

Mathematically proven to kick seven a**es.

 

I first mentioned that Christopher Reeve is the best Superman. I stand by that. but I also forgot to add some points appropriately. Christopher gets 2 points for being the best (its more because its frigging Superman, if he doesn’t work, the rest of the surrounding is kind of moot.) I did actually like Brandon Routh as Superman, but I think his performance was more of an imitation than an original performance, so in no insult to him, I give 1 point to Dean Cain and half a point to Routh. I think all of them, much like my opinion of the Perrys made valid additions to the mythos, but Christopher Reeve was even good in the bad Superman films.

 

I don't want to kick a dead horse...wait, why was Superman inside that nuclear missile in the background?

 

Superman Returns has 2.5, Lois and Clark has 4.5 and Superman: The Movie has 4.5. So at the end of the day, it ends in a tie. There are a lot of things I like about Lois and Clark. There are a lot of things that I don’t. The final two seasons are pretty terrible and a lot of the villains they go with are just terrible even if you go easy on them. I think they wanted to kind of go for what Adam West’s Batman show achieved but they just weren’t getting the same caliber of actor, and it suffered because of this. I also don’t think you had a very strong voice as far as the executive producer was concerned and it made the show a little listless toward it end. And I still hate the fact that it ended on a cliffhanger. And seeing as how its been 14 years since it went off the air, I don’t think were getting a made for TV movie wrap up for it. Superman Returns will never get to correct the mistakes it made coming out of the gate or a chance to compete or fill in any of loose threads. With a production budget of 232 million dollars and a final tally of 450 million (after DVD and various home video profits are taken into account) it certainly turned a profit. I love that we live in a world were half a billion dollars just isn’t enough. Superman: The Movie, even with its nonsensical ending, is my favorite incarnation of the character. I don’t think Superman II is shot as well and lacks a lot of the scope that the first film had in spades. That’s what happens when you hire Lester instead of Donner. Quick list me 5 other movies that Lester did that don’t have Musketeer in the title? Yeah you cant can you? Don’t feel bad, he isn’t really that talented. It’s a good thing he had all of that preexisting footage that Donner shot to get him out of the hole he would have likely but the movie in had he had a Superman film all to himself (see Superman III, or don’t really.) if I had to pick just one incarnation, this would be the one. It’s the one that enchanted me as a child and the one that still enchants me as an adult. Even with Christopher Nolan (an immensely talented and brilliant filmmaker, responsible for Batman Begins and The Dark Knight) attached to produce, he’s got some ways to go if he wants to make the definitive Superman film as well.

This week we begin the look at the staff of the Daily Planet. Lois Lane will be first.  Margot Kidder and Kate Bosworth are kind of in the same boat for me. In the sense that I don’t like them. I have no clue why the most powerful man…

Not that one...

in the world would settle for these women. Kate Bosworth looks like she’s 14 and Margot Kidder is just irritating. The only Lois Lane that I have any kind of respect for is Teri Hatcher. Her character is occasionally dumbed down on the show, but out of the three I think she seems the most capable. She’s also the most attractive. She’s been with James Bond (Tomorrow Never Dies) and Superman (Lois and Clark)and was a guest star on Star Trek The Next Generation, Seinfeld and Quantum Leap. Do you have any clue how many fantasies that fulfills for me. (several for any interested parties.) So as far as that’s concerned Superman Returns and Superman: The Movie get no points with Lois and Clark getting all the points for that one.

Though I honestly feel like the winner here.

Perry White is quite a different story. I like all the actors and characters involved here. Jackie Cooper, Frank Langella and Lane Smith. All of them bring some interesting albeit different traits to the character but all seem to ring true amongst their respective actors. Frank Langella might edge the other two out if I had to pick just one of them, but I think that’s just my familiarity with his other work.  Lane Smith is funny but still commands respect when he needs to. Jackie Cooper is old school and occasionally spouts some yoda-esque isms about the newspaper business. Frank Langella is just what I’d expect from a man that runs a major metropolitan newspaper and still seems wisened by his years  as well as knowing his reporters strengths and weakness (and isn’t afraid to tell them the straight truth for that matter.) I award them all full points. Unlike the Lois’ that have been featured in most of the live action incarnations I didn’t find any of the Perrys mere distractions.

Cowboy Curtis is doing WHAT?!?

The Last one we deal with is Jimmy Olsen. I think this character is worthless in the comics and for the most part I think he’s pretty worthless in the movies as well. Sam Huntington and Marc McClure are both pretty valueless in the movies. They seems to exist as comic less relief or reasons to consume Superman’s time when he could be doing something much more important.

Why am I talking to this Gorilla again, JImmy?

