Karas: The Prophecy, The Revelation (2007 Anime)

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Where do I even start? By the time I was done watching this I was scratching my head desperately trying to figure out why I had bought this back in 2007 when it was released on dvd for American audiences.

I have 2 good things to say, so I’m going to get them out of the way. The visuals in this anime (there are 6 total episodes) are absolutely stunning and the fight scenes are so action packed and awesome that it took my breath away. And that was it. Nothing else about this anime is anything I would recommend.

This was a confusing mess that made so little sense that it wasn’t until I went over to the Wikipedia page that it started to get straightened out in my head. The anime opens up with what appear to be 2 jet planes flying over Shinjuku strafing each other and obviously fighting against each other. Then they suddenly transform into old school samurai looking guys (like the armor on the cover) and begin hacking away at each other in front of the moon all the while being a bajillion feet up in the air. Then one guy eventually kills the other and the dead guy turns to black feathers.

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Two Karas with their feet towards each other, preparing for the final confrontation

 

There are robot demons, and a cop who investigates supernatural stuff and Karas is supposed to be a protector or something and one karas went rogue and is trying to take over the city with the demon robots. And there is more stuff that I don’t even remember because I was so bewildered and lost as to what was going on that I didn’t know what to look at or who to pay attention to or anything.

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A mikuras, ie, a robot demon

By the time these 6 episodes were done, all I knew for certain was that I would never watch this again and if I could get rid of these, I would in a heart beat! It was a waste of my time and I doubt anyone now, 13 years later, is going to spend any time on it, nor should they.

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It did make me want to go through some of my other anime though, to see just how much my tastes had changed. So in July I think I’m going to be dedicating Sundays to anime.

 

I plan on watching Big O Seasons 1 & 2 (think Batman the Animated Series in Japan with giant robots), The Record of Lodoss War OVA (my manga reading this month inspired that choice!) and to wrap things up, the Tenchi Muyo OVA (scifi romcom) that got me hooked on anime back in the early ’00’s. Prepare yourselves, Bookstooge is going Old School Anime next month!

 

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The 10th Kingdom, Disc 3 (2000 Mini-Series)

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This final episode starts immediately after the previous disc ends. Virginia and Tony are stunned with the realization that the Evil Queen was their mother and wife. This leaves them distracted so the troll siblings manage to capture them, again. They escape, into a swamp, only survive because Wolf rescues them. Prince Wendell’s coronations is about to happen and they all sneak into the castle, to be betrayed by Wolf to the Evil Queen. The backstory of the Evil Queen is given and she’s shown to be just a mentally ill woman who tried to kill her daughter (Virginia) and was recruited by the previous Evil Queen in the 9 Kingdoms.  Virginia is devastated, as she had suppressed that memory and Tony falls apart.

Lots of twists and turns, the Evil Queen dies, Wolf is a good guy, Wolf and Virginia get hitched, Wendell and Dog go back to their proper bodies and Tony is hired by Wendell to start a new company making Bouncy Houses in the 9 Kingdoms. Wolf and Virginia go back to New York and the movie ends with them saying that this had been only the first adventure they were to experience in the 9 Kingdoms.

 

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You know what is funny? After watching Disc 2 and my complaints about how long it felt, this time around it felt like everything was rushed and happened in a flash.  There was also a LOT of emotionally laden scenes that unfortunately didn’t do a thing for me.  While the Evil Queen as misunderstood crazy person was supposed to tug at our heart strings, the fact that she tried to drown her child negated it all in my eyes.

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Bookstooge’s Pro-tip: Parents, don’t kill your kids…

 

Of course, I did like how everything wrapped up nice and neat. That is how I like my stories to occur. Most people don’t get a happy ending in real life so that is why I like it to be a staple in the stories I read.

Overall, I’m glad I’ve re-watched this but I don’t really think I’ll be watching this again. At least not on my own. Maybe some day if Mrs B wants to watch it with me, then I’ll entertain the notion. But if I do, we’ll definitely be splitting our viewing up into the proper episodes instead of a disc at a time.

Of course, now that I’m done with this mini-series, I have to choose what to watch next.

