Superhero Saturday: ‘Green Lantern’ (2011) – despite being on the big screen — propels Berlanti’s career as a TV maven (Movie review)

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reen Lantern” (2011) has a reputation for being garbage, but it’s a perfectly fine adaptation of the DC superhero who was created in 1940 by Alan Scott and Martin Nodell. If you go in hearing about how bad it is, you might even think “Hey, that wasn’t so bad.” Since my superhero-watching journey is partly for the sake of learning about the major figures in comic-book lore, I found this to be a painless piece of homework.

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Superhero Saturday: ‘Mask of Zorro’ (1998) is Peak Banderas, with impeccable stunts but no surprises (Movie review)

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orro is a rare superhero who doesn’t come from comic books, and indeed he predates the 1938 invention of Superman. He was created in 1919 by pulp novelist Johnston McCulley. The “Zorro” film series, of which the two Antonio Banderas-starring entries are the 10th and 11th American outings, dates back to 1920. Arguably, Zorro is not a superhero (he has no superpowers and did not originate in comics), but he’s listed as such enough times that I’ll categorize him as a proto-superhero for now and let the debate continue.

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Superhero Saturday: Miller’s ‘The Spirit’ (2008) is a weak imitation of his own ‘Sin City’ (Movie review)

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love the two “Sin City” films (2005, 2014), so the existence of “The Spirit” (2008) is both good and bad. On one hand, it’s another hardboiled movie in the style of a black-and-white comic (along with red and some washed-out colors). On the other hand, it’s a much lesser installment in this little subgenre, even though it’s written and directed by “Sin City’s” Frank Miller.

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‘Fast Color’ is a gorgeous Shyamalan-esque stealth superhero gem (Movie review)

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early two decades after M. Night Shyamalan popularized – if not introduced – the stealth/“real world” superhero movie with “Unbreakable” (2000), director/co-writer Julia Hart expands the subgenre with “Fast Color” (2019). It flew under the radar during its limited theatrical release, overshadowed by “Glass” and “Brightburn,” but perhaps it will find its audience on Amazon Prime. I’m kind of surprised it hasn’t gotten awards-season buzz, because it’s such a confidently directed art film anchored by great cast chemistry.

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Superhero Saturday: ‘Kick-Ass 2’ (2013) finds its groove with better jokes and action (Movie review)

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riter-director Jeff Wadlow, taking the reins from Matthew Vaughn, delivers a funnier and more focused “Kick-Ass 2” (2013). It’s formulaic, but that makes it better than the flailing 2010 original, the primary value of which is to introduce us to purple-haired Mindy/Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) and green-suited Dave/Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).

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Superhero Saturday: Despite the awesome Hit-Girl, ‘Kick-Ass’ (2010) is more ass than kickin’ (Movie review)

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ick-Ass” (2010) has the game pieces in place but loses the game. It’s colorful, for sure, with the green scuba-suited titular teen, the purple-haired 11-year-old Hit-Girl, McLovin coming over from “Superbad” to play Red Mist, and Nicolas Cage chewing scenery as Big Daddy. But director/co-writer Matthew Vaughn, who perhaps learns some lessons here before helming the excellent “X-Men: First Class” one year later, delivers a two-hour film that feels like four hours because it never finds the right pace or tone.

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