This week, we are joined by George Cordero (@TheRealmCast), editor of The RealmCast and member of the Frank and Sons Collectible Show crew, to discuss our personal picks for best and worst superhero movies. George brings his wit and extensive movie knowledge to the table as we hash over the good, the bad, and the super ugly that is the world of superhero movies. So, fire up the Bat Computer, strap on your matching cape and underroos, and tell Alfred to hold all your calls as we plow headlong into this week’s topic like The Blob at a buffet. Enjoy!
Who doesn’t love a great superhero movie? There is nothing better than seeing the heroes we know and love come to life on the big screen, and with Joss Whedon‘s The Avengers coming to theaters this summer, we here at the podcast are geeking out of our noses with excitement, even this early in the year. Watching our favorite superheroes leaping from the pages of comics and graphic novels to bring action and adventure to life is quite enjoyable, but what not all superhero flicks are as super-powered as their title characters.
(00:58) – Ramses has been sweet talking the internets, and she’s given up some of her gossip for his efforts. God of War 4 seems to be lurking over the horizon, with potential multiplayer ramifications and he drops some details about the upcoming release of Sony‘s new PlayStation Vita. None of us are sure if we’ll be buying, but we’ll gladly accept donations. Plus, it’s way prettier than Rumer Willis!
(02:42) – When he isn’t with his mistress the internet, Ramses has been keeping up with FOX‘s Napoleon Dynamite animated series. Starring Jon Heder, Aaron Ruell, and Efren Ramirez, it has everything from moon boots to sword-wielding Ligers. Don’t let the critics fool you, because if Ramses likes it, it’s gotta be top-notch television, right?
(04:10) – Our guest George is a huge toy collector and is hip to the goings-on in the toy world. Recently, he made sure to hit up his local Target retailers to get the new figures for the G.I. Joe Renegades animated series. The Hazard Viper was his latest score and he reveals some of the ins and outs of the marketing-retailer relationship in the toy world. We think the safe bet is that his toys are WAY better than his kids… as it should be.
(06:00) – Thanks to Ramses, Matt gives the group his thoughts on the new ABC replacement series, The River. The LOST/Crocodile Hunter/Paranormal Activity mash-up is creepy and exciting, and it has a high production value and a freaky ass doll tree, so you know Matt is hooked.
(09:14) – It turns out it was a ghost-filled weekend for Matt as he also went and watched Harry Potter vs. Bellatrix Lestrange… no, wait… The Woman in Black, that’s it! Starring Daniel Radcliffe and based on the novel by Susan Hill, it had some genuine good scares and high creep factor. Matt’s opinion: Not like The Grey and ghosts are straight up jerks!
(11:28) – And we thought ghost’s were dicks! Robert brings up George Lucas‘ retcon of Han shot first, stoking the fire of Matt’s nerd rage. George tries to be the voice of reason and conviction and points out that ‘N Sync could still be in The Phantom Menace, but even this is not enough to hold back the tidal wave of rage, both from and at Matt. Thankfully, George prevailed and Indiana Jones will be preserved.
(18:30) – Now that we’ve exhausted the a-holeness of Lucas, Robert sniffed out a rumor that Amazon.com may be in the process of creating a technocentric brick and mortar store. Look out Apple, you and your hipster fanbase may have some competition coming!
(19:14) – Karen brings some phenomenal (that’s for you, George) casting news from Middle-earth! Billy Connolly was recently cast as Dáin II Ironfoot in the upcoming release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Disney‘s Brave. We know Karen wanted to throw some dwarf love Matt’s way, but she probably should have just thrown a real dwarf at him.
(19:58) – In legal news, Robert Kirkman is being sued by The Walking Dead co-creator Tony Moore. Karen brings the group up to speed on the developing lawsuit and anticipates it will resolve itself quicker than Todd McFarlane and Neil Gaiman‘s Spawn dispute. Our hope is that one day our podcast will be so successful, we can sue the crap out of each other. That’s what friends are for!
(23:00) – It’s time for our topic and we’re looking at the best of superhero movies first. For Robert it’s the Christopher Nolan incarnation of Batman. He looks at Batmans (Batmen) of movies past and engages the group in discussion on the gritty direction of recent superhero flicks. From the acting and music to the cinematography and special effects, everyone (at our table, at least) agrees that Batman Begins and The Dark Knight have really set the bar. Post-traumatic stress, yes; the Batusi, um… no.
(28:26) – What could be more fitting than a superhero movie about the first superhero? George keeps it OG and takes us back to the 1978 release of Superman: The Movie. It’s effects may be old-hat in the day and age of CGI, but it can still hold it’s own today while the score by John Williams is iconic and Christopher Reeve will always be Superman. Rest in Peace, Christopher Reeve, for you and Karen shall be reunited one day.