I’m leaning towards either The Returner, a live action asian movie that might as well be an anime or an anime movie called Karas: The Prophecy, The Revelation. Let me know if either one looks more or less interesting to you.

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The 10th Kingdom, Disc 2 (2000 Mini-Series)

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When I slipped the second disc of this mini-series into my bluray player, they had a very helpful “previously on the 10th Kingdom” so I was able to slide right back into the movie without any annoying “now, what did I watch last month”.

The quick and dirty synopsis has Virginia being rescued from the Huntsman by Tony and Wolf. They continue chasing after the Magic Mirror so that Virginia and Tony can return to our world.  They have several adventures and each time get a hold of the mirror only to have circumstances force it out of their hands. In the Town of Love, Wolf wins a huge jackpot but instead of spending the money on buying the Mirror, spends it all on woo’ing Virginia. When she realizes what he’s done, she casts him off. Tony finds the Mirror in the clutches of the Huntsman but in the process of stealing it, drops it off a roof and destroys it. Tony is now cursed with bad luck and they begin another adventure to find the makers of the mirrors.

They argue and fight but eventually make it to the mountains of the dwarfs. They sneak in, get some help and find out there is another traveling mirror they can use. Of course, Tony’s bad luck kicks in and he ends up breaking another 100 magic mirrors. He and Virginia begin being chased by the dwarves and in a tunnel Tony falls down a hole and breaks his back. Virginia goes on alone to find an exit and runs into the ghost of Snow White. She is given a magic mirror, granted a wish (which she uses to heal her father) and then they escape the mountain. The disc ends with the magic mirror revealing the Evil Queen and Tony realizing it is his ex-wife and Virginia’s mother.

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By the end of this disc I was begging for it to be over. This was also 2 3/4hrs like the previous disc, but this time around things really dragged. The Quest to recover the mirror became annoying as they kept “almost” getting it only to have go out of reach by directorial fiat. It wasn’t even subtle.  Wolf’s obsession with his feelings for Virginia was also very annoying. He was so concerned about himself that he never once took her into consideration. Then Virginia acts like a drama queen the entire time and Tony, well, he’s Tony. I found it funny but I know that won’t appeal to everyone. The reveal about the Evil Queen at the end would have had a lot more impact if I wasn’t already bored to tears.

What this needed, and I think newer releases have done, is to break this up into its component episodes so you can watch just one 90minute episode and then take a break, with a clear beginning, middle and ending. This version just mashed everything together into a ginormous movie that became bowed down under its own weight. I would have enjoyed this a lot more in smaller chunks.

I was hoping that the Evil Queen would be something more, but sadly, she pretty much spends her time training Dog to act like Wendell and once again is more of a tired, put upon grandmother than an evil queen bent on taking over the entire land.  The further reveal that she was crazy didn’t really do much besides invoke one tiny, brief spurt of pity.

I know I’m complaining a lot but this wasn’t a bad story. It just needed to be broken up.

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The 10th Kingdom, Disc 1 (2000 Mini-Series)

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This disc went on a lot longer than I was expecting. It was almost 3 hrs long.  I just looked on Wikipedia and the whole mini-series is 10 hrs, so I’m guessing each disc is going to be of equal length. Considering how much I enjoyed this, that is a good thing.

The quick and dirty synopsis is that Prince Wendell, of the 4th Kingdom, is due to be crowned king soon.  The Evil Queen, who killed Wendell’s parents, is in magical prison but with the help of the Troll King, escapes and makes Wendell change places with her dog. Wendell, as a dog now, escapes through a magic mirror into New York City, where he meets Virginia and her father. The Evil Queen sends the Troll King’s 3 children after Wendell as well as Wolf, who was also being kept in Magical Prison. They all follow Wendell through the mirror into New York. The troll siblings claim the land, which they think is the mythical 10th Kingdom, for the trolls.  The trolls and Wolf track down Wendell to Virginia and her father Tony’s apartment.Wolf falls instantly in love with Virginia. Magical, funny things happen and everyone heads back through the magic mirror to the 4th Kingdom.