I haven’t created any characters that are beloved or have been around in various media for over half of a century or more. I just don’t think Olsen has any place in the current incarnation. I’m supposing that he was put there as some sort of Avatar for the younger generation to place themselves upon. But why would I want to do that when I have Superman to look up to and avatate myself upon. But what do I know. The only incarnation of Jimmy Olsen that I really cared about was the original Jimmy Olsen on Lois and Clark. He was let go because he looked too much like Dean Cain (the gentleman responsible for the Clark Kent/Superman duties on the show.  Which is a terribly stupid reason to lose your job by the way.) I didn’t hate the new guy but it really wasn’t broke in the first place either. Micheal Landes is closer to I think the way that I would write the character while Justin Whalin is more of the traditional naïve Jimmy Olsen. Lois and Clark gets the big points for this category with Marc McClure getting the half point just because he was in Back to the Future as well. Sam Worthington, sorry, no points are awarded. I don’t dislike him as an actor, I just found him worthless in that movie.

So let’s take a look at where it sits. Superman Returns has 2 points, Lois and Clark has pulled ahead with 3 points and Superman: The Movie has a combined total of 2. Tune in again (or log on or whatever )to see how the Superman incarnations stack up in next weeks match up

For those that didn’t get to read the introduction or don’t have a digital copy of all the Geek Chics (and if you do, I’m somewhat interested to know how you did so?) that was the set up and here’s some of the follow through. A hero is only as good as their villain.

No disrespect to James Kirk.

The greatest hero in the world isn’t much without a great and worthy adversary. And Superman’s is easily Lex Luthor. People will tell you that he is overused. I’ll grant you that. A lot of the time I’d say that budgetary constraints as far as most of the villains non appearances are concerned. Lois and Clark certainly didn’t have the money to adequately make a Doomsday appearance or a Darkseid mutiparter.

Lois and Clark's proposed Doomsday.

For Luthor, all you need is a commanding presence and a suit. And usually some baldness. Usually. The three actors we are looking at today are John Shea, Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey. John Shea is at a disadvantage right off the bat. Kevin Spacey and Gene Hackman are two of the greatest living actors today. Ian McKellan and Morgan Freeman have to bring their considerable A game to compete with these men. I would easily list them amongst the most talented performers living or dead. Their collective resumes are things of legend (mostly.)

John Shea was in Honey, I Blew Up the Kid and some episodes of Sex and the City and Law and Order. That isn’t a slight to him, its just facts. I think he did an exceptional job on what he was given in the script department. Lois and Clark wasn’t always the most impressively written show and he’s probably glad that he left the show before its largely unwatchable 4th season. The first and second were the most enjoyable with the show losing a consistently threatening and comparatively better written and performed villain. All that being said, he’s my least favorite of the Luthors. Gene Hackman falls into second. I like his Luthor. He isn’t playing him as clichéd or 1 note. He is on the other hand, occasionally feeling like a used car salesman.

"Kal-El? Can I call you Kal?..."

I never felt threatened by him. He’s a bad man to be sure, but I always thought he’d be more likely to sell me a lemon than destroy the world or stop the world’s greatest superhero. I think some of the problem lies in the fact that all he wants to do is get real estate. Luthor is a lot of things in the comic books but a land owner was never really emphasized (or really ever discussed as far as I recall.) Mad Sceintist, Humanatarian, Half Cyborg-Half Human Luthiac, but he never worked for Century 21. I don’t know what informed his performance, but it certainly wasn’t the source material. Despite all this going against him he still managed to at least entertain in every scene he’s in as well as provide a good balance against Reeve’s buffoonish Kent and Greatest Boy Scout performance. He was also in Superman IV and thus responsible for Nuclear Man.

To Do List: 1.Kill Superman 2. Destroy Superman Film Franchise.

I had to deduct points for that. Hackman was a good Luthor, but Kevin Spacey was always how I pictured him. Superman Returns is a flawed, though enjoyable film. I think it was almost too respectful of the originals and seemed to retread a little too much. I have also never been a fan of Luthor as a supervillian portrayal. I would have really enjoyed seeing Spacey portray the billionaire industrialist. When I heavily read the Superman titles (they haven’t been fantastic in some time.) that was how Luthor was portrayed. And I think it’s the best use of the character. Again despite all this, Spacey is easily the best thing about the movie. I think he felt the least tethered to the Donner films portrayals. Spacey is also an immensely talented actor and was with one of the directors that made him a name. (I love Spacey and Singer and Superman, but if you want to see them at their best, watch the Usual Suspects instead, it ended up being a much better use of their talents.) Spacey is vicious, slimy and commanding. And he went bald for the role as well, which gives him serious method points. So that puts Superman Returns ahead by one. Lois and Clark at zero and Superman: The Movie at half a point. Tune in again to see what Superman franchise will reign supreme.

Superman vs Superman

So who’s the greatest superman? The answer is Christopher Reeve.

Yeah that was a little anticlimactic. I’m going to do a comparison on the supporting cast and locations and just all around everything concerning that particular mythos but, UNDERSTAND that I have a huge partiality to the Richard Donner Superman (1978) the film charmed, astounded and just all around enchanted me as a child.

