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The Incredible Hulk (1978)
Scientist David Banner struggles to free himself from the Incredible Hulk
I walked into The Incredible Hulk expected a superhero show in the vein of "Batman" or "Green Hornet". I was let down. But I kept watching it and saw it for what it really is. It's more like what would happen if you took the Incredible Hulk and put him in the real world, a world of child abusers, alcoholics, serial killers, criminals, corrupt cops, and the like. They're more like action/drama/thrillers than a sci-fi comic book TV show, and it's better than way. Bill Bixby played an amazing role as the emotion, intelligent, involved fugitive David Banner, who always knew how to handle a situation, and if he didn't, he turned the stage over to his dark half, Lou Ferrigno (who'se almost completely deaf, by the way), The Incredible Hulk, who knew exactly what to do. The writing on the Incredible Hulk is fantastic, deep complex characters that make you love or hate them, depending on the situation. The special effects were, pun intended, incredible. You really believe that Lou Ferrigno is smashing through those brick walls, destroying those jeeps and tanks, snapping those guns to bits in his bare hands. Also well played was the relationship between Banner and the Hulk. They were two halves instead of the same whole, unlike the comic books will lead you to believe. Hulk would never do anything Banner wouldn't do, and when Banner was rushing off to save someone like an abused child (see episode "A Child In Need") and turned into the Hulk along the way in frustration, the Not-So-Jolly-Green-Giant would know exactly where to go and what to do from there. Granted, seasons 3 and 4 lack a little bit, due to a lower budget and Bill Bixby's refusal to wear green makeup, which made the transformations go straight from Bixby's green eyes to Ferrigno ripping through his clothes. But that's about it, other than that the entire series is amazing. If you like The Incredible Hulk, or The Fugitive (you can draw the parallels for yourself), The Night Stalker, or just something fun, you'll never regret checking out The Incredible Hulk. LOU FERRIGNO SMASH!
Superman for the next generation: truly the Man of Tomorrow
I have been exceedingly patient. I've enjoyed the in-jokes, the red-and-blue clothes Clark always wears, the neat little freak-of-the-week episodes, and most importantly, the introduction of other teenage superheroes. But now it's time to step it up! I want the Superman of legend, and starting with season six, we now finally have him! It was a long time before we got to see Lex Luthor as the true villain of the mythology that he is, but have no fear, because Superman is...ah, you know the rest. The worst I have to say about Smallville is that it took a long time for the episodes to finally integrate into the mythology, but that's the point I guess. I was so, so disappointed when I found out that a teenage Bruce Wayne would NOT be appearing, but I was happy with him being replaced with Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow. However, they did manage to throw in some references to the Dark Knight, through direct reference to Gotham and the island of Corto Maltese, which is more than enough to make this Batman fan smile. To me, I think that unlike the movies, save the original and Superman Returns, Smallville is fresh and exciting, especially now at its peak, with more heroes and villains that anyone could have ever imagined (introducing Impulse, Aquaman, Cyborg, Green Arrow, Martian Manhunter, Mxyptlk, Brainiac, Zod, and Bizzaro). My favorite episodes are when Clark and Lionel switch bodies, the episode that introduces Aquaman, the one where all the teenage superheroes (minus Martian Manhunter, who is old anyway) form the Justice League, and the one where Clark fights the vampire sorority was pretty cool too. Basically any episode where Clark acts like Superman and Lex acts like...himself. If you're a hardcore, modern age, Birthright, no exceptions Superman fan, you may shy away from it, and that's okay, but if you want a fresher interpretation or don't know dick about Superman, please go ahead and give it a chance. Maybe it'll save you.
The Shadow (1994)
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?
When I was young, I came across The Shadow. I don't know how, but I found the film and loved it, renting it constantly. Then my parents suggested an audio cassette collection of "Shadow" radio thrillers and I fell in love with them. I found many Podcasts for my Ipod since and own the film on DVD. The Shadow is so close to the radio drama in terms of dark and edgy suspense combined with the urban justice of the pulp novels. Lamont Cranston's new back story for the film, a World War 1 veteran who became an opium warlord, and then being redeemed by a holy man and being taught to cloud men's minds, blew me away. This ain't your daddy's Shadow! He's darker and tougher than every before! Also, Lamont's powers seem to have increased, since he can now affect people through telepathy, hypnotic suggestion, and telekinesis. The film makers took the look of the pulp Shadow, mixed in the radio Shadow's invisibility, and added more into Lamont to make him more far more dense for big-screen excitement. Sadly, the film wasn't well-received, but I believe this is due to the fact that the character was at the height of his popularity in the 30's and 40's, not 1994. But for anyone who loves superheroes, vigilantes, and believes that good guys wear black, this film is a must-have. My favorite scene in the film is where the Shadow is pinned to the wall by enemy arrows while under a mind-cloak, and steps OUT of his own shadow to dish out justice from his silver .45 pistols. Bottom line: action at every turn and fun that can't be measured.