Virginia and Tony, along with Wolf and Wendell (who can talk to Tony due to some of the magical shenanigans back in NY) are all being chased by the Troll Siblings. They get split up, come back together and begin chasing down the magic mirror so they can return to NY.  We get a history lesson of the land that brings us up to speed. The Troll King reneges on his deal with the Evil Queen and decides to take over the 4th Kingdom for himself. The Evil Queen realizes Wolf isn’t going to help her and sends her Huntsman after the group. Our Gang runs into a group of Gypsies and Virginia gets cursed with Rapunzel hair. At this point Prince Wendell is now a gold statue of a dog due to Tony getting greedy with a Midas spell. He’s getting dragged along by Tony on a little cart. Wolf hides them from the Hunstman so he can find the Woodsman, a man with a mythical axe.  This axe can cut anything, including Virginia’s ever growing hair and that will break the curse. Of course, Virginia sneezes at the most inopportune time and gets captured by the Huntsman while Tony and Wolf attempt to track her down to rescue her.

I have obviously left out a lot of details, but needless to say, I was amused. The digital FX were definitely dated but thankfully there is very little of that. The actors carry the story and I want to talk about a couple of them.

 

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Virginia and her dad Tony

Virginia is played by Kimberly Williams. She’s a waitress whose mom left when she was 7 and her dad, while loving her, is pretty self absorbed.  All she wants is to lead a normal life and open her own restaurant. She is the epitome of “the little feisty girl” and at one point even pushes Wolf out of a second story window with a broom. How can you not love that? Tony is played by John Larroquette and my goodness, is he good in that role. He gets a magic bean that grants him 6 wishes, but they all go wrong in various ways and that is what leads him to jump through the mirror.  He has the bumbling, selfish yet lovable dad thing down pat. He is such a jumble of good, bad and mediocre that you know he’s going to get in trouble, and yet you can’t wait to see HOW he’s going to get into trouble.

 

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Virginia and the Big Bad Wolf

Wolf is played by Scott Cohen, and much like Laroquette, really nails the part. He’s constantly rubbing his eye with his forearm, howling, making little in the throat dog noises and saying things like “huff , puff”. Being part of the Nine Kingdoms, he’s very much our channel into the thinking of that land. Since he’s with Virginia and Tony so much, it helps explain a lot.

 

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Prince Wendell

Wendell is actually 2 characters here. One is the Real Prince Wendell in a dog’s body that is with Virginia, Tony and Wolf and the second character is Dog in Prince Wendell’s body.  He is played by Daniel Lapaine. He only has to do the voice over for the dog part but where he really shines is as Dog ala Prince Wendell. Whoever was directing definitely gave a lot of thought to what a dog would be like who suddenly had a human body. He’s constantly on his hands and knees looking for bones. There is one scene near the beginning where he’s in the carriage and they’re racing along and his head is out the window with his tongue lolling out, exactly like how you see dogs in cars today. Priceless! He’s not to fond of being a human, but since the Evil Queen is his master, he does what she says, because she’s his master. Very dog like 🙂

 

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The Troll King and The Evil Queen

Now we come to the main villains of the piece. The Troll King is rescuing his inept kids from prison at the beginning of the movie and that is how he gets involved with the Evil Queen. He is played by Ed O’Neil and I don’t envy him having to wear all that makeup and prosthetics. I bet it was wicked uncomfortable. He’s not particularly bad, he’s just a troll who wants everything, now.  The Evil Queen, played by Dianne Wiest, was a just a bit of a let down. We’re told she’s evil and that she poisoned Wendell’s parents (hence her being in prison) and her plans for taking over the 4th Kingdom certainly make her SOUND evil. She didn’t come across as an Evil Mastermind though, more of a tired woman going through the motions, rather harried instead of being in control. Part of the issue is she doesn’t have as much screen time, but then, neither did the Troll King.  I don’t know that I would have noticed it so much if it weren’t for how well I thought the other actors portrayed their characters.