It helped make me the nerd I am today and is a film I have easily seen more than 200 times.  It was a lot later in my childhood that I finally separated the man and the character but for several years (and even now to a certain extent.) when I think of Superman, Chris Reeve is still the one I see.

I won’t be including Smallville in all of this because Tom Welling is Superboy, not Superman. (Argue the point with me all you want, I’m just not a Smallville fan.)

The three that we’ll be dealing directly with will be Lois and Clark: the New Adventures of Superman ( though I don’t think at 18 years they really qualify as new anymore.) The Donner Superman (and its partially Donner directed sequel.) Superman Returns.

Don’t take it as a slight to George Reeves or the animated Superman from Warner Animation. I’d like to keep it to live action and I’m honestly just not as familiar with the 50’s Adventures of Superman series.

Man of Steel also chose to eschew most of the elements that I’m comparing, and in respect to fairness, I’m trying to make it as much of an apples to apples comparison as I can.

But let’s say we get started.

First and foremost, a hero is only as good as their villain.

No disrespect to James Kirk.

The greatest hero in the world isn’t much without a great and worthy adversary. And Superman’s is easily Lex Luthor. People will tell you that he is overused. I’ll grant you that. A lot of the time I’d say that budgetary constraints. A man in a suit is much easier to recreate than a despot from a fire planet that requires constant CGI assistance.

Lois and Clark certainly didn’t have the money to adequately make a Doomsday appearance or a Darkseid mutiparter.

Lois and Clark’s proposed Doomsday.

For Luthor, all you need is a commanding presence and a suit.

And usually some baldness.

Usually.

The three actors we are looking at today are John Shea, Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey. John Shea is at a disadvantage right off the bat. Kevin Spacey and Gene Hackman are two of the greatest living actors today. Ian McKellan and Morgan Freeman have to bring their considerable A game to compete with these men. I would easily list them amongst the most talented performers living or dead. Their collective resumes are things of legend (mostly.)

John Shea was in Honey, I Blew Up the Kid and some episodes of Sex and the City and Law and Order. That isn’t a slight to him, its just facts.

I think he did an exceptional job on what he was given in the script department. Lois and Clark wasn’t always the most impressively written show and he’s probably glad that he left the show before its largely un-watchable fourth season. The first and second were the most enjoyable with the show losing a consistently threatening and comparatively better written and performed villain. All that being said, he’s my least favorite of the Luthors. Gene Hackman falls into second. I like his Luthor. He isn’t playing him as clichéd or one note. He does, on the other hand, occasionally feeling like a used car salesman.

“Kal-El? Can I call you Kal?…”

I never felt threatened by him. He’s a bad man to be sure, but I always thought he’d be more likely to sell me a lemon than destroy the world or stop the world’s greatest superhero. I think some of the problem lies in the fact that all he wants to do is get real estate.

Luthor is a lot of things in the comic books but a land owner was never really emphasized (or really ever discussed as far as I recall.) Mad Sceintist, Humanitarian, Half Cyborg-Half Human Luthiac, but he never worked for Century 21.

I don’t know what informed his performance, but it certainly wasn’t the source material. Despite all this going against him he still managed to, at least, entertain in every scene he’s in as well as provide a good balance against Reeve’s buffoonish Kent/Greatest Boy Scout performance. He was also in Superman IV and thus responsible for Nuclear Man.

To Do List: 1.Kill Superman 2. Destroy Superman Film Franchise.

I had to deduct points for that. Hackman was a good Luthor, but Kevin Spacey was always how I pictured him.

Superman Returns is a flawed, though enjoyable film. I think it was almost too respectful of the originals and retreaded a lot of the same material. I have also never been a fan of Luthor as an out and out super villain portrayal.

I would have really enjoyed seeing Spacey portray the billionaire industrialist. When I actually read the Superman titles (they haven’t been fantastic in some time.) that was how Luthor was portrayed.

And I think it’s the best use of the character.

Again despite all this, Spacey is easily the best thing about the movie. I think he felt the least tethered to the Donner films. Spacey is also an immensely talented actor and was with one of the directors that made him a name.

I love Spacey and Singer and Superman, but if you want to see them at their best, watch the Usual Suspects instead, it ended up being a much better use of their talents.

Spacey is vicious, slimy and commanding. And he went bald for the role as well, which gives him serious method points.

Having a main villian is all great and good. But how about the supporting cast?

The Daily Planet and Lois Lane will be first.  Margot Kidder and Kate Bosworth are kind of in the same boat for me. In the sense that I don’t like them. I have no clue why the most powerful man in the world would settle for these women.

Not that one…

iKate Bosworth looks like she’s 14 and Margot Kidder is just irritating.

