Tags: DC Comics

Post: Man of Steel [video]

A Superman movie for our times — but is that a good thing? Man of Steel: my “Reel Faith” 60-second review.   Read more >

Review: Man of Steel (2013)

C+ | **½ | +2-2| Teens & Up

To borrow a line from Man of Steel producer Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight: This isn’t the Superman movie we need, but it’s the one we deserve.   Read more >

Review: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

B+ | ***½ | +2-2| Teens & Up*

The Dark Knight Rises is very nearly the thunderous finale that Christopher Nolan’s unprecedented super-hero trilogy needed after the pitch-black nihilism that Heath Ledger’s Joker brought to The Dark Knight … Yet something crucial is missing — a major omission that lingers over the whole trilogy, a question raised ever more insistently in all three films, and at best left unanswered, if not answered negatively.   Read more >

Post: Top 5 Superhero Movies

In my Avengers review I wrote, “If The Avengers isn’t necessarily the best superhero movie ever made, it is unquestionably the most superhero movie ever made.“ That, of course, raises the question: What is the best superhero movie ever made?   Read more >

Article: Superheroes of Summer 2011: What Our Heroes Tell Us About Ourselves

What do today’s superhero movies tell us about ourselves? For one thing, we’re more skeptical these days about heroes and heroism. In contrast to the stoic confidence of the typical Western hero — or even of Christopher Reeves’ Superman, who as late as 1978 could unabashedly say, “I’m here to fight for truth, justice and the American way” — today’s heroes have feet of clay, and have to grow into their heroic roles.   Read more >

Post: Green Lantern [video] (2011)

C+ | Teens & Up

Green Lantern: my “Reel Faith” review.   Read more >

Review: Green Lantern (2011)

C+ | **½ | +1-2| Teens & Up*

If only the filmmakers had put as much creative energy into the character of Hal Jordan as they did into his lovingly rendered CGI-enhanced suit, which pulses and glows as it hugs every bulge and swell on Ryan Reynolds’ impeccably sculpted torso.   Read more >

Review: Watchmen (2009)

D | *** | -3| Adults*

The movie is an impressive work of transposition, but I can’t recommend it. Excessively brutal and sexually graphic as well as nihilistic and and antiheroic, it’s a thoroughgoing deconstruction of humanity as well as heroism, one that takes its world apart without putting it back together again. There are things to admire here, but Watchmen doesn’t make me care. If you can’t care about characters facing the end of the world, perhaps it’s time to turn back the clock and move on.   Read more >

Review: The Dark Knight (2008)

A+ | **** | +2-1| Teens & Up*

So deeply does The Dark Knight delve into the darkness that lurks in the hearts of men that it comes almost as a shock, bordering on euphoria, to find that it maintains a tenacious grip onto hope in the human potential for good.   Read more >

Review: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

B | *** | -1| Teens & Up*

Bigger effects and badder creatures make Del Toro’s second take on Hellboy more entertaining than the original, but something’s still missing in the story of the super hero from hell.   Read more >

Article: Hellboy and Spiritual Warfare, Hollywood Style

You won’t find the gospel in movies like Hellboy. What you may find is signs of a world that has been touched by the gospel — a world that retains some awareness of sinister forces to be avoided or resisted, of evil that cannot be overcome by therapy or education or communication, that calls for a response from another realm entirely.   Read more >

Review: Superman Returns (2006)

A- | ***½ | +2-1| Teens & Up

From the rousing fanfare of the classic John Williams score to the comic book–inspired opening credits, it’s clear that Superman Returns means to be nothing less than the film that Superman III could have and should have been, but wasn’t. Except it’s actually better than that.   Read more >

Review: Superman II (1981)

B+ | ***½ | +1-1| Teens & Up

Superman II isn’t perfect, but in the annals of comic-book movies it remains an indispensable touchstone.   Read more >

Review: Batman (1989)

C | **½ | -2| Teens & Up

Critics adored Batman for its eccentric, Burtonesque take on a pop-culture icon, for its moody, noirish gothic art-deco Gotham City, and of course for Jack Nicholson’s showy performance as the Joker. Comic-book fans, meanwhile, appreciated the film for rescuing the Dark Knight from the over-the-top camp comedy of the 1960s series and making him suitably dark and brooding. For all that, though, the film’s flaws are hard to overlook.   Read more >

Review: Batman Begins (2005)

A | **** | +1-1| Teens & Up

It’s tempting to call Batman Begins the Citizen Kane of super-hero movies; at any rate, it’s the closest thing so far.   Read more >

Review: Constantine (2005)

C | ** | +1-2| Adults*

The comic-book Constantine is a blond Brit based in Liverpool (think Sting by way of Christopher Lee in Terence Fisher’s The Devil Rides Out). For the film, the casting of Keanu led to a change of setting to California and LA. Similarly, the casting of Shia LaBeouf (Holes) as Constantine’s ally Chandler turned the character from a seasoned comrade in arms into a Jimmy Olsen-like junior sidekick. (Whatever happened to casting actors who fit the part?)   Read more >

Review: Hellboy (2004)

C+ | **½ | +1-2| Teens & Up*

The best thing about Hellboy is Hellboy. And he’s a demon.   Read more >

Review: Superman (1978)

A- | ***½ | +0| Teens & Up

A classic tribute to an American pop-culture icon, Superman is the first great comic-book movie and a nostalgic ode to the ideals of a more innocent time.   Read more >

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