 

I’ve been doing some looking around as I was writing this and it turns out there are about a bajillion different releases of this miniseries starting out with vhs up to a more recent bluray. Turns out that 10hr run time was for tv, as this was released in 5 episodes, each being 2hrs with ads. Various video releases range from 6 to 8hrs. We’re watching the Hallmark/Artisan version from 2000 and the runtime is 417 minutes in full screen.  This was not episodic in we viewed it, but was put together as one big movie.

While I had a lot of fun watching this, I was also glad to take a break after the first disc. 2 3/4 hours was enough for one session.

 

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UP (2009 Movie)

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Oh, boy. I watched this with Mrs B when it came out on bluray back in 2009 and while we both enjoyed it, we haven’t watched it since. We’d been married about a year at that time and how the movie starts hit a little too close to home.

However, 10+ years seems like enough time and after AVP I needed something good, which Pixar has always delivered.

Synopsis is that we see how Carl and Ellie meet, fall in love and grow old together until Ellie passes away. The movie really starts with Carl being a grumpy old man and refusing to sell his house to a developer while massive construction is going on all around him. A boy scout comes to Carl’s door, Russell, and Carl sends him on a snipe hunt to get rid of him. Carl has an altercation with one of the construction people and a court orders him to a retirement home. He uses a million balloons to sail the house away to South America to fulfill the dream that he and Ellie had but never realized.  The complication is that Russell is along for the ride. They make it to the place that Carl wants to go, find a bird that nobody believes exists and meet Carl’s childhood hero, a world renowned adventurer who has been hunting the bird all these years and has intelligent dogs who can speak through electronic collars. It turns into a fight between Carl, Russell and Doug (one of the talking dogs) against the Adventurer and his dogs.  The bad guys are defeated and Carl becomes the male authority figure in Russell’s life. A Happy Ending.

This movie starts out with Carl and Ellie meeting because of their love of adventure. It is done in this colored style that is reminiscent of a black and white movie. Once past the initial meeting, there is almost no dialogue but we see how Carl and Ellie’s life goes on.  I have to admit, it was the most gut wrenching thing (again) and when Ellie passes, I was just sobbing. I was glad no one could see me. I was astounded how Pixar could pack so much intention into scenes lasting only seconds with no dialogue.

Then the movie goes into the main part and we see grumpy old man Carl meeting Russell and it turns into a Buddy movie. I enjoyed the rest of it, but after having my emotional guts torn out in the beginning the impact just wasn’t the same.

I was glad to watch this but suspect it will be another decade before I watch it again.  Not as good as Toy Story or Monster’s Inc, but a solid movie in the Pixar line up.

 

With my reading of the Lord of the Rings ending soon, I’ve decided to watch the extended edition dvds that I own. However, when I was looking at my shelf, I also saw the 10th Kingdom, a miniseries that Mrs B introduced me to.  It is 5 episodes long and would take about 3 posts as well. So your vote for the next three months. Choose wisely (for your own sake!).

 

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AVP: Alien vs Predator (2004 Movie)

51vm6677rflAnyone with the reading skills of a 3rd grader could figure out the basic premise of this movie. But just in case there are any first or second graders who read my blog…..

This is a matchup that fans have wanted for years and years. Aliens fighting Predators, who will come out on top? And will Earth survive?

Quick and dirty synopsis. Weyland Industries finds a hidden pyramid in Antarctica and sends in a team to grab all they can before other corporations make their move. Unknown to anyone, the pyramid is a nesting ground for Aliens and a testing ground for young Predators. If the Predators kill the aliens, they get Predator Cred and Big Boy, err Predator, Pants. If they lose, the whole area gets nuked.  Everyone but one woman gets killed and she teams up with the lone surviving Predator to take down the Alien Queen. Predator dies, Alien dies, Human survives. The movie ends with a chest burster Alien coming out of the dead Predator’s chest, with a Predator set of mandibles, so some sort of Predator/Alien hybrid.