The only Lois Lane that I have any kind of respect for is Teri Hatcher. Her character is occasionally dumbed down on the show, but out of the three I think she seems the most capable.

She’s also the most attractive.

She’s been with James Bond (Tomorrow Never Dies) and Superman (Lois and Clark). Was a guest star on Star Trek The Next Generation, Seinfeld and Quantum Leap. Do you have any clue how many fantasies that fulfills for me. (several for any interested parties.) So as far as that’s concerned Superman Returns and Superman: The Movie get no points with Lois and Clark getting all the points for that one.

Though I honestly feel like the winner here.

Perry White is quite a different story. I like all the actors and characters involved here. Jackie Cooper, Frank Langella and Lane Smith.

All of them bring some interesting, albeit different, to the character but all seem to ring true amongst their respective actors.

Frank Langella might edge the other two out if I had to pick just one of them, but I think that’s just my familiarity with his other work.

Lane Smith is funny but still commands respect when he needs to.

Jackie Cooper is old school and occasionally spouts some Yoda-esque anecdotes about the newspaper business. Frank Langella is just what I’d expect from a man that runs a major metropolitan newspaper and still seems wizened by his years. He knows his reporters strengths and weakness and isn’t afraid to tell them the uncomfortable truths.

 

Cowboy Curtis is doing WHAT?!?

The Last one we deal with is Jimmy Olsen. I think this character is worthless in the comics and for the most part I think he’s pretty worthless in the movies as well. Sam Huntington and Marc McClure are both pretty valueless in the movies. They seems to exist as comic less relief or reasons to consume Superman’s time when he could be doing something much more important.

Why am I talking to this Gorilla again, JImmy?

I haven’t created any characters that are beloved or have been around in various media for over half of a century or more.

I just don’t think Olsen has any place in the current incarnation. I’m supposing that he was put there as some sort of avatar for the younger generation to place themselves upon.

But, why would I want to do that when I have Superman to look up to and avatate myself upon?

But what do I know?

The only incarnation of Jimmy Olsen that I really cared about was the original Jimmy Olsen on Lois and Clark. He was let go because he looked too much like Dean Cain, the gentleman responsible for the Clark Kent/Superman duties on the show.  Which is a terribly stupid reason to lose your job by the way.

I didn’t hate the new guy but it really wasn’t broke in the first place either. Micheal Landes is closer to I think the way that I would write the character. Justin Whalin is more of the traditional naive Jimmy Olsen.

They say the suit makes the man, and in Superman’s case, I suppose it isn’t any different.

Who has the best Superman costume?

Superman Returns is probably my least favorite.

 

Milk still does a body good though.

 

There’s a lot of things that I think they did with the costume that were really just being done for the sake of being different than what came before it. Raising the S, the belt buckle bearing the symbol, no yellow symbol on the Cape and the Boots looking like Nike made them…

 

Unless Ma Kent owns a sweat shop, I don’t see how we arrived here.

 

As well as the collar being so tight.

I don’t hate costume, I just don’t think all of the decisions were made for the right reasons.

The Cain costume I think actually made a couple of improvements over the Reeve costume, though the fact that it’s a television show and not a major motion picture really does show sometimes.

The darkened colors look better than the lighter ones that are associated with the Reeve costume. There are some incarnations of the costume early on that I didn’t like but the one that the show eventually went with I really did like.

 

Too bad they didn’t spend more money on Cain’s acting lessons.

 

I also like the difference in the hair between Kent and Superman. The slicked back hair suited the character. But, honestly, can a brotha not get a spit curl up front?

 

 

In no surprise to anyone, the Reeve costume is my favorite. I’ve actually got to see the one used in the original up close

They would not let me put it on, sadly.

Or, not sadly. I don’t really have a “spandex body”.

Whatever.

its construction was obviously meant to hold up to greater scrutiny (and several films) and is my favorite incarnation, in any form, of the costume. The hair, the actor, the costume, just everything works here.

 

Mathematically proven to kick seven a**es.

 

I first mentioned that Christopher Reeve is the best Superman. I stand by that.

I did actually like Brandon Routh as Superman, but I think his performance was more of an imitation, than an original performance, so in no insult to him, I give more credit to Dean Cain than I do to Routh.

I think all of them, much like my opinion of the Perrys made valid additions to the mythos, but Christopher Reeve was even good in the bad Superman films.

 

I don’t want to kick a dead horse…wait, why was Superman inside that nuclear missile in the background?

There are a lot of things I like about Lois and Clark.

There are a lot of things that I don’t.

The final two seasons are pretty terrible and a lot of the villains they go with are just terrible even if you go easy on them. I think they wanted to kind of go for what Adam West’s Batman show did but they just weren’t getting the same caliber of actor, and it suffered, tremedously, as a result.

I also don’t think you had a very strong voice as far as the executive producer was concerned and it made the show a listless vesicle toward it end.

And I still hate the fact that it ended on a cliffhanger.