The Mark of Zorro (1940)
Tyrone Power: Badass In Black
All I can say is "Wow!" I just got this movie and I was blown away! The scenery, the dialog, the nonstop constant swordplay, this movie has it all! Tyrone Power's representation of Zorro couldn't be any more cool, and his acting to appear like a fop while hiding as Don Diego De la Vega is so complete that for a moment you almost forget that he's the wisecracking horse riding sword-playing hero for the people. A decent length at a movie from 1940, at an hour and thirty-three minutes, this movie just keeps you captivated from sword fight to plot twist until it's nerve-shattering sword fight between Diego and Captain Pasquale, during which you'll have to remind yourself to breathe! Oh, and before I forget, this is a very good point to mention that in DC Comics, this is the film that Bruce Wayne saw with his parents the night they were gunned down. What movie inspired that legendary Batman? Watch The Mark of Zorro and find out.
B-movie goodness, here I come!
This movie is NOT a rip-off of Jurassic Park. The book that the movie is based on (Yes, there's a book) was published in 1984, six years before Crichton's book was published. So the idea was original. However, the movie is not sterling. It has problems. But it has its moments, and damn if it doesn't try its best. The T-Rex (a rather ambitious attempt, if I do say so myself) always impressed me, but the smaller dinosaur, the Deinonychus, was...regrettable. Although the final scene with it, when the sheriff blows its head off with a shotgun, great scene. It's far from perfect, and almost isn't even good, but it tries so hard. But hey, if you just wanna watch Jurassic Park, knock yourself out, no one's stopping you.
Carnosaur 3: Primal Species (1996)
A b-movie with spirit
A series of B movies that unlike the usual formula, actually get BETTER as they go along. I have all 3 Carnosaur films on DVD, and I can be honest about them. The first one almost sucks. Luckily it has a few cool parts and grisly special effects to keep it going. The second one has better story and action, raising the standard of the film to "good", and by the time we reach Carnosaur 3: Primal Species, we've officially hit good, short, dumb fun. With a perfect mix of Dinosaurs (that actually look pretty nice, especially the T-Rex), with good dialog for the kind of movie it is, a second straight to video sequel, lots of action and humor, it makes you laugh and smile with pure middle-of-the-night-entertainment. If you wanna watch Jurassic Park that bad, then watch it, but don't bitch about how this is a rip-off, because it's not. The book that the original Carnosaur movie is based off of, came six years before Crichton's Jurassic Park was published, so back off it, and enjoy it.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
Humanoid turtles battle ninjas for the safety of the city
Action, humor, and great story come together in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, one of the best live action films based on a cartoon/comic ever made. The turtles look great, and for all their bulk, move amazingly fast and execute wonderfully choreographed martial arts. Shredder and Splinter are also perfect, Shredder actually being threatening and bad ass, with Splinter as the loving and enlightened Master whose not afraid to kick some ass. More than a kid's movie, as one can tell from the violence and language, and it vaguely reminds me of The Transformers: The Movie in that respect. Also, as their human comrades, Casey Jones and April O'Neil, they fit together with the turtles very well and do a great job of humanizing them. I'm looking forward to the new CGI version, but this version will always have a special place in my collection.
The Transformers: The Movie (1986)
Alien robots battle for the safety or destruction of the universe
I'm not gonna drone on about this, because then you'll be bored to the point of never seeing this movie in the first place, so I'll keep it short. The Transformers: The Movie is amazing. The animation is among the sharpest and most eye-catching that I've ever seen, and the amount of violence and a no-holds-barred storyline (as far as animated movies are concerned) blew me away. The last battle of Megatron and Optimus Prime is probably my favorite in the movie, and I always wished that it could be dragged out just a little longer. But the new characters are awesome, the battles breathtaking, and the whole film itself is an animated epic, not to mention the last role of Orson Welles, and what a fantastic job he does! Hopefully the new live action Transformers will be every bit as amazing (on a grander scale). Buy it now