For the record, and to my everlasting shame, I own this on dvd. I really enjoyed it the first time I watched back in the day, as the action was almost non-stop. On this re-watch though, every glaring weakness shone as bright as the sun to me.  I don’t even want to get into specifics, as there are just too many and I don’t want to relive them 😦

This was an Action Movie, but even Action Movies don’t have to be brainless fluff. This wasn’t even fluff though, more like dryer lint. Dryer lint after running a whole load of jock straps through the dryer. Just gross. I’m actually tempted to throw this movie into the trash as I am NEVER going to watch it again.

I realize I haven’t said much, but my goodness, this movie just doesn’t deserve having anything being said about it. Except that there was a sequel, which even I acknowledged upon my first watch that it was one of the worst movies I’d ever watched. It made this movie look like an Oscar Nominee.

Next I’m planning on watching UP. Lashaan mentioned it in his Goodbye 2019, Hello 2020 post. I need a movie that will make me feel all the feelz.

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Superman IV: The Quest for Peas, errr, Peace

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Superman IV: The Quest for Peace was released in 1987 and was co-written by Reeve’s. That should have been enough of a warning to anyone. Of course, Matt warned me that it was a stinker, so I knew going in that I was in for rough weather. And indeed, this movie was bad. It was bad enough that another Superman movie wasn’t made again until 2006. Almost 20 years of stinkitude!

The basic premise is that “everyone” is concerned that Nuclear weapons are going to destroy the world but Superman won’t do anything about it because of his instructions from Krypton not to change the fate of his adopted world. Then a school boy writes to him asking him to save everyone.  At the same time a greedy capitalist buys the Daily Planet and starts turning it into a tabloid while he gives it to his daughter to run.  The daughter falls in love with Clark Kent while Lois is still in love with Superman. Hijinks ensue as Big Blue has to switch from one to the other on a double date.

Supes gets permission from the UN to take all the nuclear weapons from everyone and throw them into the sun. There is where Lex Luthor gets involved. He steals a hair of Superman’s and creates a genetic package that needs the sun’s power to give it life. Luthor installs it on one of the nuclear weapons and when Supes throws it into the sun Nuclear Man is born, quite literally. Luthor reveals him and he and Supes fight, in the city, on the moon and in space. Supes gets scratched by nuclear nails and gets sick and everyone thinks he’s dead.  He comes back and throws Nuclear Man into a nuclear power plant and lights up a whole city while Nuclear Man is consumed.

The movie ends with Superman giving a speech about everyone getting along and realizing we all live on the same planet. Also, Perry White takes out a loan from the bank and buys back the Daily Planet.

 

I actually watched this 3 times to make sure it was as bad as I thought it was. There was no mistake, this was a B-A-A-A-A-D movie.

Hollywood politics dominated the storyline to the point where it wasn’t much of a storyline but a piece of propaganda. Superman taking nuclear weapons away from everyone, though glossed over, made him the worst of tyrants and excusing it by putting the responsibility on the UN’s shoulders was just as bad. That corrupt body of filth has NO power to make such decisions.  (As an aside, just so you know where I stand about the UN, if UN Peacekeepers EVER set foot on American soil on a mission, it is my duty and right as a Citizen of this country to destroy them. No Blue Hats in America!!!!) Ahem….

Helmets belonging to soldiers of the Nigerian army are seen as part of preparations for deployment to Mali, at the Nigerian Army peacekeeping centre in Jaji

Any American wearing one of these on U.S. soil is a TRAITOR and will be treated as such

 

The plot line about the capitalist’s daughter & Clark and Lois & Superman was just ridiculous in the worst way.  It was stupid and silly. Those two words describe most of the movie though.

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I felt bad for this woman, on so many levels

 

Superman and Nuclear Man, oh where do I even start? Nuclear Man goes around the world destroying things, like the Great Wall of China. Superman comes after him and makes video game bleeep noises and undoes all the damage. It was like Superman had Control Z (keyboard shortcut for undo) Vision. Then Superman figures out Nukes is powered by the sun and traps him in an elevator where Nukes immediately curls up in the fetal position. So Superman releases him on the Moon, in the sun. Come on!!!! Then the end where Nuclear Man gets all his energy sucked up by the power plant? I can’t even begin to count how many things are wrong with that, even from just the story point side of things, much less any other point of things.