Seeing as how its been 18 years since it went off the air, I don’t think were getting a made for TV movie wrap up for it.

Superman Returns will never get to correct the mistakes it made coming out of the gate or a chance to compete or fill in any of loose threads. With a production budget of 232 million dollars and a final tally of 450 million (after DVD and various home video profits are taken into account) it certainly turned a profit.

I love that we live in a world were half a billion dollars just isn’t quite enough.

Superman: The Movie, even with its nonsensical ending, is my favorite incarnation of the character.

I don’t think Superman II is shot as well and lacks a lot of the scope that the first film had in spades. That’s what happens when you hire Lester instead of Donner. Quick list me five other movies that Lester did that don’t have Musketeer in the title?

Yeah you cant can you? Don’t feel bad, he isn’t really that talented.

It’s a good thing he had all of that preexisting footage that Donner shot to get him out of the hole he would have likely been in. The Superman film he had all to himself, Superman III, is quite the epic fail.

If I had to pick just one incarnation, this would be the one. It’s the one that enchanted me as a child and the one that still entices me as an adult.

Even with Christopher Nolan and David Goyer sheparding the newest incarnation. (And the SDCC footage looked very promising) I still can’t imagine that my affinity is going to change allegiance anytime soon. I look forward to it, and the ensuing Justice League film, but my Superman, will and ever, be the Richard Donner directed original.

But they’re always welcome to try.

 

 

Watch as I singlehandedly throw nerd fuel the geek fires.

 

Adam Cravens
You kind of bored me, Hangover Part II. I hope the the Aircraft Carriers full of money you are making will console you. (Hangover II shrugs and nods.)

12 hours ago via TweetDeck · Privacy: · Like · 
  • Jonathan Wray likes this.
    • Alexander Mattingly I heard it was a let down. Nothing but the same old jokes in a new movie.

      12 hours ago via Facebook Mobile · Like
    • Adam Cravens The Letdown would have been a more appropriate name. Comedies just have a hard time doing good sequels.

      12 hours ago · Like
    • Victor Hugo Gernt III Again, I disagree. Thought it was great.

      11 hours ago · Like
    • Jonathan Wray The Hangover 2: Same jokes, different country .. This should’ve been the tagline

      10 hours ago via Facebook Mobile · Unlike ·  1 person
    • Victor Hugo Gernt III What exactly were you guys expecting? The trailers were all clear on what it was going to be. It is the same movie in the way that Back to the Future III is the exact same movie as Back to the future. Doesn’t make any less entertaining. We aren’t dealing with the Godfather, here.

      10 hours ago · Like
    • Adam Cravens

      You’ve gotten soft in your old age, Vic. I’ve criticized Back to the Future Part III for the same reasons I’ve criticized Hangover Part II. I think you’re being way too generous calling it great. Allan was misguided but lovable in the first one. I still found myself rooting for him. In this one, he was just kind of a jerk. I did still like Bradley Cooper in the movie, I just thought the writing was lazy and Todd Philips kind of phoned it in. Remember the scene in Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back where Gus Van Sant is counting the money for Good Will Hunting II? That’s much how I envisioned this movie going. And Back to the Future Part III told some new jokes. I didn’t like Hangover II for the same reasons that I didn’t like Goldmember. The just took the plot from the second film and set it in the 70s. The proceed to tell all the jokes from the 1st and 2nd film and fill some time with Mike Myers eating some of his skin. Ghostbusters II is another film that uses a heavy amount of structure from the first film. But it’s almost as quotable as the first. It isn’t as good, but it also has to compare to the first. If I had of seen some more original jokes and less rehash I could have forgiven the plot recycling. When I see a Todd Phillips movie, I expect to laugh. If I wanted to be bored by tired plot devices and start staring at ceiling tiles I’ll go watch something with Madea in the title. I still love you though, puddin’.
      10 hours ago · Like
    • Victor Hugo Gernt III

      new jokes were told. New quotable lines were there. It was formulaic, but it recognized that. There were meta jokes about it being the exact same plot. It wasn’t meant to create a new world or be a departure from the first movie. The characters were just as lovable and I enjoyed the time I spent in the theater. I wasn’t bored at all. I was engaged. You call me soft, but you like Airforce One, which is just a bad rehash of die hard (or Passenger 51, if you want to put it on a plane). You recognize that movie for being “fun” but trash the Hangover. You may hold the first movie in too high a regard and are suffering from a let down. I don’t know, but I am questioning your judgment this summer. You said Thor was a good movie and that was a crapfest. Love you too, sugar.
      9 hours ago · Like
    • Logan Myers Victor the point being it was unnecessary and only made to cash in.

      9 hours ago · Like
    • Victor Hugo Gernt III Heaven forbid movies make money. It also has an A- score from viewers.

      9 hours ago · Like
    • Victor Hugo Gernt III Passenger 57*. my apologies to Wesley Snipes.

