Superhero Movie: Extended Edition

Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: Unrated

Starring:
Drake Bell as Rick Riker / Dragonfly
Sara Paxton as Jill Johnson
Christopher McDonald as Lou Landers / Hourglass
Leslie Nielsen as Uncle Albert Adams
Kevin Hart as Trey
Marion Ross as Aunt Lucille Adams
Ryan Hansen as Lance Landers
Keith David as The Chief of Police
Brent Spiner as Dr. Strom
Robert Joy as Dr. Stephen Hawking
Jeffrey Tambor as Dr. Whitby
Robert Hays as Blaine Riker
Nicole Sullivan as Julia Riker
Sam Cohen as Young Rick Riker
Tracy Morgan as Professor Xavier

Special Features:
Feature Commentary by Writer/Director Craig Mazin and Robert K. Weiss
Alternate Ending
Deleted Scenes
Meet the Cast
The Art of Spoofing
Theatrical Trailer

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 82 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the official synopsis of the film:

“Spider-Man, X-Men and the Fantastic Four will never be the same after this outrageously funny spoof of your favorite comic book movies! Drake Bell (‘Drake & Josh’) stars as a nerdy high school student bitten by a genetically-altered dragonfly. He stumbles hilariously through the process of becoming a crime-fighter and as his new powers grow, so do the laughs. Sara Paxton (‘Aquamarine’) and Christopher McDonald (‘Spy Kids 2′) costar as the clueless damsel in distress and the comically intense super villain, along with Pamela Anderson and Leslie Nielsen. Going from superzero to superhero has never been this much fun!”

This “Superhero Movie” DVD is unrated. The theatrical edition was rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, comic violence, drug references and language.

Mini-Review:
If you hear this movie is from the guys that made “Scary Movie 4,” you probably don’t need to hear much more to tell you if you’ll like it or not. You either like these parody movies or you don’t. Don’t get me wrong… I like parody movies. I’m a fan of “Airplane!,” “The Naked Gun,” and some of the other good ones from the ’80s. But the recent ones like “Scary Movie,” “Meet the Spartans,” “Not Another Teen Movie,” and others just aren’t good at all. They barely generate a chuckle, they have no coherent plot, and they randomly make fun of whatever movie came out in the last year. And while “Superhero Movie” suffers from the same problems and still sucks, it does address a few of my problems with this string of films.

First of all, it just parodies the superhero genre. It doesn’t jump between random films, the latest internet trend, or whatever. Sure, there’s a parody of Tom Cruise, but it’s in the context of the film and it works. And comic book movies are ripe for parody. It’s a shame they mainly focus on Spider-Man (with a brief parody of X-Men and Fantastic Four) – I would have liked to see parodies of Batman, Hulk, Superman, and others.

The next thing they do right is they generally follow a continuous plot. It doesn’t feel like a random string of skits (though the visit to the X-Mansion doesn’t quite fit). This puts it closer to films like “Airplane!” and “The Naked Gun” and it helps a lot.

The other thing they did right was get a good cast. Who better to play Aunt May and Uncle Ben than Marion Ross and Leslie Nielsen? Genius. Throw in cameos by Tracy Morgan, Brent Spiner, Jeffrey Tambor, and even Robert Hays and you have a great supporting cast. Even Pamela Anderson has a fun cameo as the Invisible Woman. Sara Paxton is also impressive as Jill Johnson and she makes watching the rest of the film somewhat bearable.

Where “Superhero Movie” falls apart is…well…everywhere else. There are very few good laughs in the film and it doesn’t take long for them to start resorting to poop, fart, and sex jokes. This is perfectly demonstrated by them having Marion Ross fart in her sleep again and again and again. I started feeling sorry for Ross that she had to stoop so low for this film. It also gets quite boring because it follows the Spider-Man plot beat for beat. That left very few surprises because you were 10 steps ahead of the movie. An original superhero story would have been more impressive.

If you’re a fan of the Zucker’s other recent parody movies then you’re probably a prime candidate to enjoy this film. If you’re a comic book fan, you might find it worth a cheap DVD rental. Otherwise avoid this one.

There’s a respectable selection of bonus features. You’ll find about 10 minutes worth of deleted scenes plus an alternate ending. And in the interest of full disclosure, I actually provided some props for the convention scene at the climax of this film. My comic company, Red 5 Comics, sent comics and images to the production to use. While you can see one or two of them in the theatrical version of the movie, our stuff is all over the place in this alternate ending. You can see a large cutout of “Atomic Robo,” comic covers for “Afterburn” and “Neozoic,” banners with “Abyss” cover art, and more. Despite the quality of this movie, it was quite a thrill to see our stuff so visible in the film. There are also your usual interviews with the cast and crew, a gag reel, and a commentary.

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