Category Archives: robin
The Super Cops ~ Okay, I have to admit, when I first saw this movie back in the mid to late seventies I felt tricked. The name of the movie is ‘Super’ Cops, and the movie posters, TV advertising, and even the novelization said it was about the real life Batman and Robin. What an awful thing to do to a ten year old. If you promise me Batman and Robin, I’d better get Batman and Robin.
Sadly, there’s really none to be found here. In the footage of the real cops at the beginning, Dave Greenberg is wearing a red and white Batman t-shirt. In the midst of the movie there’s a sequence where neighborhood kids tease Greenberg, played by Ron Liebman, and Robert Hantz, played by David Selby, calling them Batman and Robin. That’s about all you get. Of course it doesn’t help that “Batman” TV show writer Lorenzo Semple Jr. scripted the film. I felt tricked. I wanted superheroes.
|Batman and Robin on the wall in their only cameo.|
That said, this true story of two unorthodox cops in Brooklyn, who both the citizens and the press dubbed Batman and Robin is a intriguing and entertaining one. The story of Greenberg and Hantz is pretty typical of the 1970s cop movie, lighter fare than the similar and earlier Serpico. There’s also a bit of “Charlie’s Angels” in there as well, because the two are patrolmen who want to be more.
While it is funny and entertaining, sadly there’s very little actual chemistry between Liebman and Selby. And Selby’s bug-eyed staring into the camera is just unnerving and a little bit creepy. It might’ve made a half decent TV show rather than a movie. Some of the humor is forced, juvenile, and seems to be desperately in need of a laugh track. That might help it actually. Worth a watch if nothing else is on, or as a time capsule for the 1970s. It’s no Batman and Robin, ya know?
Alyas Batman en Robin ~ This film, made in the Philippines in the early 1990s, is hard to describe. On one hand it is the stuff of legend, like Andy Warhol’s Batman, or the also Filipino Alyas Batman at Robin from 1963, something few people in the United States have even ever seen. On the other it’s just bizarre. Though made in the Philippines it has many of the hallmarks of a Bollywood film – comedy, drama, romance, and people spontaneously breaking into song and dance.
The plot has criminals taking on the identities of their idols – the Penguin, and the Joker, among others – to rob banks. To counteract this, two men, I am unsure if they are brothers or father and son, dress up like Batman and Robin, and have their car souped up to look like the Batmobile. Hilarity, romance, as well as song and dance numbers ensue, as one would expect.
For an unauthorized film using DC Comics characters, some of it looks good, not great, but some is better than that prime time NBC “Challenge of the Superheroes.” The costumes are plays on the 1966 TV series rather than the Tim Burton films of the time. Comedian Rene Requiestas as the Joker reminds me of Prince’s alter-ego Gemini, and not in a good way.
All in all this is probably worth a look for the curious. If you watch it in the wrong mood, you’ll be horrified, but if you watch it with the right attitude, you’ll be satisfactorily entertained.
The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live in a real comics and gaming store in West Berlin, NJ – All Things Fun! – co-hosts Allison (“I remember the 1980s”) Eckel and Glenn (“Hey you kids get off my lawn”) Walker (boss man Ed Evans returns next week!) discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, now in high definition, and also available on YouTube. See it here!
The first segment includes discussion of the following topics: The New DC 52 including Scott Snyder’s Batman #1, the multiple Robins and their heights, iffy Teen Titans continuity, Catwoman #1, Wonder Woman #1, Birds of Prey #1, Blue Beetle #1, Supergirl #1, J.T. Krul’s Captain Atom #1, and the rest.
The discussion continues in segment two including: We forgot about Ed, Hawaiian hot dogs, the Fear Itself comics of the week including Avengers #17, Brian Michael Bendis’ talking heads and dissing 9/11, Allison’s kids comics, Kevin Smith’s Bionic Man #2, Tiny Titans and Young Justice, Treehouse of Horror, more Marvels, a pair of X-Factors, Ultimate X-Men in a bag, the indies, and the trades.
And be back here every Wednesday morning at 11:30 AM EST to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!