      8 hours ago · Like
    • Jonathan Wray I need more popcorn

      8 hours ago · Like
    • Logan Myers Well would you rather have a cash in sequel or something fresh? I personal don’t like any sequel that is a rehash. Which in the movie world is very rare as at that point it’s a franchise.

      8 hours ago · Like
    • Victor Hugo Gernt III Well, that is a bit of a different conversation. Do I have to pick just one? I think there is a place for both. Comedy sequels are almost always a rehash. Men in Black, Ghostbusters, Home Alone, Harold and Kumar, Major League, etc. are all rehashes. If the movie makes me laugh (again, Hangover II made me laugh) I am going to enjoy it if it is a rehash or not.

      8 hours ago · Like
    • Adam Cravens

      Wesley Snipes isn’t reading this. I don’t think you get to use facebook in tax jail. And I have no issue with profitability. Its more often than not what let’s those arthouse pictures or films with less mass appeal get made. And you should be more respectful of what President Ford did to try to stop russian Sirius Black from stealing planes in the future. I may have held its standard alittle bit too high. But what’s wrong in expecting so much from a movie series that I initially held in such high regard because of how original and funny it felt. I was in the floor with the original. And like I said, I didn’t hate this movie. I hated Transformers 2, and I am a major fan of some Micheal Bay fluff. And may you should take an Odinnap before you see Thor again. You should brace yourself for Captain America. As the aforementioned President Indiana Ford once said “I have a bad feeling about this.”
      7 hours ago via Facebook Mobile · Like
    • Logan Myers ALiens 2, Terminator 2, James Cameron…Hmmmmm

      7 hours ago · Like
    • Victor Hugo Gernt III You missed the part where I said comedy, didn’t you?

      7 hours ago via Facebook Mobile · Like
    • Tim Pippin Not so funny. Not totally bad but not like the first.

      5 hours ago · Like
    • Adam Cravens

      I do enjoy some James Cameron. But he wouldn’t be my go to guy for original storytelling. Harlan Elison was settled out of court when the similarities between Terminator and his Outer Limits episode. He more or less just wrote Aliens as a female Rambo in the world of Alien, standing in for Vietnam, though since her wrote part of First Blood: Part II at least he’s ripping off his own material. Avatar is Dances with Wolves. It’s what he does when he reuses the material. The man can shoot action and edit a movie like no ones business. Terminator 2’s plot is more or less a rehash of the original Terminator, but it’s also the greatest Sci-Fi Action movie ever made. If you can’t improve on the material or at least match it in some way, just leave it alone. And it isn’t as if Hangover Part II somehow makes the first less funny or unoriginal, I just held it to a higher standard, but it’s the one that set the bar as high as it did.
      35 minutes ago · Like
    • Logan Myers I’m just stated James Cameron as one of the few directors to make good sequels although very different from originals and arguably better(Terminator 2 no argument, but the ORIGINAL Alien is fucking perfect, Aliens is also fantastic, but with a different direction so I don’t even compare, BUT good sequels nonetheless. As a whole I don’t give a flying hoot aboot James Cameron.

      23 minutes ago · Like
    • Adam Cravens I agree. Cameron knows how to rehash his material and make it feel fresh and exciting. And Alien and Aliens shouldn’t even be in the same genre at the video store (if those still existed) but I love them all the more on being such drastically different takes on the material. Cameron ,Coppola and Singer should teach a class on how to make good sequels. (As long as you ignore anything he says about Godfather Part III.)

      12 minutes ago · Like

The latest from SarDre. Not since Jaws have sharked seem so in vogue.

 

Adam Cravens
Do you think Captain America knows its the 3rd most relevant superhero film this summer? Wait. Green Lantern. Do you think Captain America knows its the 4th most relevant superhero film this summer?

17 hours ago via TweetDeck · Privacy: · Like · 
    • Jonathan Danley I assume the first 2 are Thor and First Class?

      15 hours ago · Like
    • Kevin Rothacker I really hope Green Lantern turns out to be good. When I watch the trailer I feel like the movie is gonna dissapoint me

      15 hours ago · Like
    • Adam Cravens

      Martin Campbell has rebooted James Bond twice (Goldeneye and Casino Royale) and was responsible for The Mask of Zorro (another successful reboot of an aging property.) He also did Edge of Darkness w/ Mel Gibson that was interestingly enough a remake of the 1985 BBC miniseries that was directed by him. I think Captain America is going to end up disappointing alot of people. Green Lantern has cast and crew with a ton of experience and creditability. Not to mention Ryan Reynolds charisma (and abs). For the same reason that Iron Man was so successful (RDJ was the cake and the flying robot suit that shot things was just the icing.) Casting Ryan Reynolds as a cocky, womanizing rebel who can quip toe-to-toe with Brian Micheal Bendis Spider-Man? I think so. I liked Chris Hemsworth as Thor. I loved RDJ as Iron Man. The only piece of casting that might have been better was Christopher Reeve as Superman or Patrick Stewart as Prof. X. Okay, I’m about to bury the needle on the geekometer so I’ll stop. But yeah, I think Lantern is going to surprise some people and that Captain America is going to end up in the same realm as The Incredible Hulk did. I’m also a DC fanboy. Take that for what you will.
      14 hours ago · Like
    • Joshua Frizzell So help me, if Green Lantern is bad I don’t know what I will do…..