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Nuclear Man could have been awesome. But he wasn’t

 

By the end of my 3rd watch, I was simply listening to the movie and even then I was rolling my eyes. I really don’t have anything good to say about this and I don’t know whose fault that even is. Was it the directors, the story writers? I don’t know.  Honestly, it was bad enough that I could see this getting the Rifftrax treatment.

Don’t waste your time, period.

 

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Next month I’ve got a choice between Peter Jackson’s extended edition of King Kong or Alien vs Predator.  Feel free to give voice to your choice in the comments or feel free to mock Superman IV. It deserves it!

 

Superman III (1983 Movie)

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So, Superman III with its boring as all get out bluray cover. That barely looks like Christopher Reeve anyway!

This was released in 1983, has no “directors cut” and as far as I know generated ZERO controversy.  Let’s look at an alternate cover, shall we?

 

 

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Now THAT cover does a MUCH better job of showcasing just what kind of movie this is going to be.

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Pryor is an out of work bum whose unemployment benefits have been denied. He sees a computer programming training course on the cover of a book of matches and next thing we know he is working at a computer coding computer. Oh, we get sequence from his training where he makes his computer do something that even the trainer thought was impossible. Thus is set the stage for Pryor’s genius as a computer programmer. He gets his first paycheck and sees that 1/2cent is missing. He wonders where all those 1/2cents goes and programs the computer to put them all into his account. Next payday he gets an extra paycheck for $85K. Of course, this doesn’t go unnoticed by the Big Evil Capitalist running the company but they have no way of tracking who did it. Until Pryor screeches into work driving a new ferrari.

A lot of silliness ensues. Trust me, it isn’t worth typing out. But needless to say, a secret government satellite that can control the weather is involved.

Pryor, under the direction of the Evil Capitalist, creates a supercomputer capable of destroying even Superman. It attacks Superman, Pryor has a change of heart and rescues Supes. Supes gets some super acid and one little canning jar’s worth sends the entire computer system (about a large cave’s worth) crashing into a fiery, lava’y pit of destruction.

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Yep, one little canning jar destroyed all of this!

 

Supes fixes all the problems his silliness caused (synthetic kryptonite was involved) and is once again the world’s hero. The movie ends with Lana Lang moving to Metropolis and working at the same paper as Clarke and Lois, as a secretary.

Now, I had memories of this being silly, campy and almost stupid. I definitely got the silly and campy part right. I think the “stupid” would depend more on just how mean you were feeling at the moment. Pryor was supposed to be comedic and in many ways he was, but it was over the top, rub most people the wrong way funny.

There was one scene where Superman has to fight himself, as he’s possessed by the kryptonite. I thought they did an excellent job and that Reeve did an absolutely fantastic job of showing a mean, brutish, 5 o’clock shadow drunk Superman. He looked mean and animalistic. I’m not one to usually notice an actor’s ability, but between Reeve making Clarke Kent and Superman truly different people and this time around portraying a good and bad Superman, I have to admit that the man was an ACTOR! It was also pretty fun to realize that the actress who plays Lana Lang is the same actress who plays Martha Kent in the tv series Smallville.

This was definitely the campiest of the movies so far. I thoroughly enjoyed watching this but I’d only recommend this to others if they are a huge Superman fan or like watching the acting skills of Christopher Reeve.

 

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Superman II: The Donner Cut (1980 Movie)

220px-supermaniiricharddonnercutI guess that directors and studios having tiffs isn’t a new thing. While Zack Snyder and Warner Brothers parted ways with the recent DC Extended Universe movie franchise, Supes has experienced this kind of panty-twisting before. Hence this version of Superman II.

Most of the differences are in timing and tone. You can tell that this and the first Superman movie were meant to be a two-part story. That wasn’t evident from the theatrical release. In this, the missile that frees Zod and Co was the missile Lex Luthor launched, not a hydrogen bomb in Paris. In fact, that whole terrorist scene was cut from this version, or technically I guess, it was never filmed. Another difference was in how Lois realized Superman and Clark Kent were the same. Her life threatening stunt was different too. She throws herself out of a window on the 30th Floor of the Daily Planet instead of jumping into the river at Niagra Falls.