The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live in a real comics and gaming store in West Berlin, NJ – All Things Fun! – co-hosts Allison (The Fangirl) Eckel and Glenn (The Misanthrope) Walker (Ed Evans will be back in two weeks) discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, now in high definition, and also available on YouTube. See it here!
The first segment includes discussion of the following topics: The New DC 52 Batcave including Batman and Robin #1, Bruce Wayne’s parenting skills, Batwoman #1, and Suicide Squad #1, also Red Lanterns #1, Green Lantern #1, Mister Terrific #1, Paul Cornell’s Demon Knights #1, Superboy #1, and why does Deathstroke need his own title? We don’t know.
The discussion continues in segment two including: Matt Fraction’s Fear Itself Book Six, the rest of the Fear Itself titles, Mark Waid’s Daredevil #3 joins Brian Michael Bendis’ New Avengers #16, Allison’s Spider-Island by Dan Slott and the rest of the Marvels, Allison’s indies and kids comics including Buffy Season 9 and Super-Dinosaur #4, and the rest of the New DC 52 including Legion Lost, Grifter, Frankenstein and Resurrection Man, and the trades of the week. We miss you, Ed.
And be back here every Wednesday morning at 11:30 AM EST to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!
The night the PS3 came into our lives, we had folks over. Friends Ray, Jeff and Crystal were there for the installation and helped with all the technical stuff. They also went to the store to pick up accessories, as well as a game or two and maybe a Blu-Ray to test out the system. They knew I wasn’t thrilled with the purchase, so stealthy steps were taken to soothe me.
First they, and The Bride, got a Blu-Ray, our first Blu-Ray, Megamind, a film that I actually liked. Those of you who know me, know that’s hard to find. We watched, I was amazed by the crisp, clean, clarity of the picture, and was somewhat soothed. This was close to what I wanted (a Blu-Ray player or a Roku), after all.
The second purchase was a game, one that preyed upon two of my favorite things – comics and Legos. It was Lego Batman The Videogame. We’ve talked about me and comics before, but Legos I have always been fascinated by. It was a toy I never had when I was a kid and was always so jealous when I saw the other kids with them, so as an adult, I became a collector of sorts. Nothing hardcore, like with comics, but I have a couple building sets, and of course all the Lego (and Lego knock-off) versions of my favorite superheroes. Sigh, it worked. Sure, what the hell, let’s play this.
I love the animated Lego commercials and OnDemand has something called The Lego Channel where you can see animated shorts featuring Lego versions of Indiana Jones, Star Wars, and yes, Batman. These are just darn good fun. The introduction to this game is similar to that, and quite enjoyable. The game itself is also like that, but let’s face it, once you’re playing – you can only do cool things if you know how to do cool things.
Like the bits on the Lego Channel, there is no dialogue so that anyone from any culture can understand what’s going on. The problem is, with no English, it also makes it hard on nimrods like me to play it properly. Yes, I do know about the online instruction manuals on the PlayStation Network – and once I figure out how to navigate that, I’m sure that’s a useful suggestion. And I sure hope you like the Danny Elfman theme music from the Tim Burton Batman movies or you’ll have to play this one on mute.
The game itself is kinda hard once it starts. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. Why? Controllers. I think this will be a recurring theme of this blog, I just can’t get my head around the controllers. I am quite honestly better acquainted with Atari joysticks, and maybe a little less so with NES controllers. To me, the PS3 controller is like giving an MP3 player to a caveman. I can push buttons, but I have little idea what they do. So I just push all the buttons and move the levers every which way and hope for the best.
I love the mime personalities of all the Bat-baddies, especially Clayface. It’s a hoot, until you’re actually in play. I was able to play a two-player game with The Bride that first night while Crystal was there to walk us through everything and tell us what buttons to push when. Hey, we actually got through the first level.
I have to admit though, I had more fun using my Batman to beat on The Bride’s Robin. Yeah, that’s pretty cool being able to fight other players. And when you ‘kill’ them (as much as there’s a kill in Lego Batman) they just fall apart into their component Lego pieces. That always breaks me up, pun intended. When I play by myself days later, I get nowhere near as far as I did that first night, but I loved busting up Robin, over and over and over again. Too much fun.