      14 hours ago · Like
    • Adam Cravens I will walk out of the theatre, after it is over, and complain about it on the internet and to my friends for the next ten years.

      14 hours ago · Like
    • Kevin Rothacker

      Casting Ryan Reynolds wasn’t surprising because he is a fantastic actor and I can picture him as the Green Lantern, but I’m not sure about the movie. I will see it as soon as possible and I hope I’m wrong (The Green Lantern and The Flash a…See More
      14 hours ago · Like
    • Adam Cravens I just can’t see Chris Evans telling Thor or Iron Man what to do. Or RDJ for that matter.And they should have let Goyer get to make his Flash movie with Reynolds. Nathan Fillion should have been Lantern. And if Deadpool (w/ Reynolds.) ever happens, I would watch that in a heart beat. Joss Whedon directing Avengers is inspired though.

      14 hours ago · Like
    • Kevin Rothacker Exactally. And Chris Evans is the Torch (They will never mix, but you still can’t play two characters in the same universe). Nathan Fillion would have been interesting

      14 hours ago · Like
    • Kevin Rothacker As Green Lantern. If they make a Deadpool movie then I will quit my job to go see it. Joss Whedon is an amazing writer and I’m very excited to see what he does with the plot.

      14 hours ago · Like
    • Joshua Frizzell Agreed Adam, we will go forth and complain to all of the interwebs.

      14 hours ago · Like
    • Adam Cravens My tweets shall be swift. My statuses merciless. In darkest day, in brightest night no film shall escape Nerd Lanterns light.

      13 hours ago via Facebook Mobile · Like
    • Travis L Flatt I won’t lie and said I’ve read all the above (yet) but the opinion of a dude who loves movies, and used to read comics: First Class looks pretty great, Capt looks watchable, and Thor and Green Lantern look cheezy/campy and too esoteric for non-comic dudes, especially the latter. (And, I think the concept of Thor with his lightning hammer doesn’t work in live action, sorry)

      12 hours ago · Like
    • Jonathan Danley It was actually pretty good.

      12 hours ago via Facebook Mobile · Like
    • Travis L Flatt Will rent it. I don’t go to the theatre that often these days, but lemme qualify this by saying: I didn’t like the Iron Man or most of the X-Men and Spiderman franchises. And for a dude like me, Thor and Green Lantern are just too much, and First Class is the only movie mentioned in this thread that really excites me at all. I’m not tryin to hate.

      12 hours ago · Like
    • Adam Cravens Not at all dude. Few things entertain me more than a good nerd debate. As long as we all agree that Liefeld is terrible.

      11 hours ago via Facebook Mobile · Like
    • ReuBen DeBord First Class is the only I’ll be seeing in theaters.

      11 hours ago · Like
    • Adam Cravens

      I went through my entire childhood with the terrible marvel made for TV adaptations. We got 2 good superman movies and 2 good Batman movies. It had to last us twenty years. Now were deciding the ones well see in theatres. Do you know how many times I’ve watched Superman IV? I dont . Its been that many. As long as they make less Fantastic Fours and Punishers (any of them, they were all terrible.) I will be there date and day with athletic fit superman tshirt ( seriously how cruel is it to make tshirts in athletic fit for a demographic that traditionally battles with weight issues?)
      10 hours ago via Facebook Mobile · Like
    • ReuBen DeBord

      I’m on the other side of that line of thinking. I can’t explain it, but i just feel like we are inundated with so many comic movies that it’s hard for me to care when one comes out, because another one will be out in another month. I grew up on the Burton Shumacher Batman movies, and i still remember when one comic book movie came out per year instead of 5. But i’m not disapointed that we’re getting so many. I just won’t see them all. I never cared about Green Lantern (within the GL franchise i like Kyle Rayner and John Stewart, in the context of the JLA), Ryan Reynolds, or Hal Jordan. So there’s no reason for me to see it. Likewise i’ve just never had any love for Thor, despite giving it numerous chances over the last few years.
      10 hours ago · Like
    • Jonathan Danley I think we’re inundated by comic book movies because there’s Damn all originality left in hollywood.

      9 hours ago via Facebook Mobile · Like

Geek Chic: 99.9%

June 1, 2011

Perfection.

Um...How did this get here?

Um…How did this get here?

