Superman at the Movies

First I was on a Batman movie kick (more on that later), then I got on a Superman movie kick. So here’s the rundown on all of the live-action movies and my not-so-quick thoughts…91nBQW0NcJL._SL1500_Superman: The Movie (1978)
Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (1980)
Superman Returns (2006)
Warner Bros. Pictures

I’d never owned the first two Christopher Reeve movies and had Superman Returns on DVD. When I decided I wanted to re-watch all of the live-action Superman movies, I couldn’t pass up getting this Blu-ray triple feature for only $10 on Amazon.

It had been an extremely long time since I’d seen Superman: The Movie and Superman II. I don’t think I’ve watched either in full in over 20 years. I remembered bits and pieces of them (mostly from the sequel) though. I think the first two Reeve movies had a great style to them. It really felt like a comic book come to life and the movies seemed to take a lot of inspiration from Superman’s 1950’s and 1960’s comic book appearances.

Though a bit on the slim side, Reeve was a great Superman/Clark Kent, Gene Hackman was a great Lex Luthor and Margot Kidder was surprisingly hot at times playing Lois Lane.

The Blu-ray I bought featured Richard Donner’s cut of Superman II, or as close as Warner Bros. could get to using the rest of the Donner footage that was cut from the film. Some of Donner’s shooting script was unfilmed. He was replaced by another director during shooting and alterations were made to the story.

I don’t think either of these movies are great, but they are worth watching at least once to see how superhero movies used to be. Looking back on them now, they feel more like campy made-for-TV movies because it doesn’t feel like a whole lot actually happens and Luthor’s plans in the first movie seem so ridiculous and flimsy.

Superman Returns was the much awaited return to the big screen for the Man of Steel. I remember being very excited to see this movie when it came out and walking away mildly disappointed after seeing it. I was never a fan of Bryan Singer trying to make this movie a pseudo-sequel to the first two Christopher Reeve movies and didn’t like the fact that the movie begins with Superman returning after a five year absence from earth. It never made sense to me that Superman would leave Lois behind for that long.

I didn’t care for the casting of Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane but Brandon Routh as Superman and Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor were great choices. But, this is third movie in a row (since Singer’s take on Superman does not acknowledge Superman III or Superman IV: The Quest for Peace) where Superman loses his powers and gets beat up for awhile. They really couldn’t have come up with something else? At least Man of Steel gave us a Superman movie with some real knockdown dragout fully-powered fights. Yes, Superman II had some fight scenes but they were done at a slow pace.

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For the first time in my life, I own an Atari 2600

I had a friend on Facebook that was looking to sell a bunch of his old video games & systems for a pretty good price, so I impulsively threw my name in the ring to buy them. I blame Gamester81’s YouTube channel. I’ve been hooked on watching him review old systems and games lately. So it looks like I’m now into the hobby of retro-gaming.

I’ll probably go into detail of what I got in a much later post, but click the image for a larger view:10945808_10153026464432346_2466100209477228196_o

The main draw for me was the Atari 2600 and all of the games. And here they are below:

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So a more in-depth post about my thoughts on the Atari 2600 and the games I own is probably coming sometime down the line. As for now, I’m just trying to make it through Assassin’s Creed IV, Max Payne 3 and all of the games that I’ve bought on Steam!

Robotix: The Movie

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In 1984, Milton Bradley came up with a line of building toys called Robotix. In 1985, a series of cartoons (and a Marvel comic book) were produced to help promote the toy line. Robotix was one of four cartoon shorts packaged together by Marvel Productions & Sunbow Entertainment as the syndicated Super Saturday (or Super Sunday if a station decided to air it on Saturdays). For the record, the other three shows were JemBigfoot and the Muscle Machines and Inhumanoids. Only Jem and Inhumanoids did well enough to receive their own standalone series.

Argus-boxThe toy line outlasted the cartoon by quite a bit (running until 1994) but the Robotix cartoon is not without some charm. Even though I’d never seen this series until recently, I couldn’t help but get a nostalgic feeling since the show makes use of many voice actors from G.I. Joe and The Transformers. Even some of the same music is used.