(30:52) – George swings us to the other end of the super-spectrum as we chat about the triumph that is Watchmen. Gone is the iconic, clean-cut image of the Golden Age, replaced by the morally vague and politically charged anti-heroes of the Alan Moore classic come to film. We collectively applaud Warner Brothers and Zack Snyder for the faithful recreation of the graphic graphic novel, even though some viewers may have gotten more than they expected…. Who watches the Watchmen? Comic book fans, that’s who!
(33:11) – Ramses keeps with the theme of dark films and gives a nod to Kick-Ass. The black comedy, released in 2010, stays true to the spirit of the comics and earned itself a nice boost thanks to an initial screening at ComicCon. Matt reveals he didn’t see it because of his hatred of Nicolas Cage and George unwittingly voices a spoiler regarding one of the characters. Way to ruin it, George!
(35:41) – Check out the sugue as Karen takes us from one Matthew Vaughn film to another. X-Men: First Class gets some major love from most of the group (Matt…) for it’s character development, story, and setting. Karen thinks it blows most of the most recent Avenger tie-ins out of the water while Robert can’t get over his displeasure of January Jones‘ Emma Frost. At least there’s Jennifer Lawrence, right?
(38:45) – Matt brings up one of his favorite superheroes and as well as films with 2008′s Iron Man. The modernization and passion given the film by Jon Favreau not only makes for a great film, but a solid story as well. Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark with his awesome character portrayal, and he is something far more than the 1%!
(40:30) – Speaking of superheroes with artificial flight, George reaches into the bag of nostalgia with 1991′s The Rocketeer. Directed by Joe Johnston (who also did Captain America) and starring some guy (Billy Campbell) and Jennifer Connelly, the old school Americana feel of the film gets high marks in George’s book.
(42:07) – We close out the first half with our list of notable mentions: for Robert, it’s Punisher: War Zone for it’s over the top gun violence while Karen and Ramses both give nods the Guillermo Del Toro Hellboy franchise. Oh, and Matt, it’s Ray Stevenson, not Ray Winstone.
(43:09) – Now that we’ve discussed the films we love, it’s time for the ones we revile. Speaking of The Punisher, Robert points out that the original Dolph Lundgren version was an absolute mess. George points out that for it’s time it wasn’t so bad, but compared to today’s flicks… yeah…and what’s with no trademark skull!?!
(44:26) – Sometimes, Matt’s nerd rage is justifiable. The 2003 disaster that was Hulk is number one on his list of all-time horrible superhero movies. Despite a stellar cast (Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, and Sam Elliot) and esteemed director Ang Lee at the helm, everything just fails, considering the movie is pretty much the Hulk running and jumping. It was beyond disappointing, especially since Matt has a huge man-crush on Eric Bana… true story.
(46:56) – We go further down the rabbit hole as Karen open up discussion on the unfortunately bad X-Men Origins: Wolverine. From the ruination of Deadpool to the overabundance of poor CGI and poor directing, we are all desperately hoping the slated 2013 release of The Wolverine will help Hugh Jackman re-realize this iconic character. Additionally, Robert thinks that if you watch the pirated incomplete version, or watch it drunk, the movie is way way way better.
(51:56) – Even though the podcast continues beyond this discussion, Ramses may have hit the nail on the head with painfully bad 1997 release of Steel, starring Shaquille O’Neal. We all know Shaq is a Superman fan, but no. No, no, no, no, no!
(53:10) – Apparently, George got double whammied when he had the unfortunate luck of watching The Spirit on his birthday. The 2008 flop directed by Frank Miller was both painful and convoluted and not even Eva Mendes‘ hotness was enough to make it worthwhile. Shame on you everyone-related-to-this-film, shame on you.
(54:27) – So, everyone has seen Captain America: The First Avenger, right? Thank your lucky stars it came around because until last year we’ve been stuck with the train wreck that was 1990′s Captain America. Don’t believe us? Watch the trailer here! Oh, and Dick Tracy was at least better than this, Robert.
(55:40) – Karen’s top pick happens to be the embarrassment that was 1997′s Batman & Robin. Day-glow Gotham, nippled bat-suits, and questionable everything make this a bad film for the ages.
(56:28) – Matt jumps to the Marvel Universe to discuss his lack of faith in humanity surrounding the Spider-Man 3 debacle. Aside from Thomas Haden Church‘s Sandman, the rest of it sucked particularly Emo Peter Parker. Will the upcoming re-boot be worth it? Matt and George say no.
(1:01:15) – Karen brings it home with the dreadfully horrible bad Spawn from 1997. Todd McFarlane has talked of a re-boot, but fans are still waiting. Maybe this is a good thing, considering the original.