Unattainable? Probably. There’s always something to clog the gears. Something that takes what is otherwise picture-esq and makes it somehow…less. Mortal.

Nope. Not what I meant. I am having some serious issues concentrating today.

Nope. Not what I meant. I am having some serious issues concentrating today.

The debate has raged for years. As far as to what the supposed “Godfather” of superhero films is. Experience is obviously going to vary per user, but there is more often than not an aggregate that everyone can at least agree on. Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight. Bryan Singer’s X2.  From a very early age, Superman: The Movie caught my imagination and attention. I believed a man could fly.  I had been a fan of the SuperFriends reruns as well as the then current Super Powers toy line.I read every Superman comic book I could get my hands on. I had the pajamas. The t-shirts. Everything. The theme of my son’s adoption party was “Superman was adopted.”

528480_10150947225316383_27077577_n

This is a character and a narrative that have influenced me my ENTIRE life.

The apex, at least in the early stage of my development was the eponymous Richard Donner film of the same name. That film is about as close to super heroic perfection as one can possibly get. Christopher Reeve is Superman incarnate. It really looks like they just took Superman off the comic book page and he then simply existed in human form.

superman-then-now

 

Richard Donner’s blending of three separate and very disparate forms of film genre. Traditionally you don’t see science fiction, Americana and modern day realism all in the same film. I’d argue that it wasn’t done, successfully at least, again until Joss Whedon took a smart ass tech nerd, 1940’s super soldier and a Norse god and seamlessly adhesived them into a single universe. Most of the time, this is just a recipe for disaster.

And yet here we are 35 years later, talking about the movie. So something must have gone right. Well almost everything. It’s the ending.

That stupid ******* ending doesn’t make a lick of sense even in a reality that a strange visitor from another planet hurtling through space in a rocket ship for 5 years only to be raised by a kindly older couple that was never able to conceive their own child and has powers far beyond that of mortal men. Even in that REALITY, the ending doesn’t make sense.

Bird cage hats were very much in vogue on Krypton.

Bird cage hats were very much in vogue on Krypton.

 

Entirely, non-phallic wiener pods.

Entirely, non-phallic wiener pods.

I can accept that he can fly, has heat vision and freezing breath. I accept that his co workers don’t recognize him when he puts on glasses (it’s been theorized that Superman is a low level telepath ) I might have even accepted running back time as an explanation of fixing everything if it had been done another way. if you can open a door to the Phantom Zone, I assume Jor-El couild have theorized someway into temporal vortexes and the like.  He is after all from an alien civilization that is thousands of years ahead of us.

But instead he just runs the earth backwards. That is some Vin Diesel math, right there. If I run a VHS tape back to a certain point, it isn’t going to show me a different movie, the events just start over. (and this is assuming you buy the fact that turning the rotation of the earth will, in fact, run back time. Because it won’t.) Thus everything that he did stop has now reset itself.

The sound quality on this and the logic behind Superman: The Movie's climax are roughly equivalent.

The sound quality on this and the logic behind Superman: The Movie’s climax are roughly equivalent.

 

And if he is able to fly around the earth at the rate of speed that he is shown to be, why couldn’t he have stopped both of the missiles? I know that Luthor said he wasn’t fast enough, but at the end of the film I know I saw him travel the circumference of the globe in matter of seconds.

Unless he was pulling a Star Trek IV and using the Earth's gravity to create a sling shot effect to propel him faster than the speed of light. But he didn't.

Unless he was pulling a Star Trek IV and using the Earth’s gravity to create a sling shot effect to propel him faster than the speed of light.
But he didn’t.

I mean maybe he would have had to take a little extra time to throw it into space but I’m pretty sure he could have gotten both of those and had time to get a cat out of a tree or get some lunch in the time he takes before Lois seemingly perishes. It isn’t out of the realm of possibility that a good screen writer could make up something stupid like that for the ending. If Oscar Winner Akiva Goldsmith can give us Batman and Robin and Batman Forever and then turned around and write A Beautiful Mind, Mario Puzo, one of the architects behind The Godfather Part I and II could do the same.

Or that’s what I tell myself so I can sleep at night.

It doesn’t make it a lesser film. It doesn’t even make it a bad film. It just detracts from what is obviously seen to be a labor of love. It isn’t unlike the terrible Batman voice Christian Bale does in the Dark Knight trilogy.

download

Those films are magnificent achievements in film and storytelling. But your telling me that a billionaire ninja vigilante that has a microwave emitter that can vaporize water supplies and some how not kill any person standing within a mile radius (people are roughly 60% water.) can’t make some sort of voice modulation technology that fits over his Adam’s apple and doesn’t make him sound like he’s in laughable community theatre version of The Three Little Pigs in the role of the Big Bad Wolf?

That’s the way I see it at least. Just my opinion. Should be yours.

When graphics were awesome, Rap was hardcore and your parents helped you hook it up (not the other way around.)