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My Top Ten Movies of 2014

I don’t have the most eclectic taste in movies. I don’t care about award season. I’m not interested in who wins anything at the Golden Globes or Academy Awards. In fact, most “movie of the year” contenders I typically shy away from. I love movies but I don’t go in for the film-making aspect and critique the cinematography and what not. I just want to be entertained and superhero movies and action movies do that for me.

So here’s what I enjoyed most in 2014…

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
2. The Expendables 3
3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
4. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
5. Dracula Untold
6. Non-Stop
7. Sabotage
8. Guardians of the Galaxy
9. Edge of Tomorrow
10. X-Men: Days of Future Past

Honorable Mentions:
Bad Words
The Lego Movie
The Purge: Anarchy

dreamGEAR Plug ‘N’ Play Controller with 50 Games

20150123_152329Plug ‘n’ play video game systems have been around for awhile. Sometimes you’ll see officially licensed versions for Donkey Kong or Pac-Man, but mostly you’ll see some astronomical of games packed into one controller for $20-40. There are some plug ‘n’ plays that you can pick up at flea markets that are collections of NES games.20150123_152351

I’ve never bought a plug ‘n’ play before. They are notoriously awful. Bad graphics, bad game play, bad controls. Yet you can find them in almost any store that has a toy department. This 50 game version of the dreamGEAR Plug ‘N’ Play retails for $19.99 but I picked it up at Walgreens on clearance for $5. I would’ve never bought this at full price but I figured I could get $5 worth of amusement out of this. I think I have.

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Status

Son of Batman, JLA Adventures, Iron Man & Captain America, Assault on Arkham

For some reason, I have this need to comment on virtually every superhero cartoon or movie I watch. Actually, I could’ve sworn I wrote up (and possibly posted) reviews for Son of Batman and JLA Adventures but I can’t find any proof of that. None of these movies are fresh in my mind anymore but I’ll briefly give my thoughts on these animated Marvel & DC movies for the record books. :)

Son_of_Batman_coverSon of Batman
2014, Warner Home Video

Instead of randomly releasing direct-to-video movies set in their own universes in order to adapt certain stories from the comic books, it looks like DC is finally having many of their recent animated movies set in the same ‘New 52′-inspired universe. Son of Batman shares its world with Justice League: War (which itself will have its own sequel in the form of Justice League: The Throne of Atlantis).

Son of Batman is still based on a storyline from the Batman comics called “Batman and Son”. This was during the Grant Morrison era of writing the Batman comics and I think he’s one of the worst and most overrated comic book writers of all time. That probably explains why I wasn’t that big of a fan of this movie.

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Trip to Disney was canceled. Still ended up blowing my money.

I was supposed to go to Disney World right after Christmas with my family (my parents’ gift to us), but I’ve been having anxiety issues lately and at the last minute I canceled because I didn’t want to take the 14 hour drive (7 hours each way) in the car.

But, I ended up having a nice quiet week to myself. I had already requested off at work so I kept those days and enjoyed doing NOTHING for an entire week. No work, no school, no P90-whatever workouts. I ate what I wanted, watched whatever I wanted and bought whatever I wanted! I basically told myself it was okay to blow some money to A) make me feel better for chickening out and B) because I had money I had been saving for Disney anyway.

Other than junk food and meals, here’s a few things I picked up last week:

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Well, one of the first things I did was check Yankee Candle’s website for post-holiday clearance sales. No, the pic above is not what I bought, but it is my entire candle collection. I’m sure it pales in comparison to many others, and if so, I want what they have, too.

I ended up buying five large jar candles at half off: Apple Cider, Bavarian Pretzel, Fireside, Pinecone & Tassel and Yuletide Spice.

I was only familiar with Apple Cider. It’s one of my favorite candles. Unfortunately, it was not packaged very well and arrived broken. I emailed the company and they quickly responded and have shipped a new one out to me free of charge. After dealing that, I hated to throw a perfectly good candle away. Upon closer inspection, the big broken chunk of glass still fit perfectly with the rest of the jar. I used some quick bond glue and it seems to be working.

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