However, I found one of the biggest changes to be the inclusion of Jor-El as the brain at the Fortress of Solitude.

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Marlon Brando played Jor-El.  This riff on that never fails to amuse me. This is from Mega Mind, an animated movie I plan on reviewing in the future.

I guess there were money/rights issues with Brando and his ego, so the theatrical release cut everything with him out and replaced most of his dialogue with Supe’s mom. If you ever read much of the comics, the scanned brain of Jor-El tended to be an arrogant ass-hat. Well, that was true here for sure. He was a pompous, arrogant control freak who would have been a horrible father. He basically kicks Supes in the yarbos when he returns asking for his powers back. It was down right unpleasant to watch. Him sacrificing himself to give back Kal-El his powers didn’t move me at all like I’m guessing it was supposed to. It made me feel glad that the jerk was going to be gone!

Finally, the ending. In the theatrical release Clark super-kisses Lois so she forgets he’s Superman. In THIS version he flies around the world and turns back time, just like in the first movie. It made me roll my eyes so hard but in many senses it simply tied the first and second movie together even tighter, like it was originally supposed to be.

Overall, I actually enjoyed the theatrical version better. I thought the story flowed better, the lack of Jor-El the ass-hat was a huge plus and while super-kissing is stupid, turning back time AGAIN is even stupider (and if you think stupider isn’t a word, you’re stupider!).  I’d only recommend this movie if you’re a huge Superman movie buff. Or if you want to see Superman grovel before his over-bearing father.

 

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Superman II (1980 Movie)

superman2 Yee haw!  This was a fun movie. A direct sequel to Superman, things start out with a big bang. Terrorists have a hydrogen bomb in the Eiffel Tower and Lois Lane is there investigating. Supes saves the day and takes the bomb into space where it explodes. However, said explosion intersects the Phantom Zone crystal the 3 criminals from the first movie were exiled into. They are set free and head to Earth. Lois Lane figures out Superman is Kent, Supes gives up his powers to be with Lois and the Kryptonians take over Earth. Kent gives up Lois and gets his powers back in the Fortress of Solitude. Lex introduces himself and promises to give them the son of their old enemy Jor-El.  A big fight ensues in Metropolis before Superman flies away when he realizes how many people will die.  Everyone ends up in the Fortress of Solitude where Lex betrays Superman only to have the tables turned. The Kryptonians are turned into ordinary humans and fall to their deaths in the depths of the Fortress.  Superman super kisses Lois and makes her forget knowing he is Clark Kent. The World Is Safe, Once Again.

Yee haww again I say! I had so much fun watching this. It was definitely bordering on the campy in places but considering it was 1980 it was no surprise. The villains were appropriately tight leather’y shininess and they looked bad ass. Having 3 other beings with the same powers as Superman was a fantastic move.  Luthor was comic relief more than anything and his continued demands to be King of Australia had me rolling.

The idea that Superman couldn’t be with Lois unless he was a human was a bit foreign to me, as I’d grown up with Lois and Superman as a couple. Heck, in the Death and Rebirth of Superman storyline in the comics in the 90’s, Clark and Lois were engaged. There were no reasons given, it just was “one of those things”.  It was refreshing to see a hero simply do something without spewing all his inner thoughts to the audience.  When Superman gives up his powers I was expecting a monologue from him or Lois about his duty to the rest of the humanity.  Imagine my pleasant surprise when it simply didn’t happen.

The film’s biggest weakness is what most superhero films suffer from. That is, not being an origin story.  Once the creativity has been expended on the origin story it seems like most movie story writers can’t write themselves out of a paperbag. This also had more in common with the Adam West version of Batman than any of the more modern superhero movies. Actually, if you do the math, it is literally closer to Adam West too, sigh.

You know, reviewing movies is tough. I could never be a movie reviewer. With that being said, I’ll be watching the director’s cut of this movie and reviewing the differences in a week or three.  I wonder if doing this counts as some sort of disability on my part? Maybe I can get money from the government!

 

bookstooge (Custom)