There is hope, of course, that I will eventually learn to play correctly. As soon as I figure out how to get this disc out of the damned machine…
Batman: Under the Red Hood ~ This direct-to-DVD animated film from DC Comics follows the story of the second Robin who was murdered by the Joker and then mysteriously returns from the dead years later as Batman’s adversary the Red Hood. I didn’t actually read the comics this was based on so it was all new for me, and as I am not much of a Bat-fan these days, surprisingly good. I especially loved the fight early on with Batman and Nightwing vs. Amazo. Even though it’s not Mark Hamill doing the voice, the Joker is exceptionally scary here. Great stuff. Not for kids, but recommended.
Hot Tub Time Machine ~ This really wasn’t as bad as it sounded when I first heard of it, in fact this was a pleasant surprise. Yes, the title, and the previews pretty much give it away, but this flick has a heart, and a funnybone. Anyone who loved all those 1980s movies like Better Off Dead or Just One of the Guys or anything by John Hughes will get a kick out of this. Might be a bit rough for kids, lots of sex and drugs, but still a good romp. Fun, nostalgia and John Cusack. You can’t beat that.
Big Fan ~ You might think of Patton Oswalt as just a comedian, but he’s not. He’s also a very good actor. His semi-dramatic peripheral role in “United States of Tara” is only the tip of the iceberg. I just saw him in Big Fan and he is a tour de force portraying a lonely middle-aged guy obsessed with New York Giants football and sports radio. We know these guys, and this is an intimate and chilling look into their world. This is a hell of a movie. Recommended.
The Road ~ Based on the book by Cormac McCarthy, this post-apocalyptic drama stars Viggo Mortenson and briefly Robert Duvall, Guy Pearce and Charlize Theron. It’s about a father’s quest to show his son the ocean by traveling across the country dodging psychos and cannibals in a world without sunlight. It’s visually intriguing, but very little else, and at some points, downright boring. Read the book, and only see the movie if it’s on free TV and there’s not much else on.
Igor ~ Anything with John Cusack’s name on it is worth checking out in my opinion. He has rarely let me down. This overlooked computer-animated flick about the hunchbacked assistants to mad scientists, called Igors, is quite a gem. A bit predictable in some places and unexpectedly outrageous in others is definitely worth a look. Good for the kids, and the adults as well.
I have nothing against teenaged superheroes. Spider-Man started as a teenager. The original X-Men were teenagers. Dick Grayson as Robin, and later Nightwing, is one of the coolest heroes around. And I do understand the psychology of the teenaged sidekick being the identification factor to the hero – but come on now, let’s get real, when you get out on the playground… everybody wants to be the Batman not Robin. That’s just the way it is. That’s why I don’t understand the new “Iron Man: Armored Adventures” cartoon coming from NickToons.
The new animated series, coming almost two years too late, is of course to cash in on the success of the Iron Man movie. It really makes me wonder how “South Park” can do such quick turnaround on a usually weekly basis to comment on current news stories, yet it takes comics years to produce a cartoon, but there it is. And the sore point is – Tony Stark is a kid, or more accurately a teenager. It kinda takes all the charm out of a character so notoriously a bastard, doesn’t it?
The second problem is that it’s done in that limited computer animation that so completely ruined MTV’s attempt at “Spider-Man” after his first movie. The animation is stiff and blocky and kinda like a combination of “Reboot” from the 1990s and “Davey and Goliath” from the 1960s. There’s flash animation online better than this honestly.
Rhodey and Pepper (and even Happy, disguised as Flash Thompson) are there as well, and are also teenagers. There’s even a teenaged Mandarin, whose father at least bares a slight resemblance to the real thing from the comics. Howard Stark, Tony’s father, is also familiar – looking like the Silver Age Tony Stark, complete with Howard Hughes’ mustache. Future episodes promise Whiplash, the Ghost, the Hulk and Fin Fang Foom – I wonder if they’ll be teenaged too?
The only real props I can give this series is for the theme song by Rooney, catchy and to the point, just like any superhero theme should be.
“Iron Man: Armored Adventures” premieres on NickToons this Friday night.